Re: What is the evidence that atheism is *true*?

Date: Fri Jan 14 2000 - 00:23:08 EST

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    There is an interesting twist on this debate about atheism (and yes, I'll
    try to bring it back to the topic of this listing). It is true that atheists
    such as Frank Zindler view atheism simply as a lack of belief in
    God (although anyone familiar with Zindler knows his zealous and extremist
    stands fall more in the category of anti-theism/anti-religion than a simple
    lack of belief in God).

    But many of the same atheists who insist their atheism to be only
    a lack of belief in God (as they try to establish atheism as some kind
    of default stand) also will commonly maintain there is no evidence of
    God's existence. But if you think it through, to claim there is no evidence
    of God's existence assumes you believe no God exists (and not simply
    lack this God-belief).

    Evidence is, after all, merely interpreted data. So how does the atheist
    know data interpreted to indicate God's existence really doesn't truly
    indicate God's existence? For to claim there *is* no evidence is to claim
    all these data are falsely interpreted. Because only falsely interpreted data
    do indeed cease to be evidence. But how does the atheist know the data
    are falsely interpreted if they don't also believe there is no God in the
    first place?

    In other words, an atheist who simply lacks a belief in God ought
    to say: 'I am not convinced that the data theists cite as evidence is indeed
    evidence of God's existence." That would be more consistent with the simple
    lack of belief. Yet I suspect this is not aggressive enough for many atheists
    (especially those of Zindler's ilk).

    On the other hand, an atheist who believes no God exists can say of the theist
    that they have no evidence for God's existence. But then we have a basis
    for asking how the atheists knows there is no God.

    The inconsistent mix is to claim only that you lack a belief in God (but
    would not assert God does not exist) and then also add there is indeed
    no evidence of God's existence.

    To bring this closer to this topic of this list, it is often claimed there is
    no evidence of intelligent design. But this claim implies one knows there
    is indeed no intelligent design, for only then can we be sure that there is
    no evidence of intelligent design (i.e., evidence of ID is all falsely
    data). But how did one ever get to the knowledge that there is no intelligent


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