It is all about evidence

There are ongoing threads about God’s existence, one of them having the title: “Why do you believe in God”? One can see assertions like: “There is a ton of evidence for… ”. Rather then to derail those threads, I would like to explore the problem of “evidence” on its own right.

The question is: “what counts as evidence”? The fact is that all the “evidence” offered by the believers is the same kind: “hearsay evidence”. There is no direct, verifiable evidence that would be offered.

The believers say that God cannot be put in a Petri-dish, so the non-believers are unreasonable to request physical evidence. Sounds good at first glance, but then the believers also say that God actively maintains this physical existence. Not just set the whole “shebang” in motion, fabricated some laws of nature, and then laid back and – apart from very rare miracles – only observes the scenery. There is no event (be it a Holocaust, an act of charity, throwing an infant into a furnace or making love to someone, etc…) in which God is not an active participant. As such it would be very reasonable that God’s constant interaction with the physical reality could be observed.

But the believers deny it. This whole interaction is just considered “invisible magic”, which cannot be detected. So what “evidence” do they offer?

Also the believers assert that God grants some supplicative prayers. Now that could be tested. The person uttering the request is in this reality, the prayer – if granted – can be examined in this reality, so it is definitely subject to scientific analysis. We could conduct a regression analysis. And the result? There is no statistical correlation between the prayers and their alleged “fulfillment”. When this discrepancy is pointed out to the believers, they will invariably say, that God cannot be “tested”. God may grant some requests, but only if the requests are not part of a “testing” process.

So, what remains?

The only “evidence” being offered by the catholics is the 1) Bible, and 2) the so-called “sacred” tradition. The trouble is that catholics assert that New Testament was put together by the catholic church, and, of course the “sacred” tradition is the tradition of the same church. So we deal with the convenient setup where the church created the “evidence” and then it says that the “evidence” supports what the church teaches. And then to add insult to injury it also claims that the church is infallible in the case of faith and morals. :slight_smile: That is not something that is convincing for the skeptics.

So, the next argument is offered: “almost 100% of what we know comes indirectly, from some kind of testimonials”. We almost never take the time and effort to personally verify the claims of others, especially the claims of experts. (Not to mention that we are not even qualified to conduct most of the experiments – they need specialized knowledge that we lack.) Again, at first glance it sounds reasonable. However, the reliance on testimonials is not “absolute”.

Why do we trust the scientists? Because they can substantiate what they claim. You do not need “faith” that the scientist is right. You can demand that he proves what he states. Moreover he must be able to tell you how to conduct the experiment, so you need not rely on his word at all. With the scientific claims the “chain” of experts is finite. At the end there is the actual experiment. That is the difference between the claims of science and the claims of religion. There is no religious authority which could substantiate the existence of an “immortal soul”, or the “bliss” is heaven, or the suffering in “hell” or the “existence of angels and demons”. The “chain” of experts does not end, they all point to another “expert”. It is “turtles all the way down”, supported only by “faith”. And “faith” without evidence is called “blind faith”.

The funny thing that in real life no one would accept such an “evidence”. Imagine that you are accused of raping and murdering a dozen children, and the prosecution would offer this “evidence”: “I have a few witnesses (Joe and Mary and some more), who are about to testify that they heard from Jim, or Kay, or others, who all read somewhere about the accused having performed such an act. No, there are no bodies found. But Jim (and Kay etc…) are very honest and reliable persons, so you should take their testimony seriously”. What would be your reaction if you were actually convicted on such flimsy and ridiculous “evidence”?

Hearsay evidence is sometimes accepted in certain, un-important cases. But never in important ones. So the conclusion is that there is no evidence for the claims of religion. They all must be accepted on faith – blind faith. Can anyone refute this?

Jewel34,

I think you have summed it up rather nicely. I completely understand the desire for believers to speak in absolutes, but intellectual honesty is important in these discussions. I can no more prove the existence of my version of the Deity than anyone else…anyone. The utilization of visions, encyclicals and tradition is not proof. In fact, some religions that believers would reject as pagan have all these elements.

Ok. Let’s go back. We have things/beings which were created by beings which were created by beings…which were created by beings…created beings…etc., etc. etc.

Now, atheists and others would have us believe this pattern just went back into infinity with no beginning?

We believe in the beginning, when we go far enough back, there was one being which was uncreated. We call this being “God”. Now, what do you call it? Or, do you subscribe to the theory that this all just kept going back, in an infinite chain of creation, without a beginning, without any uncreated being at the start?

