Not so humble

Well, I was wrong – about that, I must be humble.

I recently wrote about the local paper not publishing a letter I sent. I was told by Jim Evans it was because staff had been sick and they were trying to catch up. In the meantime, letters referencing dates and events which took place a full week after I had submitted my letter were being published. The conclusion?

Jim Evans is a liar.

There. Simple.

However, I wrote a second letter (while also submitting my first once again). This was just got published (and in the Sunday edition, no less; Ooo la la).

God does not exist. I say that without hesitation, but not without qualification.

There is no way to prove a negative. As such, no one can say God does not exist for certain. However, that same logic means no one can say for certain that Zeus, unicorns, fairies, and other magical beings do not exist. The necessary conclusion is that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence — however, absence of evidence which should be present is evidence of absence. If, say, the version of the Christian god in which most people believe does exist, we should expect to see certain things. Prayer healing, for instance, should show positive results for those who receive it versus those who do not receive it. This does not happen. This is one piece of evidence that this particular god does not exist.

Of course, losing one’s faith in a god is a process, not a moment. However, should one be lucky enough to complete the course, it will soon be discovered that life is all the better, all the more free.

Atheism has the power to bring about this good, this freedom. It releases the mind of mythical religious burdens and leads to a focus on humanity, on reality. It is itself not a system of belief, so its strengths are limited. This is a good thing. The more free a mind is of dogma and doctrine and ideology, the better.

I implore the great number of atheists reading this to stop coddling religion. It has not earned the deference it is given. We should all stop pretending otherwise. Do not acquiesce to demands of respect by its adherents. Instead, first demand evidence.

Finally, to my fellow atheists, you are not alone. Do not fear speaking our side. The world needs it.

How militant!

16 Responses

  1. Mate, you can’t keep opening up posts (or letters to the editor) with statements that are patently false! That $2/post offer still stands, BTW. :)

    There is no way to prove a negative.

    Yes there is.

    NEGATIVE STATEMENT: I do not have a duck in my bag!
    CHALLENGE: Prove it!
    RESPONSE: Easy. Take a look in the bag.
    OBSERVATION: No duck.
    RESULT: Negative proven.

  2. Please mentally add in my closing blockquote tag. :(

  3. Str1pe, on November 22nd, 2009 at 5:26 am is of course either kidding or has forgotten that the nature of scientific proof based upon replicable experiments and repeated observations is to allow predictive statement based upon positive observation.

    Yes, we have no bananas. Look for yourself.

    I observe zero bananas in my bag.
    I observe zero gods in my bag.

    These positive statements appear semantically equivalent to the negatives: Bananas do not exist in my bag and god does not exist in my bag at the time of this observation. Neither negates the possibility of one or the other occurring in my bag.

    Observational evidence establishes only the positives, i.e. I see zero bananas and zero gods on this observational trial(s).

    I can “prove” consensually, repeatedly, and using converging methods of observation and measurement that bananas are in my bag or that zero bananas are in my bag for any set of observations. Given an empirical, operational definition of “god in my bag”, I can do the same.

    What I cannot do (and need not do) is to prove that under all conditions, with any acceptable measurement, and in every instance there will not be a banana in my bag.

    I cannot prove, using repeated measures, the negative of “bananas may exist in my bag”, i.e. that “bananas never exist in my bag”. I am always limited to statements of the form “I have either evidence or no evidence for bananas in my bag” and “therefore I either can or cannot confirm that there are bananas in my bag.”

    Scientific and statistical methods do not prove the negative for the universe of all possible observations.

  4. Nice try, Styme. :)

    However I was not contrasting the two statements you provided.

    “There are no ducks in my bag” is sematically equivalent (in appearance and in truth) to “There is no God in existence”.

    That is, after all, what we are debating, right?

  5. Slyme .. sorry .. can’t read tonight. :)

  6. Coming from someone who believes in both evolution and God, I’m just curious on an atheist’s take on where we come from. I’m aware of the evolving from fish in the sea spiel, but where does life come from? You cannot create apples from bananas, you cannot create life with no life.
    What would you say started it all?

  7. A simple replicator.

  8. Something which is chemically simple that also replicates itself using either RNA or DNA (likely the former) as its basis.

  9. Where did the original ‘copy’ come from?

  10. Probably simple chemical interactions.

  11. Where did the chemicals come from?

  12. Stars that exploded.

  13. Where did the stars get them, and where did the stars come from?
    This is as annoying to me as to you, but if you can convince me there is no God please do so, I don’t want to follow something if there is an argument out of it.

  14. The stars formed out of (mostly) hydrogen and helium which were collapsed under gravity. The elements and physical forces were born of the Big Bang. The Big Bang came from a singularity which contained all which is now stretched out before us (in one form or another). From where that singularity came, why it expanded when it did, and what was beyond it (and is beyond the Universe) are essentially unanswerable questions. But it makes little sense to propose something complex like a god in order to explain things.

  15. I suppose it depends on your definition of god, if it’s big guy in the sky pointing his finger down and deciding on who goes to heaven and hell, then god certainly is foolish.
    To me God is just a ‘big ball of energy’ for lack of better words. It is not a spiritual or physical thing, since it is not physical, it is outside the laws of time, hence lack of creation.

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