Empirical Evidence used in real life

As many of your know I believe that the only way to prove if something is real is with empirical evidence. I think that we cannot determine of God is real based on non-empirical evidence like feelings of joy in church, eyewitness testimony of encounters with Jesus, or references to 2,000+ year old texts that we cannot validate.

I also think that if you get used to believing God is real without empirical evidence that it may spill over into other parts of life. Here is an example.

I am not trying to spin up anything political - that has no place here and I know it. However, I think what is happening now is the perfect analog to what I have been saying: you need empirical evidence to back you claims.

Example: In the US election several people have made a claim that there was wide spread voting fraud. And what is the first thing the American people and the courts asked for? Empirical evidence to back up that claim. We basically said what I have said on these boards for years - if you claim there was election fraud then you need to provide empirical evidence or we do not believe you.

This is common sense and it is how the world, and the justice system, works.

Yet we see people that seem to think there is no need for such evidence. They think that eyewitness testimony of a few people is enough proof to conclude that fraud happened. Or they think that non-empirical evidence like vague references to voting machines stories of dead people voting are evidence.

As we have seen in the courts these people are very, very wrong. You need real, testable, empirical evidence to back your claim.

If you claim there was fraud you need to prove it with empirical evidence. If you say Jesus rose from the dead you need empirical evidence to prove it. If you say a politician is corrupt you need empirical evidence. If you say God parted the Red Sea you need empirical evidence.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping that this helps some of you understand why I harp on this so much. Empirical evidence is the universal bedrock fro truth in our courts, in science, in business, in legal documents, in checking your kids homework, in proving anything is real.

:)
 
From this standard, you also cannot prove the claim that Biden received the votes to be elected. And yes, let's leave the politics out :)
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
As many of your know I believe that the only way to prove if something is real is with empirical evidence. I think that we cannot determine of God is real based on non-empirical evidence like feelings of joy in church, eyewitness testimony of encounters with Jesus, or references to 2,000+ year old texts that we cannot validate.
I apologize for the diversion, but I'd like to raise (what I think is) an important point:

When you talk about "proof", what you mean is "proof that someone other than you will be persuaded by". The distinction is important because I prove things to myself all the time, based mostly on subjective evidence.

Even worse: all empirical evidence can only be experienced subjectively.

---

I know this muddies the waters quite a bit, and I apologize. It's just that proof and belief and justification are a VERY complex stew; it's a mistake to point to empiricism as the last word on the best method for discovering/absorbing valid/useful information. Empiricism is certainly an important concept, and one many people instinctively agree with, but nonetheless it's not the sole method by which we individuals uptake knowledge.
 
I apologize for the diversion, but I'd like to raise (what I think is) an important point:

When you talk about "proof", what you mean is "proof that someone other than you will be persuaded by". The distinction is important because I prove things to myself all the time, based mostly on subjective evidence.

Even worse: all empirical evidence can only be experienced subjectively.

---

I know this muddies the waters quite a bit, and I apologize. It's just that proof and belief and justification are a VERY complex stew; it's a mistake to point to empiricism as the last word on the best method for discovering/absorbing valid/useful information. Empiricism is certainly an important concept, and one many people instinctively agree with, but nonetheless it's not the sole method by which we individuals uptake knowledge.
You make a great point. However, I disagree that all empirical evidence is experienced subjectively. If NASA measures the diameter of the moon with a laser and get a result of 2,158.8 miles and then a Japanese lab does the same thing and gets 2,158.8 miles and the Russian Space Agency gets 2,158.8 miles then that is about as objective as it gets.

We experience evidence through our sense which are subjective. But when we compare our subjective input to each other and we all get the same result then that is what objective is.

In the end we could all be in a hologram - you are right about that. But for practical purposes empirical evidence is experienced as objectively as possible in this universe.

Its a cool thing to think about though. Man I hope this is a hologram :)
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
You make a great point. However, I disagree that all empirical evidence is experienced subjectively. If NASA measures the diameter of the moon with a laser and get a result of 2,158.8 miles and then a Japanese lab does the same thing and gets 2,158.8 miles and the Russian Space Agency gets 2,158.8 miles then that is about as objective as it gets. [...]
Both groups experienced the value subjectively.

Sure, there are obviously ways in which the subjectivity of our experiences can be minimized. This is one of the things science excels at. Nonetheless, subjectivity can NOT be removed from the equation, and that simple fact becomes important when discussing things like "evidence".

