A very little bit on doubt

a svithe

Brian Kershisnik's Sad Dance.

There are gobbles to say on the importance of doubt to a religious person; tonight, however, just a sampling.

I have long believed--and it is certainly a Mormon doctrine--that truth is out there, we are intended to look for it, and we can know it when we find it. This is the process of faith. If you'll allow me to define the terms, faith is two things:
    1. Trusting that truth can be found.

    2. Accepting truth when found.
This definition presumes that somethings are true and somethings are not. Thus it also presumes that as we have faith that we can find truth, we must also assume that we will find things which are not truth.

We call this assumption doubt. And it is important. Not just because it is faith's opposite, but because they travel the same road together--they are fellow guides to bring us to the truth.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”
----- Kahlil Gibran

Of course, what this means is that the truth-seeker must be willing to be proved wrong. As time goes on and the fine-tuning of faith occurs, the changes required of one's belief may become smaller, but giving up those small falsities may be all the more difficult.

“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.”
----- Paul Tillich

But that's the way it works. Doubt and faith are complements, not competitors.

“Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.”
----- Paul Tillich

I don't think that all roads lead to Heaven, but I do believe that all earnest seekers find roads that lead to the road that leads to Heaven. I do think that the play of faith and doubt runs a different course for every soul. I do believe that we are obliged to support one another and trust one another's faith/doubt processes. I do think in appropriate relationships we are constrained to share our own discoveries. I do believe that without a Godlike omniscience, faith and doubt remain elements of every person's inner life. And I think it's healthy to recognize that a proceed recognizing that they work together for our benefit.

As Hugh B. Brown was wont to quote:

“No one deserves to believe unless he has served an apprenticeship of doubt.”
----- Will Durant

Let us all serve honorably.

this svithe on thmusings
last week's svithe

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