Wednesday 16 October 2019

Can we ever be certain about anything - should we be?

Plenty of people find uncertainty a stumbling block that prevents them taking up a religion; they feel that they are required to be certain about some religious truth or truths - yet they also feel that certainty is a merely psychological state that does not signify truth.

I may be certain about a thing now; but may become uncertain tomorrow - yet (presumably) the thing is true or not regardless of my state of certainty?

If, however, one recognises this mortal life as primarily a time of experiencing and learning, then it is not our job to achieve certainty, but to learn. The stages and phases of certainty are then seen as a part of the process of learning.

Of course this perspective itself entails being 'certain' that this mortal life is indeed about learning (rather than life being 'about' something else, or nothing at all); which ought to mean that there is a 'Cretan Liar' paradox at work: circular reasoning...

But it does not feel like that - perhaps because the idea that this mortal life is for learning does not depend on a single assumption, fact or type of evidence; but arises intuitively - and intuition is the basis of all possible knowledge.

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