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Re: Reliability FUD Campaign


On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 16:12:31 +0000, Roy Schestowitz wrote:

>> 1) You're not seriously suggesting that all atheists maintain there are
>> no, and/or cannot be, gods, are you?  As an atheist, I find this notion
>> somewhat amusing.
> An atheist does not need to disprove the existence of anything? There is
> nothing to begin with, so why bother?

Not quite.  More simply:

1) Not all atheists maintain the non-existence of deity; many of us simply
lack belief in said things.  The distinctions involved are claims of
knowledge versus issues of belief; I lack belief in gods - I'm without
theism, hence atheist.  I do not issue any statement that gods _do not_
exist, nor _cannot_; merely that I see nothing which, _to me_, says that
they do; hence why would I adopt a belief in them?

2) The "there's nothing to begin with" strikes me as either a failed
attempt at describing nihilism, or a failed attempt at describing the
principles of logic.  I'll ignore the former; let the nihilists do their
thing in peace, no point us trying to convince 'em, we don't exist anyhow,
right? :)

As to the other, it's the application of the null hypothesis, which, more
or less, says that unless there's a damned good reason to suggest
something exists, don't assume it does.

Since, as I noted, I see nothing which suggests to me that gods do, in
fact, exist, there's no reason I would adopt a belief in them - but there
is a reason _not_ to.

>> 2) Proving the non-existence of something can, in fact, be trivial,
>> depending upon what exactly is involved.  The old saw about "Can God
>> make a rock so big He can't lift it", for example, while being somewhat
>> long in the tooth, is quite sufficient to destroy, absolutely and
>> entirely, any silly-ass notion of an omnipotent deity - though it
>> doesn't rule out more limited versions.
> I never thought about it in such terms. To me, even thinking about
> method for falsifying an existence is an utter waste of time. To each
> his/her own; Not to us.

If one is remotely interested in such topics, one runs, sooner or later,
into the question of whether something can or cannot be proven, as well as
whether it is more reasonable to conclude one thing or the other; knowing
how one attempts to answer such questions can be important.

MS, because work should be measured by effort, rather than result.

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