I'd like a few examples of how a person's doubt worked in their favor. Have you ever had a "funny feeling" about someone which made you avoid them, then later found out they were a really bad person after all? Did you ever not trust someone's significant other and, later, been told they cheated? Your "doubt moment" doesn't have to have to do with other people, either. If you ever doubted a vehicles reliability and it later exploded when you weren't using it.
You know... times you listened to your intuition and you were right, or times you DIDN'T listen and should have.
Really? I could spin a hundred yarns fitting your criteria. Not many of them would be interesting, but they would be relevant. I grew up as a young child cursing my doubt and wishing I had the certainty of other kids. Even after submerging myself deeply into the skeptic community, I was fooled by someone very close to me in a very devastating way. Doubt is something that I find essential. Sometimes it is cynical, but not always. Basically, I don't believe anyone anymore about anything that really matters. And I realize that I still hold the capacity to fool myself again as I did before. Soldier on, my motto.
Well, I'd love to read a couple examples of this... if you don't mind. I'm in the earliest of early stages of attempting a book about doubt as a survival mechanism, instinct or intuition. My whole life, doubt has been cursed, but I realized recently that, except in a religious context, doubt is only ever positive.
Sooo... with everyone's permission, I may cite their stories in the book. Like I said, it's in the brainstorming stage, sooo... it could all be for naught, but... I thought I'd make an attempt.
I'm a pretty good 'almost eerie' judge of character.
I trust my gut instincts pretty well, and there is a good reason for that.
When we were in tribes and caves and hunting communities, our brains had to make split second decisions if a person was friend or foe. These decisions were based on nothing more than subtle body language, tone, movements ect.
Now that we live in the concrete- office jungle, it isn't quite as necessary on a day to day basis... but it is just as life saving.
So we retain some of this innate knowledge.. we subconsciously process little details. We have this tribe instinct and it's repackaged as 'inner eyes' or 'whispers from angels' or whatever.
Random occurrences happen a lot less than coincidence. When things break, there are usually signs. Someone on here had a story about a hammer that he 'knew' was going to come apart and crush his neighbor.
Feeling of looseness in the handle, a little give from the head.....these are all clues that we might not pay attention to at first, but might worm it's way into the back of our mind, causing doubt.
Technical divers have one primary rule. That rule is that anyone can call off any dive at any time for any reason
-even if that reason is
'I've just got a bad feeling'
I've done it. Things didn't feel right. I couldn't say what or why.. but they just weren't. I went to my dive leader, and told him so.
He nodded, started to un-clip me and asked if anyone else felt the same way.
Another team mate burst out crying. They were that stressed, that freaked out, but too scared to say a word. Maybe I picked up on their tension. Maybe I could see it in their face and just knew something was 'wrong'
Whatever it was, though.. you sure as fuck don't dive with someone in that state. I can't say if it would have ended in disaster....but had we gone through with it and something went wrong? Well, I wouldn't have been surprised.
Instinct and gut reaction exists.
On a real, tangible, physical, explainable level. We don't need some spooky supernatural for it.
I think that everyone has a few stories like that. Most intuition/gut-based decisions can probably be attributed to subconscious attention to minute details, including body language, environmental conditions that had not been consciously noted (like the wobbly hammer), or the like.
Yeah, this is what I want to demonstrate by having personal testimonies. I definitely don't believe there's some mystical force at work; just things our brains pick up on without us noticing it, but merely have a "feeling" about.
Christianity is always condemning doubt as the worst thing someone could possibly do, but I experienced a lot of doubt while I WAS Christian. A lot of things seemed off. I tried really hard to brush those feelings aside, or I thought there was something wrong with ME. Turns out, my brain was sending me a very clear message. First, that there was something seriously WRONG or, even, dishonest about the services I was attending, and the people participating. I noticed how insincere people were; how unoriginal their expressions. I was constantly frustrated with the pat' answers I was offered because I felt they were covering something up, even if they didn't know it.
Two years later and all my doubt has been confirmed. I've decided "doubt" is a survival mechanism and something positive. Maybe this isn't a revelation to a lot of people on this site, but it was to me. It was to one of my friends as well. People always get offended when a person doesn't "have faith"; they're always resentful towards the skeptics. I was always accused of being negative, but I was really just observant. I'm not going to pretend everything is jelly beans and gum drops when something is awry. Being aware of "the negative" keeps us all alive, but it also makes life unpleasant when you want to live in la la land.
Sooo Dave, any personal experiences you might be willing to share?