Extraordinary claims require … ordinary evidence

It’s a popular atheistic mantra: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!” With that, they throw away any sort of evidence given for God, Jesus or the Bible. (Someone else can perhaps examine the implication that the Christian’s view, and not the one of the atheist, is the extraordinary one – for example, is it really more extraordinary to think the universe had a maker, than to think it did not?)

But extraordinary claims do not require extraordinary evidence. Let’s examine, for the sake of argument, two claims, one ordinary and one extraordinary.

Claim 1) I have a light brown dog with two pointy ears and two big brown eyes.

Claim 2) I have a bright green dog with six pointy ears and three big red eyes.

 What evidence would it take for you to believe the former? And the latter?

Well, the former statement you may perhaps believe without looking for any further evidence. Or, if you are of a more skeptical ilk, you may want to come to my house and confirm that I have such an animal there, or even that the dog in question is indeed mine.

For the second one, you almost certainly will want to see my dog before believing me.

If you believed me about having a brown dog, without requiring to see it, you did not believe without evidence. You have evidence- many of the canines you saw before- for the existence of light brown dogs with two ears.

If you come to my house, and see my green, six-eared terrier, it would not be “extraordinary evidence.” It will be the same kind of evidence you used to believe in the existence of brown dogs. In fact, the extraordinary claim will require less evidence than you have for the ordinary one. The brown dog story matches a lot of evidence you previously saw in dogs. The green dog story will only match one actual animal.


About Retha Faurie

Attempting to question everything, reject the bad and hold fast to the good.
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