Archive for March 29th, 2009

Out of ChaosI don’t know if it’s sad commentary on the world or just myself but I have started to have an extreme distrust of anyone who is ultra confident in their ability to predict what the future will bring.  Be it a politician predicting doom and gloom if the opposing party comes to power or an evangelist spouting that the rapture is imminent or even the pundits on ESPN during the NCAA tournament, guys like Digger Phelps, who say definitively that this team or that team will run roughshod over the opposition.  Okay, Digger Phelps being compared to someone saying the end is near is out of line but his certainty is the same even if more trivial.

I used to defer to those with lofty positions and supposed knowledge of things beyond my little world but have come to the realization that these people are as clueless as anyone, myself included.  It’s just that there is no economic advantage in saying that you don’t really know, that you can’t be sure.  Who would send a check to a televangelist who couldn’t definitively offer you eternal salvation?  Who would vote for a politician who wasn’t absolutely positive  that his judgement was correct in all matters?  

The problem with our dependence on this absurd over-confidence is that many good and valid ideas are kicked to the curb, never heard because they are drowned out by the din of the “experts” pounding their chests and yelling that yes, they alone have the answers that we seek.  Political discourse has become a matter of who can turn up their volume most.  The sectors of religion that grow fastest spout the loudest, most extreme versions of their beliefs.

And this over-confidence doesn’t apply to believers alone.  To me, the atheist is little different than the most ardent believer.  Both have an absolute belief that their view is correct.  Both claim to know that the eternal is or isn’t.  Take your pick.

Me?  As I’ve said before, the only thing I’m certain about is my uncertainty.  And I guess in some cases down through history that would make one a heretic.

Amen to that, brother…

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