Half a Cup

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, September 9, 2014 2 comments

by Bill Seng

My friend and I went out to a local coffee shop and when we found our table and sat down, there sat a cup of water in the center of the table. I said, “Why would somebody leave a glass, half full of water, dead center in the middle of a table?”

My friend looked at me in disgust. “Excuse me!”

I thought that maybe I had unintentionally said something offensive.

He continued, “That glass is half empty!”

I looked at the glass again and it was filled exactly to the halfway mark. Confused at my friend’s tone, I replied, “To you, it may be half empty. But according to my perspective it is half full.”

Once again, he replied in disgust, “Perspective? Man, that glass is half empty, I don’t care what you say. I can prove it with science.”

“Hhhhhhhooowww do you figure?”

My friend spoke with his nose held high, chest puffed out, and a tone reminiscent of a university professor. “Somebody has been drinking that glass of water, thus the water is in the process of being depleted, making it half empty.”

I could not believe I was about to argue about whether the glass was half empty or half full, but now I felt obligated. I looked at the glass and there was no evidence that anyone had been drinking the water. “Really,” I said, “It looks to me like it is just as likely that somebody stopped filling the glass when they had filled it half way. Thus, it very well could be half full.”

My friend became red in the face, “Okay, now you are just ignoring the facts! Are you like, anti-science or something?” “What are you talking about?” I was not sure where this was all coming from.

“Any reasonable person could tell you that somebody was drinking from that glass. It is so clearly half empty.”

I thought his attitude was ridiculous. “Dude, you don’t have any proof anybody was drinking from that glass. We just know that it was sitting in the middle of the table when we got here.”

“Duh! We’re at a coffee shop! I seriously thought you were smarter than this. Why don’t you just accept the fact that the glass is half empty?”

“Because it is not a fact, it is a conclusion, might I add a reasonable one, based on your perspective. It might be half empty, according to your logic, but because it is just as likely, I choose to believe it is half full.”

“Oh, you choose to believe that, huh? Well that’s real scientific. So you would rather believe that it is half full despite the fact that it is impossible? That says a lot about you!”

“Why do you suppose my perspective is impossible? Based on what we know both are equally possible. And perhaps mine is even more likely because nobody has claimed this glass. Nobody has come over to pick it up or tell us that we are sitting in their spot.”

“Are you saying it just magically appeared?”

“No, I am just saying that there we are both making assumptions about certain factors. We don’t know where it came from or why it was intentionally placed in the exact center of the table.”

“Now, you just sound crazy. I don’t think you understand or believe in the scientific method. You ignore all of the evidence, just because you want to believe it is half full. And now you are telling me that we don’t know why this glass is here.”

We continued to argue for a good while. Neither one of us was satisfied or convinced by the other person’s arguments. Eventually, we both gave up and left. Unknown to us, a young waitress was watching and listening the whole time. After we left, she dumped out the glass of water, filled another exactly half way, placed it in the center of the table, and waited for her next customers to arrive so that they might give their opinions as to whether the glass was half empty or half full.

(Note: This is NOT based on a true story)


JD70 said...

Excellent Post! You got me. :) I was thinking, why is Bill arguing about this? :)

Excellent point made as well. Hopefully some people will see the great truth in this post.

Bob Sorensen said...

This is a good post. In my creation science ministry, I keep seeing over and over how people respond to evidence. It's all based on their starting point. "You" said the glass was half full based on your worldview, and your "friend" had his own presuppositions, which he claimed he could support through science. But he only had assertions based on presuppositions.