The life of a skeptic

Neven Sesardic
(Lingnan University, Hong Kong:

A baby philosopher?

I know it sounds quite odd,

but this is what I was,

I can swear by god.


When my parents, bless them,

gave me a milk bottle,

I reacted just like

a little Aristotle.


I refused the milk, of course,

for how could I really know

that it wouldn’t make me sick,

rather than gung-ho?


In fact I was so much

overwhelmed by doubt,

that at once I spitted

the yucky white stuff out.


Without justified belief

I wouldn’t change my mood.

They saved my life by giving me

intravenous food.


Alas, afterwards in school

there was little change,

I just had to take on trust

the claims of wider range.


Teachers mumbled something

about mass and speed and forces,

while I couldn’t accept as real

even tables, chairs or horses.


“Two plus two is four,” they yelled,

“The math is doubt-free!”

Yet a cogent proof was missing,

so I begged to disagree.


Between belief and evidence

there’s always a huge gap,

hence I never rush, like other fools,

to accept a lot of crap.


I cleaned my mind of error,

reduced it to a blank slate.

How did it feel, you ask.

Well, absolutely great!


I knew that those like me,

with a critical bent of mind,

would not be very welcome

in this country of the blind.


So I left the school disgusted

and survived collecting trash,

while morons faking knowledge

were earning a lot of cash.


One day I met a pretty girl,

sweet, with many charms,

who wanted to throw herself

right into my open arms.


The inner voice cautioned me:

“This babe, your would-be bride,

for all you know she might well be

a wicked witch inside!”


What could I do but let her go,

the risk was too high to bear.

So I've lived alone and spent my time

by playing solitaire.


Now being old and tired of life

I expect that soon I’ll die,

but as a skeptic I can’t decide

if I should laugh or cry.