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Proof for god/s. Thursday 24 December 2015

Some apologists for religion try to turn the arguments that non-believers use against belief around. (It’s a bit ironic, since they seem to legitimize that kind of arguments by doing that.) One of those is turning around the request for proof. A lot of unbelievers feel that the claim that god or gods exists needs to be backed up by proof. Turning around that is: I know god/s exists, you proof that it/he/she/they do not! Unbelievers can get a bit annoyed by that trick, and respond with things like: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence etc., which is all right I guess, but with regard to basically unprovable claims I myself am normally not very inclined to go there. For me it’s sufficient that certain religious claims are simply very improbable. For example: you will go to hell! Well, I can’t proof that I won’t, but it’s so very improbable that I literally don’t lose a second of sleep over it. Another category of religious claims is not only unprovable (either way) but also irrelevant. For example, a deity that is outside time and space and doesn’t interfere with the real world. So what? Irrelevant. Or viewing the universe as a whole as god. Also irrelevant.

To sum up, improbable claims that I can’t disprove (Russel’s teapot) won’t make me any less an atheist and supernatural beings that in practice are irrelevant don’t do anything to want me to believe either.

However, there is one point at which the ‘proof’ argument can get to me too. That is when believers claim special rights because they are religious. ‘I am religious, therefore you are not allowed to work on [Friday, Saturday, Sunday]’ - or things like that. If you want special rights because you believe in an otherwise undetectable entity, you better come up with some damn good proof!