Irrational Certainty


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you.

“Recently, I heard you speak. You talked about something called irrational certainty and how it impacts people at work. Please explain more.”

This reminds me of a show that we did where Marty weighed in on the idea of truth and belief and just crushed it. You need to you need to look up the question that we did on Truth and Belief. He just gave a great answer.

But this is a version of that irrational certainty is when I’m absolutely sure of my position or my belief or my opinion. But there’s not a bit of rational logic attached to it. It’s just irrational, right? I just believe it because I believe it and I hold on to it and it’s completely irrational. And people have this all the time. They have beliefs that are hardcore certainty that don’t even land in the world of rational belief.

So I know you could use this to judge others, but that’s not the point of the answer. You asked me to please explain more.

Well, it’s really simple. I am certain that something is true, but there is no rationale or evidence or objective truth to support that. That’s irrational certainty. It is. I hold on to absolutism in the absence of evidence that would support my absolute. Very few things in life are absolute. But if I hold on to something that’s absolute and there’s no evidence or information to support that, that’s what it is , avoid it at all costs.

Now, before you go out saying to people you have irrational certainty, start thinking about yourself, because every one of us, including me from time to time, has irrational certainty. We have to fight it, right? We have to we hold on to absolutes sometimes that are that are not particularly absolutes.

I hope that’s helpful.

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