Monday, June 27, 2005

Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary proof: Or do they?

Examining the dictim, often used as a hedge against any sort of justification argument for belief, the phrase is half baked at best. The following four precepts form the basis for my argument:


(1) "extraordinary" is in the eye of the beholder

(2) One would epxect the extraordinary to be a break with norms, such that we cannot think of the usual run of the mill daily concerns as extraordinary claims.

(3) One would think that any concept which holds presumption would pass teh test as an ordinary claim

(4) any view has presumpumption when it prestends a premia facie case.

Taking these four precepts, we can make two arguments such that the atheist hedge of the extraordinary claim is a half baked peice of "spin doctoring" rather than a sound philosphical prnicipel.




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Argument (1): Religious belief is Normative.

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Religious beilef is the norm for humanity:not only is this so but it is also the upshot of our body chemestry.

The vast majority of humans who ever lived have been religious. This is not only so today, when 90% of the world pop is religiouis, but it has always been the case as far back as we can recognize our distant cousins's ancestors (Neanderthal) as being human; human-like people have always been predominately religious.

Moreover, it is part of our make up to be religious:

(a) the "God pod" means that the concept of God is wried into our brains.

(b) psychological archetypes show up the world over on all psychoanalytical tests, indicating that the same symbolism world over is universal to humanity--including religious symbols.

(c) mental and physical health is much bettr for religious participants.

What all this means is that it is normative for humans to be religious. Thus it cannot be an extraordinary claim.



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Argument (2) Presumption

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Religious beilef meets PF case

Empirical studies of RE estabish a PM case since they show us that the same affects are foud in all religioins the world over. This means that, while particular religiosu traditions are cultural constructs, the basic core idea of religion itself is part and pacell of human experine, is the norm and normative for human beings, and seems to indicate a co-dermeinate of God belif.

That frees the believer from any need to prove, because belief is prima facie. It is the job of the skeptic to now show that the evidence is inadequate and that the case has not been established.




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Summary:That means it is the atheist who must get past the extraordinary claim problem. With 90% of huamnity beileving in some form of God it is an extraordinary calim to suggest that there is nothing beyond human experince that we might label "divine."

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" is itself an extraordinary claim. The standard of proof for it has never been met.

J.L. Hinman said...

yea I agree

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