Certainty makes for a happy fanatic, but it isn’t actually a feature. It is more of a flaw because it makes you blind and intransigent. It seems to me that uncertainty is a better thing, because it forces you to doubt and question things. It is the check that balances the human impulse to build immutable constructs that require tremendous effort to shift. Like religions.
It is funny, religious people always demand proof for the lack of god. They demand evidence for a negative, and when nobody can offer a hundred percent assured proof, atheism is dismissed. Religion defies probability by demanding an absolute. Atheism accepts uncertainty, and even praises uncertainty.
That said, some atheists aren’t helping with their talk of facts and evidence either. There is no such thing as fact in science. Nothing is one hundred percent proven. Not even that the earth revolves around the sun.
Science doesn’t talk about facts and certainties. It talks about probabilities, and yes, there is a 99.99999999999999 probability that the earth revolves around the sun. But there’s always that 0.0000000000001 chance that it’s not actually true. That miniscule probability is why there is such a thing as the ‘flat earth society’. Since science can’t prove something to 100 per cent, science must be wrong!
The probability for the earth not revolving around the sun is smaller than Alpha Centauri being made of cheese and bacon. I am surprised that there isn’t a “The High Carbon Alpha Centauri Diet Society”. We haven’t actually visited Alpha Centauri, so the actual composition of the star has yet to be definitely measured. Maybe our spectrometers are wrong? There is always a probability for everything, however slight.
There is always uncertainty, and that is good. It is the uncertainty that makes the mind explore the probabilities to arrive at ‘the best available understanding’. That is the advantage it has over religion, and that is why religion is rapidly losing steam and influence in the world.
Is it possible that I’m insane? I sometimes get the twinge that maybe I should experience real heart-break and messy break-ups- I feel so phony when I’m trying to write stories about people in adversity and high drama. I mine my friends’ lives for tid-bits and fragments all the time, but since I’ve never actually felt any of that, I sometimes wonder whether I would be a better writer if I did experience all that.
Next Wednesday we will have been married three months. We’re marking the date with a special occasion. But it also made me think that maybe marital bliss and happiness fell upon me too soon. Maybe I won’t become a full human being if I don’t suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune.
I often feel like I’m just pretending. Yeah, right, the rich white English kid who thinks he’s something, huh. Come back, when you’ve experienced real life instead of your silver-spoon-life. That sounds a bit dismissive, but I also think it’s a problem sometimes. A problem in the way of being somewhat genuine, and not a problem that should make anyone feel sorry. And that’s the insane bit, because I have it so good, so why would I even think about wanting things to be bad? All this ‘suffering for the art’ crap is just that, crap. Pogue’s Shane McGowan may be the genuine article, but his life hasn’t exactly been easy. I don’t actually want that, so why do I get these thoughts sometimes?
I have one of those days when I’m not sure about anything again. I’m thinking of uncertainties. I do like uncertainties. I’ll get over it.