Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Atheism Is Simply the Correct Logical Conclusion

Atheism is not a belief, it is simply the correct logical conclusion based on the facts as we currently know them.  In this post I am going to lay out what I think are the logical steps that lead inexorably to atheism for any honest, logical thinker.  Please note that belief based on faith plays no part in any of the steps.

1. There is no evidence for god, nor for any supernatural being or thing.

2. The existence of god and the origins of the universe are two separate questions.  (As I pointed out in a previous post, they are not even necessarily linked.  Those who insist they are linked are engaging in circular reasoning--as well as pretending to know things they cannot know.)

3. No one knows why the universe exists.  One can be agnostic on this point--as, indeed, every sane, rational person should be--yet still conclude that the god hypothesis is false.

4. A lack of evidence for a thing tends to prove the thing doesn't exist, and, in fact, the lack of evidence is usually accepted as conclusive.  Those who don't accept this with regard to their own beliefs in the supernatural readily accept it with regard to other supernatural claims, indicating that they know it's true but are too biased to admit it with regard to their own beliefs.

5. The god hypothesis is unfalsifiable because it is infinitely malleable and because it involves an alleged sentient being with limitless magic powers.  (There would have to be an infinite number of proofs to cover the infinite possibilities, and even then no one could know for certain that god wasn't using his magic power to cause the results in order to "test" or fool us.)

6. Extraordinary propositions require extraordinary proof.  (An invisible man in the sky with sufficient magic powers to create the universe is probably the most extraordinary proposition possible.)  There is NO evidence of a god, much less extraordinary evidence.

7. When circumstances indicate that a proposition is false, more than mere circumstantial evidence must be shown to prove it is true.  (There is a great deal of evidence about the falseness of various religions and the irrational, unreliable nature of the human minds that cling to religion--and about human minds and perceptions in general.) 

8. In the case of the god hypothesis, the only evidence we have is the mountains of evidence indicating that gods are manmade--including all the evidence regarding ridiculous cults and former "gods of the gaps" used to fill gaps in scientific knowledge in the past such as the Zephyrs to explain wind and Atlas to explain gravity.

9. A complete lack of evidence supporting an extraordinary proposition (with circumstances indicating falsehood--even if it cannot be proven false) justifies concluding that it is false with a level of certainty that is as near to complete certainty as any human can ever be about anything.

10. The proponent of a proposition has the burden of proof.  With regard to an extraordinary proposition (with circumstances indicating falsehood but which cannot be proven false), the lack of evidence for the proposition proves the negative of it to the extent that the negative can EVER be proven and meets the burden of proof for the proponent of the negative of the proposition.

11. The possibility that sufficient evidence to prove an extraordinary proposition (with circumstances indicating falsehood but which cannot be proven false) might turn up at some point in the future is not cause to reserve judgment in the present.  It is merely a reminder to keep an open mind IF new evidence ever appears (but not a reminder to keep an open mind with regard to the question under the present state of evidence).  Absolute certainty about any conclusion is not possible, and the remote possibility that most seemingly certain conclusions might be false is generally ignored.

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