When it comes down to it, it seems to me that people will either believe or not believe, accept or refuse to accept, the existence of God, not because of the scientific evidence or lack thereof, but because that’s what they want to believe.
Belief simply stated is “the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.” (Wikipedia) And the point is, everyone believes something.
And this is the sticky thing about believing as it relates to God. I talked about this recently in my post, “Believing is a Heart Issue.” As C.S. Lewis once remarked, “To some God is discoverable everywhere, to others nowhere.”
We generally don’t like mystery; we want certainty. But the trouble is, science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. It might help or hurt an argument but it will never answer the question for one very good reason. When believers and non-believers try to appeal to science to prove their point, they’re both making the fallacious argumentation called a category mistake. A category mistake is a semantic or ontological error by which a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property.
The analogy I’ve used to illustrate this fallacious error (from C.S. Lewis) is that it’s like looking for Shakespeare in Hamlet’s world. (See my post, “The Naturalist’s Dilemma“). We might find clues but we won’t find direct evidence…by definition.
The theist’s position is that God and the natural world are different categorically. We would argue that the universe(s), at all levels or dimensions, is still inside the natural world. And God is not a physical being in the natural world. He exists outside and apart from the universe, just as Shakespeare would exist wholly apart from Hamlet’s world. In other words, if you point to anything in the natural world, even at the quantum level, you’re still not talking about what we mean by “God.”
In this one sense, science and religion are not reconcilable, even though I do believe we can gain a more fully orbed-view of our existence by embracing both. This diagram would illustrate where the compatibility might lie.
Again, that’s what I believe.
The sticky thing is, both the religious believer and the atheist are in the same boat on this question about God. Here’s what atheist Dr. Raymond Tallis said about it.
“You would think that by exposing the problems associated with special divine action I would have grounds for being smug; I don’t think atheists have any grounds for being smug, because we, too, have problems with explanation.”
Here’s his full statement:
Tallis concludes by saying, “So we’re in the same boat here, no grounds for smugglers for atheists. Connecting the explanation with the explicandum eludes us at least as much as it does religious believers.”
As theist philosopher Philip Clayton has said:
“A God you have to prove can’t be proven, but a God you already believe in doesn’t need to be proven….but when you begin to look at the proofs themselves, what you actually find is that at some point a premise is brought in that the believer will accept and the non-believer will reject.” (From “Closer to Truth: Arguing God with Analytic Philosophy” found here).
In other words, we will eventually smuggle our conclusions into our premise. That’s why, as Clayton put it, “Proof, in the technical sense, fails. You cannot compel belief in God.”
Yet, in another video interview (see below), Clayton asks “why are we so perplexed and preoccupied by this idea?” The question just won’t go away. He has an interesting strategy for arguing for God, including the following thought:
“For me, the interesting debate about the question of God, if one had world enough and time to pursue it, would be to take all the dimensions in human experience [science, morality, history of art and culture, etc.] and to ask, one by one, ‘Do we see in this dimension any intimations of transcendence?'”
And, of course, as a believer, I would answer “yes.” But that’s the point, isn’t it. In the end, we will believe what we chose to believe.
Here’s that clip:
I agree with Clayton on his last statement:
“It’s a fantastic quest that is so deeply integrated with our humanity that I cannot imagine being fully human without raising this question, which I would call the question of God.”
The bottom line is, it’s not really a choice between believing or not believing, but between believing only in the methodology of science or believing there’s something more. I personally do believe in God and I don’t struggle with my faith. I want you to believe like I do. But I also realize, in the end, we will all believe what we want to believe and justify it with our own “facts.”
You’ll just have to make up your own mind…and you will anyway.
And exactly how you judge the veracity of this ”something more”?
Why are we here then, Ark? Why is there a universe? Are we just our biology or is there more to us? Why do we love? Why do we love beauty and art? Why are there laws of nature? Why does mathematics work so well? Why do we seek transcendence? None of these questions can be satisfactorily explained by scientific reductionism. As Ludwig Wittgenstein said:
Again, let me be clear. None of this proves or disproves God, but the question will never go away. It seems to be an innate human desire. As the atheist Tallis said, “Connecting the explanation with the explicandum eludes us at least as much as it does religious believers.”
