I gave my nephew and his friend a ride home and we had a talk about certainty.
Could you be 100% certain about anything?
Should you be?
Should you believe someone who says they are 100% certain about a subject?
Does that level of certainty paint you in a corner?
What’s the minimum amount of certainty that allows for changing one’s mind when presented with evidence?
Is 51% certain enough to go about your day?
It was a good discussion, sort of in the Socratic method. I’m not sure how much my nephew got out of it, after all, I’m just his uncle. Maybe his friend understood better.
It got me thinking more about certainty.
You see, I’m barely an atheist. I don’t believe in god(s). I’m 51% certain that there are no gods, spirits or supernatural creatures in the universe.
I’m willing to change my mind, but only if actual evidence is presented. If you feel it “in your heart” that your preferred god exists, try again. That’s not evidence.
I’ve met Xians who are “100% certain that god exists” and they’ve painted themselves into that corner. Anything that challenges that certainty, quite frankly, is ignored or rationalized away. They can’t even grasp the possibility that they could be wrong.
I could be wrong. And I’m willing to be wrong. That’s why I’m at 51%.
So if you have evidence to support the existence of god(s) or the supernatural, bring it forth.
You only have to move me by 2 percentage points. That should be easy.