Conversations With Atheists

Atheist: Do you even understand what logic is?

Me: Yes, I have a thorough understanding of logic: etymologically, historically, and practically. You?
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Atheist (statement A): God is a failed hypothesis.

Atheist (statement B): Just because I can’t disprove God, is no reason to believe he exists.

Me: Pick one. God is an hypothesis, OR God is non-falsifiable. Both cannot simultaneously be true.
—–
Atheist: If you were presented with absolute proof that God doesn’t exist, would you stop believing?

Me: Begging the question. The only thing that would ‘prove’ the non-existence of God would be for the universe to stop behaving rationally. In which case, even if I still existed, I could not believe in anything at all.

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8 responses to “Conversations With Atheists

      • Not correct, but normally I would ignore that detail, I only mention it because you whole argument was based on it…

        Not all hypotheses are conjectures.
        All _scientific_ hypotheses are conjectures.

        Details, I know, but it’s somehow sad to see someone fight a straw man and then lose to the details.

      • First, this conversation exclusively occurs in the context of someone attempting erroneously to apply scientific methodology to non-scientific domains. Therefore, scientific definitions are used.

        Second, the term ‘ hypothesis’ is understood to take its ‘scientific’ (that is, correct) definition in common conversation (even among those not fully aware of the implications of that definition). To use an archaic definition when better terminology exists is just sophistry.
        It would be like you calling someone gay, and then when they objected, saying, “Oh, I just meant you were in a good mood.”

        Finally, a statement which cannot be falsified cannot, by definition, fail. Therefore, the above person MUST be using the term ‘hypothesis’ correctly (as a falsifiable conjecture).

  1. I have a couple of questions about this thought here: “The only thing that would ‘prove’ the non-existence of God would be for the universe to stop behaving rationally.”

    By “prove,” do you mean prove conclusively (that is, to the extent of excluding other reasonable hypotheses)? Second, what do you mean by the universe “behaving rationally”?

    • Well, ‘proof’ was brought into the conversation by someone other than myself. But for me, if it isn’t absolute, then the correct term is ‘evidence’.

      As for ‘behaving rationally’, I mean that the laws of cause-and-effect, identity, non-contradiction and the excluded middle would cease meaningfully to apply to reality.

      • Thank you for clearing up what you mean. Would it be fair to say that you are suggesting a relationship between these laws of thought and the existence of a deity? Or, to put it a different way, these laws that make the universe behave rationally are the product of some deity’s will?

      • You are very welcome! And, no. Using the term “some deity’s will” implies a completely different category of substance. I am referring to God: metaphysical, perfect, First Cause of the universe. You are referring to gods: personal, supernatural anthropomorphism of natural phenomena.

        “Some deity” would require that there could be more than one. This would be a necessary condition of gods, since they embody some specific aspect of the physical universe. It is not possible with God, who as First Cause must be singular.

        “Will” implies both subjective perspective and activity. Gods are subjective–no matter how supernaturally powerful they are imagined, they are still PERSONS, with limited perspective. You can always say “this-is-Thor” and “this-is-not-Thor”. God, being metaphysical, exists beyond subject-object duality. God is neither personal nor impersonal, and does not have limited perspective.

        “Will” also implies activity. God is defined as perfect. To be perfect is to be complete. If God took any action, then while that action was ongoing, God would not be complete; God would be imperfect, and therefore not God. The universe is not rational because God took action to force reason upon it; the universe is rational because it is the nature of God as First Cause, that the universe be rational.

        The Upanishads are probably the best explanation of this generally available. It is also described in the Bible, but lost to the general population due to poor translation.

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