The Necessity of Doubt

I simply cannot respect anyone who claims to have never doubted their beliefs. This statement tells me they have never really examined their opinions, no matter how much time they have spent thinking, reading or discussing them. Whatever your beliefs regarding religion, the vast majority of the world disagrees with you. I find it incredible that a person can go through life, aware that billions of people hold opposing viewpoints, without once thinking, “Perhaps I'm wrong.” While it's possible to understand this failure to doubt in the culturally homogeneous societies of the past where literally everyone you knew belonged to the same religion, it's nothing short of inexcusable in modern, cosmopolitan America. Despite this absurdity, I still occasionally read interviews of religious leaders in the local newspaper in which they state they have not once doubted their faith. And very few of those who do acknowledge their doubts then say they have pursued and investigated them logically, instead preferring to rely on prayer and scripture to resolve their uncertainties. Of course, if they approached the question of religion from a rational perspective, it's extremely unlikely they would have become religious leaders in the first place.


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