Consistent With The Hypothesis Of

Posted in Philosophy, Quickies on  | 2 minutes | 19 Comments →

Though occasional use is inevitable, I generally try to avoid the words proof and disproof, especially in discussions of epistemology and empiricism. I don’t know how many of you have met him yet, but Peter Hurford is a new commenter around here with a blog of his own, and from what I’ve seen so far, I would highly recommend dialoging with him on behalf of his aptitude and courtesy. He also asks good questions, the kind that get you thinking, as opposed to, say, the kind that piss you off. Recently on another blog, Peter made a remark that I felt compelled to reply to, and I wanted to repost a slight modification of that short reply here, just to see what people here might think of it.

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3 Questions From Leah

Posted in Faith, Quickies, Responses on  | 2 minutes | 25 Comments →

I recently discovered a blog called Unequally Yoked, maintained by Leah, a Yale student. In her post Your Faith Is Vain; Ye Are Yet In Your Sins, Leah invites believers to answer a few questions regarding their faith. Here are my initial offerings:

1. What earthly evidence could cause you to reject your faith (if any)?

I was just thinking about this [yet again] the other day, and while I'm hesitant to say any of the following would cause me to reject my faith, each would certainly cause me to have stronger doubts:

1.1 If recorded history could be reliably proven to extend back hundreds of thousands of years, as opposed to 6,000;

1.2 If scientists could prove that the universe always existed;

1.3 If there were no such thing as entropy;

1.4 If we had an absence of spiritual accounts instead of a consistent abundance of them spanning across multiple cultures in all times;

1.5 If the Jewish race had been exterminated or otherwise died off;

1.6 If humans lived to be significantly older than 120 years without the aid of science.

2. Have you researched these possible disproofs yourself/read the work of scholars in the field?

You bet.

3. Does your faith make any empirical predictions about the earthly world? What are they?

I believe the Bible makes quite a few empirical statements about the future of the earthly world. Here are a few off the top of my head:

3.1 The writer of Hebrews states that the cosmos will "wear out like a garment." That's certainly an empirical statement, in fact, one that seems empirically verified [hence my 3 above];

3.2 The Bible states that the Jewish race would be extant up until the final hour;

3.3 In Revelation, John of Patmos describes a state of affairs where nobody will be able to buy or sell goods without the "mark of the beast."