Why is it so much more unplausible to believe there was a Creator than an string of uncreated beings, into infinity?

Some believe there was an incredible explosión, and I don’t doubt that. However, that this explosión, rather than créate utter chaos, created unbelievable order, perfection, without any guidance, help, or direction whatsoever, that it just all happened “by itself”!

Well, if they would be convinced, they wouldn’t be called “skeptics”… :slight_smile:

And is the goal to find out the truth, or to make the case with the level of certainty “beyond shadow of doubt” (which, of course, is above “beyond reasonable doubt”)…?

By the way, skeptics who doubt existence of God are not alone. There are “skeptics” who doubt the reality of Moon landings, laws of thermodynamics, evolution, disproval of “cold nuclear synthesis”… And all of them will tell you that evidence to the contrary is weak (in a similar way) and shouldn’t count. Yet I suspect it does not persuade you to agree with them…

Oh, and it would be wrong to say that Bible and Tradition is the only evidence we have. For example, there are also philosophical arguments (like “fivefold way” of St. Thomas Aquinas), there are also reports of private revelation, like in case of Fatima…

Actually, in case of Catholic faith the evidence goes back to the apostles and Jesus. Or, in case of private revelation, back to the one who so the vision (or something). There is definitely an end.

Oh, and, unfortunately, in the real world “Moreover he must be able to tell you how to conduct the experiment, so you need not rely on his word at all.” is not completely true a bit too often… Try reading the actual papers in journals and conference proceedings and you will see…

Thus in practice, you believe the scientists, because you find them trustworthy…

And, of course, there is also a difference between religious and scientific claims you didn’t mention: trusting the scientists does not create many demands for one’s behaviour… Thus, in a sense, it doesn’t “cost” much to trust the scientists.

I already told you on a different thread: disallowing of hearsay evidence is a feature of “Common law” legal system only (with “adversarial system” of legal process). In “Civil law” legal system (with “inquisitorial system” of legal process) evidence is not discounted.

Actually, there are more types of evidence that is discounted in “Common law”, but not in “Civil law”. For example, lawcom.govt.nz/sites/default/files/adversarial_and_inquisitorial_systems_2.pdf lists the “criminal history” of the accused as one example.

Now one should ask which of those systems is better for finding truth. And the answer seems to be simple: “adversarial system” is being lauded as being truer to “presumption of innocence” (“better to let ten guilty men go free…” etc.), not as being able to find the truth.

Thus it would seem obvious that using rules of evidence taken from “adversarial system” in this case is not a good idea.

Something tells me that being convicted on any evidence is not very pleasant…

Also, you should note that “Common law” would prevent the accused from offering “hearsay” evidence that confirms an alibi as well…

Furthermore, the point is not that all evidence is sufficient, but that even weak evidence is still evidence to be considered.

What is the [FONT=verdana]direct, verifiable evidence that your mind exists?

The believers say that God cannot be put in a Petri-dish, so the non-believers are unreasonable to request physical evidence. Sounds good at first glance, but then the believers also say that God actively maintains this physical existence… Not just set the whole “shebang” in motion, fabricated some laws of nature, and then laid back and – apart from very rare miracles – only observes the scenery. There is no event (be it a Holocaust, an act of charity, throwing an infant into a furnace or making love to someone, etc…) in which God is not an active participant. As such it would be very reasonable that God’s constant interaction with the physical reality could be observed.

Is your mind’s [/FONT][FONT=verdana]constant interaction with physical reality observable?

But the believers deny it. This whole interaction is just considered “invisible magic”, which cannot be detected. So what “evidence” do they offer?

What detectable evidence is there that your power **to decide **what to think and how to act? Or is it a fantasy?

Also the believers assert that God grants some supplicative prayers. Now that could be tested. The person uttering the request is in this reality, the prayer – if granted – can be examined in this reality, so it is definitely subject to scientific analysis. We could conduct a regression analysis. And the result? There is no statistical correlation between the prayers and their alleged “fulfillment”. When this discrepancy is pointed out to the believers, they will invariably say, that God cannot be “tested”. God may grant some requests, but only if the requests are not part of a “testing” process.

The notion of God as a slot-machine is infantile.

