Onne Gorter This site is a place for my thoughts around skepticism, knowledge, the world.


My worldview is formed by asking “what is?” and “what matters?”

  • we seem to live in a mechanical and dispassionate universe;
  • morality is about being neighbors, having schools, hospitals, trade;
  • we are all fallible, thus must be open to criticism and learning;
  • existence is first, essence follows by learning and adaptation.

My motto: “be a reasonable and happy observer of reality”


All knowledge is rooted in what we can observe. Reasoning is about trying to capture and express that into models of the world. A good model helps us map out the consequences and those should fit and explain our observations. A bad model only explains observations.

A skeptic points out when:

  • knowledge doesn’t have observations at its root;
  • when unwarranted doubt is cast on knowledge that has already demonstrated itself;
  • when things are being explained away instead of being predicted.

Knowledge is about recognizing situations, knowing the available options, which helps to make better choices, which should make you more effective. Knowledge of chess helps you win games. Knowledge of medicine helps cure people.

“The unexamined life is not worth living” — Socrates