Doubt is awesome

A scientist may accept this claim; it is the doubt that enabled the science to grow. Surely a scientist proposing a new theory may not be so happy that others are doubting it, rather he would like others to accept it.

Today in the Christian tradition, we celebrate the feast of St Thomas, often known as the doubting Thomas. After Jesus was resurrected, he told the other disciples that he won’t believe unless he saw the Risen Jesus. (Others had seen him and he was not there with them). Why couldn’t he believe? Those who doubt more believe more when they are convinced. It happened with Thomas and he went to the farthest place preaching the gospel.

We have many philosophers who are skeptics, who are doubting everything. There is Descartes who wanted to doubt everything to come to the knowledge of absolute, certain truth. Probably he reached some understanding (though later philosophers don’t accept that claim of certain truth); but that passion to systematically doubt has motivated the science to move ahead.

We have an education system which doesn’t encourage doubts. They preach a system of certainty, rigidity and factory formation, where children don’t find any meaning. It doesn’t give them a chance to believe in someone or something. Can teachers and the system help children to use their doubts as stepping stones for their future life?

Even religious leaders are very uncomfortable with doubts. Is it opposite of faith in religion? Cant we think differently?

If we call the people who doubt as skeptics, there could be three types of skeptics.

  • I will keep on doubting, but I won’t believe anything. I don’t believe anything other than absolute certainty (scientific certainty)
  • I will doubt till I reach the truth and then I believe in it completely. Nothing could convert me after that. (Some fundamentalists belong to this category)
  • Doubt as a way of life. I will keep on doubting, but I will believe once I am convinced. But along with the faith, I doubt it so that I can grow in the knowledge

I feel the third category is the most important. Doubt and Faith are not opposites, they can go hand in hand. I doubt many things, I do have faith in many other things. My life move on as a synergy. Doubt helps to ground my faith and Faith helps to fly with my doubts. (Faith is not just religious faith, but any faith.. faith in god or oneself or others or a system)1.jpg

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