The burden of proof lies on religion.

So I posted this on Tumblr and it's received a few notes in the past few days:

 

 

The response that caused me to retort was the view "back the fuck off, I'll believe what I want" meaning the message in the picture has either been completely ignored or went totally over their head.

HAHAHAHAA wow. I “must” - huh?

My boyfriend the philosopher always suggests that science is just a series of theories. For example, we don’t know for sure that gravity exists. How do we know FOR SURE that when we drop a pencil it will fall? We don’t know. We cannot be sure of anything in this world other than the fact that we can not be sure of anything.

That’s why I tell this to the atheists: back the fuck off. I can’t prove anything, and neither can you. You believe what you want to believe, and I’ll believe what I want to.

I think my reply was succinct and explained the holes in her reply.

We know a pencil will fall based on evidence; repeatable, reproducible evidence. Like evolution, gravity is a fact. Theories help explain the facts. Theories change and alter if and when evidence calls for it. The mechanism by which gravity works may change if we discover new evidence. But in the meantime, gravity will not cease to exist. Since you seemingly don’t know the meaning of ‘theory’ in a scientific sense, that may have well gone over your head. Here it is more eloquently:

“Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air pending the outcome. And human beings evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

Moreover, ‘fact’ does not mean ‘absolute certainty.’ The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.” (Stephen Jay Gould)

Have a read of this also if you like.

Religion is based on faith. Faith, by definition, is belief with lack of evidence.

Attempting to make science and religious belief in any way comparable shows an incredible lack of understanding and logic.

Their response to this is so asinine that I found it hard to reply at all.

Just because a pencil has fallen in the past does not mean that if will fall when we drop it in the present. Past not equal present. We can ASSUME it will fall based on evidence from the past, but how do we KNOW that it will definitely fall when we drop it now? NOW in this moment?

Take a look at philisophy, my friend.

I’ll repeat what I said before. Lay the fuck off. You can prove nothing. Science is a series of theories that can help you predict what will happen now in this moment, but you cannot prove anything. And neither can I.

I think I made my point (what do you guys think?) but don't think I'll be replying beyond that. I mean, what can you say to someone who effectively argued they won't fall if they step off a bridge because gravity isn't fact?

Honestly? Are you actually trying to say there may be a time when we drop a pencil and it will not fall? If not, then you’re not making a point. If yes, you are either thick or are saying something thick to try to defend yourself. To highlight how stupid your ‘argument’ is - step off a bridge and see what happens.

If you do, you’re an idiot. If you don’t, you’re admitting to the fact you will fall. Which, again, means you have no point. I hope you go for option two. You’ll be a hypocrite but at least you’ll be alive.

Views: 490

Tags: atheism, atheist, burden, logic, logical, of, proof, reasoning, religion

Comment by Doug Reardon on May 18, 2011 at 8:44pm
Arguing with idiots or philosophers, is pointless
Comment by Raven on May 18, 2011 at 8:49pm

I think he ignored what you said and only hear what he wanted to. Saying you wont listen to religion because of lack of proof is the exact same as someone saying they wont listen to Aristotle's idea of the four elements because there is no proof.

 

And even though this really has no relevance I feel like sharing because I just read about it, there's the possibility that gravity isn't actually a force but just noise that emerges due to quantum mechanics from other forces. :)

Comment by Walter Maki on May 18, 2011 at 11:43pm
One thing could be said that gravity has a better track record than prayer does:P
Comment by Akshay Bist on May 19, 2011 at 12:01am

lol @Walter

I agree with Doug, arguing with idiots like that is pointless. Its pretty much bashing your head against a brick wall.

Though you could challenge this woman to a face off - you can use physics to prove your point in the field. Just ask & see what happens.

Comment by Ron V on May 19, 2011 at 7:08am

"My boyfriend the philosopher always suggests that science is just a series of theories. For example, we don’t know for sure that gravity exists."

 

Mental laziness at its best- let's just throw up our hands and mentally masturbate whether we even exist- that will solve problems like hunger, starvation, disease, cancer, etc.

 

They may not know gravity exists- but most of us do- oh, but I forgot- my life is just an illusion anyway and I'm living in a fantasy world I create in my own mind.  

Comment by Vic G on May 19, 2011 at 9:28am
I've been thinking this for a while...

People are sure about science and believe in science implicitly, even contradicting their own words.

Take for example the theory of evolution. You believe in the theory of evolution because you use antibiotics and modern medicine.

Modern medicine has a foundation in biology, and biology can simply not exist without evolution being true. Microbiology classifies microbes into families that arise due to evolutionary process, and if some of them are pathogenic they can be targeted as a group by certain antibiotics.

If someone really thinks nothing can be proved, then he certainly wouldn't believe doctors that base their knowledge from science (biology that comes from evolution) can cure him of anything. Moreover, you wouldn't allow anyone to inject anything into your body without a very good reason.

You don't have 'faith' in doctors, you believe that they can cure you because they have knowledge that allows them to do so. This knowledge is biology, medicine, microbiology, patology.

If someone doesn't believe in evolution, then they simply don't believe in biology, and in microbiology, and in pathology, and in medicine. People like these, should put their actions where their words are and stop going to the doctor right away. Stop using computers, stop using the airplane, etc.

They believe by action, instead of by word.
Comment by Mo Trauen on May 19, 2011 at 9:42am

I think a first reply is that it is the religious who need to back off.  They treat us with outrageous bigotry and are trying to make their religion part of our Government.  In such a case, they need to provide evidence, regardless of the logic that would ordinarily apply in a debate. 

 

Second, the notion that people can't prove "anything" is the philosophical understanding of a sophomore:

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/11/solipsism-and-agno...

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/11/solipsism-agnostic...

 

Third, you are absolutely right that religion bears the burden of proof:

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/burden-of-proof.html

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/09/burden-of-proof-ii...

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/10/burden-of-proof-ii...

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/11/burdens-of-proof.html

 

http://goodatheistarguments.blogspot.com/2010/11/burdens-of-proof-i...

 

Comment by Anthony Broderick on May 19, 2011 at 11:25am

"arguing with idiots is pointless,"  Yes this is true. But the foundations of empirical and humanist thought are brought forth from generations of multitudes of philosophers. Some of the greatest atheist thinkers that provided great arguments and thoughts on a world that is possible with out a deist centric view were: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida...etc. I find it offensive that anyone porting to be: an atheist, free-thinker or at least religiously averse, would find it pointless to argue with a philosopher.

It is a long standing tradition in those fields of study, lifestyles and/or rare actual occupations to decentralize, deconstruct and redefine the relevance/irrelevance of religion and God in civilization

Comment by Daniel Villemaire on May 19, 2011 at 12:28pm
F = Gm1m2/r2,
where F is the force due to gravity, between two masses (m1 and m2), which are a distance r apart; G is the gravitational constant. WTF does he mean by you can't prove it . the pencil will hit the ground at exactly the time predicted by it's mass and proximity  to  the mass acting on it . Two pencils in space will also attract each other in a predictable way . That's the word we're looking for Predictable  nothing in religion is predictable where as everything that becomes a law in science is a predictable event
Comment by Shine on May 19, 2011 at 3:02pm

"I can’t prove anything, and neither can you." 

Special people are special.  "Because you have correctly identified my inability to prove my fantastical assertions, I shall respond by pointing out your similar inability to prove your assertions, regardless of the fact that you have made none."  Excellent rebuttal, chief!

 

And if someone is really arguing that we don't KNOW a pencil will fall, why not up the ante and jump off a building?  This is like people who argue that God has a plan for their life yet continue to look both ways before crossing the street.

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