Effective Skepticism


  • Aware of limitations in own beliefs
  • Not arrogant

Independent of thought

  • Not a worshiper of the status quo
  • Able to avoid social pressures and group-think
  • Understanding that consensus does not imply truth

Not intellectually combative

  • Not attacking the views of others
  • Not trying to win
  • Not mocking the views of others
  • No ad hominen attacks

Not dogmatic

  • Not a pseudo skeptic
  • Non-theological
  • Non-authoritarian
  • Agnostic in all things
  • No such thing as “the science is settled”

Open to Ideas

  • But not credulous
  • Capable of wonder
  • Suspending judgment
  • Not closed to new ideas
  • Open to new perspectives
  • Striving to put aside biases
  • Not rejecting without consideration of evidence
  • Not pathologically skeptical


  • Trying to understand
  • Questioning self
  • Questioning others
  • Evaluative
  • Cautious in reaching conclusions
  • Using evidence based thinking

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