Tuesday, 16 December 2014

David M. Holley on "Maintaining a Critical Distance"

"...the ideal of maintaining a critical distance in relation to our deepest convictions is unrealistic. Human beings need some identity-shaping convictions, and nothing can play the role if it is subject to being put on or taken off with ease. It is difficult to be fully engaged in something and be fully open to the possibility of rejecting it at the same time. Imagine someone who is engaged in the practise of law, but finds herself frequently questioning the value of justice. There comes a point where the questioning can undermine the ability to be wholeheartedly involved in the activity. A believer can have moments of wondering whether God really exists, but to treat the belief as something to be examined with dispassionate aloofness is close to abandoning the conditions needed to sustain any recognizably religious belief. We can examine our beliefs, even our fundamental convictions, but in the case of beliefs that give shape to our lives, the kind of examination we can expect to do is tempered by the pressing need to become fully engaged in a way of life."

Holley, David M. Meaning and Mystery: What It Means to Believe in God. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. pp.211-212.

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