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Science Can’t Prove It Doesn’t Exist

I got into a conversation with a Christian yesterday and the guy said to me, “There are countless things that we could not scientifically prove, that does not mean that they don’t exist.”

It is this type of argument that really pisses me off. This guy isn’t even a fundamentalist. He is a mainstream Christian and yet he still doesn’t understand that if there is no evidence to suggest that something exists, then there is no reason to believe that that something does exist.

Sure, monkeys could fly out of my ass and there is no scientific evidence that could show that this could never ever happen. But there is no reason to believe that monkeys will fly out of my ass either.

Science isn’t about proof necessarily; it is about evidence and reason. If there is no evidence to suggest that something exists, then there is no reason to believe it exists. The burden of proof is on the Christian to not only show valid evidence for the existence of deities, but to show valid evidence to suggest their particular deity exists. In the last 2000 plus years they have yet to show any valid evidence at all. Instead they rely on really poor reasoning and bad arguments.

Still, even though the burden is on them, I have taken up the burden of disproving their deity in my Ontological Argument for Disproving God, which I have entered into the Project Reason video contest. A brief reminder, voting begins on February 15th.

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  • Brian

    Sure, monkeys could fly out of my ass and there is no scientific evidence that could show that this could never ever happen.

    I don’t think you’ve fully thought through the nuances of sophisticated, liberal theology.

    You just have to interpret “monkey” in a way that reflects the deep spiritual truths that are what the text communicates to our divine souls today.

  • http://twitter.com/ChucKtheAtheisT ChucktheAtheist

    Well Brian that’s a bit condescending of you to imply that our friend at Dangerous Talk simply doesn’t understand “sophisticated” liberal theology. I think he understands well enough that if there is no evidence for something, it’s a little difficult to be willing to give it a rational hearing. Perhaps you can sum up in a paragraph what it is that is missing from his assessment other than “spiritual truths” being communicated to “divine souls?” If you can’t then there is nothing sophisticated about it. Though it would be hard to define ethereal concepts like “spritual,” “truth,” “divine,” and “soul.” non of which has a material referent in the world that we actually live in. I think you are simply trying to blow “divine” smoke up our collective asses.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Thanks Chuck, but I am pretty sure Brian is being sarcastic… although I could be wrong.

  • http://stripey7.blogspot.com Eric Hamell

    I think the very concept “burden of proof” makes no sense from a strictly empirical and materialistic standpoint. It implies that someone objectively has an obligation to prove something to someone else. But such normatives have no empirical meaning. Asserting their objective existence amounts to holding that ideas can exist independent of a physical brain — simply a more abstract version of belief in ghosts.

    The same applies to phrases like “reason to believe” or “no reason to believe.” Such assertions about objective “justification” or lack thereof amount, again, to holding that an idea can exist independent of a brain.

    I understand that for the most part people hold religious and other ideological beliefs for emotional reasons, not because of rational arguments. Where it comes to religion, these beliefs are usually no skin off my or anyone else’s back, so I’m not interested in changing their minds. But in those instances where I might be, I understand that changing their mental set through psychosocial processes is far more likely to bear fruit than trying to “prove” that they’re wrong.

    Aside from that, I’m content to act congruently with my own beliefs without compromise. Le them be the troublemakers, if they dare.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    If you assert it, you prove it. Eric, if you can’t understand the concept of “burden of proof” then educate yourself about it. As for religion not being any skin off your back… I think you are mistaken. But I won’t tell you why even though the burden is on me to do so because that burden makes no sense to you. ;-)

  • http://stripey7.blogspot.com Eric Hamell

    I understand the concept of burden of proof perfectly well. I simply reject it as yet one more version of a metaphysically existing normative, and I don’t believe in those because I’m a materialist.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    Clearly you don’t if you think that the burden of proof is metaphysical any more than any other idea. Wile it isn’t physical since there is no matter to ideas, I find it hard to believe that you reject all ideas as being metaphysical and therefore not part of the material world. Ideas and concepts like the Burden of Proof are derived from the material brain. Being a materialist doesn’t mean that you reject all ideas, lol. That is an amazing claim. But I guess you don’t believe in the burden of proof so you won’t actually provide support for such a claim.

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