On Doubt vs. Certainty

If we only stick to doubt and never beyond it, we will only end up being doubtful even about doubts, which is a form of certainty, while being certain about certainties may be certain or maybe doubtful. If certain, no problem, and if doubtful then it follows that there must have been a reason for that doubt. If the reason was general doubt, that is, doubting everything, then we will return back to square one: doubting doubt, or reaching certainty indirectly.

But if the doubt is specific, then a specific reason must be given. However, when something is unknown, it can either be right, or wrong. If we don’t know, if we doubt, then an accused maybe guilty or not, or if I doubt my pocket, I may or may not be able to afford something. Itfollows then that if one cannot prove someone guilty, he must be innocent, and if I have no money, then I can’t afford to buy something.

Not necessarily. Since I cannot prove someone’s guilt, the fault may be in evidence and does not indicate innocence. Also, having money in my pocket doesn’t automatically guarantee purchase even if I want to buy (for instance I may be in a hurry of have two bags already so can’t carry). Yet, no matter how you reason, it doesn’t get beyond the two conditions: either wrong or right, this or that, innocent or guilty.

Specific doubts are correct only when they can prove that something is so, and also at the same time not not so. That is, not only to prove someone is not guilty, but also that this person is innocent. So a specific doubt tackling only one side (he is guilty because he cannot prove he is innocent) is lame and useless. Furthermore, if a specific doubt exists that considers both sides, then it leaves no room for certainty and then we can still be certain about the opposite of a fact: if I doubt he is guilty, and have specific proofs that he is not innocent but is also guilty, then I am no longer doubting: I am now certain that he is not innocent.

Thus, if specific doubts are followed up correctly, they too, still, lead to certainties, but if the specific doubts are invalid, then they are useless and cannot be used—leading to the importance and dominance of certainty. This implies that certainty is better than doubt, although doubt is an intermediate step. From this logic, it further follows that final steps are superior to intermediate steps, and we can never have certainties as intermediate steps because what use is using certainty to reach doubt? Doubt has no need for intermediate steps (but it is an intermediate step itself) because we can simply doubt, when there is an absence of certainty (hence no use for it) but if we need to reach certainty, we must first doubt (Like Descartes) all the certainties so as to see which ones stand correct and which ones collapse.

If we don’t question our ideas and systems, then we can never know how or right we are: if you own five glasses of beverages, you can only know which one is tastiest by sipping from each, and not relying on the colours to guide you to the taste. Likewise in some religions and non-religions, the adherents have blindly accepted their certainties without subjecting them to a doubting process. If I don’t ask whether I am on the right road, I may never reach my destination: I need to verify each road and see which one ends up where and how.

Being aware of road conditions is a kind of doubt: you want to make sure you are not on the wrong road—but you are not going to give it up as well if other roads don’t seem more promising. This is how I accept my religion: Islam. As long as I have been alive, I have researched all sorts of thoughts in varying depths and couldn’t come up with a better solution than Islam. This didnt mean I was unsure about Islam, but was in fact, a credit to my thinking style and to Islam since if I don’t know I am in the right path, how can I convince others to join me?

Most adherents in other religions and non-religions have a poor, biased and skewed or no understanding of Islam or any other religion or ideology and have a fixed view on the certainty and correctness of their religion. They assume others are wrong, because they are too lazy to compare, and yet ascribe this intellectual laziness to a lack of need for further search if something is already working for them.

Such a dogmatic view is ridiculous precisely because we can’t refute the point that having any (same) food is “working for us” against starvation. Still, we don’t actually see anyone eating the same food and not exploring others simply because what they originally ate is working for them. Logically, it may be that something could work even better, but satisfaction from something that is working ok or simply working is preventing the believer from further progress. When such progress is blocked, any amount of debate is not going to cut it, unless the person in question wisens up and starts thinking, and therefore decides that it is only perfectly logical to doubt in order or reach proper certainties, instead of accepting random certainties as accepted and dogmatically unchallengeable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s