These non-religious people are being refreshingly honest about it. We cannot empirically conclude that there is nothing more than the natural world, so we should stop acting like we can.
I am not arguing against what Tallis said. I am asking how you judge the veracity of this ”something more.”
Can you please for once reply with a straightforward honest answer?
What do you mean by judging the veracity?
To me, it’s obvious. At the most basic level, because we exist and want to know why?
This does not answer the question of judging the veracity of ”something else”, and I presume you mean supernatural when you use this term, yes?
So, how do you judge the veracity of such claims.
Then you must explain what “judging the veracity of something more” looks like to you.
Our reality is the natural world.
You are claiming supernatural.
Let me use a different word. It might be easier for you.
How do you explain the veracity of your supernatural claims?
Yes, if we’re only talking about how science can define reality. But, obviously, science fails us on these other questions, like why there is a physical universe at all, why we exist, why we have laws that work, and many other questions that science cannot address.
I honestly have no idea what you’re looking for here. What would non-physical evidence look like to you? What do you mean by judging veracity to supernatural claims if they would be not be part of the natural world? The only thing I can show you are natural things, which I gave you the “clues” that infer this reality. These are obvious indicators to me, but you don’t accept them as clues. So you’re going to have to tell me what you would accept.
It does not fail as it makes no claims to have such answers.However, you claim that your brand of theism does, and this is what I am trying to get you to answer.
So, once more: How do you know there is any veracity to your supernatural claims?
What we claim is that belief in God (creator, intelligent designer, agency) makes sense of these existential questions, and why there is a “here” in the first place. It’s not a scientific theory, but a philosophical argument. Simplistically speaking, common sense would say that if there is an order to the universe (called natural law, mathematics), then there is a “mind” behind the system. In other words. we cannot deduce a creator but we can infer one.
So, in fact, you are actually talking about deism, yes?
Deism would be God setting creation in order but He does not interfere with the world. Deists do not believe in the supernatural workings of God. While deism would be an better option than atheism, that’s not what I personally believe.
So what evidence do you have to demonstrate that your god , the biblical character Yahweh/Jesus the Nazarene is the creator that you worship?
The resurrection, for one. We have the written testimony, the transformation of millions of people from every nation who have had faith for many generations.
Ark, we’ve been through this before. I really don’t care to go down this path with you again. You clearly are not open to believing anything anyone says about this, so no amount of any type of evidence will change your mind. I’m not going to waste my time on this again with you.
“And God is not a physical being in the natural world. He exists outside and apart from the universe…”
This is a claim for which you admittedly cannot have any evidence from the universe. You import this belief by creating a magical division. You, Mel. YOU. You have created this division. Just you. When questioned about your role in creating this division to serve your theistic beliefs, and then your role in importing it as if part of some causal ‘explanation’ about this universe (that supposedly ‘answers’ some why questions about values and meaning and transcendence and other nebulous references to relationships), you then insist you’re not the one making a category mistake because you don’t need no stinkin’ evidence… but, you know, on the down low you really, really, really do have certain clues…..
Slimy, slimy, slimy. No need for evidence, you see, and oh, what a mistake non believers make to insist there must be some evidence to be able to ‘arrive’ at your conclusion, but, well, clues are a different matter entirely. Clues from philosophy, clues from feelings, clues from metaphysics, clues from natural physics, clues from ‘natures’, clues, clues, clues. Why one must be invested in not believing in order to question the validity of following these worthwhile clues, donchaknow.
Except, these clues are not clues because they are not evidence!
