So what do you think about all of the Christians that have come on here claiming that they have proof/ evidence/ The Bible. Why do they think they can convince us with weak arguments and call it evidence?
When I told more than a few of them that to be called Evidence something must be testable, repeatable and falsifiable I got told that they don’t have to conform to my made up definition of Evidence.
But when I called their fairy tales made up they got offended.
I have no respect for that sort of theist.
For many theists, they practice lower standard for “evidence” than for almost every aspect of their life.
Be it banking or buying a new car or finding a daycare for their children, they will do a heck of a lot more investigating and verifying. But when it comes down to what may be the biggest and most important thing in their life …
Although I do miss the mark and I understand it is not directly applicable, I tell theists that I require the same standards of evidence as a court of law. Almost everyone understands those levels.
Well, in all honesty, personal testimony, stories in ancient texts (like the Bible, Quran), are evidence. They are the poorest, least reliable type of evidence there is.
The reason why they are the least reliable and poorest type there is, is because they are not testable, demonstrable, and falsifiable.
And yes, most theists do have a different standard of evidence for their particular religious beliefs, than they do for other poorly evidenced supernatural claims.
I am pretty sure, that the majority of theists disbelieve many other things in common with most atheists (bigfoot, alien abductions, hollow earth, Loch Ness monster, etc, etc). And they probably disbelieve then for the same reasons we do; lack of demonstrable evidence. They just don’t seem to apply the same standards of evidence for their god beliefs.
People in general, are not critical thinkers. We are herd animals who go along to get along. Thinking for yourself is not something most people actually do; however, everyone is sure they do it.
Knowing how to set aside an assumption and ask, “what if this is not true.” Knowing how to actually listen to another point of view with a mind that does not interrupt with your own opinion and prejudice. “Socratic Questioning” helps, if you know how to apply it to the self. Few do.
Listen closely, intently, and reserve an opinion with the willingness to be wrong. They want to convince us, because they have already made up their minds. They are right! It should be obvious to us.
“We are herd animals who go along to get along.”
Unfortunately that fact inhibited me from admitting the truth to myself for about 20 years. Through my understanding of history and science, my logic had concluded that supernatural entities had never demonstrated any observable interactions or manifestations in the natural universe. But I didn’t dare let myself declare the obvious.
I’m one who too often doesn’t like to ‘rock the boat.’ I continued to let my friends and family influence me, and I emotionally accepted that there had to be a god.
The revelation to myself occurred about 8 years ago when I blew my top at a nonsense-spouting theist. His ignorance stirred up my anger and I let him know I didn’t believe in his biblical quotes and platitudes.
I think his motionless, wide-eyed stare reflected the shock I also felt. Knowing I’d ‘committed myself’ though, I tried not to let it show and I proceeded with the debate.
I’m sure I only dared to speak up because no one else was around.
The admission to myself was liberating, but I’ve only shared my non-belief with a few others I know are open-minded enough to accept me regardless. The subject doesn’t often come up in conversation, and I keep quiet when others reference their superstitious concepts or bless me or say they’ll pray for me. So I still don’t feel I’m ‘out’ with my stance on theology.
I, on the other hand, need to learn to keep my mouth shut. Walking home the other day with a group, someone I know to be a Christian murmered something about dying and the Covid 19 virus. My response, “Why in the hell would you care about dying more than me. You get to go see Jesus and I just end.” The guy played it off, 'Oh, yea, well, I really don’t care. I will get to go see Jesus. bal bla bla…" U wabba vomit. “Have a nice trip!” was all I replied.
Ah I know what you mean, it’s like they want an answer, but really all they want is endless validation. I fall into that trap quite often, until I see either that horror stricken look, or the nasty you’re about to get a shoeing look.
Are we that arrogant to believe that there is no god, no evidence? Personally, I have 99.9999…% confidence the god of the bible is made-up. But what if there is a god, unfalsifiable?
I do not desire to close my mind to any possibility until it can be PROVEN, by standards commensurate to the level of claim.
