Is The Only Way
We Can Know Reality
This is an often stated claim that has usually not been effectively responded to, and so has become a common objection that seems quite legitimate. You will see in this section why this is not the case and why science isn't the only way we can know reality.
Response idea: (from J.P. Moreland below)
“What do you mean by science? How is this the only criteria for determining reality? How do we determine if something is scientific? Through the five senses, through touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing, correct? So by saying science is the only way we can know reality, you are claiming that we can't know reality outside of the five senses. If we can't know reality outside the five sense, then we can't know reality through Literature, Philosophy, History, Art, Psychology, or other areas of study, correct? Can the claim, "Science is the only way we can know reality" actually be known through science? Actually it can't. It is actually a statement of philosophy and not a statement of science. So essentially, it is a statement of philosophy that says that you can’t trust statements of philosophy” because they can not be
A similar statement to this one people sometimes make is,
“You can’t know anything outside of what can be proven by science”.
Let’s look at these statements about science which initially sound quite valid.
There have been so many scientific advances that many people have been convinced that science is the only way to know the truth about the world. it is often repeated because it is another claim rarely challenged.
They will make the claim, “You can’t know anything outside of what can be proven by science”. This is a similar statement that sounds valid but has usually not been examined by many of those who use it.
Many mistakenly claim that the Bible is contradicted by science and that you either believe in science or you believe in the Bible/religion. Unfortunately, when many Christians are confronted with this claim they've been persuaded by it and been silenced.
When you check out the Evidences For Christianity section you will see that the Bible is supported extremely well by science. This is the exact opposite of the incorrect claim about science being the only way to know anything and an evidence of non-Christians hearing a claim and accepting a claim without examining it. If you don’t know about the evidences though it’s really easy to be deceived into thinking that this claim is true.
So, what is wrong with the claim?
When someone makes the claim, “Science Is the only way we can know reality”, they are essentially saying that one can only gain a knowledge of reality through Science and no other area of study. So if nothing can be known other than by Science and through The Scientific Method, we can’t then know anything about reality through any other area of learning. As such, we can’t know anything through Literature, Philosophy, History, Art, Psychology, or other areas of study.
So how do we answer this claim? While the claim is that “Only science gives us a knowledge of reality”, can this claim be known through the scientific method? Greg Koukl (www.str.org) observes that the statement “Only science gives us a knowledge of reality”, is not a statement of science because it can’t be proven using the scientific method. It is actually a statement of belief (or philosophy) about science, also called a Statement of Philosophy. So you could respond to the person, “Your statement can’t be proven using the scientific method”.
J.P. Moreland makes a great observation about this. He states,
“The statement itself cannot be known through science. So essentially, it is a statement of philosophy. It is a statement of philosophy that says that you can’t trust statements of philosophy.”
What is this type of statement called? That’s right, a Self-Contradictory Statment . Here is the link to his recording answering this statement:
HAS SCIENCE MADE BELIEF IN GOD UNREASONABLE? (audio)
RECONCILING SCIENCE AND SCRIPTURE - JP Moreland
www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/moreland-science-scripture.mp3 (NOTE: this site is currently offline. I have saved and inked to the audio file on my site)
In this second audio above, Reconciling Science and Scripture, starting at a few seconds before the 6 minute mark, JP Moreland also very creatively answers a person who states,
“If you can’t test it and quantify your data and measure it in a laboratory, it’s nothing but a bunch of idle speculation and hot air."
In the recording JP demonstrates how this statement can't meet its own test, as it can't be tested or quantified or measured in a laboratory.
'Reconciling Science and Scripture' is the audio link of one of a number of resources by JP Moreland at the following page.
Audio Resources from J.P. Moreland
PREPARING STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE - JERRY SOLOMON
If you have a younger child, there is a good probability that they are already being challenged or even shamed in what they believe. This link indicates 5 prominent challenges and helping your children respond to the challenges.
A Parent’s Guide to the 5 Skeptics Who Want to Shame Your Kids for Being Christian
I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHEIST - Frank Turek
This has answers to many challenging statements.
Next Section: Has Anyone Seen Or Heard God?