Uncertainty: The lack of certainty. A state of having limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing state, a future outcome, or more than one possible outcome.
If you think that certainty is a powerful tool then do I have a tasty treat for you my friends! Try on uncertainty. I’m not advocating for you to doubt everything of course, just what is logically justifiable.
In my last two blog posts I have set out to establish a fairly strong case involving two important contentions about knowledge of God’s existence as well as the Biblical definition of faith. 1) To establish factual knowledge of God’s existence human beings would need to have absolute or undisputed certainty in this regard. (For future reference I am now going to favor undisputed certainty over absolute certainty). This is only important if someone is truly interested in establishing the necessity of belief or faith in this God.
2) The Biblical definition of faith does not correlate to human knowledge. The Biblical definition of faith is a form of confidence, trust, conviction, or expectation. Therefore, one can have faith and not be justified in doing so. It is simply a state of mind rather than established fact. Can you think of any instances where faith or confidence begins to fail? It is simply an assumption that an unseen God is there to keep feeding one’s confidence.
Concerning my first contention a majority of Christians that I know actually admit that they are not completely certain that a God exists. I applaud their intellectual honesty in this regard and this now forms a platform where believers and skeptics can unite. None of us are completely certain. So it is that my next question for the believer is: If you are not completely certain that a God exists then are you not admittedly uncertain? Is there such a thing as being one-half or three-fourths certain about a matter? The answer is no. One is either certain or uncertain. If one is not completely certain then they must default to an honest admission of uncertainty.
If one agrees that they are in fact uncertain, then they need to consider the usefulness of the concept of faith when having discussions about actual knowledge. It would seem that faith has no practical use within this discussion. We can trust, be assured, and have all the confidence in the world, this still does not help us establish knowledge and fact.
Thus, the true value of uncertainty is this. It justifies and opens the door into intellectual agnosticism. Not many people I’m sure are jumping out of their seats about this. After all, at first glance admitting uncertainty can be rather disheartening! Especially in light of one’s previous faith or set of expectations, am I right? It was definitely disheartening and scary for me. The bottom line however is that this is honest. This is a true and honest assessment about knowledge and the kind of predicament all of humanity finds itself in.