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Brian/Brigitte on "valid" evidence about The Mahatma Letters

Nov 01, 2002 07:11 AM
by Daniel H. Caldwell

Brian/Brigitte writes: 

"It would be nice in that case to see valid evidence [that the 
mahatma] letters are what they say they are. And what constitute 
valid evidence does not depends on me. At the moment there no 
evidence, it only depends on if you want to believe it or not."

Brian/Brigitte's above comment got me thinking.

A critic may say that he is opened minded toward the issue of the 
Mahatma Letters and whether "what they say they are" is true or not.

Such a critic may further state that he is cautious in his approach 
and therefore needs "valid" evidence, "trustworthy" evidence to 
convince him of the Mahatma Letters' "claim". 

I think such a position is quite understandable and rational.

I do not know if Brian/Brigitte is that open-minded or not. I suspect 

But if such a critic wants "valid" evidence before accepting the ML 
claim, then it seems that the critic should be able to define (at 
least in his own mind!) what kind of evidence he would accept as 

In other words, such a critic should be able to specify in advance 
the type of evidence (if found) that he would consider "valid" 
and "convincing"? 

If Brian/Brigitte will specify what kind of VALID evidence he/she has 
in mind, some of us on this forum may be able to find just this kind 
of evidence.

Another point.

Brian/Brigitte writes:

"At the moment there [is] NO EVIDENCE . . . . " caps added.

It is not evident exactly what is meant by this.

But this vague statement certainly reminds me of the position of 
the "scoffer" of the paranormal. Here is Dr. Marcello Truzzi's 
relevant remarks:

"The perspective of the scoffer, as with most dogmatists, tends to 
distinguish only black from white and fails to acknowledge gray 
areas. . . . Scoffers use a similar foreshortening towards issues of 
evidence. It is common to hear statements to the effect that 'there 
is no evidence supporting a claim' when in fact it is merely 
inadequate evidence that has been presented. Evidence is always a 
matter of degree, some being extremely weak; but even weak evidence 
can mount up (as shown by meta-analysis) to produce a stronger case. 
Weak evidence (most commonly anecdotal rather than systematic and 
experimental evidence) is often discounted, however, by assertions 
[by the scoffer] that it falls below some threshold of what science 
should consider evidence at all. This, of course, eliminates the 
evidential basis for most of clinical medicine and the social 
sciences, but that seems to hold no terror for the scoffer who 
invokes such criteria." Quoted from:


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