Extraordinary Evidence?
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03-04-2016, 01:51 PM
Extraordinary Evidence?
I saw a video on Youtube by the friendly atheist Hemant Mehta of a list of things atheists need to stop saying and I honestly felt most of the list was fine but he said that we need to stop saying "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." He said it's not right because what we require is any evidence, it can even be small and only prove one thing like prayer works but that would at least open the door but I disagree with this. All I get from Christians are small little stories and scientific claims that are not good enough to meet the burden of proof. I feel their claim is pretty extraordinary and it's not like I'm asking for whether nor not a God exists, I'm asking for proof their God exists, it would take more than one tiny bit of proof to convince me or even get me started down that road.

I'm not even sure what kind of evidence would be required to make me believe but it would have to be something life altering since it would require me to re-evaluate everything I have come to know about the nature of reality and my knowledge of science, morality and logic. It would also have to be something indisputable and independently verifiable.

So my question for you all is what kind of evidence would be good enough for you? Should we stop asking for extraordinary proof?

If you want to see the video here is the link, it's number 2 on the list: 9 Things Atheists Should Stop Saying

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03-04-2016, 02:10 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
I agree, to some extent. On the one hand, you're right, belief in something so mind-bogglingly vast should require extraordinary evidence.

On the other hand, I have to agree with Hemant Mehta that since the theists haven't been able to pony up even minimal evidence I'd be willing to meet them half-way just for the sake of discussion. I might not be willing to concede that it was the work of God, but if they could demonstrate that prayer worked I'd at least be interested in finding out the how and why.

In the end, we all set our own thresholds for sufficiency of evidence. Whether that is extraordinarily high or relatively simple the theists have failed to meet it in any meaningful way.

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03-04-2016, 02:17 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
I would start with evidence, any evidence. I am drawing this conclusion from the fact that most theists that pop up here, dont know the very basics about epistemology. So i would do it in baby steps in such cases. Start with any evidence, then work my way up, why -in the case of the all-everything creator of everything- a little bit more than "just a bit" of evidence would be nice.
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03-04-2016, 02:32 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
Any evidence of an extraordinary claim, i would think, would have to be extraordinary by default.

It's not like - "This coffee cup is proof that a god created the universe"
It would be hard for me to imagine how mundane, normal things could be used as evidence of something extraordinary.

What I could imagine is a large science lab with lots of instrumentation that has punched a hole in space and time and detected some kind of intelligence that inhabited the 10th dimension.

Now that would be extraordinary

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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03-04-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
You don't convict somebody of a crime solely on the testimony of the town drunk, right? Who knows what else he "saw with his own eyes"...

Just any evidence won't do, because I'm assuming that not only to prove A god exists, but that only THEIR god exists, would need a pretty whopping big amount of rock solid evidence!

For me, the big man himself would have to step out of the clouds & speak in the voice of Dr. Nick, "Hello everybody", at a sporting event, or parade, or somthing. Tongue

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03-04-2016, 02:43 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
Any god worth his salt would know what it would take to convince me. Smile
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03-04-2016, 02:47 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
(03-04-2016 01:51 PM)SitaSky Wrote:  I saw a video on Youtube by the friendly atheist Hemant Mehta of a list of things atheists need to stop saying and I honestly felt most of the list was fine but he said that we need to stop saying "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." He said it's not right because what we require is any evidence, it can even be small and only prove one thing like prayer works but that would at least open the door but I disagree with this.

I think what he's trying to say is that using the phrase "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." dilutes and diminishes the more potent "Claims require evidence."

#sigh
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03-04-2016, 03:20 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
The phrase to me means that any evidence for an extraordinary claim is also going to be extraordinary.

If God is a being capable of magical abilities, these magical abilities would need to be demonstrated first hand as evidenced, and that itself would be extraordinary.
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03-04-2016, 03:21 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
Any evidence of a god would automatically be extraordinary, since there's never been any at all. Prayer actually working would go a long way to convincing me.
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03-04-2016, 03:25 PM
RE: Extraordinary Evidence?
(03-04-2016 03:21 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  Any evidence of a god would automatically be extraordinary, since there's never been any at all. Prayer actually working would go a long way to convincing me.

Idk. Prayer working could simply mean that you happened to speak the right words, during the prayer, needed to invoke some magical response, free from any God's intervention! Tongue Like in D&D, spells don't need no deities! Voodoo, dude! Confused

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