Sunday, August 12, 2007

Re: Evidence

in response to Ottoid's recent post, concerning the nature of evidence, and the nonexistence of something that might be bullshit in the first place.

The argument is this: I say that there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. He agrees. But he says that he cannot prove one hundred percent that he does not exist.

I say that the probability doesn't matter, because like any other premise that derives from the bible or any other faith based literature, there has been no evidence for their existence, and therefore, they probably didn't exist. Yes, I said probably. Probably, like there's probably no flying Spaghetti monster, or invisible pink unicorn. Is there a small possibility? Yes. But I think it's negligible. It leads me to decide that Jesus did not exist, based upon additional historical accounts that we have looked over from that time, where we did not find his name. This fact has been verified numerous times by historians across the globe. The only thing saving Jesus is people's continued belief in him only. Christian Apologists come up with "proof", but most are questionable at best.

In the case of Jesus, the lack of evidence for his existence, is the evidence for his non-existence. If he existed, you would think we might see him in some of the secular writings of his time-- not decades or centuries after, with no personal or independent accounts. The case for the historical figure of Jesus is something that we can analyze with fact, and has nothing to do with faith, but the idea of faith too, is relevant. It's relevant because the argument that Christians use to "prove" god's existence is this:

Well, you can't DISPROVE him, can you?

No, you can't. And that's problematic. Try to disprove the existence of anything that doesn't have any evidence in the first place, and you won't get anywhere.

Alright Otto, that's my official reply to your post. If you want to read on you may, but these are merely thoughts that arose while writing a response to you. Some of it is repeated, other is actual evidence of actual events that further prove my point. I don't think you understand the scientific method, and I don't think you understand falsifiability.

I realize that it takes evidence to prove the existence of something. In science, that's all we rely upon, the evidence, and the merit of such evidence, as decided upon by the learned scientific population of nations together.

He keeps complaining about my invoking of faith into this argument-- I do not mean to focus my attention on faith, but that's ultimately what it comes down to. Just like with any other scientific concept, we didn't prove that the sun didn't go around the earth, we proved that the earth went around the sun.

What we were talking about in our argument, however, was disproving the existence of something that arose out of faith, such as god, or Jesus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or a celestial teapot. You can't disprove the existence of any of these. Since they are NOT falsifiable, there is no reason to believe that there will ever be any evidence that proves its existence. It comes down to falsifiability as far as faith is concerned.

When we speak about scientific terms, we don't seek to disprove something, we seek more and newer evidence. Say we're talking about evolution. If there ever was a case where we found a human skeleton in the same layer of strata that dinosaur bones are in, then evolution would be in serious trouble. It would have to either make up for itself, or it would just phase out of existence. Or it was a fabricated hoax. Scientific concepts are constantly changing in this very way. It's what we call the scientific method.

in the matter of faith however, these ideas have existed for millenia. There are supposed "historical accounts" that hardly have any merit when one looks at the artifact record of that time. Just a few of those stories are linked very loosely with actual historical occurrences. The Great Flood, for instance. This is hardly a history textbook we're talking about here. This goes for anything that people just make up on the spot. This is why the idea of god is as stupid as the celestial teapot. This is why we don't have to disprove the existence of god-- because it's as ridiculous as the teapot. We simply can't falsify those claims, like we can with evolution, with gravity, with atoms.

Prove to me first that there's any real evidence that god actually exists, then we'll start talking about falsifiability. Philosophers have been trying for centuries. There is, as of yet, no evidence. I imagine it will remain so.
Just as the discoveries of the micro-cellular world of biology, you need to prove to me that something really small is there, before I can say, "now hold on a minute, that's not what the evidence suggests..."

You can't disprove the existence of something that doesn't have any evidence. It's completely illogical.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
~Carl Sagan~

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