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Related concepts and fundamentals:

* Agnosticism
Agnosticism
* Epistemology
Epistemology
* Presupposition * Probability
Probability

* v * t * e

DOUBT characterises a status in which the mind remains suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to assent to either of them. Doubt
Doubt
on an emotional level is indecision between belief and disbelief. Doubt
Doubt
involves uncertainty , distrust or lack of sureness of an alleged fact , an action, a motive, or a decision . Doubt questions a notion of a perceived "reality ", and may involve delaying or rejecting relevant action out of concerns for mistakes or faults or appropriateness. (Compare paradox ). Doubt
Doubt

CONTENTS

* 1 Definition * 2 Impact on society * 3 Psychology * 4 Philosophy * 5 Theology
Theology
* 6 Law
Law
* 7 In animals * 8 See also * 9 Notes and references * 10 Further reading

DEFINITION

The concept of doubt as a suspense between two contradictory propositions covers a range of phenomena: on a level of the mind it involves reasoning, examination of facts and evidence and on an emotional level believing and disbelieving

In premodern theology doubt was "the voice of an uncertain conscience" and important to realize, because when in doubt "the safer way is not to act at all".

IMPACT ON SOCIETY

Doubt
Doubt
sometimes tends to call on reason . Doubt
Doubt
may encourage people to hesitate before acting, and/or to apply more rigorous methods. Doubt
Doubt
may have particular importance as leading towards disbelief or non-acceptance.

Politics
Politics
, ethics and law , with decisions that often determine the course of individual life , place great importance on doubt, and often foster elaborate adversarial processes to carefully sort through all available evidence.

Societally, doubt creates an atmosphere of distrust, being accusatory in nature and de facto alleging either foolishness or deceit on the part of another. Such a stance has been fostered in Western European society since the Enlightenment , in opposition to tradition and authority .

PSYCHOLOGY

Psychoanalytic theory attributes doubt (which may be interpreted as a symptom of a phobia emanating from the ego ) to childhood , when the ego develops. Childhood experiences, these theories maintain, can plant doubt about one's abilities and even about one's very identity .

Cognitive
Cognitive
mental as well as more spiritual approaches abound in response to the wide variety of potential causes for doubt. Behavioral therapy — in which a person systematically asks his own mind if the doubt has any real basis — uses rational, Socratic methods . This method contrasts to those of say, the Buddhist
Buddhist
faith, which involve a more esoteric approach to doubt and inaction. Buddhism sees doubt as a negative attachment to one's perceived past and future . To let go of the personal history of one's life (affirming this release every day in meditation ) plays a central role in releasing the doubts — developed in and attached to — that history.

Partial or intermittent negative reinforcement can create an effective climate of fear and doubt.

PHILOSOPHY

Descartes employed Cartesian doubt as a pre-eminent methodological tool in his fundamental philosophical investigations. Branches of philosophy like logic devote much effort to distinguish the dubious, the probable and the certain. Much of illogic rests on dubious assumptions, dubious data or dubious conclusions, with rhetoric , whitewashing , and deception playing their accustomed roles.

THEOLOGY

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio
Caravaggio
.

Doubt
Doubt
that god(s) exist may form the basis of agnosticism — the belief that one cannot determine the existence or non-existence of god(s). It may also form other brands of skepticism , such as Pyrrhonism , which do not take a positive stance in regard to the existence of god(s), but remain negative. Alternatively, doubt over the existence of god(s) may lead to acceptance of a particular religion: compare Pascal\'s Wager . Doubt
Doubt
of a specific theology, scriptural or deistic, may bring into question the truth of that theology's set of beliefs. On the other hand, doubt as to some doctrines but acceptance of others may lead to the growth of heresy and/or the splitting off of sects or groups of thought. Thus proto-Protestants doubted papal authority , and substituted alternative methods of governance in their new (but still recognizably similar) churches.

Christianity
Christianity
often debates doubt in the contexts of salvation and eventual redemption in an afterlife . This issue has become particularly important in Protestantism
Protestantism
, which requires only the acceptance of Jesus
Jesus
, though more contemporary versions have arisen within the Protestant churches that resemble Catholicism
Catholicism
. The debate appears less important in most other theologies , religions and ethical traditions . Doubts, by Henrietta Rae , 1886

Doubt
Doubt
as a path towards (deeper) belief lies at the heart of the story of Saint Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle
. Note in this respect the theological views of Georg Hermes :

... the starting-point and chief principle of every science, and hence of theology also, is not only methodical doubt, but positive doubt. One can believe only what one has perceived to be true from reasonable grounds, and consequently one must have the courage to continue doubting until one has found reliable grounds to satisfy the reason.

