Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Evidence Is Not Needed For Fairy Tales

Evidence Is Not Needed For Fairy Tales

Theists are always so sure about the existence of god. God exists because I feel it it my heart. God exists because the Bible says it is so. God exists because the world looks designed especially for us. I believe it, therefore it is true, and all my religious club members are correct. God exists.

From my perspective, I can't see, feel, hear or sense any such god. So naturally I ask for some evidence to prove that god exists. Hundreds of years into the advancement of the scientific method and no empirical evidence has yet to be found that confirms any such existence. Most of the bogus stories of the Bible, which at some point were taken as literally true, have been disproven by science or explained by natural processes. Talking snakes and living inside whales may be the only exceptions.

I've had discussions with theists that basically amount to them concluding that we don't need evidence for god and that's why it is called faith. Oh, and by the way, you can't prove that god doesn't exist. Pathetic really.

Consider these compressed conversations as a summary :

Conversation 1

Theist  : I believe in God.
Atheist : There is no evidence or proof for god therefore I don't believe in god.
Theist  : You can't prove there isn't a God therefore God exists.

Conversation 2

Atheist : Your pastor/priest is a pedophile.
Theist  : No he isn't. You don't have any proof that my pastor is a pedophile.
Atheist : You can't prove that he isn't therefore your pastor is a pedophile.

Typically, funnily enough, theists require evidence for positions that portray a negative consequence for their preconceived ideas. In the above examples, god existing is a positive assertion and requires no evidence. Your pastor/priest being a pedophile has negative consequences and requires evidence.

We see exactly the same behaviour when a theist denies evolution. Typically a theist will reject evolution as being incomplete in it's evidence or in a display of total intellectual disconnect, they will put forward the "evolution is only a theory" position. A sudden need to reject an idea that has negative consequences for their own beliefs.

The acceptance of evolution basically means the entire Adam and Eve story is bogus (as there was no Adam and Eve) and therefore no need to be saved and therefore no need for Jesus and therefore no reason to push Christian fables on society.

For entertainment purposes, as much as denying evolution is intellectually shallow, I think I prefer theists to try and mix reality with religion. For example, much like George Pell on Australian Q&A performing the equivalent of Nadia Comaneci gymnastics in regards to the story of Adam and Eve. Note to George Pell, know something about evolution when debating an evolutionary biologist.

It really is just too easy to ask why theists can't just accept evolution without evidence, like they accept god without evidence. I suppose a theist has probably been told their whole life that such and such is true. I can only imagine the mental anguish when they discover it is probably all false. A defensive mechanism kicks in to protect their fragile need to be right.

One of the most beautiful things about science and the scientific method, is that they have provided mechanisms that enable you to prove and also to falsify or refute the assertions of evolution. If you deny evolution and have scientific facts to back it up, your notoriety will be eternal in the undoing of hundreds of years of scientifically proven work. However, onward we march. The evidence for evolution continues to stack up. No know refutation of the empirical, factual evidence has been found.

I forgot to add that the same methods that have been used to provide all of the technical breakthroughs we take for granted every day, are the same checks and balances, the same peer review processes and the same experimental processes that have been utilised to prove evolution. We aren't walking around denying our computers exist.

I now ask, where is the evidence for god? What system can I use to refute the assertion that there is a god? Easy to answer. There is no evidence and there is no system of refutation. Mr Hitchens said it best, "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence!".

Claiming there is a god without providing evidence and then using misdirection and completely bogus arguments against evolution, which actually has evidence, is completely absurd.

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