Empiricism: the only way to get to know it – is if you try it.
“Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.”
Empiricism seems pretty stupid in certain cases (do you really die if you jump in front of blue truck coming by 100 km/h?) while often it’s just plain impossible (how is it be born of a different colour, sexual orientation, nation, being grown by completely different parents, etc.). But all the important experiences in your life (let it be your first fight or work or sex or the feeling of the spring breeze) will be based on empiricism.
Empiricism is the most basic and most powerful way to get to the end of human nature.
Try to convince a 13 year old girl that kissing is nothing life-changing!
I can see some of you smiling. “Of course kissing is nothing life-changing.”
What if I told you that you are exactly like the 13 year old girl when it comes to many of the current goals and achievements in your life?
Would it be really life changing if you earned 20% more?
If your book was published? If twice this many people read your blog as now? If you finished your PhD half a year earlier than planned?
My point with this article isn’t that your life is senseless. My point with this is that you are like the 13 year old girl. Waiting to experience something in your life you have never experienced. You can read a book about a salary raise, about how does it feel to have your book published as the real 13 year reads about how a kiss is. But you need to feel it for yourself. Because it feels important.
Which is the more life-changing? Reading 5 books and watching 10 documentaries about death or have one close-to death experience?
Books and documentaries about India or spending 2 weeks there?
Chatting with a girl on Facebook for 2 hours or meeting for 15 minutes?
We base most of our concepts of the world on information we gather from theoretical sources. We all have an idea how is life in Syria right now, how is it to be a soldier (doctor, medical scientist, writer, hostel receptionist, etc.), how does it feel like to be pregnant and most of the things surrounding us. It takes 15-30 minutes to watch “all the important news” that happened on Earth in 24 hours. But it’s probably going to change your life less than drinking a glass of beer.
Empiricism is the strong answer. If you are really interested in something (how is to live in Nigeria; how is to operate the human brain; how is to be a mother; etc.) empiricism will be your only answer. If you are interested just a little – don’t bother with it.
Empiricism is the strong answer – that works. But we can only use it in a very limited way: using yourself as the experimental mouse…