Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims

ECREE emphasizes the common sense notion that the more implausible we initially regard a claim prior to considering the evidence, the greater the evidence we will require to believe the claim.

So Jeff defines “extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims” as “greater evidence” for “implausible claims.”

It’s how to see how that’s supposed to advance the argument. How does that lend conceptual precision to the issue? How do you quantify “greater evidence” or “implausibility”? Aren’t those utterly vague descriptors?  

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me that possibility/impossibility, probability/improbability, plausibility/implausibility are both 1. rated by and 2. a function of one's worldview (to paraphrase Bahnsen). When I say this to people, they often respond by saying that that would mean that people can never change their worldview. Yet, people change philosophies of life all the time.

    I would say that in one sense it's true that people can't change their worldview, and in another sense they can. If Christianity (specifically Calvinistic forms) is true, then the unregenerate will always have an unregenerate philosophy of life (e.g. epistemic standards, morality, metaphysic etc.) regardless of which non-Christian worldview they change from or to. So, in one sense people can change their worldview, and in another sense they can't.

    For example, a non-Christian woman can move from being an atheist to a spiritualist or occultist. So there's some change going on in her belief system. Yet, since both are non-Christian worldviews, there hasn't really been a change because from a Calvinistic presuppositionalist perspective, there are ultimately only two worldviews (or should I say, "Worldviews" with a caplital "W"). The two are the Christian Worldview, and the non-Christian Worldview. That's because all non-Christian worldviews are ultimately part of the same umbrella Worldview that rejects the Christian God. Their differences only being minor in comparison to their contrast and opposition to Christianity. They are like squabbling siblings under the same roof.

    Whenever people do change their Worldview (capital "W"), it's not because they did so themselves, but because God sovereignly regenerates them and gives them "eyes to see and hears to hear". They gain a perspective that's heavenly and so leads them to eventually become a Christian.

    I'm sure Steve, Paul, James (et al.) can explain other qualifications, caveats and distinctions I'm missing.