At the turn of the 16th into the 17th century, a considerably more leisurely time than ours, Sir Francis Bacon — philosopher, statesman, essayist, writer, scientist —
If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
Take a look at him in his splendid apparel:
He looks like he never had a doubt in his life. It’s true that of scruples he had precious few, but he must nevertheless have experienced enough doubts to have observed so acutely its nature, and the correct sequence of doubt and certainty.
We don’t live in a leisurely era. The 20th century playwright and entrepreneur and highly quotable wit Wilson Mizner had to be faster and punchier than Bacon (even if he dressed pretty drably in comparison) when he said this about doubt:
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
So — what do you think about certainty? About doubt?
Are you sure?