Atheism: Insufficient Evidence For Belief in God?

Andrew David's Russell

A belief that atheism is true because of insufficient evidence for belief in God is feeble and unwarranted. Kai Nielsen, an atheist philosopher, correctly explained that “[t]o show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false”(Nielsen 1971: 143-4).

Even if an atheist succeed in showing that the theist’s case for existence of God is a failure, this by itself does not confirm the truthfulness of atheism. “All the proofs of God’s existence may fail,” explained Nielsen, “but it still may be the case that God exists”(ibid)

If all proofs of God’s existence fail, and there are no evidence for the belief in God, then agnosticism, not atheism, is a warranted position unless a successive case is give against the existence of God.

The sum total of the probability that God does exist, P(T) with that of God does not exist, P(not-T) must equal 1.  An agnostic gives both P(T) and P(not-T) the values .5. When theist C offer evidences for the existence of God, C increases the value of P(T) thus, decreasing  P(not-T). So if say, the probability that God exists given background information viz., cosmological, teleological, ontological, moral and resurrection of Jesus  argument is .7, (thus P(not-T) = .3), and an atheist A succeed in showing that all C arguments for P(T) fails, then A reduced P(T) back to .5. A needs to offer a case against the existence of God to increase P(not-T), which will decrease P(T), to be justified in believing that God does not exist.

Redefining atheism as “lack of belief in God” fails, I believe, because “lack of belief in God”, by itself, only shows a psychological state of a subject and not the reality of outside world. It does not show whether God exist or not. This redefinition fails because it shifts the discussion’s focus away from ontology of an object(i.e. God) to epistemology of a subject.(i.e an atheist). Example: John Doe may have a lack of belief that Jane Doe is having an affair, but that does not show if Jane Doe is having an affair or not. She may be having an affair even though John Does lacks a belief that she is having an affair.

Question: When is absence of evidence evidence of absence?

Bibliography:

Nielsen Kai (1971) Reason and Practice. New York: Harper & Row

Cover photo-credit: Andrew David

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160 thoughts on “Atheism: Insufficient Evidence For Belief in God?

    • Like your daughter, I also walked out after my daddy failed to answer my question. God is grate and it is He who keeps us in Himself. He used a beautiful girl, who is now my wife, to bring me back.

      Ever since I vow to know what I believe and what reasons I have for believing it and hopeful help those who are in my position then.

      Thank you for your comment Linda

  1. You put this very well. Thanks for visiting my blog – it’s good to find someone else struggling to articulate the same issues.

  2. And my answers to A&L’s claims 1-4

    No, AL, not “pissed” at all. Just amused that you insist on lying so ineptly. I’m laughing at you.

    1. I have said that there is no evidence that there was any 8 people we came from. And my link does address evolutionary research, aka the bottle neck. Pity that you can’t see that. Alas, for you, there are not “oneY chromosome and three main mitochondrial lineages world wide”. That’s only repeated on creationist websites and blogs, not in actual scientific literature, but please do show where it is if you can. I’d be happy to be shown wrong. I showed you the link to the bottleneck article which does not support your claim. Here is another article, which shows your claims about “one y chromosome and 3 main mitochondrial lines” again to be wrong since they occurred at different times: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mitoeve.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam Here is research that shows how humans spread and how their genetics spread, not from the Mid-East at all: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2156-2-13.pdf I am always satisfied when a creationist who wants to claim that evolution can’t possibly be true, needs it to be true for claims about molecular evolution and genetics supporting their myths. You see, A&L, you are a hypocrite and so easily demonstrated to be so.

    In addition, the Torah account does not require that there be one y chromosome and 3 mitochondrial lineages. That could be true if we knew more about the wife of Noah and the wives of the sons. We don’t. As so many creationists do, you make baseless claims and bastardize science when you think it will work for you.

    2. This is hilarious! Again, poor creationists can’t show any evidence for a world-wide flood and will do their best to ignore that other myths do not match theirs. Alas for you, A&L, the pygmy creation story does not have “two” similarities to the bible flood story. It says that the flood preceeded mankind, and that is not at all what your creation story says. Again, we have no evidence for a global flood. You want to claim that a flood would create layering as we see it in sedimentary rocks. Now, I request you to do an experiment. Find a clear bottle, a gallon juice bottle will do well. Put sand, gravel, clay, silt, grass and sticks and some bugs if you’d like. Fill with water so things can move about nicely. Then shake it up violently, just like the creationist flood claims have with their fountains and springs opening up, the continents shooting around and at least in one version, an ice asteroid hitting the earth (again, even flood claimants can’t agree on how it happened. So how can we tell?). Now, let the resultant slurry set until the water clears.What do we have left? Well, it’s not distinct layers of sediments like we see in reality. We have one layer, graded from fine to coarse within itself. We see that yet one more creationist claim is a lie. Now, since I’m pretty sure you would never actually do this experimetn for yourself since it would show you wrong, those who are interested in just what happens can see Potholer54’s video on YouTube doing exactly that experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sD_7rxYoZY I mistakenly referred to him as Potholer45 on an earlier post.

    3. Yes, I’ve asked you when the magical mystical bible flood occurred. And I do love it that rather than answering me, you try to come up with an excuse “You say your biggest question to me is “When did the flood occur?” Why would this be your biggest question? I don’t get it. Isn’t the greater issue IF it occurred?”
    You can’t answer and that’s so cute! You see, I knew you’d be scared to death of this question since it shows have no idea. I know this mythical flood didn’t occur. But you have claimed that it did. So, I’m asking you when it occurred. Surely, you know, right? If you have all of this evidence you claim you do, why you should be able to point right to when it occurred and since we’d have both evidence and an approximate time to know what it impacted, you’d have essentially won the argument since you’d have the evidence on your side. But you don’t. No evidence of such a flood and not even a time period to point to so we could look for this evidence that you lack.

    4. Yep, I called you an outright liar. Until I see evidence supporting your nonsense, you are a liar since I have shown you the facts and you intentionally refuse to acknowledge them. Of course you don’t bother defending yourself, you tell another lie. Let’s see what I really said.

    “Even more compelling is the fact that the geologic evidence is overwhelmingly consistent, not with a placid uniformitarian sea, but with a violent catastrophic flood. It just happens to not be a respectable position to believe this.” This is an outright lie. I do recall that your god doesn’t like these at all. You depend on ignorance from your creationist friends and creating strawmen based on long superseded information to support your flagging faith.”

    You have lied about the geological evidence being “overwhelmingly consistent” with a violent catastrophic flood. It is not. We see no huge layer as I described above in #2. You have tried to claim that geologists believe in a “placid uniformitarian sea” and they do not. The idea that no catastrophic events ever happen and all geological events are slow and gradual is believed in anymore and has not been believed in since the 1800s. James Hutton in the 1700s started the idea of uniformitarianism, in contrast to catastrophism. It claimed that there was no things like magical floods and it went too far one way and was shown wrong because we know that catastrophic things like volcanoes happen, that glacial lakes suddenly release and cause things like the Channeled Scablands, etc. Charles Lyell was one of the main proponents for this in the 1800s and he died in 1875. Modern geologists do not hold to Hutton’s and Lyell’s strict gradualism. So there you have attempted to create a strawman based on superseded information from the 1700s and 1800s. You have intentionally ignored that geologists do not believe in this anymore.

    Thank you so much, A&L. You’ve served as a perfect subject to demonstrate just how inept creationists are.

    • To Clubschadenfreude: I watched the Potholer video. It was a shining example of a strawman argument since it misrepresents the creationist position. You seem to be basing the bulk of your claim that “there is not one bit” of geologic evidence for a global flood on the fact that “we see no single huge layer.” Then you cite an experiment with a gallon juice bottle to disprove creationist claims, as though the settling out of mud and debris in still water simulates a global flood. But creationists envision the flood as a violent event that probably included volcanic and crustal plate movement. We don’t have to wonder how moving water can lay down sediment layers because it’s been observed, both in controlled experiments and in nature. Lab examples: Schieber, J., Southard, J., & Thaisen, K., Accretion of mudstone beds from migrating floccule ripples, Science 318 (5857): 1760-1763, 2007. See also a reprint of Guy Berthault’s research presented to the French Academy of Sciences: http://creation.com/experiments-on-lamination-of-sediments. Also, Makse, H.A., Havlin, S., King, P.R. & Stanley, H.E., 1997. Spontaneous stratification in granular mixtures. Nature, 386: 379-382.
      A field example: it is known that the Mt. St. Helens eruption produced a 25ft thick deposit of layered sediment in one day. If a local catastrophic event did this in a day, it seems reasonable to expect the greatest catastrophic water event in world history would do the something similar, but on a much larger scale. The Torah flood would not have produced one huge layer as you say. It is perfectly reasonable based upon observation and experimentation to expect the Torah flood to produce exactly what we see in the geologic column – many layers of sediment filled with millions of rapidly buried life forms, distributed as we find them.

      You wrote: “Okay, if you want to play this game. What strata are these? [vast areas of rapidly deposited strata spanning continents] They all have names so since you claim to know so much, name them….”

      The Tapeats Sandstone & Redwall Limestone of the Grand Canyon can be traced across the entire US & into Canada, & even across the ocean to England. This is speaks of large scale catastrophic forces such as one would expect from the Torah flood.
      Also, British geologist Derek Ager points out that the chalk beds that form the white cliffs of Dover in S England can be traced into France, N Germany, S Scandanavia, to Poland, Bulgaria and to Turkey & Egypt. I don’t see sedimentary layers being laid down across such large expanses today, do you?

      You wrote, “Again, the strata these are? The fossil beds? Surely you have their names? (referring to fossil graveyards of marine, land creatures, and insects…all buried together, and buried rapidly.)
      Does it matter if I know their names? Do such fossil graveyards exist or not? And if so, how can you say they are not consistent with what one would expect to see from a violent global flood designed to kill everything? I’ve read about fossil graveyards in the Gobi Desert in Central Asia, the Bone Cabin Quarry in Wyoming, Alberta Canada, Agate Springs Nebraska, and Tanzania. 80 fossilized whales buried in the Caldera Basin in Chile. !87 parrot-beaked dinosaurs buried in Mongolia. These are large numbers of large creatures. Preserving them would’ve required rapid burial under huge amounts of sediment. You can google the turtles fossilized in the act of mating if you’re not familiar with them.
      You wrote, “…No, dear we can’t agree on the lies you tell so badly. You sadly do not know of plastic deformation and the problems that occur when you do try to fold mud e.g. you don’t get hairpin angles at all the layers squish together…”

      It is true that there are instances where folding has occurred while the rock was solid, but there are other instances where the minerals in the rock indicate that they were not heated much, and seem to have been folded while unconsolidated. (Chelseigh Formation, greywacke & shale on the Turon River, west of Sofala, New South Wales, Australia.)
      Another example is the Grand Canyon strata which extends over 250 miles into Eastern AZ where they are a mile lower in elevation. Supposedly the uplift of the GC occurred 70 mil yrs ago – hundreds of millions of years after the sediments were deposited. Yet, while the basement rock was fractured by the uplift, the sedimentary layers on top are bent with no evidence of great stress – no elongated sand grains or breaking and recrystallization of the cementing minerals. Rather, the evidence points to the entire 4000 ft thickness of strata being still soft when it was deformed, soon after it was deposited. This is consistent with the Torah flood model.

      (At last someone attempts to respond to the genetic question…)
      You wrote: “I have said that there is no evidence that there was any 8 people we came from…”

      You’re wrong. The Gen 9:18 is a truth claim that is testable with modern genetics research. So far the research is consistent with the Torah.

      “…And my link does address evolutionary research, aka the bottle neck. Pity that you can’t see that…”

      Bottlenecks are a different issue. Your link did not address my point. If you think it did, then show me.

      “…Alas, for you, there are not “one Y chromosome and three main mitochondrial lineages world wide”. That’s only repeated on creationist websites and blogs, not in actual scientific literature, but please do show where it is if you can. I’d be happy to be shown wrong.”

      Then this should make you happy:
      [The Y chromosome] Jobling, M.A.. Tyler-Smith, C., The human Y chromosome: an evolutionary marker comes of age, Nature Reviews 4: 598-612,2003
      [Evolutionists have labeled the 3 main mitochondrial lineages M, N, & R]: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10…/annurev.genet.41.110306.130407
      You continue: “…Here is another article, which shows your claims about “one y chromosome and 3 main mitochondrial lines” again to be wrong since they occurred at different times…”
      Again you misunderstand the argument. My point is that this is occurring AT PRESENT, in the human population. This is consistent with the Torah’’s statement.

