The meaning of Skepticism is not disbelief, its actually the opposite. 1

Skepticism means “truth seeking” from its original Greek, not disbelief. 

Disclaimer: disbelief and belief are not opposites, they are antonyms. Opposite is when you would claim something and the truth is just its opposite. eg you claim the Government is super, but turn out its not. So its the NOT factor which decides something is opposite or not, but antonym merely suggests a linguistic parameter to describe that fact. The fact is opposite or not irrespective of which semantics you want to use to claim such a fact. So I am not saying Belief is the meaning of skepticism which will clearly land you in hot water. Belief is the antonym of disbelief but in some circumstances as befitting to facts truth-seeking is the opposite of that disbelief. In other words disbelief is truth seeking it was not disbelief in the first place, belief of a sectarian membership which masquerades as facts and displaces the truth-seeking as disbelief, but well understood when thats confused with skepticism.

Sometimes you will come across a wide range disbelief regarding something. Thats not (necessarily) skepticism (at-least certainly the debate is not in its nascent stage). Here is the literal meaning of it as the word derived from its Greek; to think, to look about, to consider. Most people are already NOT doing it and rejecting skepticism as nay-saying (while truth is they are the nay-Sayers) !! No wonder thats an integral central part of any investigation and science.

In ordinary usage, skepticism (US) or scepticism (UK) (Greek: ‘σκέπτομαι’ skeptomai, to think, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to:

(a) an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;
(b) the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain; or
(c) the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).

In philosophy, skepticism refers more specifically to any one of several propositions. These include propositions about:
(a) an inquiry,
(b) a method of obtaining knowledge through systematic doubt and continual testing,
(c) the arbitrariness, relativity, or subjectivity of moral values,
(d) the limitations of knowledge,
(e) a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment

BTW the Indianic corresponding word of scepticism might be Suxma (sukshma) which literally means subtle (in present day) but it also might pertain to subtle considerations, thinking etc. Its a better phonetica matching and the meanings are not that far off !! [by nature of phonetic and language: its also evident that another matching is shudhamaya which means pure, unbridled hence closer to truth which is what skepticism is, check another close phonetic matching of skeptomai: satyamaya or satyamaha even satyameva. Satya is Indianic TRUTH. Quite on spot here then, Skepticism literally means in its connection to Indianic phonetics, TRUTH. Hence I think the most popular Indianic slogan “satyameva Jayate ” translated as Victory to truth is basically a glorious preservation of the culture of skepticism. Satyameva jayate then again transpires to satyameva shudha = true and pure whose seeking is the prime meaning skepticism]

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  1. Pingback: A small article on Etymology. « Invariance Publishing House, mdashfoundation

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