PREFACE: This is the transcript of an address I gave last year to a church group. I wanted to make the point that faith is not merely the blind acceptance of theological propositions, but is instead a much more robust process that has more in common with the traditions of philosophy and sceptical thinking than might at first be supposed.
Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, the philosopher Epicurus said that the unexamined life was not worth living. By this he meant that any life in which there was no capacity for growth, development, or change on the basis of critical self-analysis, was a life wasted, a life effectively without point or purpose.
In this light, I would like to suggest to you that an unexamined faith is not worth having. By this I mean that any understanding of faith which is limited to thinking of itself as the unquestioning acceptance of doctrinal propositions, and which is not grounded in the tradition of philosophical and intellectual enquiry underpinning that faith, is a faith wasted, a faith without point or purpose. Continue reading “The Examined Faith”