CRITICAL REASONING
ARE YOU SURE?

You want to bet because you are very sure? No need. You can’t be sure. You shouldn’t be. To be sure, you have to know the thinking of all others involved in a situation being appraised; what if what you witnessed was a fake act, stage-managed to coincide with your presence?

Why do people say “I am cocksure” ― sure at what? Have you not even in your dream wondered if you were dreaming? Otherwise, in your dream, you were sure you were by the toilet only to wake up to find out that you had wet your bed. Can you be sure that all the things you see are real? Remember, Lot in the Bible. He saw and welcomed three people who visited him. But were they really people? The beings he thought to be people are not even from this world yet he was sure? He can only be sure of one thing. He saw beings but he cannot be sure they are real people. To be sure is to be convinced and to have no doubts, yet having no doubt does not make our knowledge exclusive on the subject matter. We rely on what is only revealed, exposed or witnessed―yet we cannot be sure what was revealed was all there was.

Revealed acts might be devoid of entire truths; hence, to claim that one is sure is the ridicule of one’s self in the presence of any other person who knows a bit more on the issue to refute the claim of our sensitivity.

Maybe that is why the scripture even advised us not to swear. You can’t be sure of what you think you are sure of. To prove “beyond reasonable doubt” is to be sure that we are correct in our verdict. But “reasonable doubt” only defines the condition of sureness. Reasonable could mean human limit or our “level of knowledge” of which doubt seems to be eliminated but not to be completely ignored. It means the reliance on a piece of opportune information or privileged awareness.

Don’t, therefore, be sure our reasonable doubt is reasonable. Remember absence of proof is not proof of absence. Fred’s youngest sister was very sure she was the fifth child. It was not until she was 25 years old that she knew that she was the second half of an aborted twin which actually makes her the sixth child.

She can’t even be sure of other things. It wasn’t necessary to tell her until there was a need. So are other information we don’t get on matters we claim we are sure of.

Are you sure you have not eaten worms, ants or bugs before in your life? Don’t say 'never'. How about the isolated cases of unknowingly eaten with your beans? Are you sure you have not eaten maggots before? Don’t be sure. How about the ones unknowingly eaten with your garden-egg? How clean is your clean water? Can you be sure? Are you sure your dad is your father? Are you sure your mother is sure that she is sure? Can you be sure your wife actually loves you irrespective of allowing you to marry her? Can you be sure that you are not an adopted child by your seeming loving parents?

What then can you be really sure of? You cannot be sure that you are not under hypnotism even as at now. Hypnotism could make the immediate an illusion. Are you sure what seems real is surely so? So you see, it is difficult to be sure that a lie is a lie or the truth is a lie.

Therefore saying “I will” makes you very sure. Why not say “I’ll try” instead.
You cannot say you have not eaten a vulture or a snake before. You can be sure you have not eaten them consciously but that is no reason to make you so sure. You can feel sure that you deserve something but don’t be sure that you were deprived unjustly if you don’t get it. You might never know why. You can be sure of whom you love now but don’t be sure it would last even if you expect it to. You can be sure you have no headaches now but not that you don’t have aches in your life. They only have not gotten into your head yet or you are not yet aware they are already there. You can be sure of your residential address but don’t be sure of your nationality. Your great, great grandparents might know the truth. You can be sure you are male or female but you cannot be sure if you are a normal or complete male or female because of gene mutilation or improper arrangement of chromosomes in your make up.

For me, I am sure of one thing. I am an African, I am sure I will die one day but I am not sure if I will be buried. That depends on how I die. Take heart, only God can be sure.





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