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IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR ATHEISM?

religion atheism theist yawnfest

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#1 shadowhawk

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:14 PM


IS THERE EVIDENCE FOR ATHEISM?

Many Atheists ask for evidence for theism and then assume the answer is there is none. But is there any evidence for Atheism? It is important to know what we are talking about here. The word Atheism comes from the Greek.

The real definition of atheism: the belief that there is no God. The fake definition of atheism: the lack of belief in God. The second false definition would make a Dog an Atheist! The Greek roots of the word Atheist is as follows.

A = Without
Theos = God
Atheos = Without God
Thus
Atheism is the belief that there is no God.


Why is there something rather than nothing? The atheist says God is not the reason because there is no God. No God, not simply the lack of belief in God is the true answer. So, what good evidence is there for Atheism? Use any communication tools acceptable to LONGECITY to make your case.
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#2 Elus

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

Modern atheist thinkers will not use your definition of atheism. Dawkins doesn't. Hitchens didn't. I don't. Most don't.

Just because they occasionally say, "God doesn't exist," they really mean the following:

http://dictionary.re.../browse/atheist

atheist: n. a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supremebeing or beings.

disbelief: n. the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true.


You're the one who needs to provide evidence.


...

...

...


For anyone interested, ShadowHawk is employing the common straw man fallacy here. Here's how that works:


Step 1: Misrepresent your opponents argument. ShadowHawk does this by clinging to a particular version of atheism which is clearly not reflective of what the modern atheist thinkers represent atheism as.


Step 2: Knock down the misrepresented argument. ShadowHawk knocks down his/her definition of atheism.


Step 3: Claim victory. ShadowHawk has knocked his/her misrepresented version of atheism and now thinks she/he has achieved victory.


There's nothing to see here. Run along ^_^.



P.S. ShadowHawk, are you shock of god on youtube xD, hahaha....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y3_hrijrHY

Edited by Elus, 18 February 2012 - 12:46 AM.

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#3 nowayout

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:33 AM

Yes, here is your evidence for atheism: I am an atheist. Thus, atheism exists. Q.E.D. :)

Edited by viveutvivas, 18 February 2012 - 01:34 AM.

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#4 Arcanyn

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:53 AM

What evidence is there for aLochnessmonsterism, aIckeism or aTheworldwascreatedanhouragoism?

#5 Valkyrie

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:12 AM

i think you make good point. what's that saying? "inocent until proven guilty'?

I think it is sad that athiests hate religious people so much
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#6 Valkyrie

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:14 AM

Yes, here is your evidence for atheism: I am an atheist. Thus, atheism exists. Q.E.D. :)


you funny! :laugh:

#7 hooter

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

I'm afraid your linguistic analysis bares a bit of error. Atheos refers to being without god, not the positive denial of god. It stands for "godless". To be without god is fundamentally different from directly stating that god cannot exist. There is no evidence for the non-existence, but it stands on the sharper edge of Occham's razor.

I propose that atheism is called rationalism. I do not discriminate in my distinction of true or false data. I do not call myself an afairist, aunicornist, abigfootist, aghostist, asantaclausist. So I think it's ridiculous to define yourself by something you don't accept and don't adhere to. Hi, my name isn't James. I'm not 39 and I don't like milk. This tells you nothing. It's a pointless semantic polarization.

I cannot prove that ghosts don't exist. I cannot prove that aliens are not moving around among us. I can't prove there aren't fairies in the garden when I'm not looking. I cannot prove that some Arab sheik somewhere may have a unicorn hidden away. These things don't define people, they do not create groups.

Religions are not ideas that can be deduced. They are culturally ingrained. I can demonstrate this. Let's pretend you have no idea what Christianity or religion is. You go to the library and find a rare old book. It's over two thousand years old. You read it. It is the story of a supernatural stone mason in what is present day Palestine. He is born to a virgin as a result of impregnation by an invisible creature in the sky. He heals the sick and preaches praise for an omnipotent creator who not only does what comes naturally but expects excessive grovelling. Then he is crucified and resurrected.

Ii you were the first person to find this book would you really go, "Oh, that sounds completely and unequivocally true?"

