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Other Topics >> Science, Math, and Philosophy

David Sklansky
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Reged: 08/28/02
Posts: 241
Little Evidence =Evidence?
      08/09/05 07:02 PM

Just wanted to point out the ultimate example of the lengths to which some religious people will go to rationalize their beliefs. They say that the fact that there is little or no evidence for their God derives from the fact that strong evidence would make it easy to believe in him. And since they say God demands "faith", it is incumbent on God to avoid giving out strong evidence since, if he did, little "faith" would then be required to believe. The net result is that anyone who brings up anything new about how the workings of the universe does not require God, or how various "miracles" can be naturally explained, is told that this is part of God's scheme to test faith. In other words, lack of evidence turns into evidence.

Of course when someone reverts to this argument the debate is over. Your points become his points.

Now I don't say that all religious people use this argument. Amazingly though bossjj once did.

Meanwhile the argument makes no sense. I'm guessing it had to be recently concocted. Because what about all those miracles in biblical times? In the case of the Jews the whole Nation was supposedly exposed to something that would convince even hard core skeptics. (Which is why boss jj's words seemed so strange.) Until 2000 years ago or so, God didn't seem to mind revealing things that would eliminate someone's need to have strong faith. So why would he stop now? Meanwhile religious people say that there are occasional miracles and that prayers are answered. (When they say prayers are answered the assumption is made that they are answered at a higher rate than probability would predict. Thus we know that prayers are not answered regarding roulette, since casinos are not out of business.) But everytime there is such a miracle or miraculous answered prayer, some skeptic [eg a witness or a friend or relative of the prayer], figures to become a believer. So even now, let alone 2000 years ago, some lucky few get a chance to believe without having their faith tested.)

But the biggest point is this: Until about 100 years ago or so, it did not take any leap of faith to be a believer. The mere goings on of the universe, the earth, and living things, seemed like a constant miracle. No one realized, to take a simple example, that the majestic beauty of mountains could be easily predicted by a tivial Mandelbrot equation. Or that the laws of physics, the motions of the planets, the workings of the heart, could similarly logically be derived from a few simple assumptions.

Nowadays religious people fall back to saying that the original laws were set up by God. And most of them even would admit that if God turned his back on us tomorrow to attend to business on Alpha Centauri for the next million years, there would be no way of knowing that. But until recently it seemed inconceivable that the things going on both inside and outside our bodies wasn't constantly monitered and interfered with from time to time. And that prayer or sacrifices might alter this interference. Put another way, to be an atheist seemed idiotic.

But that being the case, a belief in God back then was not a strong test of faith. People weren't scientists but their common sense told them there was a god who was busy with them. In their mind there was plenty of evidence. Which means that God was perfectly content to have most people believe in him without any strong faith in their minds.

So this whole notion of using lack of evidence by today's scientific and statistical standards as yet another reason to believe is just nonsense. If you can't do better than that you are in big trouble, debatewise.

Post Extras Print Post   Remind Me!     Notify Moderator


Entire topic
Subject Posted by Posted on
* Little Evidence =Evidence? David Sklansky 08/09/05 07:02 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? erby   08/12/05 12:24 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? ezratei   08/11/05 01:26 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? bdohaney   08/10/05 11:56 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 05:15 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 05:18 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 05:43 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 06:17 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 07:08 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? David Sklansky   08/10/05 07:16 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 06:26 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 06:27 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 07:11 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 07:30 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 07:20 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 07:28 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 07:39 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? prana   08/10/05 06:43 PM
. * * Natasha Abramova as Martha Cyrus   08/11/05 08:44 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? txag007   08/10/05 02:57 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 02:59 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? txag007   08/10/05 03:03 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/10/05 05:17 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? txag007   08/10/05 10:13 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? kyleb   08/11/05 06:06 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? txag007   08/11/05 11:11 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? BluffTHIS!   08/10/05 09:41 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? David Sklansky   08/10/05 06:25 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? NotReady   08/10/05 02:35 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? David Sklansky   08/10/05 04:45 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? NotReady   08/10/05 10:43 AM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? David Sklansky   08/10/05 06:45 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? NotReady   08/10/05 09:27 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? Luzion   08/09/05 08:06 PM
. * * Re: Little Evidence =Evidence? malorum   08/09/05 07:57 PM

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