The following is a response to Sharon Hill, noted Skeptic and voice of reason in the community of paranormal research, Forteana, and fringe science. She is my friend, and my colleague, and she has asked for any and all opinions regarding the future of organised Skepticism.
It’s been said of atheists that organising them is like herding cats. I’m hesitant to conflate atheism with skepticism – as many others have done – but it can’t be denied that there are certain personality traits the two groups share. Independent thought, reason, a penchant for evidence and the scientific method, etcetera.
The following is a transcribed letter from science fiction author H.G. Wells, to journalist and author Theodore Dreiser. Wells is responding to Dreiser, who had earlier sent Wells a copy of Charles Fort’s recently published book, The Book of the Damned (the original, not the compilation). Continue reading
“Cock-sure certainty is the source of much that is worst in our present world, and it is something of which the contemplation of history ought to cure us, not only or chiefly because there were wise men in the past, but because so much that was thought wisdom turned out to be folly—which suggests that much of our own supposed wisdom is no better. I do not mean to maintain that we should lapse into a lazy scepticism. We should hold our beliefs, and hold them strongly. Nothing great is achieved without passion, but underneath the passion there should always be that large impersonal survey which sets limits to actions that our passions inspire.”
~Bertrand Russell “Portraits from Memory” (1956)