So I got a new job and pretty much all the people I work alongside are über conservatives who make jabs at Obama because I guess that’s their only scapegoat. I love my job. But dammit if those around me aren’t going to drive me insane from time to time.
I feel like I’ve become stale in my intellectual development. I desire challenging questions. I desire having to change my views. I desire stimulation.
Anonymous asked: Why do you think prayer is a sign of mental weakness and insecurity?
*I’ve wanted to answer this for a while, but I’d forgotten about it until recently, so I hope you see my response, whoever you are. Also, this is longer than I wanted it to be. Oh well. Beer happened.*
A lot of shit happens in life. Good and bad. Relying or depending or going to a mysterious all-knowing being removes one’s ability to have to deal with reality. Something good happens? Praise God! Something bad happens? God, please guide me.
It doesn’t make sense.
Good and bad happens. We don’t need “God” to guide us through the process. Especially when we’re strong enough to navigate life ourselves.
Lastly, God is a conceived from our imaginations. He is always one’s ideal and therefore different from each person’s perspective. Going to this imagined concept of our individual ideal’s to express our concerns, desires, and/or praise is like me going to Dumbledore when I’ve got something on my mind I can’t help but express. Sure, Dumbledore is amazing, but he’s not listening because he doesn’t exist.
I’m really tired of Christians claiming the burden of proof is on atheists to prove that God doesn’t exist. Allow me to explain.
When Sir Isaac Newton proposed the idea of gravity, was it up to him to prove gravity existed, or was it up to the other scientists to prove gravity didn’t exist? It was up to Newton, of course. The burden of proof was on him because he claimed gravity existed. “Does gravity exist?”
When Anton Van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria, it wasn’t up to other people to prove bacteria didn’t exist. It was up to Leeuwenhoek to prove bacteria existed. The claim in question was “Does bacteria exist?”
So, when a Christian proposes that God exists, is it up to atheists to prove God doesn’t exist, or is it up to Christians to prove he does exist? It’s up to Christians! You can’t prove or disprove a negative. The claim in question is not, “Does God not exist?”. It is, “Does God exist?”. Therefore, it is up to Christians to prove God exists: the burden of proof is not on atheists.
There is no such thing as a burden of proof in science or theology. At best, you could determine whether a theory is preferred based on a preponderance of the evidence- which we can do in the case of ‘is there or is there not a God.’
In these examples, Newton did not ‘prove’ that gravity existed, because the whole idea of burden of proof is highly inaccurate when talking about scientific ideas. Gravity remains unproven. It also remains the best explanation for the available evidence. The existence of bacteria also remains unproven, however, it is the best explanation for the available evidence. There is no such thing as proof in science
And -that- is exactly what atheists need to argue if they care at all about theology(or logic): Which is more likely based upon metaphysical evidence- the existence or the nonexistence of God? I argue the former. Some atheists argue the latter. The majority seem to want to pretend the question doesn’t exist.
That’s the argument. It has nothing to do with proof, or proving anything, and it never has.
I think what you’re saying is a copout. You’re using a solipsistic argument because it’s convenient for you to do so. It’s quite clear that gravity and bacteria are facts — they are known to exist and have been verified with mountains of evidence. In essence, they have been proven to exist, though perhaps there is a fraction of a fraction of percent that we’ve interpreted the evidence wrongly and they do not. But that fraction is so infinitesimal that saying something like “bacteria aren’t proven to exist” is a ridiculous statement to make.
And sure, there is no “proof” in science, but what is really meant by “proof” is evidence. Empirical evidence is required before making a statement of fact, such as “gravity exists” or “bacteria exist.” We have evidence — lots of it — and therefore we can say with near perfect confidence that gravity and bacteria exist.
Within science, God cannot be said to exist because there is no evidence. Over the years, I’ve made evidence a requirement before I accept something as true. Therefore, when someone makes a claim, I can say, “prove it.” Once evidence (or what some might call “proof”) is presented, then I’ll make a decision.
I’ve no problem with Xians believing in their god. But when they want to influence/change science education because of their religion, that’s when I ask for evidence. Because, if they want to present their argument for the existence of good within a realm of study that requires evidence, then they better bring some to the table for the claim to be heard.