Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rules to live by


"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
-Carl Sagan

This is an interesting way of judging statements and evidence. If I told you that I had a donut for breakfast, you wouldn't debate me and go over the possibilities as to whether or not I ACTUALLY ate a donut. On the other hand, if I said that I floated two feet above the ground and hovered for approximately 30 seconds by the sheer power of my mind, you would seriously doubt me.


I don't need any evidence to prove that I ate a donut this morning, since it happens all the time and I have no particular reason to lie. However, my hovering ability requires substantially more evidence since this has never happened in the history of humanity, and violates the laws of physics, human physiology and common sense.


I typed Carl Sagan's quote into Google and got a Christian apologetics site called CARM. Go figure. They said, "This is why the skeptic must require "extraordinary evidence." It enables him to retain his presupposition should the extraordinary level of the evidence not be met. Therefore, requiring extraordinary evidence effectively stacks the deck against the claim." If you call normal investigation methods "stacking the deck," then I guess you might as well believe in Leprechauns and Fairies since you have set the standard of evidence so low that you cannot distenguish fact from fiction.


The article says that Atheists require video as extraordinary evidence of the supposed resurection of Jesus, which is silly. Since Christian don't have any evidence (outside of a forged historical document 60 yrs after the event) they resort to reductio ad absurdum to make it seem silly to require basic evidence. The whole article boils down to Pascals Wager in the conclusion and nothing much else.

3 comments:

Benjamin - The Sower said...

Three things I would like to write in order to comment on your post...

First off, I am not "star stuff" as Mr Sagan claims, I am dirt.

Second, the "forged historical document" you refer to, was written by eye-witnesses and actual participants in the events and accounts that have been written. MUCH more reliable than the Iliad OR the Odyssey...

and Third, thanks for the link to the CARM site - I sincerely pray that one of your atheist buddies might click on over to the site and stumble across the Truth...

Respectfully,

-BTS

SteveMudSkipper said...

One Non-Sequitor and One Lie.

BTW your welcome.

Benjamin - The Sower said...

On the point of "Non-Sequitor" [sic] you got me - though, whenever I read a quote from Carl Sagan, that's the first thing that pops into my mind...

He refuses the truth (God's Creation) and inserts his own silly explanation (we are all 'star stuff')

And he's right, claims require evidence, extraordinary or otherwise... The Bible, in it's authenticity has been standing up to scrutiny for close to 2,000 years. And consistent evidence is brought out over and over to demonstrate that fact (The Dead Sea Scrolls for example) and you still call the Word of God a forgery.

Your simply in denial man...