The only “evidence” being offered by the catholics is the 1) Bible, and 2) the so-called “sacred” tradition. The trouble is that catholics assert that New Testament was put together by the catholic church, and, of course the “sacred” tradition is the tradition of the same church. So we deal with the convenient setup where the church created the “evidence”…

What is the [/FONT][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana]verifiable evidence that the[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana] church created the “evidence”? Or is it another infantile fantasy? [/FONT][/FONT]

So, the next argument is offered: “almost 100% of what we know comes indirectly, from some kind of testimonials”. We almost never take the time and effort to personally verify the claims of others, especially the claims of experts… Again, at first glance it sounds reasonable. However, the reliance on testimonials is not “absolute”.

A straw man.

Why do we trust the scientists? Because they can substantiate what they claim. You do not need “faith” that the scientist is right. You can demand that he proves what he states. Moreover he must be able to tell you how to conduct the experiment, so you need not rely on his word at all. With the scientific claims the “chain” of experts is finite. At the end there is the actual experiment.

No reputable scientist believes in **proof **because certainty is only attained in logic and mathematics.

That is the difference between the claims of science and the claims of religion. There is no religious authority which could substantiate the existence of an “immortal soul”, or the “bliss” is heaven, or the suffering in “hell” or the “existence of angels and demons”. The “chain” of experts does not end, they all point to another “expert”. It is “turtles all the way down”, supported only by “faith”. And “faith” without evidence is called “blind faith”.

The only faith that is blind is the faith that science explains itself and the scientist into the bargain. It is based on the unverifiable and self-refuting assumption that the sole form of energy is mindless and purposeless…

The funny thing that in real life no one would accept such an “evidence”. Imagine that you are accused of raping and murdering a dozen children, and the prosecution would offer this “evidence”: “I have a few witnesses (Joe and Mary and some more), who are about to testify that they heard from Jim, or Kay, or others, who all read somewhere about the accused having performed such an act… No, there are no bodies found. But Jim (and Kay etc…) are very honest and reliable persons, so you should take their testimony seriously”. What would be your reaction if you were actually convicted on such flimsy and ridiculous “evidence”?

What [/FONT][FONT=verdana]would be your reaction if you were convicted on such flimsy and ridiculous “evidence” that you were incapable of controlling yourself because [/FONT][FONT=verdana][FONT=verdana]the sole form of energy is mindless and purposeless?
[/FONT]

Hearsay evidence is sometimes accepted in certain, un-important cases. But never in important ones. So the conclusion is that there is no evidence for the claims of religion. They all must be accepted on faith – blind faith. Can anyone refute this?

Straw man.

[/FONT]

Is it intellectually honest to regard materialism as indisputably true and science as the sole valid explanation of reality?

This sounds as if science has a grasp on something quite profound, but in reality, it isn’t much of a claim at all.

What insight does science really procure? By carefully analyzing what has and does happen, it provides a level of certainty that if Actions A, B and C are undertaken in the physical and causal plane, the result will inevitably be X. Okay, great.

The problem is science does not equip us, in the least, to determine whether X is an outcome that ought to obtain. We can cause X if we undertake A, B and C, but should we?
For what purpose or reason?

The “evidence” is insufficient to answer that question.

By denying purpose, science seeks to be neutral with regard to deciding whether X should occur. How, then, is THAT decision made? Not scientifically, because the methods of science deliberately do not provide any answers to OUGHT or WHY questions.

How are questions of meaningfulness, value and purpose to be answered if science provides the only source of truth? (Presuming that truth is ONLY correspondence with or a verifiable depiction of material events.)

Why should science and its methods be the only means by which to attempt to understand reality? What do we do with all this procured scientific knowledge? Where do we go from here as a biological species?

Science does not have answers for these - and many more - questions.

If you want to insist on scientific knowledge as the only minefield for “knowledge” you need to show that scientific “knowledge” is sufficient for human good. That, it seems to me, is like claiming that iron is sufficient for humans because it is so accessible and useful and other minerals, like copper or bauxite are unnecessary BECAUSE we have iron in such accessible abundance.

:thumbsup: No rational person lives as if science is the sole source of wisdom.

Jeeez, I can’t miss this. :popcorn:
Popcorn ready, can’t wait for people coming up with Theory of Everything, String Theory, Space-time bending, Holographic universe and more interesting scientific ** THEORIES**. This will be epic :knight2:

Just one qualification to your excellent point: it would be stronger if you eliminated time language. The classical argument as made by Aquinas is not that there “was” an uncreated being, but that there is, and that this being is currently causing everything that happens.

