Logic of "lack of proof"

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Andromeda's picture
Logic of "lack of proof"

Ask a Christian why they don't believe in evolution or the Big Bang and they will say "there's no proof".
Ask a Christian where the proof for God and creation is and they say "we don't need proof".

They then become "logical" by saying "you can't disprove it". Lack of proof does not constitute proof, it constitutes lack of proof, and, if anything, absurdity.

Doesn't this seem like an irrational reason to believe in something? I dare the mythology fanboys to challenge me on this one.

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Whitefire13's picture
Hi Andromeda! Found this

Hi Andromeda! Found this little snippet ...

“ Andromeda–Milky Way collision is a galactic collision predicted to occur in about 4.5 billion years between the two largest galaxies in the Local Group—the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. The stars involved are sufficiently far apart that it is improbable that any of them will individually collide.”

Hopefully these topics will be “moot” by then ;)

Of course “It’s designed - look how complicated and intricate...ohhh, and intelligent ...absolutely MUST have a Designer” (Creationist)

“God (the most complicated, intricate and intelligent being EVER), of course it doesn’t need a “Designer”” (Creationist)

LogicFTW's picture


The stars involved are sufficiently far apart that it is improbable that any of them will individually collide.”

Makes you think. Stars are incredibly huge to us. Impossible to fathom large. And their enormous gravitational pull that can pull things a million times farther away from it's (in comparison to the star's own diameter) into orbit with it, and each of these galaxies represent billions upon billions of stars, and yet, the distances between each are so far, that it's far more likely every single one will pass by the other never even affecting the orbit of anything.

Cognostic's picture
@Andromeda: I dare the

@Andromeda: I dare the mythology fanboys to challenge me on this one.
You poor ignorant man with a woman's name. "This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand." You were never meant to understand. The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.” (Psalm 14). I have nothing but pity for you. You poor poor man.

David Killens's picture
One can not prove a god,

One can not prove a god, neither can one disprove a god.

I am not claiming there is no god, I prefer to keep the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of the claimants.

Dworkin's picture


Just a small point. If, as you say, 'One can not prove a god, neither can one disprove a god.' - then how can there be a 'burden of proof' on anyone?


Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Dworkin

@ Dworkin

Just a small point. If, as you say, 'One can not prove a god, neither can one disprove a god.' - then how can there be a 'burden of proof' on anyone?

David answered that in his second paragraph.

If a claim is made, then the burden of evidence is upon the claimant.

IF David has made the claim that one can neither prove nor disprove a god or gods, then he must demonstrate that. I am sure he can.

You see, Dworkin, that is how you question things, not by redefining perfectly good words and displaying your undergraduate (or year 12?) understanding of philosophy, or indeed, much else.

First lesson: Understand the premise
Second lesson: Understand the questions NOT to ask.

Sheldon's picture
Dworkin "Just a small point.

Dworkin "Just a small point. If, as you say, 'One can not prove a god, neither can one disprove a god.' - then how can there be a 'burden of proof' on anyone?"

All claims carry a burden of proof, a belief is the affirmation of a claim, theism therefore carries a burden of proof. Not believing a claim does not rationally carry a burden of proof. Only in a religious context is this logical fact even debated, that should tell you something.

David Killens's picture
@ Dworkin

@ Dworkin

"If, as you say, 'One can not prove a god, neither can one disprove a god.' - then how can there be a 'burden of proof' on anyone?"

The burden of proof lays on the claimant. I do not claim there is no god, I just state that I have not been convinced. But if a theist claims a god, then they have the burden of proof and must back up their assertion.

I must assume my position that a god can not be proven or dis-proven is valid, because proof on either proposition would result in the biggest news story of the millennium.

Dworkin, personally I am not anti-god. For over forty years I sought out something spiritual, and have never closed that door. But for me, the absence of valid evidence is a powerful influence.

dogalmighty's picture
Christians = failure in

Christians = failure in reason. Why even engage christians? Especially seeing all decisions and beliefs they have, are run through woo woo ness. Just don't.

CyberLN's picture
Hi doG. Why engage xtians in

Hi doG. Why engage xtians in debate and conversation about a/theism? Look around, even in our small community. So many of the folks here were, at one time, adherents of religion. By our talking and debating, perhaps another theist will learn and find themselves able to shuffle off that stranglehold.

dogalmighty's picture
Yup...including me.

Yup...including me.

I was just giving an option to someone that seemed tired of religious stupidity.

In a sane ethical environment, pointing out others failures, is frowned upon...so why engage. But you are right, trying to help others of our race, is a worthy cause, sometimes. Unfortunately, the same can be said about the god botherers.

Kevin Levites's picture
Your points imply larger

Your points imply larger questions.

We need to have a definition of "proof".

The unfortunate thing about science is that it's asymetrical in some respects. It can be very good at proving that something exists, but very bad at proving that something doesn't exist.

I--for example--may put a Roach Hotel under my girlfriend's sink, and when we see trapped cockroaches in it the next morning . . . we have effectively and reasonably proven that there are roaches in her home.

