Monday, November 8, 2010

No Answer

I hate not knowing the answer. I know because I've been dealing with that feeling this whole week. I've come across some very good questions, and I've been trying to come up with some answers, so far unsuccessfully.

Why can't I come up with the answer? I don't know, but I can think of a few possibilities, none of which I like very much.

First of all, I might be in over my head. There might be an answer to the question. There might be a very good answer even. I'm just not smart enough to figure it out.

I don't like this possibility much. I'm a proud man, and I like to think of myself as the kind of person who knows all the answers. Especially when it comes to mental challenges, I'm reluctant to admit that I need someone else's help.

What's more, these questions don't seem all that difficult. It's not like we're dealing with nuclear physics or anything. These seem like the kind of questions I should be able to answer, but I'm just not able to.

The other possibility is that these questions might not have an answer. I like that possibility even less. I am aware that in the real world not every question has a definite answer, but saying that there is no answer feels like a cop out.

Besides these are important questions that deserve serious consideration. If I say that there just isn't an answer it feels like I've admitted defeat.

Some people can be happy not having the answer to the questions life throws at us. Unfortunately I am not one of those people, at least, not by nature. I need to feel like I know the answers.

With time I could probably learn to live with uncertainty, and indeed I may have to, but for now it's really bugging me.

Hopefully I'll be able to find some answers soon.


  1. It's incredibly frustrating, innit? I spent nearly a decade trying to find answers to my own issues of religious doubt. I prayed for understanding, or at least that God would shut off that nagging voice in the back of my head.

    If it makes you feel better, it is that same insatiable thirst for answers that drove Copernicus, Einstein, Anselm, Aquinas, Darwin, Hume, Curie, and countless other scientists and thinkers. It is a hallmark of a healthy mind. Unfortunately it doesn't help much with sleeping at night.

    I can share my story of how I resolved the issue, but my quest ended in abandoning belief, which you may not be ready for.

    Of course you might be talking about how to program your VCR, in which case my story will be completely unhelpful :P

  2. Thanks for the input. My questions don't have to do with doubting my religious beliefs per se. Rather, my questions revolve around whether or not religious beliefs are a kind of knowledge, and to what extent those beliefs can be supported, either rationally or empirically.

    Thanks for sharing your story, though. You're right that I'm not likely to abandon my faith anytime soon, but it was interesting to read about your own journey.