Monday, July 18, 2011
The skeptic versus the cynic (#899)
A skeptic is: "a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual."-Dictionary.com; whereas a cynic is: "a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view."-Dictionary.com. It is objective to be skeptical about things that are uncertain. It brings about a sense of wanting to know or learning to the doubt. We should, everyone of us, be skeptical about anything that has doubt to it. Looking at every side of a doubt helps us to diminish and/or eliminate a particular skepticism. On the other hand, cynicism, equates to a philosophy that is founded on the principle that selfishness is paramount to any other action. Cynicism does not allow for objectivity to define it's outcome, instead it is subjectively arrived at for whatever the individual's need determines. When I think about a generalized definition in my mind of what a cynic is like, I think of a cynical caveman and his constant survival mode, where he must take all he can get without reason to what others may need. A skeptic is actually in a different paradigm. As like the caveman example, the skeptical caveman takes what he needs but with a conscious thought to how it may effect others. In the evolutionary scale of definitions between these two concepts, the rationale for the cynic is embedded in it's actions, whereas the rationale for the skeptic is not hindered by a predetermined thought-to-act reaction. An analysis is still available to the skeptic whereas analysis does not factor in for a cynic. The evolution from being cynical to skeptical is like the evolution from cro-magnum man to Neanderthal man. An evolutionary leap that progresses enlightenment and sets humanity up for it's next evolutionary leap.