Re: [asa] The empirical basis of knowledge

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Mar 20 2007 - 08:13:38 EDT

*You said what basis was there for becoming a christian. That isn't the same
as saying I KNOW it is right. One believes it is right--that is why it is
called faith.*

Very fair point. OTOH, you didn't really KNOW that those Christians were
happy, either. The best you could really say is that it *seemed to
you*that they were happy, since happiness is the interior state of an
"other" to
which you don't have access. Lots of people seem to be happy but really
aren't -- even lots of Christians. So you're still back to some
non-empirical foundational assumptions that, in this instance, supported
your belief that the happiness you seemed to be observing in these
Christians in some way really reflected their interior states.

On 3/20/07, Glenn Morton <> wrote:
> Iain wrote:
> >>Yes and I've read books on the evidence for the resurrection, and I've
> read atheist websites dissing the whole concept as a myth. At the end of
> the day you have to decide which one you're going to believe, and that
> belief is based on conviction and the work of the Holy Spirit, and not on
> empirical evidence alone, although it's true that empirical observations may
> incline one towards belief. <<<
> So have I read both sides, and that is why I tend to look for verification
> elsewhere than at the resurrection. And then I get criticized for doing so
> upon this list and told how I should rest it all at the cross, which as you
> note, one can read both sides of the issue. Maybe some others should read
> those atheist sites to see how epistemologically insecure their belief is.
> And to address the issue of this thread, one must distinguish what you
> asked from 'knowing'. You said what basis was there for becoming a
> christian. That isn't the same as saying I KNOW it is right. One believes it
> is right--that is why it is called faith.
> glenn
> They're Here: The Pathway Papers
> Foundation, Fall, and Flood
> Adam, Apes and Anthropology
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Iain Strachan []
> *Sent:* Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:01 AM
> *To:* Glenn Morton
> *Cc:*
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] The empirical basis of knowledge
> On 3/20/07, Glenn Morton <> wrote:
> >
> > For Iain, Merv, David Siemans, David W.
> >
> > Iain Strachan wrote:
> >
> > >>>What empirical basis is there in the decision to become a Christian?
> > At the end of the day, one may see evidence that pulls you in that
> > direction, but the crucial deciding factor was (I always understood)
> > conviction by the Holy Spirit. How do you measure that empirically? How do
> > you measure a "leap of faith" empirically? <<<
> >
> > In my personal case, it was empirically obvious that the Christians were
> > happy, I wasn't and I wanted what they had.
> >
> Yes, but that doesn't answer the question. Yes, it's empirically obvious
> that Christians are happy, but that observation doesn't lead logically to
> the KNOWLEDGE that Christianity is true. People can be happy because of a
> self-delusion. In the end you had to make a step of faith (as did I)
> because you believed that the reason they were happy was because
> Christianity was true - that the difference it made in their lives wasn't
> just a placebo effect.
> Some will say that the empirical data for the resurrection is good enough
> for them, for indeed, with out that empirical claim of a risen Lord,
> Christianity would have been still borne.
> Iain

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Received on Tue Mar 20 08:14:57 2007

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