Overconfidence of "fools" and belief in God

While looking for something else, I ran across this here:

Although the Dunning–Kruger effect was formulated in 1999, Dunning and Kruger have noted similar observations by philosophers and scientists, including Confucius (“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”),[2] Socrates (“I know that I know nothing”), Bertrand Russell (“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”),[10] and Charles Darwin, whom they quoted in their original paper (“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”).[1]

(What they were talking about is that an unskilled person will overestimate his ability, being ignorant of what real ability is or looks like, while the skilled person, perceiving the task to be easy, will underestimate his relative standing.)

So, how can we ever know that our believing in God, accepting the truth of His existence, is correct, given that maybe our confidence is the result of ignorance?

And does this seem like it could be related to the falling-away of so many people when they go to college?

ETA: But no way am I giving up my faith!!!

Probably I’ll say a banality but, usually, empirical experience is to be trusted. In every situation, when a person tries to do something and that thing goes awfully wrong, the most common reaction is to blame circumstances or external interference.
But most of the time, lack of preparation and / or knowledge is to blame.

I like Pride. It’s my favourite sin, tastes like Jack Daniels. But you know what? If you have to drive, better to stay sober. Because no matter how good does it feel, being high on literal or metaphorical Jack Daniels do not make people immune to a literal or metaphorical car crash.

Falling away is the result of pride-and ignorance-and college-age people, especially when exposed to college intellectualism, are easy targets; they’re already naive but also haven’t yet learned the reality of, let alone the deceitfulness and worthlessness of, pride. That takes harder lessons than college provides. :slight_smile: ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ Wisdom is a treasure, but one of less and less value in this world.

OTOH it cannot be denied that crude and ignorant people are often over-confident. Maybe the key to all knowledge-whether scientific or the knowledge of God-is humility. But pride is the enemy most of all to the knowledge of God; it can still keep one from pursuing any truth beyond the mundane.

Couldn’t it be the exact opposite, at least for people who fall into agnosticism? Where they once had the ignorant confidence that comes with being raised to believe something, their new experiences make them realize that the world is a more complicated place. They therefore realize how little basis their confidence had and fall into agnosticism.

Yes, they do come to realize the world is a more complicated place, but I’m not so sure a college education does not make it unnecessarily complicated. Young people have to learn to deal with complications, and that only done partly in college. The complications and doubts about religion that arise as a result of a college education are often resolved later in life when, with the help of life experience, we begin to see through the unnecessary complications of book learning and discover a renewed conviction of our childhood faith.

There is an excellent book on the subject by Rev. Thomas Dubay:

Faith and Certitude: Can we be sure of the things that matter most to us?**, 1985

This is one of those posts I can compare only to a flower–concise and so complete that one can only admire :slight_smile:

In the simplicity of the Christian message, available to all, we find the Light that makes it all clear.

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