Deterministic Materialism is an Assumption
This is the funny thing about beliefs is that they are all right. I know. I know. I keep harping on this. I like harps. One person may believe wholeheartedly that the lord Jesus invented the earth 2000 years ago. Another person may believe with every fiber of their being that everything in he observable universe is just the chance formations in the dust clouds raised from the last time that Cthulhu decimated existence. One assumes that their perceptions of the King James Bible are infallible, literal, chronological truths. The other believes what comes out of their own warped and methamphetamine amplified paranoia- that and the two Lovecraft books they actually read. Which brings me to my problems with skepticism. You might say I am a meta-skeptic. Or you could call me an anti-skeptic. Either way, I am skeptical mostly of skepticism itself. It all seems to be based in deterministic materialism, which is just another assumption that one may make. Saying that the physical senses cannot be trusted, and that phenomenon are only to be considered as real if they are verified by measurements by appropriate instrumentation is, to me, laughable. If we can't trust our senses, how are we to observe the measurements that we have taken. By a similar token, if what counts as reality is the consensus view of reality, then our perceptions are all we ever had anyways. Operationally, this consensus is much more useful than the objective measurements of instrumentation. Not that it's all bad you know. Running water, antibiotics, the internet... Deterministic materialism has been productive. So was the asteroid that gave us dry land and an atmosphere. I sure am glad that that asteroid isn't still hitting us though. The thing that irks me about is what I call the physical-cause-as-sole-explanation. So someone has figured something out. Let's say lightning. That's a flashy topic. Say old Ben Franklin's got his key and his kite, and (so the story goes) proves that lightning is electricity. Lots of other folks build on this knowledge, and now we have a thorough explanation of how ionically charged masses arc to create the observable phenomenon of lightning. Great. That's wonderful. Now we know HOW it happens. That explanation is the physical basis for lightning. It seems like nobody but kids anymore ask WHY. Or on the off chance that someone does ask WHY, the only explanation offered will be HOW, or some iteration of physical or electrical laws explaining HOW. People seem to shy away from answering WHY questions about phenomena just because there is no objective answer that is right every time. WHY is there lightning? Thor has the dropsies. Heavenly wrath. Perun is pissed off at Veles again. Cousin Betty has been out talking to the Storm Spirits again. The angels are bowling. WHY questions are hard because nobody can really know the answer. But instead of confronting this fact, instead of admitting to being in the dark, instead of making a guess, or considering options.... skeptics just answer HOW. And that is cheating. It's skirting the issue, and more often than not, just another way to make people feel dumb, and small, and isolated.