1050 Skepticism & Cynicism
It’s curious that so many interesting philosophies originated with the Greeks: Socrates, Plato & Aristotle being the most notable, but just as important are the Skeptics & Cynics. Skepticism began with Xenophanes in the 6th Century BC, who asserted that no truth is knowable, but of course it is. Skeptics argue that the scientific method is not trustworthy because the number of cases tested is always limited and based on the perceptions of the experimenter, but that’s addressed in the scientific method.
Cynicism appeared in the 4th Century BC. Cynics rejected traditional social & political views. They espoused a cosmopolitan utopia where the purpose of life is to live naturally, gaining happiness through austerity, rigorous training and rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, fame & possessions. Diogenes, its best known adherent: living as a pauper: sleeping on the ground, begging for food, and outspoken that everyone should adopt his way of life.
By those definitions, a skeptic is a person who endlessly demands evidence that a claim is true while never accepting it as proof enough; while a cynic believes that human motivation is selfish in nature, and that people’s actions are solely predicated on personal gain. Neither of these two philosophies appeal to modern sensibilities which explains their lack of notoriety, but the Greeks got it right: skepticism & cynicism fully explain people's frustration, disillusionment, and distrust of organizations, institutions & authority.
Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash
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