Is questioning one's faith inevitable?

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13 Oct 2014 20:32 #164243 by Edan
As the title says, is it inevitable that one will eventually come to question their faith?

I know that we've had some 'discussions' regarding the definition of faith, so I'm going to give a rough definition of what I mean. For this thread, when I am talking about faith, I mean someone's religious or spiritual beliefs.

Given the number of people that join this forum even if they don't participate (roughly 100 a month), I would suggest the answer may be yes.

I do think that questioning one's beliefs, if only briefly, can actually be a good thing, because it can serve as a reminder why we do believe. Or if not, lead in a new direction.

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13 Oct 2014 20:40 #164245 by
I wouldn't say that it is inevitable for everyone. There are plenty of people who go their entire lives with unshaking faith in their chosen religion. It is my opinion that those people may have led sheltered lives, however.

I'm not saying that I think everyone should switch faiths at one point in their lives, just that everyone should ask themselves why they believe what they believe. If the answers tell them to stay with their original faith, great, if they feel the need to search for another faith, also great. Also, the answers they get don't have to make sense to anyone but themselves.

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13 Oct 2014 20:44 #164248 by Edan

Goken wrote: I'm not saying that I think everyone should switch faiths at one point in their lives, just that everyone should ask themselves why they believe what they believe. If the answers tell them to stay with their original faith, great, if they feel the need to search for another faith, also great. Also, the answers they get don't have to make sense to anyone but themselves.


This I agree with; for my own self, questioning my beliefs lead me here.

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13 Oct 2014 20:58 - 13 Oct 2014 20:58 #164251 by
We're down to that sticky definition of faith again, aren't we? Because the two senses of faith I ordinarily hear discussed are "deeply held convictions", or "spiritual traditions", and sometimes a combination of the two.

I'm not sure questioning one's convictions is inevitable (in the sense the thread suggests), because they're just... there, beneath everything else. But questioning one's religion, and the structures or practices it entails... as well as one's own approach and the propriety of the path one takes, that to me is not only natural, but necessary in order to truly understand what one's convictions really mean.

Since I first encountered the concept of the Tao, the Force, the unified field, I just knew deep down that it was the truth of things. Since then I haven't wavered in that, but the paths I've taken to follow that faith have varied and I've wavered or even changed direction many times.
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13 Oct 2014 21:10 - 13 Oct 2014 21:10 #164255 by Edan

tzb wrote: We're down to that sticky definition of faith again, aren't we? Because the two senses of faith I ordinarily hear discussed are "deeply held convictions", or "spiritual traditions", and sometimes a combination of the two.


This is why I tried to give a rough definition.. I am leaning towards 'deeply held convictions'.

But questioning one's religion, and the structures or practices it entails... as well as one's own approach and the propriety of the path one takes, that to me is not only natural, but necessary in order to truly understand what one's convictions really mean.


I'd agree with this.

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Last edit: 13 Oct 2014 21:10 by Edan.
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13 Oct 2014 21:16 #164256 by steamboat28

Edan wrote: As the title says, is it inevitable that one will eventually come to question their faith?


Only if one examines it.

"Those who never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven, have never encountered God at all." --Catherine Marshall
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13 Oct 2014 22:00 - 13 Oct 2014 22:11 #164260 by
As a child, I didn't know how to question my faith - didn't have the mental tools or skill set to do so. Thoughts of any nature other than what I was taught in church and school (the two were closely linked in my hometown) weren't really on my radar, and when they were I'd been trained to gloss over them (and in most cases wasn't capable of understanding them). When I asked 'why' I generally received the same answer ("It's God's plan") or was ridiculed or punished.

In my teens, I broke free of that isolated daydream and began seeing things from different perspectives (in large part thanks to various psychedelic experiences). Essentially, I had to deprogram and learn how to use the tools of logic and critical thinking. Had I not gone through that process, I would have continued to live comfortably numb in a religion that isn't compatible with who I am (and vice-versa).

I've since been involved with a number of religions and spiritual traditions, and have gained something positive and worthwhile from each of them. Even when I've decided to move away from a particular faith or belief system, I still recognize the benefits of knowing that something doesn't work for me and often continue to utilize aspects of those belief systems in my life.

I constantly question my faith(s) and definitely see the value in this. The 'why' for me has become a key question in the consideration of everything I think or do. I would like to believe it's inevitable that everyone would question their faith at some point (and think that's the healthy choice), but there are circumstances (like those during my childhood) that make it probable that some people never will.
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13 Oct 2014 22:25 #164262 by Carlos.Martinez3
In life, one would hope that a person would adjust as they go along. Being on the sea for a few years you learn that as you plot a course so the directions never change. It is the journey that you change. Storms waves winds, everything around you changes and it is those changes that sets your daily course. I have learned that thru the years my goals stay the same but the methods change. It may come to a point where the goal is changed it self but thats the part of walking your path of life, the life part , the part that constantly changes and as it does so do you. The more you know the more people you meet the more things change. Its ok to question and adjust at any given time. Thats the joy of free will! To experience what it is that the Force has for you. Just my opinion though lol CARLOS

Pastor of Temple of the Jedi Order
pastor@templeofthejediorder.org
Build, not tear down.
Nosce te ipsum / Cerca trova
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15 Oct 2014 01:12 #164386 by
I think if we are 100% honest with ourselves then we all question our faith at times.

It is the way we answer that seems to separates us. For some the answer is "don't question just believe" or "I believe it because I want to - insert self justification here". Others may take a lazy approach and believe simply because someone else does or assures them it is so.

I don't fear the truth or want to live with a lie so I question constantly and try to answer in an unbiased way. As a result my faith either becomes stronger and easily defensible or it changes in accordance with the information I have at hand. It is an iterative process and to date i've only seen positive outcomes.

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15 Oct 2014 01:28 - 15 Oct 2014 06:26 #164388 by Adder
I approach faith from the other direction... the only faith I would like to have is that which I create and deem necessary. It's not that I don't trust what someone else says is true, its just I'd rather find out for myself before I assert it as [strike]true[/strike] required on faith alone. In that regard I guess I have a large degree of conditional faith (continues questioning), and only small carefully crafted elements of pure faith (questioning suspended). So for me real faith only comes from questioning conditions to determine a requirement for it to exist without questioning
:blink:

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Last edit: 15 Oct 2014 06:26 by Adder.

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