Empirical Evidence

Empirical Evidence

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7a46943eeecf204d1b07c0bddff32b0cB: Most, if not all, of spiritual evidence of truth is rejected because it’s not thought to be “scientific.”  And based on the respective commonly-understood notions of spirituality and science, this is true, since the only evidence that is generally accepted as being scientific is what can be observed through the five senses, logical reasoning, etc. – i.e., “empirical evidence” – with which spirituality has supposedly nothing to do.  I’m not sure who came up with this definition; it was perhaps centuries ago, probably seemed like a good idea at the time – anyway, the scientific community has long since adopted this so-called empirical evidence as the only way to discern truth.  Perhaps I’m generalizing too much, but there certainly are plenty within and without the scientific community who believe this to be true.

This seems to me to be an audacious presumption – how can we assume to know that these are necessarily the only ways to determine truth?  Are we so sure of our knowledge of the universe, and so untrusting of other claims, that we declare so absolutely that there is no other way to ascertain knowledge, including (and perhaps especially) spiritual means?

We have used the Scientific Method successfully to understand more about a great deal of things – the nature of the Universe around us and an endless list of inventions to help improve the quality of life just to name some.  Generally it has been used to study things that are equal to or less than ourselves in intellectual capacity.  But why should we think that we could necessarily use it to successfully understand a Being Who is above us, such as God is purported to be?  Is it implausible to think that a Superior Being would be able to elude detection by our traditional methods – yea, even by the Scientific Method – if He wanted to?  But why would He want to?  Perhaps He wants us to find Him in a different way, namely, through spiritual means.

I claim that I not only believe, but know that there is a God, and I could tell anyone how I know.  Perhaps a skeptic would think my “evidence” is imagined, or wouldn’t believe me, or wouldn’t understand my explanation, but it is true nonetheless.  It can be determined by a kind of experiment.  But this isn’t something one could do in front of an enormous audience, on television.  And nor can it be planned terribly well.  A reason for this is that, since it’s done through spiritual means, one has to be humble.  Sure, it isn’t your typical scientific experiment.  But you have to remember that we’re talking about the study of a Superior Being, not the inferior ones scientists are used to.

A: So what’s the experiment?

B: Huh, what?  The experiment?  Oh, yes.  Quite.  We’ll talk about it later.  Right now, let me delve a bit into some somewhat higher math.  Sometimes it’s useful to think of things as belonging to a certain set, or “space,” where all of its elements satisfy some criteria, or laws.  Within this space there may be a collection of elements that satisfy further laws, and – left alone – may be considered a space of its own, i.e., a “subspace.”  So all the members of this subspace not only obey the laws of the bigger space, but the laws of the specific subspace (ha! – try saying that ten times fast) as well.

A: Specific subspace.  Specific spubspace.  Spesifis subspace.  Spec—

B (sighing, rolling his eyes): Buddy…LATER.  Pay attention.  What I was trying to get at was that the universe with which we are familiar may very well be a subspace of a larger one.

A: How in the world would we be able to find that out?!

B: We may not need to.  The reason I bring it up is because it offers the possibility, for example, of the temporary nature of physical laws.

Heretofore, scientists have always assumed that certain things about the universe are constant.  And they have no scientific reason not to – if they had, they would have adjusted things long since.  All the same, it’s a huge assumption to make.  After all, can anyone refute the idea that ours is a “subuniverse” of a greater universe, and it’s that greater universe that has all the actual eternal laws, and this subuniverse in which we live has laws (say, of science) that exist for a certain time only?

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