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Thread: A defense of ECREE

  1. #21
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outis View Post
    Oh, so "slug-like aliens live on the surface of neutron stars" is not an extraordinary claim. Thank you for clarifying that.
    Such aliens are empirically verifiable - at least in principle. This applies to many creatures and organisms, which are prima facie quite astonishing. Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents, and surrounding life-forms, is an example of this.

    http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/hydrothermal-vents.html

    Tassman, you are a pseudoskeptic, to use Marcello Truzzi's term. You are not looking for "extraordinary evidence," you reject, ab initio, that the possibility exists at all.
    In fact I don’t reject that possibility. But claims of a supernatural or paranormal nature, while hypothetically possible, are improbable; no substantiated evidence supporting such claims has been forthcoming as yet
    Last edited by Tassman; 02-10-2014 at 02:47 AM.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
    In fact I don’t reject that possibility.
    From what I've seen in my brief term here, your arguments do not match this claim. Nevertheless, I've only seen a subset of your posts, and your posts only reflect a subset of your views.

  3. #23
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outis View Post
    From what I've seen in my brief term here, your arguments do not match this claim. Nevertheless, I've only seen a subset of your posts, and your posts only reflect a subset of your views.
    Oh ye of little faith. There are lots of my posts floating around cyberspace dating from the pre-crashed TWeb, whereby I acknowledge that virtually anything is possible. Whether probable is another matter altogether.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I don't think that the lack of Extraordinary Evidence is or claims to be a falsifier of any extraordinary claim, its lack merely means that sufficient evidence for reasonable belief is lacking. Personal testimony of miraculous events is not sufficient evidence for reasonable belief.
    Agreed in part. The concept of Extraordinary Evidence is a bit slippery. Actually, there are no falsifiers for religious claims of the miraculous. I prefer more specific types of academic ways of evaluating evidence in terms of different epistemologies. Nonetheless conservative and many moderate apologists most often overstate the strength of their logical arguments for their beliefs. Regardless of ancient religion the evidence remains anecdotal subjective testimonies that are not even documented as first person testimony. Most of these arguments are mainly used to justify the beliefs of the faithful from Plantinga to JP Holding.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    It seems that many apologists discard ECREE as nonsense, but I do not think they should.
    I think it depends on how it's presented. For plenty of skeptics, it's just a fancy way of saying, "Your evidence isn't good enough to support your conclusion." Anybody can say that about any argument, but justifying it is another matter entirely, and you don't justify it by just using different words to say the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    It is entirely relational and not scientific.
    I am aware of no inconsistency between "relational" and "scientific."

