Skepticism, in Bertrand Russell's words, means "it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. " I.e. don't believe until there is enough evidence.

For example, Newton's laws are supported by experiments, therefore there is sufficient evidence. On the other hand, Marxism was made up by Karl Marx, and before the Soviet Union, there were no systematic experiments, therefore we should be skeptical about Marxism.

When skepticism is translated into Chinese, it becomes 怀疑态度,怀疑论; 多疑癖, which means the practice of suspicion, a tenancy to believe even though the evidence is unclear.

  • I recommend you modify your question. Asking about the translation of skepticism (and how "good" that translation is) is totally on topic (and a good question). Your final paragraph is off-topic and is flame-bait. This is not the appropriate forum (or really a forum at all!) to argue about the evidence for religions and such. Sep 3, 2014 at 17:50
  • As a theory: 怀疑论 and as a philosophy: 怀疑主义
    – Mou某
    Sep 4, 2014 at 0:37
  • Long live, 周孝正!. I am so happy China has such talents! youtube.com/… Oct 31, 2014 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


You are absolutely correct to be skeptical about the translation offered. A more accurate translation for skepticism would be:


Breaking it apart,

质疑 [zhì yí] means: 提出疑问 (raise a query, be critical minded)
精神 [jīng shén] means: 意识、思维 (spirit or mindset)

You can read more about 质疑精神 here.


According to wiki, we can say 懷疑論 or 懷疑主義.

  • Thanks. Ideally, the best translation I'm looking for should belong to the minimum vocabulary that appeal directly to the senses, and no more dictionary or wiki explanation is needed. Sep 4, 2014 at 6:17
  • Even wiki hard wired 懷疑主義 to skepticism, but everyone knows that 懷疑 is suspicion. Thus the source of misunderstanding. Sep 4, 2014 at 6:24
  • 1
    Or do you prefer "祟證主義" or "求證主義"? I am worrying whether others could understand and relate "new translation" to specific philosophy terms.
    – Henry HO
    Sep 4, 2014 at 7:10
  • That's almost it! I don't want to speak jargons. Jia Chang Hua is the best. Sep 4, 2014 at 7:15

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