The genius composer and iconoclast Frank Zappa once remarked that there should be a billboard in every city that says, “I doubt it.” The hard-boiled atheist that he was, he crystallized the job of the (hyper)skeptic well. All that is required is every time someone claims something, just say “I don’t believe that” or “I doubt it”. One of us Christian apologists might spend hours researching into a question one such skeptic has, looking at multiple explanations and multiple refutations, then considerately and sincerely present the results to such a person. They then merely need to say, “I don’t believe it” or “I doubt it” and continue along their way, oblivious not only to the work a Christian apologist just put into their question, but also to the fact that somebody probably asked it long before they did.
What is made apparent pretty soon is that the problem isn’t the amount of evidence for a claim (Can you ever have all the evidence for anything?), it’s a question of presuppositions. This in itself is interesting since arguing about a point entails that you think it is significant or worthwhile. However, I find that some consider the points they argue with such fervor so insignificant that one is confused on why they are hard-pressed to argue their point.
Thankfully, many legal systems don’t operate the way hyperskeptics do. Jurors the world over are pressed not to focus merely on what is possible (since everything is, really), but on what is reasonable. And that is the true enemy of the hyperskeptic who seems content to maintain their skepticism in spite of the evidence and the unreasonableness of their conclusions.
A perfect example is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. What have been the alternative explanations given to explain the evidence we have?
For nearly 2,000 years people have provided answers for objections to the explanation that best fits the facts, even as early as the second century in the works of Origen. “Jesus was a copy-cat myth. Jesus was this. Jesus was that.” As the pitifully (or intentionally?) lazy director, Peter Joseph, of the Internet video sensation Zeitgeist have proven, some skeptics aren’t at all interested in having their questions answered. They are content with promoting a type of hyperskepticism that serves their presuppositions and is impervious to any previous history.
Beware that this sort of incurable skepticism will make its way to a city near you… if it isn’t already there.