Childlike Faith in Action

From SMBC via Jerry Coyne

How the idea that “childlike faith” is unquestioning faith ever caught on is beyond me. Anyone who has had children or remembers being  a child ought to know better.

The Book of Job concludes with a stamp of divine approval being given to Job’s questioning while disapproval is expressed for Job’s friends’ defense of traditional wisdom and dogma.

This cartoon illustrates well what real childlike faith looks like in action.

  • Gary

    Childlike faith, are you kidding? The moral is, a little drink, I prefer beer, makes theology more compatible. Jesus did turn the water at the wedding to wine, as I remember. He understood.

  • Virginia Fell

    “The Book of Job concludes with a stamp of divine approval being given to Job’s questioning”

    We’re all allowed to ask all the questions we want and put dogma through the paces of rational inquiry and demands for evidence and exposure of contradictions… provided we know where to stop and “just have faith.”

    Sometimes I think atheists are just people who lack the “common sense” awareness of when it’s time to stop asking questions and demanding proof and just have faith. I think this is why they get frustrated when they’re told by theists that it’s okay to ask questions, because there’s clearly some kind of limit on which things are okay to question and nobody will tell them where it is.

    • Ian

      Funny, because most atheists would say that believers don’t have the courage to continue questioning.  ;)

      I’ve talked with a few believers who said similar things to you, but they all stopped questioning at different points, and felt that the point they stopped was the right one, and going any further would lead to problems. I wonder how we’d tell when it is time to stop questioning, and when it is time to just believe regardless.

      • Virginia Fell

        “I wonder how we’d tell when it is time to stop questioning, and when it is time to just believe regardless.”

        I don’t know. Nobody ever told me which things were “safe” areas to question, and which things I just wasn’t supposed to think too hard about. I think I turned out okay, but if I’d had diehard theists for parents they might not have agreed with me.

    • David Evans

      I’m an atheist, and my common sense tells me that if I were in a Muslim country people would be telling me firmly to stop questioning and trust in Allah. Should I do so?

      • Virginia Fell

        I’m an atheist, too, and I’d obviously tell you that you shouldn’t. But we’re ruthless like that. =P

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  • Chris

    I follow this rule: only stop asking if you’ve run out of questions. And if you’ve run out of questions, you’re missing something.

    • Virginia Fell

      So do I, but consequently I was never very good at faith, so… yeah.


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