In episode two of the Skepticism Webinar Series, two panelists address the issues of etiquette and ethics that can arise when having to ask “skeptical” questions. It is important to not cause offense or weaken trust when tough questions on sensitive topics are necessary.
As covered in this webinar, having proper etiquette and acting in a polite and professional manner will create an internal attitude based on respect and integrity. Key elements include a sense of setting, careful word choice, listening skills, appropriate facial expression and body language, and of course, please, thank you, and apologies when appropriate. These elements also need to be paired with high ethical standards when searching for the truth in a particular situation. The effective skeptic must respect others and believe them to be ethical until proven otherwise while still focusing on the behavior of those whom they are skeptical.