Jason's Blog

Archive for April 17th, 2005

“Faith” without understanding

by on Apr.17, 2005, under General

I was thinking this evening, an old habit, and came up with an oddball thought. It’s dealing with faith – mostly, faith without question or understanding. For me, faith without question is somewhat insane. I don’t believe anyone should accept at face value anything without questioning it. A simple example is a car – most people accept that a car will run, but I believe that you should have at least some idea of how a car works – not to the level of a mechanic, but at least enough knowledge to understand how an engine works on principle, or how to check your oil. The same goes for faith in the religious sense – you shouldn’t accept at face value anything, but question everything. Yes, you’ll never be able to understand all the details. Not even the “experts” truly understand everything, and the bible, to take the reference of a car manual is a guideline – you need to still question and try to understand what goes on behind the manual. That’s where true understanding comes in – practical experience and through questioning.

I respect someone who has knowledge through experience, through trial and question over someone who’s merely read a manual, or far worse in my experience, just accepts without at least trying to understand the principles of a thing. In life, I think nearly everything can go to this principle – understanding, even at a basic level is a valuable tool, and a person who seeks knowledge and understanding through experience, through trying to understand and question is a rare, and valuable person.

In addition to the above thought, is this – someone who reads the bible, but doesn’t question, doesn’t look outside at real life is equally problematic as someone who reads a manual and expects everything in it to be absolute truth – life, in all it’s glorious wonder, is more complex than any manual can ever describe. Manuals make mistakes, as their written by human beings. True understanding and knowledge comes through experience. A manual helps, but knowledge and experience are far, far, far more valuable.

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