AG 095: Healthy Skepticism in Pursuit of Truth

Episode Details

When gambling, I blocked out any input that didn’t align with the “truth” I wanted to believe. After gambling, I have come to see great value in skepticism and the pursuit of truth and share thoughts on the topic in this episode.

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Full Episode Transcript

This is Episode 95 of the After Gambling Podcast. In this episode, we are going to talk a lot about truth and skepticism.


Hey there, everyone, and welcome back to the After Gambling Podcast. My name is Jamie. I am the host of this podcast where we discuss all things related to gambling addiction, aiming to help you, someone you love, or someone you’re trying to assist. We focus on improving lives and navigating life after gambling, hence the name. The name change a few years back was intentional, reflecting this very mission.

Today’s topic is something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s been a significant part of my journey for the past 12 years. In fact, it’s probably been an underlying theme throughout my life. I believe it’s prevalent in yours too. It became especially pronounced in the last five or six years, around the time I started this podcast.

If you recall, I was skeptical about the effectiveness of Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and various existing awareness campaigns. That’s why I initiated this podcast. I saw a gap and decided to experiment with a new approach to reach people. Now, with nearly 300,000 downloads five years later, it appears to be making an impact. It may not resonate with everyone, but for a specific audience, it’s certainly a viable solution.

I recognize there’s always room for improvement. Whether it’s enhancing the podcast’s reach, diversifying its distribution, or transcribing episodes, there’s potential to elevate its impact. But it all begins by acknowledging that this isn’t a perfect platform; it’s a work in progress.

Today, we’ll delve into the concepts of truth and skepticism. Over the past few years, embracing these principles has significantly benefited me. By challenging my own beliefs and adopting a more skeptical perspective, I’ve been able to pursue the truth more earnestly.

It’s crucial not to get too entrenched in

any one ideology. This flexibility has been instrumental in my journey. For instance, during my gambling days, I wasn’t grounded in truth. Whenever skepticism arose, I pushed it away. Friends would express concerns, suggesting that maybe I was gambling too much or that I wasn’t as proficient at poker as I believed. But I would react defensively, often trying to overshadow their insights.

In reality, they were attempting to help, offering a perspective I was overlooking. Throughout this podcast, we’ve emphasized the importance of “switching shoes” or viewing situations from another’s perspective. Skeptical or critical feedback isn’t necessarily an attack; sometimes, it’s a window into a truth we might be missing.

This realization has been invaluable in my recovery from gambling. It wasn’t until I accepted that my strategies were flawed that I began to make progress. I had to be open to alternative solutions, from attending GA meetings to starting this podcast.

Challenging one’s beliefs is a transformative process. In doing so, we can identify not only where others might be wrong but also where we might have been misguided. Recognizing and confronting cognitive biases, such as loss aversion and sunk cost, has been crucial for me.

It’s essential to maintain a sense of humility and be willing to challenge our assumptions. This healthy skepticism has enabled clearer thinking and more informed decision-making in various aspects of my life, from personal relationships to my work and, of course, my approach to gambling.

In the world of gambling addiction, we must remember that much of our understanding is relatively recent. To assume that our current knowledge is unassailable is naive. By questioning, empathizing, and seeking truth, we can develop a more holistic understanding.

As you head into the weekend, I encourage you to reflect on your beliefs. Challenge them. Engage in self-exploration and aim to align your thoughts and actions with truth.

On a programming note, while I’ve been focusing on solo episodes, I’m looking to collaborate with others soon. Many have expressed interest in sharing their stories on the podcast, and I’m eager to facilitate these discussions.

In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I’m not a doctor or a lawyer. This podcast is purely informational. Seek professional guidance as needed. Special thanks to Broke For Free for the music, “Something Elated,” licensed under Creative Commons.

I look forward to connecting with you in the next episode.