“I am not a believer, not an atheist, not an agnostic. I am still awake at night, asking how? I am more content with the question than I would be with an answer.”
~ Roger Ebert
The famous movie critic, Roger Ebert, was buried yesterday and I found this quote in today’s Chicago Tribune story about the funeral. As a Chicagoan, news of his death and tributes to him have filled the pages of the newspaper for near a week. I’ve been fascinated with the many quotes attributed to him that go far beyond a critique of Hollywood and its product.
I evoked this very quote today during a discussion of faith, arguing those who question are indeed believers (the reverend who officiated at Ebert’s funeral said as much, too).
God did not create us to be dogs, happy but unthinking beasts who behave according to instinct and do not question their owner. Instead, He gave us intellect, and I believe He welcomes debate. Faith is as intangible as vapor, impossible to fingerprint.
Whether one believes in God or not, it is arrogant to assume we can know anything. Discovery leads only to more questions.
So to label oneself a questioner and to be content with questions instead of answers, as Ebert professed to be, seems wise and humble. It’s amusing to think a man who made a fortune on determining if a thing deserved a thumbs up or a thumbs down would philosophize about his uncertainty this way.
I am not comfortable in gray areas yet I know most of life cannot be neatly organized in containers of black and white.
Let there be gray.