Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Christian Epistemology Challenge

I see this kind of thing a lot so I figured it's time for another blog post:

Charles... please site where science has disproven God

My response, which goes out to all similarly thinking Christians:

I fear you have your epistemic compass pointing stolidly backwards. Do you REALLY believe in ALL things until they are disproved?

Where has science disproved that Invisible Pink Unicorns created the universe? Where has science disproved that aliens created human life? Do you believe those things? Or are you cheating here when you appeal to lack of disproof and only apply it to that which you have already decided to believe?

There are an infinite number of absurd and contradictory propositions that aren't disproved, indeed that aren't even disprovable. They cancel each other out until only those supportable by evidence remain.

The time to believe something is when there is sufficient evidence and reason to believe it and not a moment before that. And you can't just trot out any evidence and claim it supports your belief either. You have to begin with RELIABLE evidence. And then you must form FALSIFIABLE hypotheses -- if any evidence contradicts your hypothesis then you must reject it.

I wonder, what is your hypothesis for 'god' and have you actually measured it against what you purport to believe in?

Do you advocate a return to slavery, is slavery MORAL in your mind? The Bible explicitly and repeatedly affirms the morality of slavery (the rules of slavery are allegedly set down by GOD, and never revoked -- Paul in the NT returns a slave to his master). Go ahead, please advocate how treating another human being as chattel, which can be brutally BEATEN so long as they don't "die within a day", is a moral position.

What of the slaughter of children? Is that a moral action in your view? On Christianity I must consider this a MORAL action:

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants

Please, be the advocate for how murdering infants is a moral action -- sell me on this and I'll be a Christian.

I can forgive ancient people for their ignorance, but to hold this detritus up, in the modern age, as the moral commandments of a 'god' is just absurd.

The Earth is not immobile and space is not a dome of firmament with fixed stars and planets moved in mysterious patterns by angels, and disease and mental illness are not caused by demons. This is nothing but an ignorant peoples early musing on science and philosophy.

These things don't "disprove God" ('God' is NOT a Falsifiable hypothesis and therefore is invalid science right from the start, so it is deeply ironic that you appeal to science) but rather show that the Bible is clearly unreliable and it not from an infallible authority - and therefore cannot be trusted on its face.

Imagine a future society digs up some Harry Potter books and archaeologically confirm that a place called London existed. Should they therefore believe that this was a time of Wizards and magic? No, that would be absurd. Nor do we take it as fact when the 1st century historian Titus Flavius Josephus speaks of Hercules in his Antiquities.

Finally, the Bible actually contains a passage that tells you HOW to prove your 'god' is real. If Christians ACTUALLY believed in their Bible I wonder that not a single one of them has tried it. This passage also makes it absolutely clear that it is not acceptable for 'god' to fail to prove himself -- indeed, 850 people are "slaughtered" when their god fails to perform on cue:

"Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened?"

And on their failure:

“Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there.

I wonder how many 'Christians' actually recognize these passages?

So, I challenge all of Christiandom -- come forth and prove your god is real as your own (alleged) Holy Book did to others in 1 Kings 18.

But since I'm merely a non-believer I WILL NOT have you slaughtered when you fail and you do KNOW you would fail, you know this because you don't really believe it or you would stand up and face the challenge.

If I'm wrong please contact JREF and perform this feat under their watchful eye. If you succeed I will convert to your religion.

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