Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

I'm challenging my Atheist brethren on this one.?

Does "no evidence" truly PROVE god does not exist?

when i just asked for individual reasons you KNOW god doesnt exist, all most everyone said "there no evidence".

but that doesn't PROVE he doesnt exist. It is merely >evidence< he does not exist. So unless you know for a fact, provable, that he doesnt exist, arent you a mere agnostic?

Update:

Paul S:

"knowledge" is inherently the same thing as "personal proof"

what you are describing "I know" is in fact being able to prove, because proving to only yourself is still proof.

so, supply me with an example of something that is a fact, but cannot be proven.

Update 2:

Gazoo

someone could theoretically convert you? then in my opinion you are either not atheist, or you are simply an "atheistic agnostic", which is not an atheist.

Update 3:

Paul

telling me that i am simply wrong is useless unless you can explain why i am wrong. if you expect people to believe that i am wrong simply because you say i am, then you are just like the christians and their bible.

26 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're confusing "I know" with "I can prove".

    I know that God doesn't exist. I can't prove it, but that's obviously unnecessary.

    This is really how all of empirical science works. I know that rain is condensed water vapor falling from the sky. Can I prove it? Of course not. I know that the Sun is roughly 93 million miles away. Can I prove it? Nope.

    Proof is unimportant to knowledge about the world.

    ==================

    ""knowledge" is inherently the same thing as "personal proof""

    No, it's not. Sorry - I know that you think that makes sense, but it's simply false. You're not thinking correctly about the relationship between knowledge and proof. Hence your confused response to Gazoo as well. Atheist does not imply "can never be swayed to believe in gods". It simply means that one does not believe in gods. If evidence were to appear, I'd change my mind as well: I'm still an atheist.

    I already supplied two examples of facts that I cannot prove (above).

    ====================

    I've already explained why you're wrong. Knowledge does not necessarily require proof. All of science fits into the "this is knowledge with no proof" slot, relying instead on evidence.

    Your pride is getting in the way of your thinking about this. I suggest that you back off and think about it, rather than continuing to insist on something that's simply false.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I dont use the word proof unless im speaking of mathematical statements. I can prove the Bolzano-Weirstrass Theorem but I can't prove im smoking a cigarette right now (I am). From the way you phrased things in your 'question', it seems you have the same usage. But that's confusing to me because obviously nothing outside of the very limited scope of mathematics can be proven.

    From the tenents of logical positivism, which I agree completely with, If there is no evidence of a thing, and indeed no possible evidence, and its existence in no way effects your experience, then it is fundamentally meaningless to assert this thing exists. Reality is our experience, nothing more, nothing less. Identifying some unknowable object as the 'cause' of experiences we have which cannot be explained in other ways is likewise absurd, and the attempt to do this would logically require that this object, this 'cause', is the ONLY possible solution- which in turn requires one of two things: lack of imagination, or physical evidence of its existence.

    Also, I agree very much with Charles Pierce. I think truth is by its very nature always going to be speculation. So unless you are trying to just be right about the universe so you can feel superior (immature), there has to be some reason you are making yourself be aware of truth....you intent to USE it for something. I can imagine the usefulness of telling various people that you belive in a god when you dont (however that also violates my sense of ethics). Actually beliving a god, however, does not per se benefit me in any way.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is a common contention between theists and atheists as to who has the "burden of proof." Who has this burden - theists? atheists? both? neither? This issue comes up often enough in

    Theism and Evidence

    That the theists have some burden of proof simply cannot be denied. They are obviously making at least one claim - that at least one god exists. Theists must, then, be prepared to offer justification for their claims - they must face up to their burden of demonstrating that their assertions are reasonable. Of course, it would be unusual for theists to limit themselves to just the claim that a god exists - normally, there will be concurrent and related claims about what this god wants and how we are to live, and those too will require some degree of support from the theist. The more necessary and fundamental they are to the theist's religious belief system, the greater will be the need for support.

    How is a theist to support their claims about their god(s)? Well, that will depend entirely upon the nature of the god for which they are making those claims. As with any other claim about any other sort of thing - the nature of the support is dependent upon the nature of the object in question. There isn't any one set of catch-all "proofs" which will suffice for every possible god. Clearly, then, one of the first steps any theist will have to take is to explain the nature of this god they are claiming. What is it, exactly?

    Unless we have a good idea of what we are looking for, we'll never know if we've found it or not! Unless a person's theism is literally nonsense, they must be capable explaining the content of their belief.

    Parallel to this, and well recognized by many theists, is the fact that the more ambiguous and vague the description of their god is, the easier it will be to find "evidence" for it. If they don't start out clear about what they are describing, then they can later add on anything they wish as "support." No critically and logically thinking atheist should accept this. If we do not have a clear idea of what "god" mean, then the statement "god exists" is literally communicating nothing to us - and there will be no reason to accept it as rational, much less true.