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    We call those who do not require ECREE gullible.
    Who is this "we"? You might call them that. I don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    Personal testimony is not enough for us to accept something that fails empiricism
    Not enough for you, I take it. I know plenty of smart people who think otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    Understand that ECREE is not a method for finding truth
    Neither is anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    it is only a measure of evidence required for believability.
    To believe something is just to think that it is true. If you say you believe something, then you say that, in your judgment, it is at least probably true.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    What we accept is based on what has been sufficiently demonstrated to us, many here do not believe in evolution, because it fails to meet their standard of evidence.
    That is because, in their judgment, evolution is an extraordinary claim and there is no extraordinary evidence for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    It is exactly the same, ECREE, that make the scientifically minded not accept the bible.
    But you said ECREE is not scientific. Why should scientifically minded people use an unscientific method for rejecting the Bible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    I think it depends on how it's presented. For plenty of skeptics, it's just a fancy way of saying, "Your evidence isn't good enough to support your conclusion." Anybody can say that about any argument, but justifying it is another matter entirely, and you don't justify it by just using different words to say the same thing.
    I agree, but the point is that supernatural claims do not have evidence to support them, otherwise they would be natural claims, thus testable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Not enough for you, I take it. I know plenty of smart people who think otherwise.
    Being smart has nothing to do with it. We cannot test the personal testimonies, it is subjective evidence. It is also not backed up by any objective sources, only a couple sources written down 40 years after the events supposedly happened. While we can objectively verify some of the Bible's claims, we cannot verify any supernatural claim, by definition.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Neither is anything else.
    Science is a method for finding truth. Judicial process is another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    That is because, in their judgment, evolution is an extraordinary claim and there is no extraordinary evidence for it.
    Yes, that is my point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    But you said ECREE is not scientific. Why should scientifically minded people use an unscientific method for rejecting the Bible?
    The scientifically minded to not reject the Bible based on an unscientific method, that is shifting the burden of proof, some people reject the Bible because there is not sufficient evidence to prove its claims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GioD View Post
    Your example does not justify ECREE. It would be irrational to believe the Leprechaun claim (at least over the other one) because it fails on many less-disputed criteria for probable explanations, such as explanatory power and simplicity than simply because "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence". And why presuppose empiricism here when it comes to determining the rationality or probability of claims? Furthermore, by your own admission ECREE is highly subjective. This greatly diminishes its use as a criterion for probable explanations and rational belief - imagine a man who has never before seen ice denying a traveller's claims to have seen it based on his prior experience. I know you said this was meant for subjective believability and not actual probability, but it is only rational for those two factors to correlate. If what one believes when it comes to history and science isn't based upon what the evidence suggests is probable, one isn't acting rationally. If one refuses to change one's beliefs because they are not supported by personal experiences and go against personal assumptions, throwing one's hands in the air and saying "well, that doesn't meet my personal standard of evidence so I won't believe it," as you imply atheists are doing with the Bible when appealing to ECREE, is simply irrational. And I say that as readily for Christians denying evolution as I do for atheists denying the Bible.
    Yes, if a man who had never seen ice before is confronted by a traveler who describes it, it is unlikely he will believe that when water becomes cold it becomes solid. It is a claim that is not reproducible in his environment and the claim is not coming from a trusted source. Had it been his brother returning from a trip, it would be a different story.

    Improbable, or extraordinary, claims should be criticized and tested. The problem with Biblical claims is that a large portion of them are untestable/unfalsifiable. There are also testable claims in the Bible which, when they do not prove true, are justified by saying, "God shall not be tested," or similar justifications; as far as I know no man, regardless of the amount of faith he possessed, has ever moved a mountain, but that could have just been metaphorical.

    The point is that supernatural claims defy the understanding of our environment. They should require more than limited subjective evidence to refute the hundreds of years of scientific experiment and debate to achieve acceptance. I assume you do not believe in Big foot merely because several people claim to have seen him? Evolution has been proven by its ability to predict, by several scientific disciplines noticing the same behavior, and by archaeological evidence. The Bible's only proof is itself.

  8. #28
    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    Yes, if a man who had never seen ice before is confronted by a traveler who describes it, it is unlikely he will believe that when water becomes cold it becomes solid. It is a claim that is not reproducible in his environment and the claim is not coming from a trusted source. Had it been his brother returning from a trip, it would be a different story.
    Maybe it’s not reproducible in his environment but it is a claim concerning the natural world nevertheless. Thus, in principle, it is empirically testable - unlike supernatural claims.

    Improbable, or extraordinary, claims should be criticized and tested. The problem with Biblical claims is that a large portion of them are untestable/unfalsifiable. There are also testable claims in the Bible which, when they do not prove true, are justified by saying, "God shall not be tested," or similar justifications; as far as I know no man, regardless of the amount of faith he possessed, has ever moved a mountain, but that could have just been metaphorical.