      “..Here is research that shows how humans spread and how their genetics spread, not from the Mid-East at all…”

      Here is an article by a PhD geneticist, (which I am not,) showing how the story of African origins is based on a set of unproven evolutionary assumptions: http://creation.com/neutral-model-of-evolution-recent-african-origins

      You continue, “…I am always satisfied when a creationist who wants to claim that evolution can’t possibly be true, needs it to be true for claims about molecular evolution and genetics supporting their myths. You see, A&L, you are a hypocrite and so easily demonstrated to be so.”

      Not sure what you mean here, but it sounds like you’re demonstrating the usual materialist/evolutionist failure to acquire an understanding of creationism before criticizing it. Scientific creationists fully embrace observable phenomena such as mutations and natural selection. They simply don’t think these are sufficient to take us from microbes to Mother Theresa, because this hasn’t been shown.
      You conclude this point with: “In addition, the Torah account does not require that there be one y chromosome and 3 mitochondrial lineages. That could be true if we knew more about the wife of Noah and the wives of the sons. We don’t. As so many creationists do, you make baseless claims and bastardize science when you think it will work for you.”

      It’s not a “baseless claim.” One Y chromosome because the 3 sons came from Noah. Unless there was a mutation, each of the sons would’ve carried Noah’s Y chromosome.
      Mitochondrial DNA is passed on from the female, so we would expect 3 mtDNA lineages originating from the 3 daughters-in-law, who we assume were not related to Noah. Please explain how this is a “baseless claim” and a “bastardization of science.”
      Moving on to your next topic, you state: “…2. This is hilarious! Again, poor creationists can’t show any evidence for a world-wide flood and will do their best to ignore that other myths do not match theirs. Alas for you, A&L, the pygmy creation story does not have “two” similarities to the bible flood story. It says that the flood preceeded mankind, and that is not at all what your creation story says.”

      Very good! Another difference would be that the flood in the Torah had nothing to do with a chameleon. However, my point all along has been that all of these worldwide, 500+ stories are derivative of an event that actually happened, and many have similarities to the Torah. It’s not my fault that you picked a story that proved my point. The story you cited mentions 1) “a great flood that spread all over the earth”, and that, 2) the world was populated by the human survivors of the flood. Those are similarities. If you can’t admit even that, then your dogmatic faith is blinding you to an unusual extent.
      Your second-to-last retort: “…I know this mythical flood didn’t occur. But you have claimed that it did. So, I’m asking you when it occurred. Surely, you know, right? If you have all of this evidence you claim you do, why you should be able to point right to when it occurred and since we’d have both evidence and an approximate time to know what it impacted, you’d have essentially won…”

      It depends on if you want to keep this discussion about observational science, in which case I’d have to give an estimated number in the 10s of thousands of years at most, based on several observable dating indicators. If you want me to appeal to revelation, I think most creationists would say the Bible places the flood at around 4500 years ago.
      Finally, your attempt to prove my using a strawman argument fails:
      “This is an outright lie…Modern geologists do not hold to Hutton’s and Lyell’s strict gradualism. So there you have attempted to create a strawman based on superseded information from the 1700s and 1800s. You have intentionally ignored that geologists do not believe in this anymore.”
      I’m well aware that modern geology no longer holds to the extreme uniformitarianism of Lyell. Modern geology has essentially been forced to accept flood/catastrophic scenarios to explain the geologic record (so long as they steer wide of accepting the Genesis flood.) Both sides need each other to keep each other honest, because there are plenty of embarrassing examples of “objective scientists” on BOTH sides, leaping to conclusions based on their respective dogmas. But my statement to you stands, and is not a straw man. You ARE a gradualist. Potholer is a gradualist. The proof of this is that you believe that the earth is billions of years old, and that the geologic record reflects this. You can’t have a billions-of-year-old-earth dogma without uniformitarianism/gradualism. In contrast, I believe the Torah flood was a historic event that altered the face of the planet only a few thousand years ago, and that most of what we see in the rocks can be explained by this event. That’s an enormous difference.
      Finally, I wonder if you forgot to answer my question to you:
      “Do you admit to holding to any dogmatic beliefs?”
      Why does any of this matter, and who gives a rip?
      If the Torah is true, then love and free will exist. And I get to argue that I have a transcendent basis for believing that all human beings have intrinsic worth. I get to argue that you are valuable because you bear the image of God.
      In contrast you have to argue that you have no objective, intrinsic worth, and have “no more free will than a bowl of sugar” (A. Cashmore)
      Given the horrific implications of what you believe, If there is any rational possibility that the Torah is true, I will gladly hold to that. But as it turns out, that possibility is far from remote.

  3. Whoa — you are way too smart for average me. But then, that’s what makes reading you fun. Love this question: “When is absence of evidence evidence of absence?” Answer: never (I think)

  4. art & life. I’ll be back to your lovely “numbered” nonsense. I do most like #5 with the utter ignorance about geology. Let’s see. “You should know that there are vast areas of rapidly deposited strata spanning continents, and even between continents, with no evidence of evolution between the layers.”

    Okay, if you want to play this game. What strata are these? They all have names so since you claim to know so much, name them. Yep, there are places where the layers were eroded back, so we’re missing some here and there, but funny how we can always match them up again. Those are called geological unconformities and alas, creationists forget that erosion and deposition keep working, unlike the lack of same for their flood. No one big layer that we should see.

    “There are marine, land creatures, and insects that did not live together, but all buried together, and buried rapidly. (In Germany they recently found fossilized turtles buried in the act of mating. Freaking remarkable.)”

    Again, the strata these are? The fossil beds? Surely you have their names?

    “We have dinos buried in chalk beds. (If you’re a geologist then you know what chalk is composed of.)”

    Yep, I know what chalk is. Again, where are these fossils and what beds are they in? You see, A&L, you have to actually have citations when you claim such things are real. Because I can look them up. But then, that is a problem for you, isn’t it?

    “Hopefully we can agree that rocks are hard and do not bend, yet we often see so-named “millions of years of sedimentary rock” bent at hairpin angles with no fracturing – obviously folded when the layers were all still wet.”

    No, dear we can’t agree on the lies you tell so badly. You sadly do not know of plastic deformation and the problems that occur when you do try to fold mud e.g. you don’t get hairpin angles at all the layers squish together. Although, if you think you can form wet sediments by folding, I want to see you do it. Heck, you can do it right, since you claim that’s how it happened?

    I live in the Applachians and we have lots of that sedimentary folding. I can see it everyday. I’d suggest watching some of Potholer45’s videos on youtube to see how ridiculous you are with your claims.

    “You may decide that these facts (and there are many more) do not conclusively prove a worldwide flood, but they are certainly consistent with one. For you to say there is “not one bit of evidence” is a dogmatic faith statement. The truth is that we’re all looking at the same evidence, and you interpret it according to your preferred dogma, and I interpret it according to mine. Your penchant for hyperbole and overstatement merely shows your refusal to allow other reasonable possibilities because it would mess with your preferred identity as an atheist.”

    Nope, no facts presented by you at all. I know physics. What you claim would make mudpies, not layers. Just amazing ignorance and more lies based on said ignorance. I’ll address 1-4 in a day or two.

  5. Prayson, you take a rather large ssumption and make it the basis for your argument. You suggest that one might produce “evidence for the existence of God”. None has ever been offered.
    My understanding of Christian dogma stipulates that the miracle is the faith in God.
    For me, an uncommitted atheist, that seems pretty huge and should be enough for any man. Evidence should be borne from your acts of commission and ommission. There is no theorem that proves God. That would take away the biggest part of religion. the only part that matters, faith.
    Be happy if you have it, from what I understand, it is a gift from God. So certainly you can understand that someone who has not benefitted from this gift might be reluctant to go all in.

  6. @Art life and Notes.

    Why did you not answer the animal dispersal pattern question?

    The link is to a Creationist site. You cannot be serious?
    Are you truly and honestly suggesting that you have derived your scientific material from Creationist Ministries?
    Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear. I am nervous to even consider that you might also believe the claims of Ken Ham that he found chariot wheels on the floor of the red Sea.I think you should go and see a professional….maybe within the medical or psychiatric field?

    • To Arkenaten, who wrote: “The link is to a Creationist site. You cannot be serious?…”

      Um…you asked me several questions about the plausibility of the Noah’s Ark story. How much sense would it make for me to send you to a site that only supports evolutionist dogma?

      ”Are you truly and honestly suggesting that you have derived your scientific material from Creationist Ministries?”

      Not at all. Both sides derive their scientific material from the same place – the observable universe. However, as I already stated, data must be interpreted. I sent you to an article by a PhD Chemist, explaining how the data can be interpreted to fit the creationist view. You seem to have bought into the fairly recent idea that an interpretation of the data can only be science if the interpretation is “naturalistic.” But this idea is simply materialist evolutionists redefining science so that the only possible answer can be an evolutionary one. Science progressed for centuries without such a definition. Not only is this irrational, but it has placed materialists in a completely dogmatic, faith position. More so even than that of creationists.

      
”Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear. I am nervous to even consider that you might also believe the claims of Ken Ham that he found chariot wheels on the floor of the red Sea…”

      I don’t use Ken Ham’s site, and I haven’t heard about this, but if he can prove that he’s found such a thing then I’d believe it. Wouldn’t you? Or do you only accept findings that support your dogma? I would believe in flying pink unicorns if there were indisputable observable evidence that they exist(ed). Wouldn’t you?

      “Why did you not answer the animal dispersal pattern question?”

      Because I have a full plate, and I thought you could read about it yourself. But since this seems to be a serious question for you I’ll answer it. There are several known mechanisms by which animal and plant life have, or plausibly could have, dispersed around the world. Again, both creationists and evolutionists agree on these: 1) transoceanic transport on rafts of vegetation, 2) transport by human migration, possibly via land bridges 3) animal migration and partial extinction, 4) speciation.
      If you assume the science presents a clear cut case supporting evolutionary dogma, you are incorrect. For example, if you believe that living marsupials are found only in Australia and South America because they evolved there, then you must explain why marsupial fossils have been found on every continent. If you believe that placentals evolved in the northern hemisphere, then you have to explain why a (supposed) 120 million year old placental fossil was recently found in Australia. This article goes into greater detail, for those who are actually interested in understanding a rational creationist viewpoint: http://creation.com/biogeography

      As for you, Ark, I would urge you to at least read the following article. I think it would be helpful to you. It touches on biogeography, but what’s really great is that it’s a dialogue between a creationist and an evolutionist. Both are informed and intelligent. It’s a respectful discussion between grown-ups with no snide insults, or the kind of pompous, blind certainty that you exhibit in all of your posts: http://creation.com/genetics-geographical-distribution

  7. “When is absence of evidence evidence of absence?”

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However it justifies scepticism. If I say I have 6 elephants in my back garden, you might be sceptical if you’d never seen them, nor any footprints or droppings etc. You would be justified in your statement ‘I do not believe that you have 6 elephants in your garden’—because you have nothing to base that belief on, so from what you’ve seen (or not seen, rather) you can quite reasonably doubt my claim.

    Now an atheist, as far as I am concerned is someone who does not believe in God. Not someone who believes that there is no God. So as with the elephant example, I see no sufficient evidence upon which to base any belief, therefore I do not believe in God—I’m an atheist.

    • True. Yet the Christians believe their god is Jesus, a belief that has been foisted on humanity
      at what cost? And it is continually paying, make NO mistake.

      Such claims must be able to stand on their own two feet, and as we dismiss the nonsense claims of Islam so should claims of divinity and such like made by Christians be dismissed.

      It is a doctrine built primarily on a foundation of lies implemented through fear, and even a cursory read of the bible will quickly confirm this.

      An excellent exercise for every doubter – every believer, in fact, is to scout the blogs and read the accounts of de-conversion by former devout Christians, why they de-converted and the incredible sense of relief and freedom they discover, often for the first time in their lives – when the realise that everything concerning Christianity and the Bible they had been inculcated with is absolute rubbish.

  8. Prayson,

    I’d like to submit a few problems with your argument here.

    1. Atheists don’t believe in gods. As of me. I don’t believe any of them. It’s not personal, yours is but one among many similar fantasies that started long ago in prehistory when peoples got into believing that any kinds of natural phenomena were gods. Thus, referring to my disbelief as not believing in “God” is a misrepresentation. I don;t believe yours or any other.
    2. Many forms of the Christian god are demonstrably false just because they are nonsensical. So, it is not just that the arguments for its existence fail. It’s often that the concept is nonsense.
    3. It does not help that your god as any other gods, are indistinguishable from mere imagination.
    4. Agnosticism is compatible with atheism. Agnosticism is a declaration of knowledge, while atheism is a declaration of disbelief. As such, most of my atheist friends are agnostic atheists. They will tell you that they don’t know that there’s no gods (see that they will not refer to “God,” but “gods”), but they see no reason to believe in any of them.
    5. That a probability sums to 1. It does not mean that the probability for “God” is 0.5. For one, you are forgetting the many other gods ever imagined by humanity. That gives us many many many scenarios. Therefore, if we were to argue for a probability, we would have to define the god we are talking about. Most are complete nonsense (like most Christian gods, of which there are many). Those that are not nonsense, are still hard to tell apart from imagination, and are useless as beliefs.
    6. For the sake of experimentation, if we forgot about the nonsensical nature of most believed gods, then yours would have a very tiny probability of being the real one. That without taking into account mixtures of possibly existing, and competing, gods and such.

