Or: How Not To Answer A Question In Thousands of Words
Over at the aptly named “Freethought” blog, where thoughts are free to roam without any tether whatsoever, Avicenna, who claims to be a doctor, endeavors to answer the questions posed. His response is quite lengthy and wanders considerably as he manufactures his position. While I cannot reproduce his every statement due to length, I can address the essence of his statements. There is, embedded somewhere deep in the middle, this statement:
See, I respected his questions. I gave honest answers and if you remember there was a commentator who didn’t understand how we as atheists validate our moral choices.
However he has not respected mine.
I am not a doctor. YET. When I am one you will be informed. I will also be “going home” for a visit so the British Readers are welcome to celebrate me getting the keys to my TARDIS.
My response wanders, that’s true but it shows examples of human thought.
”There is no way to disprove the existence of anything.”
I did say this. If you came up to me and said “I POSSESS A GOD” then I have no way to disprove your god. Really none!
But you also have no way to disprove any other god. All you can say honestly is that there is no evidence to suggest the existence of any gods. Let alone Jehovah/Shiva/Allah/Xenu.
You can’t disprove the existence of wizards either.
The first statement (sentence) is false. I can prove empirically that Avicenna is not here right now. It’s a material issue, and empiricism suits the problem: the non-existence of some things can be proven, empirically. Avicenna appears saddled with an apparent noncomprehension of the proper place for empiricism, and probably of what empiricism even entails, specifically its limitations (this grows more apparent as he moves along). He continues:
No, but you cannot disprove my existence or my claim that I own an intangible undetectable penguin. I can prove that god isn’t here right now but you lot just keep moving him behind the next wall of “stuff we don’t know about”. Currently he hides behind the Big Bang but honestly do you really think that when science solves that little conundrum he will be there? He wasn’t behind lightning and thunder and the other millions of things we considered divine. What makes you think he is going to be behind this? The History of Religion vs. Science has been “Our god is definitely behind this phenomenon! You should really have faith and not investigate it!” and then a sullen fight and begrudging changes to theology to hide their gods behind the next unproven thing.
Ah yes. The notion that empirical science shouldn’t be allowed to be applied to gods because religious people “say” so.
I assume it’s because empirical science has a history of demonstrating that the gods and miracles are nothing but cognitive biases, physical events or human ignorance.
There is no evidence anywhere to suggest the existence of any gods. Let alone the particular one we call Jehovah/Yahweh/Allah. These aren’t even hypothesis, these are superstition. No different from the laughable notion that you can somehow influence a thunderstorm or placate a volcano.
“I cannot categorically say that unicorns do not exist. What I can say is that there is no evidence for the existence of unicorns. There is no evidence for the existence of any gods.”
The above is a logical statement. We have no evidence for any gods. Maybe one day there may be evidence for some but as of now there is none. To believe in something that there is no evidence for is pretty “stupid”. I don’t believe in unicorns, Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy either. We spent thousands of years believing in non-existent gods.
Contrary to his denial of evidence, there is evidence for the existence of a creating agent; but his categorical denial places Avicenna into the position of denial of existing evidence and disciplined arguments. So he either is ignoring them or is ignorant of them. Either way, he has taken a false position which declares categorically true. And he further Poisons the Well by starting with a False Analogy, that of the unicorn, a favorite dodge of Atheists who are unused to more sophisticated argumentation.
Philosophy is not an argument against empirical science.
Existing evidence? Oh I assume it’s the prime mover nonsense. Well the Universe was not created for us. It seems awfully ginormous. It’s like suggesting cars exist solely to kill insects.
And how dare you sir! The Unicorn is the National Animal Of Scotland.
It’s not sophisticated as an argument because it doesn’t need to be. It’s an elegant argument. A unicorn is infinitely more believable than a god. One’s an entity of unimaginable power who treats humans as his personal action figures, making them dance for his amusement. The other’s a horse that comes to a point. Honestly? If you think a unicorn is LESS believable than the gods then you clearly have no idea of what sophistication is.
Would you rather I have invoked a stealthed penguin with a laser in space? Some sort of Laserous Penguin?
Then he proceeds with this absurdity:
”Because we created untouchable gods by accident.”
No. I wrote about how we created an entire mythos of an untouchable god. Kal-El. Superman as he is known in the common parlance. Where we made him so powerful we couldn’t put him in any risk so his stories stopped being gripping. You know Batman is going to win because he is Batman but you know he is weak and fragile.
Superman is practically indestructible and any solution is going to involve punching things. It’s why we like Batman more than Superman despite Superman speaking to ideals that we hold more dear.
I used Superman to show power creep.
Jehovah in Judges 1:19 cannot beat Iron Chariots. Power Creep eventually made him “All Powerful”.
This is an assertion with zero back-up. This is a Just So Story, and it presages his use of fantasy stories which he presents as fact.
I think this is the very definition of religious belief.
It’s a bad sign when you have shot apart your entire belief system yourself.