If the roach hotel is empty the next morning . . . that doesn't mean that she has no roaches in her house. It just means that the trap didn't catch any.

When it comes to proving or disproving God's existence, we are on similar shaky ground.

I tend to be more agnostic than pure atheist, as I like to believe that I have an open mind.

It seems--to me--that if we ponder an infinite Universe, then how can we 100% maintain that God doesn't exist?

If the Universe is infinite, then it seems to me that the totality of all of existence will always be unknown.

This issue is like the four color conjecture in mathematics.

To understand the four color conjecture, consider the idea of making a map on a flat piece of paper.

In order to avoid confusion in the navigator who reads and uses the map, you want to make sure that every state (or parish, or county, or provence, etc.) is a different color so that the navigator doesn't get confused about political boundaries when reading the map. This would be relevant, for example, to a fleeing criminal who is trying to avoid extradition.

Well . . . four colors are always just perfect--regardless of the map--for coloring different sections of the map so that there's no confusion about where the boundaries are.

Computers have been employed to--literally--make hundreds of billions of maps with random boundaries in order to find an exception to this rule about four colors, and no exception has ever been found.

You might assume that this constitutes a proof that four colors are always sufficient to use when coloring a map, but not so!

A hundred billion randomly created maps is--literally--nothing when compared to the infinite number of possible maps.

That's because a hundred billion is precisely as close to the value of infinity as is the number one.

For all we know, map one hundred billion and one may be the map that needs more than four colors.

For this and similar reasons, I have an open mind about the idea of the existence of God.

But my mind isn't so open that my brains fall out.

P.S. There was a group of mathematicians who plausibly maintain that they have found a computer-generated mathematical proof of the four color conjecture, but this proof--which runs to hundreds of pages--is not accepted by many mathematicians for a variety of fundemental reasons . . . so I still stand by my statements in this post.

Nyarlathotep's picture
[Science] can be very good at

Kevin Levites - [Science] can be very good at proving that something exists...

Science is useless for formulating proofs.

kalyan's picture
considering the size of the

considering the size of the universe...human life looks pointless.
so still thinking that in this vast universe there is someone caring for us, counting our mistakes, heaven, hell, satan etc..looks very foolish.

David Killens's picture
@ kalyan chakravarthy

@ kalyan chakravarthy

Welcome to atheist forum. I hope to see more of you and hopefully we can learn and grow from our exchanges.

"considering the size of the universe...human life looks pointless."

The universe does not care about our feeling or opinions. What purpose we derive in our lives is what we make of it.

We are just one of many species of animals on this planet. The sole thing that makes us different is our higher brain function. That does not make us better or unique, just smarter.

For most theists (although they are loath to admit) their beliefs are driven by ego and fear. And the ego portion wants us to believe that we should be allowed to be first in line, that somehow we are "special" and unique.

boomer47's picture
@kalyan chakravarthy

@kalyan chakravarthy

Welcome, from South Australia. It is Sunday morning 17 May, and14c ,which is considered cold

I hope you enjoy your stay . Only a few of our members actually bite, and then only after having been bitten.

I for one am interested in learning a bit about you. EG In which country do you live? Your name and photo give hints, but are not conclusive. Your cultural/religious background? Again hints but nothing conclusive

Are you atheist or believer? If atheist, a bit about your journey to here.

To respond to your post.

Part One

"considering the size of the universe...human life looks pointless.'

Yes, I also feel insignificant, often. I need only look at the night sky.

So what? My emotions or facile observations about the universe tell me nothing about reality.

Are we significant.? Of course, to those who love and/or know and respect us . Otherwise, no. When the last person who knew us dies, it will be as if most of us never existed. This is an opinion based on nothing more than observations of my own society.

Does life have meaning? Yes,I think so. I think the purpose of life is itself . I do not mean in the crude sense of individual ego, but the seed/spark/whatever which is life. This exists in millions of different forms just on our planet. In my opinion, life will continue to exist on this planet long after we have made it uninhabitable for ourselves. It boggles my mind to even try to consider the forms of life which probably inhabit the universe/multiverse.

Part two:

"so still thinking that in this vast universe there is someone caring for us, counting our mistakes, heaven, hell, satan etc..looks very foolish."

Perhaps to you.To dismiss a thing because we cannot understand it or think it's odd or silly is a basic logical fallacy, argument from ignorance.

My opinion is different. (and not the consensus here)

I think that organised religion is the greatest confidence trick ever perpetrated on the human race.

BUT, the great majority of human kind believe in some form of god/gods. There are about 30 THOUSAND religions in the world. I have no idea how many gods are worshipped. It has been claimed that Hinduism alone has15 MILLION gods.

I take an anthropological position, called structural functionalism. It is my position that human behaviour has a reason or function. That religion exists because it meets important human needs.

