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Sep 20 2010

Atheist Meme of the Day: No Good Evidence for the God Hypothesis

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

There is no better evidence for God than there is for unicorns, fairies, Zeus, or the three- inch- tall pink pony behind my sofa who instantly teleports to Guam the moment anyone looks back there. If you don’t treat those ideas as plausible, you shouldn’t treat the God hypothesis as plausible, either. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    shreddakj

    I think the evidence against god is even stronger than invisible pink unicorns etc. The reason is because we never attributed natural forces to pixies etc, but people thought that god caused earthquakes and other natural disasters. We now know the real causes, so that weakens the god hypothesis further.

  2. 2
    ChristianMan

    I’ve noticed that too. If you say something enough you will believe it… and so will others if they don’t get any other input. It doesn’t’ matter whether it’s true or not.
    I’ve been thinking about the unicorn argument and the monster behind the couch that disappears as soon as you look. In this line of thinking, the idea of there being a God is even more unbelievable.
    There are some differences between the unicorn and God however. One is that so many people believe there is a power higher then themselves. Another is the very fact that the Bible exists and claims to chronicle about a God who is recognized as the God of the universe… I could go on but the point is the unicorn does not have the same basis for belief, nor does it have nearly the same level of evidence. One might not accept that evidence, but many others have. The unicorn argument is mixing apples and oranges at best… it’s just not the same thing… it’s not a valid argument… even though on the surface it sounds reasoned…
    If the unicorn had even any historical evidence we would be thinking differently about unicorns. There just isn’t anything like that. As for the imaginary friend (or is it a monster), we all know it’s just our imagination
. Right?
    Also, just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean its imaginary… example: the wind – you can’t see it, but you know when it’s there.

  3. 3
    Doug From Dougland

    ChristianMan,
    You are making the argument (when you boil it down) that because a bunch of people believe something, that means it’s true. You can try to hide from it and make it seem more substantial, but that is the argument you’re making in favor of God. Don’t you think there’s a better argument out there? Because you aren’t even making this one very well.
    God, contrary to your belief, does not have historical evidence in his favor. Perhaps you think that historical evidence is one book written by nomads; the majority of people however do not accept anecdotal accounts as historical evidence. No one has ever found a God fossil, nor any Garden of Eden or ark in a mountain. No writer at the time of Jesus’ supposed death mentioned a healer and radical coming from galilee. Nobody besides the one group of people telling the story like they were there (writing it 50-100 years after the occurrences mind you).
    The God of the bible has literally the same amount of historical evidence as a unicorn. Some stories told by ancient people.
    Also, I can’t see the wind, but I can easily find evidence of it outside of someone else’s subjective experience. Where’s the evidence for God outside of someone else’s subjective and fallible experience?

  4. 4
    ChristianMan

    I am making the argument (when you boil it down) that because a bunch of people believe something, that means it is worth at least some extra consideration… Just the size of the Christian faith makes it worth major consideration…. or is there a unicorn faith out there that rivals the major religions.
    In looking at the evidence that atheists present that God could not possibly exist it just seems to be such a smoke screen of pseudo logic, misinformation, and unanswerable questions that it seems that most atheists just haven’t really been willing to examine the available evidence, to understand the best (not the worst) Christian thinking, and to compare and think through their positions.
    Doug your comment makes this point. You have already dismissed all the evidence before we’ve even examined it. I’ve examined the same evidence and come to a very different conclusion. How is that? I’ve been down this road before with a well known atheist. He would make the same kind of claims you did, but upon examining them and what they mean it is clear that it is not just theists that exercise “blind faith”.

