losing your religion
Tue Nov 4 20:09:48 CST 1997
the fallacy of ignorance is pumped by Gehrke and Harlow and
it is not that i try to prove "God does not exist" by
showing that "God exists" has not been proved: my argument
is that since there is no reason to believe "God exists" you
shouldn't believe "God exists".
science also offers good reasons to believe "God does not
on the other hand, both Harlow and Gehrke think that just
because "God does not exist." has not been PROVED, that it
is OKAY to believe "God exists." and my argument is that
reasoning pattern leaves you with no arguments against:
"Bobo the Almighty OverAmoeba runs things."
"A Nameless Horror once murdered all but 2 of the 200
million humans by drowning them just because IT didn't like
how they lived."
"The Crystalline Entity loves the Amityville Horror so you
better not cry, you better not pout, you ..."
another way to put my argument is that the burden of proof
belongs to those who assert "God exists." if that burden is
not met, we should not BELIEVE "God exists."
furthermore, an epistemological standard so sloppy that it
cannot conclude that the Borg, The Mushroom Which Looked
Spectacular, and any other COMPLETELY FICTIONAL BULLSHIT
does not exist leaves one blithering "unh i don't know if
Jackalopes are real or not: i am agnostic on that matter."
so, if "X exists" does not meet its burden of proof i
conclude "X does not exist." as shorthand for "you prove
so, Bill, do you BELIEVE in the OverAmoeba? why not?
FAITH and SCIENCE
1) faith has no method
faith is "commitment" rather than a way of knowing.
and how committed one is to a belief or beliefs is
often independent of how one comes by those beliefs.
lots of people have "faith" in lots of false beliefs for the
the trouble is that it is difficult to shake faith in
false beliefs which cannot be tested.
so if i say "17 elms grow on the third planet of Beta
i can commit an unshakeable stubborness to this absurdity
for a long time because you can't disprove it. nonetheless,
we should both be certain (to the extent that 'certainty'
isn't useless) that the claim is false.
2) science ought to be privileged as a way of knowing the
an example claim: "Neptune has 3 moons."
we could decide this question by:
crosstabulating tarot card results and our Horoscope,
praying, fasting, overdosing and meditating,
asking the Chairman of the Board for The Answer,
trusting our Inner Child's intuitions,
consulting the Works of Foucault or the Good Book,
examining the social implications of holding the belief,
taking a survey of at least 7,000 citizens, or
flipping a coin.
NONE of the above even attempts to track the facts. that is
why they are all methods ill-suited to the purpose of
evaluating whether a claim about the world is correct.
Science, however, is little more than tracking the facts:
a) observe the world (collect data)
b) explain the observation (create or modify a theory)
c) derive a testable implication of the explanation
d) observe the world to see if the theory works
e) goto step #2
that's why it ought to be privileged as a way of knowing the
3) "God exists." is a false claim about the world.
Science offers no support for it AND the claim, if it has
ANY relevance, contradicts fundamental scientific claims.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: so God does know both
the position and momentum of this electron? of all
particles? that is impossible unless all of quantum physics
Laws of Thermodynamics: so God could make the entire
Universe (all of it) what it was 100 years ago? that is
impossible unless all 3 of the Laws of Thermodynamics are
Relativity: so God could make the planet Earth move faster
than the speed of information? so God could invalidate time
dilation? so God could shut off gravity? these are
impossible unless all of Relativity is fundamentally
it "could" in some uselessly degenerate sense of the term
"could" be true, but I wouldn't bet a penny against a
billion dollars on it and if you all want to do so, i'll
take the bet as long as i get to hold the money until the
claim is proven.
4) there is no good reason to believe "God exists." rather
than, say: the almighty Blowfish of Impropriety bestows
Love, there is an invisible massless Alien sitting on your
head whittling, witches are in contact with Deneran
More information about the Mailman