Hello, I'm new here I'm having a rather large issue with my skepticism that it has become very pragmatic and dominant in my life. At times I believe skepticism is necessary but it seems that it has overwhelmed rather mundane tasks that I need not be skeptical of. I am by no means intelligible in regards to philosophy, in that I don't know MUCH about philosophy, but my mind thinks very philosophical quite often... if not all day. At any rate, I have yet to discover any reason or argument to be empirical about anything or any means to claim that knowledge is even remotely possible. It's caused a large amount of despondency in my life as well as a girl I may be in love (I'm uncertain if it's what I define love as, but I believe I care about her a lot) with, however she's stopped talking to me because I can't be certain of anything with her... namely my feelings and some of my family members as well have been indirectly saddened by my skepticism.
So I am curious if anyone has some decent reads that are understandable to a layman to philosophy, yet convincing none the less that knowledge is at least possible. This would be GREATLY appreciated. I didn't see any thread pertaining to this, so if one exists already I'm sorry. Thanks in advance.
Perhaps it could be a fear of commitment in regards to the girl. However, I tend not to be one that is afraid of commitment, at least as far as the past goes. The issue is that it has succumbed rather simplistic areas of my life as well. I'm relatively certain what my heart says in as so much as the relationships in my life goes. But it's just other areas of my life that are overwhelmed in skepticism in tasks that I shouldn't be so skeptical about. I can go on listing them but to be quite frank it's almost literally everything. I really don't know what to do.
thankyou for being so open. I feel for your predicament. So is it more like a feeling of not being able to see the point of doing what you're supposed to be doing? Is that what you mean by 'tasks you shouldn't be skeptical about?'
I suppose to a point, yes. However, I find my skepticism rather just leaves me very depressed. It gives a sense of nothingness as if I literally cannot know anything. It's not that I feel skepticism is necessarily bad to a degree, however, it's truly to the point of everything. It seems that the only thing I know for certain that I exist and to a point I rather tend to doubt even this. My skepticism in fact leaves me skeptic of my skepticism in that I don't know if it's possible not to know anything. For example, if I stated, "It's impossible to know anything." I don't even know if that statement is accurate. It seems I'm rather uncertain with everything. However, because I'm uncertain I suppose that's why I'm open to finding out if knowledge is possible.
I don't think it's to the point where I don't do things as a result of it, but rather I'm just quite tired of questioning everything to be frank. In a sense I suppose it's like OCD. A lot of people who are OCD can complete every day tasks, but they take much longer to do so because they uncertain about such and such a thing and want to make sure such and such happened. Needless to say, they spend much wasted time on things that don't need to be wasted on. This is how my skepticism is. I rather question things to the point that they don't need to be questioned. It wastes much time rather than just accepting things the way they are.
I just feel like I used to be much more content previously when I wasn't so skeptical of things. I've lost some sleep at night thinking about various things as a result of my skepticism. I'm currently talking to a Psychiatrist/Therapist about some of these things, but he seems to be on the same page that I am... just less concerned about it. As in, it doesn't consume his thoughts.
I think to a point it just sees redundancy in everything and I find no purpose or meaning, which is why it leaves me empty. I was brought up religious and since some what falling away this has all taken place. I've tried being restored to it, but needless to say if I'm skeptical about natural things -- it's much more so in supernatural things. It just makes life very difficult to concentrate and very hard to relate with people I once did.
I think to a point it just sees redundancy in everything and I find no purpose or meaning, which is why it leaves me empty.
I hope you don't mind my interjection. I had a difficult period at around 17 when I lost my faith in God. For many, this is not an important issue. But some have a real craving for meaning, purpose, sense. Carl Jung talks about this. Freud dealt largely with sexual problems and Jung with spiritual problems.
I suppose I'm chiming in to emphasize that the struggle can pay off. In my opinion, you can indeed resolve this issue satisfactorily. Time wounds all heels and heals all wounds....
I don't think this is skepticism, I think it is an emotional outlook. The fact that you were 'brought up relgious' and have reacted against it might have something to do with it. There was a saying coined by Jean-Paul Sartre that modern man has a 'God-shaped hole' in the heart. It is an evocative and poignant saying.
I was not brought up religious. I went to a church school and went to chapel three times a week. Never got confirmed though, and my family and most of my friends are indifferent to religion. But I have spiritual inclinations; I would describe myself as 'spiritual but not religious'. I have sought out, and found, spiritual teachers from various traditions. They have an outlook which is not religious in the conventional sense but also not atheistic in the sense of denying all spirituality.
So maybe it is more a sense of spirituality that would help you. It is a much broader type of thing, it embraces many different facets of life, and many different cultural forms. It can be religious or non-religious. But it provides a way of feeling related to the universe and other people. I sense that is what you are looking for.