This I Believe

Gabe - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity

I believe in being unsure. I am happily undecided about my beliefs and my values. There are certainly issues that I feel strongly about, and there are moral standards to which I try to hold myself. I strive to be conscious, however, of the fact that there is no such thing as “correct” beliefs and ideas. Theorizing, analyzing, philosophizing, arguing, debating… these are all important and rewarding human enterprises, but in the end, all of humanity’s philosophical history amounts to little more than speculation. The exception to all philosophers, of course, is Socrates. He had many ideas, but unlike other great thinkers in history, he was only confident in one: he believed that he was, and always would be, an ignorant man with an infinite amount still to learn. As obvious as this fact is, we often forget that we will never definitively answer the most basic questions about our own existence. We will never know where we came from, who put us here, and what we are supposed to do with our lives. We should still dig into these questions and the others that stem from them, if only because they are impossible to ignore. But people get into trouble when they start to become too enamored of an idea. How many wars have been fought over conflicting answers to questions that were really unanswerable in the first place? Of course, I would not expect our world to be transformed into a utopia if people simply let go of all of their convictions. But maybe, if everyone just remembered from time to time that no one really has the answers, we would all get along a little better.