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Skeptic-Fanatic Scale

by Bill Lauritzen

Where do you think you fall on the scale? Where do others think you fall? 

+90  Fanatic

 Unjustified enthusiasm. Zealot. Sometimes willing to die so that a principle, model, theory, dogma may live.

 +60

Gullible Believer

 Blindly buys, swallows, and trusts despite evidence to the contrary. Looks for minor similarities between theory and reality as evidence in favor of the theory; naive.

 + 30

Cautious Believer

 Looks for major similarities between theory and reality as evidence in favor of the theory.

 0

 Pragmatist

 Realist; realizes that no theory/model can be perfect. Accepts those that work (or parts of those that work) in aiding survival. Discards what doesn’t work.

 - 30

 Healthy Skeptic

 Looks for major differences between theory and reality as evidence against the theory.

 -60

 Nitpicker

 Doubter; looks for minor differences between theory and reality as evidence against the theory. Seldom buys, swallows, or trusts despite evidence to do so; suspicious.

 -90

 Cynic

 Suspicious, scoffer; nihilist; believes in nothing; lives in order to prove others wrong, but may commit suicide as there is no “reason” to live.