    Your problem is that you don’t seem to understand the nature of disbelief. If you want to argue from some point of neutrality, you would have to start by admitting that your god is but one among many. You would not like it if a Muslim assumed that I don’t believe in his god, or Hindus assumed that I just don’t believe in their gods, and forgot that I don’t believe in yours either, would you?

    There’s no red herring in pink unicorns. I understand why you don’t like it. But your refusal to understand the point made by agnosticism about pink unicorns comes to show that you truly don’t understand what disbelief is. We see your god as any other fantasy. Nothing fallacious about it.

    I hope this helps you better understand atheism. At least the kind I find most often.

  9. Redefining atheism as “lack of belief in God” fails,””

    Oooh, I missed this juicy one-liner.
    Naughty PD…tut tut.
    This is the trouble with Christians they think their god is so special. Well, sorry to say it isn’t. In fact , I’d put several gods above the man-god you worship.
    For the record; Atheists do not believe in gods. Plural and no capital. Are we getting it yet? Good, I hope so.
    See, ignorance is curable! You don;t want to remain stupid , now do you? Çourse not, and I’ll help wherever I can. Bless me.

  10. “I blog for the love and glory of our Triune God. ”

    Then you blog from ignorance. The Trinity is a man made concept with no basis in fact whatsoever.
    On the back of this , how can anything you say be taken seriously?

      • You think, so?
        I would venture that it is fundamental to everything you believe.
        It is unfair to tacitly argue against atheism, or any worldview contrary to your own, if you are not being scrupulously honest about your own position; which you are not.
        Whether this is by design or merely ignorance of the facts, it should be incumbent upon you to establish where this belief in the Trinity originated.
        If you choose not to , then why would anyone bother to answer the question you pose?

      • Thank you again Arkenaten. I believe it is fair to argue not against atheism but the notion that atheism is presumed true given insufficient evidence for existence of God.

        To contend that belief x is false, I do not have to show that belief y is true. Arkenaten, what I contended above, has been contended also by atheist philosophers.

        Thank you once again :D

      • Yes. IEP expounded Appeal to Authority:

        You appeal to authority if you back up your reasoning by saying that it is supported by what some authority says on the subject. Most reasoning of this kind is not fallacious, and much of our knowledge properly comes from listening to authorities. However, appealing to authority as a reason to believe something is fallacious whenever the authority appealed to is not really an authority in this particular subject, when the authority cannot be trusted to tell the truth, when authorities disagree on this subject (except for the occasional lone wolf), when the reasoner misquotes the authority, and so forth. Although spotting a fallacious appeal to authority often requires some background knowledge about the subject or the authority, in brief it can be said that it is fallacious to accept the words of a supposed authority when we should be suspicious of the authority’s words.

        Most reasoning of this kind is not fallacious. I was simply pointing out that what I claim, is not unique to theists, but also some atheists do to.

      • You miss the point (on purpose, I would suggest) and are beginning the theological two step.
        Let me try to simplify it for you.Christians are such a stubborn lot after all, are they not? There would be no argument for or against atheism or atheists if the notion of a god had not been posited in the first place.
        In your particular case – Christian – that god is the man-god character named Jesus, (Please note”Not Chrestus or Christus) found solely within the covers of the New Testament, without which you would have absolutely no notion of Jesus.

        Thus it is incumbent on you to present your bona fides before even considering a challenge to the notion that atheism is false doctrine. To proceed further without establishing your credentials is both disingenuous and hypocritical.

        Christians aren’t hypocrites are they PD?

      • Thanks Arkenaten.

        You might be correct that Christians are stubborn, and Jesus is solely within the covers on the New Testament and they are hypocrites.

        I am stubborn and a huge hypocrite. But this is irrelevant to the case I present above because I did not contend that Christians are not stubborn, nor about Jesus nor about existence of God.

        The case I presented was to question, not atheism, but presumptions atheism, namely atheism is true given insufficient evidence for belief in God.

        Yours,
        Prayson

      • LOL You cannot presume anything about atheism unless you acknowledge where it came from.
        There would not be atheists, if there were no theists in the first place.
        Thus, whatever you believe a bout atheism is irrelevant as it is only there because of your (theist) belief.

        So, show me your credentials and I’ll show you mine, okay?
        Fairs fair after all, right?

      • Presumptous atheism is a belief that atheism is a default position given insufficent evidence for exstence of God. One does not need to know theism to show that that this belief is unwarranted. Critical thinking is all you need.

      • You are still not getting…now pay attention.
        Firstly, even the word atheist derives from theist, see?
        Second, YOUR god is a narrative construct from a book called the bible, who’s divinity was decided by the Church, and who’s historicity is still not cut and dried.
        Soooo, before the bible was released, how did you know about Jesus? It wasn’t scratched in a cave in Northern France, now was it? No sir. See, it is easy to figure out once you face the truth.

        Fir the last time, otherwise I really will begin to think you are being dense on purpose:
        Bible – Jesus – Christian Theist.

        Then came the atheist.

        So, show me your god first then I’ll show you my non-god.

      • “Thank you Arkenaten. I believe we are not in the same page, thus I will step down. ”
        Actually, it is the same topic alas you have deigned to ignore the true issue preferring to argue semantics, merely to point score.
        This is fine by me, it is something Christians are quite adept at , but doesn’t enamor them to anyone who might desire a normal rational conversation as this attitude always renders Christianity moot.
        You cannot realistically or fairly argue for your position unless you are able to justify it.
        Christianity and the god you worship has to stand on its own two feet before it can deign to belittle other worldviews.
        It fails miserably as every argument, and its proponents aptly demonstrate.

    • Hi Ark,

      I look to our recorded past, and present, and I see brutal war and hate. I see ruthless dictators killing their own people. atrocities done in the “name of religion”. I see starvation and suffering, rape and murder, and I see our precious planet being tortured, it’s air, rivers and oceans polluted. I see selfish man unable to see beyond tomorrow in their lust for power and money, their short lives consumed by greed. Is there any hope for us? Will it always be this way?

      I could go on, and it is much worse, but you get the point, science has failed us. The Godless man has failed us. If only it was written on everyone’s heart to love their neighbor as they love themselves, but no, we are indeed free to choose to kill and destroy, or alternatively, cherish life and build hope, or worse than any evil, be indifferent to the plight of the evil and the suffering it brings.

      Are you happy with the two extremes of the haters and killers versus the defenders of the helpless? I know I’m not.

      The implication is clear in Isaiah 44:6-7: The burden of proof is on the detractor of God’s prophetic word to demonstrate his own ability to bring the future to pass.

      The modern mind equates ancient thinking with primitive thinking. The language of critical scholarship reduces much of the Bible to quaint superstition and cultural and intellectual bias. How does the skeptic, who says we should give up on the “dangerous” idea of a divine utopia, face up to the following plain statement from the pages of Isaiah?

      “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers . . .” Isaiah 44:24-26

      These are powerful words and a serious challenge to the one who would deny their author. It is God’s desire to save all the earth from the pain and suffering that has plagued humanity. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other”. (Isaiah 45:22) These are not the words of a human being with no power to effect his promises.

      The Bible is not primitive thinking. In numerous instances the Bible contains medical, hygienic, and psychological information that far predates man’s actual discoveries of related principles in these scientific fields. The medical instructions given by Moses to the Israelites some 3500 years ago were not only far superior to the practices of contemporary cultures, they also exceeded medical standards practiced as recently as 100 years ago. Where did Moses get this advanced information?

      The millennial prophecies of Isaiah and other teachers of ancient Israel reveal a God who promises an answer to all our challenges, if only…

      LeRoy

      • Science has not failed us – humans fail; this is part of growth . The rest of this drivel is not worth the time you spent typing it.
        Moses was a narrative construct and did not exist. Period.
        Isaiah. RFLMAO.
        Reborns and evangelicals are silly people who have no real handle in life.
        You have my pity.
        No…go and read a worthwhile book and use the bible for those moments in the loo when things get tough.

      • The Godless man has failed us.

        How has the godless man failed us? Has anyone killed in the name of godless?

        I see selfish man unable to see beyond tomorrow in their lust for power and money, their short lives consumed by greed. Is there any hope for us? Will it always be this way?

        It will always be like that as long as some people harbor an idea they have another life in another place after they are dead. Either we tell each other we have one life here and we must make it the best and work towards that or believe in ghosts and then everything is permitted!

        The medical instructions given by Moses to the Israelites some 3500 years ago were not only far superior to the practices of contemporary cultures, they also exceeded medical standards practiced as recently as 100 years ago. Where did Moses get this advanced information?

        I need to know if your doctor consults the bible or uses methods that have been improved upon through scientific inquiry?

        These are not the words of a human being with no power to effect his promises.

        Those are the words of a priest who wants absolute power by claiming he speaks for god and he knows what this god wants! There is nothing powerful or special in those words.

  11. To Robert Nielson, William Thames, Tomy, John Zande: At the risk of leaving the topic of philosophy, I want to address the repeated claims that there is no evidence for the existence of YHWH, and by extension, no evidence that the Judeo-Christian scriptures are His revelation. Of particular interest is Robert Neilson’s early comment, “If there was proof of [His} existence we would have found it by now.” My response is that, the more we advance scientifically, the greater the possibilities for testing the truth claims of the Bible. One exciting new example is the field of genetics research. Modern genetics gives us the ability to test stories of history. This was not possible before. There are statements in the Torah that are testable. One such statement is found in Genesis 9:18 &19 which states that the entire population of the earth came from the 3 sons of Noah. We now know that Noah’s sons would have carried one Y chromosome. From Noah’s daughters-in-law we would expect to see 3 mitochondrial lineages in the human population. In fact, this is what (evolutionary) genetics researchers have found – Y chromosomes are similar (so far) over the entire earth, and (so far) there are 3 main mitochondrial DNA lineages in the world’s population.

    When one considers that many unrelated, worldwide cultures have ancient flood stories, and that the observable geological record is compatible with the account in the Torah, I would like for someone to explain how this does not constitute evidence for the reliability of the Judeo-Christian scriptures. If these writings were the result of mere human invention, these stories shouldn’t even be in the ballpark by now. Instead, here we are, having this discussion because there continues to be a seemingly impossible correspondence between the Bible and the observable universe.

    I should mention that modern genetics research is also friendly to the story of the tower of Babel. For a more detailed discussion and corroborating reference, visit: On Making Biblical Faith Seem Stupid – part 3 @ http://www.artandlifenotes.wordpress.com

    • Perhaps, I misunderstand you, but are you arguing that there is scientific evidence that Noah’s Ark and flood actually happened? I would criticise this, but its too easy. Just because many cultures reference a flood, simply means small floods were common. It is not evidence that the entire world was covered in water. You seem to be taking quite a leap of the imagination to claim genetics supports the Bible. Please clarify.

      • You understand me correctly. I’m well aware of how silly that claim must sound to you, but I can’t get around the fact that new scientific evidence in support of the Judeo-Christian scriptures keeps showing up. I think the genetics research is freaking remarkable. You say criticizing this is too easy, but please humor me. I’m interested in hearing an intelligent atheist response or two. I don’t understand why you think I’ve made a leap of imagination in claiming genetics supports the Bible. I gave you a scientifically testable statement from the Torah, then I explained how genetics research is consistent with that statement. Please explain where I’m leaping. It doesn’t sound like you read the reference I posted. Here’s a more direct link: http://creation.com/noah-and-genetics

        There are some 500 hundred stories of a worldwide flood from all around the world, including stories from ancient Mesopotamia, the Aztecs, the Australian Aborigines, the Bahnars of China, the native Americans, Egypt, Peru, & Scandinavia to name a few. Most speak of a worldwide flood and many bear significant similarities to the account in the Torah. It’s true that one possibility is that all these divergent cultures coincidentally developed stories of the earth being destroyed by water with only a couple/few people surviving. But how likely is that? It’s true that another possibility is that every person that has existed on the planet since the flood was descended from the sons of Noah as the Torah states, and that these different cultures have retained some scrap of memory from the flood event. Even more compelling is the fact that the geologic evidence is overwhelmingly consistent, not with a placid uniformitarian sea, but with a violent catastrophic flood. It just happens to not be a respectable position to believe this.

