The Fourth Doctor on certainty

Leela: Maybe there is a holy purpose. I don’t know what to believe anymore!

The Doctor: Well that sounds healthy, anyway, Leela. Never be certain of anything: it’s a sign of weakness.

from the episode, “The Face of Evil”

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  • jpek

    Sorry, but that’s just nonsense — though cute, and fashionable these days. The Doctor is certain about many things (including apparently that you shouldn’t be certain about anything) and he wouldn’t even survive without that certainty. I do not find that a “hermeneutic of distrust” takes me very far.

    • This was aphoristic, no doubt, of less universal applicability than stated. Indeed, later in the same episode Leela said, “I’m certain,” to which he again responded, “That’s better.” More delicately stated, he could have said in the first instance, “It’s a weakness to feign certainty about things you don’t know yet,” or “Admitting ignorance is a necessary step toward certainty.” But even as stated and quoted in the OP, I think it works. But I can’t be certain about that. 😉

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