Friday, March 01, 2013

Doubt

It seems many of my meandering posts start with quotes. This one is no different.

I drove past a baptist church today, and on the the little sign board it said "Doubt your doubts, not your beliefs."

Bullshit.

Your beliefs are the ideas you have to doubt the most. The certainties must be put to the test. Beliefs are not knowledge. Neither is trivia, or information. Once beliefs, trivia, or information is put to the test, it becomes knowledge.

And as we know, knowledge is what saves.

Once we become certain, we stop questioning. I don't need to wonder about what's going to happen to a pen when I let it go anymore, I know it's going to drop. If I try an experiment, the pen will drop every time while I'm on earth.*  So, certainty.

If I do that with a belief, it's a different matter. What if I believe I'll go to heaven if I eat 45 pounds of pasta? I can test that, and find out I'm wrong. So, what about other religious beliefs, can I test them and see if I'm correct or incorrect?  Some of them, I can. I can test whether homosexuality is an abomination (and, it doesn't seem to be, either in the English meaning of loathsome nor the more accurate biblical version of forbidden or unclean, at least not to Christians cf Acts 21:21, Colossians 2:13-14. Romans 6:14-15).

It's a good plan to test whether the principles you hold are still valid. Recently, I tested whether I thought people had the Divine Spark in them, even though the person in question had done some foul things. That idea still rings true to me in the face of bigots, assholes, and criminals. The Divine Spark abides in us all, in some it is simply buried deep.

Some beliefs I cannot test in this lifetime. Is there an after life? Do I ascend into the Aeons when my Divine Spark is freed from the prison of matter, or do I get redirected down into gross matter once again? Or do I just decompose into the ground? This, I cannot know, and must either take Pascal's wager, or take it on faith. I tend not to take a position on the afterlife because of this.

So, I say embrace your doubts. Reach out, and stick your hand in His the holes in his hand and side, like Thomas did. Test your faith.

*I can't afford a space ride yet.

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