Uncertainty: n. believing that a future and/or past subset(s) has less than a 100% probability of existing which may not be zero probability or absolute certainty and/or not believing that one is completely right about a subset(s)
We are frequently uncertain whether something is true or whether something existed in the past or will exist in the future. What is seldom asked is what is the probability of the uncertainty?
If it is a scientific fact then we can frequently say that the uncertainty is zero percent but if it is a political or economic prediction then the uncertainty may be less than 50% or only slightly better than flipping a coin. Politics and economics is a statistical evaluation with rather large margins of error in many cases and many crises situations are not very predictable at all with great uncertainty.
To help us with uncertainty we frequently consult reputable sources of information or try to get our information from humans whom we consider experts, reliable, or trustworthy. We are frequently less convinced of the information given by a stranger than a trusted friend and prestigious publications are preferred over other less known sources. Even prestigious publications and authority figures are sometimes wrong about their views or communications so there is really seldom 100% certainty in most things with the possible exception of scientific facts and observations such as the certainty that the sun rises and sets every day.
Many cling to old and sometimes unpleasant habits because they are frequently more certain than trying to change and being confronted with an uncertain future. Humans are resistant to change and that includes their beliefs and opinions which provide them with certainty and they are frequently reluctant to change because they fundamentally fear the uncertainty of change to their value system and beliefs about prior experiences.
Humans frequently try to impose certainty on things which are fundamentally uncertain such as gambling where winning a few times is assumed to be a winning streak even when it objectively is pure luck and the odds are really against the gambler in the long duration.
Call it a fear of uncertainty or a desire for certainty. They both can lead to purposeful behavior designed to achieve a goal(s). Many new goals have some uncertainty but unless you try to achieve them with purposeful effort the probability of achieving them is zero if you don’t try at all.
Uncertainty and doubt are frequently one and the same thing. There is never 100% certainty or a guarantee that something will exist or is true when it needs to be or preferably for a long duration.
A right or wrong answer on a test is perhaps one of the main areas of life where there seems to be some certainty without doubt.
Perhaps the biggest uncertainty is the lifestyle which we are living because the only certainty is that it will change as the years go by and this creates uncertainty in our lives which some humans worry too much about.
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