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Atheist Meme of the Day: Absolute Certainty Isn’t Necessary to Reach a Conclusion

Scarlet letter Today’s Atheist Meme of the Day, from my Facebook page. Pass this on; or don’t; or edit it as you see fit; or make up your own. Enjoy!

“We don’t know anything for sure, therefore it’s reasonable to believe in religion” is a terrible argument. Even though we can almost never have certain knowledge, we can still evaluate evidence and make reasonable conclusions about what’s probably true. And there’s no good evidence suggesting that any religion is probable, or even plausible. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.

Comments

  1. fastthumbs says

    3) And there’s no good evidence suggesting that any religion is probable, or even plausible.
    4) Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.
    @Jake:
    So which religion is probable or even plausible that falsifies sentence 3?
    And/or what’s wrong with sentence 4? It’s not an absolute statement and psychologically repetition does reinforce a message (aka advertisements).

  2. says

    sorry to go off topic (sort of) but i’m pretty sure you’re going to want to respond to this one, Greta:
    Observing the past thirty-five years, I have come to the conclusion that is one of the important factors in the failure of the left. Atheists and others who insist on the exclusion or minimization of the religious left, that is a huge problem. Put into purely practical terms, whatever passion vociferous, anti-religious people bring to the movement is dissipated by their insults and demanded exclusion of the far larger number of religious liberals. Religious liberals, in my experience, are over scrupulous in their observance of the feelings of anti-religious bigots, also dissipating the essential passion to move our agenda.
    more here.
    this person is a blog friend of mine, and has lots of good ideas most of the time. i’m sorry to say this post isn’t demonstrative of that.

  3. ckitching says

    I’m not even absolutely sure the universe exists. I don’t have much choice but to continue acting as though it does, though.

  4. says

    Re:
    “I’m not even absolutely sure the universe exists.”
    Do you think anything at all exists? Yourself, for instance? If not — if nothing exists — then no one and nothing could have written your comment.

  5. Maria says

    Read what he wrote, Kate. He said he is not even sure the universe exists… Okay? Now, the universe would include himself, would it not? As well as ‘anything at all’. So, your comment is kind of redundant! He’s already answered your questions.

  6. vel says

    this argument from theists has always devolved into solipsism in my experience. of course, the quickest way to get a theist to realize how stupid they are (and to run away) is to tell them they should have no problem grabbing a white-hot piece of iron then, if we are so “unsure” of what exists.
    as for that blog post that CD put up, wow, it’s sad that people prate about being so concerned with others freedoms, that is until they don’t agree with them and want to tell those they don’t agree with to sit down and shut up.

  7. Jake Lara says

    We do know some things for sure. When you get on a plane it flys. Which means all the ideas and notions that keep it up in the air are proven. Speculating on what we don’t know is fascinating because it holds a mystery. Claiming a disproven notion and it’s associated ideas (earth made in 7 days) is ridiculous.

  8. Jake Lara says

    We do know some things for sure. When you get on a plane it flys. Which means all the ideas and notions that keep it up in the air are proven. Speculating on what we don’t know is fascinating because it holds a mystery. Claiming a disproven notion and it’s associated ideas (earth made in 7 days) is ridiculous.

  9. ckitching says

    No, Kate, I’m not even 100% certain that I exist. The universe and I could be nothing more than a dream, or a computer simulation, or one of a million other hypotheticals. I simply have to make the assumption that the universe and I exist because I have some evidence it does exist, and I can’t disprove it. Therefore, it’s very, very, very likely that the universe does exist, but I’m still not absolutely certain.
    Nothing deals in absolute proof. The closest field we have is mathematics, and mathematical proofs are only true if its axioms are true. Criminal trials do not use absolute certainty, but rather a benchmark of “beyond reasonable doubt”. Religions often claim absolute truth but tend to be more than a little shy about actually proving it except to those who are already invested.

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