The Importance of Evidence
First of all WHAT is evidence? Well the simplest and most elementary definition would be as follows: information used to differentiate between what is true and what is false.
Here is the tricky part – what TYPE of information could be considered as evidence. Is it any type of information or should we be more specific? See this creates a whole lot of confusion and most of all frustration when trying to search for the truth.
In order not to complicate this even further I will end my questioning here and say the following: Truth is singular and everybody can agree with that. There cannot be two truths or three but only ONE. This singular truth is also known as objective truth meaning whatever it is that is true will remain true despite our beliefs.
But when does evidence come to play? It comes into play when we are not SURE about the truth, when we are trying to find discover yet another objective truth. Evidence is a pointer to the objective truth and the more evidence we have the closer we are to the truth.
The question still remains however – what information CAN be used as evidence? Would you consider historical events as evidence? Would you consider subjective and inner feelings as evidence? Because those ARE pieces of information…
The immediate answer is of course not… I would say SOME historical events could be used as evidence but that must be looked over and researched very carefully because history is not very reliable. As for the inner feelings or experiences I would say that they are unreliable as well – please notice I am NOT saying that those experiences cannot be true but rather I am saying that they are unreliable.
What do I mean by unreliability? I mean that an experience cannot be physically measured. The byproduct of the experience can be measured but not the experience in itself – meaning that if one is experiencing oneself flying it cannot be measured or observed physically or rather scientifically. The only thing that can be observed is the neurons firing in one’s brain, but that does NOT capture the experience of the subject. This is why I say that personal experiences are not reliable because they cannot be physically observed, repeated and compared then contrasted with other experiences.
So WHAT information can be used as evidence? Anything that one can physically observe and measure. In the future we might be able to connect to higher nonphysical realms and use computers to observe and measure them as well in which case we might be able to scientifically measure one’s experience fully. However all of that is still a speculation, enormous speculation. The only think we can observe and measure is the physical world and that is the ONLY thing that should be used as evidence for now.
Science is a tool for human beings to make predictions through observation and then test those predictions through meticulous experimentation. The more predictions are tested the more an idea arises about them either being true or false. The reason we get to find the truth is because we gather evidence through testing. The more evidence we have the more solid is our conviction that we are moving towards the truth. Once we find opposing evidence for the prediction then we reject it and make other predictions.
You see however, we REJECT the ones which we find are false. This is a very important thing. It doesn’t matter if the prediction is pleasant or unpleasant because the only thing that matters is if it is true and the only thing that can point to its truth is evidence. The only type of evidence we can use in our day and age with all of the given technology and science is the carefully measured physical objects and events.
Many people say that following the evidence is dry, boring and lifeless but let me ask you a question – would you rather live a life in which you are sincere enough to accept your ignorance and brave enough to reach for the truth through evidence or would you rather live a life in which you assume you know everything and deny your ignorance because you are afraid of the truth?
Please add your thoughts, they are more than welcome.