True Skeptics / Open-Minded Skeptics
Able to adapt and update their beliefs to new evidence and does not resist new information
Asks questions to try to understand new things and are open to learning about them
Applies critical examination and inquiry to all sides, including their own
Are nonjudgmental and do not jump to rash conclusions
Seeks the truth and considers it the highest aim, unafraid to challenge the status quo
Does not consider the official version of anything to be infallible and above examination
Thinks in terms of possibilities rather than in terms of rigidity and limitations
Fairly and objectively weighs evidence on all sides
Acknowledges valid convincing evidence rather than ignoring or denying it
Possess solid sharp common sense and objective reasoning
When all mundane explanations for a phenomenon are ruled out, are able to accept paranormal ones
Urges others to think for themselves rather than adopting fixed beliefs of organizations and institutions
PseudoSkeptics / Closed-Minded Skeptics
Holds fixed belief systems that are resistant to change and denies data which doesn't fit into them
Does not ask big questions to try to understand things, but judges them by whether they fit into their fixed beliefs
Applies "critical thinking" only to that which opposes their beliefs and the status quo, but never to the status quo itself
Carries a fixed set of rigid beliefs and denies everything outside of it without investigation
Are not interested in truth, evidence or facts, only in defending their views
Unable to challenge or apply skepticism to the status quo, establishment, or official version of anything
Considers the official version of things to be infallible and above examination
Unable to accept mysteries and uncertainty, cannot think in terms of possibilities
Scoffs and ridicules anything outside their narrow and rigid paradigm
Insists that everything unknown and unexplained must have a conventional mundane explanation
Uses semantics and word games with their own rules of logic to try to win arguments
When all mundane explanations for a phenomenon are ruled out, will still insist on them
Does not encourage you to think for yourself, but preaches you to adopt the position of the establishment on every subject
Denies all the above PseudoSkeptic traits, yet DOES them all and holds none of the traits of True Skeptics listed above
Answer by pam19 at 10:51 AM on May. 9, 2011
I strive to be an open-minded skeptic, but like Eek_a_Geek, I take exception to accepting paranormal explanations when mundane explanations are ruled out. I would tend to just leave that particular question as "unanswered" rather than to accept an unproven paranormal solution.
Granted, it takes more effort to be non-judgemental, and to objectively weigh evidence, and I have to work at it sometimes. With that said, however, I do strive to be open-minded, and I try to teach my daughters to be open-minded, too.
Answer by jsbenkert at 4:42 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 9:19 AM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 9:40 AM on May. 9, 2011
I'm definitely a true skeptic.
Answer by beeky at 10:17 AM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by witchqueen at 12:49 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by MamaK88 at 12:53 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by KristiS11384 at 2:38 PM on May. 9, 2011
I would have to go with "true skeptic". However, I take issue with one point in that list: "When all mundane explanations for a phenomenon are ruled out, are able to accept paranormal ones".
Why should a skeptic simply accept a "paranormal" explanation without any evidence, rather than admitting that we simply don't have enough information or knowledge to come to an accurate conclusion at this point in time?
Answer by Eek_a_Geek at 3:25 PM on May. 9, 2011
Next question overall
Geeze did everyone wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?