    Atheism and Evidence

    But what about atheists? What burden of proof do they hold? Well, we should first notice that atheists aren't necessarily making any particular claims about the world. When a person says to you "I am an atheist," all you can really assume is that they are saying "I do not believe in any gods." That isn't much, and unless someone wishes to argue that the atheist is mistaken or lying about their beliefs, then they should be taken at their word. They do not believe, and that's pretty much that.

    Of course, that isn't going to be the limit of the average atheist's beliefs and nonbeliefs. For example, an atheist might deny the existence of some gods - and that denial is itself a claim which warrants justification and support, if it is questioned. Other atheists might not deny outright a particular god, but will deny certain associated claims made in relation to belief in that god. For example, an atheist might assert that an alleged god might exist - but that if it does, it cannot be omnibenevolent. Or an atheist might accept that, if a god exists, it certainly didn't create the world in seven days.

    Again, such assertions should be supported if questioned. Common to all is a fundamental connection to atheism. They aren't necessary to atheism - no one need deny any particular theistic beliefs in order to be an atheist, they only need to not believe in any gods, whatever their reasons or attitudes. But the aforementioned claims are clearly related to atheism, since they involve gods.

    They are also probably important to the atheism of the individual atheist in question, and that makes the ideas worth supporting if someone is attempting to justify their atheism. Other beliefs which an atheist might hold and which are not necessary for their atheism, like a belief that the world is round, hardly need any sort of support in the context of debating atheism and theism. Just because an atheist believes something doesn't mean that that belief is so connected to atheism that, in order to justify atheism, the belief in question needs to be justified. The same goes with theism.

    Sadly, not all theists seem to recognize this. Some take an attitude that anything an atheist believes and which they do not believe must be fundamental to atheism, and, hence, must be justified by the atheist. If the atheist cannot or chooses not to, then the theist will quickly claim an unwarranted "victory" since "atheism" has not been "justified." But once we realize how and why the belief in question is not necessary to atheism, then we must also realize that no matter what happens to this belief, atheism itself need not be affected

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In order for something to proved to NOT exist, there must first be some evidence that it does. If you were in fact an Atheist you would know this, and not rehash the same lame questions that Theists constantly throw around.

    It is not for us to disprove a thing is real. Proving a negative is simply illogical. And hardly breaking news.

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  • Jess H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No, no evidence that God does not exist is not proof that God does not exist. It just means there's no evidence. I'm an atheist, but I'm not going to say that I know with 100% *certainty* that God does not exist. I just do not believe He does, and I will not believe He does until I see some convincing evidence, or, better *yet*, PROOF that He exists.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you truly know what the King James Bible teaches, and you know that many experts of all races and religions have studied all the evidence of a Triune God then you know that the Bible has never been proven wrong, and is progressing to this date proving what it said thousands of years ago is coming true. Until you really try talking to God and asking if He is real and I mean taking the time to do this with all your heart and intelligence I know for a fact that you have just cheated yourself and lowered you intelligence for nothing...

    No insults people...I really care about you all and your feelings...what you got to loose?

    Source(s): 55 years searching and talking with thousands of people from all walks of life.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No.

    To believe something you need evidence but lack of evidence does not prove that god does not exists. It only makes it irrational to believe it.

    Cause you cannot prove a negative (you cannot prove god does not exists, the same as you cannot prove a toothfairy does not exists), it is not for you to prove it does not exists. It is up to the person who believes in something without evidence to prove to you that it exists as you can prove a positive (like proving something exists, by showing evidence for it).

  • RW
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    it really is funny.

    some atheists are agnostic and in their "can't be proven/has not yet been proven" ness, chose to not belive.

    some atheists, in their arrogance and foolishness, suppose to claim there is *no* god, rather than that God cannot be proven.

    there is a huge difference. yet somehow it escapes people.

    depending on what one means when they say "I know there is no God" well, this is a semantically silly thing to say. as a logical matter of fact you cannot know that nothing that anyone calls "God" exists. if someone calls their pet rock "God" and worships it... that does exist.

    what I call God, I personally know for a fact, absolutely does exist. can I prove it to other people? nope. but my personal expeirences support most of my spiritual beliefs.

    though I belive in "God" what many people call God, I do NOT belive in. in fact I'd go as far as to say that what many people belive in as "God" absolutely does *not* exist.

    it really makes a big difference as to what one means by god.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can't accept anything without evidence. You wouldn't be able to dismiss anything.

    I would be willing to reconsider if someone came up with evidence. But the odds of that happening are about the same as finding evidence for Odin. So if you wish to say that makes me an agnostic, go ahead. But you are wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of supernatural beings, so we don't need to know for a fact that this entity doesn't exist. We just think that given the absence of tangible data corroborating this phenomenon, such a belief is unwarranted.

    Also, it is impossible to prove a negative. The burden of proof lies on those who claim its existence. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan)

    Until such a verifiable evidence is brought forward, such beliefs are merely wishful thinking, and self detrimental to civilization.

    .

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