The OP argues that this should be observable, but gives no reasons for this demand.

God doesn’t (except for miracles) interact with the world as one being with another. God causes the being of created things. You observe this “interaction” by observing the created things. It’s the very regularity of creation that proves the existence of God.

Atheists simply deny that an ultimate explanation is necessary. I don’t find that denial convincing.

Edwin

Likely true, Thomas Jefferson accepted the wisdom of the New Testament, but removed all the supernatural and miracles, and he was one of our great thinkers.

In that respect he wasn’t wise. The life, death and teaching of Jesus are an integrated whole and cannot be fully understood in isolation. He put into practice what He preached and told us to follow His example.

Absolutely correct! This is the most relevant question!

Yet, you fail to address the question of ‘evidence’ in any meaningful way. Do mathematical proofs prove their case? Of course! Yet, is there any ‘evidence’ that is presented in a mathematical proof? No… because a mathematical proof is an exercise in theorem and logic. If I asked you for empirical evidence of a mathematical proof, you’d think I was a loon, and rightly so! After all, you could show me a 3-4-5 right triangle, and a 5-12-13 right triangle, and a 8-15-17 triangle, and all these would be ‘empirical evidence’ – but these would not prove the Pythagorean Theorem.

So, empirical evidence is not an absolute requirement in all cases in which we wish to ‘prove’ something. What about in a court of law? Well, even there, absolute and irrefutable physical evidence – which would be nice to have – is not a necessity. How could that be? In this context, the relevant standard is ‘a preponderance of the evidence’ (in civil cases) or that ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ (in criminal cases) the evidence substantiates the claim.

Hmm… so, we have two contexts in which irrefutable empirical evidence is not the standard by which truth is measured. Interesting! Why, then, do non-theists require theists to meet the burden of such a standard of proof? Perhaps because, in the realm of science, this is the standard? Yet, even this is not the case! If it were the case that the scientific method required this standard of proof, then there would be no advances in science: one scientist would provide a bullet-proof case, and it would be accepted, and no conflicting theory could ever be provided (or, no one would ever be able to provide bullet-proof evidence, and science would never get off the ground).

So, where does this leave us? Well, on one hand, we see that different standards of evidence are reasonable in different contexts. On the other hand, we see that, even in a scientific context, “best available evidence” is sufficient to reach a conclusion.

What, then, is the reasonable standard of evidence in the case of questions of history in antiquity? Do we require physical evidence to conclude that Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps? Do we have eyewitness – or merely “hearsay” – evidence to this event? Yet, no one disputes these claims. Why is it reasonable to accept “hearsay” evidence about Hannibal but unreasonable to accept “hearsay” evidence about Jesus?

Unless you can demonstrate that you are not creating a double standard – which, as it is, seems to be a reasonable view of your demands – then it’s difficult to take your claims seriously. :shrug:

As such it would be very reasonable that God’s constant interaction with the physical reality could be observed.

But the believers deny it. This whole interaction is just considered “invisible magic”, which cannot be detected. So what “evidence” do they offer?

No, not “invisible magic”; rather, the difficulty lies in identifying those instances in which God’s interaction with the world is empirically distinguishable from the operation of the physical universe on its own. If you have a reasonable hypothesis that proposes how one might (1) distinguish God’s interaction from normal physical processes and (2) predicts when one might be able to anticipate such an interaction, then you would have the opportunity to assert that no such interaction exists. Short of such a hypothesis, you are unable to establish a null result.

I’ve run a bit long. I’d love to address your other assertions; however, let’s start with these rebuttals and move forward if it makes sense to do so… :wink:

[quote=ClearWater]We believe in the beginning, when we go far enough back, there was one being which was uncreated. We call this being “God”.
[/quote]

This is a variant of the philosophical arguments, but even if they were correct, they would never establish the God of Christianity, only a faceless “deistic god”.

[quote=MPat]Oh, and it would be wrong to say that Bible and Tradition is the only evidence we have. For example, there are also philosophical arguments (like “fivefold way” of St. Thomas Aquinas), there are also reports of private revelation, like in case of Fatima…
[/quote]

As I said above, the philosophical arguments could never establish the God of Christianity. So called private “revelations” are not accepted even by the Church, so they are not evidence of anything.

