A qualitative distinction between subjective and objective evidence is commonly made by atheists and scientists writ large.
That's interesting. It sounds like what lawyers call "a distinction without a difference." By its nature, evidence is an objective circumstance,
something that happened and was perceived to have happened, about which a subjective claim is made, that what happened bears on some uncertain
That leaves little room for some evidence to be objective, and other evidence to be subjective. All evidence has both aspects.
As a theist trying to understand the atheist worldview, your statement is confusing.
That might be because I'm not an atheist.
Given your stance, how do you yourself determine whether or not said anecdotal claim merits further inquiry?
Well, it wasn't so much a "stance," as it was an observation that anecdotal evidence is admitted routinely in court.
How much weight it gets, including as a springboard to further inquiry, probably depends on the question and what the observation says about the
question. For example, if the question is "Are all Swedes blond(e)?" then "My friend Sven is Swedish, and he's blond," doesn't get us very
On the other hand, "My friend Ingrid is Swedish, and she has black hair," decides the question, up to the credibility of the report. Both statements
are anecdotal, so, just being anecdotal doesn't tell me much about how much weight to give the report.
Then, change the question to "Are most Swedes blond(e)?" and the two statements are on a par. Neither is much help.
But what happens when you have a sample size of hundreds, thousands?
Depends on how the sample was constructed.
It's sort of like the old joke, "Do you have ten years of experience, or one year of experience ten times?" So, are we talking about one sample of
a size in the thousands, or thousands of samples of size one?
If a given piece of anecdotal evidence does not violate the stipulations above – what then?
Those were examples of only some of the things that can really be wrong when somebody says "That's just anecdotal."
A lot can go wrong, even in professionally designed and executed experiments. So, it's not hard to understand why isolated and heavily interpreted
reports of casually observed events often face an uphill climb.
I would argue that a video for example lends additional credence and further verification to a claim, while also making it easier to convey
But in your earlier post, you noted that a video can be faked. In the end, the core reason why I would believe that a video depicts something which
actually happened is that a human being is there to answer questions about the event and the making of the video.
What of the prophecies which don’t fail on those counts?
Bring one on, and we'll talk.
Please review Mark 13:24-37 carefully for clarification on the above referenced passage.
Perhaps I was unclear. I had in mind John
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and
had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among
the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I
return, what is that to you?”
At the very mildest level of criticism, this says that the apostolic generation couldn't distinguish between predictions and other kinds of remarks,
even with the guidance of Peter. Since other kinds of remarks were made (according to the passage), it follows that no proper predictions were made.
Jesus woolgathered about the future, his best friends did what they could to understand his talk, then some of it happened, and some of it didn't.
While I thank you for the pointer to Mark
, it is unclear that this incident is being discussed there.
No altering of the original meaning is necessary, only careful and prayerful study.
Then the case is hopeless. A prediction is clear, unambiguous, and not in need of prayer. Besides, I doubt many of us could do a better job in that
department than Peter.
Materialism/physicalism is a proven case.
Positivism is a proven case.
The whole can be analyzed if we examine its parts.
None of that has much relevance to the merits of science. Its chosen subject matter is material. If there is something else, then it's somebody
else's professional or avocational concern. Or, it might even be some scientists' avocational concern.
This is like complaining that a historian of Victorian politics doesn't investigate string theory. Which maybe she does on weekends, but it doesn't
come up much in her professional work. Nor should it.
(Positivism probably had more folowers among philosophers of science than among scientists. Scientists do synthesis as well as analysis, so I am
unsure where that third point goes for you.)
So, here is my closing question:
Lol, I count four question marks between here and the end
Let me take one and its follow-up.
If science doesn't give us reason to believe in something, does that mean that no good reason exists?
No. Science gives no reason to believe in mathematics either. And neither science nor mathematics gives us good reason to believe that the P=NP
conjecture is false, although many people have a strong opinion about it.
If not, why remain closed to the possibility that there are alternative processes to understanding reality that you have not explored?
The answer to that will vary from person to person, starting with how "closed" any individual is. You might also remember that you are not
advocating "alternative processes to understanding reality" in general, but a particular variety. It could easily be that any individual atheist you
talk with might have explored your process already and been less satisfied with the results than you are.
If you don't like what I post, then don't read it. Now, wasn't that easy?