Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I want to understand

There's a poster with an (alleged) UFO photograph and the caption "I want to believe", most well popularized by the TV series The X-files.

There's a "skeptic" version of that same poster, with the caption replaced with "I want to understand."

I think that's just a marvelous summary of what skepticism is. It's not about doubting or denying evidence out of principle. It's a drive to try to understand, rather than just the naive view that believing is somehow a virtue and a goal to aim for.

Sure, if this argument is presented to the believers, they will immediately claim that they want to understand too, but they are just wrong about themselves. They think that they want to understand, when in reality they just want to keep believing in their utopistic fantasies that captivates their imaginations. They do not want to understand, they do not want to find the real answer; rather, they already have decided on an answer, and the only thing they want is to find confirmation that supports said answer. Evidence that does not support the answer is discarded and ignored.

In other words, and rather ironically, they do not understand what "I want to understand" really means.

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