I assume you will agree that “facts, principles, theories, suppositions, presuppositions” are all matters of opinion? That there is no way to “prove” that any of them are true or untrue. By which I mean proof with the certainty of a mathematical axiom.
If you have a way, I’d be really happy to see it.
I am unclear if you are referring to me as an empiricist, or if you are using the term accurately. “Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.”
Since our interface with the real world is entirely through our senses, it’s difficult to see what other source of knowledge humans can have. With the possible exception of direct inspiration, and in that case I don’t see how one is able to prove that it is indeed inspiration and not delusion or hallucination, even to oneself.
Which does not mean that I believe the only source of truth is the scientific method. Certain critically important areas of existence just cannot be addressed by science. Notably ethics and morality.
I believe that God created all men equal. That equality is because they are all children of God, and has nothing to do with their differential capabilities. But I cannot prove this belief to be true using the scientific method, because science is not capable of answering the question.
Sherman: “I assume you will agree that facts, principles, theories, suppositions, presuppositions are all matters of opinion? That there is no way to prove that any of them are true or untrue. By which I mean proof with the certainty of a mathematical axiom.”
Spirited: If as you say, all theories are matters of opinion with “no way to ‘prove’ that any of them are true or untrue” with the “certainty of a mathematical axiom” then Darwinism, materialism, empiricism, and naturalism are nothing more than someone’s opinion, an opinion that originates in the unseen realm of the mind rather than in the senses.
Like your dreams, aspirations, and misplaced belief that physicalism is our only source of knowledge, opinions originate in the spirital dimension (mind) and cannot be sensed.
Empiricism, Darwinism, physicalism and naturalism are absurdities. All are devoid of life, consciousness and soul, hence all are self-refuting theories. They self-anihilate because all are forms of nihilism.
Along this line another much-vaunted philosophical relic is the presumption of atheisim. At face value, this is the claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not eist. Atheism is a sort of default position, and the theist bears a speicial burden of proof with regard to his belief that God exists. So understood, such alleged presumption seems to conflate atheism with agonosticism. The assertion, "God does not exist" is just as much a fact claim as the statement, "God exists." As a result the latter claim requires justification just as much as the proponent of the latter. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I would only add, regarding yours and others statements as to how do we know, we examine the world to discern the truth of metaphysics in exactly the same way the scientist does. We do not rely on sociological imput, paternal teachings, psychological evaluation...we use philosophical tools and induction to evaluate for truth. Scientific inquiry has its own set of presuppositions. It relies on logic, reason, rational thought, numbers, sets, (all are metaphysical in nature or have a metaphysical nature qualia). These are the same tools we use to in examining for proofs of the existence of God. Plantinga refernces natural law and the basicality of knowlege of God as a starting point, and he makes a very good case for it (don't be too quick to write off that notion, but that is another story entirely).