On certainty

I think that both Mark and Frank (comments from Sunday morning) are correct in their assessments: the case against the Church will not get far and atheists can be as goofy as theists.

I wonder if certainty isn’t the culprit in this sort of goofiness. Certainty is demonic. When people are CERTAIN they are beyond reason. Whenever I think of certainty I think of the example I used in a public lecture, “There were thousands of Catholic parents who were certain that their children were safe with their priest.”

Certainty is a measure of strength of belief and not a measure of evidence for a belief.

I hope that p;
I think that p;
I believe that p;
I am certain that p;

are all of the same category of statement – they tell us about the speaker’s state of mind and not about a state of affairs.

2 thoughts on “On certainty

  1. In the list:
    I hope that p;
    I think that p;
    I believe that p;
    I am certain that p;
    do you mean those items to be in ascending order of probability?
    I might say “I hope I win the 6/49” but unless I have an inside track I cannot imagine saying “I am certain I’ll win the 6/49.”

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  2. Pingback: Sunday’s Sermon: on Faith/faith | Episyllogism

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