They are fully imported by you to serve your theistic beliefs in a general wishy-washy way and they lack all knowledge merit because you don’t know anything at all about this ‘outside’ condition. And you don’t know about this ‘outside’ condition because you don’t have any evidence at all that there is a boundary you can know something about to divide the ‘inside’ (the universe) from the ‘outside'(?) . This is an artificial construct into which you then place your wishy-washy notion of some divine critter, some divine ‘author’.
Now you will immediately turn to the example of a Hamlet not knowing anything about his Author because you’re taken by this analogy and think it has some merit to represent the means by which an Author can be ‘outside’ the universe but still fully present in it. What you cannot grasp is that YOU are the Hamlet in this example pretending to know stuff ‘outside’ the universe you cannot know anything about. You pretend Hamlet as a written character simultaneously cannot know anything about his author while, AT THE SAME TIME pretending YOU can! It is deeply ironic that you fail to grasp that both Hamlet and the ‘universe’ the Author has created is a FICTION. The boundary lies just here: between fiction and non fiction. Shakespeare does not ‘exist’ in both; he exists in this universe and creates a fictional one in which he can create whatever he wants. His characters cannot think independently or know anything about him at all. They do not exist. They are works of fiction, of imagination. There is no ‘from Hamlet’s perspective’ because he’s nothing more than a fictional character and so can have no ‘perspective’… no matter how many clues you may think Hamlet might encounter. The analogy fails because you’ve made a category mistake… again. You claims about some god (“And God is not a physical being in the natural world. He exists outside and apart from the universe,) only work because it is your work of fiction. That doesn’t make it any more real than Shakespeare’s character of Hamlet. And there’s you’re boundary made clear between this ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ framework you rely on for your religious beliefs: fiction and non fiction… and only one represents reality we can know anything about while the other is a creation from your own imagination. The non believer recognizes this boundary whereas the the theist does not.
Tildeb, every time you comment you prove again how obnoxious you are with your fundamentalist brand of scientistic dogmatism. I guess I should thank you for being a perfect example of what I’ve been talking about when I speak of extreme fundamentalism being the enemy of reason. I will just point to your comments as a case in point. You ignorantly ignore what you cannot fathom and ridicule anyone who disagrees with you. Again, YOU are the problem. Ironically, in the analogy, you would be Hamlet’s friends who mock him for believing in Shakespeare, even though Shakespeare actually does exist.
So, since you know all things and, therefore, know that we’re wrong, Tildeb, tell us why we’re here? Why is there a universe? Why do we even ask the questions?
And clues? We have no clues? Are you blind? Are you breathing? Do you exist? Is there a world around you? WHY, Tildeb? Again, the height of your ignorant arrogance is astounding. Not that this proves God, but to say there are no clues is a form of the deepest denial.
This verse has your name on it…
You might try some humility for a change.
““This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”
Now, you were saying about humility, my little puddle friend…
Ah…and what if your puddle represents the natural world? What if it’s not actually shrinking but as you realize it’s just a puddle and not all there is, your perception changes and it seems to be so much smaller in the scheme of things?
Yes, humility is in order.
You’re the one who insists there is an ‘answer’ to your why questions and the hubris to believe you have it. I’m the one who accepts things the way they are, that I don’t have a divine creator of the universe whispering in my Chosen Ear. I already have far too much humility to go that far in my hubris. So I don’t think you’re qualified to tell anyone that they need more humility, Mel.
It’s not hubris to say there must be an answer to these questions, Tildeb. And it’ also not hubris infer a reason that makes sense to a person. I’m not saying it proves anything, but it doesn’t disprove it either. You are the one insisting that I am wrong.
And it’s not humility to ignore or dismiss the question. That’s called being in denial and close-minded.
Rubbish. It IS hubris to assume there are independent answers when you can produce none yet continue to believe they are not just there but that you have them. And it is also hubris alone to then call those who point out this absence of fact to be the ones in need of more humility. No, Mel. respecting what reality has to say over claims made about it is not hubris; it’s honesty and integrity and demonstrates the humility to accept that the universe seems indifferent to us. You’re just not that special, Mel, in spite of assuming you are for no good reasons you can offer.
