Is it true that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

Is it true that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

No this is not true. Why should it?
Example:
Extraordinary claim: a dead man is resurrected.
Ordinary evidence needed: the physical presence of the alive, formely deceased man.

But surely that would be extraordinary evidence, as it is very unusually that a dead body would rise from the dead? That is not a normal experience; its an extraordinary experience, which is precisely what makes it hard to believe and subject to the fear of gullibility when the claim is made absent the presence of a person we knew to be dead. Most would not just take it on trust because it is an extraordinary claim.

How is a walking around, alive human being anything but ordinary?

Because he was dead. Isn’t that obvious?

:rotfl:

So which one of you is the authority on what is truly extraordinary evidence and what is ordinary evidence?

The claim that there is no God is an extraordinary claim. Do you ever hear extraordinary evidence?

No. You don’t hear any evidence at all.

Well not really. God as a concept is extraordinary, so would it not follow that it is the responsibility of the Christian to prove his existence. A flying horse or Zeus might exist, but no-one would say that it is unreasonable or extraordinary to say that such a being or events do not exist.

Linux
**
A flying horse or alien abduction might exist, but no-one would say that it is unreasonable or extraordinary to say that such a being or events do not exist. **

On the contrary. The vast majority of human beings since the dawn of human history have entertained one kind of god or another. The extraordinary claim is more likely that there is no God.

Thomas Jefferson cited the universal appeal of the idea of God as strongly suggestive evidence that this God exists. Where is the universal appeal of atheism? :confused:

If we are talking of the special case of Jesus Christ, then he manifested through locked doors, which is pretty out of the ordinary. Doesn’t apply to Lazarus or the 12 year old child though.

In denial

Please provide the required extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim.

The answer is no. Ordinary evidence is sufficient. That’s what usually happens with miracles. There is usually only ordinary evidence. In the case of an inexplicable cure, ordinary people are consulted, medical records, the results of blood tests and other examinations. If everything is in order, then a miracle is attributed to the intercession of someone like Pope John Paul II.

Peace,
Ed

So which one of you is the authority on what is truly extraordinary evidence and what is ordinary evidence?

More importantly (and caution: Before you speak, Persian, know that in Sparta everyone, even a king’s messenger, is responsible for the words of their voice. Now…what message do you bring) which one of you is the authority on what is truly an extraordinary claim?

Maybe depending on what you mean by “require.” It may be expressing obligation or a contingency (as in occurring or existing only if (certain other circumstances) are the case; dependent on.).

An extraordinary claim is a claim involving elements that one has not normally encountered. Note that this says something about the experience and knowledge of the person involved in evaluating this claim. A claim presented to that person is going to be compared, contrasted, and/or tested for consistency against their current knowledge map/semantic map. Claims that are found to be extraordinary are claims that contradict or are totally detached from their knowledge. For example if you could find a person that has had no exposure and tell him or her that men have walked on the moon or that people travel through the sky in big metal sky boats to this person these claims are extraordinary. To quote myself for the rest of the explanation when this topic came up before:

So? What does this have to do with current state of ordinariness of the evidence? His being dead isn’t the evidence, his current presence is.

Yes, I dare all of us would agree. If I told you I grew up in an English-speaking household, you probably would take my word for it. Granted, I could have learned English elsewhere, but you’re likely to accept the ordinary evidence of what is essentially hearsay. If I told you I was born, you would believe it even more readily, with even less evidence required. In fact, you could infer it from the simple fact that I am alive.

Now, if I told you – verbally or in writing – that I was never a child, that I came to this earth as a full-grown adult, this would be an out-of-the ordinary occurrence. I could ask, “why did you accept my word when I told you I grew up in an English-speaking home, but you won’t accept my word when I told you I was never a child?” And you would give some version of, “your extra-ordinary claim requires an extra-ordinary degree of evidence.” In fact, you may revisit some of the ordinary things I said – “I grew up in Cleveland”; “my father was an airline pilot”; “I studied at Harvard for two years, then transferred to Yale”; “I’m both a doctor and a lawyer; it was hard work, but rewarding” :wink: – and begin to view them differently, more skeptically.

Apply that to the question of rising from the dead after 72 hours or so, and there are skeptics out there who essentially would say, "I would need to have been there, verified that the body was dead (took the pulse); then seen it risen again, verified that the body was alive (took the pulse). I would have finger-printed you both times, to ensure it’s not your identical twin. I cannot take you, your cousin, your uncle, or a legion of followers, at their word – not for this. I don’t care how many witnesses you find – all that proves to me, at most, is that they believe you rose from the dead. Maybe they were mistaken that you were dead in the first place, and you were semi-comatose. That’s a generous supposition, and I’ll give them that benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, I wanna see a body :wink: "

So yes, appearing in the flesh after the resurrection would be “ordinary evidence” – in one sense – but extraordinary in the sense that this normally isn’t required, to make a strong enough case for something. I, as judge or jury, normally do not need to have seen the crime as it was transpiring, and seen the perpetrator pull the trigger. Witnesses, forensic evidence, these are sufficient to reconstruct the event with a sufficient probability of certainty. But if the claim is extra-ordinary – not known to be physically possible, thus wildly improbable (like me never having been 5 years old) – you would need extra-ordinary evidence. You practically need to have been there, to have seen this with your own eyes. Even the testimony of my Aunt Millie, my mom, all my friends from school, my homeroom teacher from freshman year – testimony that was signed and certified by a notary – would not be enough. Perhaps you would say, “please do not be offended; it’s not that I doubt your character, nor those of your friends. I’m sure you understand.”

Here you go. Subtle, ordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=819326

Now I know what you are going to say. Theres no evidence that this happened as a result of this persons prayer.

Yeah, but, from my own experiences it seems odd that every time I put Gods promises into action I get results. EVERY time.

You see, that’s how it works. You have to act in FAITH, then God responds.
That’s why atheists will never get the evidence they want. Because they never ask or act in faith.

‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke chapter 16

Steve

**‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke chapter 16 **

:thumbsup:

Again, it is the ordinary claim that God exists. People everywhere have believed this, even when they did not understand God as he is. Their minds and hearts were “ordinarily” drawn to the notion of a higher power and to life after death. This is why it is extraordinary (out-of-the-ordinary) to hear people say there is no God, and then proceed to act as if it were so just by declaring it a fact. This extraordinary claim requires more extraordinary evidence than that.

That’s a fair point, I think. Still, it’s an ordinary claim that the earth does not move and that it is the sun that moves across the sky. It’s ordinary, but it’s based on common sense appearances. One must go deeper, sometimes, to discover the truth; but this works both ways, of course.

I think even Aquinas, ironically, said that the existence of God was not self-evident. Yet, again, a sun that moves across the sky is self-evident, at least according to superficial appearances. Nothing more ordinary than that.

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