Supposing the existence of a powerful creature that exists outside of the natural world requires evidence. However, there is none. If I believed in anything that people told me I would still believe in Santa Claus. Consider that on Christmas in Slovakia, children are told without any irony whatsoever that Jesus flies to their house to brings them presents based on whether they sinned.

The logical basis of rationalism should be becoming clear now.
  • The universe came from nothing, which is mathematically and experimentally verified. See Lawrence Krauss' "A Universe from Nothing". As clear as I can make it, denying physical equations that give accurate and reproducible results would instantly bulldoze your argument.
  • Where does god come from? Why is an exceedingly complex consciousness of unknown origin more likely than the much simpler alternative?
  • Out of infinite multiverses and billions of galaxies, why are humans god's most special and beloved race?
  • I believe Elvis faked his death and is alive. Can you prove me wrong?
  • How would you go about arguing against someone who claims that god is an alien or group of aliens with limited abilities that just created earth as a biological science experiment?

i think you make good point. what's that saying? "inocent until proven guilty'?

I think it is sad that athiests hate religious people so much


Rationalists have used basis of argument for thousands of years. How did the religious people respond? They executed the 'blasphemers'. Your own religious texts call for attacks on blasphemers or infidels. You say that homosexuals are born sinful and depraved. You say that humans are born with an original sin that a human sacrifice can absolve. This is an abhorrent sadomasochistic death cult with pleasure from pain. Why would the son of god let himself be sacrificed like an animal on display to appease himself? God in the sky could just go "whoop all the sins gone". No, he decides to send himself as his son in flesh and blood. He is born to a human mother who is already married.

Not only did god ghost rape and impregnate a married woman without her consent, he used her offspring to sacrifice himself on display in human form. This along with the absurd celibacy rites of priests shows that there is something seriously ill with religion.

God is supposed to be an brilliant deity that supervises and watches everything. You are his chosen people. He is very benevolent. For breaking his laws, you will be put in an oven forever. You are supposed to both love and fear him. He made everything possible for you. He can read your thoughts and convict you of thought crime. He knows if you commit sin in your sleep. This sounds like an extremely fascist and inescapable dictatorship to me. You really want me to believe we are the pawns in a black iron prison of some gargantuan bully?

This is why I hate religion. It's the desire to be a slave. The eternal praise and begging. It's a demeaning totalitarian scenario where you are but a puppet of a more powerful entity. You have no purpose but to dance for him. I think this is severely ill.

Edited by hooter, 18 February 2012 - 10:21 AM.

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#8 nowayout

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:46 AM

This is why I hate religion. It's the desire to be a slave. The eternal praise and begging. It's a demeaning totalitarian scenario where you are but a puppet of a more powerful entity. You have no purpose but to dance for him. I think this is severely ill.


Well said!

#9 DukeNukem

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:26 PM

Atheism isn't making supernatural claims--everything is based on evidence and logic. Meanwhile, there's no evidence of gods, and the whole idea of gods makes zero sense given what we discovered about the nature of life and the universe.

The idea that some omnipotent entity requires me to worship it is quite laughable. If the Christian God existed, for example, why not let itself be known and have the whole planet worship it. Instead, this God prefers to have a minority of the planet worship it, while the majority of the planet mistakenly worships other gods or incorrect beliefs. Stupid plan.

You've really got to be a non-thinker to believe in gods. Because no rational person can possibly believe in such silliness.

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#10 Ben

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:50 AM

'“atheism” ... reminds one of children, assuring everyone who is ready to listen to them that they are not afraid of the bogy man.'

Marx, Letter to 30 November 1842'
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#11 shadowhawk

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:20 PM

So far the answer seems to be no!!! :|?
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#12 DukeNukem

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:26 PM

ALL evidence points to no gods.

If you want to argue the point, have your god contact my god and hash it out.
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#13 shadowhawk

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:49 PM

ALL evidence points to no gods.

If you want to argue the point, have your god contact my god and hash it out.


This is not evidence. When you say "all evidence," what are you talking about? I would see if I could talk to your God but it is off topic, :)
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#14 shadowhawk

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:21 AM

Modern atheist thinkers will not use your definition of atheism. Dawkins doesn't. Hitchens didn't. I don't. Most don't.

