Why is disproof irrelevant?

Science can’t disprove every imaginable god, including gods who would be relevant to our lives. For example, a God who interacts with the universe rarely seems impossible to disprove: for instance, if I claim that God resurrected Jesus, who also walked on water and ascended to heaven, what evidence could be brought to bear? I can’t imagine any evidence that could serve against such a claim. Likewise, how could you disprove the claim that God has intervened rarely over the course of evolution?

If you agree that the above claims (or others) can’t be disproven, can you explain how atheism remains a coherent position? If you disagree, you could suggest some relevant evidence.

Posted: May 16th 2012

Philip www

This is what I would say is a direct example of something called confirmation bias – the tendency to accept only evidence that confirms what you already believe – you have presented examples that already have your god existing before you even begin to think about just where it is you are getting this information from.

I would advise you read up on something called Russell’s Teapot, I cannot disprove the existence of a celestial Tea pot, so by your logic all manner of mayhem and superstition is correct because nothing can be disproved.

So Attis, Osiris, Mithras, Allah, Zeus, Odin, Thor, Ganeesh, Gia – the whole lot of the gods ever imagined through all time are all real – even the 3 million or so Hindu gods – because they all, by your argument cannot be disproved.

This reminds me of the invisible pink unicorn – how the heck can you possibly know if the unicorn is pink, let alone prove the existence of a)Unicorns b) who have mastered the art of invisibility etc

I think the main way to disprove these things is to reach enough evidence that outweighs the possibility of it being true enough

Where are you getting your information about all of the above? Seriously, how do you know about everything you have made claim to? If you reference the Bible then I would have to reccomend you go and read a fair number of posts on here about the veracity of the Bible and the massive contradictions and errors that are within that book.

Read this article “http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/5983/a_year_after_the_non-apocalypse” I think it says a lot about people who are so certain about their faith that nothing, not even hard evidence can possibly convince them that what they are doing is not in line with common sense and is completely unreasonable.

You want to claim your god is the sole owner of the intellectual property rights of the universe and everything that goes on in it – I say, you go and prove it. You are the one making the claim, can you find the evidence that, for example, it was not Odin and his brothers who created the Earth out of the corpse of their dead father but your God who did it? After all, there is scripture backing both claims up. Was someone lying?

Posted: May 24th 2012

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George Locke

Claims that are consistent with what we know aside from adding hidden or unmeasurable entities fail the test of parsimony, commonly called Occam’s Razor. You don’t need to “disprove” these claims because they are incredible on their face.

The claims you mention, Jesus’s divinity, God intervening in evolution, fall into this category. What’s worse, they are claims to the supernatural, where the laws of nature were suspended in non-repeatable ways; extraordinary claims such as these demand extraordinary evidence before they can be believed. Instead of offering extraordinary evidence, you seem to be suggesting that the mere absence of disproof against these fantastical claims might justify belief. I’m sorry, but that’s baloney.

Posted: May 22nd 2012

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My goal is – to steal a phrase – to believe as many correct things and as few incorrect things as possible. To do that, I need to have a way to find out that my belief might be wrong. In scientific terms, this is known as “falsifiability”.

What you seem to think is a strength of your position is actually a weakness. Consider the following stories:
1) The world was created by god, who then created Adam and Eve.
2) Odin and his brothers killed Ymir and created the earth, heavens, and oceans from his body.
3) The universe was sneezed into existence by the Great Green Arkleseizure.

None of these can be disproved. but my guess is that you believe one but not the others. The Great Green Arkleseizure is not happy with you.

Seriously, there are an infinite number of things that could exist, but only a finite number of them do exist. We therefore require evidence towards existing before believing in them.

Posted: May 22nd 2012

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Galen Rose www

You appear to be suggesting that we should accept any and all unfalsifiable hypotheses. If that is so, then I should believe in Bigfoot, 9-11 conspiracy theories, Easter Bunnies, gremlins, leprechauns, and microscopically tiny green men living under my bed. None of these hypotheses are technically falsifiable; I cannot disprove any of them. But that does not mean that it makes sense to believe any of them.

What we believe should be a matter of probabilities. If you wish to claim that there exists a god who “interacts with the universe rarely,” then you should be providing testable evidence for this claim, and enough to make it a reasonable probability that it is true. Otherwise, I will not believe it, nor should anyone else.

The above explains why atheism is a “coherent position,” and why believing in any particular god (of the billions of imaginable but unfalsifiable gods) is not a reasonable position.

Posted: May 21st 2012

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donsevers www

When believers say, “You can’t disprove there is a God”, they have given up the farm. The same is true of flying pigs and orbiting teapots. Undisprovability is a trivial feature of all possible, but unsubstantiated, claims.

Disbelief is the default position. It is the same position believers take toward all the other gods and much more. I don’t believe there is a tiger in my house right now. It’s not impossible, I just don’t believe there is one. I could be wrong, but that’s not a reason to believe there is a tiger in my house. It’s not even a good bet.

When believers make this move, they place their god on the starting line with all the other merely possible ideas. This is the thinnest theism imaginable.

You can’t have it both ways. You can have a red-meat God which is very easy to refute. Or a vaporous god that means very little to believe in.

This short video covers it. Jump to 5:00 if you’re short on time:


Posted: May 21st 2012

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brian thomson www

The idea that “Science can’t disprove every imaginable god” shows that you have the problem back-to-front from the start. That is correct, but so what? There are claims of gods that I have never heard of, and will never hear of, or which I laugh at and quickly forget. What are the consequences of that? I’m not the one making the claims, so what is there for me to answer? Why should I even care about “every imaginable god”? Life’s too short.

Atheism is a coherent position because of what it is. It is the lack of belief in theistic gods. It is not active disbelief in any particular god or gods, no matter how many you can imagine. It is not a means of disproving such claims, or even an expression of interest in doing so. It is a lack of interest in such claims. We can ignore them, and they would go away – as most have in the past – if not for people like you who keep bringing them back up and getting in our faces.

There’s a saying that will serve you well when dealing with atheists: claims that can be made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. If you come to me with a claim of Jesus walking on water, and I dismiss that claim, it doesn’t mean that I am disproving it. It means that you haven’t done enough to even make me care about the claim, far less convince me of its veracity. Now apply the same logic to every imaginable god, including the tiny minority in which you claim to believe.

Posted: May 21st 2012

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