Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When you hit reality

"Where do we come from?" and "What is real?" are two of the most puzzling and debated questions in the history of philosophical thought.  Today, the philosopher does not have the the microphone as in the past.  Today, it is the scientific community that has been given the reigns of authority when truth is in question.  In the past, the Christian community had some authority, but a paradigm shift occurred with Darwin's publication of the "Origin of Species" in 1859.

What does the scientific community have to make it the supposed bearer of truth?  With the medical advancements and the continued progress of science, it is easy to see why many would turn to science for answers.  But, what about the big questions of life, does science have absolute authority to answer?

One of the primary driving forces of science is the idea of empiricism.  Empiricism deals with sense experience.  In other words, all knowledge is driven by sense experience alone.  This makes the natural world the only world by which knowledge can be achieved.  Supernatural, therefore, is confined to superstition and fairy tale status.

If science is indeed king, then it follows that science should answer all, or at least point us to the truth of what is real.  Does the scientific method or science in general meet the criteria for answering all truth claims?  No, for the statement itself is not able to be tested in the lab, by the scientific method, or by any scientific means.  There are many instances where the field of science can do nothing but make subjective statements, because the answers to the questions fall outside the scientific community.  For example, the laws of logic, a human's first person awareness, the moral law, and mathematical entities all lie outside of scientific explanation.

Today, unfortunately, the culture has caved in to the idea that science is the purveyor of truth.  Before giving science the scepter of truth, shouldn't we first confirm if science matches with truth?  Truth is what happens when you hit reality, because truth corresponds with reality.  Science can in no way hit all reality to justify that it is the sole possessor of truth.  Many have opinions about science, but opinions don't count unless they match with truth.   Truth is objective and knowable.

When looking at the big questions of life, maybe we should be cautious and consider all the evidence, even if the evidence falls outside the realm of science.  Maybe we should be open-minded and follow the evidence without pre-conceived ideas.  When we do so, we are able to see more clearly the answers to the big questions of life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The third and most important question isn't even addressed by science. Why? Why is there a me? And why do I even exist? To simply say that I am here because of a chemical reaction between molecules only answers perhaps, how I came to exist. It gives me no comfort and no satisfaction in life. I for one need a why.