Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How to move from doubt to self-reliance - Story of Carneades (Part 2 of 4)


Since sceptics lack rational criteria to judge people, they tend to make a mess of relationships. For them, each individual possesses virtues and vices more or less to the same extent. They are as reluctant to admire a hero as to condemn a traitor. In their eyes, you can never be sure of a man's qualities.

If you are planning to invest your savings, do not expect sensible advice from sceptics. They will question your motivation to achieve financial independence and point out that nobody can predict the future with certainty. They will warn you about risks, raise doubts about opportunities, and remind you of past mistakes.

When it comes to health matters, sceptics will flood you with contradictory statistics. For them, every medical theory has two sides, the doubtful and the uncertain. They are the sort of persons who try out conflicting diets and obtain changing results. If they are sick, they follow opposing treatments, just in case, since nobody can be sure.

Carneades' philosophy produces catastrophic outcomes in every area. Scepticism places nonsense on equal footing with truth, depriving virtue of meaning and incentive. Incessant doubts undermine certainty, invalidate knowledge, and destroy self-reliance. Scepticism and relativism are dead-end projects to which you should say no and firmly stand your ground.

To be continued in Part 3

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by BozDoz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]