[The previous series, 123, can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/jrps-bite-sized-metaphysics-series-123/657/1]here. This series, 124, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here.]
[This series continues Chapter 12, “Supernature and Evidence”]
[As a reminder, this is the final main chapter of argumentation for Series 100, or for Section One of the whole book. Chapter 13 will be a summary of material covered in Series 100.]
[Entry 1 for “a sieve of curious similarities”]
It might be supposed that Reed (a supernaturalist) will have a radically different set of possible evaluations of my claim that I just created a cloud by supernatural power, compared to Chase (a philosophical naturalist). But to best compare their evaluative options, let me present those options in a topical nest.
I create a cloud with supernatural power, and then call Chase (the naturalist) and Reed (the supernaturalist) to come look at it. I claim to them that I did this with supernatural power.
A.) I am someone who, for one reason or another, often claims what is not true.
A.1.a.) Chase knows me well; and so knows I am someone who often claims what is not true. Consequently, he has no preliminary expectation to believe me–thus, prudently speaking, he should not believe me.
A.1.b.) Chase does not know me. But Chase is a naturalist; as far as he knows, supernatural manipulation of Nature cannot happen. Why should he believe me? Anyone can point at a cloud and say, “I created that.” Prudently speaking, he should not believe me.
A.2.a.) Reed knows me well. As far as he knows, such a thing could occur; but he also knows I am someone who should not be trusted. Unless he had good prior (or other concurrent) grounds for accepting my word (which I have not provided in this example), there is no good reason why he should be expected to believe me. Prudently speaking, he should not believe me.
A.2.b.) Reed does not know me. At this point, it’s a toss-up; but I think he would be justified in a fairly agnostic stance, reserving judgment until he finds or receives more evidence (which, in practice, could amount to provisionally discounting my claim, of course).