Intellectual Doubt Research Paper

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There is one question every person must eventually ask themselves. Does God exist? This question guides humanity and tells us what we ought to do. When people answer no to this question, there are usually three different reasons or doubts, they have. The first is intellectual doubt, which deals with the logic and reasons for God. The second is moral doubt, which denies God because of the temptations of sin. Finally, there is emotional doubt, which is caused by a pain or hurt the individual has experienced. All three of these doubts are expressed in Saint Augustine’s Confessions. Augustine, while having the appearance of intellectual doubt about Christianity, really had moral and emotional doubt because of his bad relationship with his father …show more content…
The broken relationship with his father was a primary source of this doubt. Paul Vitz, a professor of Psychology at New York University, wrote the book Faith of the Fatherless, the Psychology of Atheism, which talks about how atheist’s relationship with their father affects their relationship with God. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Bertrand Russell, David Hume, Jean-Paul Sartre, Voltaire, and Ludwig Feuerbach were famous intellectual atheists with dead, weak, abusive, or absent fathers. Vitz argues that the absence of a good, living father usually leads to the abandonment of God because the broken picture of the earthly father affects their view of the heavenly father. This can lead to people trusting their feelings over the facts because unresolved pain can lead to anger and bitterness. Famous Christian author Os Guinness says in his book, God in the Dark, “The problem is not that reason attacks faith, but that emotions overwhelm reason as well as faith, and it’s impossible for reasons to dissuade them… [This kind of] doubt comes just at the point where the believer’s emotions rise up and overpower the understanding of faith. Out-voted, out-gunned, faith is pressed back and hemmed in by the unruly mob of raging emotions that only a while earlier were quiet, orderly citizens of the personality. Reason is cut down, obedience is thrown out, and for a while the rule of emotions is as sovereign as it is violent.” (Guinness, pp. 125-126) People lose faith because they let their emotions control them. As we see in The Confessions, Augustine lets his emotions control what he does. He’s arrogant and is against Christianity, which leads him to reject his mother and leave her. While the emotional struggles create additional doubt for Augustine, his prominent doubt has to do with his sinful relationship with his

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