Skepticism is, fundamentally, a view that no-one can really know something.
Skepticism, then, is a way to avoid the guilt of being wrong, and to combat those who feel certain about their knowledge.
I think that one holds such a belief because one feels threatened by people who are intellectual authorities.
Skeptics often believe that certainty leads to violence: "Hitler was certain."
If no-one can be right, then there's no responsibility to be right -- you can believe whatever you want, and nobody can fault you for it.
I think it's this epistemological freedom from standards that makes skepticism appealing. A skeptic doesn't need to argue anything. He can smugly ignore the most rational of arguments, because he fundamentally denies anyone can be sure of anything.
The motive is far deeper than social. The skeptic isn't just dodging social criticism. He's dodging reality altogether, freeing himself to imagine and live according to any alternative he wishes.
answered Nov 17 '12 at 08:16
John Paquette ♦