Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In Defense of Revelation

There really shouldn't be a battle between science and religion. 

But there is in some circles, and one of the major sticking points is the understanding of how knowledge is acquired.  Science uses the scientific method to obtain knowledge, and it is a very, very useful tool.  Religion claims another type of knowledge: revelation. 

Some scientists are not too keen on revelatory knowledge (see Dawkins, Richard or watch a few videos of Hitchens, Christopher).  They see this kind of knowledge as inferior. 

I would personally argue revelatory knowledge is inferior within the scientific process as well; however, I would argue scientific knowledge (as obtained by the scientific method) is inferior in the relational process.   In relationships, we depend upon revelatory knowledge. 

For instance, I challenge anyone who believes revelatory knowledge to be inferior to push their logic to the extreme.  In their personal relationships--with spouse or partner; friends or family--they can only deem credible the knowledge they have obtained in studying someone else.  They can only consider knowledge credible which has been verified, measured, and replicated. 

How intimate do you think your relationship will be?

Short answer: it will not be intimate at all.  You will never, ever fully come to know another person unless that person reveals himself or herself to you.  You will only get a surface analysis, but you will not know exactly what that person thinks or believes.  You will not begin to know the thought processes which make that person make the choices he or she does.  You cannot know those things unless that person tells/reveals those things to you.

For instance, during college, I ate an unusual amount of Ramen Noodle Soup.  Externally, one might look at me eating the fare multiple times and come to the conclusion that I loved to eat this food; that I considered it a delicacy; and that it was very satisfying.  They could be correct.  Another might look and consider that as a college student, I didn't have a lot of money, Ramen was cheap, and so I ate it often because I could get nourishment for a small price.  They could be correct as well.  Another might look at me eating Ramen and think I was addicted to said soups and needed to consistently eat them in order to function.  They could be correct as well.  Not bothering to ask me, each person could come to this conclusion based upon the observable data.  Each could argue their positions.  Each could claim to be correct based upon their observations (and their assumptions). 

But if I do not reveal myself to them and my own processes, then they could all be wrong.

For the record, I ate lots of Ramen because it was cheap AND I liked the taste, and you would not know this unless I told you.  Even in a virtual relationship, you can only get to know me if I reveal things to you.  In a very real way, scientific knowledge when applied to relationships is inferior.

Which means, if there is a God (I personally believe the evidence points us toward that conclusion), then, if that God is a personal God, then that God would have to reveal Himself to us in some way, shape or form.  God would have to communicate with us in some sort of fashion which revealed to us His nature; His thought processes; His self. 

Such knowledge would in no way be inferior.  Not in the least.

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