Something that leaves Hitchens’ Razor a little rusty

FLOYD ROGERS

Christopher Hitchens wrote, “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” Hitchens was speaking of God. While I have never disagreed with the logic of his statement, I do disagree with his presupposition that millions of people having the same experience is not evidence worth exploring. I also disagree with the apparent presupposition that evidence and proof are the same thing. These presuppositions leave Hitchens’ Razor a bit rusty.

There is a very big difference between lack of evidence and rejection of evidence. A person who knows something because of his or her experience may not be able to prove it to me. Their experience is no less evidence than testimony in a courtroom. One person’s experience is very weak evidence.  But if millions of others report the same experience, it shouldn’t be dismissed so easily. A good example would be that I can never know what it’s like to be an African American woman.  She may describe to me what it feels like to be the target of discrimination, she may show me data that indicates she has been discriminated against, but I will never KNOW what it’s like to have that experience. All I can know is her (and other’s) testimony.  And it would be wrong for me to presuppose that her experience must be a delusion; and therefore, something to be dismissed without investigation. Millions of people having the same experience is evidence worth exploring, but not proof. Proof is something totally different.

There is a big difference between proof and evidence. We certainly wouldn’t spend billions of dollars on the search for extraterrestrial life if evidence and proof were the same thing. Conditions are what we would expect them to be if there is life on other planets; Therefore, we search for life based on this evidence. Oxford says evidence is, “The AVAILABLE body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.”  Evidence remains evidence unless it is proven or demonstrated to be the result of a rival causal factor. 

I have no way to prove God’s presence or absence if the only way to know Him is through a faith given as a gift to those who will accept it. It would not be rational to claim that those who say they have this experience are mistaken unless I can demonstrate a rival cause for their experience.  Oddly enough, if one “believes” that other people’s faith is just wishful thinking then they too have a faith unless they can prove the other’s are in error. Let me be very clear here: I did not say the other people’s faith is true because I cannot claim it to be false.  I said the proposition that their faith must be false because they cannot prove it is not rational.  The only rational claim in that situation would be, “I don’t know.”

Armed robber enters Nelon-Kistler’s condo

SPECIAL: DAYWIND RECORDS

What was to be a quick two-night anniversary celebration in Panama City Beach, Florida, turned into a very frightening situation for Amber Nelon Kistler and husband, Nathan. An 18 year old man who is reported to be on drugs entered the couple’s 14th floor condo.

“He was staying with a family next door. He stole the brother’s gun. Jumped over, yes, jumped over to this balcony, ” Kistler said as she described the crime.

“We’re one of four victims. We are one of four rooms that he robbed. We are thankful that the Lord protected us, because he was in here. “

The armed robber was kept out of the couple’s bedroom only because they lock the door as a precaution. 

We are glad no one was injured. 

God told me…

TEXAS GOSPEL STAFF

There are three words that I think are thrown around too often today. They are “God told me.”

I’ve had people tell me that God told them a certain politician would win an election or that God revealed some secret to them. One man told me years ago that God revealed to him that he would own the radio station at which I worked.  None of these things came to pass.

Deuteronomy tells us something I would think is obvious: if what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place…that is a message the Lord has not spoken. And 2 Peter has a stern warning for those who falsely proclaim things in the name of God.

Do you keep on guard for those who appear to be speaking God’s word, but only deceive others, and quite possibly themselves as well?

Church News weekend report

Jeff Turner

Reports of vandalism and acts of aggression against the Church in North America have been light this week.

A project to rebuild a church building destroyed by arson in British Columbia may be complete as early as June.  The rebuild of Murray Church in Merritt has been slowed because of COVID-19 restrictions. The man accused of intentionally setting fire to the structure and two other houses of worship is awaiting trial. The court has issued a publication band on any specifics of the case.

Three statues at the Holy Rosary Church in Woodland, California were vandalized this week.  No property was taken, and the motive – if any -behind the vandalism is not known. The Holy Rosary Church has been part of the Woodland community for more than 150 years.

A vandal or vandals set fire to a shrine in Ludlow, Massachusetts on Friday.  A spokesperson for Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Ludlow said damage was limited to an arch over a statue of Mary.

A Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue has been restored at St. Patrick Cathedral in El Paso, TX after a year’s work to repair $25,000 in damage caused by vandal. The Police last year charged Isiah Cantrell, 31, with vandalism and drug possession shortly after the crime.

That’s a look at crimes against the church in North America this week