Is It Helpful Being Skeptical?

Topics: Gautama Buddha, Skepticism, Buddhism Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Is it helpful being skeptical?
An old Chinese adage states that, "A skeptic is not necessarily wise but a wise man is skeptical". Well, actually it's not an old Chinese saying; I just made it up. But the value of the comment is worth discussing. I'm prone to being skeptical on most things. Time has developed this sense after being disappointed in outcomes over the years that just didn't materialize as I was led to believe or hoped for. But the wisdom of my choices had a lot to do with the outcome. Hasty decisions with pre-set expectations often fell short. Time has also shown me that there are few absolutes. From my point of view, being skeptical is a healthy response to most unfamiliar situations, especially on issues that can transform over time. A hasty choice based on essential, gut level feelings or the mood of the moment may come back to haunt you in ways you could regret. Being skeptical encourages us to give pause before making final decisions. It demands that we weigh all of the factors that we can gather in a reasonable time-frame before acting on it or emitting words from our mouth that we cannot take back. But skepticism doesn't always mean inaction. It's the precursor for informed action When difficult or costly choices confront us, we want to avoid buyer's remorse as well as any impulse buying. Similar responses can also be associated with our social and political decisions. A dose of skepticism will help us evaluate what has the best value for our hard-earned money or who best to align ourselves with on this or that socio-political issue. Beware though of those, who make a living in "helping" us come to a decision and not necessarily one, that serves our best interests. So how do we make reasonably sound decisions? In his many travels Gautama Buddha passed through the village of Kesaputta (now referred to as Kesariya), a small city in Bihar, India. The people of Kesaputta, known as the Kalamas, welcomed the Buddha to their town and...
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