27th December 2008

“Since certainty is predicated upon the appropriation of the results of a scientific investigation into natural phenomenon, the existence of something supernatural, by definition, can never be certain.”

Richard Newton

2 Responses to “27th December 2008”

  1. Ed Says:

    This is a ridiculous statement with too many flaws in reasoning even to comment on. But, obviously, I will anyway. First, “certainty” seems to be nothing more than a psychological state with little relationship to reality (e.g., see _On Being Certain_). Second, even if we concede that truth is found by applying logic, the scientific method does not pass this test. The scientific method, even at its very best (i.e., in the ideal, which it never meets), is not logically defensible. It is based, rather, on a very poor (though sometimes useful) type of logic–induction–that is not itself logically defensible. This is certainly not a defense of the existence of the supernatural; it is just to say that no one can claim to know truth (at least I don’t think so; who knows?).

  2. Holysmokes Says:

    I think the last 4 words of this quote, “can never be certain” sound very much like the word, “proof.” Science never has and never will be in the business of, “proving” anything. Take the law of gravity for example; that’s why it’s called a law and evidence is not referred to as, “proof of gravity.” Adding comments about, “certainty or proof” into any argument, including the metaphysical, is quite pointless. One should stick to, “probabilities” instead.

    Everyone has a line they cross which makes them begin to “believe” something to be true or false. Unfortunately this line appears to move depending on the person, primarily because the environment they have been subjected to …and the information put to them. The real question is, how can you move this line for a rational person AFTER his/her mind is made up?