meus intuitus

uncertainty

with 4 comments

There is a lot of certainty in medicine.  Though there is more that we do not understand, the immensity of what little we do understand imparts unto us physicians (in training) a certain confidence—in our knowledge, in our selves, in the scientific method.

Certainty haunts me.  The certainty of my mortality haunts me.  We live, we die, and that’s it.  It’s a dreadful thing—to hold as certain that one day you will be nothing, that you will cease to be.  This has been troubling me a great deal in these last few days.

I’ve been doing some reading about near death experiences.  Doing so has reminded me of the virtue of uncertainty.

Across countries, continents, cultures, near death experiences manifest in similar ways:  A crossing, a light, an unearthly feeling of understanding, meaning, joy, absolution, compassion, love, and much more even than these.  Those who have died voice that they can not do their experience justice with words.  More concretely, near death experiences present with inexplicable consciousnesses—people able to recall perfectly the happenings and dialogue of the medical procedure room while they were brain dead.  Out of body experience.

Nonsense?  The rationalist in me wants to explain away such accounts of near death experiences as mere hallucinations—self-stimulated dreams of the afterlife in the comatose state.  Yet, how does this rationalist know?  Has this rationalist died and experienced the nothing that is his death?  No.  The only foundation for his certainty is presumption.  Atheistic, scientific, existential hubris.

Though there is much that we humans have learned in our world, there is infinitely more that we do not know.  We must remember this.  We must be humble.

“No God” and “no afterlife” is just as grounded in faith as Yahweh, Jesus, and Cthulhu.  Atheism denies the existence of God.  Atheism commits the very sin that it denounces:  Certainty of the uncertain.  I suppose that I am agnostic, but agnostic carries a cold connotation—a sort of academic uncertainty in the concept of God.  This is not my agnosticism.

Mine is a deep, spiritual, and hopeful uncertainty.  It is in this warm uncertainty that I find solace now.

It feels nice… knowing that there is no knowing.

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Written by meusintuitus

February 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm

4 Responses

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  1. your writing is getting better and better man. keep it up.

    kevin

    February 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

  2. […] an extract from meus intuitus, a nice blog recently discovered while looking up agnostic using the wordpress tool tags. Some of […]

    Deus Agnosticus | Blog

    February 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

  3. I have come to a similar conclusion through a different path. Agnostics are painted as vacillating fence sitters but deep agnosticism demands a commitment and rigour few ismists understand. Keep up the fight.Certainty is the death of thought.

    Anonymous

    September 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm


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