I am incapable of rationally thinking any less of an well-intentioned adherent of an ideology I find largely abhorrent compared with a well-intentioned adherent of an ideology with which I largely agree. I feel I may only legitimately prefer either a purer intent, or a more independent and reasoning thinker. For both intentions and independence of thought, unfortunately, the often-unreliable testimony of the individual is the chief form of evidence. Nonetheless, it must be accepted in most cases, lest skepticism give way to cynicism.
Skepticism maintains that what cannot be proven must be held as uncertain, and is connected to realism and common sense. It is the spirit behind the notion that one is innocent until proven guilty. Cynicism, on the other hand, is pernicious. It maintains that what cannot be proven can be assumed, is connected to paranoia and prejudice, and is the spirit behind the notion that one is guilty until proven innocent.
© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2020.