Am I a skeptic? Absolutely — but only when it comes to ridiculous concepts. I am inclined to doubt the existence of the Bloody Mary, the Headless Horseman, and of God. I find such concepts to be ridiculous given their mythical nature. The three are the product of the human mind, but mankind tends to create and forget it has created.
Descartes once said, “of the things that are clear and distinct in my ideas of physical objects, it seems that I may have borrowed some — such as substance, duration, and numbers — from my idea of myself.” In other words, we attribute characteristics we find and understand in ourselves onto external objects. For example, we attribute sadness to a person who is crying because we ourselves cry when we are sad. We thank God for the things he’s done without realizing that who we are really thanking is ourselves for putting in the work and effort.
We attribute positive occurrences to God, and the negative to an evil demon, without realizing that “God” and “evil demon” are simply labels we ourselves have given to our different modes of thinking. The God and evil demon we believe exists in the external world only exist in the human mind. We conceptualize ideas of each and justify their existence in the external world by attributing to them things they would seem to be responsible for. The idea of a God controlling every aspect of our lives is truly the idea of our free will and our power over us and others.
I do not believe there is a God because I have not perceived one. I have never seen God, I have never heard God, I have never tasted or smelled or touched God, and I have never had a moment of divine enlightenment with God. Since he does not exist within me nor outside of me, it only makes sense to me that he is nothing more than just a figment of my imagination. God is an idea passed on through generations, the kind of idea that lives on through centuries — like folklore.
Although I do not believe in God, I do believe, and am 100% certain, that there is a thing as an external world. My eyes do not deceive me when I am looking at the apple sitting on my desk — my vision may be a little skewed, but there is an apple sitting on my desk and that is an objective fact. Whether or not I acknowledge it, there’s an apple over there. My existence being established by the fact that I am a thinking, perceiving, interactive human being, I can ascertain that other things exist since I can experience them. Even in a dream an external world exists being that we are perceiving things that are not within ourselves. In fact, the dream world is based on bits and pieces from our real world, thus validating its existence.
The external world is natural and unavoidable. The idea that things exist outside of my self raises no doubt or suspicion in me. I am inclined to believe so because me sitting here touching the keyboard as I write this validates the idea that I am interacting with something external to me. My laptop may not have feelings or desires like I do, but it objectively exists, it just is.
On the other hand, the idea of God is not natural to me, because had it been so, I would easily be inclined to believe in so. My concept of the external world is instinctive, while my concept of God is one that was instilled in me during Sunday school.