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Empiricism is not the same as "Human Experience"

Reader comment on item: Conservatism's Hidden History
in response to reader comment: From "The Common Law" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1881)

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 4, 2018 at 20:07

Hi, Robert. You said,

"In the 1st paragraph I see British Empiricism, beginning with John Locke, embodied in the word "experience."

"Human experience" existed long before the philosophy of "empicicism" was proposed:

"em·pir·i·cism
əmˈpirəˌsizəm/
nounPhilosophy
the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume."
-- https://www.google.com/search?q=empiricism&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1-ab

What became the philosophy of empiricism, is adequately described by the Biblical concept of "carnality":

James 3:
[13] Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
[14] But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
[15] This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
[16] For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
[17] But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

The "wisdom from above", of course, is the word of God, revealed in the Bible. It is very different from the "earthly, sensual" wisdom from below, the wisdom of empiricism.

One example of "wisdom from above" is the Biblical law against adultery, which was also part of English Common Law until recently -- some time after Locke et al promoted "empiricism". Sensual experience does not favor faithfulness in marriage, for its byword is "If it feels good, do it!" Before that empiricist principle worked its way into the highest courts of the land, American society was held together by strong marriages and functioning families. Since the replacement of the former, spiritually-inspired commandment against adultery by the present permissiveness, however, families have disintegrated and today's younger generations have little preparation for the reality of life.

Submitting....

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