[quote=MPat]Actually, in case of Catholic faith the evidence goes back to the apostles and Jesus. Or, in case of private revelation, back to the one who so the vision (or something). There is definitely an end.
[/quote]

That is exactly what I mean by hearsay evidence. There is only the word of the Church (in the Bible and in the “sacred” tradition) that the description of what transpired 2000-some years ago is accurate. (There is no independent corroboration of “walking on water”, for example.) As for the legal system, the more serious the issue is, the more stringent are the requirements for the evidence presented. Since the seriousness of God’s existence cannot be surpassed, it is rational to demand the evidence “beyond a shadow of the doubt”.

[quote=tonyrey]The notion of God as a slot-machine is infantile.
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Don’t tell me. :wink: Tell it to the zillions of posters on the “Prayer Intentions” sub forum.

[quote=tonyrey]What is the verifiable evidence that the church created the “evidence”?
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The Church said it. Do you doubt the Church?

[quote=Peter Plato]The problem is science does not equip us, in the least, to determine whether X is an outcome that ought to obtain. We can cause X if we undertake A, B and C, but should we?
[/quote]

The social sciences deal with this question. And it has nothing to do with the question presented in the OP.

[quote=Gorgias]Yet, you fail to address the question of ‘evidence’ in any meaningful way. Do mathematical proofs prove their case? Of course!
[/quote]

Of course, not! One cannot have or demand empirical evidence for the claims of abstract sciences.

[quote=Gorgias]What about in a court of law? Well, even there, absolute and irrefutable physical evidence – which would be nice to have – is not a necessity. How could that be? In this context, the relevant standard is ‘a preponderance of the evidence’ (in civil cases) or that ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ (in criminal cases) the evidence substantiates the claim.
[/quote]

As I already said a few times: the more important, the more serious the claim is, we demand more reliable evidence for it. Stands to reason, I would say.

[quote=Gorgias]Why, then, do non-theists require theists to meet the burden of such a standard of proof? Perhaps because, in the realm of science, this is the standard? Yet, even this is not the case!
[/quote]

Actually, it is. When it comes to claims about the external reality, the only acceptable method to establish the claim is to present an epistemological method to verify (and/or falsify) the claim. It does not need to be a “physical” process, only something that can be repeated and verified (or falsified). Contrary to what you said, in science there is no “proof”, only a method to make predictions and verifying the outcome of the predictions against the experiments. And such claims are presented by believers. They assert the efficacy of prayers. Yet, when one conducts a properly established, double-blind experiment, the claim is not substantiated.

[quote=Gorgias]What, then, is the reasonable standard of evidence in the case of questions of history in antiquity? Do we require physical evidence to conclude that Hannibal marched elephants over the Alps? Do we have eyewitness – or merely “hearsay” – evidence to this event? Yet, no one disputes these claims. Why is it reasonable to accept “hearsay” evidence about Hannibal but unreasonable to accept “hearsay” evidence about Jesus?
[/quote]

There are two problems with this approach. God and Jesus are supposed to alive and active today, quite unlike Hannibal. So to offer similar kinds of “evidence” is incorrect. Second, the claims about Hannibal firmly belong to the “who heck cares?” category, while the claims about God’s existence would be of absolute importance – if they could be substantiated. Besides, I hope you do not say that the alleged miracles performed by Jesus are established equally well as Hannibal’s crossing the Alps.


PS: I would like to point out that it is against the forum rules to “answer” a question with a “counter-question”. Make an answer first, and then you will be in the position to present a counter-question.

Do you want a single piece of evidence to establish everything at once in other cases? Philosophical arguments establish some facts. Then other evidence, supported by those arguments can establish other facts.

Just like in case of evolution you would not be able to give a single piece of evidence that demonstrates everything. Or do you think it is reasonable to reject evolution unless one is shown a monkey evolving into a human within a day…?

As for private revelations, do you have at least hearsay evidence that supports your statement…?

I have already explained to you why such understanding of Law is not correct. Could you please address that part…?

And anyway, I was explaining why your explanation why you accept “scientific hearsay” and not “religious hearsay” is inadequate. What kind of example would you expect there?

By the way, you did not defend your views on that…

There is a difference between “What time is it?” and “I will ask you ‘What time is it?’ one hundred times and then will calculate the standard deviation.”… One indicates the willingness to get an answer and another one indicates something different. It is similar with prayer.

Wouldn’t the claim “God does not exist.” be just as serious, as “God does exist.”…? If so, do you demand the same kind of insanely strong evidence to support it as well…?

