Certainty and doubt

A point of view affords but one certainty, that there will be others who beg to differ.

It is a fact that money really doesn’t make money even though lots of people can testify to the converse.

‘Certainties’ are intellectual over-compensations for a world we do not understand.

Doubt is the only certainty, the only anchor-point for reflection.

Doubt is a signal to ourselves that we are thinking for ourselves.

Certainty in the absence of doubt is like a cause in the absence of an effect (incomplete).

Every legitimated certainty entails the suppression of a legitimate doubt – evident only when we bother to think about it for ourselves.

Faith has no integrity without a doubt to be vanquished.

It’s not the philosophical musing over certainty and doubt that wastes our time and efforts, but our failure to do so.

Of ‘known unknowns and unknown unknowns’ we can be more certain of the latter.

We make of experience statements of fact which we make do with until we know better.

The fact of what someone has said about a fact is our least certain measure of it.

Assurances of certainty are dubious – firstly by the fact that they need to be given and then by the fact that they are taken as sureties.

Certainty is our attempt to reduce the unimaginable to the imaginable.

Morality is a conviction made of a wish.

In practice, certainty and doubt have more to do with the meaning of a fact than the fact of it.

History is shrouded in uncertainties, even as we witness it unfolding before our eyes.

Logic is a pact with certainty that we impose on the world.

Contradiction is the only certainty to be made of language.

We receive no certainties from experience that we do not first offer-up to it.

Certainty involves the suspension of doubt – and despite appearances, no one can truly furnish you with a certainty any more than they can do your doubting for you.

Without doubt it is easy to think that there is no more to us than the fact of the brain thinking for us.

We identify with images of ourselves by looking upon ourselves in order to discover who we are.

The world of perception is bounded by what perception brings to it and reshaped by what we think about perception.

‘I think therefore I am’.  I doubt therefore I think.

Mike Laidler

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