So says you. I have reasons but they cannot be tested in a lab, like a lot of other things in life that matter.
Sorry, Tildeb. You don’t have a very compelling argument. Not only is your reductionist worldview reductionist close-minded; it’s pretty depressing and answers nothing. I’m keep mine, thank you very much.
That was interesting,Mel! I’m kind of fascinated by the question, “what is truth?” There is absolute truth outside of us, but so much of what we know to be true, even what we eventually make to be true in the world, is shaped by human perception and belief.
“And God is not a physical being in the natural world.” A bit funny, we could say a similar thing about Hamlet. He is not an actual person and yet he is real enough. It would be a bit silly to claim one doesn’t “believe” in Hamlet.
“It is deeply ironic that you fail to grasp that both Hamlet and the ‘universe’ the Author has created is a FICTION.”
LOL! Science is actually beginning to suggest exactly that, the universe seems to be a hologram,a projection, a work of fiction. In philosophy if you take the analogy far enough, we ourselves as random bits of biological goo, are simply works of fiction. There is no “we” or “I” or “us.” Our own egos are simply works of fiction, our own vain imaginings. We can reason away our own existence long before we can reason away God’s. If however, we are real, than Somebody is imagining us. There is no Hamlet without a Shakespeare.
I love what you’re saying, IB. Which is the fiction and which is the real? Quite funny in an ironic way, showing the absolute ignorant arrogance on our part to deny anything existing beyond ourselves when we could be the “projection.”
Yeah, what’s deeply troubling is that Tildeb doesn’t seem to understand that it’s an ANALOGY. LOL!
That is ironic. Science may end up proving we’re not real and just a projection of something (or Someone) beyond us.
This is what’s so interesting about faith. It allows us to escape the snobbery of our own thoughts and go beyond, seeing something that we cannot see by natural means. As the writer of Hebrews said:
Wow! That was deep, I.B. If I understand your point, it is like a fictional version of me inside the Matrix watching a movie about a fictional character inside the Matrix.
LOL! Yep. 🙂
True. There is absolutely no no evidence whatsoever that either believer or atheist can produce to demonstrate any god exists.
Not physical evidence, of course. Yet the question won’t go away because it’s not a satisfactory answer to many that there’s nothing more. So it really does come down to either believing only what you can test in the natural world or believing there’s something more.
What d mean ”Not physical evidence, of course’?
I could believe that my dog speaks to me in my sleep. Would you beleive such a claim solely on my say so?
Therefore, exactly what other evidence do you possess that I don’t and how is it you have access to this non-physical evidence and I don’t?
Well, we don’t really know if dogs are telepathic, do we. Maybe your dog is unique. If what your dog told you was something useful, it would have credibility to you. But it would be quite a different thing if several million people started saying that your dog was talking to them in their sleep, too. But still, no matter how much of this “evidence” you gave, there would always be skeptics because it cannot be proven.
How do you know you don’t have access to this non-physical evidence? 🙂
If my dog told me that that when she dies she will go to dog heaven because the Creator of the universe communicated this information to her.
Would you believe me?
So how does one get access to this non-physical evidence?
If you and 2 billion other people told me the same thing, I would consider it. If your dog left a complete diary of his doggy path to life, if his doggy grave was found empty and hundreds of other people saw him walking around after he died, and if he also talked to me and what he told me answered the deepest questions about my life, I would probably be a follower. Nothing personal, I’m sure your dog is great, but that position has already been filled in my life.
And yet you reject every claim made by over a billion Muslims?
And there book is emphatic it states
the god ‘revealed truth.
You just cannot seem to realise just how hypocritical your position is, can you?
Their claims aren’t the same. Christianity makes more sense to me. But that’s another subject.
Makes more sense to you !!
Thank you .
Yes, and Islam makes more sense to over 1,8 billion Muslims.
And Hinduism makes more sense to 1.15 billion Hindus.
And none of these religions has an ounce of verifiable evidence to support a single core tenet of their faith.
