I have been debating with myself one specific point which essentially stems from the fallacy that a lack of evidence is not an evidence of lack. (Note that this a purely a thought experiment, not a claim, and that, on balance, the whole set of arguments against theism outweigh one possible philosophical issue which only relates to intellectual decency.)

Essentially, the fact that there is a lack of evidence to support theistic views does not mean that it's evidence of a lack of God. Imagine God to be something similar to our 21st century minds and technology like the continent of America was to 15th century Europe.

(Side note: To avoid potential nitpicking about this specific premise, I know that America was discovered and rediscovered, but the "official" discovery was an accident as the goal of the expedition was to find India. That some in the 15th century Europe might even have been aware that America existed is a bit irrelevant as society as a whole certainly did not believe it was there, and it's the mindset of those who did not believe which is interesting.)

Now, try to enter this mindset and think that God is in a similar situation. Just like the 15th century mindset and technology could not comprehend the continent of America, the mindsets and technology today is not capable of providing the evidence required to detect or understand a divinity.

Therefore, a God may exist (but it doesn't matter).



Edit: The title was erroneous in it's use of the word "for". This is not an argument for theisim, it's an argument not against theism. Thanks to Kasu for this insight.


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I'm not sure I have good answer for you. This is the way I see it. Doug Stanhope has a great bit about if you have never heard of Christianity and you found the Bible in an old book store and read it. Would you buy up the whole Christianity religion? Most likely not. So if no one had ever heard of God or religion and one day someone told you that there was a being that they couldn't prove to you was there (insert the rest of your favorite God argument). Could you or would you believe it?

This by the way is the same reason that I HATE it when someone says that no matter where they were born they would be a Christian.

One mustn't treat everything one can possibly imagine as equal to the real until it can be, in fact, demonstrated to be equal to the real. There is much each of us can imagine, but very little of what we imagine can be reasonably demonstrated directly or indirectly to be real. If one reacts in the same way to what is only imagined as one does to what is genuinely real, we call it madness. That is what it is. A healthy mind is that which can distinguish one from the other and act accordingly. I work at night. I hear many strange noises in the attic and underneath the house or elsewhere. If I treated all of it as though it were gremlins or trolls up to mischief, I could not work and, in fact, I could not live in my home. If I firmly believe there to be gremlins or trolls and want others to agree, it is reasonable to expect I would present some justification to do so OR they would have to know where to seek it for themselves. If it isn't presented or doesn't present itself, if it doesn't stand up to rational and reasonable examination, they will rightly think me mad or, in any event, dismiss the notion my home has been invaded by gremlins or trolls ... or both. The lack of evidence means they dismiss the claim as a meaningless notion. So it is, thus far, with the claim "god. The situation may or may not change in the future. In the present, there is no good warrant to treat "god" as anything more than fantasy. Is there reason to treat it as equal to "real", "true" or "fact"? Show it. A mere "feeling" isn't enough.
A thought that crossed my mind once when I was reading The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene was that if the multi-universe theory is true, and there are an infinite number of universes where all possibilities are realized, then there would have to be a universe with a God-type being. And if this God-type being was all powerful, he would have the ability to cross over into our universe. I'm not trying to make any real point here, just something to think about.
I won't argue that a lack of evidence is enough to dismiss God as we would imagine him (or her, or whatever). But I think that dismissing everything beyond what we can measure right now is quite ignorant. It's not a very large stretch of the imagination to envision a being in another universe with access to a 4th dimension. Imagining a God-like character just depends on how far you're willing to let your imagination roam.
Oh, I see what you're saying. I was using the term God a little more abstractly. When I'm arguing God in this sense, I use the word to mean something like creator of us, but not necessarily the creator of the universe. I agree with you for the most part, but I still enjoy letting myself toy with the idea that life could have been seeded on earth, or that there could be a being so superior to myself, that for all intensive purposes, he is godly.
I understand what you were saying now. I've never been able to come up with a good argument for a first cause God, as you put it, beyond something like he's outside of our universe and created this one blah blah, all useless speculation. What I struggled with the most I think was my own mortality, but that wasn't so much an argument as a scare tactic. I had always thought to myself that there has to be something beyond this life and that I was special. But of course, after becoming more educated I realized that it was my brain telling, well, the rest of my brain that it was something special.
That crazy evolution...

I don't think we can completely rule out some sort of extension of our consciousness into something else, but that something else really can't be thought of as anything more than 'something else' without some sort of evidence.


In the same way, I can't rule out the creation and 'governance' of the universe as being in the realm of 'something else'.  We've already disproved 'god' so we know it isn't that, and science has given us a few good ideas that we can at least investigate, but until we know, it just remains in the realm of 'something else', as in not that which we already know to be impossible.

I take that a step further to say that anything that would constitute a 'god' as ever classically imagined has been proven to be impossible.  People can water that down a bit to keep the rational mind from gagging, but in doing so they remove the central concepts of 'god' and end up with abstract ideas that do not demand nor deserve 'worship'.  There is, for a fact, no god.

Just to be clear, I don't endorse everything I was saying. But I usually like to play devils advocate. I'm not sure what the atheist version of that is though. Kirk Cameron's advocate, I guess. 

Devil's advocate is just fine by me, and I not only welcome but actually cherish the challenge.  It is the ability to meet this sort of challenge and benefit from it that is the strength of free-thought and playground of the atheist.
Ok, my first time here, love the thoughts and was inspired to join. I felt a need to point out an assumption that doesn't stand up. Flower is a simple concept, and yet a flower it self is a complex thing. So to claim that 'God' is a simple concept and therefor can not be real doesn't stand up. Universe is a simple concept, and yet it is a quite complex thing. You are mistaking the label for the item. While many theists won't catch that, it's still a poor foundation to build from. As for the opening concept about lack of evidence... There is nothing wrong with that as a concept, how ever, it can not be used as an argument for something existing. Way simple to turn that one back on some one. The problem tends to come down to what is meant by 'God'. Are they speaking of it as a discreet entity? If so, then by definition it can not be all powerful as it is separate. Are they speaking of 'God' as everything? Then it becomes even more meaningless as nothing can be against God's will as God's will is all things. Is it a universal SysAdmin? Well, I don't see any reason there can't be rather a few of those out there, and many do tend to be quite jealous. Is God some universe of thought, and we are the reflections of it's thought as it dreams or tried to understand it self? I have no idea, but it is fun to think about. Just remember, the label is not the thing, save for certain hermetic rituals... Which is a different subject all together. From my point of view, if there is a over all creator God, then it would have to be so far removed from our level as to be meaningless for us.
Interesting thoughts - I think I share them in different words.


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