If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Be reluctant to believe
A miracle claim is a very serious claim. Some say that a miracle is so extraordinary you need extraordinary evidence to verify it. That is fine but they need to be careful with the expression extraordinary evidence. It is best stated that it needs to be as good as the evidence to put somebody away for life in jail. You want to avoid the notion that unbelievers want too much evidence.
Miracles are so serious and strange that they must be believed only as a last
resort because the evidence pressures you to believe. So says the Roman Church.
Yet this is the Church that leaves the bishop not the evidence or the
investigation to decide if a miracle happened! Oh the hypocrisy! Anyway, back to
the last resort point. It implies that miracle claims are bad at least until
they are verified. We must be reluctant to believe in them. Miracles then must
be evil. They invite people to evil. In that case, all the verifying in the
world isn’t going to make them good or entitle anybody to say they come from a
Testable and untestable magical or religious claims
If I say a man rose from the dead supernaturally then I am saying that the evidence has to be beyond reasonable doubt. I am demanding that it be checked out for evidence by its nature asks to be assessed. Evidence needs and demands assessment. But what if I say the man rose and there is no way to test it? I am being incoherent. To make a claim that demands testing and that cannot be tested is to be incoherent.
A supernatural claim needs to pass all reasonable tests.
A non-testable one still needs to pass all reasonable tests.
We are talking about the same claim except in one scenario its testable and in another it is not.
It does not seem to make sense to say that a non-testable claim should be checked to see if it is beyond all reasonable doubt. It seems incoherent to ask for evidence for a non-testable claim. It would be looking for evidence when you know there is none. But we are not saying you should look. We are saying the claim still demands tests. To demand tests does not mean they are possible. A non-testable supernatural claim is even bigger and more demanding of tests and suspension of belief than a testable supernatural claim. An a supernatural claim needs testing far more than a natural one would.
Do not believe in untestable supernatural claims for they are tricks and insults to evidence.
Look for extraordinary evidence anyway
Christians say that those who argue that extraordinary evidence is needed for religious claims are indicating that they will not consider evidence unless it is extraordinary. That is a straw man. The Christian wants to accuse sceptics and those who need evidence of being biased against Christianity and thus unreliable. The only way to see if evidence is good enough or extraordinary enough is to look at it! Extraordinary evidence is needed for extraordinary claims calls you to look at it and assess it. You cannot know if evidence is too ordinary unless you look.
Christians who tell you not to look for big evidence for their big claims about Jesus have an ulterior motive for saying that. What is wrong with looking even if it is not required?
And there is plenty wrong with not looking when it is required!
The ideal is to get all the evidence you can for anything. If the evidence is not much good to for thing it will be for something else.
Religion Caricatures the Skeptical Position
The religious say we don’t give miracles a chance. We say miracles are impossible or there can never be enough evidence for them or both. They say we reject miracles before we even take a look at the evidence for them. If the clock sits on the mantelpiece all day and levitates for one minute we are entitled to believe that this didn’t happen if we didn’t see it. Miracles do away with evidence and make life impractical. Imagine you believe in miracles. If you find the clock has split John’s head open and left him dead during a levitation you cannot blame Sarah even if she was in the room at the time. You would never know if she did it or not. Miracle reports are implicitly evil. Some are blatantly evil.
It is thought that those who disbelieve miracle reports and say that exceptionally good evidence is needed for extraordinary claims are really saying, “An extraordinary claim like a miracle is one that we are already convinced isn’t true or cannot be true”. Not all of us are really saying that. What we are saying is, “If religion cannot provide extraordinary evidence for miracles, we will not say the miracle is false. It could still have been a real miracle. What we believe is that without the evidence we are not entitled or obligated to believe the miracle happened. But extraordinary claims do need to be justified by extraordinary evidence.” We might have other reasons for holding that miracles are impossible but we cannot use the reasoning they attribute to us to declare them impossible.
It is thought that those who disbelieve miracle reports and say that extraordinary evidence is needed for extraordinary claims are also really saying, “Extraordinary evidence is evidence we know you cannot produce.” The correct attitude is that, “If you can produce extraordinary evidence then I will believe in the miracle it proves.” And, “You may have extraordinary evidence and that entitles you to believe but it doesn’t obligate me to believe unless I see it too.” That is accusing sceptics and investigators of being dishonest unless they believe in miracles. It is telling people to be biased in favour of accepting the miracle. The religious are insinuating that all who demand adequate evidence are trying to demand too much evidence.
"How can you say you need really good evidence for a miracle when you say evidence is no good for supporting a miracle?"
The answer is that the miracle demands good evidence and you demand it because the miracle does. And yet it cannot get it. There is no contradiction.
The way religion encourages people to believe in hugely magical stuff without caring for evidence is actually anti-religious and it is manipulative. A good religion wants sensible and solid believers. Be reluctant to believe. This is not the same as saying, "I will not believe." It is saying, "I am open to believing but this material needs investigating". Belief in miracles opens the door to nastiness against unbelievers which is another reason to be reluctant to believe.