I will never "teach doubt" - but I teach the need to accept uncertainty and limited knowledge, and the subsequent need for inquiry and searching, all the time. Teaching doubt simply means teaching people to close their minds and avoid exploration and wait for others to do their searching and deciding and, as a result, allow someone else to do their acting for them. Ironically, teaching doubt, in the end, is exactly like teaching certainty - and that ought to be contemplated in theological terms much more than it tends to be.
I know it's not the exact same thing, but I've seen cynicism destroy people's lives - and it is ugly. I prefer to teach things related to doubt in a positive, solution-oriented way
- so my approach is to acknowledge the universal nature of doubt /
uncertainty / ambiguity / non-understanding / whatever and "teach"
positive approaches to deal with and gain from it. In other words, I
teach about the unavoidable existence of uncertainty (which sometimes is called "doubt") and its ability to
encourage growth, but I actively teach constructive, productive ways to
negate its potentially harmful effects.
Especially in matters
of religion, that allows me to teach in a way that doesn't dismiss
statements like, "Doubt not; fear not" - or anything else that casts
doubt in a negative light. I can say, "Yes,
doubt (a foundational attitude of disbelief) can keep someone from the
benefits of faith (a foundational attitude of belief)." Even the scientific model is based on a willingness to believe
that research of the unknown can produce new knowledge - and, at the
heart, that is a vital, non-religious application of the core concept of
Also, it's easier, always, to teach an extreme - on either end. It
doesn't take much effort at all to do that. Thus, the extremes - on
both ends - get taught more often than a more comprehensive
understanding of the "perfect" (complete, whole, fully developed)
concept and principle.
Anyone can "teach doubt" or "teach
faith" in isolation. Not everyone can teach how they are inter-related -
meaning not everyone can teach "eternal progression" and how both uncertainty
and faith are integral to it. The ideal isn't to teach one of the
extremes; the ideal is to teach the perfect concept.
Enid vs. Banality 2/26/2017
16 hours ago