        • “Art”, your claims are false. There are no indications that we came from 8 people after a flood that left no evidence: read the article here to find out that your claims about how “freaking remarkable” the research is a lie: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/how-big-was-the-human-population-bottleneck-not-anything-close-to-2/ You’ll find the link to the Nature article there. I always find it hilarous when Chrisitans are so desperate that they invoke science and the scientific method when they ignorantly think it supports them but attack that same method and evidence when it shows their religion to be utter nonsense. It’s so cute to see the pure hypocrisy.

          There are indeed a lot of flood myths. However, not all civilizations have them and those that do have them do not match in what they claim as opposed to your false claim that they do. You can find many of these myths here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html One of my favorites that from the Pygmy: “Chameleon heard a strange noise, like water running, in a tree, but at that time there was no water in the world. He cut open the trunk, and water came out in a great flood that spread all over the earth. The first human couple emerged with the water.” Totally not like your Christian myth.

          Most if not all civilizations arose around rivers. Rivers often flood and that makes a great part of a just-so story to tell a myth about evil and good. My biggest question to you, “art” is to tell me when this flood occured? Surely we should be able to tell, yes? But we can’t.

          “Even more compelling is the fact that the geologic evidence is overwhelmingly consistent, not with a placid uniformitarian sea, but with a violent catastrophic flood. It just happens to not be a respectable position to believe this.” This is an outright lie. I do recall that your god doesn’t like these at all. You depend on ignorance from your creationist friends and creating strawmen based on long superseded information to support your flagging faith.

          There is not one bit of evidence supporting a massive global flood. I’m a geologist and I know. If there was this magical flood with the violent spurting of “fountains” and “springs” like , we would have one huge layer of sediment, sorted within the layer from coarse on the bottom to fine on the top. Within this layer, there would be fossils of humans and animals (including dinos) sorted by hydrologic interaction with similar things together. This would require humans and small dinos like deinonychus being found together. They are not. You can find all of the other reasons why the claim that the global flood was real fail so badly here: http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-flood.html and you can watch a video demonstrating how they fail here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sD_7rxYoZY

    • Yes but how did all the animals fit on the boat? Your argument is almost reasonable if you ignore the actual story. Unfortunately, lacking qualification in genetics or world culture & myths I cannot verify or refute your claims and have to take your word for it. Its perfectly reasonable for different cultures to have flood myths, after all early civilizations were built alongside rivers, which occasionally flood. However, I would have to see the stories themselves to see how strong the resemblance to Noah’s Flood is.

      There is also the point that we now the Bible is roughly 4,000 years old and that does not leave enough time for the world to repopulate, spread out and develop different racial features. If all these cultures are descendant from Noah, then surely they should have other Bible stories too? (I intend to do a blog post over the weekend, fully explaining why I don’t believe Noah’s Ark is a real story).

      • All we need to rationally answer this question is to see that it is possible in a way that is consistent with the account in the Torah. It happens that it is well within the realm of possibility, and wouldn’t even require a miracle. It’s pretty simple: Again, the Torah makes the “mistake” of giving the dimensions of the ark. A scientist named Woodmorappe has written a book, “Noah’s Ark: A feasibility Study.” It’s quite long, so here’s a link that provides a summary. Be sure and read the comments following. You might want to read this article before you do your blog, as all of your objections have probably been answered. http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-the-ark

        Also, 4000 years is plenty of time for the world to re-populate, spread, and develop races. It’s actually evolutionary theory that has the problem making population numbers fit with their dogma, according to known measurable rates. Again the real problem here is not that any of this has been scientifically shown to be impossible, it’s that it’s extremely unfashionable and embarrassing for an intelligent person to admit they believe in “Noah’s ark and a big flood.” In other words, it’s a “heart” issue, not an evidential one.

        • Oh my the nonsense here. Woodmorappe (real name: Jan Peczkis) supposedly got a Bachelor of Arts (not Science) in Biology and Geology and a master of arts (not scienc) in Geology (I have my bachelors of science in Geology from Clarion U of PA). And, not so strangely, we have nowhere mentioning where he got these degrees, not even on his bio from Answers in Genesis. Now how would someone “forget” to show where he got his degrees from if he’s such person who wants to declare how valid his degrees are? In any case, he is not a “scientist”. Then you claim that 4000 years is plenty of time to explain the diversity and spread of animals and plants. If so, please show how. Tell me how plants were magically regenerated when they were covered with miles of supposed water. Tell me how the koala did the backstroke to Australia.

          You also try to claim that evolutionary theory has trouble with the population numbers. Okay, where’s the evidence of that? Surely you have it, right since you’ve made the claim? You see, baseless claims by creationists, especially those who try to lie about scientists supporting their nonsense, are worthless without evidence. As for showing how the flood story is impossible, yes, science has done this. Through geology, through genetics, through hydrology, etc. We know that the hilarious claims of flood supporting creationists are false (I do always love how they can’t even agree among themselves, so much for anything being “obvious” about the flood). We know that there was not some ice asteroid that crashed into the earth, that there are no vast caverns filled with water to gush up nor was there any moisture cloud that rained down. All are impossible with regular old physical laws. You need magic for any of them to work.

          Your willful ignorance in this is amusing but pretending and praying real hard won’t make facts go away. We see no evidence of the flood claimed in the bible. We see no huge layer of flood deposit which we should if this actually happened. What happened, did God magically make it go away? :) I do enjoy how you’ve did a complete retreat though, when now, when you can’t show any evidence, you retreat to “I belief because I want to.” that it’s only a matter of the “heart” not “evidence”. Yep, that’s how it always ends, the theist finally getting cornered and showing that all of his claims are garbage.

          • Um…I just gave you 5 clear, numbered responses, and you didn’t address any of them. And now you demand that I respond to your new questions that you pulled from a third party discussion? I don’t think so. First address my answers to your accusations (I suggest rereading/focusing on #5 since you claimed I gave no evidence.) When we have resolved those, I will look forward to addressing your new demands. Since you’re a geologist, please keep it simple so I can understand it.

            As for this: “I do enjoy how you’ve did a complete retreat though, when now, when you can’t show any evidence, you retreat to “I belief because I want to.” that it’s only a matter of the “heart” not “evidence”. Yep, that’s how it always ends, the theist finally getting cornered and showing that all of his claims are garbage.”

            Hmm. This makes we wonder if English isn’t your primary language, because you so badly garble what I said, and you don’t seem to understand what quotation marks are for. There’s so much wrong and intellectually dishonest in your statement that I hardly know where to begin, so I will clarify: You flatter yourself if you read my last statement as a retreat. 1) I DID give evidence, and 2) I did NOT say “…it’s only a matter of the ‘heart’ not ‘evidence,'” nor do I believe that is the case. Here’s my clarification: I have dogmatic beliefs. I fully admit this. You have equally (if not more so) dogmatic beliefs. You don’t see even see this. (Though I’d be happy to point them out to you.) You are blinded to this to such an extent that you will say ridiculous things like, there is “not one bit of evidence” to support a global flood. OF COURSE we all interpret data according to what we want to believe – data must be interpreted! For me to acknowledge this is simply to recognize what is true for me and for you. For you to acknowledge this would be a first step toward becoming a civil, intellectually responsible human being. So, even if you continue to ignore everything else I’ve said, answer this – Do you admit to holding to any dogmatic beliefs?

            (That last sentence was a clear question. Please answer it.)

      • To Clubschadenfreude: (‘Sorry – couldn’t get a reply button on your post, so I had to piggyback on Robert’s. Robert, your answer is below)

        Gosh. You sound kind of pissed. I’m happy I could bring some hilarity to your day!
        Your post is puzzling for several reasons:
        1) You say “There are no indications that we came from 8 people after a flood that left no evidence: read the article here to find out that your claims about how “freaking remarkable” the research is a lie:” Then you cite a source that doesn’t address the (evolutionary) research I cited. It’s pretty simple. The Torah account requires that there be one Y chromosome and three main mitochondrial lineages worldwide. There are. Or else show me otherwise.
        2) You say my claim is false that the worldwide flood myths contain common characteristics, then as proof you cite one such myth that contains two similarities to the Torah story. Your Pygmy myth mentions a) “a great flood that spread all over the earth” (ie – not a neighborhood flood), and b) implies that the whole earth was populated from the few survivors that came from the flood. My point was that these stories are derivative, not identical.
        3) You say your biggest question to me is “When did the flood occur?” Why would this be your biggest question? I don’t get it. Isn’t the greater issue IF it occurred?
        4) You call my statement asserting overwhelming geological evidence for a violent catastrophic flood an “outright lie.” (3x you accuse me of lying!) And then you lie about what I said. Unless you can point out where I made a “strawman argument based on superseded information.”
        5) Finally, you falsely state, “There is not one bit of evidence supporting a massive global flood. I’m a geologist and I know. If there was this magical flood with the violent spurting…we would have one huge layer of sediment, sorted within the layer from coarse on the bottom to fine on the top. ” If you’re a geologist up on current science, then you should know that we have witnessed violent flooding depositing so-called “millions of years of sedimentary layers” in a matter of hours (not one huge layer.) You should know that there are vast areas of rapidly deposited strata spanning continents, and even between continents, with no evidence of evolution between the layers. There are marine, land creatures, and insects that did not live together, but all buried together, and buried rapidly. (In Germany they recently found fossilized turtles buried in the act of mating. Freaking remarkable.) We have dinos buried in chalk beds. (If you’re a geologist then you know what chalk is composed of.) Hopefully we can agree that rocks are hard and do not bend, yet we often see so-named “millions of years of sedimentary rock” bent at hairpin angles with no fracturing – obviously folded when the layers were all still wet. You may decide that these facts (and there are many more) do not conclusively prove a worldwide flood, but they are certainly consistent with one. For you to say there is “not one bit of evidence” is a dogmatic faith statement. The truth is that we’re all looking at the same evidence, and you interpret it according to your preferred dogma, and I interpret it according to mine. Your penchant for hyperbole and overstatement merely shows your refusal to allow other reasonable possibilities because it would mess with your preferred identity as an atheist.

    • @ art & life notes

      As you are a proponent of the global flood scenario I am keen to understand why there is a complete lack of evidence of an animal dispersal pattern from where the Ark (not me) was supposed to have come to rest?
      Can you please explain this anomaly?

      Can you also explain how carnivores survived on the Ark ?

      Can you also explain the fundamentalist belief that dinosaurs like T-Rex which were also on the Ark, apparently, were initially vegetarian until after the fall?

      Can you also explain the problem of resolving the cichlid issue? (this is a fish, in case you weren’t sure)

      How did Noah cope with the mayfly problem -them only living for a day?

      Is it true that a cubit is, in fact, not a unit of measurement but rather a method for chopping vegetables?

      And finally, who’s job was it to shovel all the shit or do you think this was a chore all family members shared?

      I shall treasure your answers.

      • I think while he is at it answering your questions, I have a few of my own.

        1. how did they deal with woodpeckers?
        2. There was only one window, how did they handle the matter of ventilation
        3. The window wasn’t opened till 100+ days elapsed after the deluge, where did they get light?
        4. Did Noah and family eat food raw and how did they manage to have all the food for all the animals in the boat?
        And a bonus question
        Without exposure to sunlight for more than 3 months, how did plants survive? And where did the herbivores get their food immediately after disembarking?

      • To Arkenaten & Makagutu (Golly! You atheists have such cool names! That sounds like a world music drumming group. Or a law firm specializing in video game character copyright infringement!)

        So excited you are interested in the Noah’s Ark story. What about penguins? Don’t you guys want to know how Noah got penguins on the ark? Anyway, you can read as well as I can, so I’m going to send you to the same site that I sent Robert: http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-the-ark
        You should find it entertaining. Be sure and read the comment section following. They will also take your burning questions.

        To sum up on the Noah’s Ark thing: In order for this crazy story to remain on the table of real possibilities, it merely has to be shown that the story (as it is written – not according to your misreading) is within the realm of possibility. It has been shown to be so. Furthermore, if a global flood occurred as it is written in the Torah, it’s safe to say it would have been the greatest catastrophe in the written history of the planet, and would’ve altered the face of the planet forever. We see this. We have a planet covered in thousands of feet of sediment including vast fossil graveyards containing rapidly buried remains of millions of land and sea animals that died together. (Of course, I realize that evolutionists have made up their own dogmatic faith story to explain this, I just don’t think it’s as rational as the story in the Torah.) Also we would expect there to be some memory of such a catastrophe worldwide. We see this.

        I think, even as atheists, you guys have to admit that the guys who pulled these made-up Bible stories out of their butts got really lucky. After all, they could’ve said that God judged the world by sending a plague, or a giant asteroid, or a big fire, or an army of zombies, or a divine vaporization of all evil creatures that left no trace whatsoever. But instead they made up a flood story that, thousands of years later, has more geological support than ever. And they accidentally made precise testable statements that happen to be compatible with modern genetics research. Three main mitochondrial lines. How lucky can you get!?

