"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tough Questions #3

Is empirical evidence the only reliable evidence?

First, what is empirical evidence?

Empirical evidence is that which is directly observable. If you were in a courtroom, it would be the highest level of evidence, such as footprints at the scene of the crime, or better yet, video at the scene of the crime.

Unfortunately, such evidence does not always exist. So in order for a jury to come to an informed decision, other types of evidence is given. To say that belief in God is unjustified because of a lack of empirical evidence is like saying a criminal should go free unless there is video evidence or other such proof positive.

In a courtroom, each juror is expected to determine guilt or innocence based on the "facts" presented. People on juries don't always agree. But I expect that in most cases, one side or the other is right. I am a bit put off when people say that evidence for God is "insufficient." Perhaps if one only considers empirical evidence, but not if one considers all evidence. I understand that not everyone might agree with each person's choice, but that does not mean that the evidence is insufficient.

Science is constantly changing its position based on changing evidence. So science must admit that even a decision based on empirical evidence cannot be completely trusted, as new, previously unknown facts become available. Yet science shudders when it is said that it takes things on faith.

I love science. I think we have gained a wealth of helpful knowledge from science. I just don't think that science is the only answer, or the only way to an answer.

By the way, has science ever figured out what makes a bumble bee fly? I was just wondering...


Kansas Bob said...

I think that empiricism appeals to our minds. Even so I think that there is something greater that appeals to our hearts. I think of it this way - anyone can believe in gravity but it takes a greater belief to believe in things less tangible.

Spherical said...

I agree, and that greater belief begins with humility. Merry Christmas Bob!