Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Respond to an atheist


Science can be defined as the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of material based on observation, experiment, and measurement. The belief that experimentation and observation can become the basis of ones belief and viewpoint in life is however a total misapplication of the scientific method. This article will endeavour to show how empiricism as a scientific method has replaced Christianity and has become a new religion in itself.

Contemporary and Classical knowledge in the West has been based on the Empirical School of Thought, which has David Hume and John Stewart Mill as famous advocates, who assert that knowledge is purely the result of sense perception, that is to say that we learn as a direct result of sensing the environment around us. That the reality that we sense ultimately assumes the position of truth. For example, water, by observation, boils at 100 degrees centigrade hence this becomes a fact. Objects when released fall to the ground when released under the earths gravitational pull, hence another fact is established and so on. The problem occurs when phenomena or propositions that are not attributable to sense perception exist or occur, here the Empirical theorists have difficulty accepting it. For example an orphan raised apart from his parents cannot be sure that he had parents for their existence to be a fact for him, he must have sensed them. Similarly the empiricist cannot make a generalisation based on specific observation. For instance he cannot say that all human beings will die unless he perceives each and every human being die. Nor can he say that all objects when released will fall to the ground unless he performs experiments on all objects to observe if they are subservient to the laws of gravity. Neither can one say that on any future day that the sun will rise in the East and set in the West since it has not been perceived yet. So the Empiricist cannot establish any absolute truths because he cannot observe each and every subject so as to conclude general laws about it.

The dangers of this type of thought is that since it was adopted by the West as ideas and concepts that are not perceived, they cannot be concluded as fact. How then can evolution be presented when the missing link between the ape and human doesn't exist, or how can the big bang be established in which it is said that matter originated from nothing, again something which is not perceivable. Additionally in the issue of the concepts beyond the physical world, such as God, Heaven and Hell and the like, the empiricist has great difficulty in accepting the existence of such ideas since he has not and cannot perceive them. Here the essential contradiction becomes apparent. On the one hand ideas like God are rejected while on the other hand ideas such as the big bang and evolution are accepted and propagated.

So it is apparent from the above that the basis upon which knowledge is built, is inadmissible to formulate all concepts and ideas about life and society, and an alternative basis to knowledge is required. The alternative is the rational method of thinking.

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