Today I was thinking about being blind...sort of. I was taking advantage of my parents dvr this morning watching some episodes of one of my favorite t.v. shows, The Big Bang Theory, and one of the scenes got me thinking. I won't go into detail about the scene but basically the uberlogical and scientific/ obsessive compulsive Sheldon Cooper is closing his eyes and feeling around with his hands, thinking he was reaching for one thing but touching another. Another character asks him if the object he is touching is an arm ( like he thought it was ). Rather than saying "No" he says "It doesn't feel like an arm".
This little scene is a succinct portrayal of scientific reasoning at its best. If something is not visually observable ( either literally or through experiments and deduction) then it cannot be declared a fact no matter how obvious that fact might be. Perhaps it sounds silly to make a statement about an entire epistemology based on a scene from a t.v. show, but hear me out. How funny it must sound to a blind man when people ask "If you can't see it how do you know it's there?". Certainly when people say that they are usually talking about faith and god and what not, and what they mean to say is that there is a lack of physical ( not necessarily visual) evidence, but the question that arises from my observation is, I think, still reticent. How often , especially being raised in a culture where the most prevalent epistemology is scientific, do we take one or other of our senses for granted? If I can't visually observe it then I can only make a very specific, inconclusive statement about what I am feeling as opposed to coming to "see" it in another way. How often do we brush off those more spiritual or emotional promptings because they don't make sense with the straight- forward way that we view the world. How many times have you laughed at someone who insisted that they came to know something in a non-scientific way( through religion, a dream, a shaman, an astrologist)?
Hear me out on this, I am not saying that we should all invest in a pack of tarot cards and a collection of essential oils, but I just wonder how many miracles have been missed, how many lives have remained unchanged, simply because we are too afraid to believe that our way isn't necessarily the only way.
P.S. In going over this post I was reminded of a poem I wrote a few years ago...
There are those who see the ledge but think they cannot fall,
There are those who see the ledge but deny it's there at all
There are those who stand beside it, and contemplate a leap
There are those who see the other fools and safe distance humbly keep.
P.S. If blindness is the lack of sight, aren't we all blind?