Evidence That A God Exists …

There has been a lot of banter about evidence between theists and atheists and I’m sure agnostics got into the fray as well. It is a troubling issue. We can all agree that France exists, that belief that France exists is a true belief and that there is plenty of evidence to support this. Oddly, when it comes to deities the same evidence we use for the existence of France is not acceptable or somehow not valid to the discussion.

There might be a lot of reasons for this: Evidence for god is not as visceral as a pile of god crap to examine; gods are meant to be ‘not of this world’ and so on. If we’re to get to the bottom of all this there must be a better way to evaluate evidence for and against. I’m not saying that the way courts do so is wrong but it doesn’t seem to work where belief is involved so we need to examine what it means to have evidence and what it might mean in real terms.

In the case of the existence of gods who is the defendant? I will argue that the defendant is the groups who say, to the persons claiming that gods exists, that there is no credible evidence for such a claim. In this picture we can easily see that evidence is not necessarily always about proof. This works in the theists favor, or could.

Problematically, the design of the scales example does not require absolute or objective evidence and this is where much of the argument happens. Theists do not have absolute evidence while non-theists tend to use only what is the best knowledge available which includes all the physical evidence available to theists.

The Premise – there is more than one

When the theist asks what evidence a non-theist needs to believe it is assumed that both absolute and subjective evidence will work. When the non-theist asks for evidence, subjective evidence will not work. Over time theists have offered a great many arguments as evidence and these have been rejected for as many reasons if not more. This dichotomy of understanding drives the question in different directions and I’d like to examine the question as asked by the theist: what evidence is necessary to prove the existence of a god.

I’ve seen several attempts to example what kind of evidence would prove the existence of a god to an atheist, yet theists are never happy with that answer. Here I want to try to make the answer palatable, even if they can’t provide the evidence.

To provide ‘proof’ or evidence we can see from the picture that it need only outweigh the counter evidence. Seems simple enough but it is complicated by the sheer number of arguments made in favor of the existence of a god and the counter arguments against it. This is not a simple action of dealing with one claim that has one argument such as I believe Shelly has an Aston Martin. For this we would simply go to Shelly’s house and take a ride in the Aston Martin, argument over.

For the existence of a non-physical being to be proven the evidence will have to outweigh all the argument against such a claim. At no time in recorded history has such ever been achieved. As an example lets look at Answers in Genesis’ claim that the Earth is less than 10000 years old. The profession of geology argues against this. We can assess the success of AiG’s arguments and evidence in a simple but truly effective manner: How many PhD geologists convert to young earth creationism every year? I don’t mean how many believe in YEC, but how many convert to it? If ALL geologists converted to YEC on viewing the evidence then we can be reasonably sure that the evidence is compelling. This is not happening because AiG would not keep such news a secret for more than a couple of microseconds. The evidence for YEC does NOT outweigh the counter evidence.

With that example set, I will say that evidence for the existence of a god would have to counter all arguments against the existence of a god. Not just one counter argument or even some counter arguments but ALL of them.

The reason for this seemingly unbearable burden is simple, if there is truth to the claim that a god or gods exist then that truth will disprove all counter arguments. If you think you have evidence or an argument for the existence of a god it will need to be able to disprove all counter arguments. That is the level of evidence required.

Before you bother me with arguments you should spend a little time on the Internet to find out what those counter arguments are. If you don’t I will continue to cut your arguments into pieces and hand them back to you. Remember, your evidence has to disprove ALL counter arguments to be objective truth. A feeling you have is not evidence.

So there is the bar, the ‘thing’ that I would call evidence for the existence of a god. Good luck with that…

  1. The evidence God exists is that I say he exists, duh!

    • Which is all good and stuff, but it doesn’t disprove that I say he doesn’t exist… icon or not. Yes, I did say that… I have it recorded on 8-track so that the authenticity of the claim cannot be doubted.

      • Well then, since we can’t BOTH be right about this, I’m going to have to send a drone over to your house and blow you up. God said I can, too bad you haven’t any “Faith.”

        • I have faith that your drone doesn’t know where I am… lol

          • I have faith it knows exactly where you are. Uh, oh! Here we go, again!

    • That’s what theists always resort to: argumentation by assertion.

  2. Indeed. That isn’t setting the bar so high, it’s setting it where it should be. I have sometimes said if deities were real, we wouldn’t need apologists. One argument is already one too many.

