What Proof do Atheists Want?
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25-11-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
(25-11-2012 10:57 AM)chandrashakti Wrote:  I am not an atheist. I am also not a religionist. I believe that there is something out there greater than the individual human. I call that thing God for convenience sake. I cannot prove it exists. However, by my definition, none of the self proclaimed athiests I have had discussions with are. NOTE: My definition does not require God to be omniscient, omnibenevolent or even self-aware.
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First question: If you are unable to prove the existence of your deity, on what basis do you place your belief in such a deity? In other words, why do you believe?

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25-11-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
I would need something more than a warm fuzzy feeling to believe in anything. I would also need a better reason than being afraid of death or the unknown.

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25-11-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
No Chas, it needs an even more generic name.

I'm thinking Steve or Joe.

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25-11-2012, 11:03 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
I may not even need proof. Just some good evidence.

Just show me some good evidence.

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25-11-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
(25-11-2012 06:29 AM)Egor Wrote:  To those who believe in God, no proof is necessary--or perhaps it's just that we see proof everywhere. What's so frustrating about atheists is that they seem to refuse to see this proof, but maybe that's not fair. Maybe they really can't see any proof.

If you're an atheist (or theist) what proof do you need?

No elaboration from you to compensate everyone's contribution to your babble? Then I shall not waste my time.

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25-11-2012, 11:11 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?



Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
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25-11-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
(25-11-2012 09:50 AM)Logisch Wrote:  
(25-11-2012 09:49 AM)Chas Wrote:  No. Drinking Beverage
Does it have a beard?
Are unicorns hollow?

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25-11-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
Pretty much how this thread was doomed to be from the start.

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25-11-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
First, I'd need a relatively clearcut and unambiguous notion of the nature and properties of the hypothetical god, to the point of settling various widespread disagreements even among said god's worshipers. (The allegory of the blind men and the elephant aside, the presence of such disagreements is a small piece of evidence that they're not actually referring to the same bit of reality.) Depending on the nature and properties provided, I'd likely also need a good notion of what qualifies "existence". Is something that is immaterial, or isn't part of the universe, existent, and if so what does the word even mean? This wouldn't be a deal-breaker, but it obviously we wouldn't be talking about something that exists in the same way as, say, a pencil or pickup I can point at and say, "There! There it is! See?" In short, I'd need some clear notion of what the statement "God exists" is actually claiming.

ONCE your hypothesis is clarified and disambiguated from all the other hypotheses that people often irritatingly refer to by the same phrase of "God exists", I could then start in on the sort of proofs that might make me believe. Until then, no.

That said, the sorts of evidence that would probably not convince me are:

1) The Bible, or similar holy texts. Leaving aside the question of original authority (which is kind of circular reasoning) or chain of custody, the Bible has been interpreted in so many opposite ways as to prove, fairly conclusively, that whatever its inherent or inerrant truth, human interpretation of it is extremely unreliable.
2) Purely deductive arguments that don't draw on evidence from the world. Again, this method has provided contradictory results more times than I can count, and cannot be considered reliable.
3) Phenomena with alternate explanations. A rainbow in and of itself doesn't prove anything fundamentally different from my world view, and doubly-so doesn't if I know about the properties of optics. Again, multiple possible conclusions do not suggest a single conclusion.
4) Personal feelings or desires, for the same reasons as above.

This is a very general list of things that wouldn't count as evidence, provided because they cover the vast majority of "evidence" that I've seen out there. Things that I could accept as evidence would depend on the clarifications of what "God exists" means. However, I would lean towards evidence that was predictive (in the sense that we could look at it and say, hey, if this is true, then this thing we'd never realized should also be true, let's go look for it) in a way that competing hypotheses are not predictive.

In short, clearly state what the hypothesis is, identify testable (short of dying or believing pre-proof) differences that could be found in reality that contradict what we'd find if the hypothesis was false, and then go out and find them. Or even shorter, show me something that is explicable only with God existing.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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25-11-2012, 11:27 AM
RE: What Proof do Atheists Want?
(25-11-2012 11:20 AM)Logisch Wrote:  Pretty much how this thread was doomed to be from the start.


Blame Beelzebub.

Besides, is not every thread here not doomed to death by derailment?

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