The empirical evidence you're talking about and advocating in this thread is simply evidence that gives individuals the chance to experience subjectively, and all come to (relatively) the same conclusions about. The world would be a better place if more GROUPS of people would value the stuff. And yet on the level of the individual, survival wouldn't be possible if all we did was rely on empirical evidence.

By the time empirical evidence tells you fire is hot, you're burnt. By the time empirical evidence tells you too much water causes drowning, several people have drowned. By the time empirical evidence tells you that you need food to survive, you've starved to death. In all situations like this, your first (and best) instinct is to rely upon subjective experience.

It's an important point, and I say this not because it's the argument I'm making. I say it because it's true.

Take a look at politics in the US today. The "alternative facts" people are those for whom objective truths are discovered by subjective thoughts/feelings; not empirical evidence. You might argue that they will reject the latter in favor of the former. WHY they do this is debatable, but there's solid precedent for what they're doing, and we need to recognize it.

IMHO, of course.
 

Furion

Active member
As many of your know I believe that the only way to prove if something is real is with empirical evidence. I think that we cannot determine of God is real based on non-empirical evidence like feelings of joy in church, eyewitness testimony of encounters with Jesus, or references to 2,000+ year old texts that we cannot validate.

I also think that if you get used to believing God is real without empirical evidence that it may spill over into other parts of life. Here is an example.

I am not trying to spin up anything political - that has no place here and I know it. However, I think what is happening now is the perfect analog to what I have been saying: you need empirical evidence to back you claims.

Example: In the US election several people have made a claim that there was wide spread voting fraud. And what is the first thing the American people and the courts asked for? Empirical evidence to back up that claim. We basically said what I have said on these boards for years - if you claim there was election fraud then you need to provide empirical evidence or we do not believe you.

This is common sense and it is how the world, and the justice system, works.

Yet we see people that seem to think there is no need for such evidence. They think that eyewitness testimony of a few people is enough proof to conclude that fraud happened. Or they think that non-empirical evidence like vague references to voting machines stories of dead people voting are evidence.

As we have seen in the courts these people are very, very wrong. You need real, testable, empirical evidence to back your claim.

If you claim there was fraud you need to prove it with empirical evidence. If you say Jesus rose from the dead you need empirical evidence to prove it. If you say a politician is corrupt you need empirical evidence. If you say God parted the Red Sea you need empirical evidence.

Anyhoo, I'm hoping that this helps some of you understand why I harp on this so much. Empirical evidence is the universal bedrock fro truth in our courts, in science, in business, in legal documents, in checking your kids homework, in proving anything is real.

:)

Lack of evidence is sometimes just another way to say intellectually lazy.

And really, your harp is not that complicated.
 
The one you expressed in your previous reply to me.
That I believe the only way to prove something is real is with empirical evidence? We've done this. I believe this due to the historic and continued reliability of empirical evidence to produce results. When we use empirical evidence we build rockets that fly, medicines that cure, computers that computer, and put rovers on Mars.

Non-empirical evidence like emotions, feelings, eyewitness testimony, etc. simply do not provide the same level of results. DNA evidence is superior to eyewitness testimony in court. We use double blind techniques in drug trials to eliminate non-empirical evidence like bias and personal experience of the researchers.

In every aspect of life we acknowledge, through our actions, laws, and behaviors, that empirical evidence is the way to find out what is real.

Therefore I think it is the best way to prove reality. And I think this all supports that claim.

My evidence is everything invented or understood by man ever in the history of mankind. Ever. Bridges, buildings, plate tectonics, the atmosphere of Jupiter, gravity, xylem and phloem, refrigeration, the rings of Saturn, the internet, electric blankets, hospitals - literally everything in we know about in our reality is built upon empirical evidence.

Do you have any examples of reality that was uncovered by non-empirical means? I'd love to see that list - because, ironically, we'd have to verify it with...empirical evidence.

;)
 
Yep: Love.
Love is a subjective, human concept. You are quite right that you cannot use empirical evidence on concepts like love or boredom or justice. Those are all subjective.

However, you and I are talking about things that can be objectively proven to exist in reality.

Some examples are Jesus walking on water, Jesus rising from the dead, the parting of the Red Sea, hospitals, bridges, rockets, the moon, oceans, and computers.

Do you have any examples of things in reality that were objectively proven by non-empirical evidence?
 
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