    • That is what I wanted to state in an inarguable kind of way

  3. Mmmmm!

    Surely we should be allowed to believe what we want, without being forced to prove that what we believe in exists or not???

    I am sure that there is something that you believe in, like money, your car….

    That you can prove it is there, does not men a thing at all.

    Your thing that you may believe in (Aston Martin) is tangible, but then so is that which I believe in, to me that is.

    The constitution says I can believe in whatever I want, without having every Tom, Dick and Harry attacking me for what I believe in.

    So perhaps it is time for you, and those of like mind, to Butt Out and leave us to believe in what we believe in, as you do believe in what material, tangible, touchable things you want to believe in.

    • Hello again preacher, good you are here.
      What you think about or believe as you lay your head on your pillow at night is none of my concern, you are free to believe as you wish. The problem happens when your religion and others try to foist wrong belief (beliefs that have no credible evidence) on others by vote in politics, by vote in education, and by vote on local laws among other ways.

      I believe in me, that I exist. It does mean something. If I don’t exist then nothing I ‘know’ exists and not one other thing matters.

      I see where you are going. You might have missed the point of the post. If it is real to you and you keep it to yourself, nobody cares. If you want to share it with others (as all monotheistic religions demand) then it ought to be supportable by evidence other than ‘I feel it is true’. This has been a problem for everyone since organized societies arose in humanity.

      If religions were willing to “butt out” of politics, education, law, and other areas of public concern then there would be no problem… meh. As long as religion wants to push it’s values on others, it is a concern, a very grave concern. This is why I speak out, why I blog.

      If a truth claim is only true to those that believe it is true or want to, then it is not truth. Politics, law, and education, among other things, should be based on truth for all, not truth for one or truth for some. Clearly not all citizens of any country believe in a god that all other citizens of that country believe in. Religion should not then be a basis for public policy of any kind. In the USA law says all can believe in gods as they want (within reason – you can’t kill for god and not go to jail). That is as far as rights go… public policy on law, education, and governance cannot be based on any one religion or even on religion at all. Basically, believe as you wish but keep it private. If you want to make it public then you should be able to show that it is true if you wish to avoid ridicule and negative feedback.

      I won’t be butting out any time soon, but as you know I do look for new information.

    • “Extraordinary proof requires extraordinary evidence” said the late great Carl Sagan.

      Atheists certainly won’t be butting out anytime soon, in fact globally we will be increasingly calling on and voting for truly secular government with equal rights for all humans, which includes freedom of belief, as well as freedom from belief where it is used to discriminate or justify inequality of any kind.

      No matter how much you complain we are here to stay and growing in numbers daily, as religion loses membership in droves. We will continue to examine your “evidence”, find it lacking and offer believers a more rational and satisfying secular existence, free of supernatural ghosts and the guilt of hell and damnation, yet no less moral.

      • PS That quote should’ve said “claims” not “proof”… ;)

        • Indeed, and well said. I think it is still too early for most people to realize it

  4. RIGHT ON, DUDE!! Way to settle this issue once and for all. Like you, I ALWAYS feel attacked when I jump into discussions like this one. Bloody theists always pick on me and kick sand in my constitutionally protected right to not to have theism slapped all over my senses EVERY BLOODY year at this time. When, oh when, will you theists just butt out and stop your evil persecution of me? And when, oh when, will you stop following me around and persecuting my mind with all these voices!? Just stay with your like-minded group and BUTT OUT!!!! I do not deserve your persecutions!

  5. Does a warm fuzzy feeling count?

    • Depends on whether you’re wearing depends or not ?

      • Well, that of course depends on whether i’ve been drinking or not ;)

  6. The only evidence I have ever been offered that God exists is:A lack of evidence that he does not.

    • That’s some powerful evidence there… lol

    • He’s just like aliens, mermaids, fairies, big foot and Peter Pan then, eh? For what evidence can you provide showing they DO NOT exist?

      • I have evidence all those things exists, but the government would shoot my dog if I ever exposed it. Sorry guys.

  7. I agree with what you say. I have a Buddhist bent, so I’m pretty good with people doing their own thing. Like you though I do draw the line at trying to influence politics, but religion has always been involved, if subtly.

    • Religion was what there was before science, it was the way to know things about the world… such knowledge should be involved with politics… but the time for religion has passed.

  1. January 5th, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 631 other followers

%d bloggers like this: