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The Gospel of Doubt

  • Webstock

Casey Gerald is an amazing speaker. He spoke at Webstock about belief, and doubt.

He spoke about how each time he became invested in a belief of something greater than himself, he was inevitably dissapointed. Each time he entered a different phase in his life, he believed in something new, and each time that belief was broken. He began to believe in doubt, he believed it might not be possible to believe in anything at all.

He compared his belief with ours.

There is a great hunger in our generation for purpose and meaning. Dan Pink describes it in his studies on human motivation, mastery, autonomy and purpose. That purpose is more and more, coming to be at odds with the society we share with other generations.

Casey realised that he was the dialysis for a country that needs a kidney transplant. His voice had stood in for those who had no voice themselves. This time the false saviour was Casey.

Some of us belief in the bible, or the Harvard Business Review. We hardly realise the human cost of our beliefs. We dare not question the founding bricks of our belief, lest the cracks at the bottom bring our whole facade crumbling down.

Why, with all the power we hold in our hands, are people suffering so?

He’s speaking about capitalism. He references the titans of our capitalist western world, Harvard, the New Yorker, ‘We see suffering as a necessary act of the capitalism that is our god’.

With his closing words, he says ‘And this doubt, it fuels me, it gives me hope that when our troubles overwhelm us, when the paths laid out for us seem to lead to our demise, when our healers bring no comfort to our wounds, it will not be our blind faith – no, it will be our humble doubt that shines a little light into the darkness of our lives and of our world and lets us raise our voice to whisper or to shout or to say simply, very simply, “There must be another way”.’

And he’s right. There must be a better way. There are hard questions we need to ask, that our politicians need to ask, because we live in a more prosperous time then any other throughout history, and yet deprivation is growing. The amount of inequality is increasing and more and more, a sense of resentment in those members of our global economy who are left behind is becoming apparent.

It’s that sense of resentment that people like Donald Trump are exploiting for their own benefit. It’s the reason why so many people in New Zealand rabidly hate John Key. People are being left behind, and becoming more desperate. Desperate people are in New Zealand are changing our political landscape. From attacks on MP electorate offices, to assaults on cabinet ministers.

We don’t have good answers for anything of this nature. That little light in the darkness needs to shine a bit brighter.