Sunday, July 24, 2011

What would prove to you that there is a God?

>>I think the strength of evidence required to falsify a claim depends on the amount of evidence extant.

Actually and somewhat interestingly, I think it's a bit more nuanced than that. The old axiom that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is true but what is meant by "extraordinary" isn't simply "a lot" but a quality difference as well. There is some arcane debate out there as to what would convince an ardent atheist there is a God. And some folks claim "well if God came down and talked to me", but others have rightfully noted that somethings like left-temporal lobe epilepsy can cause that exact heterophenomenon and it might well be a better conclusion that you are simply having an exceptionally vivid hallucination (as many are),  rather than God is really talking to you. So then where does that leave the proposition?

The problem here is that a lot of evidence is different than extraordinary. You really need an explanation that explains everything. And to the above question I think a satisfactory answer is that if I woke up from a matrix like game designed and executed by God, upon waking I quickly regain my real memories and understand the physics of the real universe are nothing like the massive multiplayer networked video game that is all of this universe and that real physics were completely different than the physics of Earth. Such evidence would be substantially more extraordinary than something claiming to be God coming around and showing off what could be super-advanced alien technology on Earth. Extraordinary doesn't mean a lot of additional evidence to the contrary but something that could actually overthrow everything we think we know about the universe.


Kay said...

I can understand and I like what you wrote here. The word extraordinary brought to my memory a book that I have read.

"The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things" By Larry Dossey, M.D.

It's an easy read, especially for you. Would love to know your opinion if you get the opp to get it.

Kay said...

I have not read the entire book from front to back, but only bits and pieces that peaked my interest. I applied some of things to my life, and noticed a difference in me personally.

Found the book in 2009 at the Library when I was looking in the Medical section.

Tatarize said...

I checked Amazon and looked through the preview it offered. And my conclusion is Meh. He's overly sanguine with regard to the efficacy of CAM, but generally right about attitude the noted benefit of rather basic things. Focusing on negative things and expecting bad things isn't that good for you. It'll never cure a serious infection or any real medical problem but with regard to overall wellness attitude, placebos, and outlook do matter.

In the end his advice is be optimistic with a bit of rather silly CAM nonsense. At best alternative medicine is placebo. And vague advice about forgetting about bad things and being optimistic isn't going to save you from serious medical problems, but generally if there's nothing wrong with you doing such might well make you happier.

So in the end, Meh. It's little to do with healing powers of anything. And says have a good attitude towards things and don't dwell on the bad. Hardly takes a book to tell a person that.

Kay said...

lol... yer so funny.