February 10, 2012

Faith & Skepticism

In a way, both involve a suspension of judgment. That is, when either faith or skepticism are serving us at their greatest capacity, they enable us to replace some prejudice or ingrained expectation with an alternative possibility.

With Faith, that replaced expectation most often takes a particular focus. With Skepticism, it's just the same but in negative. Faith concludes 'X' before seeing the evidence. Doubt precludes 'X' despite common opinion.

The twist tonight is that expectation isn't all plus or minus. Few of us are complete positivists or minimalists. Many profound believers leave plenty of doubt in the details. Most skeptics take personal comfort in holding onto a few central convictions.

This goes farther than saying we're all being peculiar in the ways we select what to uphold and to challenge, and it's hardly as simplistic as the false trendy pith, "doubt equals faith".

The encouragement here is we all need to question our judgment.

The challenge here is we all need to seek out real Truth.

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"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient observation than to any other reason."

-- Isaac Newton