Is belief in God rational? This question is still debated among philosophers to this day, among theists and skeptics alike. This question, though it may seem trivial compared to the burdens of financial instability, hunger, or striving for better education, is one that can either help to define ones worldview or destroy it. Most individuals of western thinking are attracted to that which is considered rational or more evident when in search of the truth. I shall define the term rational as that which can be justified by way of logical consistency and evidence. Evidence will be claimed to be data, which can be gathered by sensory experience and corresponds with reality. One can argue that our senses do not correspond with reality directly or even at all, but for the sake of the issue at hand it will be assumed that our thoughts do correspond accurately with what is really there. The epistemological position that I wish to adopt is akin to Aristotelian Rationalism. While I may admit that we can only come to know certain things through sensory experience the way we interpret such experiences is not inherent within our experience, but within ourselves:
“…some knowledge of reality is acquired only on the occasion of sensory experience (and is thus empirical) but that such knowledge is acquired through a non-empirical use of reason (as in the case of rationally intuiting the relationships among the Forms).”(Moser, 19)
The ideas that shall be argued against are those held by Core Empiricists and Concept Empiricists. Core Empiricism is a position that states that one, “cannot have the knowledge of reality through the non-empirical use of reason” (Moser, 19), the strongest of these being Logical Positivists who’s, “tenet is the Verification Principle: [which states] A non-analytic proposition is meaningful if and only if it is verifiable or falsifiable solely on the basis of sensory experience” (Moser, 19-20). Concept Empiricists on the other hand are defined as, “Most empiricists…holding that all concepts are directly or indirectly acquired through sensory experience” (Moser, 19). A middle position to both of these is called Classical Empiricism, which is a combination of both Core and Concept Empiricism. The combination reduces the Verification Principle into what is called the Falsification Principle (Craig & Moreland, 154-155) by way of saying that there is no need for meaningful statements to be limited to observational content, but that they merely need to have some empirical content and can be falsified or supported through sensory experience (Moser, 20).