Pre-script: I realise that I have left my friend’s question very much unanswered, so I am thinking about how to approach the telling of that tale, but that will only happen in another post.
The other day, a close friend of mine asked me why I believed in Christ. After dithering for a moment, I launched into the beginning of a philosophical case for Christianity before hitting a wall. I was trying to describe a philosophical argument that I didn’t know by heart any more.
I have spent a large part of my life playing hopscotch over the line of Orthodox Christianity, my feet falling one side, then the other, but always moving. The thing is- I’ve always struggled with doubt because there is one thing that I am absolutely certain of: I may be very wrong.
Back to the reasons for my faith: it all used to be so simple. I had ready answers to thorny questions. I used to be able to lay it out like a road map, but it’s harder these days. You see, as I get older, I recognise a growing complexity both within myself and the world around me. Nothing is ever really as simple as we believe them to be in the zeal of our intellectual awakening.
My journey of faith reflects that. In my few years as a thinking being, I have gone from ardent Christian through serious doubt, full agnosticism to semi-atheism and back with seeming regularity. As I’m confronted with new ideas, I force myself to re-evaluate what I previously took as gospel, all in search of the Truth.
Yes, with a capital T. Because I care deeply about it. I am in a continuous struggle to find it in all its elusive complexity. I want my worldview and beliefs to cling to it like bark to a tree.
I believe the truth is knowable. I can hold beliefs that conform to the Truth, but I will never be certain when that moment comes, if it ever does. I will continue to doubt, because it’s the only way that I’ll ever get anywhere near that capital T.
I would like to call myself agnostic. It sounds so much better than Ignoramus, but I don’t affirm the unknowability of the unknown. That would imply more certainty than I’m comfortable with.
No, I pray my soft agnostic’s prayer, which goes something like this: God, (if you exist) lead me to the truth, whatever that may be.