I see professional skeptics as little sweepers that go around dusting things off. The reason this is a good thing is because there is quite a lot of deception out there. These guys are pretty good at showing that to us, and that isn't a bad thing. It helps. And even though it may make me seem like something of a jerk, I actually do revel in the exposure of a deception. It clears up the mystery and allows me to move on to the next. As long as the conclusion isn't based on an assumption, I take the skepticism seriously. Everything must be dealt with case-by-case.
Most skeptics end up as atheists. That isn't surprising. I mean... were you surprised to hear that? I certainly wasn't. Skeptics use worldly means to disprove worldly mysteries. How on earth could they ever prove something like God ever existed? Every claim is painfully easy to take down. Heck, much of the claims supporting the existence of God are wishy-washy at best. And once you nix the existence of God, everything else supernatural generally follows.
Skeptics can spend their entire careers desperately trying to find God but never actually making a success of it. But my problem with that is... it's a bit like trying to locate the man behind the curtain... but he was never really there to begin with. You can't really prove that God does not exist through skepticism; you can only prove he doesn't exist behind the curtain. But for many people, that is enough for them to become an atheist.
Long term skeptics get into a sort of healthy swing of things. They begin seeing the deceptions made by other humans. They learn their tricks. They start to become aware of how it all works. But in order to get started down this road, you have to at least be open to the possibility that the supernatural may exist. You give the event the benefit of the doubt and let it prove itself by its own merits. Open-mindedness is key here. You have to allow yourself to believe that anything is possible--even the impossible. But don't close your eyes. Look for tears in the fabric. When you find it, rip it apart.
Over time, however, that open-mindedness gets sullied by cynicism. They begin to think that certain things can't be possible. Pretty soon the world gets reduced to something, albeit fun for a time, but ultimately pointless. There is no reason for anything but that we all are just trying to survive and make the best of it. Nothing can really get better. All that there is left to do is just expose the world for the deception that it is and move on to the next. It creates a sort of spiritual blindness.
What will we ever do if something truly supernatural occurs? Will we even see it? Will we even care? The belief in impossible things can easily be mixed with a batch of healthy skepticism. They can work together. But you cannot lose that open-mindedness for even a second. Be open to the supernatural. Be open to God. Don't so quickly toss the idea of amazing things because you have seen it all before and found nothing. Just let it sit in the back of your mind... and if the sense is ever needed... you'll be able to cope. You'll be able to see.
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