Ukraine War Removes Certainty: A Tribute to Doubt NDR.de

Status: 09/05/2022 5:44 PM

“I’ve always had a hard time dealing with the paradoxes of Western philosophy,” says philosopher Rebecca Reinhard. She broke a spear of skepticism – calling irrefutable convictions a “danger to democracy”.

by Angelica Kellhammer

Once convinced, the pacifists suddenly became in favor of handing over weapons – is it logical or wrong? Security is an illusion, paradoxes and doubts are part of our lives.

Everything changes relentlessly and carries us away. Yesterday’s world is gone. The world of today will not be the world of tomorrow. Welcome to the vagrants, in contradiction, in doubt. “Western philosophy has always struggled with paradoxes,” says philosopher Rebecca Reinhard. “The exception is Heraclitus, the first known philosopher who said yes: everything flows – light becomes dark, darkness becomes light. Especially in today’s world, when we quickly answer with a zero or one, yes or no, it must be white or black, the ambiguities and contrasts Paradoxes go through difficult times.”

Having an honest opinion is the new smart thing. One could also describe such a situation as unknowable. Those who stop and doubt know they can only get close to the best of all worlds. Skepticism comes from the High German word “zoeval”: Zoewalt is the opposite of Einwalt.

Robert Habeck: Farewell to false certainties

Economy Minister Robert Habeck told Marcus Lanz at the end of March: “We cannot convince ourselves that we are doing everything right if we start from a political idea in which someone is always on the morally right side. But that is not the case. We must stop To convince us of that. And just from this situation—there was an ideal world in which we always did everything right—that would be a dilemma today. But it wasn’t like that before and it isn’t now.”

In the poem “In Praise of Doubt” by Bertolt Brecht she says:

There are those who do not hesitate and do not doubt.
Its digestion is wonderful, and its judgment is infallible.
They do not believe the facts, they only believe in themselves. In case of emergency
You must believe the facts. be patient with yourself
Unlimited. on arguments
Listen with ear.
From “In Praise of Doubt”

Philosopher Reinhard: Thinking in black and white is a ‘wrong dilemma’

“In most cases, zero or one, black or white, is really nothing more than a spurious dilemma,” says the philosopher Reinhard. “Because I rule out all other alternatives that transcend this divide – us or them, me or the others. This is of course a danger to democracy.”

Doubt does not feel good. When everyone immediately takes a stand, you won’t find a place on your own, you’re a wrench in the business. But doubt does not mean despair, nor does it mean inactivity. Doubt literally means “consideration”. Step back, take a fresh look, play through the possibilities. This skill connects art and science.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis: His doubts saved lives

Ignaz Semmelweis, an Austro-Hungarian physician, had his doubts: the fateful puerperal fever of 1846 in a Vienna hospital must have had a definite cause, because nowhere else did women die more than doctors. Semmelweis threatened the elite with his suspicions – and saved lives in the process. He discovered that doctors often came straight from autopsies and that women’s fever was nothing more than blood poisoning that could be prevented through hygiene.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Convictions are prisons.” They keep us trapped in a world we wish we had. In wishful thinking. Those who are fully convinced are willing to go very far to assert themselves. Those who are fully convinced are often willing to kill.

Voltaire: Certainty is a “ridiculous case”

“The danger of never questioning my convictions is the accompanying dogmatism,” says Reinhard. “Any kind of ideology is based on unshakable dogma and beliefs that should never be questioned. In the twentieth century we saw, and we see again today, what happens when arrogance and adherence to one’s beliefs take over.”

Voltaire once said: “Doubt is not a pleasant state, but certainty is a ridiculous state.” Welcome to the open. We were made for this.

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Culture NDR | Culture Magazine | 09.05.2022 | 10:45 PM

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