  12. Prayson, you may quote philosophers with my name (funny coincidence), but you are still playing word games. We can argue forever about the difference between absence of belief and belief of absence, and never get anywhere.

    Imagine you were in a judge and you are told that the defendant is accused of murder. However, no evidence is presented to prove this case. It is theoretically possible that the defendant is guilty, but until you see evidence proving this, you must presume the defendant is innocent. (You can presume that if there was evidence the prosecution would have shown it)

    That is why I am an Atheist. There could be a God just as there could be aliens or ghosts etc. However, until I see some evidence I won’t believe. It is possible that such evidence does exist, but until I see it, I remain an Atheist.

    Also, if god wanted us to believe, do you not think he would have shown some concrete evidence by now? If 2,000 years of Christianity has not produced evidence, how much more time do you need?

    • Hej Robert. Thank you so much for your input.

      The problem is that the case for the existence of God is a philosophical and not judicial thus unlike in law, the burden of proof is both on those who claim that God does not exist and those who claim that God does exist.

      Christians theists have atleast attempt to give a case for their belief viz., historical resurrection of Jesus, argument from beginning of the universe and it’s fine tuning, ontology of morality, ontological arguments et cetera.

      You could assume Robert that God does not exist given that there is no good case for His existence. But that my friend is blind faith, since as you claim, it is possible that evidence for God existence is there but you just have not find it.

      What I am trying to get Robert is that does insufficient evidence for belief in God a warranted case for assuming atheism. I doubt so. I think it is blind faith assuming atheism in lack of evidence until one has a good case against God.

      • I don’t believe in God for the same reason I don’t believe in ghosts. If there was proof of their existence we would have found it by now. Without getting caught up in pedantics, Christianity makes claims about Jesus, God etc. I reject these claims as lacking in evidence. This along with logical flaws in the case for God (such as the problem of evil, lack of revelation) makes me think that God cannot exist, the same way I don’t think its possible for a penguin to exist in a desert. It could, but I have no evidence to suggest it does.

      • Robert what are those same reason(s)? It is quite fine that you don’t believe in God for the same reason you don’t believe in ghosts. But what are those reason(s) that makes you not believe in God or(and) in ghosts?

        What makes you think that if there was proof of their existence we would have found it by now?

      • “One raw winter night the man heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.

        Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in the corner. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.

        The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them to the barn. Nothing worked. He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn’t comprehend that he actually desired to help. The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought hit him like lightning from a clear blue sky: If only I could become a bird – one of them – just for a moment. Then I wouldn’t frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.

        At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He grasped the reason Jesus was born.” Paul Harvey

      • I don’t believe in ghosts or God because there is a lack of evidence and it is neither scientifically or logically possible. In a nutshell, it simply does not make sense. Christianity has been around for 2,000 years, organised religion even longer. Naturally they would have an incentive to prove God’s existence, yet they have not been able to. Presumably God has an incentive to convince us as well (presuming he is as described and wants us to worship him), yet he has not. If thousands of years of the resources of religion cannot find proof, then maybe it simply isn’t there.

      • No. While it is possible that she is having an affair, he has no reason to suspect she is and should act as though she is not. The amount of possibilities in our lives is limitless therefore we can only base our actions on that we have evidence for, otherwise, we couldn’t make any decisions. For example, I could be adopted, have a disease, be the reincarnation of a Pharaoh, dragons could exist etc. I could go on all day listing possibilities all of which could be true. Therefore we can only believe that which we evidence for, otherwise our heads would explode from the infinite possibilities.

      • Robert is John Doe “acting” as though Jane Doe does not have an affair warrant his position that she is not having an affair?

        What I contended in this article is that John is not in a warranted position to claim that Jane is having an affair or not, given lack of evidence.

        John Doe’s lack of belief does not warrant his acting as though Jane Doe is not having an affair since he can “act” as though but not justified in his acting. A case for or against Jane Doe having an affair is needed for John to be warranted to believe one or the other.

        Do you agree Robert?

    • If I may interject:

      Robert,

      You seem to be using proof and evidence interchangeably. There are slight, yet important distinctions between them. Proof is deductive in nature; evidence is probabilistic. Many Christians also would say there is plenty of evidence for the existence of God i.e. the uniformity of nature, impossibility of an actual infinite, the intuitiveness of the principle of sufficient reason (that everything has a reason or explanation for its circumstances either in an external cause or in the necessity of its own nature), the universe had a beginning, atheism/metaphysical naturalism’s accounts of morality or of the universe’s ontology are not only unconvincing but actually incoherent. It’s easy for the Christian to contend that God has made his presence knowable through both empirical and philosophical means.

      I will also point out that atheists don’t solely rely on their perceived failure of theism to justify their entire worldview. You guys replace theistic accounts for the way things are with materialistic or naturalistic ones. How did the human species come to be? Through millions of years of evolution by natural selection, resulting into the human body plan we have today. Darwin’s theory of evolution is very much, or at least offered as, a positive case of atheism. I have yet to meet an atheist who separates his or her atheism from evolutionary theory. You see, it’s not lack of evidence but contrary evidence that led to atheism. Robert, your penguin-in-the-desert example is relevant here. Why don’t we believe penguins can be found in the desert? It’s not so much lack of evidence but contrary evidence. Penguin feathers and their other anatomical features cater to a polar and aquatic habitat, not an arid and terrestrial one. That’s sufficient reason to not extrapolate their existence to an desert ecosystem.

      magakatu,

      Your definition of faith begs the question in your favor. Moreover, the definition of faith you give is not the faith that is discussed in the Bible. “Pistos” is the word often translated to faith in the New Testament, and it means “to trust” in Greek.

      Admittedly, the scientific method appears to be a successful means to learn about the world around us, but there are aspects of reality, in principle, it can’t investigate. For instance, it can’t justify itself like you seem to suggest as that is again begging the question. It’s akin to saying that the Bible is true because it says it is. I’m sure you can and have pointed out why that’s not a good reasoning for establishing the Bible as epistemically authoritative.

      Furthermore, the Bible never purports to be a scientific book. To treat it as such is unfounded. I also see no reason to abide to your asserted dichotomy. Being a holy book or being a book authored by men are not mutually exclusive. Christians believe it to be a book authored by divinely inspired men.

      Your introduction of animals coexisting together is interesting, but I think it is misguided. How do you know animals have laws that govern behavior between members of their species? Even if we are only just animals, civil law seems to be a human animal invention. Moreover, you’re conflating divine fiats for the establishment of morality with civil law. The two are different things.

      Lastly, comparing God with Osiris, Zeus and the like is very much like comparing apples with oranges. The God of Christianity has always existed while Zeus and other polytheistic gods have parents and are contingent according to their respective mythologies. There are more differences, but this one is sufficient to dispel the notion that God is similar to Zeus, Odin, Vishnu, etc. And the philosophical arguments do strive to demonstrate an all-powerful, all-good, all-knowing, all-present, necessary, timeless and spaceless God which all Christians believe the God of the Bible to be like, and moreover, atheism would be shown to be false and Christian theism would be shown to be more likely true. How is that sympathetic to atheism?

      • Modus Pownens,

        First the definition I gave for faith is from Wikipedia, encyclopedia Britannica defines faith as inner attitude, conviction, or trust relating human beings to a supreme God or ultimate salvation. In religious traditions stressing divine grace, it is the inner certainty or attitude of love granted by God himself. In Christian theology, faith is the divinely inspired human response to God’s historical revelation through Jesus Christ and, consequently, is of crucial significance. How does this or the initial one I gave beg the question in my favour. In fact the word trust appears in the first definition I gave.

        Admittedly, the scientific method appears to be a successful means to learn about the world around us, but there are aspects of reality, in principle, it can’t investigate. For instance, it can’t justify itself like you seem to suggest as that is again begging the question

        Here my friend you are mixing two issues. One you need to show what aspect of reality science can’t investigate in principle. The next statement is about science being its own justification. We are in agreement that to say science is true because it’s true is circular, but have we come up with another way of knowing that doesn’t involve the scientific method. There have been discussions elsewhere regarding the role of philosophy is acquiring knowledge and I do think that philosophy is important so far as it helps us in knowing the right questions to ask ad how we reach conclusions.
        I said anyone reading the bible as scientific is doing so after the fact. This was in response to one of the respondents who claims in the bible we can deduce scientific facts, that was my contention and it still is.
        How would we know this is an inspired work of a deity? Do we need witnesses or do we take the word of the person making the claim that he was inspired? How to settle this matter for me is the issue.
        To know whether animals have social laws, we will have to consult behavioral scientists. I think they do, but I could be wrong. Theists have argued that our civil laws have their basis divine fiats, and I think this is not the case. So am not conflating the two ideas.
        The divine attributes you mention make the god incoherent and impossible. The philosophical arguments are not even known to most theists but are a preserve of sophisticated believers who want to show they have a rational reason for their beliefs. On whether Vishnu has always existed, I have to ask a Hindu what they believe, though I think every religion makes the same claim about their gods being creators and so on.
        Atheism can only be shown to be false if evidence for a god is provided.
        I don’t get your last question

  13. Prayson as one who is well read in philosophy, I think you know that whoever is making a positive claim has the burden of proof. All the other person has to do is say am not convinced and we are home and dry.

    To the question of whether atheism is a belief or a faith position. Now faith is belief in a god or gods or in the doctrines or teachings of the religion. Informal usage of faith can be quite broad, including trust or belief without proof,[1] and “faith” is often used as a substitute for “hope”, “trust” or “belief”. Some[who?] critics of faith have argued that faith is opposed to reason. In contrast, some[who?] advocates of faith argue that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence. Having looked at the definition how does it apply to atheism? Is there an atheist dogma, what does the atheist take on faith? You say the scientist takes it on faith that science is the only way to acquire knowledge. You are wrong, it is a justified true belief, the scientist has done other experiments which have shown his hypotheses to either be correct or wrong but the method hasn’t failed. So [s]he knows by applying the same methods s/he will arrive at a similar conclusion. When i go to see my doctor am not acting on faith, I have evidence that he must be a registered practitioner qualified in his field and there is evidence for that from those who have been treated in his clinic.

    A-theism is from Greek word atheos which is simply without [gods]. You can rewrite the definition of atheism as you want but you will still be wrong unless you recognise it for what it is, lack of belief in deities and that includes yours. It is a misunderstanding among theists to claim atheism is a belief.

    Agnosticism deals with knowledge and the agnostic says the nature of god is unknowable and has been said by one of the respondents there are agnostic theists and atheists. On matter of belief or lack thereof, there are only two positions. theist [which includes deist, pantheists etc] and atheists. I hope this clarifies the matter.

    How a person can claim that the bible is scientific as your friend is doing above here is beyond me. To read the bible and applying what we know now isn’t any different from what Muslims do with their Koran and make claims that what we have discovered now was written eons ago by some goat herders or merchants in the not so distant history of mankind. The same person is comfortable with claiming of some of the bible stories to be metaphors. A decision has to be made and we must be consistent here, either the bible is holy writ and is true through and through or it is the work of man and is filled with inconsistencies, contradictions and horrors in a way that only man could imagine. The bible and any other book so called holy is a patchwork of different books by different men at different epochs in attempt to explain how they saw their world and is meant to be read as a work of fiction just as we read The Lord of the Rings

    To go ahead and claim that an addict prays and is healed is beyond ridiculous!

    Animals being social have laws that make it possible to live together, no god involved. We are animals and for us to live together in viable communities we had to come up with mechanisms to do so, we do not need a god dictating laws for us.

    Lastly the philosophical arguments for the existence of god do not prove the christian god. It would take a lot of theological wiggling to make that god of the philosophers to be a personal christian god. Those arguments could refer to any god from Apollo to Zeus to Osiris to any god so conceived by man. The second problem with the arguments is that some of them have inherent flaws within the body of the argument and to that extent are fallacious.

    Lastly you asked a question is When is absence of evidence evidence of absence? What does it matter to us when there is no evidence? It could have existed at some time in the past and then died for all we know!

    • In law the burden of proof is often, not always, on the one making a positive case. But this is not so in philosophy. If it is true that it takes making a negative case to avoid burden of proof, then theist could simply contend that they lack the lack of believe in God’s existence.

      If you claim that you lack the believe in God, then explain why, give reasons to why you lack that belief. Moreover, it does not matter if one lack a believe of X, if X exists, then it does not matter if one has believe that X exist or not.

      You are correct that some philosophical argument if succeed shows that God as believed by classic theist exists. Christians tend to use the resurrection of Jesus to show that that God is the God as understood in Judeo-Christian tradition.

