When Is Doubt Helpful?

Our doubts can range from healthy skepticism to unhealthy paralysis. Everything from questioning someone’s intentions to doubting our faith (or lack of it) can be beneficial or crisis-inducing.

When is doubt helpful? Or, more specifically, how do you know when it’s good to listen to that inner voice of doubt?

Related questions:  What do you do that you shouldn’t?, When is it useful to fail?, What is necessary to change your mind?, How important is intuition?

5 thoughts on “When Is Doubt Helpful?”

  1. Doubt can be healthy because it helps us to not blindly believe everything we read or are told. It encourages us to make a thorough search for the truth, which then strengthens our convictions

  2. While not universally true, I think most healthy doubt seeks to improve a body of knowledge, a system of belief, or the continued growth of self. That said, some ideas and beliefs are just harmfully wrong and must be fought tooth and nail. And too much self-doubt is an illness.

  3. I think we need to question a lot of what appears on the news and the internet. We tend to isolate ourselves from people who don’t agree with us. Most of my friends on Facebook are Democrats, for example, and so much of what I hear is from the left of center. I agree with you about questioning partisans. Let’s put our country above partisan politics.

    As for your number 3 above, that’s a tough one. I notice your numbers 1 through 3 all contain the word “should”. That word is a red flag for me, and I try use it seldom or never. I think you could remove all three “shoulds” and still get your thoughts across.

    Thanks, Michael, for your comments and for this blog. It’s refreshing for me to be able to engage in something deeper than the usual shallow chatter on Facebook.

  4. I believe I need a certain amount of doubt. It helps me make wiser decisions and better choices. Whether I’m spending money or how I spend my time. I see doubt as part of my decision making process. How I prioritize things. I have a lot on my plate, and without doubt, I would never know what to put first.

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