This past Shabbos we read Parashat Shelach and within it we quote the last paragraph of Shema, the commandments dealing with tzitzit. One passage, Num. 15:39 goes "It shall constitute tzitzis for you, that you may see it and remember all the commandments of Hashem and perform them; and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray."
That last segment is focused on by the Artscroll Big Blue Edition that every shul has. And I quote, "We are enjoined to avoid any thought that could entice us to uproot a fundamental of the Torah. Human intelligence is limited and not everyone can ascertain the truth, so that a person can destroy his world if he follows his random thoughts. For example, if a person ruminates on whether or not there is a God, whether the prophecies are true, or whether the Torah is of heavenly origin - and he does not have the degree of knowledge and judgement to find the clear truth - he will be opening himself to heretical beliefs. Therefore, the Torah commands that one not explore after heart and eye lest he come to stray from belief in God (Rambam, Sefer HaMitzvos)."
In other words, don't think because you might think wrong. Good advice for an orthodoxy afraid of disagreement but bad for an effort of intellectual growth and understanding. To grow intellectually, the individual needs to understand that there's nothing horrible with being wrong but that through being wrong and discovery of why it is wrong, a stronger and better understanding is reached. Only things with something to hide need to rely on policing thought.
The Rabbi of my shul spoke about this as well. He said that people should follow things only through their faith and intellect and not because of emotional or physical reasons. And that I agree with - minus the faith. Faith is largely discordant with intellect. Indeed, faith could be called the quieting of the intellect. Don't think, just believe.
So I thought about the Frum Skeptics. Those who disbelieve for reasons on intellect and not due to emotional or physical reasons. They are following their intellect. They are not following their heart and they are not following their eyes. They're following their brain. They do not think "random thoughts" either. Their thoughts make sense and are in accordance with the evidence and are usually far more structured than the average believer.
I agree though, one should not become a skeptic simply because they want to boink the hot girl down the block or because they "feel" that Islam has something to offer, but one should only become skeptical through study and rational reasoning. Not only do the heart and eye people look selfish and foolish but their arguments are always weak. I only respect the rational skeptic. Not the angry skeptic. Not the hippie skeptic. Not the greedy or horny or lazy skeptic. Just the person who comes to his conclusions with a mind for truth and with rational reasoning at his side.