Encounter with Doubt

The Christian Post says doubt is necessary, but unbelief is dangerous. Whatever that means. I guess doubt is only good if it's dishonest; if it isn't real doubt, but rather a kind of unquestioning sort of questioning that pre-supposes the answer before it ever dares to ask.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on February 13, 2014 at 6:14pm

Once the seeds of doubt are planted they will take root and grow. Some will try to ignore them by drowning them out with large doses of religion and convince themselves that they are gone but the only way to remove doubts are to challenge them.

Great picture...!

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on February 13, 2014 at 11:40pm

The Christian Post says doubt is necessary, but unbelief is dangerous. Whatever that means. I guess doubt is only good if it's dishonest; if it isn't real doubt, but rather a kind of unquestioning sort of questioning that pre-supposes the answer before it ever dares to ask.

I think what you're describing essentially is incuriousity driven by fear. This mindset is evident in all sorts of religious thinking.

For instance, watch creationists talk about creationism. A pastor says if the Bible said “2+2=5" he would accept it. Believers explain all sorts of strategies they use to shut down their minds whenever they’re given an opportunity to think more broadly. They seem afraid to me.

Afraid to ask questions. Afraid of "the world" (which is never referred to in a positive way). Afraid of being different. Afraid of thinking unpleasant thoughts. Afraid that thinking otherwise would mean they aren’t special anymore. Afraid they are lost without God. Afraid of dying. Afraid of the finality of death. Fear of going to hell. 

I think the "unbelief is dangerous" part is all about fear. Everything hangs on that: pre-supposing the answer before ever daring to ask.

Comment by Ed on February 14, 2014 at 1:20pm

The Rod Anderson comments in the Xtian Post:

"How I explained it is this: "Doubt is the act of questioning, the expression of uncertainty, the dissatisfaction with incomplete knowledge. Doubt is the humility of a mind or heart asking real questions and seeking truthful solutions. Surely, one can believe and question at the same time." 

If one is truly unhappy with incomplete knowledge and desires to ask those real (aka: hard, probing) questions then they should be willing to suspend what they have been taught and be intellectually honest with themselves. This takes a great deal of courage and humility. Most choose not to.

Comment by Physeter on February 14, 2014 at 6:20pm

Doubt is the act of questioning. Christians are afraid to engage in real questioning.

Others have pointed out that when creationists ask questions, they aren't doing it to be curious. They are doing it to try to 'stump' evolutionists. They think their questions can shut you down. Likewise, when a Christian encourages another Christian that it's okay to question God, they mean a very peculiar type of questioning where you don't seek an answer. You cannot try to find answers to questions like "Why would a good god allow this," or "how do we know the Bible is true." You are supposed to just ask the question, wonder a little bit, then bend your question out of shape into a symbol of belief and go on your way, never to consider it again.

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