Watch how easy it is to dispense with beliefs in the world of the unseen and non-material. Just cast doubts! Casting doubts is child’s play. All you have to do is ask someone if they are really sure, absolutely certain, about something they just said. You can ask, “Are you sure you are sure?” and the answer usually comes back conditioned — at least a little. Why? We are limited beings and, therefore, don’t know everything about almost anything. We come to most day-to-day conclusions on less than complete knowledge — usually based on repeated experiences that have convinced us that we know. Because we don’t know everything, there is always an opportunity for the negative skeptics to cast doubts and trouble our beliefs about anything. So, are doubts “crooked thinking”?
The Skepticism of Our Age
Skeptics who seek to tear a belief down are in the business of casting doubts. Critics also don’t have to know anything for certain to state their opinions and seem intelligent. All they need to do is raise the fear in us that we may be wrong, and our beliefs begin to shake.
Uncertainty Breeds Fear
Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus lists 825 phobias or fears that can plague humans. I’m sure that’s not a complete list. Fear sweeps in with one or more of its quivering faces whenever we are less than certain. It unsettles us with its frightening range of influence, from creating mere doubt to rampant blind panic. So the one who spreads doubt can achieve almost anything if they persist with repeating their doubts. Some even become famous for raising doubts. Imagine that! (We will meet one famous doubter in a future article.)
Are Doubts “Crooked Thinking” or Is Believing Really Seeing?
Just think about it for a moment. Whatever we have not seen, felt, heard, or touched — anything that has not activated our physical senses (the undetected, the non-material) — is the easiest target for those who thrive on casting doubts. They even think it is intelligent to think up new reasons to doubt something. God, as you might expect, is a choice example because if he does exist, it is a reality unseen and un-sensed by our physical senses. Spirit is obviously an easy target. Simply put, God is beyond the radar of our physical senses.
Humans have always had difficulty believing in what they cannot see. Recall the often-used statement, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It is also common for humans to wonder. The beginnings of doubt are often hidden in wonder. Our thinking has to move to another realm (called faith or belief, together with reason) to detect what we can’t sense. Therefore, we will have to exercise belief when we move beyond the realm of matter. So, are our doubts really “crooked thinking”?
With God or anything we can’t “prove scientifically,” we may have to keep asking, “Is this real or just an idea or a thought in our minds?” In all the assumptions of science or in any mental discipline, we have to admit that faith plays a large part. Of course, the problem always seems to be for the pilgrim. I haven’t seen, heard, or touched God. So, since my physical senses don’t tell me he exists, is there something else I can rely on?
Evidence Dispels Doubt and Assures Straight Thinking
Yes! I was told dinosaurs had walked in the hills around Morrison in Colorado, so I asked, “How do you know that? Have you seen, heard, or touched them, or perhaps even smelled them?” Well, my informant was most likely right in saying they walked the hills of Morrison, even though he had not seen or otherwise sensed them. Why might he have been right? Because I was taken to a place where the tracks of dinosaurs could be clearly seen in the rocks. No other creature that I knew of could have left such tracks. It was now hard to doubt the evidence of their having walked there. It was now rational to believe what I was told.
So those who believe there is a God point to the evidence that we can see in the universe. And when it is compelling, it creates a greater certainty that there is a God, thus minimizing the leap of faith. It is the same with all those assumptions. Evidence helps us believe them.
Finding the evidence takes time and effort. To those who see the evidence in everything around them (the presence of living creatures, beauty, and purposeful design in all they see), they conclude this wonderfully designed universe proves God’s existence. They can more firmly believe in God for themselves (still an act of faith, but a strengthened faith). The evidence is where all things beyond scientific proof can be found: in a rational act of faith.
Why Cast Doubts Against Evidence?
Casting doubts when the evidence is convincing is crooked thinking, don’t you think?
Parents, there are many points in the brief comments above on doubt that will give you a lot to talk about to educate your children in the productive use of their minds.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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