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Faith in Doubt -- Writer's Poke #219

The speaker (white, male, and past the prime of his life) moved from the shadows to the podium and began his talk. He wanted to impress upon his audience how important faith is.

Faith, he told those still awake, is what keeps us going. It is the belief that there is an ultimate answer. Doubt, on the other hand, is the opposite of faith. Doubt causes us to needlessly question what those with faith believe to be true. How dare they.

According to the speaker, faith and doubt cannot inhabit the mind simultaneously. You can have faith, or you can have doubt, but you simply cannot have both. One ends up consuming the other.

Oh really?

Can the mind only sustain faith or doubt, or is this a classic "either/or fallacy"? Assuming you can only have faith or doubt, which would you choose and why?

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


  1. "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Is that why those with schizophrenia are often tested as having high intelligence?

    But more to the original point, is questioning of beliefs always a sign of doubt? Is it possible to have faith, and question how that faith can be valid, yet not doubt that it is? Is this related at all to what you were poking at?


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