19th October 2012

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”

Voltaire1694 – 1778

5 Responses to “19th October 2012”

  1. Kittie Says:

    I spoke to a woman in Walmart today. An old friend. She is so certain about what she believes that she was completely bowled over by my casual mention that we don’t know who many of the biblical authors are, and that Mark was not written by Mark.. etc… she was so certain. I told her that the biblical scholars believers and non-believers didn’t even argue this point any longer – it was accepted as fact. She looked at me like I was crazy. Why wasn’t this brought out a long time ago… simple I said – I would have been killed had I brought it up. She headed back to work to question her boss… what does she do? She is the church secretary…

  2. archaeopteryx Says:

    A quotation from Richard Feynman seems appropriate here:

    “I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers, and possible beliefs, and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and in many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about a little, but if I can’t figure it out, then I go to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.”

    from “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.”

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    There is great comfort in the realization that there is so much uncertainlty. If things were really certain and knowable I’d be frightened that I didn’t follow the correct path, or in the right steps were I religious. Seems no one can agree on anything of god so what certainty do they really have.

    Rather the other extreme, knowing that the planet destroying black hole at the center of the Milky Way is 20 thousand light years away gives me comfort. Knowing that we are unlikely to be hit by an planet destroying asteroid any time soon makes me feel safer.

    To think that today, at 48, I might not be living my life exactly as some magickal cloud person would secretly demand is unsettling. I mean if I only get maybe 80 years to figure it all out or burn in hell I don’t feel comfortable with that.

    Science, reason, logic, are like warm cocoa on a fall day. Religion is like being lost in a drunken fog with nasty people picking your pocket and taking your stuff.

  4. The Heretic Says:

    Life is what you make of it. That very concept involves uncertainty and a myriad of choices. Everything is always on the cusp of change. Trying to find certainty in that would drive a person crazy. Just go with it. Life is an adventure.

  5. R J Says:

    heretic……nice