Scientific Scrutiny is Difficult to Bear

Even when it's applied sensitively, scientific scepticism may come across as arrogant, dogmatic, heartless and dismissive of the feelings and deeply held beliefs of others. And, it must be said, some scientists and dedicated sceptics apply this tool as a blunt instrument, with little finesse. Sometimes it looks as if the sceptical conclusion came first, that contentions were dismissed before, not after, the evidence was examined. All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well based - or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven't thought of, or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug - it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault.


It comes across as arrogant and insensitive.

Folksonomies: science culture criticism

/religion and spirituality (0.507207)
/law, govt and politics (0.506622)
/science/social science/philosophy (0.502814)

deeply held beliefs (0.979904 (negative:-0.850952)), key underlying assumptions (0.966302 (positive:0.531711)), sceptical conclusion (0.786361 (negative:-0.297689)), Scientific Scrutiny (0.776056 (negative:-0.899409)), scientific scepticism (0.760253 (negative:-0.744577)), little finesse (0.738951 (negative:-0.540292)), blunt instrument (0.736633 (neutral:0.000000)), embarrassing questions (0.724733 (negative:-0.646986)), cherish our beliefs (0.722446 (positive:0.661401)), personal assault (0.703824 (negative:-0.760101)), contentions (0.508414 (negative:-0.554035)), sceptics (0.502309 (neutral:0.000000)), Socrates (0.481824 (neutral:0.000000)), feelings (0.480703 (negative:-0.850952)), feels (0.479204 (negative:-0.760101)), rug (0.469538 (neutral:0.000000)), Bear (0.468917 (negative:-0.899409)), evidence (0.465633 (neutral:0.000000)), scientists (0.464559 (positive:0.263805)), degree (0.460382 (neutral:0.000000)), self-defining. (0.459922 (negative:-0.671051)), tool (0.459432 (neutral:0.000000))

Socrates:Person (0.855641 (neutral:0.000000)), assault:Crime (0.797040 (negative:-0.760101))

Critical thinking (0.982984): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Philosophy (0.759522): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Scientific method (0.690372): dbpedia | freebase
Unbelieving (0.683200): dbpedia
Religion (0.662093): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Philosophical skepticism (0.654400): dbpedia | freebase
Doubt (0.647076): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Epistemology (0.592280): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Sagan , Carl and Druyan , Ann (1997-02-25), The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Ballantine Books, Retrieved on 2011-05-04
Folksonomies: science empiricism rationalism