Monday, November 7, 2011

Certitude

Absolute certainty in one's position may make for compelling, impassioned arguments, but it can be a sign that even facts and reality will fall by the wayside to maintain that certainty.

Sharon and I were looking around for a pithy quote about certainty, and found a few that we thought were worth sharing:

  • Lyle's Law of Certitude: The more certain you are that you are correct, the more imperative it is to consider that you might be wrong.
  • Voltaire: Doubt is not an agreeable condition, but certainty is an absurd one.
  • Robert A.Heinlein: Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.

We also ran across this blog post on being wrong, which links to some work (including this TED talk) by Kathryn Schulz, a journalist who has written a book and several articles on being wrong.

Do you have any favorite quotes on certainty and/or doubt? If so, we'd love to hear them.

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