But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.
Surprise! Nope, not a skepticism quote, but a good quote to return with; I’ve been away for a while, enjoying summer, but Autumn came and in two days kicked “summer out on its treacherous ass”…now it is cold and rainy and I’m resolved to stay inside and write.
The skeptic is not passionately intent on converting mankind to his or her point of view and surely is not interested in imposing it on others, though he may be deeply concerned with raising the level of education and critical inquiry in society. Still, if there are any lessons to be learned from history, it is that we should be skeptical of all points of view, including those of the skeptics. No one is infallible, and no one can claim a monopoly on truth or virtue. It would be contradictory for skepticism to seek to translate itself into a new faith. One must view with caution the promises of any new secular priest who might emerge promising a brave new world—if only his path to clarity and truth is followed. Perhaps the best we can hope for is to temper the intemperate and to tame the perverse temptation that lurks within.
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
– John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book IV, Ch. 20, sec. 17)
And that is why it is important to be skeptical–to “question all the answers” as Crosby, Stills, and Nash once said.
There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity… It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.
No, don’t look behind that curtain! It is all beyond your understanding and you’ll gain nothing by it! Just stay ignorant and listen to the priest…