I just read a Twitter profile that declares: “I believe doubt is a virtue that can lead to humility and certainty can lead to arrogance.” It’s the profile of Pinecreek Doug who just interviewed me.
And I’d say, sure, just so long as we recognize that doubt can also lead to arrogance and certainty to humility.
For example, doubting that anybody knows more than me is a straight path to arrogance. And being certain that I don’t know everything is a straight path to humility.
The lesson is that doubt and certainty are not absolute values. Rather, their value and virtue (or disvalue and vice) are contingent upon the context in which our beliefs are formed and the substantive content of that of which we are doubtful and certain.
So when Doug’s profile also says “Doubt is a virtue,” he’s incorrect. Doubt simpliciter is not a virtue. The virtue, rather, is in the ability to regulate one’s belief with the proper proportion between doubt and credulity or disbelief and certainty.