The Virginia Skeptic

but I hope not the only one

There is a non-voodoo explanation for everything that happens.
Adrian Monk

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Skepticism

From Matthew 7:1-29

Jesus of Nazareth

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. …

…Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Atheists For Jesus

Omar Khayyam - Edward Fitzgerald

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
Fitzgerald's Translation of Khayyam's Rubaiyat

Both Fitzgerald and Khayyam were obviously skeptical of their society.
And Khayyam was a classmate of the fanatical Muslim, Hassan the Assassin.

An illustrated version of the Rubaiyat

Thomas Paine on Infidels

Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

Aldous Huxley on Religion

As recently as three hundred years ago an expression of thoroughgoing world denial and even world condemnation was both orthodox and comprehensible.

"We should feel wonder at nothing at all in Nature except only the Incarnation of Christ."
In the seventeenth century, Lallemant's phrase seemed to make sense. Today it has the ring of madness.

The Scientific Outlook

From a "Lay Sermon"

delivered by Thomas Henry Huxley
President of the Royal Society
For the Advancement of Natural Knowledge
The moral convictions most fondly held by barbarous and semi-barbarous people are:
  • that authority is the soundest basis of belief;
  • that merit attaches to a readiness to believe;
  • that the doubting disposition is a bad one, and scepticism a sin;
  • that when good authority has pronounced what is to be believed,
    and faith has accepted it, reason has no further duty.

All I wish to bring clearly before your minds is the unquestionable fact, that the improvement of natural knowledge is effected by methods which directly give the lie to all these convictions, and assume the exact reverse of each to be true.

The improver of natural knowledge

absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.

Koshchei the Deathless in Cabell's "Jurgen"

tells Jurgen:

"But, friend, I have nothing to do with justice.
To the contrary, I am Koshchei who made things as they are." --


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Quotes

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator

Aneurin Bevan

Private Charity can never be a substitute for Organised Justice--Aneurin Bevan, Labour Minister for Health, Britain,1945-1951

Robert Burns

Facts are chiels that winna ding.-- Scotland's favourite poet.
Albert J. Rogers

15 March 2009
Last updated 10 November 2012

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