The "new" atheist thinkers such as Richard Dawkins tell us that we should dismiss religions and the belief in God, since they are based solely on faith and have no adequate objective evidence for them.
If we would follow this line of thought into metaphysics and especially ontology then wouldn't it become also a question of faith. Since there's no objective scientific way to demonstrate any of the arguments about universals or the ultimate building blocks of reality.
Is it right to bring this kind of reasoning over from one topic to another and if so does it invalidate something? And if ontology never claimed to be objective in the sense described why anybody even bothered to deal with it.
We need to distinguish between a posteriori and a priori arguments. Empirical sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology are predominantly supported by a posteriori evidence, grounded in experience. By contrast, the 'exact sciences' like mathematics are predominantly supported by a priori demonstration, grounded in the pure intuitions of the intellect alone. Mathematics cannot be based on experience, it might be said, because experience can only ever reveal contingent truths, whereas mathematical speculation gives us an insight into necessity. But both a priori and a posteriori knowledge can jointly be distinguished from faith, which for present purposes we might as well just define as any other basis for belief that cannot be fitted into either of these categories (e.g. the authority of a respected individual or of a text regarded as sacred, or a private inspiration supposedly delivered only to the elect). Now, there have been many philosophers and theologians over the...