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A website for the book by Ian J Thompson:

"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"

 

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3.6 Authority and evidence

If theistic science is to be in fact a science, it will be only a theory, and it will need to be justified by evidence and by rational logic and consistency. It cannot assume anything just on the basis of authority, neither the authority of a person nor of a book. It cannot, in advance, take anything as a proven fact. This applies to all scriptures, all revelations, and indeed to all experience. They cannot be authorities for theistic science. They are only evidence that may or may not support theories. Individual investigators will have their own beliefs, even their own firm convictions, but these can only be motivations and not proofs. This book will make and clarify some of the basic postulates of theism, but these postulations will not be automatically taken as proven. They are only the initial skeleton of an overall theory. Evidence and confirmation refer only to a theory as a whole or to the comparative evaluation of two competing theories.

Even if God speaks to someone in (say) a revelation, we still (as in any science) have to evaluate the likelihood that it was actually from God, that the person remembers it correctly, and that he did not distort the content of the message. Evidence and rationality enter into each such evaluation of the true nature of the revelation. Evaluation requirements still apply even if that person should be ourself. It applies even when the message is internally consistent and even when it has good effects. Such considerations will improve its evidential quality but can never automatically override the other considerations that should be part of the discernment. Personally we may be certain of something-and even build our lives on it-but such certainty is not part of any public science.


Previous: 3.5 New frameworks Up: 3. A Way Forward Next: II. Ontology

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