An Explanation from Steven Novella

Steven Novella explains this much better than I ever could.  The full text of this article is at http://skepticblog.org/2008/11/17/skeptic-the-name-thing-again/.

A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own.

A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves.

Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion.

 

Some useful links relating to scepticism:

 

  The Skeptics Society
..and the US Skeptic magazine.
Skeptic Magazine
A UK magazine
Skeptics in the pub (London)
The original skeptics in the pub
Logical Argument
How to convince a sceptic of your claim.
How do you know what's true?
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy which studies how we know what's true.
Scientific skepticism
Wikipedia's definition of Scientific skepticism