The Importance of Evidence

Question from Charles:
Dear Friends,

Something I’ve tended to notice is the overwhelming urge most atheists need to have objective evidence of God’s existence, prior to any personal commitment on their behalf of acknowledging such a deity as an Almighty God.

1. Can you conclusively prove that God doesn’t exist, anywhere in the universe?
2. If such a deity did exist, would you recognize Him as such? What shape and form would He have to possess?
3. Once you’ve recognized Him as God, would you be willing to totally acknowledge Him as God – to concede your free will to His?

Answer by SmartLX:
Well, wouldn’t you want good reason to think something was real before you based your whole life around it? In what other situation do you completely devote yourself to someone without knowing that it’s the right thing to do? If you’ve done this, what are your reasons?

1. You can’t prove a universal negative without being omniscient, so no. That said, you can in principle establish something as unlikely, and I’ve had a go at doing that with gods here.

2. Perhaps such a deity does exist, but I’d have to sense His, Her or Its presence or actions in some way before I could recognise Him, Her or It. God in many people’s opinion has no physical form so there’s really nothing to go on; I think a god would be more recognisable through its influence on reality than through its appearance.

3. If I knew God existed, and I knew what He actually wanted from me, I’d give it to Him. I’d be stupid not to, because if He’s anything like the Abrahamic religions portray Him then He’s a tyrant who punishes people forever – in other words, far out of proportion to anything they could possibly have done wrong in life. I wouldn’t be happy about it, but I’d toe the line like a good little serf.

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