Sort of playing the devil’s advocate, is all of it imaginary evidence? Are all claims by theists 100% imaginary?
I am by no means closed minded to the possibility, but I treat the claims for any deity as I treat all other claims. I don’t waste a great deal of time worrying that I am surrounded by invisible unicorns tbh. Then again no one keeps telling everyone else they should live by the morals of bronze age patriarchal Bedouins because invisible unicorns are real.
@Sheldon I am of the same opinion.
But I compare the behavior of some atheists against other theists and when I see atheists mirroring the negative traits of intolerance, unwilling to accept all possibilities, and disrespecting the other’s opinion, it bothers me.
My favorite is “fundie probability”. They will “cite” a “probability” from somewhere in their arguments, but often times:
- They can’t tell you how it was calculated.
- The probability is greater than 1 (or 100%, which means it isn’t a probability).
- They introduce additional errors by improperly copy/pasting a probability written down by someone else, but can’t spot/fix these ridiculous looking errors because they don’t understand it in the first place.
I’ll address #3 as I think it is the most telling:
How do they manage to mangle probabilities by copy/pasting? Easy; when you copy/paste a number with an exponent, often times it gets mangled.
If you copy/paste the following number: 105
It will often show up as 105 (try it!).
Want a great example? William Lane Craig (or at least his website):
- “…one part in 10100…” [should be ]
- “…one out of 10 10 (123)…” [should be ]
- “…1010 (123)…” [should be ]
These specific 3 errors have persisted for more than 4 years on that site. Similar errors have been up on that site for more than a decade.
What I’ve learned from dealing with these kind of people is that details don’t seem to matter to them (at least not when it comes to religious claims). Why worry about details when you think you know the mind of god?
I’ve always wondered if the reasons for abandoning skepticism when it comes to God (in whatever form he/she/it is understood) is a lot simpler than we think it is.
Chimpanzees–evidentally–practice religion . . . or, at least what is to religion that their use of chewed twigs for obtaining tasty termites is to our idea of technology.
Chimps seem to worship waterfalls, and they bring sacrificial offerings to trees . . . which they seem to see as idols.
Even today, Japanese Shintoists have public shrines at waterfalls and natural glades that are believed to be the homes of nature spirits.
So, my ultimate point is that God and religion must be hardwired into the neural circuitry of the brain. We believe in God–despite a lack of evidence of God’s existence–for the same reason why we go into “fight or flight mode” when our boss at work reprimands us . . . despite the fact that a rapid heart rate and rising blood pressure won’t resolve the problem in the way that it resolves the problem for our ancestors when they had to escape leopards and hyenas.
Seemingly, is a far cry from certainty, certainly no firm conclusion can be found that they do indeed see trees as ‘idols’ rather, they have some inexplicable reason that we can’t discern.
Making the jump to chimpanzee reverence, I would argue, is not tenable.
I most certainly do NOT.
Yes ok, that is a fair statement, one cannot have it both ways so to speak. Open minded means unbiased.
The fun part being, of course, that many of us who paid attention in class, have accepted possibilities that the usual suspects don’t even know exist, and would reject summarily if they learned about them.
My favourite part is after time and energy explaining error or fallacies in arguments and reasoning, they repeat them without a care, and then turn around and call you closed minded. Some even start throwing you refutation back like a child in a playground, “no you’re being irratuonal”…
You learn to just smile quietly to yourself. As you say, they have absolute truths from god, they are never going to be “fooled” by an atheist…who doesn’t even “know” that god is real.
I’ve never had the patience to get into long debates with those people. Many will openly admit, and seem proud of the fact, that nothing will change their minds. Then they call us close minded. I would sure change my mind if I just had some &)%$* evidence. Ken Ham in his debate with Bill Nye said that nothing would change his mind, while Nye said evidence to the contrary would change his. I’ve heard one person say that was the the turning point for him and when he seriously started questioning his beliefs, so I guess debating apologist isn’t a complete waste of time. It can sure feel that way sometimes though.