I aver certainty. Nothing settles the mind like certainty, which instills security. I have no doubt that socialism's appeal is predicated on this certainty craving. A surfeit of adults retain the need to be nurtured. Mommy and daddy will make it better should I blunder or neglect to intelligently anticipate the uncertain future. The family unit is, after all, at its core a socialist economy.
Cast a wider net and we find all political orations are predicated on atavism, an attempt to connect the listener with a certain, secure past. I aver the majority want nothing more than for today to replicate yesterday and for tomorrow to replicate today. The moment is all that is certain, so let's extrapolate it to eternity.
The insatiable craving for certainty is the reason everyone is terrified of the greatest uncertainty -- death. If we could have only one question answered, no doubt the question each of us would want answered is what happens to me when I die?
Death is certain, at least that is how we reflexively respond when it is put to us as an existential proposition. "Yes, death is certain," we acknowledge aloud. Within the secret confines of our mind, we add, "At least for the other guy; for me, I am yet convinced."
Certainty is associated with simplicity. We simplify when we aggregate and average. The more we generalize, the more we simplify. In turn, the more we believe that we have achieved a higher degree of certainty.
Perhaps the certainty is misplaced. Generalizations reduce disorderly, complex phenomena to rigid, simple rules that imbue the conscience with a sense of certainty. Unfortunately, generalizations are at best shortcuts to reasoning.
If we will mask up, we will tamp down the coronavirus, the experts assert with certainty. That's simple enough. The aggregated, average numbers even suggest it\s so. But what the aggregated, averaged data fail to capture, what they fail to reveal, are the numerous ancillary and unaggregated and unaveraged benefits and costs associated with the change in individual behavior that, in reality, are tamping down the coronavirus. How do we know that the unseen behavioral changes and not the simple exhortation to mask up are the factors that curtail the virus? How can we know if the costs associated with the masks and the associated behavior changes did not exacerbate the predicament?
Life is most uncertain because it is anything but simple. To the contrary, life is staggeringly complex to the point it is often as unknowable as G-d. Life is never static, it is always dynamic. Humans are never a being; no finish line is crossed, no end is in sight. Life, therefore, is an eternal becoming from which we escape only through a very uncertain, certain death.
How could it be otherwise?
The constant reaction of diverse individuals upon a fluid environment produces a series of permutations that is frequently beyond measurement, if not beyond comprehension.
When one attempts to measure and comprehend these permutations, one inevitably attempts to simplify the process by slotting the observations into predetermined categories and classes. Unlike things are given the same name, and their possession of that name in common is offered as proof of their identity. On the other end, two similar things are given two different names, x and y, and elaborate equations are devised, though no one notices the fallacies imbedded in both instances. The equations are meaningless.
I'll concede that simplifying the complex is frequently the only means to expand our knowledge. As we expand our knowledge, a conundrum arises. Knowledge to the intelligent person only heightens the sense of uncertainty. The more knowledge the intelligent person possesses, the acutely aware he is of what doesn't know.
Certainty is forever a chimera, but it doesn't matter. You have no choice but to move forward when confronted with an always uncertain future. To standstill or to regress to an extinct past is to wither and eventually die.