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Doubt and Uncertainty. Known versus Unknown Known – Something you think you know Known Unknowns: – Something you know you don’t know Unknown Unknowns:

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Presentation on theme: "Doubt and Uncertainty. Known versus Unknown Known – Something you think you know Known Unknowns: – Something you know you don’t know Unknown Unknowns:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Doubt and Uncertainty

2 Known versus Unknown Known – Something you think you know Known Unknowns: – Something you know you don’t know Unknown Unknowns: – Something you don’t know that you don’t know – Essentially, something you thought you knew, but really you were wrong all along

3 Every measurement ever made has error associated with Earth is 4,540 million years old + 50 mil years Universe is 13,798 mil years old + 37 mil years These are 95% confidence statements in that based off of known unknowns we are 95% confident that the true value is within that range. Of course our actual error could be larger because of unknown unknowns

4 Error Reduction In general you can reduce your error by investing more time, money and energy. – Repeat measurements – Buy the best possible equipment – Be methodical in your methods But even then you can only reduce error, not eliminate it, even if you do everything perfectly correct, even if you surveyed every single student for a dress code survey, you’d still have error

5 Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle The act of measuring not only has error associated with it, but it causes error. To measure something you must interact with it, but by interacting with it you affect it – This is true even for surveys. Your body language, tone of voice, question wording, level of trust and respect between you and the person being interviewed they all have an effect. Conclusion: it’s impossible for a human to know everything.

6 Religious Doubt Things are simpler as a little kid, there is no doubt As you grow though, as you learn to critically think, to question, you learn to doubt That doubt, I think it’s the reason God didn’t want Eve to eat the apple. We can do so much with our brains, so much that we don’t even understand (see placebo effect), but question everything, reasoning everything out, thinking logically means question EVERYTHING

7 Fear of Doubt It’s not uncommon for a person to become an atheist when they can’t get rid of their doubt But if you became an atheist because of doubt and now claim to have no doubt then you’re just running from the problem Some people when faced with doubt resort to inaction out of fear of making a mistake Some choose a course with absolute certainty because they are afraid to admit they made a mistake You need to find a middle ground

8 Humility Accept the possibility of an unknown unknown Religion, politics, a scientific theory, whatever you’re arguing, you need to recognize the possibility that you’re wrong. That it is possible that there is something you didn’t think of, even if the person you’re arguing with can’t think of it either Don’t argue with a defeatist attitude, your opponent will pick up on it and dismiss you. But be open to the possibility that you’re wrong. – Listen to your opponent!

9 Pope Francis on Religious Doubt In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation.


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