Scientific Realism – Coursework Example
Scientific Realism Another domain of knowledge, other than science, in which realism is an issue, is Religion. Many religions, especially monotheistic religions like Christianity and Islam hold that God actually exist, despite the fact that God is not empirically visible. One of the forms of realism in religion, therefore, is in regard to the existence of God; the realists, who are the believers in religious parlance, hold that God actually exists, while the empiricists (anti-realists) hold that God does not exist because He is not visible. The second form of realism in religion is in regard to morality or religious teachings; the realists (the believers), contend that human morality is based on an objective divine law that guide human behaviour. The antirealists, the positivists, in this regard argue that there is no objective divine law that guide human behaviour because such law is not empirically visible.
Religious realism is analogous to scientific realism in that, just as scientific realism holds that theoretical entities exist in reality and yet they are not empirically visible, religious realism hold that God and other spiritual entities exist in reality despite the fact that the existence of spiritual entities is not provable empirically. The main disanalogy, however, between scientific realism and religious realism lies in the fact that, while scientific realism is about material reality, the religious realism is about spiritual realities.
The main difference between claiming that something is true or false or claiming that something exists or does not exist, and claiming that we know that something is true or false or does not exist, is that, the first case of claim, i.e. the claim that something is true or false may be a mere opinion and we may not have strong reasons to justify our claim. The second claim, however, i.e. the claim that we know something to be true or false means that we have sufficient reasons to hold the claim as true or false; saying that we know something to be true or false means that we can justify our knowledge.