Quote-Full Friday #4

‘I was very, very religious. And of course I wrote about it in ‘Night.’ I questioned God’s silence. So I questioned. I don’t have an answer for that. Does it mean that I stopped having faith? No. I have faith, but I question it.’

Elie Wiesel

6 thoughts on “Quote-Full Friday #4

  1. There’s a difference between questioning faith to satisfy doubt in the form of healthy skepticism (that is a virtue in any other human endeavor but anathema to religious faith) and questioning faith seeking reaffirmation for it. Wiesel’s faith is of the latter kind, the kind of belief in belief itself. The fact that he never received anything but god’s silence would be a hint if he actually sought confirmation from beyond his belief.

      • Yes, I’ve read his book. I’m not saying he isn’t entitled to believe whatever he wants; however, how a god capable of intervening in the Holocaust but doesn’t is not a god worth believing in on strictly moral grounds. But this caused no dissonance with Wiesel because his belief was not in some external god as he tries to present but in the belief itself. This is important to understand because it’s a powerful factor that enables believers to pick and choose and ignore how various parts of reality adjudicate the truth value derived from, and justified by, the belief itself. It is what I call bubble thinking… completely independent and separate of any trustworthy means of testing. So Wiesel is not being honest – even though he thinks he is – that he questions his faith; he has no means to do so because all questions – even antithetical questions – lead to exactly the same answer. What Wiesel means by ‘questioning’ is ‘reaffirmation’ and, within the bubble world of his belief, everything reaffirms it…. which leads him to suspect that nothing reaffirms it, and so the ‘questioning’ is always present, always testing his faith, and yet his faith always survives his holocaust of doubts. He can no more let go of his faith than he can bring the dead back to life; to do so would annihilate him and burst the only bubble that keeps his head above the pit of hell over which he has hovered his entire life.

  2. I have never had to deal with what he dealt with, but I agree with the thought. I too have both faith and doubt; evidence for God and evidence against God. In the end, I continue to go with where the preponderance of evidence is, and so my faith continues to outweigh my doubts. Good quote.

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