      • Prayson, semantics is not my forte, the believer can make any claim they want to make, it is beholden upon anyone making a positive claim to show evidence. If I come and tell you I have invented a cure for a certain illness I don’t ask you to prove that I have a cure, you ask me for the evidence, and till such is provided you have no reason whatsoever to believe that I have a cure unless you are religious.

        I have said the reason I lack a belief in gods is there happens to be no evidence for one or several and beyond that I don’t have to give more. So you provide me with evidence that a god exists, that is the one true god and then we can move to the next step whether I will believe that whatever you have presented is a god.

        The question of Jesus is one I find very interesting, there is little evidence out of the bible that would help us to decide the matter of his existence or non existence. So the christians can believe as they want, I simply can’t.

      • You are free to suspend judgement till you have verifiable evidence on the existence of gold in pluto, till then it would be ridiculous to believe there is gold in pluto. Does that answer your question?

      • What I asked is, would I be justified or warranted in holding a belief that there is no gold in Pluto?

        Since, I hope, we agree that my subjective lack of belief does not necessarily align with objective reality, as it is possible that there is gold in Pluto even though I subjectively lack the that belief. Do you think my belief that there is no gold in Pluto, is rationally warranted?

        I totally agree that it would be ridiculous(though I will use “unwarranted”) to believe there is gold in Pluto til’ I have verifiable evidence on the existence of gold in Pluto. My question though is, would not it be equally unwarranted to believe there is no gold in Pluto til’ I have verifiable evidence on the nonexistence of gold in Pluto?

      • I have said you suspend judgement till this claim is proven. In my view it would be unwarranted to believe there is gold in pluto when you have no evidence for the same.
        You are asking whether am warranted to be an atheist when there is still no evidence for god. Yes it is justified, until such god either is shown to exist or shows up, no one should believe he/she/it exists. This I guess is at the core of your question.
        When you get time read Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Necessity of Atheism

      • I believe you are answering a wrong question. I am not asking should I suspend judgement til’ I have evidence for the existence of gold in Pluto. I agree with your view that I should suspend my belief that there is gold in Pluto.

        My question is, should not I also suspend judgement that there is no gold in Pluto, til’ I have evidence that there is no gold in Pluto?

        What I am trying to show you is that your case that you are justified to be an atheist when there is still no evidence for God commits argumentum ad ignorantiam.

        An appeal to ignorance fallacy is committed when a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true:

        1.There is no evidence against p.
        2. Therefore, p.
        and
        3.There is no evidence for p.
        4.Therefore, not-p.

        It seems your reasoning is of 3-4 (simply substitute p with “existence of God”). So, why is an atheist justified, though committing argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy, in believing that God does not exist given insufficient evidence for His existence?

    • I don’t think that is the atheistic position for simply two reasons.
      One is because the adherents of this god or gods have made claims about their gods which have either been found wanting or are outright incoherent. The second thing is the theist has not defined god in a manner that is coherent for him then to show that such a god is plausible. So what is the point in keeping to believe a god exists when there isn’t sufficient evidence to hold such a belief?

      • I think that is the atheistic position, as contended by you. It follows 3-4 argumentum ad ignorantiam.

        3.There is no evidence for p(the case that God exists)
        4.Therefore not-p(it is not the case that God exists)

        Your question mirrors what I am trying to explain. What is the point in keeping to believe God does not exist when there isn’t sufficient evidence to hold such a belief?

  14. Would you Christians then recognize your position towards Pixies, Thor, Zeus, or Krishna to be an agnostic one? Or are you agnostics towards the Abrahamic god? If a Christian is someone who thinks there is sufficient case to believe in your god, then an atheist is someone who simply does not share your optimism about your evidence of any god. And the agnostic is the guy in between who has not decided wether the evidence you accept is enough. You do realize, that this entire post was about semantics, not so much about the reality? In reality the atheist position is to await for a proof, or even sufficient evidence to find your particular suggestion of divinity even plausible. If you think that calling atheists agnostics changes anything, but the term, you are being silly. It still does not shift the burden of proof from the shoulders of the one making a religious claim to the shoulders of the atheist/agnostic.

    However, it is interresting how often theists attempt to make the claim, that atheism is some sort of faith based belief. Why is it so important? Is there some sort of reward for dragging the atheist to the level of just a nother believer? This reminds me very much of some political arguments where people who have no evidence for their case, try to drag the conversation to the level of just opinions. As if the evidence based opinion was not any better grounded than the one with no evidence.

    • The case is not about the existence of Pixies, Thor, Zeus, or Krishna, but God as believe by classical Judeo-theists. Let’s leave these other gods for another debate to which I could present a case why I think they do not exist. Here let’s focus on whether God exists or not. If your answer is yes, then one bares a burden to show why yes, and if the answer is no, then one also bares a burden to show why no.

      If one does not believe that his position is true(theism or atheism) why believe it in first place?

      • @ Prayson.

        Of course I believe my position, that I do not believe in any gods, is true. It is based on the actual fact that no one has presented me evidence for any of those gods, that I would find convincing. I can not come up with evidence for my position, other than to debunk the alledged evidence for any gods presented to me. How could I? That is exactly why the burden of proof is on the shoulders of those people claiming there is this or that god.

        If we define a person who claims there propably are no gods (who in conventional language is an atheist) as an agnostic, what do we define a person who thinks, that there propably is a particular god, but he cannot be sure of its existance, then?

        As I have allready asked and as to me this is most interresting point about your topic post: Why is it so important for theists, to try to prove that atheism is just a nother faith based position?

      • Since you of course believe in your position, that you do not believe in any gods, could you give me reason(s) why you believe that your position is true?

        And if you can not come up with evidence for your belief, are you not having what is call blind faith? Should not we believe in something because we have good evidence for that belief and not because we have no-good evidence?

  15. I’ve also always considered Atheism to be a belief system, a kind of faith. I can certainly see why some people might not see it that way, but at the bottom of every world view you end up with a couple of dangling sky-hooks that you just have to take on faith. This is of course not meant in exactly the same sense as the theist takes (some) things on faith, I’m just pointing out that even if you are the world’s most consistent scientist and base your entire life and everything you claim to know on science and science only, you’re still stuck with the belief that science is a good (and perhaps even the only) way to obtain knowledge, a belief that cannot be scientifically proven, and therefore has to be taken on faith, for some value of faith.

    I think the issue is precisely that faith and belief can mean such a wide range of things. Sometimes when you say “I don’t believe that claim” you are claiming to be agnostic about it. Other times you are claiming that the opposite is true. When the atheist does the latter, I think he makes a positive statement of faith in much the same way the theist does, and therefore by his own admission he shares the burden of proof.

    Now of course the atheist might say that his claims are nowhere as ridiculous as that of the theist, or perhaps that it is more minimalist in what it assumes, that it is the default position, and that it is therefore better, but the question remains: How do they know that? If they claim to know, for example, that atheism is the neutral position, but they cannot prove it scientifically, would it be inaccurate to say that this is held by faith?

    Certainly, one could argue that some beliefs are more reasonable than others, but it seems some atheists would rather deny that there is anything to compare.

    • Seriously :) The problem of evil assumes if God exist then His existence is either incoherent or incompatible with evil. Plantinga shows that its compatible and coherent.

      Could you offer, quoting his work or reference to a page number, which case you find bad?

      • The simple fact that, if you try to kill someone, and I stop you, I have prevented evil from happening without stopping your free will. God can do the same, but chooses not to. Thus, he is not all good, or all powerful. Not that he exists, which you’ve failed to show.

        • Wait, before I address your comment, are you assuming God, if existed would prevented evil from happening without stopping your free will? I thought you cried foul in Plantinga’s case, as you claimed he assumed God exists. Did I miss something? :)

          • “if existed would prevented evil from happening without stopping your free will?”

            If he were all good, yes.

            “Did I miss something?”

            I’m sure you’ve missed many things.

          • You missed my point. You cried foul in Plantinga’s case as you claimed that he assume God exists, yet here you also assumed God, if existed would prevent evil. I am lost, why did you cry foul in Plantinga’s case just to do exactly the same? Why double standard?

          • Because one argument is about the existence of god, the other is about the nature of a god if it exists.

            The problem with all their arguments is that they assume god for bad reasons. But it isn’t, by any means, their only problem.

          • Well, Plantinga’s response to the problem of evil is not an argument for existence of God, but just like you assumed that if God existed, He would prevent evil, Plantinga assumed that if God existed, it is possible He has justified reason(s) not to prevent evil.

            So both you and Plantinga, assumed God. I am just confused that you cried foul in Plantinga’s assumption, yet you did exactly the same. Can you help me understand this seemly double standard?

          • What double standard? I’m willing to grant the existence of god for a hypothetical conversations of the merits of an argument.

            Apologists just want to grant the existence of god period.

          • Fine :) Because I think Plantinga, as atheist philosopher William Rowe, case need to be taking for a hypothetical conversations of merits of an argument. You do not have to share the belief that God exists period since one could protest; atheists apologists just want to grant that God doesn’t exists period.

            Thus I think you crying foul in Plantinga’s case’s assumption is unwarranted since your case does exactly what Plantinga or any other atheist philosophers(e.g. Rowe and Mackie) do, since I think it is fair to grant the existence of God for a hypothetical conversations of the merits of Plantinga’s argument.

            Now, let’s discuss your case. You contended that if God exist He will prevent evil from happening without stopping our free will. Using your example, could you be kind to explain how if I try to kill someone, and you stop me, you have not stop my free will to kill someone?

  16. This argument is Ridiculous, the Agnostic “scale” for instance is bogus. An agnostic has .5 B(Belief In God) and .5 in NB(Atheist/Agnostic). If a Christian gave them their “evidence” to raise the B to .7 and the NB to .3 and the Atheist disproves all of the “evidence” Christians use why does the agnostic remain even at .5. It’s preposterous that the Atheist can disprove all of the “Christian” arguments and “evidence” for “God”; but the Agnostic goes back down to a .5? That’s not correct. And riddle me this, Prove to you that God doesn’t exist? Prove me that the Pink Flying Unicorn doesn’t exist and I’ll use your method.

    • Thank you for your input. I think Pink Flying Unicorn are simply redherring given to avoid intellectual engagement of whether God exist or not. The question whether Pink Flying Unicorn exist or not, should be left out for other debate. When dealing with atheism and theism, the debate is not on Pink Flying Unicorn but God.

      The agnostic remain at .5 because an atheist have shown that the .2 increase is false. Thus she – .2 from P(T). If it not correct, please do explain your math?

      • You thinking Pink Flying Unicorn is red-herring for an intellectual engagement? But “God” is a valid source? You defeat your own premise. Empirical proof would save you but you have none.

      • When dealing with atheism and theism, the debate is not on Pink Flying Unicorn but God.”

        Absolutely…so as the Christian ‘god’ is Jesus can you provide irrefutable proof of his existence and more pertinently his divinity?

  17. “In which argument?”

    This question is not specific enough for me to answer or even know what you’re talking about.

    If you’re trying to convince me of anything, you’re failing. Badly.

    • I am not trying to convince you of anything,:) I just doubt your familiarity of Monton’s work, since he is an atheist philosopher who finds the case for ID some what good but not good enough to make him stop being an atheist though it does make him less certain of his atheism.

      So which argument as defended by Monton you find bad?

      • So you want me to specifically reference an argument I read in a book I got from the library years ago? Yeah, not happening.

        I remember nothing convincing. And I assume, if he went on about ID, then he brought up irreducible complexity. Which is bunk and belongs in the ‘bad science’ category.

        • Sadly he did not bring out irreducible complexity but information. Well, let say you forgot Monton’s work. Let’s move to Plantinga. Which argument of Plantinga you find bad?

          • His attempts to solve the problem of evil with free will is laughable. And Craig’s Cosmo-argument is childish.

            And your attempt to imply that if I haven’t read everything ever written to try and prove a god then I must be wrong is, too, childish.

  18. “offered only anecdotes in the form of writings (recent or ancient) or personal testimonies?”

    Or bad science and bad arguments. Arguments not unlike “we don’t have the burden of proof”.

  19. “have you read any scholarly work of Plantinga, Craig or Moreland?”

    Yes I have. And my opinion has not changed.

    If any of them brings any good, physical evidence, let me know.

  20. If all proofs of Santa’s existence fail, and there are no evidence for the belief in Santa, then agnosticism, not a-Santa-ism, is a warranted position unless a successive case is give against the existence of Santa.

    See how silly?

    Sorry, it’s easy to be an atheist agaisnt the claim that the Christian God exists. Agnosticism can be a good position if we make up a vague god that has no attributes, has done nothing and continues to do nothing. But that’s not what Christians claim says. It says that God does things, and there is no evidence. The mythos claims very concrete events and no evidence for them either. So, again, a theist attempt at attacking atheism fails miserably.

