My good friend Trevar Simmons, whom I consider to be a wonderfully contemplative and thoughtful philosopher and theologian, recently put up a list on his twitter account of things that he believes, but doesn’t like believing.
No. 1: I don’t like believing children die daily by things easily preventable [sic].
No. 2: I don’t like believing in alcoholism.
No. 3: I don’t like believing some people didn’t like Lost. #wehavetogoback
The list was prompted by his weariness with the accusation that he believes things only because he likes them. Further, he said, it “stems from people saying they won’t stop believing in something (like divine genocide) because they don’t like it.” That got me thinking (again) about a topic I’ve thought about tangentially in the past: How do we/should we determine what we believe?
This, of course, is the over-arching question, but there are specific questions to be asked as well. Must we like everything we believe? Must we, to be “good Christians,” maintain some beliefs that we don’t actually like?
There are so many topics that come in to play with a question like this including epistemology (how we know what we know), theology, morality, and the relationship of church traditions and doctrines to individual and corporate expressions of faith and belief, just to name a few.
Trevar and I will be having a blogersation that explores the specific issue of “do we only believe things we like to believe” as well as how some of these other fields of study can influence the conversation.
I will be posting both mine and Trevar’s parts of the blogersation here for you to read, and I imagine Trevar may do the same on his blog.
Please, get involved in the conversation and let us know your thoughts/questions about this topic.