If empiricism is defined as "reasoning from evidence," then I would go with that. Could a true rationalist even be able to believe that the sky is blue or that the grass is green? Could a true rationalist even believe that Mount Rushmore exists?
While our senses can sometimes become hoodwinked we only become aware of that through other information which we receive through our senses.
It ultimately depends on the topic. On the topics where I've decided, I side with rationalism.
Well, both. These can't really be compared like this because empiricists trust what can be sensed and factually observed, but use rationalism to draw conclusions about things that cannot or haven't been seen/sensed. But I chose rationalism because I recognize that not everything is as it seems: people's senses can far too easily be tricked and hoodwinked.
The significance of gaining knowledge independent of sense experience is too great to put second to anything. Things aren't always what they seem, sensory derived knowledge will never be as reliable as direct knowledge. Holding to the view that things are what they seem is the leap of faith an empiricist makes, and no less of one than any one else who takes things on faith.
When I jump into the air and close my eyes, and have no contact/sensory connection with the outside world, does it cease to exist for that split second? No. Be rational. Gimme that a priori and Mu concept