Just because they occasionally say, "God doesn't exist," they really mean the following:

http://dictionary.re.../browse/atheist

atheist: n. a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supremebeing or beings.

disbelief: n. the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true.


You're the one who needs to provide evidence.


...

...

...


For anyone interested, ShadowHawk is employing the common straw man fallacy here. Here's how that works:


Step 1: Misrepresent your opponents argument. ShadowHawk does this by clinging to a particular version of atheism which is clearly not reflective of what the modern atheist thinkers represent atheism as.


Step 2: Knock down the misrepresented argument. ShadowHawk knocks down his/her definition of atheism.


Step 3: Claim victory. ShadowHawk has knocked his/her misrepresented version of atheism and now thinks she/he has achieved victory.


There's nothing to see here. Run along ^_^.



P.S. ShadowHawk, are you shock of god on youtube xD, hahaha....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y3_hrijrHY


All three steps you present are in error. Not a straw man.

The references state what the real definition of atheism is:

  • "Atheism, from the Greek a-theos ("no-god"), is the philosophical position that God doesn't exist. It is distinguished from agnosticism, the argument that it is impossible to know whether God exists or not" (Academic American Encyclopedia).
  • "Atheism, system of thought developed around the denial of God's existence. Atheism, so defined, first appeared during the Enlightenment, the age of reason" (Random House Encyclopedia-1977).
  • "Atheism (from the Greek a-, not, and theos, god) is the view that there are no gods. A widely used sense denotes merely not believing in God and is consistent with agnosticism. A stricter sense denotes a belief that there is no God, the use has become the standard one" (Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy-1995).
  • "Atheism is the doctrine that there is no God. Some atheists support this claim by arguments, but these arguments are usually directed against the Christian concept of God, and are largely irrelevant to other possible gods" (Oxford Companion to Philosophy-1995).
  • "Atheism (Greek, a- [private prefix] + theos, god) is the view that there is no divine being, no God" (Dictionary of Philosophy, Thomas Mautner, Editor-1996).
  • "Atheism is the belief that God doesn't exist" (The World Book Encyclopedia-1991).
  • "According to the most usual definition, an atheist is a person who maintains that there is no god…"(rejects eccentric definitions of the word) (The Encyclopedia of Philosophy-1967).
  • "Atheism is the doctrine that God does not exist, that belief in the existence of God is a false belief. The word God here refers to a divine being regarded as the independent creator of the world, a being superlatively powerful, wise and good" (Encyclopedia of Religion-1987).
  • "Atheism (Greek and Roman): Atheism is a dogmatic creed, consisting in the denial of every kind of supernatural power. Atheism has not often been seriously maintained at any period of civilized thought" (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics-Vol II).
  • "Atheism denies the existence of deity" (Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopedia-Vol I). See also Webster's dictionary. I could also give Greek sources.
So the thread title is accurate and this objection for evidence is based on a false definition of Atheism which would fit dogs and cats if true. Where is the evidence?
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#15 shadowhawk

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:33 AM


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#16 Elus

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:57 AM

Keep insisting your definition is the true one. You mad?

Edwards, Paul (2005) [1967]. "Atheism". In Donald M. Borchert.The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale). p. 359. ISBN 9780028657806. "On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion."(page 175 in 1967 edition)-

-The Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Nielsen, Kai (2011). "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2011-12-06. "Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons...: for an anthropomorphic God, the atheist rejects belief in God because it is false or probably false that there is a God; for a nonanthropomorphic God... because the concept of such a God is either meaningless, unintelligible, contradictory, incomprehensible, or incoherent; for the God portrayed by some modern or contemporary theologians or philosophers... because the concept of God in question is such that it merely masks an atheistic substance—e.g., “God” is just another name for love, or ... a symbolic term for moral ideals."-

-Encyclopedia Britannica

I'll let Hooter's post speak for itself.

Edited by Elus, 22 February 2012 - 05:09 AM.

