Certainty is the best we've got. When I deduce that all unmarried men are bachelors it's possible that my logical reasoning is wrong (for any elaborate reason one may posit). I'm still certain that all unmarried men are bachelors even though I acknowledge the silly possibility that unmarried men may in fact not be bachelors.
Absolute certainty is reserved for omniscience I guess. Using my prior example if I was omniscient I could be absolutely certain if my knowledge told me all unmarried men are bachelors. Unfortunately we're not privileged enough to have omniscience so absolute certainty goes out the window.
But we can hold empirical generalisations to certainty. We can be reasonably certain that;
The speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound.
Not all bachelors are happy
Those are two very reasonable statements, that, based on empirical information, allow me to be certain about the validity of them. Any problems?
On to your second point. I agree, it's certain because of definition. Any reasonable person would see that. But I don't think it's absolutely certain. What if there's an evil, omnipotent demon who invented logic to trick us into believing things that weren't true? Therefore, every time we use logic, it's actually wrong?
Absurd? Yes. Most reasonable people will see this possibility as being so small we can be certain it's not the case and doesn't warrant any serious contemplation. But it's a possibility nonetheless.
I agree old man, we're both certain all unmarried men are bachelors.
"What would have to change in order for that to become absolute certainty?"
Well, firstly we would have to be sure that our logic is sound and is not the invention of some mischievous, evil demon who laughs every time we use logic because it's wrong and merely his invention. Can you be absolutely certain this is not the case? Perhaps you would do yourself a service by brushing up on Descartes' Meditations. Just a thought.
Haha lighten up, guy. I'm just teasing.
I explained like 4 times already the distinction between certainty and absolute certainty. So please take your dementia pills and listen up carefully! I will not do so again.
Quote:"Name a specific thing that you say is certain"
Ok, all unmarried men are bachelors because the definition of a bachelor is an unmarried man. I'm certain of that. Agree?
"...but that is not absolutely certain."
Correct. I'm not absolutely certain that all unmarried men are bachelors because there's probably a small chance that there's an evil, omnipotent demon who invented logic to trick us into believing things that weren't true. So every time I say 'all unmarried men are bachelors' (which is a logical statement), I can't be absolutely certain that an evil demon isn't tricking me. Agree?
BLOCPARTY said: I'm not absolutely certain I'm not absolutely certain.