Evidence There is No God?

109 posts / 0 new
Last post
chimp3's picture
Evidence There is No God?

Recently a believer posted a counter-argument to atheists claim that there is no evidence for god. In a nutshell , the burden of proof was placed on the atheist to disprove the existence of god before ...... What? Not believing? That places this old heathen in a peculiar position. Do I have to disprove the existence of Allah before not becoming a Muslim? Yahweh before not being Jewish? Krishna before not becoming a devotee? Thor before not getting a rune tattoo? The demand to disprove before accepting is illogical!

Of course , this reasoning leads us to accepting other irrational claims and a state of complete gullibility. David Icke's Lizard Faced New World Order? Do I have to disprove that? A cult leader such as David Koresh? Marshall Applewhite?
Why do I have to disprove before not believing?

If you are claiming I have to disprove your god before accepting your claims then disprove the thousands of other gods that sit aside yours in the pantheon of fairy tales called religion.

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Seenyab4's picture
This post actually leads me

This post actually leads me to another question. Can we disprove Christianity and the bible as a whole? After all, most of the stories in the Old Testament are historically inaccurate.

chimp3's picture
Disproving the Bible involves

Disproving the Bible involves disproving claims that science can refute (creationism) , archeological evidence that Moses did not exist, geological evidence that no world wide flood occurred, etc. Claims that Jesus rose from the dead are not disprovable but since we know physical death is irreversible there is no reason to believe he did.
I will also go out on a limb and say that if a claim can not be subjected to falsification then that is evidence for that claims falsehood. "You can not prove there is no god" is evidence that there is no god.

Seenyab4's picture
Ah, I see what you're saying.

Ah, I see what you're saying. It is an interesting thing, religion. It leads men to believe in those falsehoods even today.

Harry Truman's picture
Who says this? It is all 100%

Who says this? It is all 100% correct.

Tieler's picture
"It is all 100% correct."

"It is all 100% correct."

That's a giant leap of faith if I've ever seen one.

Greensnake's picture
It depends on what you mean

Seenyab4,

It depends on what you mean by "disprove." If by that you mean making a really strong case with no serious rebuttals in sight or anticipated (as might be the case in frontier areas where knowledge is thin), then it has already been done. By no stretch of sane imagination can that mess, called the Bible, be attributed to a divine being. It never rises above Iron Age thinking, complete with the usual errors. The uncanny parallels between the whole Jesus thing and pagan savior gods and sun gods strongly suggests that Christianity is hardly original. Then, there is the near total lack of evidence that Jesus, even as a man, existed. There were a number of Jesus-like messiahs, both before and after Jesus, so it's not impossible that Jesus was yet another.

In my thread "Science Gives God The Boot" (08/07/2016 18:47) I gave one powerful argument based on the principles of good reasoning and scientific progress. I argue that careful thinking does not support a supernatural god. To get there you have to violate the rules of good reasoning.

valiya s sajjad's picture
hi Greensnake

hi Greensnake

Can you give me a synopsis of your 'Science gives god boot' argument... so that i can perhaps send you my thoughts on it.

Greensnake's picture
hi valiya:

hi valiya:

You should probably read the post. I can repost it if you wish. In a nut shell, if we follow the best principles of reasoning we don't arrive at "God." Good reasoning must begin with what we know best and then work toward the unknown. Saying that God is above natural laws is not a valid defense since one cannot use God's magic powers before demonstrating that such powers exist. (Suppose I said that my pet cat can run 200 miles per hour! You laugh and point out that the principles of science make that impossible. But, I claim that my cat transcends those principles which makes your argument no good. However, there being no demonstration of such abilities by any animal, that claim is actually a liability. It runs contrary to what we actually know. My claim, then, would not be reasonable.)

When the choice is between rank speculation (supernatural powers) and the best tested knowledge we have about our universe (natural principles) then the rational choice is obvious. Short of additional evidence, that's the best conclusion we can reach. God's claimed powers (established by pure speculation) contradict what we know best by test about the universe, and without startling new evidence we must rule God out if we are to be rational.

valiya s sajjad's picture
Hi GreenSnake

Hi GreenSnake

Thanks for taking the trouble to sum it all up for me again. Here is my thoughts on it.

