Challenge Response: “Truth is Empirical”

Posted: October 28, 2010 by Brett Kunkle in Truth Matters, Weekly Challenge

Here’s my response to this week’s challenge:

  1. Samuel says:

    Testing the ‘truth bearer’ against reality is the definition of empirical observation. If a ‘truth bearer’ can’t be verified by testing it against reality via some empirical means (mathematics, logic, etc.) then it simply can’t be called a truth. ‘God exists’ can never be considered a true statement by employing the means you just described… lol.

  2. Brett Kunkle says:

    Let me see if I have this straight: Empirical = testing the “truth bearer” against reality? First, I don’t know anyone in the history of thought who defines “empirical” this way. With this definition, you’re simply begging the question. Empiricism is the view that knowledge comes to us only by way of the senses. Of course, empiricism is self-refuting and fails as a theory of knowledge.

    Second, if you think “truth bearers” exist, what are they? Propositions? If propositions exist, how do you know this empirically? A proposition itself is not sensed by the five senses. So if you want to grant propositions, you’ve again demonstrated that empiricism is false.

    Third, logic is not an empirical mean. Logic has to do with the principles of reasoning, which is very different than empiricism. We certainly combine logic with our empirical observations, but they are not the same. Take the law of non-contradiction. Can you come to know that law empirically? Of course not. If you grant the laws of logic, we have another reason to reject empiricism.

  3. Samuel says:

    Oh that’s good… just censor me… that only bolsters your guilty demeanor.

    • Amy Hall says:

      Samuel, the blog automatically filters out comments that use expletives. I see checking back through our spam that that’s what happened to your comment.

      We’re perfectly happy to debate people with opposing ideas–in fact, we encourage it. But since everyone here is a guest in our “home,” we don’t allow commenters to treat the others here with contempt–either bloggers or other commenters. That includes condescension, insults, etc. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have debate without resorting to this.

      I guarantee you that if any of your comments don’t show up or are removed, it will be because of rudeness, not because of ideas. If you’re able to engage people here without the rudeness, we welcome your contribution. But if it becomes clear that you’re going to be persistent in not following our request, then you won’t be allowed back at all.