Monday, 10 May 2010

Belief and Scepticism

I've called this blog "Life and Faith" because I spend a lot of time (possibly too much!) thinking about these 2 things and the overlap between them. I thought I'd get some of these thoughts off my chest, as they come up, by posting them here.

I've chosen the URL, thescepticalbeliever, firstly because lifeandfaith wasn't available and nor were the next ten or so ideas I came up with! Secondly though, thescepticalbeliever also says some important things about me. It's not an accident that "believer" is the noun here and "sceptical" is the adjective. First and foremost I am a believer. If you want to find out more about what I believe, then you'll have to keep reading this blog! Secondly though, I am and always have been a sceptic - ever since as a very small child I first learnt that all important word, "why"!

Strangely, although faith traditions often claim to specialise in answering the big "why" questions, people of faith can often be very nervous of this little word.

In my view, faith and scepticism need to work together. Scepticism is often feared by people of faith because faith can be undermined by scepticism. However, faith also needs scepticism because without it, faith ends up lacking integrity.

Scepticism on the other hand, has to stop somewhere, otherwise you end up like Descartes, questioning absolutely everything - which is fine for a philosophical experiment, but is no way to live your life. In the end you have to choose to believe something - but that doesn't mean you can't come back and question it again later!

"I think therefore I am" - Rene Descartes
"I believe that I may understand" - Anselm of Canterbury


  1. Hi Dan,

    Good on you! Will be following your discussion with interest


  2. Nice blog, keep up the good work!

  3. Thanks Andrew! As you may have noticed, I haven't posted anything since April 2013. I was just this evening (before seeing your comment) considering starting it up again though, so your encouragement is very timely!


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