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#17 hooter

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:41 AM

I'm really glad that Shadowhawk fails at argumentation in things that can actually be 100% proven, like the definition of atheism. He fails before he even begins.
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#18 platypus

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

This is not evidence. When you say "all evidence," what are you talking about? I would see if I could talk to your God but it is off topic, :)

I presented evidence that the Judeo-Chtristian god does not exist, namely the existence of Jews, Christians, Mormons and Jehova's witnesses. God is speaking to all of these groups and apprently belief in Jesus in the traditional way does not really matter to god. What's a better explanation for this anomaly than God not existing?

#19 shadowhawk

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:19 PM

This is not evidence. When you say "all evidence," what are you talking about? I would see if I could talk to your God but it is off topic, :)

I presented evidence that the Judeo-Chtristian god does not exist, namely the existence of Jews, Christians, Mormons and Jehova's witnesses. God is speaking to all of these groups and apprently belief in Jesus in the traditional way does not really matter to god. What's a better explanation for this anomaly than God not existing?

Guess you are having a hard time reading the topic. :|? Off toppic. Not evidence for Atheism. Check this out. At least, unlike you, he tries.not to change the subject.



#20 shadowhawk

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:34 AM

Keep insisting your definition is the true one. You mad?

Edwards, Paul (2005) [1967]. "Atheism". In Donald M. Borchert.The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale). p. 359. ISBN 9780028657806. "On our definition, an 'atheist' is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that 'God exists' expresses a false proposition. People frequently adopt an attitude of rejection toward a position for reasons other than that it is a false proposition. It is common among contemporary philosophers, and indeed it was not uncommon in earlier centuries, to reject positions on the ground that they are meaningless. Sometimes, too, a theory is rejected on such grounds as that it is sterile or redundant or capricious, and there are many other considerations which in certain contexts are generally agreed to constitute good grounds for rejecting an assertion."(page 175 in 1967 edition)-

-The Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Nielsen, Kai (2011). "Atheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2011-12-06. "Instead of saying that an atheist is someone who believes that it is false or probably false that there is a God, a more adequate characterization of atheism consists in the more complex claim that to be an atheist is to be someone who rejects belief in God for the following reasons...: for an anthropomorphic God, the atheist rejects belief in God because it is false or probably false that there is a God; for a nonanthropomorphic God... because the concept of such a God is either meaningless, unintelligible, contradictory, incomprehensible, or incoherent; for the God portrayed by some modern or contemporary theologians or philosophers... because the concept of God in question is such that it merely masks an atheistic substance—e.g., “God” is just another name for love, or ... a symbolic term for moral ideals."-

-Encyclopedia Britannica

I'll let Hooter's post speak for itself.


:)
As Christopher Hitchens was fond of saying, “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” Does Atheism need evidence to keep from being dismissed?

The Claim Atheism Isn’t A Belief like Theism therefore needs no evidence, is a copout.

It is often said by atheists that atheism is not a positive position at all – a belief or worldview – but merely a disbelief in theism, a refusal to accept what the theist believes, and as such, there is no belief or position for there to be evidence for. Evidence is not needed for ‘non-positions’.

While the word ‘atheism’ has been used in something like this sense (see for example Antony Flew’s article ‘The Presumption of Atheism’), it is a highly non-standard use. Flew, a lifelong Atheist, now dead, died a theist. So understood, atheism would include agnosticism, since agnostics are also not theists. However, on the common understanding of atheism – no divine reality of any kind exists – atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive. Some insist that this non-standard sense of ‘atheism’ is the only possible sense, because a-theism means without theism. But if that were a good argument, the Space Shuttle would be an automobile, since it moves on its own (mobile=move, auto=by itself). Ditto for dogs and cats as I have argued. I also gave many sources to back me up.

Yet none of this really matters, for even the non-standard sense of ‘atheism’ does nothing to neutralize evidentialism’s demand for evidence. As we saw, evidentialism applies to all ‘doxastic’ attitudes toward a proposition P: believing P, believing not-P, suspending judgment about P, etc. Therefore evidentialism says, with respect to the proposition God exists, that any attitude toward it will be rational or justified if and only if it fits one’s evidence. Now it is true that if one had no position whatever regarding the proposition God exists (perhaps because one has never entertained the thought), no evidence would be required for that non-position. But Atheists all believe that (probably) no God or other divine reality exists. And that belief must be evidence-based if it is to be rationally held, according to evidentialism. So insisting that atheism isn’t a belief doesn’t help.

