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The Need for Certainty

Last updated Aug 15, 2023

# Reference

# Notes

In this reading taken from Help My Unbelief, O’Malley challenges our human impulse towards certainty and shows how faith can flourish precisely without claiming that one has absolute certitude.

# Reflection Questions

# Other Highlights

The two fundamental questions each of us faces are (1) Who am I? and (2) Where do I fit into all of this? Who is this person “I” — stripped of all the influences I didn’t choose myself? And what is my value and mission at the center of the web of relationships that eddies out from myself into my family, my neighbors, my work, the nation, the whole human family, the mystifying universe, and beyond (I trust) into the life of the Trinity?

The second question — where do I fit into all of this — is really the search for a myth, a sense of established, coherent background against which to find meaning amid all those unexpected intrusions. We need a sense that our lives have a storyline, rather than random bits…


(Paraphrased) The overwhelming majority of our beliefs do not come from rigorous self-examination…what we call our opinions actually come secondhand from parents, pals, brokers, and teachers.

The whole purpose of basic education — as opposed to mere schooling at one end and true learning at the other — is training minds to come to trustworthy decisions, to form valid opinions.

At the heart of every inquiry worth pursuit is mystery.