Chapter

Certainty and Uncertainty

DAVID J. BARTHOLOMEW

in Uncertain Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270140
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683923 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270140.003.0001
Certainty and Uncertainty

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Natural theology supposedly explains how religious beliefs can be justified. Although theology has acknowledged the uncertainties that entail these beliefs, this may not be enough to meet circumstances' demands. The certainties have become uncertainties because of the lack of necessary links between pattern and purpose. Reasoning about uncertainty is not the same as uncertain reasoning; because it has become difficult for such beliefs to coincide with science, the beliefs have to be expressed in terms of probabilities. Since science deals with observations and consistency, one would have to consider whether the scientific method should be used in exploring something beyond science. Another way to realize something's existence is through revelation, which is essential to supernatural religion, though this is not without uncertainty. This chapter introduces the notions of certainty and uncertainty by presenting different approaches to analyzing supernatural or religious beliefs.

Keywords: theology; probability; belief; religion; supernatural; science; reasoning; certainty; uncertainty; revelation

Chapter.  7570 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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