I was just listening to a Podcast called StackOverflow – a fairly geeky podcast. At one point they were talking about how people reviewing new technologies have to make judgements as to whether a programming language or technology is good or not based on limited time using the technology.
They suggested that in those cases where it is impractical or impossible to come to a definite conclusion, one should state your option clearly and strongly, but be open to change in the future. Have Strong Opinions but Weakly Held. While a person may be confidant that they are right based on the evidence they currently have, they should be open to change their opinion if new information comes to light, or if a some mistake can be shown in their thinking.
With regards to religion, things are far more complex. From my current perspective, I believe that the LDS is not what it claims to be. That opinion is based on my my personal experience in the church and from the research I’ve done. I hold this opinion strongly, but if I had an experience like Paul did on the road to Damascus, or if a lot of new historial evidence came to light, I could see myself modifying my position. I personally think the chance that I will have an experience like Paul is reported to have had are pretty low given my life experience, but you never know.
On the other hand, everyone has to find their own spiritual path. My path is mine, and not any one else’s. People may choose to stay in a religous tradition for perfectly valid reasons, even though they may not agree with all it’s teachings, or believe in all it’s foundational stories. Everyone has to find a balance that works for them and their family. I guess that is one of the reasons that life so exciting and interesting.
This is one of my Strong Opinions, Weakly Held.