    The point is that supernatural claims defy the understanding of our environment. They should require more than limited subjective evidence to refute the hundreds of years of scientific experiment and debate to achieve acceptance. I assume you do not believe in Big foot merely because several people claim to have seen him? Evolution has been proven by its ability to predict, by several scientific disciplines noticing the same behavior, and by archaeological evidence. The Bible's only proof is itself.
    And yet limited subjective evidence is all there is.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    I agree, but the point is that supernatural claims do not have evidence to support them, otherwise they would be natural claims, thus testable.
    I agree that the evidence is not sufficient to establish their credibility. That doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist. To say that there is evidence for some proposition does not imply that the proposition must be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar
    Personal testimony is not enough for us to accept something that fails empiricism
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver
    Not enough for you, I take it. I know plenty of smart people who think otherwise.
    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    Being smart has nothing to do with it. We cannot test the personal testimonies, it is subjective evidence.
    Your assumption that it is always subjective begs the question. Testimony is evidence. If it is a matter of fact that someone says they saw X happen, then their say-so is evidence that X happened. It might not be sufficient evidence, depending on all kinds of situational variables, but it is evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    we cannot verify any supernatural claim, by definition.
    You might define supernatural that way. I don't. But it is a good way to guarantee you can never lose any argument about evidence for supernatural claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar
    Understand that ECREE is not a method for finding truth
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver
    Neither is anything else.
    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    Science is a method for finding truth. Judicial process is another.
    That's a mighty naïve view of the judicial process. The legal system is about resolving disputes. In criminal cases the disputes are between the government and the individual. In civil cases the disputes are between individuals. It frequently happens that discovery of truth facilitates the resolution, but in many cases the discovery of truth is subordinated to some other means of resolving the dispute.

    Science is a method of explaining observations about the natural universe. I will stipulate that the explanations have, historically speaking, been approaching truth. I don't think there is a good argument for the proposition that they have gotten there yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar
    It is exactly the same, ECREE, that make the scientifically minded not accept the bible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver
    But you said ECREE is not scientific. Why should scientifically minded people use an unscientific method for rejecting the Bible?
    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    The scientifically minded to not reject the Bible based on an unscientific method, that is shifting the burden of proof,
    You said in your OP, "ECREE is not a scientific method." And you say that ECREE is why scientifically minded people don't accept the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by damanar View Post
    some people reject the Bible because there is not sufficient evidence to prove its claims.
    Now you're just contradicting yourself, I think. To me, it seems pretty scientific to reject something because of insufficient evidence. But isn't that what ECREE is supposed to be all about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    I agree that the evidence is not sufficient to establish their credibility. That doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist. To say that there is evidence for some proposition does not imply that the proposition must be true.
    I agree


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Your assumption that it is always subjective begs the question. Testimony is evidence. If it is a matter of fact that someone says they saw X happen, then their say-so is evidence that X happened. It might not be sufficient evidence, depending on all kinds of situational variables, but it is evidence.
    I agree.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    You might define supernatural that way. I don't. But it is a good way to guarantee you can never lose any argument about evidence for supernatural claims.
    I define it as the dictionary does, "an event beyond the understanding of science or the laws of nature." It doesn't mean something that is supernatural is untrue, it means we do not understand it in a way that fits within natural laws. Many things that formerly had supernatural explanations now have natural explanations through scientific discovery.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    That's a mighty naïve view of the judicial process. The legal system is about resolving disputes. In criminal cases the disputes are between the government and the individual. In civil cases the disputes are between individuals. It frequently happens that discovery of truth facilitates the resolution, but in many cases the discovery of truth is subordinated to some other means of resolving the dispute.
    You are correct, it is a method of finding truth. It may not always find truth, but it is a method for finding the truth, or at least the guilty party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    Science is a method of explaining observations about the natural universe. I will stipulate that the explanations have, historically speaking, been approaching truth. I don't think there is a good argument for the proposition that they have gotten there yet.
    We do not have the universal theory of everything yet, no. But, we do know things through scientific exploration. AKA, it is a method for finding truth, even if we haven't found every truth out there yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shaver View Post
    You said in your OP, "ECREE is not a scientific method." And you say that ECREE is why scientifically minded people don't accept the Bible.

    Now you're just contradicting yourself, I think. To me, it seems pretty scientific to reject something because of insufficient evidence. But isn't that what ECREE is supposed to be all about?
    My point was that ECREE isn't a scientific method of finding truth. It is merely stating that people should be skeptical of claims that defy natural laws, or modern/empirical precedent, ie. things we can test. So, the skepticism is something that scientist should hold to so they can objectively test supernatural claims. I guess you are right, in a way, it is an indirect way of finding truth, as skeptical people will challenge and test supernatural claims with the scientific method. Would you agree if I said it is a human attribute that helps to find truth, as opposed to a method of finding truth?

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