Doubt Revisited

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
— Bertrand Russel

I had already posted a couple of quotes about doubt, but this quote really made me think. It is not an explanation of the world but it does give us a clue… what do you think?

5 comments on “Doubt Revisited

  1. You already know that I believe that moments of absolute certainty never come. The proof of this is in the pudding for me. When I was younger and in possession of even less wisdom than I have now (which is very little), there were times when my certainty was absolute. Later down the road I realized I had made some monumental errors. Now that I believe the moment of absolute certainty never arrives, I am sometimes plagued by doubt but it’s okay. Without doubt I would quit looking for answers, I would have a closed mind and therefore would stop learning.

    Doubt, as I see it, is a tool — one that we can utilize instead allowing it to weigh us down and paralyze us. I use doubt to be as informed as I can about different points of view so that I’m able to make a well informed decision even in the face of doubt. Note, I didn’t say decide between the right decision or wrong decision — just make a well informed decision. We never know it it was the right until “well down the road”.

  2. I think our dear friend Friday has said it perfectly. For me I think it is important to make the decision that I can have doubts and that things may never reside in a state of certainty but for a moment until the fluidity of life changes them, BUT I do not think it is wise to doubt ones self. We all make (if we act smartly) the best decisions we can at any given moment. As Friday said, not right or wrong decisions but the best ones we can make. Things will change and that can change our thoughts. Doubt can be a tool but self doubt needs to be watched more carefully.

  3. How do people handle doubt? :

    1) Bring it out in the open for examination
    2) Silence it and pretend it never happened
    3) Do nothing and hope it goes away

    Personally I think number 1 is best, because you can’t pretend something doesn’t exist. It will go right on existing. Also if you do nothing , and hope it goes away, it will still be there gnawing at you, like a malnourished dog on a bone.

    Examine the doubt. Is the doubt from impatience or giving up? Long waiting usually leads to resignation. Suspended judgment shouldn’t lead to suspending operations. Life must go on.

    Many of God’s works are mysterious and beyond our knowing. So much of life is unknowable. The best one can do is look at all the options, and make what seems to be the right decision, because if you never decide, you will never move forward.

    Doubt can be healthy, and save you from adversity and pain. Wise men say “Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Or it can be unhealthy leaving you stuck in a quagmire of uncertainty. Doubt is unhealthy if you can never form a conclusion and move on.

    I say examine your doubts, look at the choices, make a conclusion and move on. A little doubt is healthy, a lot will kill you.

    Just my opinion.

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