This string uses ‘atheism’ in its standard sense.

Does Atheism need evidence in order to keep from being dismissed? :unsure:
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#21 Elus

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:02 AM

Atheists lack belief in god. They do not believe not-P.

#22 shadowhawk

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:14 PM

Atheists lack belief in god. They do not believe not-P.

Wow! No evidence? No argument? Let me help you. How about you can't prove a negative?


forgot to ask...who is Shock of God?
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#23 shadowhawk

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:41 PM

Atheists lack belief in god. They do not believe not-P.

Wow! You don't even believe not-P. Do you speak for all atheists as you appear to? No evidence? No argument? No nothing! There is no evidence for Atheism?

Let me help you out. How about you can't prove a negative? :|?

Forgot to ask...who is Shock of God?


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#24 johnross47

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:36 PM

Atheists lack belief in god. They do not believe not-P.

Wow! You don't even believe not-P. Do you speak for all atheists as you appear to? No evidence? No argument? No nothing! There is no evidence for Atheism?

Let me help you out. How about you can't prove a negative? :|?

Forgot to ask...who is Shock of God?

The argument as presented at the start is back to front. Atheists don't need to produce evidence; they aren't proposing anything. It is the proposer of the hypothesis who has to produce evidence to support it. All the atheists are saying is, " you haven't proved your hypothesis." Trying to put them in a position of making a positive statement of belief is simply dishonest. But that's religion for you.
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#25 Elus

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 10:56 PM

How about you can't prove a negative?


Atheists lack belief in god. Nothing to prove here.
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#26 shadowhawk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

Atheists lack belief in god. They do not believe not-P.

Wow! You don't even believe not-P. Do you speak for all atheists as you appear to? No evidence? No argument? No nothing! There is no evidence for Atheism?

Let me help you out. How about you can't prove a negative? :|?

Forgot to ask...who is Shock of God?

The argument as presented at the start is back to front. Atheists don't need to produce evidence; they aren't proposing anything. It is the proposer of the hypothesis who has to produce evidence to support it. All the atheists are saying is, " you haven't proved your hypothesis." Trying to put them in a position of making a positive statement of belief is simply dishonest. But that's religion for you.

See my next post. So you have no evidence but this? :|?
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#27 shadowhawk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:08 AM

How about you can't prove a negative?


Atheists lack belief in god. Nothing to prove here.

How nice.

Antony Flew the world famous Atheist who argued the Atheist had no need to produce evidence for Atheism changed his mind believing there was evidence but it was for Theism.

There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
http://www.amazon.co...ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

I found it a great read.

Can Atheists hide behind “you can’t prove a negative?”



You Can’t Prove A Negative so no need to prove anything.

Another common claim of Atheists is that you ‘can’t prove a negative’ – where what is typically meant is a negative existence claim of the form ‘X does not exist’. Rhetorically, this claim functions to legitimize the idea that evidence needn’t be provided for God’s nonexistence. We are seeing this here. After all, if evidence cannot be provided for a proposition it would be irrational to expect one to provide some, and so reasonable to believe that evidence isn’t needed. But the claim that you can’t prove a negative cannot help the atheist. That is because, on each of two possible ways of interpreting what it means to ‘prove’ something, it is generally false that you can’t prove a negative (and often true that you can’t prove a positive). You can’t prove the use of the scientific method with the Scientific method for example.

“Consider first, proofs which deliver certainty, as in mathematics or logic. Such proofs are sometimes possible for negative existence claims, such as the claim that there is no greatest prime number. One can also prove with certainty that there are no Xs whenever the concept X can be shown to be incoherent (like the concepts round square, or 3pm on the sun). Of course, it is true that many negative existence claims cannot be proved with absolute certainty, but the same holds for positive existence claims, for example, from science or common sense, such as that there are electrons or tables and chairs. So there’s nothing special here about negative existence claims.”

