Praise Jesus, it’s the collapse of evangelical Christian rule in America. Rejoice!
I wrote this in response to a typical theist post reviewing God: The Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger by dangoldfinch at Life Under the Blue Sky: The View From Below
His disapproval would make me inclined to buy his book, but I already knew what dangoldfinchs say Stenger has written.
Dangoldfinch needs to check his logic and his atheist sources—most acknowledge that you cannot logically disprove a negative. So it is illogical to demand disproof of God, particularly when it actually behooves theistic claimants to provide ‘proof’ for their claims.
However, it is possible to disprove falsifiable claims about the physical world. I think Stenger’s point is that the Bible does make unsubstantiable claims about natural events. Since the huge body of scientific knowledge provides an empirical (falsifiable, testable, verifiable) body of knowledge that better explains those naturalistic claims, then the God of the Bible is effectively reduced to an infinitesimally small probability and is, in essence, disproved by the fact that science provides much better explanations. The religious typically know virtually no science or logic, so it is hardly surprising that their arguments are risible.
““The [scientific] model need not be proven to be correct, just not proven to be incorrect.”
In other words, Stenger doesn’t actually put forth an argument at all.”
What part of falsifiable does dangoldfinch not understand? If a falsifiable hypothesis is not disproven—note the double negative—then that hypothesis stands until, if ever, it is disproven. If it is not disproven by successive discoveries, then it graduates to full theory, and ultimately to acceptance as scientific knowledge. In logic, it is recognized that inductions cannot be disproven. Dangoldfinch simply failed to understand what Stenger had written, so he misinterpreted Stenger in favor of his own misguided prejudices for unbelievable mythologies.
The burden of proof, or disproof, does not logically fall on the atheist. The burden of proof falls on the claimant—those theists who have failed in over 2,000 years to prove Yahweh, in almost 2,000 years to prove God, and in 1,400 years to prove Allah (same mythical entity, different dogmas). So, atheists do not believe in God because of the lack of evidence, the immeasurably better explanatory power of science, and all the religious mythology that strains credulity. The effective disproof of the God of the Bible is to be found in 200 years of amassed scientific knowledge.
“I think it is just one more piece of evidence that suggests atheists are terribly afraid of the Abrahamic God. After all, doesn’t it make sense to suggest that you can only really attack something that is real? I mean, logically speaking, if the Abrahamic God didn’t exist, would Stenger, Dawkins, Harris, et al have anyone or anything to attack? Their books would be quite meaningless (they are anyhow).”
Dangoldfinch claims that atheists must be arguing against something that must exist—sure, we disbelieve evidence-less improbable mythologies, but we argue against illogic, ignorance, misinformation, pseudoscience, bigotry, and religious violence. Those all exist and, though not all theists exhibit all of these, the correlation is too high to dismiss as a problem confined to fundamentalism.
“They never actually provide conclusive evidence that God doesn’t exist.”
Duh! Again, one cannot disprove a negative. Atheists do not believe that gods exist because religious claims for the existence of supernatural beings are not based on any empirical evidence for which science cannot provide a much better explanation—that is, supernatural mythologies are not believable, which is why faith is demanded of believers.
“Maybe someday atheists will come clean, be honest, and just admit that even though they know in their hearts that there is a God, specifically the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, they simply do not want to believe in Him because then they would be forced to submit to Him.”
Dream on! As to atheists fearing God, dangoldfinch is utterly mistaken and is projecting his own fears onto people who genuinely have none of the fears that theists love to imagine. There is nothing to submit to except stupid human-invented dogma and I have never been impressed by foolishness. The repeatedly observable fact that theist provide falsehoods and resort repeatedly to fallacies of logic do not themselves prove God’s nonexistence, but they do demonstrate that to believe in the unbelievable typically requires ignorance that spreads beyond holding deluded beliefs.
Theists love to make the empty threat that all atheists will go to hell for their disbelief. Theists merely want to believe all the myths about atheists because theists cannot imagine being free of their own indoctrinated fear, which is why they cling so tenaciously to ignorance.