30 Things I’ve learnt – Part XVI

With this next one, I’m talking about the modern definitions, not the original Greek and Greco-Roman philosophical equivalents. They are much more difficult to argue between.

Skepticism > Cynicism

The original Skeptics would not believe anything without empirical evidence proving it. Whereas the Original Cynics believed the happiness and pleasure should not be derived from material possessions or wealth, but from living in accordance with nature.

However, nowadays, the terms have changed somewhat. Far too many people confuse the two. In my eyes, being skeptical requires a healthy questioning of things you read, or are told. Being cynical involves an inherent distrust of others’ intentions.

Questioning in order to ascertain facts or reasons is intelligent. It makes sense not to blindly accept that which you are told by others, whatever their intentions. Assuming the worst in others says more about the cynic than it does about those about which the judgement is made.

Question, but don’t assume.

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