The Confident Christian

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Posted 6/6/12 at 8:03 PM | Robin Schumacher

Extraordinary Claims, Extraordinary Evidence, and Belief in God

Agnostic Carl Sagan is typically credited with coining the phrase, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”[1], which has sometimes been referred to as the “Sagan Standard”. Sagan may actually have been parroting a fellow scientist – Marcello Truzzi – who said "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof”[2], but nonetheless, the phrase has been pinned to the famous Cosmos TV series creator and has been used many times by atheists to challenge the truth claims put forward by Christians.

When it comes to belief in God, is extraordinary evidence truly needed? If it is, does such a thing exist for God? Lastly, if such a standard is necessary, then does it also apply to the atheist worldview if it makes extraordinary claims?

What is ‘Extraordinary Evidence’?

Before I say anything else, I want to first make it clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a person asking for reasons and evidence to back up a truth claim. Since consequences typically exist in every area of life for being wrong, there is everything right in asking questions and requesting some form of verification to validate claims made by others that impact one’s life. In fact, one of Christianity’s best defenders – Francis Schaeffer – once said, “Every honest question must be given an honest answer. It is unbiblical for anyone to say, ‘Just believe.’”[3] FULL POST

Posted 6/3/12 at 9:18 AM | Robin Schumacher

What Evidence will Satisfy Hard Core Unbelief?

I was listening to a debate that occurred a few years ago between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Mike Begon on the topic of Is God a Delusion? During the Q&A period that followed the debate, one member of the audience asked Dr. Begon (who took the position that God is a delusion) what type of evidence and criteria he’d require to believe that God is not a delusion.

Begon’s answer was very enlightening.

After first making the rather strange statement that it wasn’t up to him to write experiments for the questioner, he stammered through an answer of how he and others like Richard Dawkins had been asking for evidence for a long time and, according to him, none has ever been brought forth. He then said he was “open minded” and offered to review any evidence offered him.

When Dr. Craig was allowed to respond, he asked the audience member, “You still haven’t heard the answer have you? It’s just astonishing!” In fact, Craig was right as Begon didn’t provide what the person had asked for.

As someone who has debated and dialoged with many atheists over the years, I’ve asked the same question and gotten a similar response most of the time. Such experience really raises the question: When it comes to the Christian worldview, what kind of evidence does it take to satisfy someone who possesses a hard core unbelief? FULL POST

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