The Tree Falling In The Forest

In a treatise concerning the principles of human knowledge, empiricist-philosopher George Berkeley argues that nothing exists, not really, unless it is perceived. Or rather to say something “is” is to say “I perceive it.

The tree falling in the forest — if no one hears it then does the tree exist in the first place? How can we be certain? How do we know?

I’m not sure Christian faith works that way. It is why it is called faith and not called knowledge. The creed begins “I believe,” not “I know.”

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Words: Preston Yancey
Image: Jim Kast-Keat
Music: Gillicuddy

  • Julie Linnstaedter

    We no longer label unknown areas of maps “here be dragons,” even though it might be more accurate than before. Our physical reality is not experienced like Swiss cheese. There are real trees, some of them fallen when no one heard. The evidence is there to be found.