Skeptical Faith: Chasing Certainty


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In the newsroom at the newspaper exactly where I worked was a sign
saying, “If your mother says she loves you, verify it out.”

The message, of course, is that nothing at all is specific, even a
mother’s appreciate. And that has shown to be correct. Some handful of mothers abandon their
kids, injure them or even kill them.

Reporters are not supposed to be happy with what seems to be correct but are urged to
“check out” even the most seemingly specific of statements or scenarios.

What We Have in Typical
Truth is, we’re all looking for certainty. Scientists,
atheists, religious men and women and men and women looking for God – all have that in
popular. But most of us have found that certainty, even about a thing as
strong as a mother’s appreciate, is illusive.  

“Nothing is specific but death and taxes,” goes the well-known
maxim. But we know that of these two, only death is definitely specific. Tax laws
modify, and there are numerous men and women on the planet who spend no taxes. 

Some men and women assume of science as the ultimate repository of
certainty, but by its nature it is continuously altering. Coffee is excellent for you,
then it is not. Exact same with alcohol in moderation, and chocolate. The scientific
strategy needs openness to new proof. No scientist or college of opinion has
the final word.

Other folks assume of theology, or religious doctrine, as the property
of certainty. But although there could be specific religious principles that are
unchangeable, religion does – and ought to – adapt them to modern life.  

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Uncertainty, it appears, is the only certainty. Doubt is portion of the human situation.

In an on-line report, Frank Brennan, who teaches law at Australian Catholic
University and Australian National University,
references Tomas Halik – a philosopher and theologian I often quote
in these blogs.  

“All human beings reside with
paradox,” writes Brennan. “Some, like Halik, think they can wrestle extra
authentically with the paradoxes of life as members of a neighborhood of faith,
even a single that requires seriously concepts of tradition and authority, as effectively as
person conscience and cultural authenticity….

“While Halik sees the Church as
a neighborhood that can instill a person’s original, untested, unreflective faith,
he also regards it as a privileged space in which these whose original faith
has been shaken can arrive at a “second-wind faith” – a faith that is
at property with paradox, engaged with the planet, and accepting of the inevitable
shortcomings of the Church.”

He quotes Halik: “Religion …
has attempted to get rid of paradoxes from our expertise of reality the faith we
are maturing toward … teaches us to reside with paradoxes.”

A lot easier stated than performed. Most
men and women chase certainty, but we are selective about it. We demand it in some
places of our lives extra than in other folks. We count on small certainty in marketing
or in the planet of politics but considerably extra in concerns of faith.

Viewpoint Expected
But like every little thing, the search
for God needs point of view. Is it realistic to call for certainty of faith? If
so, it is not faith at all but some vague, fictional, notion of faith. Although
theologians do not like this term, faith is – in a single point of view, at least – a
leap in the dark.

Jesus’ disciples have been bewildered
immediately after he told them how tough it is for a wealthy individual to enter the kingdom of
God, according to Luke’s gospel. “Then,” they asked, “Who can be saved?” Jesus’
enigmatic answer: “What is not possible with males is achievable with God.”

In other words, faith is not just
an intellectual factor, a matter of continually chasing certainty and attempting to
purpose our way into belief. It needs an work to establish a partnership
with God, and we do that by prayer and reaching out to God in other men and women. And
that demands time, and commitment.


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