Doubt and Certainty

Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian today:

Doubt in relation to religion is almost mandatory in public life, whereas doubt in relation to politics is almost forbidden.

He is talking about the situation in the UK, of course, but what he says is of interest to me, especially given two issues I’ve been following in my blog–the debate over Rob Bell and universalism and the protests in Madison.

Vernon asks:

If God is not to be a tyrant, but is to allow us a degree of autonomy, must God not introduce a corresponding degree of doubt and uncertainty into human experience?

It’s an excellent question. Certainty, whether in politics or religion, tends to heighten conflict and cause suffering.

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