So, are you saying that, since the question was “Can anyone refute this?”, we had to start with “I can!”…? :slight_smile:

More seriously, the point of the rule is probably to discourage the ones who evade the questions. You did get many of them and it would be excusable to ignore some, but I hope that this “PS” does mean that you actually intend to answer every single of them.

The question in the opening post presumes that the post title “It is all about evidence” is self-evidently true. That claim is, precisely, what requires support before we can meaningfully insist that the term “evidence” - as in “What counts as evidence?” - can be reasonably used to dismiss the question of God based upon the thin assertion that “it is all about evidence.”

The social sciences do not deal with the questions I brought up. Ought and why questions cannot be answered by evidence. To blithely point to “social sciences” as the answer is dismissive, at best.

Determining a choice or carrying out an action might be helped by considering evidence, but ultimately evidence of all sorts is insufficient with regards to making a final decision. Evidence might be a necessary component, but that is far from making it sufficient.

Evidence provides the data to be weighed in a decision, but evidence does not provide the criteria by which the evidence is weighed. Criteria is a judgement issue, not a fact issue. Judgements require applying qualitative weighting. Evidence cannot, on its own, provide what is required to form criteria for making judgements.

That a nuclear bomb CAN be constructed using materials x, y and z does not equal the decision that a nuclear bomb SHOULD be built using x, y and z. The social sciences are not, in the least, helpful for making that kind of decision.

The more serious and important the claim, the more conclusive the evidence required, but evidence, by itself, does not draw conclusions, nor does it supply the means by which to do so.

An epistemology that only considers physical evidence cannot insist that it is the correct epistemology by appealing only to physical evidence. Even if that were possible, it would be no less question begging than a religious person who insisted that the Bible is the word of God because God wrote it.

Ignoring the question begging issue, how do you go about showing that physical evidence alone can count towards epistemological certainty? How can we be epistemologically certain of that claim using physical evidence alone?

[quote=MPat]Wouldn’t the claim “God does not exist.” be just as serious, as “God does exist.”…? If so, do you demand the same kind of insanely strong evidence to support it as well…?
[/quote]

Of course not! If there is no God, there is no “afterlife”, so this existence is “all we get”. There is nothing to worry about. Besides most atheists do not actually assert that God does not exist, they merely point out that the “hearsay evidence” is insufficient. To demand a “non-hearsay” type of evidence is not “insanely strong”. Only in the truly irrelevant cases are we satisfied with unsupported hearsay “evidence”.

[quote=Peter Plato]…a religious person who insisted that the Bible is the word of God because God wrote it.
[/quote]

This is a perfect example. How would that person establish the claim that the Bible was the word of God, when the Catholic Church was the institution which selected which writs are supposed be included in the Bible, and which ones are deemed “apocryphal”? And used a simple voting process when there was a difference in opinion.

I am still waiting to see a “non-hearsay” type evidence being presented. :wink:

You know, Pascal’s Wager is supposed to show that it is in those cases when we should direct the presumption in the other way… That is, to “err on the side of caution”.

And the presumption of innocence works the same way: one is presumed to be innocent not because being guilty is “important” (whatever that would mean), but because mistakenly convicting an innocent is worse than mistakenly declaring a criminal to be innocent.

Yet the thread was not started by “most atheists”, it was started by you. What do you think…?

And you do not seem to claim that evidence is insufficient (that would be a much more reasonable position), but that it should be ignored outright.

It did look like you were claiming that in this case it would be reasonable to demand “insanely strong” evidence. That’s the natural conclusion: if you claim that important claims demand stronger evidence and that this claim is the most important, then you can be expected to demand extremely (or “insanely”) strong evidence for it. Or is something wrong here…?

And I am still waiting to see any type of evidence being presented in favour of some of your assertions. For example, the claim that the Church rejects private revelation, or the claim that “Common law” rules of evidence are meant to demand stronger evidence for “important” claims… Or an acknowledgement of lack of such rules of evidence in “Civil law” legal system. Or… Well, for someone who demands strong evidence, you sure have made many claims supported by no evidence at all…

Oh, and you have been offered other evidence (philosophical arguments and private revelations). You just dismissed it, although it sure does fit the description here.

Jefferson removed the Virgin Birth, the supposed miracles and his resurrection. All the teachings and wisdom remained behind and are hardly an integrated whole (Just compare the 4 Gospels). They tell different stories or the same stories differently,

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