Re: Empiricism

John W Burgeson (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 15:49:12 -0600

Massimo -- you wrote:

" you have at one
point to take the "rationalist leap". So what? That leap is very very
small... compared to the
ir-rational one which makes you assume the existence of supernatural
entities and phenomena of which you have absolutely no knowledge or
tangible experience."

Massimo -- believe it or not, I completely understand your point here.
Not only that -- I probably agree absolutely with it.

Where then, do I come off being a Christian?

1. I do have knowledge (and experience) of God. I know you don't believe
me on this, and that is OK, your walk has not been mine nor mine yours.
2. On the basis of this knowledge and experience, I must change your
"ir-rational" above to "a-rational." It's that simple. And that
mystifying, I know, to someone outside the faith.
3. On the basis of that knowledge and experience, actually, now,
experiences, many, I have concluded for me NOT to be a Christian would be
absurd. Sometimes I try to place myself in that mindset; I cannot; it is
much like pretending, for the moment, I am not who I am.

You conclude with two points:
1- empirical investigations are the best ways of finding out about the
world (and they *work*)

2- supernaturalism and mysticism make unfounded assumptions (and,
especially, *don't* work).
On point #1, empirical investigations are the best ways ONLY in a limited
number of situations. I suggest that your courtship of the lovely Melissa
was hardly conducted that way.

On point #2, the assumptions are, of course, not unfounded, although they
are, of course, different than those you and I make about scientific
matters. Do they "work?" Oh yes, my friend, they certainly do. That does
not make them "true," of course, but it does give those of us who have
encountered the living Christ tangible reasons for continuing in what you
see as our mad folly! < G >



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