      • Well, Daniel, I hate to break it to you but Santa doesn’t exist. If you think he does, show the evidence. If one accepts this non-existence, then claiming that agnosticicm is the best position is rather ridiculous since you insist that something *might* exist when there is no reason to think so. It comes down to the Russell’s Teapot analogy. No matter if I can imagine something, like Santa (jolly old elf that can deliver presents to all the world’s children) or a teapot circling Zeta Reticuli, that does not mean that it exists or has to exist. I have no reason to assume that there is a lovely Georgian silver tea set anywhere except here on good ol’ earth. Your god fits into this claim quite well. There is nothing to say tht this god exists. There is no evidence at all for any god/gods/supernatural. We have no evidence of the god of the bible as described. All theists can do is try to try to excuse this lack of evidence by claiming that their god is *not* what is represented in the bible and that demonstrates that their religion is has nothing to support it, not even that purportedly divinely inspired book. They must make generic claims like “oh look at the universe, *my* god made it” again with no evidence better than the next theist.

      • I do not think that Santa does exist, and I think it is a redherring for the case here is not about Santa, but about atheism assumed as a warranted position in insufficient evidence for the existence of God.

        I think there are good reasons to think that Russell’s Teapot analogy fails, and that Santa, as believed by Children, does not exist. So I do not disbelief in Santa because of lack of evidence, but because of good reasons to think that he does not exist.

        I am curious how is the existence of God the same as Russell’s Teapot and Santa?

      • Why do you think it is a red herring? Santa and your god both have nothing more than belief supporting their existence. There is no evidence. So, where is the red herring? I will let you know, I will not accept vague claims about such things. You need to support your assertions, not hope that I will ignore that they have no more evidence than anything else you have claimed.

        What “good” reasons do you have to support your claim that the teapot analogy fails? It always amazes me that you will claim such things but then fail to mention them where it is logical to mention them. Why not just tell me what these reasons are? I am guessing that you don’t want to expose yourself to the inevitable destruction of your supposedly “good reasons”.

        There is no evidence for Santa and there is no evidence for God, or Allah or Tezcatlipoca, etc. I do not believe in such things because there is no evidence. Just like I do not believe in reptilian aliens that some conspiracy lunatics insist exist in massive cities under the earth.

        You ask how the existence of god is the same as Russell’s teapot and Santa are the same. I have already addressed this but will again. There is no evidence for any of these things. There is no evidence for a magical elf that delivers presents and goes down chimneys. There is no evidence of a teapot being able to get to orbit around Zeta Reticuli, some 378,429,218,903,232 km from earth. I can imagine if we could get the teapot there, it could be in orbit but until I find some way for it to happen, I do not believe that it exists. I can imagine a god that is all-knowing, all-seeing, that sent its son /part of itself to be sacrificed for sins, but there is no evidence of it at all. None of the essential parts of its myths have ever been shown to be true and definitely no more true than the myths of any other religion. Santa needs magic to do all he is claimed to do and I have seen no evidence of magic or of this being.

      • I think it is a red herring because the case I present here is whether atheism having nothing more than belief supporting non-existence of God is warranted position. I have not argue whether God exists or not.

        I have already pointed out in the comments, but will repeat that what the case, namely no evidence for God therefore God does not exist is not justified because it commits argumentum ad ignorantiam.

        An appeal to ignorance fallacy is committed when a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true:

        1.There is no evidence against p.
        2. Therefore, p.
        and
        3.There is no evidence for p.
        4.Therefore, not-p.

        It seems your reasoning is of 3-4 (simply substitute p with “existence of God”). Let me know your thoughts :)

      • Prayson,
        Your claim that atheists have only belief to support their disbelief in god is wrong. You have been shown this. I can show that the Christian god does not exist since none of the claims about it have been shown true. We have no evidence of miracles, no evidence of any of the essential events in its supposed “holy” book, and people have been looking for thousands of years to support their faith. They have found *nothing*. This is why I do not think that there is a god and declare that I am an atheist and there are no gods. I do not believe in Santa Claus for the same reasons: there is no evidence for such a being, there are no witnesses to this being doing what is claimed about Santa, like going down chimneys, having a flying sleigh with reindeer pulling it, or presents magically appearing. Your claim that atheists only rely on belief for their opinions depends on whether your god exists or not and if you can prove it. That’s why it is not a red herring to bring it up. I believe you are desperate to call something a red herring since it shows the weakness of your claims.

        Again, I will point out that no evidence for your god which we have much description for and many claims for is evidence for the non-existence of that being. If it fails to fulfill what you have claimed about it, if it does not meet the description claimed, then it does not exist. For example, if I said that I have a fruit from Jupiter that is purple, with green tentacles and it tastes like diesel fuel, then I present you with a red fruit with shiny skin and tastes sweet, I cannot claim it is the same thing and I cannot claim that I have that Jovian fruit since I cannot produce it. That is what you have been trying to do. It is not an argument from ignorance since I have evidence that this god of your, as described, does not exist. If you were not arguing for the Christian god, then you might have a point if you were arguing for a vague being that has nothing attributed to it. As it stands, you don’t.

        “There is no evidence against P” – well yes there is. We have claims made about what this god has done and nothing supports it. Indeed, there is evidence against those claims since there is evidence that shows a geologic record that shows expected geological layering which precludes any magical flood. There is evidence for a normal existence in ancient egypt with no plagues and regular life and against any “exodus” from Egypt or the attendant plagues since none of the enemies of Egypt noticed anything and did not invade, and there is no evidence of hundreds of thousands of people wandering around in a small area for 4 decades. Not even one little latrine. Now, if you are willing to say that the events and claims made by the bible are false, then we may agree on that and continue from there with “there is no evidence against p” which would then be true since we have nothing to compare to reality. Are you willing?

      • O you missed the point. I was showing that your case is of 3-4 namely.,

        3.There is no evidence for the case that God exists.
        4.Therefore, it is the case God does not exits.

        Thus, if you hold atheism is true(God does not exist), because there is no evidence for the case that God exists, then you are appealing to ignorance. That is what I was getting at my dear friend :)

        • No, PD, I’m not appealing to ignorance. You, like many Christians who have no where else to turn except faulty logic, forget that you must define “P” when you use this tautology. P does not remain a unknown value. If “P” is a premise that cannot be shown to exist you are guilty of creating a vacuous truth. Logic fails if the class is empty. You have yet to show that it is not. I suggest you read more about the evidence of absence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence and what logic really is http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html to educate yourself more about how your claims about agnosticism and atheism fail and your invocation of the argumentum ad ignorantium fails: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html#ignorantiam Your entire claim is based on invoking magic to ignore the evidence that your god and its events did not happen and claiming that Christian god exists; you need to claim that there is some probability of this however infinitesimal so you may cling to “”You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does.” You have not supported this and you ignore that there is positive evidence that your god and the essential events that is claimed about it does not exist and did not happen.
          You’ve claimed:

          “3.There is no evidence for the case that God exists.
          4.Therefore, it is the case God does not exits.”

          which is exactly

          “3. There is no evidence for the case that Santa exists 4. Therefore it is the case that Santa does not exist.”.

          You said “I think there are good reasons to think that Russell’s Teapot analogy fails, and that Santa, as believed by Children, does not exist. So I do not disbelief in Santa because of lack of evidence, but because of good reasons to think that he does not exist.”

          Golly and *still* no demonstration of these supposed “good reasons” that aren’t evidence for not believing in Santa at all but claims that your god isn’t subject to them. Funny how you make claims and then can’t support them. Just like so many Christians when busy special pleading.

          And PD, you are not my “dear friend” at all. I don’t count people who try to lie about things as friends.

          Let me quote Irving Copi, a logician and philosopher: “In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence.”

      • I might not be a friend to you, but you are a friend to me :) Do you agree that any argument in form of:

        a.There is no evidence for P.
        b.Therefore, not-P.

        is a form of an appeal to ignorance?

        • Sigh. No, I do not when there is plenty of evidence, positive and negative, against your god and against your claims. But perhaps we can approach this another way, but I need you help. I need you to define “p” in your argument that your god may exist and that agnosticism is a better answer than atheism. I need a definition of your god. Will you do that?

      • P stands for any preposition. Let forget about God (non)existence for a moment and focus on logic(rules of valid and sound arguments).

        Is your answer “no” to that a case that any argument in form of:

        a.There is no evidence for P.
        b.Therefore, not-P.

        is an appeal to ignorance?

        • Ah, so you won’t. Expected. Alas, Prayson Daniel, tautologies are not for undetermined values of P as you would pretend. They require defined values to make any sense at all. If you cannot put your god in the tautology as a value then you cannot use the tautology to claim that agnosticism is the better answer and atheism is not a valid position in regards to *your* god. As always, Christians who have thought they’ve found the last hiding place for their god in “logic” have realized that if they actually put their god to the test, with all of its attributes and claims, it fails. Have fun with your vague god and your excuses. I do belive I hear a cock crowing.

  21. Questions:
    We’re always questioning the existence of god.. more than the existence of unicorns and elves. I don’t get it.. is that just because more people believe in god than santa claus and the others ?
    How come, among the thousands of Gods that we know of, you ended up believing in the only one that does exist ?
    Most holy books are highly invented (they’re scientifically and historically wrong, I mean what’d you expect).. but hey they still got that God thing right, thank god !
    I mean I would enjoy reading holy books as good works of fiction.. if only they weren’t so morally atrocious.

    You have to understand one thing, the way you religious people look at us atheist, people from other religion see you the same way. You don’t believe in their god, although they have the real one, so no peace of soul for you neither :/ (and it can goes on and on..)

  22. “How so?”

    How so what?

    I’ve only ever been presented with one type of evidence from religious people: anecdotes.

    Anecdotes in the form of writings (recent or ancient) or personal testimony.

    Personal testimony is not sufficient because it is personal. It might be sufficient for the person it happened to, but by its very nature it can’t be used to convince someone else.

    Anecdotes are not sufficient because the claims are extraordinary. For the same reason we acknowledge that writing is not sufficient to tells us that Julius Caesar was related to the goddess Venus, or that people are actually abducted by space aliens.

    Give us something beyond anecdotes and you might start chipping away at that burden of proof. Unless or until you do, I will continue to not believe your claims.

    • You asserted that you do not believe a claim that God exists because those who claim that a god exists have not fulfilled their burden of proof.

      Is anecdotes the only case given to fulfill their burden of proof?

      • “Is anecdotes the only case given to fulfill their burden of proof?”

        Not sure what you mean here.

        It is the only evidence I have ever had presented to me in an attempt to fulfill the burden of proof. And, as I pointed out in my last post, it is insufficient and so fails to fulfill it.

      • I am sad that that is the only case you have ever had presented. Have you read any scholarly literature attempting to fulfill the burden of proof e.g. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, God and Other Minds by theists or Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design by an atheist philosopher Bradley Monton, et cetera?

  23. “I beg to sweetly differ, because “I don’t believe that claim[God exists]” is also a claim. ”

    No, it isn’t.

    I am saying I do not believe your claim. I am not making a claim of my own.

    I apologize if it’s frustrating that you have the burden of proof and can’t do anything about it.

    ““I don’t believe that claim[God does not exists]“”

    You certainly could. And you’d have no burden of proof.

    The second you started giving your god attributes, however (calling him Jesus, saying we need to pray to him, etc.), then you’re stuck with the burden again.

  24. I think there are a few problems with this view. It’s true that showing a particular argument is bad or untenable doesn’t say the same about the conclusion. I could come up with a very flawed argument attempting to show I exist, you could prove it wrong but of course, it does not mean i do not exist. I agree with you here.

    Agnosticism is a position on certainty though (in its purest philosophical meaning). I could be agnostic that it’ll rain tomorrow or that my co-worker owns a Ferrari. Agnosticism isn’t a religious position, it’s one about certainty. Keeping that in mind, one must essentially be a theist or an atheist. You can be agnostic on either count but you must be one of those two.

    It is true, even if i show every current argument in favour of God false, if he does indeed exist, he won’t pop out of existence. However, if all the current arguments for God are very bad but arguments against are good, on the balance of things, it seems more rational to believe he doesn’t exist. This is similar to the case Richard Swinburne makes. No one argument will prove God, it is more the cumulative collection of arguments that do that. The same could be said for Atheism. If one believes the cumulative collection of arguments against a God are better than those for, it seems rational they choose that option.

    • Totally agree Pascal that if a case for God is bad and the case against God is God then it is warranted to be an atheist. The case I was making was that having the former without the latter is unwarranted position for my atheist friends. :D

      • Thanks for your reply Prayson. It’s good we managed to avoid the conflict so often encountered in these things.

