Best 311 of Certainty quotes - MyQuotes
Zealots: Wild eyed persons afflicted with incurable certainty about the workings of the world, a certainty that can lead to violence when the world doesn't fit.
Certainty is the most vivid condition of ignorance and the most necessary condition for knowledge.
When nothing is certain in your life, you have a blank canvas to work with. You can determine a new future for yourself with passionate actions. You can pursue anything that you put your mind to. When things seem uncertain it is the best time to take action.
All she had needed was the certainty of his love, and his reassurance that there was no hurry when a lifetime lay ahead of them.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Certitude is not the test of certainty.
It has always been asked in the spirit of: ‘What are the best sources of our knowledge – the most reliable ones, those which will not lead us into error, and those to which we can and must turn, in case of doubt, as the last court of appeal?’ I propose to assume, instead, that no such ideal sources exist – no more than ideal rulers – and that all ‘sources’ are liable to lead us into errors at times. And I propose to replace, therefore, the question of the sources of our knowledge by the entirely different question: ‘How can we hope to detect and eliminate error?’ The question of the sources of our knowledge, like so many authoritarian questions, is a genetic one. It asks for the origin of our knowledge, in the belief that knowledge may legitimize itself by its pedigree. The nobility of the racially pure knowledge, the untainted knowledge, the knowledge which derives from the highest authority, if possible from God: these are the (often unconscious) metaphysical ideas behind the question. My modified question, ‘How can we hope to detect error?’ may be said to derive from the view that such pure, untainted and certain sources do not exist, and that questions of origin or of purity should not be confounded with questions of validity, or of truth. …. The proper answer to my question ‘How can we hope to detect and eliminate error?’ is I believe, ‘By criticizing the theories or guesses of others and – if we can train ourselves to do so – by criticizing our own theories or guesses.’ …. So my answer to the questions ‘How do you know? What is the source or the basis of your assertion? What observations have led you to it?’ would be: ‘I do not know: my assertion was merely a guess. Never mind the source, or the sources, from which it may spring – there are many possible sources, and I may not be aware of half of them; and origins or pedigrees have in any case little bearing upon truth. But if you are interested in the problem which I tried to solve by my tentative assertion, you may help me by criticizing it as severely as you can; and if you can design some experimental test which you think might refute my assertion, I shall gladly, and to the best of my powers, help you to refute it.
The quest for certainty in forecasting outcomes can be the enemy of progress.
Action based on hope just felt better than the paralysis of certainty.
Indeed, on close inspection one sees that by far the greater number of educated people still desire convictions from a thinker and nothing but convictions, and that only a small minority want certainty. The former want to be forcibly carried away in order thereby to obtain an increase of strength; the latter few have the real interest which disregards personal advantages and the increase of strength also. The former class, who greatly predominate, are always reckoned upon when the thinker comports himself and labels himself as a genius, and thus views himself as a higher being to whom authority belongs. In so far as genius of this kind upholds the ardour of convictions, and arouses distrust of the cautious and modest spirit of science, it is an enemy of truth, however much it may think itself the wooer thereof.
Silence might be a shout for the truth. It might be the speech that someday, in its truest, most uncontaminated, unadulterated state, all will be revealed.
Robert Charles Wilson
Is there any evidence to the contrary? I don't need certainty in order to act on a well-founded suspicion.
S. J. Watson
I could see it all. The hand on the shoulder, then the hug. The mouths that find each other through the tears, the moment when guilt and the certainty that things must go no further gives way to lust and the certainty that they cannot stop.
The difference between religion and science is the difference between thoughtless certainty and thoughtful doubt.
I'm opposed to censure, .. Whether or not one will be permitted, it's under discussion. It isn't ruled out, but it's not a dead-bang certainty either.
Christina Baker Kline
Fairy tales end happily ever after because children crave certainly and resolution; they need to know how things turn out. But if my experiences in the past three months have shown me anything, it's that I am comfortable living with more questions than answers. My own story will always be a work in progress.
Nothing consoles and comforts like certainty does.
Iain M. Banks
[I]t would be a niceness that was enforced leniently, patiently and gracefully, with the sort of unflappable self-certainty [they] couldn't help displaying when all its statistics proved that it really was doing the right thing.
I remembered standing in the middle of the street in front of The Crooked Bookshelf, filled with the certainty of a future. I had heard the wolves howling behind the house and remembered how glad I had been to be human.
But at that moment she had known, with a certainty she would never feel about anything else in her life, that it was right, that she wanted this man in her life. Something inside her said, He understands. What it's like to be different.
We have to be mindful that there is the certainty that terrorists will attempt to launch multiple attacks against their enemy, which is us and our allies.
Certainty. Life's last and kindest gift.
I will repeat a technique until it is mastered, no matter when that will be. One certainty though: it will be.
Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.
Un vaso medio vacío de vino, es también uno medio lleno; pero una mentira a medias, de ningún modo es una media verdad.
It is debatable whether blind faith is truly faith at all. Faith is the perceptive gray area where scientific facts meet an individual's experiential truths - the extreme of the former is left feeling in the dark whereas the latter is caught blinded by the light. By proper scientific method, it is intellectually dishonest for me to declare the existence of God with utmost certainty, but to my individual spirit, I would be intellectually dishonest to deny the existence of God even for a second. This leaves the best of both worlds, as the believer is called to be able to give reasons for his faith, a deviation from mere fantasy.
To be positive is to be mistaken at the top of one's voice.
After more darkness and silence, I said, “Well, do you believe in the informed decision?” More darkness and silence. “No!” I envy his certainty! He understood that a determined life had its limits. “I had a wonderful life and I had nothing to do with it”—well, now I can say that, too. There is this sense of being on your own path.
...the morning with the whole day waiting, full of promise, the night of quiet, of no expectations, of rest. And the certainty of home, the one I live in, and the one that lives in me.
[Heraclitus had] a regal air of certainty.
You cannot be uncertain, because you know.
Roosevelt loved the subtleties of human relations...He was sensitive to nuances in a way that Harry Truman never was and never would be. Truman, with his rural Missouri background, and partly too, because of the limits of his education, was inclined to see things in far simpler terms, as right or wrong, wise or foolish. He dealt little in abstractions.
Be certain there are no coincidences
Because you're always learning, the chief lesson remains: you still know nothing.
Certainty is a cruel mindset.
You can be dead sure and still be dead wrong.
The greatest certainty in life is death. The greatest uncertainty is the time.
If you see certainty in that which is uncertain, you are bound to suffer
The misconception of something being a certainty sometimes gets to me until I remember we can change most things consciously.
Lailah Gifty Akita
There is no certainity like faith.
If there was no imperative, it was not love.
We never have 100 percent certainty. We never have it. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.
I mean that if you are not absolutely sure of a thing, it is so difficult to commit yourself to a definite course of action.
Speculation and the exploration of ideas beyond what we know with certainty are what lead to progress.
The only certainties that don't break down are those acquired in prayer.
A chuck under the chin is worth two kisses.
Living by faith isn't living with certainty. It's trusting God in spite of unanswered questions and unresolved doubts.
Our most cultural state is one of total certainty—which is the reason those of us who are most certain are those who are most out of touch with nature (i.e., reality).
It is not certain that everything is uncertain.
Religion deals in certainties and philosophy deals more in un-answered questions.
Humans may crave absolute certainty; they may aspire to it; they may pretend, as partisans of certain religions do, to have attained it. But the history of science — by far the most successful claim to knowledge accessible to humans — teaches that the most we can hope for is successive improvement in our understanding, learning from our mistakes, an asymptotic approach to the Universe, but with the proviso that absolute certainty will always elude us.