The Unproveable Absence of God

Question from MiK’la:
Atheists always ask the Christian to prove that God exists. What proof is there that He doesn’t exist?

Answer by SmartLX:
None, but that doesn’t change anything.

Most atheists, myself included, allow for the possibility of a god existing. We think it’s unlikely, but there are so many ways in which a god could exist and yet remain unproven that there’s no way to prove beyond all possible doubt that there are no gods. That in no way means there’s enough evidence to justify positively believing that there is one, let alone a particular one. It’s impossible to prove that George Burns wasn’t the actual composer of Eleanor Rigby – he was around at the time, after all, and might have written Paul McCartney a long letter – but no one believes he did it. (That analogy was originally going to be that no one believes Queen Elizabeth I wrote Shakespeare’s plays, but it turns out some people do.)

Christians do believe in God, and therefore think there is at least one good reason to believe in God. When atheists go asking, we’re asking what that reason is. It’s an important question, because if it’s really a good reason to believe then we should believe too, and if it’s not a good reason then the believer shouldn’t. This is all based on the simple assumption that one should only believe in something with good reason. You’re welcome to argue with that if you really want to.

One thought on “The Unproveable Absence of God”

  1. Hi MiK’la,

    The problem for me is that I look at god, just like I look at any other proposition. Now, god as a concept probably has special status in your mind because due to how you were raised, or indoctrinated. But if you think about the validity of a god, as you would anything else, that’s when the questions come up. So as an atheist I might ask, “Why do you believe god exists? What functions as proof for you?” But you know what? I would ask the exact same thing to anybody who claimed that fire breathing dragons existed, or claimed a castle existed somewhere in the sky, floating in the clouds. To me a claim must have a good reason behind it if I am to believe it. I have simply never been shown a good reason to believe a god existed. If you examine your reasons, and find something you think is convincing, then please share.

    Asking to prove something doesn’t exist is a bit of a slimy move. Can you prove intelligent aliens don’t exist or haven’t been to earth? Can you prove there isn’t a snake with feathers somewhere in existence? Can you prove a man can never give birth?

    You see, there is an infinite amount of propositions that people can make. We as individuals get to choose which ones appear to be true to us, and which appear to be false. Atheists have just come to the conclusion that the proposition of a god does not have any evidence available to validify the claim.

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