The Importance of Skepticism in Life: Shri Ashok Gupta

What is a Skeptic?

Skeptics are people with a questioning attitude, with some degree of doubt regarding beliefs and claims that are elsewhere taken for granted.  They apply rationality to systematically get to the bottom of ideas in the quest for reliable knowledge or truth supported by argument or evidence.

They follow the doctrine that no fact or principle can be certainly known, true knowledge is uncertain and not absolute; it is always subject to change as new evidence is presented.

The positive view of skepticism is that it is the quality of an investigative mind whereas its negative view is that of a suspicious mind.  Skeptics view the world with an open mind, refusing to believe or disbelieve unless sufficient credible evidence is presented.

They are considered to have questioning, probing, testing minds and are regarded by many as disbelievers, atheists or agnostics.

Skeptic & Cynic

Skepticism means asking questions, being alert, wary, not gullible, but always open to considering a new fact or angle.  Cynicism means being negative and already having the answers in the form of prefixed notions.  The skeptic says, “It may or may not be true; it needs to be checked out.”  The cynic says: “I am sure it is not true. I know.”

Skeptic and Superstition

 Survey of the superstitious and pseudo-scientific beliefs of 2159 secondary school students  was undertaken by Preece P. F. W.; Baxter J. H.  The average level of skepticism increased from students of age (11-13 years), through those of (14-16 years), to the sixth-form science students (17-18 years), with a further increase in pre-service science teachers.  As scepticism grows superstition reduces since the former is a scientific seeker of truth and the latter is a set of untested beliefs generally based on fear.

Skepticism Helps in Relationships, Life and Business 

You have a far better chance of having self confidence and discovering truth around and within yourself if you ask the question –why.  If you are cynical, there is nothing you would like to learn than what you know already. If you are not a skeptic you are likely to be a prisoner of some belief resulting from conditioning of the environment you grew in.

There is an old Japanese saying that if   you want to get to the root of anything to discover the truth, all you need to do is to ask- why 5 times.  Isn’t that what the skeptics do in search of the truth which is essential to achieve their goal of success in life and business?
Consider this:

  • My car will not start. (the problem)
  1. Why?- The battery is dead. (first why)
  2. Why?- The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
  3. Why?- The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
  4. Why?- The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and has never been replaced. (fourth why)
  5. Why?- I have not been maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)

Relationships thrive better in open spaces of the mind where one understands the other’s behavior and responses better from a viewpoint of logic and rationality rather than that of narrow minded expectation.  You have a better relationship as you have a much expanded view of humanity as you question parochial or myopic view of looking at others.  Success in business is the result of good relationships. Moreover, if you are gullible enough to be led into believing anything without enquiring for truth or seeking evidence, it is not good for your business.


Consultants’ Profile

Mr. Ashok Gupta

Mr. Ashok Gupta , management consultant, digital media specialist and a published author is a chemical engineer from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, with over 30 years experience in senior management positions and as a management consultant  in reputed companies in Supply Chain/General Management/ Techno-Commercial areas in India and Indonesia.

He has an international management exposure having worked and undertaken consultancy assignments in USA, India and Indonesia . He is running a highly successful business of Digital Marketing including Social Media Marketing VA International since last 10 years. In addition he has a company offering digital marketing courses in classes at Vadodara and also online.


Skype ID: ashok1082 
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