Sunday, December 14, 2014

Richard Carrier: the case for atheism

This is a brief, but very good, argument for the claim that a 'God' does not exist.

Of course, atheism is basically just the lack of belief in a god or gods. When it comes to god-claims, we atheists don't have the burden of proof. It's the person claiming that a god does exist who must demonstrate that his claim is valid. If he fails to do so, we shouldn't believe his claim.

(It's also up to him to define 'God,' especially since believers can't even agree among themselves about what a god is, let alone which one exists. If we claim that a god doesn't exist, it's up to us to explain what we mean by 'god.' And that's really foolish, trying to define what we don't think exists, anyway.)

But some people do make the claim that a god doesn't exist, and in America, at least, it's almost always assumed to be the Christian 'God' (who is also the god of the Muslims and the Jews). Carrier does a pretty good job backing up that claim, so while it might not be strictly necessary (the lack of evidence for a god is enough reason to disbelieve), this is valuable, nonetheless.

I'm reminded of Creationism, which can easily be dismissed, based on the complete lack of evidence backing it up. However, there's actually plenty of evidence - plenty of evidence - disproving "Intelligent Design." It's not strictly necessary, given the lack of evidence for Creationism, but a little overkill can't hurt, can it?

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