Here it is again, the fake symmetry. Let’s split the difference! You don’t believe in god, I do believe in god, it’s basically the same thing only one is no and the other is yes. Right? Right? Both are just guesses. Both are just a hunch. Both are a toss-up either way. Both are equally reasonable and equally unreasonable. Right? Right? Right? Great, let’s go have a beer.
Spufford’s Dear Atheists:
Allow me to annoy you with the prospect of mutual respect between believers and atheists. The basis for it would be simple: that on both sides, we hold to positions for which by definition there cannot be any evidence. We believe there is a God. You believe there isn’t one. Meanwhile, nobody knows, nobody can know, whether He exists or not, it not being a matter susceptible to proof or disproof.
No. No no no no no no no no.
The fact that something is not susceptible to proof or disproof does not mean it is unknowable. I know some things I did yesterday, which are not susceptible to proof or disproof. I know some thoughts I had today, which are not susceptible to proof or disproof. Multiply those by infinity and you have a tiny fraction of the things that are knowable without being susceptible to proof or disproof.
Notice the jump Spufford makes, from “for which by definition there cannot be any evidence” to “it not being a matter susceptible to proof or disproof.” Evidence is not the same thing as proof.
There is a lot of evidence that there is not a god of the kind described in normal monotheistic holy books and sermons. There is precious little (if any) evidence that there is such a god.
It’s true that nobody knows for certain that a god doesn’t exist, just as nobody knows for certain that we’re not just part of a vast computer simulation run by mice. But knowing for certain isn’t the real issue. The real issue is what we have better reasons to believe as opposed to worse reasons to believe.
The wafflers need to be called out on this every damn time they say it.