** Mr. Reardon (my philosophy of religion teacher) definition of
certainty: a firm assent to a proposition because of a motive.
** Another way to say it is: You are certain because you have reason
to believe your certainty is reasonable and justified.
** Certainty without motive is faith. A person who has faith is
faithful, not because he can substantiate his faith through personal
experience or through overwhelming proofs, but through irrational,
subject reasons (i.e. because he wants and needs to believe).
** If we tried to relate the concept of certainty with religion, a
direct experience of God would be "overwhelming proof" of the
presence of God that would make simple faith un-necessary. The
mystic's direct experience elevates him above faith by providing him
with the motive or the reason to have certainty in God. However,
achieving a mystical sense of certainty and sustaining it on a
permanent level is impossible for most people. In reality, moments
of pure affirmation generally occur in brief flashes and momentary
glimpses. The remainder of the time we rely on faith.
** Therefore faith is a necessary and natural element in life.
Through faith we establish a state of trust in our moments of