Passion & Uncertainty

 Pearls From Pirsig

When is the last time you heard someone argue passionately about if the sun was going to rise? Or if gravity exists?

Probably never.

Now when is the last time you came across a passionate argument about diet? Or religion? Or politics? Or a sports team?

Yesterday for me. A couple times.

What’s the difference?


We only argue about things that are uncertain. The more uncertain a subject the more passionate the arguments often get. No one argues for the sun not setting or gravity being false because we are pretty certain of their status. On the flip side, people lose their minds arguing over things like nutrition and diet because we have almost no certainty in that realm.

Just remember that when you come across someone arguing feverishly that they know the answer to something as ambiguous as what’s the best diet.

Passion = Uncertainty

Or put another way, people may be certain of a truth for them but that doesn’t mean it’s a universal truth.

Passion = Personal Certainty on Universal Uncertain Subjects 

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. This is similar to the blind men and the elephant we discussed before.

P.P.S. This is continuing a sub series on Pearls from Pirsig, a.k.a what I takeaway from reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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