Faith, Mel. And this is ALL it is.
Again, what kind of evidence are you talking about? You keep saying this but you never define it. So, are you saying the only evidence that matters is scientific evidence?
It doesn’t matter does it?
You have already outlined on a previous thread what ”evidence ” caused you to convert.
And it was no evidence at all was it?
You are completely unable to qualify your own faith and yet you dismiss the faith of every other religion, and you refuse to recognise the hypocrisy in this.
And you cannot tell me what you mean by evidence. So there we are.
The onus is on YOU to provide the evidence that not only convinces me but also proves beyond any doubt that YOUR religion is THE religion nullifying all other claims, and yet you cannot even produce evidence to convince yourself, but are forced to rely on feelings, and the apparent change in your behaviour!
Not if you can’t tell me what you mean by evidence. The onus is on you to ask a coherent question.
Why are you asking for proof beyond any doubt? We already said we cannot prove it one way or the other. That demand is irrelevant.
the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
“the study finds little evidence of overt discrimination”
synonyms: proof, confirmation, verification, substantiation, corroboration, affirmation, authentication, attestation, documentation; More
Then you are confining evidence for God to physical proof?
Evidence Mel.There is no verifiable EVIDENCE,
ALL you have is faith.
And faith is NOT Evidence.
So, you mean verifiable physical evidence for a non-physical being? Right. That would be an incoherent demand. The only thing one can do is infer to the best explanation. What is your best explanation for why we exist?
Show me the evidence for you god and why your claims are better than claims of Islam and Hindu.
(Bearing in mind you have to date shown absolutely NO evidence and your only claim is your religion makes more sense to YOU.)
Okay, so you don’t know what kind of evidence you’re asking for. Fair enough. We’ll leave it there.
Making a comparative analysis of world religions is not the subject here. I may do that in a future post, if I’m so inclined, but not here.
We have aleady demonstrated that it is NOT what evidence I will accept but what evidence you have to demonstrate the veracity of your claims.
And you have never once offered a single piece of evidence to back your faith. Not one.
And here you are trying desperately to be clever.
The way you present your faith says more about you than you can possibly believe and all you have managed to do is demonstrate you are nothing but a disingenuous, hand- waving hypocrite.
It is the lurkers, those who read along, that you seem oblivious to.
Those fellow Christians who are relying on reading how a professional pastor not only treats a non-believer with honesty but also presents irrefutable evidence for all the claims he makes about his god.
And you have failed at every turn.
Ark, this is pure nonsense! IF you cannot define what you mean by “verifiable evidence” I cannot answer your question. You are the one here who can’t answer your own question.
Oh really? Nice try. So, how am I being dishonest by trying to get you to ask me a coherent question? Yes, the so-called lurkers will believe whatever they want. And why are you talking about “irrefutable evidence?” Are you confused now? Again, you are the one being the absolutist here, not me. There’s no such thing as “irrefutable evidence” with regard to these existential questions.
Providing verifiable physical evidence for a non-physical being (would be) an incoherent demand (emphasis mine)
Similar to the efforts to authenticate ghosts, fairies, unicorns. elfs, etc.
True for ghosts because, if they do exist, they would be spiritual and not physical, but then how do we actually know with absolute certainty there’s no such thing as ghosts? We can’t test this assertion. Do we just believe this because people say so? Because we haven’t seen one? After all, there’s a kernel of truth in every fairytale. My point is, you’re just arguing for naturalism here.
And besides, that doesn’t mean we have no other kinds of evidence to infer a creator, or that we have no documentation, or history on the subject. It just means we can’t produce Him in a lab experiment or put Him in a police lineup.
Oh c’mon, Mel. You’re beating a dead horse with a stick. Enough already.
And you’re bringing up ghosts, fairies, and unicorns in order to make my view look ridiculous. So, enough already. Fair enough?
Have the comments above by Satan’s minions persuaded you that your universalist belief of salvation for everyone may have problems? These people don’t want to have anything to do with God ever. So why should God not give them their desire?
