OK, to be clear: no, it's not.
This steaming turd of wisdom was laid upon me by a friend of mine, someone I generally respect and consider intelligent, open and robustly critical of thought. And yet, as often happens, that open-mindedness has gone and stuck its head up its own ass to the point where one must contort basic logic in the service of appearing equinanimous. Here, in a nutshell, and roughly translated from the drunken slur-language in which it was originally delivered, is my response:
How is it ridiculous to make a baseline assumption that something extremely unlikely, like God, doesn't exist? There are many other things that we can't say for sure don't exist (aliens, teapots around Saturn, spaghetti monsters, vampire unicorns...) and yet no one goes nuts on you for saying, more or less definitively, that they don't. I must, in the service of intellectual honesty, admit that there is a small chance that a God exists. However, pending the provision of ANY evidence of this, why is it unreasonable to assume and behave otherwise? One of these things is clearly much more likely than the other, so choosing to believe in one is consequently much more sane than the other.
I'd really like to hear from anyone who sympathizes with this viewpoint, if there are holes in my argument or ways in which I've misrepresented the idea.
"It's simple really. You can not say "God does not exist.""
I'll take that challenge:
doG does not exist...prove me wrong.
My stance that gods do not exist is a rhetorical one. The very word 'god' is absolutely meaningless. You could declare that god = dixie cup, and then say that gods exist by presenting me with a box full of dixie cups - but that is about the most meaningful stance one can take in defense of the existence of gods; a rhetorical stance.
All hail the Great Dixie Cup! And if you don't, I'll burn your village and carry your women off into captivity.
Your friend is a complete idiot who doesn't understand simple math and percentages. The odds of there being a god to there not being one are not 50-50.The chance that there is a god is about 0.0000001%, and the odds of that god being the specific one that your friend believes in should be around 0.000000000000000001%. So I can actually comfortably say there is no god, and there can not be any debate about it.
Any agnostics who tell me that's just as close-minded need to answer this, are they agnostic about santa too? How about the easter bunny? Is there a 50-50 chance that batman is real? Is it close-minded to say that "the boogeyman doesn't exist" ? Do you tell your kids that there still "MIGHT BE a monster under the bed" ? Get real. Because god is nothing more than humanity's monster under the bed.
Theists who say that kind of shit are just trying to drag you down to their level. It's like when they say "atheism is just another religion!", or "science is just as much based on faith as religion is!" And agnostics fall for it.
There are a few apologists on T/A that like to mention Bayesian Theory. If they used it properly and adjusted their views based on new information (or lack of it) then the probability of any God, never mind one whose name you know, approaches zero very quickly. Generally people that come out with such lines as your friend also think that Pascal’s Wager is meaningful and that I think is where the 50/50 perception arises.
Similar lines like “It takes as much faith not to believe” are signs of an unthinking mind. Now I am off to collect stamps for the collection I don’t have.
you cannot honestly talk about probabilities, or you will have to provide the elements theses probs rely on. Else it is a belief, and YES it is as stupid as believing a god exists.
Instead, i prefer to use arguments, to say why the god concept doesn't suit me.
1) Science through ages has never stopped replacing the "a god did it" to explain things that were beyond our mind. So as long as science is making progresss, there is no need at all for deistic "explanations". Each time science goes a bit farther, it pushes god place back to even farther, and so on.
2) What is the point of putting a god as the origin of everything ? That does not give any definitive answer, so where did that god came from ? How the hell a thinking being can be all that exists, and the source of all that we know ? Why should there be a god ? Does he think that a god created him ?
3) Let's say i'm ok with the god concept. So here is a supreme being. Do you seriously think your sacred writing tell any truth ? They tell that supreme being is jalous ! He tells he is the ONE but you shouldn't worship another deity ! YES, because he needs being worshiped ! That he created things with free will, and that now he is pissed off with the result, so he puts everyone on trial, forever ! So i cannot say a god may or may not exist, but i can say that religions look far more like human creations rather than messages from a god/superbeing.
(and i am sorry for my poor grammar&spelling, for my native language is french... hope i succeed in making my points readable)
Your English is excellent, PasSuivre - I believe that this is what you're intending to say:
"God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on."
-- Neil Degrasse Tyson --
Thank you for being tolerant =)
Also thank you Neil, for thinking & talking a better way than me !
Pas Suivre is exactly the expression this situation calls for... if my French serves me, that is roughly equivalent to 'non sequitur', right?
pas suivre = not follow...or, I suppose, doesn't follow.
God is an ever-changing tyrant, whose believers make him meaner and more cruel as they become fewer and fewer.
I paraphrase Tyson, who knows science but not politics.