|At QEDcon, I met some politically involved skeptics from Scotland. Individuals had their own political convictions but as a group they had no common political message or affiliation.
One thing we spoke of that I think should be applied in life generally, is scrutinising the beliefs of individual candidates and political parties generally.
Sure, we’ve recently seen extreme examples from UKIP and DUP candidates showing their true colours, but there are many subtle and unexpected shockers coming from politicians in more mainstream parties.
As well as this, people aren’t always clear on what they’re voting for party-wise. How many of us can honestly say they’ve read a single political manifesto? Or even spent a little time on more than one political website? I know many people who advocate voting Green, but I my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do that – they’re popular at the moment, and seem cuddly and approachable, but how many people have considered the implications of their policies on nuclear power and GMOs (they are anti- on both)?
So it’s encouraging that some skeptics want to apply critical thinking to politics. While I wouldn’t say that skepticism should ever aim to be a political movement, I would advocate applying skeptical principles to one’s everyday life. Choose whatever political affiliation you wish, but ensure your reasons for doing so are sound.