Thursday, September 02, 2010

Quote of the Day: Greta Christina and the nature of reality

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Lolcat: “I’m bending your spoon with my mind!”
Hey, best pic for skepticism I could find, okay?!
[source: Atheist Nexus]

“Why does skepticism matter?” It seems like a fairly obvious and self-answering question, doesn’t it? Skepticism matters because critical thinking is what shields you from being taken in by any nonsense you encounter. And yet, so many people not only adhere to magical thinking, but actually latch onto it and defend it viciously as they would a vulnerable infant, that it almost seems to make the purpose of promoting skepticism self-defeating. Why would anyone want to spread the word that all those warm, fuzzy things people believe in simply don’t exist?

Well, as usual, Greta Christina has an answer, and as usual, it’s a wonderful piece that merits reading and sharing around. But this following excerpt is particularly memorable in how poetic and wonderful it is:

Reality is a harsh mistress. She demands our honesty. She demands our work. She demands that we give up comforts, that we let ourselves feel pain, that we accept how small we are and how little control we have over our lives. And she demands that we make her our top priority.

But she is more beautiful, and more powerful, and more surprising, and more fascinating, and more endlessly rewarding, than anything we could ever make up about her.

And we can't let her in unless we're willing to let her be what she is.

And the discipline of skepticism is essential to making that happen.

Would it be terribly improper to stand up and applaud and shout “Bravissimo!” in front of a computer screen? Seriously, that quote is perfect. It’s a perfect encapsulation of all that skepticism stands for.

Added without further ado to my Memorable Quotes section.

(via Friendly Atheist)