User Name:


FAQ Donate Join

Atheist Experience
absolute certainty

Statement: "Absolute certainty cannot be achieved."

That statement clearly disproves itself. If instead it would read "Based on much experience, I believe strongly that absolute certainty cannot be achieved", it would not be a paradox.

With the statement, the speaker claims to know something about all existing and possible consciousnesses (inside or not inside of the system of the universe), how they experience and interpret reality (if they have any reality except for their own mind) and how they reason. It is a statement that implies that the person stating it knows consciousness in an abstract way.

Let's think:

Do I *know with absolute certainty* that absolute certainty cannot be achieved? No, I obviously can't know that with absolute certainty (because if the statement were true, then it were impossible to know with absolute certainty *that* it is true).

And if the statement were not true, I could obviously also not know with absolute certainty that the statement were true because it weren't.

Actually, we just found out that the statement *is wrong*! Meaning: Absolute certainty can be achieved. How so? Read this statement: "If absolute certainty cannot be achieved, then I cannot know with absolute certainty that this is so." The statement uses logic. And the logical conclusion is absolute, its truth cannot be denied. So we now know something with absolute certainty. Hence the statement that absolute certainty cannot be achieved has been demonstrated to be incorrect.

I think we just made the step from faith to knowledge. Might take a few weeks to sink in.

sincerely yours dad

EDIT: There is a mistake in the 2nd paragraph. ", it would not be a paradox." must read ", it would not contradict itself."

Science never takes the stand that a hypothesis is an absolute certainty. When a hypothesis is presented they try to falsify it any possible way they can. If they can't they have to accept it's validity. Absolute certainty is not necessary or desirable in science because theories do change and are improved upon all the time. It's dogma that never changes.

The ideology of religion or creationism doesn't work the way science does. They start with absolutely certainty that they know what the truth is based on faith; and if anything is found that challenges it's validity they deny it's correctness or they falsify the evidence to make it come out in their favor.

I think it depends on the context of the application.

If falsification had been applied to theology the same as it has been to science theology would have fallen long ago.

Follow us on:

twitter facebook meetup

Join us for the Bat Cruise Lecture, 1:15pm September 27th at Trinity United Methodist Church, at 40th and Speedway. Lecturers will be Richard Carrier and Chris Johnson.

The ACA Bat Cruise is set for Saturday, September 27th, 6-8pm. Purchase tickets in advance here.

The audio and video from Dr. Shahnawaz August lecture is now available.