In the religious sense: Are faith and doubt incompatible?

In the religious sense:

Are faith and doubt incompatible?

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
In the religious sense: Are faith and doubt incompatible?
Get an essay WRITTEN FOR YOU, Plagiarism free, and by an EXPERT!
Order Essay

Are they opposite or complementary?

Please cite any sources

Expert Answer


The Compatibility of Faith and Doubt in Christianity and Hinduism

Back to the time when nonconformists to the Christian church were punished, Origen, a Christian scholar, said: “If someone from this people wants to be saved, let him come into this house [The Christian Church] so that he may be able to attain his salvation” This quote reflects his orthodoxy and conformism to the Christianity faith. At that time, there was the appearance of other churches that had different beliefs. Gnosticism was one of them. This movement criticizes Christianity and believes that salvation is reached through knowledge rather than faith. Thus, the Christian Church was considering Gnostic sects as heretics, and persecuting them was a way to make all believers follow the same and unique doctrine.
Conflicts of this sort have dominated the history of religions. Religious skepticism has been considered as a sin against God and a threat to the foundation of beliefs by most religions. In Christianity, militating attitudes toward doubt were directed by the fact that ecclesiastic members considered religious claims as being an ultimate and salvific reality and rejected any questioning of their religious faith. Also, doubt was seen as evil because it would take away followers’ faith. Alternatively, doubt began with the ancient Greek philosophers; this is the reason why most people associate doubt with philosophy. They consider the fact that philosophers don’t believe in any religion belief as hostility toward religions. However, doubters should not be seen as enemies to religion because they are rather religious thinkers trying to find their spiritual destiny. Their quest for truth should erase the virtual separation usually made between religion and philosophy.

Doubt is diabolized in the context of religion. In the speeches given by religious authorities such as Imams and Pops, they all reject the idea of questioning and try to protect “the souls” of followers against any idea that could threaten the purity of their faith and make them wonder about its origins. On the other hand, human beings, not only intellectuals, feel the need to reflect on their beliefs to try to make an overall sense. Any aspect of human life can be subject to reflection; religion is no exception. No one can claim that he has never doubted about his religious convictions. Even those who consider themselves with no religion may have moments of doubt about their atheism. So, when trying to understand our religious beliefs, should we take religion for granted because we fear the judgment and the misunderstanding of others? Or should we follow our own sceptic path to find a meaning to our faith?

Now, let us discuss the concepts of faith and doubt in Hinduism. This religion is more elastic, tolerant, and liberal than Christianity in many of its aspects and traditions. One of Hinduism flexible aspects is the path proposed to its believers to reach the truth. For instance, there is Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga. These two paths of salvation are different and are not the only ones. The first one focuses on knowledge and devotion, whereas the second one is about action. As a consequence, being a plural religion shows Hinduism tolerance and acceptance of doubt. Atman or Brahman is a person seeking eternity by reflection on his relationship with the Universal Self in order to reach the absolute truth and break the reincarnation’s cycle. To find salvation, believers should follow their own way. Thus, this freedom to choose the appropriate way to each individual reflects another aspect of accepting doubt among Hinduism faith.

Another aspect of tolerance toward doubt is illustrated by a passage in Bhagavad Gita, one of the main scriptures of Hinduism, in which the promise of salvation includes even those who have doubt about their faith: “When righteousness is weak and faints and unrighteousness exults in pride, then my Spirit arises on earth.” This is to say that even in case of doubt, an individual should deal with it and find its own way to the truth. Hinduism offers an endless number of ways to reach salvation for it followers and this pluralism is seen as a consideration of the different spiritual needs of people based on their different personalities. It allows individuals to choose their religious path without any constraint and gives them the possibility to change it as many times as it is necessary for them to find the right one. In this religion, people are reincarnated because they failed to reach salvation in their previous lives. This is a way to punish individuals for their mistakes in faith and at the same time give them another chance to break the reincarnation cycle. This is quite different from Christians’ notion of death, final judgement, and eternal Hell or Heaven. In addition, in Hinduism, the quest of the truth may take many lives contrary to monotheistic religions. It is more about being patient and exceeding the limitations of the self than following a predefined dogma and Revelation. Doubt is seen as a way to faith; it pushes individuals to think critically about themselves and their relations with the external world to find the truth.

To conclude, Hinduism and Christianity have clearly different perspectives about doubt. The first one considers questioning as an inescapable step in the process of looking for the truth; whereas the second one is not very tolerant when it comes to questioning its doctrine. This difference doesn’t make any one of these religions better than the other. However, one should not consider that religions that put limitations to doubt as bad ones. One should rather reflect on their own interpretation within what the religion offers as sacred texts and ideologies. Individuals that have beliefs that are quite different from the main religion may to choose to belong to a subgroup. Others may choose a single religion, but find some part of the truth in other ones. So, if the purpose of all religion is to help believers reach the truth, doubt and questioning should not be banished; rather it should be accepted and tolerated as part of the human way of thinking.

Top Grade Homework
Order NOW For a 10% Discount!
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

× Contact Live Agents