Re: [asa] The empirical basis of knowledge

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Mon Mar 19 2007 - 18:42:03 EDT

Glenn Morton wrote:
> Person A loves person B. You can't see the 'love'.
> Answer, Not so, I only know it is true by seeing the things that A DOES for
> B. A cooks the dinner, cleans up the dishes, and cleans the house for B.
> If A said, "B, I love you" but did nothing, B would not feel, much less know
> of the love. It is like a person who says Go, be filled be warmed, but does
> not give the person food and clothing. I know of their care because I SEE
> them giving food and clothing.

Glenn in the case above I think, in general, their has to be
communication of love as well as the actions you describe. The actions
while necessary do not seem sufficient to infer love. You probably
can/will argue that verbal or written communication etc is empirical.

I think that all knowledge involves a step into the unknown and
sometimes the step can be a fairly long leap. However, I find that
people who talk about a leap in spite of the evidence or even against
the evidence have little credibility, at least with me.

In some sense all of God's dealing with us finite beings involves some
amount of accommodation. However, historical accommodation seems to be
the issue that has been concerning us recently on this list.

Quite a while back you asked what leads one to accept historical
accommodation in the first n chapters of Genesis. I have thought about
this a lot and have an answer that satisfies at least me, although I
suspect that some on this list with more expertise in these areas will
find it wanting, my training is as an engineer and mathematician not
philosophy or world view studies. I hope to write a note to the list
trying to state my thoughts but not tonight. Since, to my sorrow and
loss you are leaving this list tomorrow I will try to remember to send
you a copy off list.

Now to try to answer your question:

I know that my redeemer liveth. (at least I am willing to stake my life
on it.)

-Biblical evidence is necessary but not sufficient in terms that it is
generally historically accurate, although many things are hard to show
much evidence for. To my mind there are two big miracles in the Bible
and that once one accepts those, that things like floating axe heads are
noise. In many cases the authors of scripture describe what appeared to
happen to them and do not provide a scientifically valid description.
To me the accuracy of the history is of more importance than the
accuracy of their interpretation of what they say. The two big miracles are:
"In the beginning God"
The resurrection of Christ.

-The message in the Bible seems true in terms of the human condition (C
S Lewis' argument...)

-I believe that I have seen God acting in my life and in the life of others.

-There is also the witness of the spirit.

Some of the evidence is empirical, some that the world view makes sense
(empirical??) and some is none empirical or that is how I would see the
witness... of the spirit.

Have to run to a meeting now.

Dave W

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Received on Mon Mar 19 18:42:37 2007

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