I think there are certain topics where uncertainty is really not tolerated very well. This often seems to come up when the sides of an argument are very polarized. Global Warming Believers vs. Global Warming Deniers, Democrats vs. Republicans, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, Gun-control vs. Gun-rights, Darwinism vs. Creationism, Seahawks fans vs. Broncos fans (at least before the big game)... On many of these issues I believe people choose their side on the basis of culture, not the facts. Yet people will cling to their position, whichever it is, with a blind faith that is not the result of careful thinking.
Don't get me wrong, I consider myself to be a person of faith. Faith defines who I am and I think on some topics there is no alternative but to take a position based on faith. Sometimes we cannot embrace life itself without faith in someone or something. If one does take a position based on faith, then that should be stated openly and it should not be overused. I think many people take positions on many topics without any attempt to employ reason.
I am also not saying that an extreme position on any polarizing argument is wrong. When I look at the list of arguments above, I actually do fall much closer to one polarized end of nearly all of the arguments. But I think such a position needs to be taken for the right reasons, and hopefully because one is interested in the truth or, at least, an honest appraisal based on what can be known.
Politics provide a great example. Too many people vote in elections the way they pick a sports team, instead of really understanding the platform of the candidate or party. Is it because their culture demands it? Is it because their education did not provide them with the ability to think critically? Is it because their need for instant gratification or entertainment has robbed them of the ability to wrestle with a question for more than five minutes?
There are big, serious questions out there. These questions are deserving of long study, of deep conversation, and the reservation of judgment. As an educator, I want students to realize that it is OK to have questions and leave them unanswered for a time, maybe a long time, maybe a lifetime. It is also important to realize that when others are polarized in their answers, that's the time to be most careful in choosing a position that we understand and can defend. Sometimes faith is necessary so we are not caught in a stalemate of not knowing, but faith should not be our universal problem solving approach. I think it is OK to admit what we do not know and then look for others who want to have an honest conversation.