According to the Hitchens, anything that is said to be true without any evidence can be disregarded without any proof. This statement is true in most situations. If there is no evidence to back a belief, then that belief does not need any proof to be dismissed.
In this case, Hitchens is probably referring to different cultures and folklore. There is no evidence which can prove the existence of different religious faith. In the scientific world, evidence is required to prove a hypothesis or belief. Scientists first need to formulate a hypothesis and predict the outcomes of an experiment. They then carry out the experiment using a valid method and get reliable results. If these results are repeatable and reproducible, scientists then make a theory.
The question then arises: what type of evidence is required to prove something’s existence? In science, qualitative and quantitative data is needed. There have been multiple cases in the past in which scientific studies ‘with evidence’ were falsified later. The most famous example is the case of Andrew Wakefield who tried to prove that MMR vaccines caused autism in children.
In addition to this, if the testimony of a person is trusted in court, then the religious beliefs of millions of people should also be regarded. Together with this, the Deep Brain Stimulation technique is used for Parkinson’s Disease. However, we do not know how it works as we have not been able to study its mechanism. According to Hitchens, we should discard this technique but that would be wrong as it helps many patients.
Everything depends upon the results produced by something. In order to fully trust something, we need proof in most of the cases. It is difficult to believe something which cannot be backed by evidence. However, the case of Andrew Wakefield teaches us to make sure whether the evidence provided is reliable or not. It is important to ensure the origin of the proof. On the other hand, the Deep Brain Stimulation technique shows us that if something without evidence is providing positive results with minimal to no harm, we should not disregard it.