Certainty and its effect On Wars

In “Things that Shouldn’t Make Me Happy“, Scott Adams hits on one of the most poignant things I’ve read in a while. For a humorist, he has been making some amazing points recently.

If you think about it, wars are generally fought because of a false sense of certainty. Usually some leader thinks he is a God, or talks to God, or descended from the Gods, or thinks God gave his people some particular piece of real estate. The leader’s opinion is the most certain in the land. People flock to certainty and adopt the certainty as their own. The next thing you know, stuff is blowing up.

You can take any major problem in the world and identify a key culprit who has more certainty than he or she should. For example, Osama Bin Laden is certain that Allah exists, and he’s certain that humans can know what an omnipotent being wants us to do. That hasn’t worked out well for anyone.

When you really think about it, this is the ultimate truth. For if Osama or the Pope in the Crusade Era admitted that he wasn’t 100% exactly what it was that God wanted him to do, he wouldn’t really be able to command so many people to commit all these attrocities.

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