October 30, 2012

Evidence of God

Proof

Most of the atheists I've met online and in real life agree that they are atheists primarily because the evidence to support the existence of any sort of god is insufficient (as in completely absent). I'm right there with them. The lack of evidence is the reason I'm an atheist too. This is why it makes so much sense to respond to questions from a believer about why we are atheists by explaining that are do not believe in their preferred god for the same reason they do not believe in the preferred gods of others: lack of evidence.

And yet, adherents of a particular religious tradition nearly always insist that there is evidence for their preferred god. This suggests that they misunderstand faith. They want to claim that faith is somehow virtuous while undermining it by suggesting that their beliefs are influenced by evidence. With evidence, faith is irrelevant. How can it be virtuous and irrelevant at the same time?

The Christian bible is not evidence of gods, but it is evidence of something. The Christian bible provides evidence of god belief. That is, it appears to document an ancient religion to which some continue to cling today, although not in ways that would be recognizable to those who authored it. And that's really about it. Nobody familiar with historical fiction would make the mistake of concluding that because the Christian bible might get a few historical details correct that every word of it must necessarily be correct.

H/T to jobsanger

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