Also many proofs are only probable truth of their conclusions. These are the sorts of proofs which result from successful scientific and other empirical investigations. In this sense of ‘proof’, it is easy to prove the non-existence of many things: for example, that there is no pomegranate in my hand, or no snow-capped mountains in the Sahara Desert. And while it may be difficult or impossible to even in this weaker sense prove the non-existence of many things – goblins, sombreros in the Sombrero Galaxy – the same goes for many positive existence claims – that Aristotle sneezed on his 20th birthday; that there is a transcendent deity; that there is a sombrero somewhere in the Sombrero Galaxy. So, again, there is nothing unique about negative existence claims. The unfortunate saying by Atheists, that one can’t prove a negative should be dropped. Absurd.

However like parrots, we will hear again how they alone use reason and need no proof! There is no burden of proof on them we are assured as they are rude and crude to any theist. Prove you have no burden of proof. :unsure:
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#28 johnross47

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:35 PM

Your tortured "logic" is like a sack full of snakes, contorted, poisonous and constantly wriggling. I'm probably wasting my time arguing with you; proselytizers like you are beyond the reach of normally accepted procedures of discussion, but I'll try to put it in simple comparative terms. I propose that there are fairies at the bottom of my garden and I want you to believe this. Are you suggesting that it is incumbent on you to demonstrate the falsehood of that statement, rather than on me to produce evidence for it. Does your denial of responsibility entitle me to label and abuse you?

The big question really, is, what the hell are you doing on this forum?
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#29 Googoltarian

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:56 PM

The big question really, is, what the hell are you doing on this forum?


Trolling and attentionwhoring. Some men just don't age well...
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#30 Elus

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 11:04 PM

How about you can't prove a negative?


Atheists lack belief in god. Nothing to prove here.

How nice.

Antony Flew the world famous Atheist who argued the Atheist had no need to produce evidence for Atheism changed his mind believing there was evidence but it was for Theism.

There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
http://www.amazon.co...ntt_at_ep_dpi_1

I found it a great read.

Can Atheists hide behind “you can’t prove a negative?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsMLqCIMKhY


You Can’t Prove A Negative so no need to prove anything.

Another common claim of Atheists is that you ‘can’t prove a negative’ – where what is typically meant is a negative existence claim of the form ‘X does not exist’. Rhetorically, this claim functions to legitimize the idea that evidence needn’t be provided for God’s nonexistence. We are seeing this here. After all, if evidence cannot be provided for a proposition it would be irrational to expect one to provide some, and so reasonable to believe that evidence isn’t needed. But the claim that you can’t prove a negative cannot help the atheist. That is because, on each of two possible ways of interpreting what it means to ‘prove’ something, it is generally false that you can’t prove a negative (and often true that you can’t prove a positive). You can’t prove the use of the scientific method with the Scientific method for example.

“Consider first, proofs which deliver certainty, as in mathematics or logic. Such proofs are sometimes possible for negative existence claims, such as the claim that there is no greatest prime number. One can also prove with certainty that there are no Xs whenever the concept X can be shown to be incoherent (like the concepts round square, or 3pm on the sun). Of course, it is true that many negative existence claims cannot be proved with absolute certainty, but the same holds for positive existence claims, for example, from science or common sense, such as that there are electrons or tables and chairs. So there’s nothing special here about negative existence claims.”

Also many proofs are only probable truth of their conclusions. These are the sorts of proofs which result from successful scientific and other empirical investigations. In this sense of ‘proof’, it is easy to prove the non-existence of many things: for example, that there is no pomegranate in my hand, or no snow-capped mountains in the Sahara Desert. And while it may be difficult or impossible to even in this weaker sense prove the non-existence of many things – goblins, sombreros in the Sombrero Galaxy – the same goes for many positive existence claims – that Aristotle sneezed on his 20th birthday; that there is a transcendent deity; that there is a sombrero somewhere in the Sombrero Galaxy. So, again, there is nothing unique about negative existence claims. The unfortunate saying by Atheists, that one can’t prove a negative should be dropped. Absurd.

However like parrots, we will hear again how they alone use reason and need no proof! There is no burden of proof on them we are assured as they are rude and crude to any theist. Prove you have no burden of proof. :unsure:


A negative has not been asserted by atheists.





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