Now, I am going to take everything that I have learned her and research for myself... =)
Wezur - seriously. If you get nothing else out of this forum, an examined faith is infinitely preferable to an unexamined one. Allow me the hubris of offering you a couple of points of advice, however:
- When you set out to examine your faith, be very careful about assumptions. In logical argument, assumptions are things people agree to before the argument begins: e.g., "I will assume that all things are equal" or "we assume that this premise exists in a vacuum" or any number of other core conceits necessary for the argument to progress. Some of these assumptions become automatic - when physicists talk about Newtonian physics, for instance, they will always assume the existence of a reference frame. Given that newtonian physics only works
within a reference frame, this makes sense, right?
When people talk about faith, they often begin with the core assumptions of their upbringing, things like "Some higher power must
exist." When you question the validity of faith, however, you have to begin by identifying and 'unpacking' these core assumptions. WHY must some higher power exist? Could the world exist without one? Is the phrase "I don't know" bad? ..... well, you get the idea.
The point is that, in order for faith to follow logically, you have to have a basis for the logical construct - your usual assumptions must be absolutely correct.
- Be honest. Make a commitment to follow where the truth leads, and, where you have trouble? Use a stand-in.
There are thousands of denominations and thousands of faiths - if something doesn't make sense to you in someone else's belief system, you can use that incongruity to examine your own. John Loftis came up with the idea; it's called the "Outsider Test for Faith", or the OTF. Use it. It's very, very powerful.
I wish you luck. It's a journey that isn't easy, but is ultimately extremely rewarding.