Thursday, February 24

Why Atheist? Why not Agnostic?

One of most common questions Atheist's get goes something like this:

How can you be Atheist? Surely the only logical response is to be agnostic. After all you can't be 100% sure that there isn't a god can you? You'd need to have absolute knowledge of the universe for that!

Almost all the Open Letters to Atheists on the internet start this way. We are making an impossible claim they say. We are asserting a negative! How dare we assume to know so much.

Firstly, I'm not asserting anything. Nor is any atheist I know no matter how militant they may seem. I don't claim to know undeniably that their is no such thing as God. Indeed I am willing to admit there may be one. I am also willing to admit that people may have been abducted by aliens. I just don't find the evidence very persuading.

But wait! People see Aliens all the time. There have been hundreds of sightings of UFO's!

Most of these sightings turn out to passing planes, weather balloons, planets, or even the moon!


What about all the photographs, and the Crop circles?

Find me a good photo! They are either to blurry to analyse, or can be shown to be a fake. At best they show a light in the sky, which doesn't prove anything at all. (see above)

As for Crop Circles we know that they can and have been created by man. We have the written confession of the people who started the hoax. It makes much more sense to assume that all crop circles are made by man than to assume some are made by man, and some are made by aliens.

And the witness testimony?

Find me a good witness. Stories never hold up to the evidence, and the general themes in abduction stories seem to depend strongly on current popular culture. Way before the Alien craze people believed there were being sat on by witches, or possessed by demons.

Furthermore people also claim that they've seen dead people, or been to other universes, or travelled through time. Ancedote is just not reliable evidence. If it stands up to testing then we can consider it. But time and time again the stories fall down when they are examined

In short, the evidence for UFO's visiting earth doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Certainly there may be UFO's but as yet there is no actual evidence for them. And as such why believe in them?

So how does this relate to God?

The evidence for God is even weaker than the evidence for UFO's. As far as I can see there is no reason to suspect that God's exists whatsoever.

But people feel God's presence all the time!

When I listen to music I feel the it's presence in the room with me. I feel the shiver it sends down my spine. It stirs me, makes changes my mood, makes me feel things. But it is not really there. I can't really feel it. All of this is in my imagination, an illusion created by my brain. How do you know that the feeling of God's Presence isn't the same thing?

But what about the beauty of creation?

What about the beauty of evolution? There is nothing more beautiful in science than evolution, a intricate story of who we are that stretches billion of years behind us. And it's backed up by massive amounts of evidence, can stand up to testing, makes predictions and can be recreated in the lab, albeit it on a small scale.

Intelligent Design, or Creation, does not have any supporting evidence for it. It can not be tested, or falsified. It makes no predictions, It can not be re-created. As a theory it is useless, and redundant. The world would look just the same way if a creator had not existed.

And the witness testimony?

Again witness testimony is unreliable. People imagine things, they make things up, they forget things,and change their stories, and their stories fall apart on closer inspection. I can say anything I want to, but that doesn't mean it true. Maybe I was mistaken. Maybe I remember it incorrectly. Maybe I am simply saying what I want to be true. Maybe I am trying to sell you something and so deliberately misleading you. Which of these is more likely, that my story is wrong, or that God exists?

So why do you not believe in God?

Again it is a question of the evidence, and the evidence is not on God's side. Every single argument for God, from miracles, to presonal testimony, to historical stories, can be shown to be doubtful when looked into. There is no argument that has ever stood up to the test of time. Apply logic to God and he simply ceases to exist.

There is no need for a God to be real, and there is no evidence for him either. The most likely explanation is that there is no God.

And so I don't state that God defiintly doesn't exist, but until I see otherwise I will assume he does not. Prove to me that UFO's are real and I will change my mind. Show me that a god exists. And I will worship him.

But until you can do that, don't expect me to live my life as if I'm going to be abducted by aliens tomorrow. And don't expect me to bow to a God, just on the off chance he might be watching.

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