The dangers of certainty: A Lesson from Auschwitz

The infamous Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi Germany with its slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei', which means "Work Makes You Free".

The infamous Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi Germany with its slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’, which means “Work Makes You Free”.

Philosophy is one of the essential dimensions of human life, and therefore a key pillar of GP. Now before you heave a collective groan, let me clarify that there are different kinds of philosophy. There is the down-to-earth kind that guides our everyday lives (for example the philosophy of simplicity, or of tough love). And then there is the super-abstruse kind that is so abstract that there seems absolutely no way to apply it to our everyday lives (such as George Berkeley’s Idealist Theory of Knowledge).

This deeply thought-provoking article by Simon Critchley lies somewhere in between. At its heart lies the question: can we ever be certain of anything? Is there such a thing as absolute knowledge? It also expounds on how 20th century science, such as Einstein’s revolutionary Theory of Relativity, proved that knowledge can never be absolute.

If all knowledge is relative, what then of morality? Is morality only relative? Is there no such thing as absolute right and wrong?

Worthy of note, however, is the point that not everything is relative in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Time and space may be relative to the observer’s velocity, but the speed of light is always constant.

Perhaps therein lies a clue to the deepest Truths of our universe.


For enquiries on GP tuition by the blogger, a First Class Honours grad from NUS, please call/text 98392152 or click ‘About the Tutor/Testimonials’ above. O-level English tuition also available. All lessons on a one-to-one or two-to-one basis.

I also offer Personal Statement writing/ editing services for university/ scholarship applications.

For GP model essays, click here.


About gptuitionsg

A dedicated English and GP tutor with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Steven Ooi retired from the profession after a 14-year career during which he was one of the most sought-after private tutors in Singapore. He is the recipient of the Minerva Prize from NUS, which is awarded to the top English Language honours student of each cohort. This website, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 on Google and has received over 530,000 hits, has now been converted into a GP resource site cum listing of recommended tutors. If you are a GP or English tutor who wishes to be listed here, please email Steven Ooi at stevenooi18 @ (remove the spaces). Interested parties will be assessed and interviewed by him, and qualifications will be checked. These procedures are necessary to uphold quality standards. DISCLAIMER: While every reasonable effort has been made to assess the competence and verify the qualifications of recommended tutors here, no guarantees are made and you engage them at your own risk. By using this website, you agree that you will not hold the webmaster Steven Ooi responsible for any consequences — direct or otherwise — that occur in relation with your use of this website.
This entry was posted in Recommended Articles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Your comments are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s