“Do you control your doubt, or does your doubt control you?” -Unknown
Being a part of academia, have you always been comfortable with questioning everything that enters your mind? Do you always get uncertain about opinions even though many people would happen to agree on it? Have you ever thought if you’d still be able to get through the reality without being afraid of the repercussions? If these questions reflect your current situation, we are all in the same boat.
It is surprisingly simple to come up with doubts that concern human knowledge, even of the knowledge of things we’d usually consider easily known. Do you think casting doubts would we the way to see your life sharply?
Some of you may have heard or not be familiar with the word “Skepticism,” so let’s not make you befuddled about this and just cut to the chase.
Skepticism (or “scepticism” in British English) is an open-minded approach to assertions wherein the ones that only survived basic logical observation and analysis are being accepted.
It concerns about being curious and aware. It means that if you generally don’t believe that an opinion is true unless you see evidence, you are being skeptical.
As individuals, we tend to be a bit foolish about determining what is real, what is the truth, and what works. We selectively choose evidence to support what we already believe. Skepticism is usually defined as crucial to individuals according to psychology. Yes, it’s frankly helpful and all. But I personally think there has to be an utter consideration of identifying the hazards of biting off more than what you’re only supposed to chew.
This topic focuses on resolving uncertainty to your environment and staying within the limitations of being skeptical. To begin our topic, I will firstly start off by answering the question “Why.”
Why is skepticism essential? Being skeptical about things doesn’t mean it’s going to affect your life negatively. It focuses on scientifically solving your dubiousness to opinions. The more we are careful and considerate, the better we can identify the facts and fakes. It is a way to clear everything up, especially the ones that make you confuse the most. In a cliche way: “Don’t die curious.”
For instance, the conspiracy theories about Area 51 an active military airbase in Nevada, that mostly pertains to extraterrestrial life, have been slowly taking all over the internet. Clearly, almost all people would never believe on such that doesn’t seem to exist. They would even instead make memes out of it. Although, because of curiosity, some people have attempted and are attempting to enter inside the mysterious base.
However, you may get yourself in dire straits if you fail to manage your skeptical thinking. What problems are we encountering here? Skepticism is not about learning a certain fact, but it is about the arguments inside your head you create to yourself in order to identify a fact. Whatever is the closest to the actuality wins. But the thing is when we have too many thoughts to think about even the ones that are unnecessary, it just often leads to overthinking. And overthinking may lead to changes in your social, mental and emotional behavior. Keep in mind that these consequences will affect your academic development.
In particular, let’s say it involves group activity. Your teacher is cherry-picking students to join groups. Imagine you’re in a group of 7 students. They are all cool kids and you’re the only nerd in the group, also in the classroom. During the activity, you’ve been noticing that their ideas are all incorrect and do not give emphasis to the topic. You started to ask if they would want to get some help from you. One of the members looked at you as if he was disgusted. You keep interrupting them but they aren’t listening. Some of your groupmates got annoyed. Whispering, they started to make fun of you. What would you feel? Clearly, you would feel the rejection. These piles of skeptical questions are then going to pop out in your head.
“Why do I always get rejected? Was it my fault? Was it them? Maybe I was just trying too hard to fit in. I’m just asking a question, but why do I always get to be the one being laughed at? They might just be joking around, but it seems like everybody is treating me like this.” In this case, you’d probably end up locking yourself in your room and think about what happened back then and contemplate all the similar situations that have happened. This is when the emotional distress comes in. The odds of your own problem getting worse and bigger over the period of time is most likely high, not unless you aren’t figuring out how to get away from this situation. In a nutshell, there will be a tendency that having a lot of doubts in your mind may develop some changes in your personal growth.
-How do we achieve better skeptical thinking?