Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesus and Empiricism

Today my pastor was preaching from John 8:12-20, and I thought it relevant to the current series.

It begins:
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' The Pharisees challenged him, 'Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.' Jesus answered, 'Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going...'"
Now this is interesting. First we have Jesus comparing Himself to light.

The religious authorities reply that the Law requires the testimony of two witnesses for any account to be considered true.

Jesus replies that His testimony is true in and of itself.

How does this relate to empiricism?

The empiricist desires confirmation of results ("the testimony of two (or more) witnesses").

But that is for explanations (theories). No empiricist would deny the existence of light, he simply measures it.

Jesus is saying the same thing - "Here I am, measure me."

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