I don't think atheists care about evidence. Evidence just means that one has something to reason from. What atheists demand is absolute proof, and at a level that can't be given for anything. I would bet that if for some reason atheists didn't like science, no amount of scientific "proof" wood suffice to prove to them that science works; because they would demand absolute proof, which can't be gotten.
In thinking about the two other threads I initiative over the last few days, and the atheist take on my arguments and their 'dicing' of my thought processes, and their refusal to acknowledge standard resiances that I give all the time, I find the following state of affairs to be a good description of the current state of dialectic between atheists and theists on the boards:
(1) Theists have a vast array of knowledge and argumentation built up over 2000 years, which basically amounts to a ton evidence for the existence of God. It's not absolute proof, because true, sure enough, actual absolute proof is just damn hard to come by on anything--even most scientific things; which is why they invented inductive reasoning. Science accepts correlation's as signs of caudal relationships, it doesn't ever actually observe causality at work. But that kind of indicative relationship is not good for atheists when a God argument is involved. Then it must be absolute demonstration and direct observation.
(2) This double standard always works in favor of the atheist and never in favor of the theist. I suspect that's because Theists are trying to persuade atheists that a certain state of affairs is the case, and at the same time we are apt to be less critical of our own reasons for believing that. Atheists make a habit of denial and pride themselves on it.
Why is it a double standard? Because when it works to establish a unified system of naturalistic observation the atheist is only too happy to appeal to "we never see" "we always see" and "there is a strong correlation." We never see a man raised from the dead. We never see a severed limb restored. The correlation's between naturalistic cause and effect are rock solid and always work, so science gives us truth, and religion doesn't. But when those same kinds of correlation's are used to support a God argument, they are just no darn good. to wit: we never see anything pop out of absolute noting, we never even see absolute nothing, even QM particles seem to emerge from prior conditions such as Vacuum flux, so they are not really proof of something form nothing. But O tisg tosh, that doesn't prove anything and certainly QM proves that the universe could just pop up out of nothing!
(3) "laws of physics" are not real laws, they are only descriptions, aggregates of our observations. So they can't be used to argue for God in any way. But, when it comes to miraculous claims, the observations of such must always be discounted because they violate our standard norm for observation, and we must always assume they are wrong no matter how well documented or how inexplicable. We must always assume that only naturalistic events can happen, even though the whole concept of a naturalism can only be nothing more than an aggregate of our observations about the world; and surely they are anything but exhaustive. Thus one wood think that since our observations are not enough to establish immutable laws of the universe, they would not be enough to establish a metaphysics which says that only material realms exist and only materially caused events can happen! But guess again...!
(4) The Theistic panoply of argumentation is a going concern. Quentin Smith, the top atheist philosopher says that 80% of philosophers today are theists. But when one uses philosophy in a God argument, it's just some left over junk from the middle ages; even though my God arguments are based upon S 5 modal logic which didn't exist even before the 1960s and most of the major God arguers are still living.
(5) They pooh pooh philosophy because it doesn't' produce objective concrete results. But they can't produce any scientific evidence to answer the most basic philosophical questions, and the more adept atheists will admit that it isn't the job of science to answer those questions anyway. Scientific evidence cannot give us answers on the most basic philosophical questions, rather than seeing this as a failing in science (or better yet, evidence of differing magister) they rather just chalice it up to the failing of the question! The question is no good because our methods dot' answer it!
(6) What it appears to me is the case is this; some methods are better tailed for philosophy. Those methods are more likely to yield a God argument and even a rational warrant for belief, because God is a philosophical question and not a scientific one. God is a matter of faint, after all, and in matters of faith a rational warrant is the best one should even hope for. But that's not good enough for atheists, they disparage the whole idea of a philosophical question (at least the scientific ones do--that's not all of them, but some) yet they want an open ended universe with no hard and fast truth and no hard and fast morality!
(7)So it seems that if one accepts certain methods one can prove God within the nature of that language game. now of course one can reject those language games and choose others that are not quite as cozy with the divine and that's OK too. Neither approach is indicative of one's intelligence or one's morality. But, it does mean that since it may be just as rational given the choice of axioms and methodologies, then what that taps out to is belief in God is rationally warranted--it may not be only rational conclusion but it is one ratinal conclusion Now i know all these guys like Barron and HRG will say "hey I'm fine with that." But then when push comes to shove they will be back again insisting that the lack of absolute proof leaves the method that yields God arguments in doubt, rather than the other way around. I don't see why either should be privileged. Why can't we just say that one method is better suited for one kind of question, the other for the other?
and if one of them says 'why should I ask those questions?' I say 'why shouldn't we leave the choice of questions to the questioner?
A poster on the comment section of the CADRE blog arrogantly proclaimed:
I understand that some Christians have a mental issue accepting that some people have knowledge that the Christian god does not exist. It is a very scary thought (needing debunking) that someone claims to know what your belief is wrong. It is especially scary when it come from an atheist, not from a "misguided" muslim.
12/10/2007 03:02:00 PM
when challenged to present the argument he just said:
No, I don't have a proof that dodos are extinct, Socrates lived, Allah does not exist or that Model-T Fords are not manufactured any more, but once one investigates an issue sufficiently the usage of the word "know" is generally excepted. Many religious people seem to "know" that their particular deity exists. I don't think you call all of them naive and ignorant?
I had challenged him to show the proof. If you really "know" there's no God then show us how so we can stop the nonsense and get on with our lives as atheists. Of course he had no evidence nor argument either, all he had was the typical "I don't see any God so there must not be one," couched in terms above "no proof of passenger pigeons, can't prove Bigfoot or UFO so therefore, no God. In others what you don't see is what you don't get metaphysically. The strange twist is he then implies that the term "knowing" is valid when used of any sort of knowledge derived from study. This means the concept of actual certain knowledge is really just a synonym for "educated faith" which would make even more puzzling how he could hold this out as some sort of superior position for atheism. If we take that seriously it really means we have much reason to believe in God as not. Unless of course he wants to content that atheist study harder and I would gladly take that challenge. If the volume of study or matter read was really the same as proof of one's position I know my position would win hands down. Rather than speaking in terms of knowledge we are actually speaking of warrants for belief. When a person says "I know X is the case" in the sense of conviction one is saying "the confidence I place in this hypothesis is warranted." This is not absolute knowledge as to a state of affairs that might be demonstrated to the extent that all opposition must become silent. But it is a statement of the veracity of one's warrant. I will argue that Christian warrant for belief is more rational in the sense that it has more positive evidence in its favor than do atheistic warrants.
We have no empirical demonstrative proof that God exists, but we come closer to having that than atheists do to having proof of no God. Basically, we know three things:
I. We are fit to be Religious
II. We have empirical proof of the "God correlate." (aka CO-determinate).
III. Religious belief works as a way of life.
These three facts are enough to demonstrate the rationality of belief and the irrationality of atheism. Yes, these are facts. They are not merely opinions or speculations they are amply demonstrated through a ton of data.