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A Healthy Dose of Doubt

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posted on Jun, 20 2009 @ 09:11 AM
The purpose of this thread is to serve as a reminder for both skeptics and conspiracy theorists alike that doubt should remain a key beneficial ingredient in the consideration of many topics on this forum.

It was inspired after my recent viewing of the movie ‘Doubt” which I highly recommend. I do not intend this thread to be limited to a movie review, but hopefully to expand upon the underlying premise of the film.

While my thread contains no obvious plot spoilers, suffice to say that the film forces viewers to draw their own conclusions.

For me, the film left me with lingering and nagging uncertainty and required multiple viewings. IMO. the film does not purposely “trick” the viewer but rather allows room for assumptions to be made. Preconceived notions based on unique experiences.

The film might yield a different outcome for each audience member as to guilt or innocence based on personal convictions from a neutral yet compelling story line.
(Although the context of the film is the Catholic religion, the theme is much more universal.) As an admittedly vocal critic of this institution, I will say this film has pried open parts of my mind.

Unable to draw a concrete conclusion and certain I had missed some shred of evidence or morsel of truth, I watched the movie 3 times and finally a 4th with the Director Commentary turned on.

(BTW, the Screenplay was written by and the film Directed by John Patrick Stanley.)

I was so moved by his commentary that I loosely transcribed a critical passage to share with you all.

“... We can never know what is in the heart or soul of another human being. We can have our assumptions and theories. Sometimes they can be very solid but we can never know and adults have to learn to live with that. Because doubt is a natural part of the equation of life. It is an asset to realize you should leave some space inside yourself open for further thought conclusions...”

It is useful to remember that a healthy dose of doubt may be a good thing for both sides in the on-going debate and evaluation of conspiracies, religion, aliens and ufos.

Thanks for allowing me to unburden myself. Regards...KK

[edit on 20-6-2009 by kinda kurious]

posted on Jun, 20 2009 @ 10:22 AM
My opinion is that doubt is biased in favor of the negative. I believe you should remain agnostic or neutral in the absence of evidence, not drawing conclusions either way. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, testing it as you go for consistency. See things as a range of possibilities. In my own mind, I compartmentalize things. That way no test interferes with my core belief systems. Once you determine something to be true, then you can incorporate that into your core belief systems. Doubting is only useful in that part I stated above, testing as you go for consistency. It basically works like this. What would have to be true (x) to show that y is false? Then determine if it can be proven that x is true which makes y false. If it can't be proven that x is true, don't doubt. Just look for a better test.

[edit on 20-6-2009 by theyreadmymind]

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 08:43 AM
reply to post by theyreadmymind

Thanks for the reply. I really like your modular, building-block approach to forming your belief system. I suppose it is an effective means for for many based on empirical knowledge in a black & white world. But what about all those shades of gray?

To loosely paraphrase a quote I once read on here:

"A truthful man who is honestly mistaken will likely become neither truthful nor honest."

(Sorry if I butchered that quote.) The point is emotion,pride and logic can often mire one's staunch beliefs.

For the sake of discussion, I'll present two hypotheticals in an earnest effort to illustrate
my point.

Your son comes home crying and claiming his bike was stolen.
You both go driving around the neighborhood.
You spot a kid (known bully) on his bike and re-claim it.
( Knocking the kid of the bike and causing cuts and bruises in the process.)
You return home and your son confesses he "sold" his bike for $20.00 so he could buy ice cream.

You are captain of a ship living hundreds of years ago.
You set out on an exploration cruise for the purpose of sight-seeing to the edge of the flat earth with notable politicians and elite dignitaries.
You carry on board 2 days of rations, one for the trip there and one for the return.
After 3 days of sailing toward the horizon, you maintain course. Certain the earth is flat and you will find the edge. There are not enough provisions to make it back, but you are too stubborn to concede being wrong. You sail on.

Sometimes our belief systems are rattled due to faulty assumptions. Over-confidence in one's core beliefs can be a dangerous commodity.

Having been wrong about many things as of late, I urge caution, invite challenge and welcome curiosity. Being fallible can be a good thing and doubt is a healthy ingredient.

Kind Regards...KK

[edit on 21-6-2009 by kinda kurious]

posted on Jun, 21 2009 @ 09:56 AM
reply to post by kinda kurious

Neither of those examples take into account 'testing things as you go along for consistency'. In the first example, you have me wrestling a bike away from a kid before I even know it's the right bike. If you used my method that never would have happened because you didn't 'know' it was the right bike. In the second example, it'd be silly to go beyond half your allotted rations without turning back and restocking. Also, you assume the earth is flat without testing whether or not it is so.

I know what you are saying, but I don't think they apply to what I was saying.

posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 07:08 AM
reply to post by theyreadmymind

Yes I agree. My examples seem silly and might have been poor choices. I am happy that you appear to be unwavering in your method of logical analysis. As I had mentioned before, I've recently experienced a few "rude awakenings." I now question things more. (including some long held beliefs)

Things (like beliefs) that are too rigid, can often be more fragile and break easier than those that sway a bit with flexibility. Failure is the perfect teacher.

Regardless, I thank you for your contribution and input to my otherwise lackluster thread. I enjoy your refreshing point of view.

Although you must admit, it was fun taking a bike from a kid. I joke.


posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 09:12 PM
I prefer to act on the assumption that I am right, leaving open the possibility that I am not. A sort of fluid certainty. Being certain of my beliefs and stances allows me to act and live with a determination that I think I would find hard if my mind were filled with doubt.

This does not make me rigid or unreceptive to new information. Notice my term "Fluid Certainty" A contradiction in terms I admit, and one that mirrors my core belief about reality: "You can't have one without the other." You can't have light without dark, up without down, right without wrong. One is meaningless without the other. They are sort of like two parts of a whole that we as humans separate to classify things. And as such I can be certain that I am right while still being able to accept that I am not.

Of course if this is what you mean by doubt then well I'm with ya

posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 11:39 PM
Good thread but no sensationalistic hook to draw the teenagers (and like-minded.)

A problem with searching for information and commentary these days is that the outrageous has a larger audience than the objective and rational.

I remember how in bookstores there was always a section called something Like "New Age" where apart from alternative medicine, the supernatural, prophesy, etc you'd find UFO books. 96 out of a hundred would have titles like "Flying Saucers are REAL" and abduction tales. A precious few attempted to show how the phenomenon was largely a fabrication.

But try Googleand you'll find 17 pages of Roswell proof sites and maybe a lone
one asking some serious questions about it. With 9/11 the ratio is even more staggering.

History, science, facts are becoming more like points of reference for embroidered fiction these days.

When the pseudo-information is repeated enough it starts to solidify into fact for many.

Critical thinking is not the default stance. Picking the version of events that fills some emotional, psychological, or political need is how people inform themselves.

Don't know if this resonates with others. But my observation of late.

Of course I'm posting this on a conspiracy forum where often North is South and East is West.


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