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Is There A Point To Where…?

Written by | January 16th, 2009
Is there a point to where realism becomes skepticism, or is skepticism a form of realism?
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4 thoughts on “Is There A Point To Where…?

  1. KEB

    I think the two are closely related, but only when the expected outcome is viewed in a negative connotation.

    Presuming someone who is constantly skeptical expresses an opinion on every subject, the opinion expressed will likely be viewed in a negative fashion. i.e. with skepticism. However, someone who is a realist, expresses an opinion based on their perception which may be viewed as negative or positive.

    A skeptic cannot offer an affirmative opinion on a subject and still be considered skeptical, while a realist may do just that, because they perceive it in a positive manner.

  2. markross Post author

    Hmm, that is an interesting analysis…Thank you!

    Yes, they are so closely related that often, I can not tell if I am am being realistic, or if age, events and experiences are making me more skeptical.

    I use to say to my father, “that is so negative”, and he would reply, “no Mark, that is realistic”.

    I can think of a few friends that I use to feel were overly skeptical, and it drove me nuts; now, I find myself becoming a bit overly skeptical, and “admittedly”, I hate it.

    Perhaps being skeptical is natural, and it is a feeling that protects, and guards us. However, if we become overly guarded, then we start failing to live, and trust.

    From reading your response, I think that you are saying, it is OK, to be a bit cynical, however, cynicism can still be backed up with optimism; is that correct?


  3. KEB

    You are correct to a point.

    The truth is that nobody really wants to be around someone who is completely negative all the time. It is also true that you can be cynical, skeptical, or "real" at any moment and it shouldn't label you as a cynic, skeptic, or realist is every fashion.

    The negative attitude isn't endearing and it breeds further negativity. I think that is the reason we have this love hate relationship with labeling people as cynics, skeptics etc.

    It does no good, and can inhibit our own growth and understanding if we are constantly viewing things from a negative perspective. Remember, just because the glass is half empty, doesn't mean it isn't half full too.

  4. markross Post author

    This is very true.

    I certainly do not like being around "perpetually" negative people, nor would I want someone around me, if I am like that for a period of time.

    I totally agree with you on the labeling, and half empty glass analysis. Some people can not see a silver-lining in anything; it is all gloom and doom.

    K, let me propose this question to you, because I think that it is a question that "most" Americans can relate to, these days…

    How do we not be so skeptical about our government, and the decisions that they have made in the last year? Is it fair to be "overly" skeptical of them these days? Perhaps there is some in between?

    I listen to some commentators, read some books; and these people, on the surface "may" seem like complete cynics, however, if what they are stating is factually correct, then are they still skeptics, or are they being realists?

    Perhaps the answer is, if they always look for the "bad" things in government, and politicians, then perhaps they are skeptics. What do you think?



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