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Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
#1
Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence:
The assertion that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence was made popular by Carl Sagan.  This seems sensical, after all, we are much more likely to believe a mundane story over a story which seems strange to us.  However; I find this to be both ill-defined and inconsistent.
 It is ill-defined, in that it is subjective.  What is extraordinary to one person, may not be that extraordinary to another.  It is dependent on the knowledge and experience of the subject.  It is also subjective in that it changes over time and culture.  What was once considered extraordinary may now be common place.  And even what was once though simple and common, we may find out is really extra-ordinary underneath.  And what would qualify for extraordinary evidence?
It is inconsistent, because what is reasonable evidence changes, based on subjectivity;   what is good and reasonable for one thing, is not for another.  I do concede that what is considered sufficient evidence can change based on category.  History is not measured in the same manner as science.  I are not going to show how much I love my family, by asking how much it weighs.  This would be a category mistake.  Reason and logic are objective.  So shouldn’t reasonable evidence also be objective and consistent?
So, how do we account for why we believe some claims with little evidence and require greater evidence for others.  I offer the following explanation:  Reasonable evidence is objective, and while the type of evidence may differ some based on category; the standard of evidence and rational does not change. What is subjective is that we may concede the standard level of evidence and make allowances on faith. The reasons for this concession may vary; we may allow for lesser evidence based on the consequence of the claim, trust in the one making the claim, or even based on authority (as well as other reasons). However, it is not unreasonable for another to not make the same compromises and require sufficient evidence.

Continued....

It would be nearly impossible to live our lives, if we demanded sufficient evidence for everything to be believed. When I think back on my life and experiences, many if not most things have not left sufficient evidence, where it would be unreasonable for another to doubt. I’m not saying, that every claim should be believed with little reason or evidence. It would be foolish and I do think that proper skepticism is healthy. Similarly, if we have good evidence which opposes the claim, then it is reasonable to doubt. But simple doubt or skepticism is not an argument against a thing.
I was once given a scenario in regards to this topic in a discussion. The wife comes home, and explains how she had seen an old friend from high school at the mall. The next day, the wife again returns from the mall, and says that she had seen Abraham Lincoln raised from the dead and hanging out at the mall. You later find that both stories are being validated by others. Are you going to believe one of these stories more readily than the other? I do think that the answer is obvious; however, I do not think that it is because one claim requires more evidence than the other. I do not have any more reason to believe one story versus the other. The claims are similar in nature and the evidence for both are the same. With this in mind, I am going to ask questions on the one story, and not accept it based on faith.
As described I find the extraordinary claims mantra to be both ill-defined and inconsistent. The proposal I have made, I think passes both of these criteria. It does make the presupposition that evidence and belief can be reasonable. The transposition of this would then demand that it is unreasonable to not accept something (the world is not flat) based on reasonable evidence. I purposely did not define what reasonable evidence is, I think that is another topic, and the intent of this writing is not to impose a standard of evidence. If one sets the standards too high, then nothing is reasonable to believe. We will fall into a modernist philosophy where everything is held to untenable standards of certainty. Set the standards too low, and we swing to post modernism, where everything is in question. Because this is independent of the defining of the standard of evidence, we can also test the consistency of someone with opposing views and different standards. It allows us to define what is reasonable and unreasonable, and even recognize where we making assumptions or views based on faith, that others can reasonably question.
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#2
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
If you come in my office around noon and say the sun is shining, I'm probably not going to bother checking on it myself.

If you come in my office around noon and say Godzilla is out in the parking lot eating all the Kias, I'm probably going to give you "The Look".
 The granting of a pardon is an imputation of guilt, and the acceptance a confession of it. 




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#3
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
(October 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm)vorlon13 Wrote: If you come in my office around noon and say the sun is shining, I'm probably not going to bother checking on it myself.

If you come in my office around noon and say Godzilla is out in the parking lot eating all the Kias, I'm probably going to give you "The Look".

Yeah right. What self-respecting monster would eat Kias!
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#4
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
Game, set and match on post #2.
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#5
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
(October 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm)vorlon13 Wrote: If you come in my office around noon and say the sun is shining, I'm probably not going to bother checking on it myself.

If you come in my office around noon and say Godzilla is out in the parking lot eating all the Kias, I'm probably going to give you "The Look".

[Image: tumblr_no2uw0sUzG1sfvjpeo4_500.gif]

Excellent.
[Image: bbb59Ce.gif]

(September 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm)Parkers Tan Wrote: I make change in the coin tendered. If you want courteous treatment, behave courteously. Preaching at me and calling me immoral is not courteous behavior.
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#6
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
Blah blah blah.

OP, you tell us. How much evidence ought to be required to justify belief in completely unobservable, unfalsifiable entities?
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#7
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
Can you give an example of an extraordinary claim not related to your religion that you think we should now accept with this new standard, and on what evidence?
Feel free to send me a private message.
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#8
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
(October 25, 2015 at 11:28 pm)Alex K Wrote:
(October 25, 2015 at 11:25 pm)vorlon13 Wrote: If you come in my office around noon and say the sun is shining, I'm probably not going to bother checking on it myself.

If you come in my office around noon and say Godzilla is out in the parking lot eating all the Kias, I'm probably going to give you "The Look".

Yeah right.  What self-respecting monster would eat Kias!

A patriotic Japanese one!
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#9
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
(October 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm)robvalue Wrote: Can you give an example of an extraordinary claim not related to your religion that you think we should now accept with this new standard, and on what evidence?

I would prefer to talk about the general principle and it's validity first.  Then we can move to specific application.   This is why I posted it in the philosophy sub-forum.
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#10
RE: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
(October 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm)robvalue Wrote: Can you give an example of an extraordinary claim not related to your religion that you think we should now accept with this new standard, and on what evidence?

 Think Sagan was being a little theatrical to get his point across.
Is there a difference between evidence and extraordinary evidence?
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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