Christian existentialists such as Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
suggest that for one to truly have belief in God, one would also have to doubt one's beliefs about God; the doubt is the rational part of a person's thought involved in weighing evidence, without which the belief would have no real substance. Belief
Belief
is not a decision based on evidence that, say, certain beliefs about God are true or a certain person is worthy of love. No such evidence could ever be enough to pragmatically justify the kind of total commitment involved in true theological belief or romantic love. Belief
Belief
involves making that commitment anyway. Kierkegaard thought that to have belief is at the same time to have doubt.

LAW

Most criminal cases within an adversarial system require that the prosecution proves its contentions beyond a reasonable doubt — a doctrine also called the "burden of proof ". This means that the State must present propositions which preclude "reasonable doubt" in the mind of a reasonable person as to the guilt of defendant. Some doubt may persist, but only to the extent that it would not affect a "reasonable person's" belief in the defendant's guilt. If the doubt raised does affect a "reasonable person's" belief, the jury is not satisfied beyond a "reasonable doubt". The jurisprudence of the applicable jurisdiction usually defines the precise meaning of words such as "reasonable" and "doubt" for such purposes.

IN ANIMALS

THIS SECTION IS EMPTY. You can help by adding to it . (September 2014)

SEE ALSO

* Doubting Thomas * Fear, uncertainty and doubt * List of ethics topics * Methodic doubt * Philosophical skepticism
Philosophical skepticism
* Question
Question
* Reasonable doubt * Skepticism

NOTES AND REFERENCES

Wikiquote has quotations related to: DOUBT

Look up DOUBT or DUBIOUS in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to DOUBT .

* ^ Sharpe, Alfred. "Doubt". The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton. Retrieved 2008-10-21. A state in which the mind is suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to assent to either of them. * ^ Braiker, Harriet B. (2004). Who's Pulling Your Strings ? How to Break The Cycle of Manipulation. ISBN 0-07-144672-9 . * ^ Schulte, Karl Joseph (1910). "George Hermes". The Catholic Encyclopedia. 7. New York: Robert Appleton. Retrieved 2008-10-21. * ^ Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, ed. by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, v. 1, Princeton University Press, 1992, pp. 21–57 * ^ Soren Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers, trans. Hong and Malantschuk, p.399.

FURTHER READING

* Berger, Peter L. and Zijderveld, Anton (2009). In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions Without Becoming a Fanatic. New York: HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-177816-2 . A book by two eminent sociologists, one American and the other Dutch. * Hecht, Jennifer Michael (2003). Doubt: a history: the great doubters and their legacy of innovation from Socrates and Jesus
Jesus
to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 0-06-009795-7 . This book traces the role of doubt through human history, all over the world, particularly regarding religion. * Hein, David (Winter 2006). "Faith and Doubt
Doubt
in Rose Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond ". Anglican Theological Review 88 (1): 47–68. ISSN 0003-3286.

* v * t * e

Emotions (list )

EMOTIONS

* Adoration
Adoration
* Affection * Agitation * Agony * Amusement
Amusement
* Anger * Anguish * Annoyance
Annoyance
* Anxiety
Anxiety
* Apathy
Apathy
* Arousal
Arousal
* Attraction * Awe
Awe
* Boredom
Boredom
* Calmness * Compassion * Contempt
Contempt
* Contentment
Contentment
* Defeat * Depression * Desire
Desire
* Disappointment * Disgust * Ecstasy * Embarrassment
Embarrassment
* Empathy
Empathy
* Enthrallment * Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm
* Envy
Envy
* Euphoria
Euphoria
* Excitement * Fear
Fear
* Frustration
Frustration
* Gratitude
Gratitude
* Grief
Grief
* Guilt * Happiness
Happiness
* Hatred * Homesickness * Hope
Hope
* Horror * Hostility
Hostility
* Humiliation * Hysteria
Hysteria
* Infatuation * Insecurity * Insult
Insult
* Interest * Irritation * Isolation * Jealousy
Jealousy
* Joy
Joy
* Loneliness
Loneliness
* Longing * Love
Love
* Lust
Lust
* Melancholy * Mono no aware * Neglect * Nostalgia
Nostalgia
* Panic
Panic
* Passion * Pity
Pity
* Pleasure
Pleasure

* Pride
Pride

* hubris

* Rage * Regret * Rejection * Remorse * Resentment * Sadness * Saudade
Saudade
* Schadenfreude * Sehnsucht
Sehnsucht
* Sentimentality * Shame * Shock * Shyness * Sorrow * Spite * Stress * Suffering * Surprise * Sympathy
Sympathy
* Tenseness * Wonder * Worry

WORLD VIEWS

* Cynicism * Defeatism * Nihilism
Nihilism
* Optimism * Pessimism * Reclusion * Weltschmerz

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