When I was about 16 years old I went through a period of questioning. I questioned everything.
Is God real?
How can I be sure that I know reality?
Maybe I am part of an experiment, and some outer space being is observing me!
There were other questions.
This was, of course, part of growing up. At first I though I was going ‘nuts’! Bit by bit as I reflected and chatted with some wise people, I began to work out that I can know reality. It is possible to make sense of things, although of course there is always mystery. We are always learning more all the time.
I also discovered, as I continued my own studies, that there is a whole science called CRITICA or EPISTEMOLOGY about the study of human knowing.
We make intelligent assumptions all the time.
I do not believe that my sister normally poisons the food I eat when I visit her.
The barber does not normally slit my throat when I visit for a haircut.
Pilots on a plane do not normally go mad and crash a plane full of passengers.
People do not normally plant a bomb under my car ready to explode when I start the engine.
While all these things are possible, they are very highly unlikely!
Life would go to a standstill if we let the above possibilities, and so many more possibilities, frighten us.
People have used fear to control others many times.
When people allow themselves to be driven by conspiracy theories, they can begin to believe the most improbably stories.
Healthy respectful dialogue, not driven by ideology, or high emotion, can help put some balance to these theories.
Respect, the pursuit of virtue, working against the ego can be very liberating in the pursuit of the truth. Self-interest, delusions, can trap us.
It is possible to sow enough doubt in people that are normally quite intelligent, that they can begin to believe what may not be true at all.
We need to be conscientious and integral in the pursuit of truth.
As Jesus said, “the truth can set us free”. He certainly did not let what others would think, or vested interest, stop Him from selflessly giving Himself in a heroic and loving manner.