To amplify on a point made by Calvindude, we need to distinguish between doubt and self-doubt. Take the stereotypical case of a young man, raised in the faith, who suffers a crisis of faith when he goes to college.
Has he lost his faith in God? Not necessarily. Rather, he may have lost his faith in his childhood authority-figures.
Or, to look at the same phenomenon from another angle, this may be a loss of self-confidence. He is suddenly seized with the question of whether what he always believed is simply the result of social conditioning.
Does he believe this for himself, or was he, in effect, programmed to believe this as a result of his religious upbringing?
Did he ever believe in God and Scripture? Or did he believe in what other people believed? Did he believe in the pastor or his parents as a surrogate for believing in God?
He believed in God because they believed in God, and he believed in them. So did he really believe in God?
Questioning one’s faith in this sense is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it can be a good thing. It can be a mark of maturation.
It’s like teenage rebellion. A little teenage rebellion is a good thing. It’s important for teenagers to acquire a measure of emotional and intellectual independence. That’s part of growing up.
But lifelong rebellion is a mark of immaturity and arrested development. When Loftus says that “when it comes to being inside the bubble of science, education, and rational thought, I'll go with that everytime, since the alternatives are superstitious, and because science has accomplished so much,” all he’s done is to transfer his childish faith from one set of authority-figures to another set 0f authority figures. Instead of the pastor giving him a pat on the head, it’s Fr. Dawkins or Padre Dennett.
Loftus has merely exchanged one form of peer pressure for another. An adult on the outside, but a child on the inside.
As I’ve also said, many times before, there’s no intellectual virtue in doctrinaire scepticism. Indeed, Victor Reppert has an excellent quote on that attitude:
J. R. Lucas, a distinguished Oxford philosopher who was a student during this period, has described the prevailing mindset of that era as follows:
“The philosophical climate in which I grew up in Oxford was one of extreme aridity. The ability not to be convinced was the most powerful part of a young Philosopher’s armory: a competent tutor could disbelieve any proposition, no matter how true it was, and the more sophisticated could not even understand the meaning of what was being asserted. In consequence, concern was concentrated on the basic questions of epistemology almost to the exclusion of other questions of larger import but less easy to argue in black and white terms. The undergraduate who wanted to write essays on the meaning of existence was told to confine himself to the logical grammar of ‘is,’ and was not even allowed to ask what truth was, or how one ought to live one’s life.”
Doctrinaire scepticism is just another form of pseudo-intellectualism.