Are Christians Biased In Their Reasoning?
The Objectivity of Science
How many times have you been told that, as a Christian, you were way too opinionated and biased? How many times have people discounted what you have offered because they believed that you were offering it from a position of ‘opinion’ rather than ‘objective truth’? The world around us would like to segregate all truths into two separate boxes:
Objective Facts That Can Be Verified By Science
These are the truths that everyone agrees on. They are public properties and are highly verifiable. Math facts, the laws of nature, and issues that can be confirmed empirically typically fall into this category. Science is king here; people are willing to accept many things as objectively ‘true’ if they can be confirmed by ‘science’, which is seen as an unbiased objective barometer of truth
Personal Beliefs That Are Held By Individuals
These are the privately held opinions of individuals that may be ‘true for you” but not necessarily ‘true for me’. In the simplest sense, personal preferences are located here (like your favorite ice cream flavor). But religious truth has also been relegated into this box by our culture. Like other personal preferences, the culture sees no need for empirical or objective verification of these kinds of beliefs, in fact, most people would resist any attempt you or I might make to try to argue that our religious beliefs are ‘objectively true’. They are simply personal preferences held by individuals with a bias toward their own personal taste.
If the secular world is correct about the segregated nature of truth, then you and I should STOP trying to convince people of spiritual truth claims. After all, according to this view of truth, our religious views are biased personal opinions. According to this view, science is the only objective path to truth.
All Science Is Not the Same
But when you take a close look at what science can do (and can’t do) you just may come to a different conclusion about the objective ability that science has to look at life’s biggest questions: “How did we get here?” and “Where did we come from?” Let’s begin by examining the nature of science. All of us have taken science in school, so we are familiar with some of the basic ideas, but I’ll bet you’ve never really thought much about how science is used in an effort to answer the first of these two questions; determining our origin. So let’s begin by reviewing how we might use science to search for truth.
The first form of science that you may be familiar with is what is known as ‘empirical’ science. The word, “empiric” is derived from a Greek word that means ‘experience’, so for the most part, empirical data is data that comes from things we can SEE and EXPERIENCE. Empirical science, therefore, is that study of the world around us that utilizes data that has been retrieved empirically (we observed it or experienced it first hand)! That’s why scientists will often run experiments to SEE what happens in a given situation. They are simply trying to gather empirical data. Without it, they cannot come to a conclusion about any truth. Now think about that for a minute. Let’s say I’m trying to understand how the sun rises and sets each day. That’s not much of a problem for the empirical scientist because the sun does this everyday! I can make daily observations and even begin to make predictions about what might happen tomorrow. I can then use my daily observations to assess my predictions. See, empirical science is really good at evaluating events, just so long as they are REPEATABLE and can be SEEN. That makes sense, because empirical science requires an observation in the first place, doesn’t it? If something can’t be seen, I cannot begin to collect data!
What If I Can’t See It?
But how can we use science to examine an event that cannot be seen? What if the event happened only once, and now it cannot be repeated with some kind of staged experiment that will allow us to see it again? That’s really not an unusual problem. It happens everyday…
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