Wednesday, October 07, 2009

"Certainty admits of no degrees"

Certainty admits of no degrees. Doubt may; but certainty excludes doubt and all its gradations.

To be moderate, cautious, forbearing, self-mistrusting, and considerate of opponents in all doubtful matters, is a virtue; but in matters that are certain, to fail in saying that they are so, is to betray the truth.

To treat certainties as uncertainties in mathematics is not intellectual, in revelation is unbelief. The only moderation possible in matters of theological certainty is to speak the truth in charity ...

to diminish the precision of truths which are certain, or to suffer them to be treated as dubious, or to veil them by economies, or to modify them to meet the prejudices of men or the traditions of public opinion is not moderation, but an infidelity to the truth, and an immoderate fear, or an immoderate respect for some human authority.
Henry Cardinal Manning