  5. 5
    Maria

    that because a bunch of people believe something, that means it is worth at least some extra consideration… Just the size of the Christian faith makes it worth major consideration….
    Argument from popularity… Or as the saying goes: Billions and billions of flies can’t be wrong – eat shit!
    Besides, few things have been considered as much as Christianity, and its claims are still not convincing. How long, and how much do we really have to keep considering something until it’s actually okay for us to say that it is, in fact, NOT convincing?
    The thing is that it is a very large amount of circumstances OTHER than the Christian god actually existing that makes it a major religion. Other circumstances and it might just as well have been Unicorns, or whatever. Because there are still no more actual evidence for god than there are for unicorns.
    In looking at the evidence that atheists present that God could not possibly exist.
    Very few atheists actually say this. Yes, there are certain god concepts that you can easily dismiss as being internally illogical, and therefore highly unlikely to exist (like a square circle) but atheists doesn’t say there could never possibly be some sort of god anywhere ever… Only that as long as there are no evidence whatsoever to suggest it is actually so, there IS no reason to consider it. Just as there are no reasosn to consider unicorns seriously at this stage. Not until I get a good reason to consider unicorns will I grab my camera and pay money to go on a unicorn safari! An existing unicorn cult (no matter how many people in it) whose only “evidence” was fallacies, personal revelations and age old traditions – would not be reason enough.

  6. 6
    Bruce Gorton

    ChristianMan
    First you have to define God.

  7. 7
    David Evans

    I think it may be a tactical error to introduce your three-inch pink pony. The theist may reasonably reply that although there may be no direct evidence for the existence of a god, there are some half-way plausible reasons for believing in one. Cosmological fine-tuning, for instance. There are no plausible reasons for believing in your pony.

  8. 8
    llewelly

    ChristianMan | September 22, 2010 at 03:05 PM:

    I am making the argument (when you boil it down) that because a bunch of people believe something, that means it is worth at least some extra consideration …

    There are thousands of books written about god, from many different angles. Your implication that “god” has not been given extra consideration is severely wrong-headed. In any case – it’s based on a logical fallacy. Popular claims are not more deserving of examination.

    In looking at the evidence that atheists present that God could not possibly exist …

    Straw man. Most atheists – including Dawkins, Angier, Hitchens, Myers, Stenger, Dennett – do not claim “God could not possibly exist”. The whole point of the article is that Occam’s razor should be applied to the idea of “god”. Perhaps you should have read it.

    … such a smoke screen of pseudo logic, misinformation …

    And yet, somehow, you aren’t able to find any real flaws. Just your imagined flaws.

    … haven’t really been willing to examine the available evidence, to understand the best (not the worst) Christian thinking, and to compare and think through their positions.

    What will you offer up as “the best Christian thinking”? William Lane Craig? Augustine? C. S. Lewis? I’ve read a great deal of that sort of material, I’ve given it serious consideration, and quite frankly, most of it is garbage. Most of it didn’t deserve serious consideration, but I didn’t find that out until later. One amusing item I did learn … many (but, to my relief, not all) of the Christians who recommended that sort of material to me hadn’t read it themselves.
    Beyond that – there are many atheists – such as Dan Barker – who where trained as clergy, and preached for many years. Many of them studied the best Christian thinking while they were still believers … and came away empty handed.

  9. 9
    Joshua Zelinsky

    ChristianMan, have you spent as much time considering Christianity as you have Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism? They all have about as many followers as Christianity. If popularity is a good reason to consider something then you should investigate those other religions in detail. Have you done so?

  10. 10
    Doug From Dougland

    Christian Man,
    I would love to know what your definition of examined is. If to examine evidence you mean to test for it’s veracity with corroborated tales from historians of the time, comparing the claims of the bible with known (and extensive) geologic records, paleontological and archeological studies; checking the miracle claims fo the bible and throughout modern history against what we know for a fact against the universe and our accumulated knowledge as a species, then I have indeed examined the evidence carefully. I’ve examined it so carefully I have in fact thrown it out for the fabricated quilt of shoddy rationalizations that it is.
    However, if by “further examine” you mean “assume true until a logically impossible amount of evidence contradicts it,” I’m sorry but I can’t go there.

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