In a moment of reflection, I came to realize something which, though without a doubt having already been thought of by someone else, was still fascinating to me, and this realization was that science is testimony, and by this I do not mean the obvious truism that most science that we know is utterly reliant on testimony for it is only through the transmission of a scientist that we come to know it, but rather I mean the fascinating fact that when we think about the scientific process itself, there is no such thing as “observation”, but only what we might term the self-testimony of observation, for consider the fact that given that the act of observing something is not temporally simultaneous with the mental realization that something was observed, and given, furthermore, that the instant after it is observed, its recollection is itself based on memory, seems to indicate that the most fundamental and important scientific act, that of observation, is itself a type of self-testimony, for we do not actually observe anything, but rather realize what we allegedly observed moments prior, and then only recall that observation after that, and so what this means to me is that any claim that testimony is unreliable–a claim which scientism’s proponents often make–is a claim which does, in turn, completely undermine science itself; and while I completely admit that testimony, and its veracity and strength and reliability, is a relative thing, with some testimony being more worthy of trust than other testimony, the fact remains that what normal human testimony is based on, namely the realization of what was observed and the memory of it, is actually the same thing that science is fundamentally based on, and so, in a way, it appears that it is not unreasonable to say that science literally is testimony (and note that the claim that science is repeatable does not necessarily help it, for, in actuality, each observation is itself unique, and it is only via the presupposition of the uniformity of nature that we accept this similarity, not through the scientific act itself)…and so, as stated, science is testimony, and what an interesting thing that is to contemplate.
Yet one more way to reduce the ‘no evidence for God and/or Christianity’ meme to dust is to simply note that testimony is obviously and undeniably evidence–just listen to any court of law to see this fact proven–and there is an overwhelming amount of testimony from people who claim to have seen God, and/or felt God, and/or experienced God, etc., and so this testimony, in and of itself, thus serves as evidence for Christianity and/or God; now note that in this particular case, and for the sake of argument, I am not necessarily saying that this testimony is good evidence (although I think it is), nor am I saying that this testimony might not be explained in some other way or rebuffed, but the fact remains that such testimony is evidence, at least to some degree, and so the claim that there is no evidence for Christianity and/or theism is patently false bullshit.
It is a fool who claims that the Gospels cannot count as historical evidence of the events recounted therein just because the writers of those Gospels were Christian believers, for if such a methodology was sound then, for example, we would have to take the absurd stance of discounting a post-event police report in which a man was charged with a criminal offence just because the police officer who wrote the report was a “believer” in the guilt of the man at the time that the police officer wrote his report, and yet, of course, we all realize that it is precisely because the police officer reviewed all the evidence in the matter that he then became a “believer” in the man’s guilt, and so then, and only then, because of the evidence, did the police officer charge the man and write his report, and thus his report cannot be discounted simply due to his being a “believer” in the man’s guilt; and so in the same way, the Gospels cannot be discounted simply because they were written by believers, for the Gospel writers only became believers after being presented with what they took to be convincing reasons and evidences, and thus they then wrote the Gospels, in part, as a record of the evidences and reasons that convinced them, just as the police officer writes his report after charging a man as a record of the evidences and reasons that convinced him to become a believer in the man’s criminal guilt, which is, of course, a perfectly reasonable and commonsensical thing to do.
This ‘Thought’ was inspired by the following post:
As is the case with some atheists, the man who broadly and/or strongly rejects the trustworthiness and reliability of eye-witness testimony on the basis of studies and/or scientific findings which allegedly show its unreliability is a self-undermining fool, for in order to rationally believe and accept and trust a study or scientific finding, a person must not only trust the eye-witness testimony of the people who did the study, and those who reviewed and edited the study, and those who reported the study, etc., but a person must also trust his own sort of eye-witness testimony to himself concerning seeing the study, remembering the study, and so on; thus, to reject eye-witness testimony in a broad and/or strong way is to simultaneously reject knowledge, rationality, and science altogether….it is, in other words, utter folly.