He's a nice guy and everything, but he's one of those atheists who's more of an anti-Christian than anything, and fails to see how he causes problems for the rest of us atheists who are neutral on the issue of other people's religions. As I always say, if someone claims they need guidance from God to stop them from raping dogs, who am I to disagree?
He even wrote a book on the subject, called Malevolent Design: The Death of a Loving God, which I'll plug, even though I don't necessarily agree with it. If you're interested, here's the first chapter; which isn't bad, though it's far less convincing that he thinks it is. As you can guess from the title, it's all about why Intelligent Design isn't compatible with a loving god. And yeah, I'm afraid I might have just given away the whole thing.
And anyway, I saw a post of his on Facebook which kind of insulted Agnostic atheists like myself, so I defended agnosticism while explaining that it's the only logical position for a skeptic to take. And this guy not only continually refuted the idea that you can't prove a negative, but actually claims that he can prove that gods don't exist. Seriously, he said that repeatedly; that he could prove no gods exist. And that's just ridiculous, but being the open-minded kind of guy I am, I asked for the proof. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
Here was my reply to him:
Uh, Matt. Nothing you wrote gave any evidence that gods don't exist. When you write things like "where do gods fit in" and refer to contradictions and bad science, you're not proving your claims. You're merely disproving other people's claims, and that's not the same thing at all.
And this all ties back into the "can't prove a negative" thing that you clearly don't understand. Your arguments haven't been to prove a negative, but to disprove a positive. I already explained the difference earlier, while you're still hung up on the semantics of the phrase.
And just so it's clear, I intentionally used the terms "gods" repeatedly, and wasn't referring to any god in particular. While you're still stuck arguing against Yahweh and other known gods, I was addressing the entire concept of gods. That wasn't accidental on my part, as I've been using that construct for years, because my arguments apply to ALL gods, not just the Christian god.
And even Yahweh himself is clearly outside of your disprove zone. What part of omnipotent didn't you understand? He supposedly can do ANYTHING and works in mysterious ways. So mysterious, in fact, that it's impossible for mankind to understand what he's doing. That's part of his story and makes it utterly impossible to prove that he doesn't exist. Do I think this sounds likely or probable? Of course not, or I wouldn't be an atheist. But proof isn't about guesses, probability, or opinion. Proof is proof, and if you claim you can prove no gods exist, you better back it up or stop making the claim. That's the first rule of skepticism: Claims require proof.
All you've done is to dispute manmade religions. But that doesn't mean anything, as it's widely understood that most religions are false, if not all of them; or there wouldn't be so much disagreement among them. But for argument's sake, let's say ALL the religions are wrong: Does that prove that Yahweh doesn't exist? No, it doesn't. It just means mankind got it wrong. Showing contradictions in religion does NOT prove that gods don't exist. After all, maybe the gods WANTED people to get it wrong, and it's all part of their design.
And so, how about it? Are we going to get your proof that gods don't exist? Or will you continue to disprove other people's claims without ever supporting your own? But I'm telling you, you shouldn't bother. It's simply impossible to prove that gods don't exist, so you shouldn't even try.I then posted this:
The weirdest thing about all this is that I remember having these debates with Christians fifteen years ago, with them insisting that I had to prove that gods didn't exist; and if I couldn't prove it, it proved that their specific god DID exist.
And forget about their odd belief that proof of any god is proof of THEIR god (a mistake they make constantly, including their mistaken belief that the "Creator" Jefferson wrote about was Yahweh), it all came down to them insisting that I had to prove my claim. Yet I didn't have to because I wasn't making a claim, and rightly insisted that I couldn't possibly do so. And since they were making the claim, the burden of proof was on them.
And that's so often the case with these sorts of debates, as people aren't really arguing about the real topic, but merely joisting about to decide who has the burden of proof. Everyone always wants to be the skeptic demanding the evidence, as it's far easier than being the sucker who has to prove his claims. And they all believe that if the other guy can't prove his claim it somehow proves the skeptic's claim, without understanding that all claims have a burden a proof and the moment you make a claim, you're the sucker who has to provide the proof and there are no shortcuts out of it.
And that's why I'm agnostic, so I never make the mistake of making a claim I can't prove. Agnosticism is the only logical answer for the true skeptic. Being skeptical about the existence of gods is easy. Proving it is impossible.So, is that the cheapest way of filling blog space? No, but it's not great either. But hey, what do you expect for free?