International Skeptics Day is celebrated annually on October 13th. Skepticism and critical thinking are essential characteristics for modern people, given the turbulent information flow in which we find ourselves. Careful consideration of facts and searching for the truth can help people to maintain their interests and not be misled.
The exact origin of International Skeptics Day is unknown. It is also difficult to pinpoint when in history people first began to develop a skeptical attitude towards any information. However, in this day and age, skepticism is becoming increasingly important: various periodicals, documentaries, podcasts, books, and videos on YouTube are helping to promote the idea of a critical examination of reality.
The word “skeptic” has its roots in Greek, where it means “investigation”. In ancient times, skeptics were scientists, writers, poets, philosophers, and sophists. They opposed their worldview to the religious canons and dogmas that offered “blind faith”. Nowadays, skeptics are viewed as intellectuals; the desire to uncover the truth is encouraged and appreciated.
- In the 5th century BC the Eleatic philosophers questioned the reality of the physical world.
- Around 399 BC Socrates voiced his famous thought in Plato’s “Apology”, which is now a slogan for all skeptics: “I only know that I know nothing”.
- In 360 BC Pyrrho of Elis, the possible father of Greek skepticism, was born.
- In the 16th century, the followers of William of Ockham questioned the divine origin of knowledge and wondered whether God could deceive mankind.
How to take part
To be a skeptic does not mean to deny all scientifically proven facts; on the contrary, it is upon these facts that all critical and thinking people should rely. As such, to celebrate the holiday, one could read scientific literature that reveals the myths behind certain historical, mystical, and physical phenomena. One could also turn to philosophical literature, as it was the philosophers who first began to question the conventional wisdom.
When is International Skeptics Day celebrated in 2022?
International Skeptics Day is observed on October 13 each year.