        I guess that all depends on who’s evaluating the case. I believe the case against God is equally good or better than the one for God (given that i’m an atheist not at all surprising!). I’m sure that you would say the opposite. I think we can both agree it’s not an easy question to settle, if it were, most people would believe the same thing. A recent survey on the most convincing arguments on both sides show they at least make a respectable case (https://bpascalsbookie.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/study-most-convincing-arguments-for-against-god/).

        In the absence of any kind of dynamite evidence or arguments either way, i think the best we can hope to have is a justifiable case. I think both our beliefs are justifiable to a degree. Whether they are right is an entirely different matter of course.

        I also hold the (perhaps idiosyncratic view) that we can’t choose what we believe. If all the facts, arguments, evidence and even our own feelings point towards a God, we couldn’t choose otherwise. If you held a gun to someones head and told them to believe you were an elephant or you’d shoot, they wouldn’t be able to do it, despite the reward. The best we can do is constantly go deeper on our own search for the truth, because, as above, our knowledge leads our belief. Of course, even in the process of exchanging comments, we are gaining knowledge from each-other which perhaps may lead to some kind of change, which is the reason why i think your blog posts are important.

        All the best, Pascal

      • You are very correct, Pascal, that it depends on how strong the presupposition for the person evaluating the case. I find some arguments for God weak(e.g. argument from experience and desire), some some what plausible (i.e. argument from ontological and morality) and some strong (argument from cosmology and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth).

        If you have being following my blog, you would notice that I review atheists books, articles and journals to show if their case is are good. The strongest I believe is evidential problem of evil.

        I differ with you since I hold that we can choose what we believe. I freely believe you are an awesome person, from what I read of you, and unless you or other show otherwise, namely you are not an awesome person, then I will not choose not to believe you are an awesome person. :D

      • Prayson, I agree with Pascal here on choosing to believe, you have little choice in the matter. As you say correctly, you believe he is a nice person and unless shown evidence to the contrary, you will take him to be a good person. Now the contrary evidence is what will make the case for you, you can’t just decide arbitrarily.

  25. Sorry Prayson, but total drivel. You’re projecting, speaking as if atheism was a belief. It’s not, and you know it’s not. It’s an absence of belief in any and all gods. It is the theist who has to prove the pink unicorn exists, not the person who says “I don’t believe pink unicorns exist. Good day.”

    Nice try, but fail.

    • I do not know John. I think it is a belief that God does not exist. Do you believe that God does not exist John? :) Or do you, John, believe that you lack a belief in God?

    • I’m sorry, but how does what you just said invalidate the above claims that atheism (defined as a lack of beliefs) is nothing more than a psychological state? By stating that “atheism is not a belief,” you’re not making an argument for or against God’s existence; you’re telling us your personal feelings on the matter. Burden of proof regarding God’s existence doesn’t even enter into the discussion with your statement.

      Or am I missing something here?

      • “Burden of proof regarding God’s existence doesn’t even enter into the discussion with your statement.”

        It does, because the issue is the claim “God exists”.

        All one has to do to be an atheist is say “I don’t believe that claim.” My particular belief is that theists have failed the burden of proof.

        Assuming you want to convince anyone of anything. If you don’t, then burden of proof doesn’t matter, because you don’t care.

      • I beg to sweetly differ, because “I don’t believe that claim[God exists]” is also a claim. Theist could also argue that her particular belief is that atheists have failed the burden of proof. :)

        If it takes not believing in claims to avoid burden of proof, then theist could argue “I don’t believe that claim[God does not exists]”

      • Actually, the claim in question is “Atheism is not a belief,” wherein the burden of proof falls to John up there (or to whomever wishes to make this assertion in discussion). If belief is conviction in a stated assertion, then how is rejection of a belief in god(s) (something that one feels the need to assert) not a belief?

      • I don’t have to make an argument for or against god…. i’m not the one saying it exists in the first place. The person who says some magical, silent, invisible deity exists has to prove that magical, silent, invisible deity exists. If i claimed a magical pink unicorn existed it would be me, not you, to prove it does.

      • John, I’m not asking you for an argument regarding God, here. I really just don’t understand how atheism is not a belief, and being that that was your initial assertion, I’m looking for an elaboration on that point.

      • (Sorry, have to answer you up here. No reply option beneath your last comment)

        I’m not looking for an argument either. Prayson just annoys me because he never answers anything, but he knows that ;) We’ve been through this dance before. My issue with this piece was he’s projecting. That is to say he’s ascribing his position of a “believer’ onto non-believers, and that’s fundamentally in error.

        To your question. Ok, how can I put this simply? Do you believe in elves? Do you believe in minotaur’s? Do you believe in mermaids? Do you believe in Thor? I could go on, but I’m guessing “no” to all of the above. See, now you have your elaborated answer. Do you call yourself a non-believer in elves? Of course not.

      • John, I just keep annoying you because your questions contain assumption that need addressing before any answer is given. We’ve been through this dance before and I hope we will keep dancing because I am not an encyclopedia but a simple person like you John who is in search of knowledge. :)

        I am looking forward to know your answer of Patrick’s question namely how is atheism not a belief. That being your initial assertion, I am looking forward for your response :)

      • The only physical proof God exists comes from the INFORMATION He gave Moses. Good luck explaining it.

        In 19th-century Europe no one knew about bacteria. In a hospital in Vienna, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was appalled at the death rate of pregnant women who came to the hospital to give birth. The deaths were attributed to “labor fever.” After the women died, medical students would perform autopsies and then immediately proceed to treat live patients.

        After much observation, Dr. Semmelweis arrived at a revolutionary conclusion: It might be contaminants on the medical students’ hands that were responsible for spreading death from one patient to another. Thus he ordered the interns to wash their hands in chlorinated water.

        He then watched to see the results. “The history books tell us what happened next … In just three months the death rate fell from 18 percent to 1 percent” (McMillen and Stern, p. 20).

        Yet more than 3,000 years earlier God had revealed to Moses the sanitary measures people were to take if they touched a corpse. First, they were to be considered “unclean” for seven days and had to wash with water on the third and seventh days (Numbers 19:11-14). As long as a person was unclean, he was to avoid social contact with others. This law also protected others from exposure to harmful bacteria, even though people at the time did not know such things existed. The washing procedure cleansed the person of germs, and exposure to fresh air and sunlight between washing assisted in further purification.

        The above is just ONE example of many…

        To grasp how far ahead of its time the Bible’s instruction proved to be, consider the state of medical knowledge in Egypt, the most powerful nation during the period in which God revealed His health laws to Moses. The Egyptians suffered many diseases because they did not understand the health principles God gave Moses. Their ignorance is illustrated in the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text dating from 1500 B.C. (about the time of Moses).

        “The remedies it prescribes make modern readers cringe. A few of the treatments include: statue dust, beetle shells, mouse tails, cat hair, pig eyes, dog toes, breast milk, human semen, eel eyes, and goose guts … To splinters, the ancient Egyptian doctors applied a salve of worm blood and donkey dung. Since dung is loaded with tetanus spores, a simple splinter often resulted in a gruesome death from lockjaw” (S.I. McMillen, M.D., and David Stern, M.D., None of These Diseases, 2000, p. 10).

        The Egyptians believed evil spirits were the cause of some illnesses. Consequently the priest-physicians applied “magical” cures. Conversely, the biblical instructions regarding health maintenance and recovery from illness involve application of cause-and-effect principles—based on true science—that were given thousands of years before scientists developed the technology that enabled them to discover germs, bacteria, viruses, genes and the like. Modern medical science has discovered many principles of good health, but God originated them.

        Moses lived in Egypt while such misguided “cures” were being practiced. Raised in the royal court as an adopted son of the pharaoh’s daughter, he was “educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” (Acts 7:22)—which no doubt included these dangerous infection-spreading practices.

        Had Moses simply relied on his own learning to write basic health instructions for the nation of Israel, we might expect them to include many Egyptian medical misconceptions. Yet we find not a single one. Where did the knowledge come from?

        The foundation of good health is an adequate sanitary code. The Bible reveals the fundamentals of such a code. The Bible deals with personal and public hygiene, water supply, sewage disposal, inspection and selection of food, and control of infectious disease, the psychological benefits and well-being of a positive attitude and forgiveness. Although we take this knowledge for granted today, these principles came to be understood and accepted by scientists only in recent centuries.

        The proof is in His words, His instructions for our well-being.

        Some non-believers are very smart. They know there is an Old and New Testament. They know the Old deals with a certain time and certain situations that directly deals with the “times at hand”. Likewise they know the New is a “continuation”, new Time and new situation. The Old tells us how badly we needed a Savior and the New reveals Him to us. This probably scares the bejebees out of most of them, hence that dogged stance about their non non-belief.

        • Thank you Roy.

          Paul of Tarsus thought that God did not only physical proof of his existence in the Torah but “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”(Ro. 1:30) and even those “who do not have the law[Torah], by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. they show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them”(Ro. 2:14-5)

          So from heaven above to the conscience inside God gave the proof of his existence. King David sang “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth,
          and their words to the end of the world.”(Ps. 19:1-4 ESV)

          For that I think that God gave both general revelation (Natural Theology) and special revelation.

          Let me know your thoughts Roy.

          Prayson

      • I agree Prayson, that God gave both general revelation (Natural Theology) and special revelation.

        “As the two great books, of nature and of scripture, have the same author, so the study of the latter does not hinder an inquisitive man’s delight in the study of the former” – Robert Boyle

        My post was a comment for the commentator who requires proof of God with no anecdotes. Our Bible being labeled anecdotal is debatable, but for now, lets say it is and therefore dismissed as “not proof”

        Second, it was stated that “personal testimony is not sufficient because it is personal. It might be sufficient for the person it happened to, but by its very nature it can’t be used to convince someone else”. Even though I disagree that this too is “not proof”, it deserves mentioning that prayer answered is indeed a form of proof, just ask the addict who petitions a “higher power” to heal them. When we succumb to life’s temptations and addictions sometime the only way back is to reconnect to the Higher Power. God moves at His will and timetable for those He loves and for those that have received this love, this miracle of answered prayer, this affirmation of faith, they are the ones with the ultimate “proof”.

        So lets say the two “proofs” above are insufficient. What’s left? What’s left is the nature of the hygienic, medical and psychological information (well-being knowledge) that was given and written down. Imagine, the greatest civilization at the time, the ones who somehow built the great pyramids and moved 70 ton blocks of granite, thought animal dung was a good idea to use on sores. The Egyptian medical practices are well documented and differ so far from what Moses wrote ,it’s as if they were night and day. How?

        I listed one medical law already, here’s just one more…The Laws of Quarantine. It’s unexplained how the writer of the Old Testament knew about infectious skin diseases. God gave this knowledge, how else did they acquire it?

        For centuries doctors denied the possibility that disease could be transmitted by invisible agents. However, in the late 19th century Louis Pasteur demonstrated in his Germ Theory of Disease that most infectious diseases were caused by microorganisms originating from outside the body. This new understanding of germs and their means of transmission led to improved sanitary standards that resulted in an enormous drop in the mortality rate. Yet these core principles of sanitation were being practiced by the Israelites thousands of years earlier.

        The Israelites were instructed to wash themselves and their clothes in running water if they had a bodily discharge, if they came in contact with another person’s discharge, or if they had touched a dead human or animal carcass. They were also instructed to wash any uncovered vessels that were in the vicinity of a dead body, and if a dead carcass touched a vessel it was to be destroyed. Items recovered during war were also to be purified through either fire or running water. In addition, the Israelites were instructed to bury their human waste outside of camp, and to burn the waste of their animals (See Numbers 19:3-22, Lev. 11:1-47; 15:1-33, Deut 23:12).

        These sanitary practices without question saved countless lives in the Israelite camps by protecting them against infection caused by unseen germs. Meanwhile, their Egyptian peers were dying by the thousands due to “remedies” that almost always consisted of some amount of human or animal dung.

        There are hundreds of Laws pertaining to our physical and mental good health. There is no explanation to the origins of these instructions other than then were given to Moses by God.

        Strictly speaking, of course, the Bible is not a “health textbook” or medical manual. But it does lay the foundation of knowledge, and reveals many health laws which stumbling, groping mankind has required thousands of years to discover.

        It tells how the human body and mind best function. It reveals the basic keys to an abundant, radiant, robust and vigorous healthy life. Since scientist have, and are, confirming the truth behind that Old Testament health laws I predict one that they will also discover that indeed, we have a soul that lives on after death.

    • This seems to completely overlook the end of the post. Atheism, by this definition, is simply a description of one’s psychological state. It has nothing to do with the question “does God exist”.

      That is, you can say “I don’t believe God exists. Good day”, but if you say “I don’t believe God exists and I’m going to spend time on the internet arguing with people who do”, you need to do more than point out your lack belief, you need to give reasons why you are trying to convince others to “lack belief”. This means you need to give reasons why the belief in question is false.

      Otherwise, you aren’t actually part of the discussion on God’s existence.

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