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The Power of Not Knowing

Dan Savage: I’ve often felt it’s very empowering to acknowledge what you don’t know.

Humility in the face of the unknown – that was my experience growing up gay and as a Catholic. 

My sexuality brought me into conflict with what I had been taught about the way the world worked, who God was and instead of latching onto some other bullshit explanation, instead of finding a religion that didn’t reject my sexuality, but still had a long bill of nonsense goods to sell, I just sort of backed up and said “What we don’t know we don’t know and people who pretend to know what is not known or knowable at this time are lying and making shit up.”

You have to be weary of people who claim to know something they cannot know for sure.  So I’ve often felt it’s very empowering to acknowledge what you don’t know and to step back and say well we don’t know that yet.  We don’t know that now and so I meet a lot of gay people who went from faiths that rejected them to the faiths that embraced them and I always think that is kind of silly. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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