Those needs include ; dealing in part with the fear of death, giving people the illusion of purpose and meaning in life, and imparting the illusion of control over one's life.Religious affiliation can also provide sense of community and personal safety a sense . Common religious affiliation remains crucial in many societies today. Some places it remains a matter of life and death. EG Some Muslim countries, parts of tribal Africa and parts of rural India with its rigid adherence to caste. (I understand that is far less common in the cities)

I have posted the above only to present a different view. It is mot my intention to try to change your mind about anything.

kalyan's picture


Hello, and thank you for showing interest in learning about me. I am from India, religious background is hinduism and i am an atheist.

First of all my whole answer is based on the fact there are people who believe GOD(or supreme whatever they call) exist somewhere in universe and control us.. That bothers me.
Once we leave our atmosphere we are nothing but a mere dust particle... So there is nobody out there. We have to fight for ourselves.

We are born on this planet just like many other organisms. We humans being smarter than all, have created certain rules like religion, castes etc.. often misunderstood by many people and making them their top priorities..
I do think religion exits because it meets human needs. I personally think in this fast moving world, relatives amd friends meet together atleast because of festivals. But they should be restricted only to maintain a healthy relationship in society. People out there killing in the name of religion, sacrifices were made in our history in the name of religion, In my country whole politics are run by counting votes in the name of religion. So, I dont believe an organised religion exists in our society.
#humanity is greater than any religion.
Living your own life, helping each other out, not causing harm to others. That's the best thing one can do in there span of life(totally my opinion).

dogalmighty's picture
Religion only exists because

Religion only exists because we make it exist.

boomer47's picture


Thanks for your response . We seem to pretty much agree.

I was interested in your comment" Living your own life, helping each other out, not causing harm to others"

This seems to be the dominant moral teaching of most religions. , although not necessarily the way they are a practised. ,

My own morality is based on my understanding of 'ahimsa'. Although I have read a bit on Both Hinduism and Buddhism, I am neither Hindu nor Buddhist. I therefore feel free to make my own definition;. MY definition of ahimsa is " the absence of the desire to harm",not simply the behaviour. The ideal is to be free of the very thought of violence as a legitimate means to an end. Have been working towards this ideal for about 40 years so far. Not quite there yet.

"So, I don't believe an organised religion exists in our society."

Perhaps a difference in understanding of the word 'organised' . My understanding has nothing to do with competence, or control, or democracy

When I think of organised religions, I think first of Christianity and Islam . Each has a structure, with an hierarchy. Organised religion is never democratic, at least not for long.

Christianity became completely organises [and corrupt] in the fourth the century . It produced a defined canon, and a hierarchy of bishops , priests and laity. (the sheep)

Wikipedia defines 'organised s religion as :

" Organized religion (or organised religion—see spelling differences), also known as institutional religion, is religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established. Organised religion is typically characterised by an official doctrine (or dogma), a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure, and a codification of rules and practices."

The full article is worth a look


"People out there killing in the name of religion---"

Yes, "in the name of----". In my opinion, there are no such things as religious wars. Seldom if ever are wars fought on moral principle, although each side almost always makes such a claim.

In my opinion ,wars are fought for one or both of only two reasons: To prevent the other chap from taking something you have or to take something from the other chap. IE for land, wealth and power .

Further; WITHOUT EXCEPTION every religion reflects the society and the individual which practices it. Human fears, greed and violence came before any religion.

From time to time, some individuals have tried to get human beings to rise above our base nature. There has been some success, with people within societies being able to live together without constantly killing each other . Peace between nation is even more extra ordinary.

In my opinion, the Mahabharata contains some of the loftiest philosophy ever written,*** especially the Gita. The dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna is sublime. Yet, since it was written, there has always been war.

All the individual atheist or believer can do is his best, and try not to become complacent.


***NO, I have not read it all ; it's the world's longest epic poem! Have concentrated on the Gita which I read in two translations. Have also read parts of the Rig Veda and the Upanishads. BUT all that was nearly over 40 years ago in the1970's , so I've forgotten most of it.

Sheldon's picture
kalyan chakravarthy

kalyan chakravarthy considering the size of the universe...human life looks pointless.
so still thinking that in this vast universe there is someone caring for us, counting our mistakes, heaven, hell, satan etc..looks very foolish."

I agree, especially when religions claim or imply everything was created by the being with us in mind, in a universe that is 14 billion years old, when we only evolved 200k years ago, which makes the claim even more preposterous.

Calilasseia's picture
Quite simply, whoever

Quite simply, whoever presents an assertion is required to support that assertion. A basic rule of proper discourse.

Not treating that assertion as true, in the absence of support of the purported truth of that assertion, does not involve the same requirement. Indeed, one of the basic rules of discourse that the mythology fanboys either fail to understand, or frequently seek in duplicitous manner to violate in order to push their agenda, is that any assertion, when presented, possesses the status "truth value unknown" until that assertion is subjected to test. The assertion remains in that limbo until a proper test thereof is conducted.

Of course, mythology fanboys routinely misrepresent the rigorous atheist position with strawman caricatures thereof, because they have no answer to that rigorous position.

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