You said: “Good reasoning must begin with what we know best and then work toward the unknown.”

I agree with you fully. It’s by doing exactly this that I arrive at god. Let me explain how. When I see any arrangement of many parts in a highly specified pattern so as to enable a function, I attribute planning to it, i.e. design. This is the reasoning based on what we know best about the way the world works.

If you found a scrabble board with coins lying haphazardly, we know that this could have happened by accident (some child spilling all the coins on the board or something like that). But imagine you saw the coins arranged in a manner of forming meaningful words… then you wouldn’t have the slightest doubt that someone had arranged it using intelligence and planning… because there is specified complexity there… many parts (coins) arranged in highly specified order (spelling) to attain a function (meaning).

That being the case, why should I suspend this solid reasoning when it comes to nature. Why should I assume that somehow the massive amounts of specified complexity in nature just came about by chance, when we wouldn’t attribute chance to designs in our everyday life that are not even a fraction of what we see in nature.

You said: “Saying that God is above natural laws is not a valid defense since one cannot use God's magic powers before demonstrating that such powers exist.”

Once again I agree with you. But my inference from nature is stops short of God. I just know that there is a planning and intelligence behind it… I have no clue who that agent is. But I find that science as an epistemology is ill equipped to give me any knowledge about that intelligent agent… and so I turn to other epistemologies (religion)… I find god there. I know that would raise a lot of questions… but I will not preempt you… I will answer them when you ask them.

You said: “Suppose I said that my pet cat can run 200 miles per hour! You laugh and point out that the principles of science make that impossible. But, I claim that my cat transcends those principles which makes your argument no good.”

That example doesn’t quite sit well with the argument for God. In your example, we know everything about the cat… and based on that knowledge we are examining you claims. But in the case for god, it works the reverse way. We do not know the agent in question… but we see his abilities (creative power). And based on that we try to figure out what kind of an entity would be capable of it.

Greensnake's picture
Hi valiya:

Hi valiya:

What if the "entity" capable of this "design" is evolution? Aren't you overlooking a very important alternative, one that is actually in harmony with the observed facts?

The central problem to your entire approach, valiya, is a failure to understand the real reason that allows us to conclude that an article came about by intelligent design. It must be out of place in nature. Its level of complexity does not answer that question. (We have no way to say that a random bush on a hillside had to have an intelligent designer, because there is no way to show that it is out of place in nature.) We are falsely led to think that complexity is the key because so many of our inventions (that are obviously out of place in nature) exhibit complexity.

My recent posts on the thread "Viruses Disprove Intelligent Design" go into more detail. Why don't we shift this discussion to that thread so as to consolidate matters?

Kataclismic's picture
"I just know that there is a

"I just know that there is a planning and intelligence behind it… I have no clue who that agent is."

Translation:
I don't know anything, I just follow my religion blindly.

...'s picture
Well but this is just

Well but this is just intellectual laziness. It's saying, "I don't want to waste my time disproving something I don't believe, so I won't do it." Which is perfectly fine, you don't have to. I don't try to disprove Hinduism. But I don't make excuse for that. I know that's not a good approach, It's just a practical approach.

As for who has the burden of proof, I personally don't care. You can place it on me for all it matters because I am confident in my beliefs, confident in what I know and confident in what I don't.

But if I take a step back, I do believe the burden of is technically on atheist. I understand that from your perspective atheism is the default position, and God is a positive claim. But noting that most of the world is religious and believe in some supreme being, it makes sense to see theism as the default stance of humanity and atheism as the positive claims that holds the burden of proof.

But like I said, I don't care. I'll take the burden. Matters not.

CyberLN's picture
John: "But noting that most

John: "But noting that most of the world is religious and believe in some supreme being, it makes sense to see theism as the default stance of humanity and atheism as the positive claims that holds the burden of proof."

So, are you then saying that an increased popularity of a claim reduces its responsibility to be proved? And that an unpopular stance then requires it?