My universalist belief of salvation? I’m not a universalist so I don’t know what you mean by this statement.
I do agree with what you said about desire. As C.S. Lewis said about it. There are two kinds of people. Those who say to God, “Your will be done” and those to whom God says. “Your will be done.”
Absolutely agree that belief is connected to choice. Ultimately, we decide whether or not to believe in some concept of “God”. We choose Theism or Atheism.
This does prove rather, to use your word, “sticky” for atheists. “Free will” doesn’t exist in a purely naturalistic universe. Belief in God is a chemical equation that science has yet to discover. But so is atheism.
Atheists claim that they have arrived at their worldview via intellectual processes. They claim to have selected “science” over “superstition”. That is impossible if atheism is true because there is no mechanism in nature that allows us to choose between two points of view.
At what moment, the day, the hour,m the circumstances, in your life did you decide to not believe in Chalmecatecuhtli? When exactly did you make that choice?
At precisely the same moment, day, hour, and under the exact same circumstances that you decided not to believe in Zeus.
And when was that choice made, JB?
…I already answered that question, Dear Leader.
The point is: Atheism is a choice.
It doesn’t matter WHEN that choice was made.
You are welcome to disagree but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Atheism is a choice. So is belief in an unseen, “outside of the universe,” supernatural entity. 🙂
Yes. That’s what I said to begin with.
It will be interesting to see if our Dear Leader decides to agree with us.
You claim non belief is an equivalent choice. So I asked you when you made your choice to not believe. But rather than admit what is true and honest, you won’t answer the question truthfully or honestly, which is the point: you never, ever made the choice to not believe in Chalmecatecuhtli.
As Ark says, non belief is the default. It takes some reason to believe otherwise. And that’s what’s lacking for atheists: they have no good reasons to switch their default position. That’s neither a character flaw nor a ‘choice’ any more than you not believing a million other idiocies.
Ignorance is the default position.
Ignorance does not require a choice.
Disbelief is a choice that you made after you were made aware of Chalmecatecuhtli.
If atheism isn’t a choice, then why the hell do you keep going telling us how smart you are for being an atheist? We can’t choose to join you in your enlightened world view…
Are you catching on yet?
Polar bears are magnificent.
I accept your surrender.
I would expect no other conclusion from the entire population of your delusional world.
If you have a rebuttal, make it!
The “polar bears” remark is your butt-hurt way of trying to save face.
You are the one living in delusion, Dear Leader. Not me.
No, it’s a standard rebuttal you make. I thought this was the kind of rebuttal that made the most sense to you. Using other words and putting them in order seems to cause you nothing but problems. Look how nice I’m being, JB. Can you feel the love?
Now you’re assigning me a standard rebuttal. It’s gotta be frustrating when an indoctrinated, superstitious, religious bigot speaks a truth you cannot refute.
And you’re going to need to provide testable evidence for this “love” you speak of…
Polar bears are magnificent.
I accept your surrender.
I have refuted your claim, JB, and you have done it for me. You never chose not to believe something. You may have chosen to believe at some point but your non belief is and remains the default until you assemble enough reasons to change that state. You’re just unable to wrap your little head around this fact because you want to try to make non belief equivalent to belief as a choice. And you’re going to believe this no matter what in order to keep up this little charade no matter what anyone says about it. So, rather than waste more words banging up against your closed mind, I turn to your standard rebuttal: polar bears are magnificent. It has as much effect as anything else anyone can say about your beliefs you are certain are true. Of course you’re going to assume this is a victory for you because the outcome was never in doubt in your mind (surprise, surprise); you make an assertion, claim it’s true, ignore all contrary evidence, and then claim victory.
Ignorance is the default, not non belief.
You’re a fruit fly, JB. Seriously, a fruit fly.
Don’t believe me? Then you’ve made a choice, the same kind of choice I made that I believe you’re a fruit fly.
