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Don't atheists mean secular evidence when they talk about evidence?

There’s plenty of evidence to show that Jesus is the Son of God and that the Bible is the true account of His life. Whenever I hear an atheist say “evidence” I understand him to be excluding the very best of evidence of all: the Word of God.

When you say you “require evidence” for your beliefs or for public policy, you elide the fact that your atheistic values determine what you will consider as evidence.

Posted: April 6th 2010

logicel

Faith is not evidence, and that is what believing the bible as true is. Faith. If there was sufficient evidence, nobody would need faith to accept god’s existence or that the bible is god’s word.

Faith is for suckers. I have never understood why so many go gung ho for it. It is a complete turn off for me, always was. I grew up in a very religious household (I had no 'atheist’ values whatever those may be anyway!) and an equally religious community and was always a non-believer in the supernatural (though I had to keep my lack of belief in the supernatural in the closet).

Who made God? The infinite regress problem was what made me snort in disbelief at the age of seven when learning the tenets of my familial brand of faith.

As I grew older, I was able to see that there was not a shred of solid evidence, and especially not the kind of interlocking evidence that shows evolution by natural selection to be true.

For me, as I accept evolution, I would accept the existence of god (not worship it) if there was enough evidence. Though I would accept the existence of god in such a case, I would not consider myself religious as no faith would be required.

To believe in something without the kind of evidence that most of us demand in every sphere of our lives – except the religious one where we are encouraged to throw caution to the wind—is odd, inconsistent, and unappealing to me. I can’t do it.

When I am in difficult situations, faith has no edge for me to use, it is whatever anyone makes out of it—it seems all so hit-and-miss to me, like throwing some gloppy stuff to the wall, hoping that it will stick (should the glop be an literal interpretation or a vague god-is-love one? Should the wall be Jewish, Christian, Islamic?). I use instead confidence, confidence in my ability and skill set to solve problems and to grow and flourish. It has worked well in the last six decades, and I see no reason why it won’t until my demise.

Evidence is neither religious nor secular, it is evidential.

Posted: April 9th 2010

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Eric_PK

Of course when an atheist says “evidence”, what he means is based on his own personal standard for what constitutes reasonable evidence. That is true for everybody, so I don’t think you’ve come up with a unique insight.

Or, to put it another way, I at least don’t think it’s necessary to state something that is so obvious.

If you are trying to convince somebody of something, you need to be able to present evidence that works for them. Asserting that they should just change their standards to accept what you think is adequate evidence shows that you haven’t really thought things through.

However, in my case (and that of at least a few atheists I’ve met), I was christian for a fair bit of my life, and the “Word of God” of which you speak wasn’t good enough even when I did believe.

Christianity has a long tradition of considering faith a great thing – that’s the whole point of the “doubting Thomas” story. The fact that faith is so encouraged makes it pretty clear that at least some of the church leaders decided that the evidence alone wasn’t enough.

Posted: April 9th 2010

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Blaise www

You should probably look up the definition of evidence. What you dismiss as “secular evidence”, is actually the only kind of evidence there is.

When you say “the very best of evidence of all: the Word of God.”, you are actually referring to what, in court, would be considered “hearsay”. The judge would throw it out, as it would not be considered evidence…

Posted: April 9th 2010

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Eshu www

Not believing everything you read is not exclusive to atheism. My guess is that most theists are skeptical about the holy books of other religions.

Does the Bhagavad Gita count as evidence that Krishna is the manifestation of God himself? Does the Sri Guru Granth Sahib prove that Sikhism is correct?

Perhaps the question you should be asking is, “What reasons do I have to believe that the Bible is true?”

That the Bible claims to be the word of god is not much help. To accept that it was written by God purely because it says it was written by God and as God wrote it and He wouldn’t lie, it must be true that He wrote it, is a circular argument.

Posted: April 9th 2010

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Mike the Infidel www

You are putting the cart before the horse here.

First, give us evidence that there is a god. The Bible does not count; a book does not prove itself true. Nor does a 'first cause’ argument count, because the assumption that only a god (or any kind of intelligence) could be the first cause also doesn’t hold water.

Second, prove that your beliefs about this god are accurate.

Third, prove that your beliefs are representative of what the book says.

My atheistic values have nothing to do with what I consider evidence. If you begin with the assumption that your book is true, you’ve already lost the track of the discussion. You’re acting as though the underlying belief system you have is self-evidently true – and it is not.

Posted: April 9th 2010

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SmartLX www

The Word of God would be perfect evidence for the divinity of Jesus. However the Bible may not actually be the Word of God. One would want to be sure about that to begin with, and if one were then there’d be no point in proving it anyway.

What if there really is religious evidence, as opposed to “secular evidence”, which is perfectly obvious to believers but invisible to everyone else? Even if so, what good is it to you? If you want to convert people, you have to express it in secular terms. If you can’t, you have to consider whether it’s really evidence of any kind, other than according to an arbitrary definition by a biased group.

Posted: April 8th 2010

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