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Monday, November 24, 2014

Trust but Verify

The comments today in the WSJ in reaction to the Obama's administration desire to continue talks with Iran were quite horrible. They demonstrate that so many American patriots are indeed righteous neocons. Many said to just go in and bomb Iran--because we are right and they are wrong. Others said that what we are doing by negotiating is "appeasement and appeasement never works and never has done."

Despite what the resurrected Jesus is to have said to Thomas, faith is not to believe something is true without evidence. That to me is the definition of ignorance. I don't mean to say that ignorance is bad. I'm with Socrates in that it is wise to know that we do not know for sure.

Faith is the choice to keep seeking to know by being open to new evidence. It's what drives science and it should also drive our politics. Faith is the willingness to keep engaging with others and the world even when others are hostile and the world seems absurd.

Blessed are we when we have enough faith to question our beliefs and to keep trying to find new and better ones that will make us all and our world better. Blessed are we who question even what we believe we have seen.

It is that faith that drives humanity to be and do better, to transcend our boundaries, to keep learning, and to keep loving despite, or maybe because of, the doubt in ourselves, others, and the world. Such faith is also a hope in an unknown and even fragile future. Such faith is also the love of participating with all others who will participate and with an openness to others who will not.

Yes, it is important to doubt what we think is true, to verify by evidence scientific laws, moral principles, and political treaties.  But first it is important to be open to learn new things about oneself and others, even those who seem to be our enemies. Verify, of course, but also trust.