See, we’ve both a choice. They’re equivalent. They’re the same, really. And you made your choice for non belief that you’re a fruit fly once I made you aware that I believe you are. They’re equivalent choices, according to you. I don’t have to produce evidence for my belief any more than you have to produce evidence for your non belief. My claim and your claim should carry the same weight, you see, because they are equivalent choices.
Now you have completely shifted the argument to be “all choices are equal”. I didn’t say that. Only someone with the IQ of a fruit fly would say that.
You should probably slink away from this exchange, Dear Leader. I’m starting to feel kinda bad for you.
Shifted the argument? You claim ignorance is the default. You claim non belief is a choice. Okay, let’s follow that reasoning: now that you are aware you’re fruit fly, what’s your excuse for choosing non belief, JB?
Ummm….Dear Leader, you just made my point.
No I haven’t JB. The point is that you’ve made no choice. Your distinction of saying a choice must be made once ignorance is removed doesn’t alter anything! This is a distinction without a difference, (a novel idea why it’s a fallacy to you, obviously). You’ve chosen nothing because you don’t believe you’re a fruit fly or Tinkerbell or any other imaginative batshit crazy belief someone else might have about you, someone else tries to impose on you, someone else tries to paint as a negative ‘choice’ you’ve made to not accept the positive claim. There is only cause to demand evidence for a belief that is counter to your default non belief and not a requirement or ‘choice’ to defend that non belief. Non belief – not ignorance of the positive claim – remains the neutral default.
Yes you have, Dear Leader.
“Okay, let’s follow that reasoning: now that you are aware you’re fruit fly, what’s your excuse for choosing non belief, JB?”
I could not choose non belief until YOU MADE ME AWARE that I am a fruit fly. Prior to your revelation, I was ignorant.
Doesn’t it feel good to be on the winning side?
You keep missing the point. Post ‘revelation’ you’re still ignorant of being a fruit fly. Nothing has changed, JB. No ‘choice’ was exercised at all. No state of ignorance is altered by the introduction of a belief, so no choice is made to maintain non belief. You simply have no reason to alter the default.
The default position was:
Ignorance of the fact that Tildeb thinks I’m a fruit fly.
Now that I am no longer ignorant of your belief, I am choosing to reject it.
Quit arguing with yourself, dude! It makes you look crazy!
I accept your defeat. Now run along, fruit fly.
I’ve got empirical proof that I am not a fruit fly.
But you can choose to believe whatever you like!
Desperate times, eh JB? Imagine: you turning to evidence. How very, very sad. Your defeat has become a rout and you’ve lost even your dignity… not that a fruit fly requires any. Just sayin’…
Whoops. YOU accepted defeat, remember?
I’ve always been a fan of evidence, Dear Leader.
Dogmatically asserting that I am a fruit fly in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is indeed very, very sad.
There is no shame in throwing away a bad idea. Wisdom comes when we acknowledge that we are wrong. Stubbornly clinging to irrationality will never bring enlightenment.
Your defeat has become a rout and I don’t think you had any dignity to lose. You’re a petulant child which is only tragic because you show no signs of ever growing up.
You’re right about one thing.
My polar bear rebuttal is better than anything you’ve said so far.
Wrong. Atheism is the default position. We have simply rejected all supernatural claims based on the total lack of verifiable evidence.
“We have simply rejected all supernatural claims based on the total lack of verifiable evidence.”
Well on the bright side, you’ve totally made me believe in talking naked apes communicating through strange symbols carried across the world by an invisible wi/fi signal. So there is that…
Yes, dear. This is called technology.
Maybe your god uses it to talk to you, does he?
Please let me know?
WHAT evidence? You only have claims . And even if we were to accept your claims of a creator , you still have to show how you get from such a claim to the biblical character Jesus the Nazarene being this creator.
However, in your case, willful ignorance IS a choice. And you are the perfect embodiment of what results from such a choice.
But just to be clear.. All humans start off as non-believing in deities. We do assign agency to phenomena we don’t understand. This is well documented. Theism, however, has to be inculcated.