I Can't Believe It's Not Blogging

The Message is Medium Rare

to absorb doubt

Sep 13 2001

Mr. Williams was not only widely-read but totally undogmatic, teaching his son that there were many sides to every argument, and that it was necessary to understand the elements of reason in the other point of view as well as your own. Though a devout churchman, he encouraged Charles to appreciate the fore of atheist rationalism and to admire such men as Voltaire and Tom Paine. Above all he insisted on accuracy, impressing on his son that one should never defend one's opinions by exaggeration or distortion of the facts. It was a remarkable education. It did not -- which it perhaps might have done -- encourage Charles to adopt an attitude of detachment. Hea learnt to be committed, in his case to Christianity; but he also learnt that the other side may have an equal force of argument. It was perhaps partly because of this that he never wavered from belief in God during his adolescence; or, to put it another way, his father had taught him to absorb doubt and disbelief into his beliefs.

--The Inklings (p 77/287)

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