The Talos Principle: Questioning Doubt

March 6, 2016 12:16 pm

I started playing a game, "The Talos Principle" yesterday.  It's a puzzle game with philosophical/religious overtones.  Throughout the game you find little snippets of communication from in-game people or passages from books (real-life and in-game).  I thought this section of an in-game speech was particularly on point and relevant to my recent ruminations:

They say "doubt everything," but I disagree. Doubt is useful in small amounts, but too much of it leads to apathy and confusion. No, don't doubt everything. QUESTION everything. That's the real trick. Doubt is just a lack of certainty. If you doubt everything, you'll doubt evolution, science, faith, morality, even reality itself - and you'll end up with nothing, because doubt doesn't give anything back. But questions have answers, you see. If you question everything, you'll find that a lot of what we believe is untrue...but you might also discover that some things ARE true. You might discover what your own beliefs are. And then you'll question them again, and again, eliminating flaws, discovering lies, until you get as close to the truth as you can.

Questioning is a lifelong process. That's precisely what makes it so unlike doubt. Questioning engages with reality, interrogating all it sees. Questioning leads to a constant assault on the intellectual status quo, where doubt is far more likely to lead to resigned acceptance. After all, when the possibility of truth is doubtful (excuse the pun), why not simply play along with the most convenient lie?

Questioning is progress, but doubt is stagnation.

One thought on “The Talos Principle: Questioning Doubt”

  1. Interesting quote. I find it hard to understand people who don't question anything or have any interest in digging deeper into the truth of something. The "I have my mind made up. Don't confuse me with facts" mentality, in whatever arena, mystifies me although I have to admit it is distressing to have your mind made up and then find facts that challenge those beliefs. Cognitive dissonance? Is that what they call it?

    I was talking to someone recently about the essays on and they said they hadn't read them and didn't want to. You would have thought I'd suggested viewing porn. They went on to say it was like the current trend of going back through the lives of historical figures and digging up all the dirt on them. I do think it is kind of stupid to go around renaming every building because it turned out the person it was named for owned slaves or something. I think we have to acknowledge that no one is perfect and that people were a product of their times but still recognize their accomplishments even if some of the things they did or said wouldn't fly today. Learning the truth does not have to equal dwelling on the negative or attempting to tear people down.

    That isn't expressing my thoughts very well but I'm tired and it's the best I can come up with at the moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *