In light of the very interesting Atheist 10 Commandments by Pen Jillette, the taller half of the noted magic duo Pen and Teller, that I posted about, I wanted to talk about faith, belief, and doubt.

>For me, faith isn’t about fantasy, as many atheists hold. No. It’s about possibility and potential in light of the unknown.  

We all rely on a set of beliefs or core values, not necessarily religious in nature, that guide us at unsure times. Perhaps people seek the advice of good friends, parents or grandparents, take a class, or read a book. The resulting beliefs and values they develop aren’t visible, but people trust in them.

So isn’t it true that we all look at the situations we’re facing, consider what we believe, and then leap?

This functions much like faith. For the most part, we’re all trusting in things we can’t see—a type of faith, to some degree.

>Don’t get me wrong, I still doubt from time to time. But I think it’s normal to doubt.

In fact, I don’t even view doubt as the opposite of faith. Some think it is, but that’s unfair. In the same way that caution isn’t always the opposite of risk, or fear isn’t the opposite of courage, doubt is not the opposite of faith. They can be present at the same time. There’s always a measure of caution when balancing a risky decision. There’s also a sense of fear to sober us as we advance in a courageous endeavor. And there’s always a sense of doubt that tests and purifies my faith as I step forward with it. I just believe what Jesus said is true.

>To me, faith is the unknown revealed and explained.

Having faith may seem irrational to you—and I assure you, it is. With faith it’s strangely possible to acknowledge the unexplained, face it, embrace it, and move forward. It’s not a mindless devotion to antiquated ideas or benevolent ideals, but a calculated conclusion in the light of present reality: there’s more unknown than known. It’s a coming to terms with the mystery of life. It’s the strength to keep a conviction when surrounded by questions. It’s discovering twenty variables and one truth, then holding to that truth regardless of the present ambiguities. It can go against better judgment and modern thought, while being the wiser approach.

Faith is a gift.

Faith captures my imagination.

Faith pushes my potential.

Faith inspires dreams of possibility.

Faith explains foundational questions of the unknown.

And yes, faith is the basis of very healthy and productive of divergent thinking, rather than being conformed to convention and reason. Because whether it’s science or faith, we all have to suspend our limitations in order to test, consider, and discover what is true.


[portions of this taken from here]