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Part of the difficulty of proving any scientific theory is due to the inductive nature of scientific reasoning, at least, in the empirical sciences. One makes repeated observations, and from those observations, draws inferences. Inferential reasoning, as David Hume points out, provides us with probability, but never certainty. (We’ve seen this truth demonstrated, most recently in the news, with the Casey Anthony trial.)
Recently, I had my class read sections from Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan and was surprised by the response.
Hume closes his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by laying out the implications of his views:
This is the fifth post in a nine-part series for the Spectrum/re-church Summer Reading Group. The nine posts will be drawn from chapters of Deep Church, by Jim Belcher. You can find the reading schedule here.
More recently, I’ve had the growing feeling that something is missing from my worship experience, at least on a consistent basis; perhaps you’ve felt it, too. Reading this chapter helped me identify what it might be—a sense rootedness and a sense of transcendence.
Needless to say, John Locke’s political philosophy has been tremendously influential, especially in the United States. In this post, however, I want to focus on Locke’s epistemological views, i.e., his empiricism and his distinction between primary and secondary qualities. An examination of his views on these matters introduces us to interesting questions on the nature of human knowledge and perception, and beyond this, I believe, fruitful questions about the nature of our religious perceptions.