Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence?

Theists cling to this statement so tightly it's pretty much suffocating. I do happen to agree with the statement for its clear truthfulness, but is there any particular reason you -as a theist- find this provides you with a good reason to believe in a god? We can just as well use the same statement for other unproven things, so what exactly makes this statement more significance for you god-wise? Just curious.

Update:

Grab me by the throat and slam me into a wall lightning? Although it's simply a hypothetical you aren't making the case for an 'all-loving' god look very appealing. Instead of getting all shitty how about actually presenting the evidence that most of the world seems to be 'missing'.

FYI: If your benevolent god grabbed me by the throat he deserves to be spat on.

17 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Absence of evidence isn't evidence of presence either, would you believe?

  • fwer
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Actually we mainly use this against atheists (or Strong atheists, if you prefer that term) who claim that God doesn't exist because there isn't evidence that he does, e.g. Christopher Hitchens. Our belief in God rests on other arguments, e.g. moral argument/cosmological argument, etc.

  • 9 years ago

    And yet absence of evidence is entirely consistent with absence. And if that's all you've god there is only one reasonable conclusion.

  • 9 years ago

    One problem with all forms of religion is absence of evidence.

    I'll reiterate that through thousands of years of belief in one god or another no evidence has ever been produced.

    But another side to this is that Christianity and to a smaller extent Judaism depends on a series of assertions for which there is no evidence. If any of these assertions are false, then the religion is false. Further, if the probability of the truth of each of these assertions is less than 1, the probability of all of them being true falls much below 1 very rapidly.

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  • 9 years ago

    Nobody says that that statement prove that God exists. at least that I know of.its simply a response to the atheists claim that because there is no evidence for God, that that means God doesn't exist.

    now, I don't believe there is evidence for God, what does that even mean? what do you even mean by God? there are many concepts of "god". evidence is used to describe something that is within our experiences. evidence is based upon our experiences, but what is the evidence for our experiences themselves? there is none, this is what is called the problem of induction. there is no evidence supporting our evidence. what is my point in this? not all knowledge is based upon the process of induction, ie following the evidence. only the things that occur regularly within our experience can be based upon evidence. only if we ASSUME that our experiences are reliable.

    how does this relate to belief in God? well, as I asked before. what do you mean by God, ontologically?defining what you mean by God determines whether or not evidence is warranted. if you believe that God is some sort of super being within our experience, then that requires evidence. in which in my opinion, there is none. from a christians perspective (eastern orthodox), I define the ontology of God not as a being within reality, rather that God is reality itself. eastern orthodox christians are panentheist "all in God"or "God in all" . God is existence. God is fundamental to our very being. I define God as the ultimate source and foundation of being. this is the most simplest definition of God. given that existence exists, there is no evidence required. now, this doesn't mean that the christian God exists, rather that the ontological nature of what christians call God exists by necessity. the next question being, what is the nature of reality? is it personal, is it impersonal, is it chaotic, is it mathematical? so, it all depends upon what you mean by God.

  • Eugene
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    this statement makes nothing more significantly to me God-wise. God does. period.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    If the absence of evidence is NOT the evidence of absence, that's fine... but then they still have that pesky absence of evidence to address, don't they?

  • Martin
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Actually I say "Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence" Absence of evidence is not PROOF of absence, but it is IMHO EVIDENCE of absence.

  • 9 years ago

    Yeah, pretty stupid. It's not us, atheists, who should refute the God, it's theists, who should prove it's existence.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Because they know there's not a single shred of credible evidence to support any of their cult's dogmatic claims.

    Source(s): Remember, "God" is nothing more than a nonsense word created by man to explain away all of the things we can't yet understand. Religion is a disease of the mind, born of fear, which has done nothing but bring untold misery down upon the human race.
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