on the virtues of doubt

question markI was invited by my friend Jason Boyett to write a piece on doubt for his blog, O Me of Little Faith. I wrote an essay entitled, “On the Virtue of Doubt: A Brief Autobiography of the Skeptic in the Sanctuary,” in which I discuss the influence that doubt, skepticism, and science have had in my life and career. I recount portions of my personal story moving from my Christian upbringing in central California to life as a scholar embracing science, evolution, and the critical method, and rejecting literalistic interpretations of the Bible. I describe my struggles with issues of faith and what I’ve learned from it all.

Please give it a read.

5 Responses

  1. Beautiful! Thank you!

  2. Robert,

    well written post. See my post that raises couple of probing questions about it:


  3. Thanks for sharing Mr. Cargill,

    What does one do, though, when he has doubts about skepticism? What I mean to say is, over the last year or two my faith in the Enlightenment project has really tumbled. I guess that’s why I’ve found such joy in reading dogmatics. The study of dogma constantly places a finger on my heart, causing me to doubt my doubts and realize that the truth does not necessarily kowtow to the microscope.

  4. Really well written.

    I find myself in the same situation, it’s good to know that i’m not the only one that is somewhere in between both science and religion.

    It’s a strange but enlightening place to be :)

  5. Hello,

    I found a few logical fallacies in his article. It should be noted that the faith that Bob is probably talking about is a type of an Existentialist type of faith. I’m not sure since he never defines it.

    The Kierkegaardian type faith is outside of reason. It is one of passion and the object is irrelevant. Since he’s a pagan, I am assuming this is it unless he clarifies in the future.

    The Biblical faith is synonymous with belief and knowledge. Yes, faith is the means of a Biblical epistemology.

    So we see that “faith and reason” is the Biblical view.

    We argue from God, not towards God. God is logically as a first principle (or axiomatically) and doctrines therefore are implications of those doctrines.

    So for example, if God said he created fish, and we go out into the world and encounter fish, this is logical evidence of what is.

    Bob and most pagan Christians have doubt because they have redefined Biblical faith into a liberal means of faith, and they have been programmed to think inductively via the fallacies towards the theistic proofs for the existence of God.

    And of course, the most obvious reason is probably because they are not Christians after all.


    Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

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