[quote author=“HappyHumanist”]TMany of us (me included) tend to deny the odd or paranormal straight away.
And that is fine as long as you admit that instance for instance, this has no greater truth value than the belief of one who believes in the paranormal. You have faith in your knowledge of past evidence, and you have an expectation of what is possible based on that and so (from their perspective) do they.
Science can’t prove a negative and so the burden is on us to disprove each positive claim whereever possible. And where not, to be skeptical either that all the facts are in or that our method and understanding is complete or both
The way I see it is that Joe is just being intellectually honest. He can’t claim that his belief without proof has any greater mooring than anyone else’s. Plus he knows that belief before proof can lead to faulty investigation, and so the suspension of judgement is the most honest method for one who is really seeking the truth.
This is the scientific method. And it is the Russel agnostic argument come to play again (as often is the case).
The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism. His attitude may be that which a careful philosopher would have towards the gods of ancient Greece. If I were asked to prove that Zeus and Poseidon and Hera and the rest of the Olympians do not exist, I should be at a loss to find conclusive arguments. An Agnostic may think the Christian God as improbable as the Olympians; in that case, he is, for practical purposes, at one with the atheists.
http://www.wellingtongrey.net/miscellanea/archive/2007-01-15—science vs faith.html