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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Doubting and Faith

April 26, 2009

My Dad keeps advising me to remind everyone, including myself, to turn off the TV, turn off the social networks, and turn off everything that feeds us information. To take a break from all that. I always ask, “why?” Why would I want to be cut off from knowing, hearing, from “being in the loop of life.” I’ve GOT to know what’s going on! So many things to consider, what’s happening with our new president, what’s going on with this swine flu epidemic, and how is it going to impact my life. Who doesn’t want to be up on these things? Well, my Dad has said it for several weeks in a row and so now it’s my duty to analyze it! What is he really trying to tell me? Am I simply over-stimulated? Are we missing more important things? Two people came to mind as I reflected, President Obama and the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. How could these two possibly have anything in common? Let’s take a look…Kierkegaard spoke of the “leap of faith.” Faith is definitely not a decision based on evidence. It involves making a commitment without the scientific method. Kierkegaard then said if you have faith, you must also have doubt. Doubt is the rational part of your thoughts. It’s the little voice in your head saying “how can that be true, you have no evidence.” Yet people make the leap of faith all the time. So when the majority voted for President Obama, it was a leap of faith. We had no evidence that he would be a great president. And it was some in the media who planted the seeds of doubt and convinced us that our leap of faith may be faulty. The media is a great place to get some doubt in your life! But I feel conflicted, because having doubt is important, and if we didn’t doubt, we wouldn’t have faith. So confusing! President Obama said, “You know, my faith is one that admits some doubt.” So President Obama and Kierkegaard are kind of buddies, right? They both understand our doubt. And we have faith, the confident belief in the trustworthiness of a person, thing, or idea. So now what? Do I keep flooding my senses with information, continue hearing the doubt, or do I turn it all off and have blind faith? Buddha gives us one answer. Buddha said, “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt.” Make your leap of faith if you feel it inside you, temper it with some doubt, but don’t allow the doubt to ruin your faith. Dad, I’m going to keep on watching the news…and I’m going to thoughtfully address the doubt, but I’m going to have faith that President Obama is a trustworthy man.