I think that most humans are naturally inquisitive, especially when we are young. What parent hasn’t gone through the “why?” phase with their kids? Why is the sky blue? Why do dogs bark? Where do babies come from? You remember this phase, right? And for whatever reason, we kind of “grow out of” that phase and often we seem to lose that inquisitiveness. I’m sure there are many reasons for this. One thing I’ve enjoyed about studying Buddhism is that the questions are often more intriguing than the answers. And there is often more than one answer and no absolute right answer. When I was involved in religion, I was definitely more interested in the answers than the questions. Something that should have raised several red flags was that we were told not to ask too many questions. Certainly don’t question the Bible or God. I now have many issues with this.
If your doctor told you that, based on your recent bloodwork, you were going to have to have a procedure done. But didn’t tell you what the procedure was, or what it’s supposed to fix, or any pertinent information. Wouldn’t you have questions? Or taking your car to a mechanic because the check engine light is on. He comes out and says that he has it figured out and will start working on it, but won’t say what he will do or how much it will cost. Again, wouldn’t you stop him and ask questions? These two examples pale in comparison to the possibility of some kind of eternal destination after we die, don’t you think? People will spend hours researching the side effects of a medicine that their doctor wants them to take. Or hours upon hours researching a medicine that their vet wants to give their pet! I would do the same thing for my cat. But, many people will just take the word of a man or woman with a Bible and a charismatic personality regarding how the universe came into being, how humans came into existence, what happens to us after we die, etc. All without spending much time at all, if any, doing research on the history of the Bible, the particular denomination they are in, the history of the Christian church, etc. And the people who do generally only look at Christian sources.
Without asking questions, or asking very few questions, people will throw themselves into a belief system, give 10% of their income and more to this belief system, pray to a God that they have no real evidence exists, turn their lives upside down for their beliefs… you get the point. I know, because I did this very thing. Several times during my life! And one day, a friend questioned something that I was teaching at a home Bible study, the same thing that my pastors and teachers taught me, and I said that I would dig into it more deeply. Well, once I did some digging below the surface level and started asking hard questions, I realized that many of the scriptures I was using were taken out of context, and that I was only getting part of the story, so to speak. I’ll be honest, it freaked me the hell out! I thought, if I’m wrong about this, what else could I be wrong about? And so I started digging and asking and digging more and asking more. At the end of all this, and by the way, I’m still digging and asking, I decided that I just don’t believe anymore. That’s where the answers to my questions led me. And if I find legitimate information that changes my views, I’ll go that direction. The whole shifting beliefs thing. I’m not going to tell you what to do with the answers you find to your questions, but I do encourage you to ask. If the group you are with discourages you from asking hard questions, ask anyway. The internet has plenty of resources you can go to for answers. Don’t just go to one source, go to many sources. But ask, and keep asking. See if you can stir that natural inquisitiveness that most of us had at one time. I think you will wind up surprising yourself. It’s a lot of fun.