...'s picture
Yea, partly. If everyone

Yea, partly. If everyone agrees the sky is blue, and one person says it's red. He has to defend that claim. He can't say "oh clearly the sky is red, so everyone else has to prove to me that it's blue." The popular claim becomes the default claim. Any deviant claim holds the burden of proof. Or better yet, chronologically. The old claims are already established and new claims need proof. Religion came first, so atheism needed proof.

But that's just my random philosophical opinion. Nothing I care too deeply about. In the real world everyone has to defend their beliefs, no excuses, and no matter what the rest of world believes. Thus why I called it intellectual laziness to avoid this.

CyberLN's picture
Well, for me, atheism is not

Well, for me, atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of one. Ergo, I've no need to provision proof.

If you say, "there is a god." I would ask why you assert that. I do not find it laziness to decline sharing that assertion without what I see as good reason to do so. You claim reasons that are good enough for you. They just are not so for me. How in the wide, wide world of sports is that laziness? I just don't get why, according to you, I have any reason or ability to demonstrate anything about your god. It's your god, not mine.

...'s picture
Right, I understand that. But

Right, I understand that. But that's not really how it works. Look at holocaust deniers. They have a "lack of belief" in what happened. But we throw the burden of proof on them. Because we are the majority.

The Pragmatic's picture
"we throw the burden of proof

"we throw the burden of proof on them. Because we are the majority."

Waat?

No, that is not even comparable. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence for the holocaust, which is the reason that the majority believes that it happened.

Belief in an undetectable, unprovable being, because a majority believes in it, that is something else.

...'s picture
Hmmm what you're saying is a

Hmmm what you're saying is a bit confusing.

The "burden of proof" explains who is required to present the evidence, correct? So when it comes to the holocaust, you can't say the side with the overwhelming evidence isn't the one with the burden of proof. Because that's what we've debating. Whose the one required to present the evidence. Because both sides believe they have evidence, but one side thinks they're not under obligation to present it.

chimp3's picture
We can affirm the reality of

We can affirm the reality of the Nazi Holocaust. It happened in real time, there is so much evidence.The ability to prove the Holocaust is also tied to the ability to disprove it happened. One side will lose the argument. There is no way to disprove gods exist. That lack of falsifiability is evidence for the nonexistence of gods.

Greensnake's picture
Chimp3,

Chimp3,

It might be better to say that a lack of falsifiability is proof that a claim cannot be tested, and if a claim cannot be tested then it could easily be wrong. That is, it cannot be taken seriously. Only imagination limits what might be proposed within that category!

Tieler's picture
Its like WW2 if the Allies

Its like WW2 if the Allies and Axis had gotten their uniforms mixed up. No one is sure who is defending Germany as Berlin falls, or who is currently dropping the Atom Bomb.

I hope that analogy makes sense.

The Pragmatic's picture
@ John 6IX Breezy

@ John 6IX Breezy

- "The "burden of proof" explains who is required to present the evidence, correct?

I wouldn't use the word "explains". But yes, it states who it is that needs to produce sufficient evidence.

- "So when it comes to the holocaust, you can't say the side with the overwhelming evidence isn't the one with the burden of proof."

I didn't. How on Earth did you get that from what I wrote?

The examples you give about "disproving religions" are very naive. The holy scriptures can always be reinterpreted, the definitions of gods are fleeting and can change. Similar proofs have been give over and over again, not with a specific intention of disproving a religion or a god, but instead discoveries about reality that are in conflict with the religious claims. I'm sure you are aware of how the Sun rotated around the Earth, the Earth was in the centre of the Universe, the Earth was flat, etc.

You have been claiming that the popular claim becomes the default claim and the "deviant" claim holds the burden of proof, or even that the first claim to be "established" is the correct one and that new claims therefore need to produce proof.

To me, it seems that you misunderstand the subject of burden of proof completely. The holocaust example isn't comparable with a god claim, it reverses the problem entirely.

The holocaust:

The holocaust has massive amount of evidence: Some of the survivors are still alive, some of the camps still exist, there is video, photographs, documents, and more. The burden of proof has been satisfied.
Another important part, is that the holocaust makes no claims of a supernatural nature, so the requirements on the evidence is of a normal character.

The majority believes in real world events (non-supernatural), because of the massive amount of evidence for it.
Holocaust deniers are claiming something in contrary to massive amounts of evidence. For that claim, the burden of proof is now the side with small amounts of extremely questionable proof.

Religion:

In a god claim there are large masses of believers who, completely without evidence, believe in something that is supernatural, non-physical, undetectable and has divine powers. In this claim, the countering side has evidence that have been collected about the world we live in, which have forced the religions to change their stance over and over again.
Since the god claim makes numerous claims of a supernatural nature, it raises the bar for the required evidence.
The burden of proof has not even begun to be satisfied.

The majority believe in a supernatural entity, despite the lack of evidence. The burden of proof is on the side with no proof for supernatural claims.
Non-believers want the missing evidence for the supernatural claims.

[Edited: Restructured for clarity, fixed spelling errors.]

CyberLN's picture
No, John, holocaust deniers

No, John, holocaust deniers are no where near a good example. They make an assertion that the holocaust never happened. An assertion! One for which they have not and cannot provision convincing evidence. I respond to your assertion of the existence of your god similarly, by saying your evidence, if any, of that assertion does not convince me of its truth.

...'s picture
You're dancing around your

You're dancing around your terms. Excuses, explanations, reasonings, for why your stance is different than every other. There is literally no comparison I can make with atheism, that you won't try to find some excuse to reject.

Tieler's picture
Perhaps there is no

Perhaps there is no comparison that can be made(I say this in a neutral stance).

CyberLN's picture
"You're dancing around your

"You're dancing around your terms."

No, I'm not. I'm very specific and consistent in the use of the words I've used.

"Excuses, explanations, reasonings, for why your stance is different than every other."

Let us pretend it is, as you say, different than every other. So what? Reasonings? You bet! I have reasoned.

"There is literally no comparison I can make with atheism, that you won't try to find some excuse to reject."

I find an excuse to reject or simply question your assumptions? And perhaps you are correct, you may not be able to come up with any. There may be none that actually fit.

John, I'm neither lazy nor making excuses.

...'s picture
I'll give an analogy. I'll

I'll give an analogy. I'll say something like, "Birds and Bats both have wings, that's why they both fly."

But you and others reply by saying, "No, birds have feathers, and bats have fur. They are completely different animals. Also you're forgetting that birds lay eggs, and bats give birth to live young. To even compare bats and bird is completely wrong. You use words like "wings" and "fly" to appear more intelligent, but the truth is religion is the most unintelligent belief system on earth. Religion actually cuts off the wings so people can't fly away and think for themselves. Try again, John."

Tieler's picture
Let's see:

Let's see:

1Similarity
5+Differences

Analogy comparability: Nil.

Hawk Flint's picture
I'm sorry, I'm unaware of the

I'm sorry, I'm unaware of the conversation taking place (I'm not reading much and I've been doing research so I haven't been here for a while), but if you guys are talking about the "Birds are not bats bible" thing, here is the answer: Linnaean classification wasn't available at the time Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written, so there was no way for the people to know the difference between "bird" and "bat." However, the word rendered "bird" ('owph) simply means "owner of a wing." It comes from a root word which means to cover or to fly.

Greensnake's picture
The historical idea of the

The historical idea of the holocaust has long ago passed the tests and has been admitted into what I call "The Library of Accepted Knowledge." That great library seeks to house all true claims. In practice some false claims (that look sound) slip in. To keep bad claims to a minimum, the head librarian has set up some rigorous tests. Those tests are not so stiff as to stifle the growth of the library. But the bar is set high enough to keep nonsense out in the great majority of cases. Hence, The Library of Accepted Knowledge is a repository of truth and remains so within a high degree of certification.

Any new claim, or any claim that challenges a claim already in that library, has the burden of proof. Any other policy would soon pollute The Library of Accepted Knowledge with falsehoods and destroy its authority.

If the holocaust were a claim that had not yet been tested, then the burden of proof would be on those claiming as much. Those people would be making the assertion. However, that is not the case and the above rule must apply if The Library of Accepted Knowledge is to remain a repository of truth.

Pages

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.