It is often argued, mostly by theists, that atheism is not a valid position to take. They argue that because I cannot disprove god that my atheistic mind set is a faith as much as their faith in god. Perhaps they think that by invalidating atheism and nudging people towards agnosticism that they are half way to the conversion goal. I will demonstrate here that my atheistic “belief” is certainly not equivalent to a belief in god and by doing so I will offer yet another logical disproof of god.
First, there is the issue of labelling a non-belief as a belief. At first site this seems reasonable. However it is simple to remove this equivalence. The starting point, like so much to do with theistic assumptions, is ignorance. Let’s take an example.
It’s a safe bet that virtually everybody that reads this does not believe in Winabozho. If anybody that reads this page does believe in Winabozho please do leave a comment and let me know. Now, from the theist argument of belief/non-belief equivalence everyone that does not believe in Winabozho has a faith that Winabozho does not exist. Actually, most simply are ignorant of any reason or suggestive cause to believe in Winabozho, including ignorance of the concept, which is certainly not equivalent to a faith.
Winabozho, also know as Manabush, Nanabozo and Wenabozho, is the creator Hare god of the Abnaki Native Americans. My lack of belief in the existence of Winabozho has not changed at all from the time I was ignorant of the Winabozho concept to the present in which I have heard of the concept. I have undertaken absolutely no mental or theoretical exercise to transform my lack of belief from one state to another. My belief, or lack thereof, has remained entirely unchanged. My lack of belief in any god, and thus my belief that there is no god, is exactly the same. At no point have I undergone a transformational process in my lack of belief in any god anymore than I have in my lack of belief in Winabozho specifically.
What I am trying to get across here is that atheism is not necessarily an opposite belief from theism, but rather a zero point of absolute non-existence of any theist belief. This may appear to be a belief, a positively elected belief in the absence of a god, but in fact it is the absolute absence of a belief in a concept that would be exactly the same as my lack of belief in that concept if I have never heard of that concept at all.
Atheism is not a faith.
The counter point to this argument would be to say that since I have heard of the god hypothesis that I must therefore have made a positive choice to not believe it and therefore I have developed a belief that there is not god. I am still relying on faith.
Semantic nonsense. And stupid semantic nonsense at that. Allow me to demonstrate why.
Bertrand Russell used the example of teapot agnosticism to demonstrate that atheism, whilst logically invalid as certain belief, is in fact rationally valid. He used the example of a china teapot orbiting the sun. Even today our technology would not allow us to disprove the existence of the teapot, so technically we must be teapot agnostics. However, in practice we would all be teapot atheists.
Here is a video of Richard Dawkins describing the same.
This seems pretty reasonable, but I’d like to go one step further and demonstrate that a belief against a theory with absolutely no suggestive evidence whatsoever is not equivalent to any other type of belief. In effect, I want to demonstrate why teapot atheism is actually logically valid, more valid in fact that teapot agnosticism and infinitely more valid than teapot theism.
There are an infinite number of entirely baseless theories which can be put forth. I can put forth the teapot theory. I can put forward the theory that kangaroos created the universe. I can put forward the theory that something more complex than the universe designed and built the universe or I can put forward the theory that a hare god created everything. There is quit literally no limit to the number of theories that can be proposed that are based on absolutely no suggestive evidence at all and I can’t disprove any of them individually.
According to Bertrand Russell’s teapot analogy I should technically be agnostic with regards to them all. That would be true if it were not for one little inconvenience of logic that actually requires me to be an atheist to all.
With an infinite number of baseless theories the probability of any specific one of them being true becomes zero when we are discussing the creation of the universe. This is because, and the teapot does not fit here, they are mutually exclusive. Winabozho cannot have created the universe if the kangaroos created it. Any of the gods cannot have created the universe if any of the others did. In fact for this universe the maximum number of creation theories that can be correct is one. And the probability of any specific one being the correct one is 1/infinity and any number divided by infinity is zero. So for any single creation theory the logic clearly demonstrates that there is effectively a one in infinity probability of it being true and that is the same as no possibility at all. But this only holds for baseless theories.
Any suggestive evidence that results in a theory changes the odds because the evidence offers constraints to the possible theories that fit the evidence and thus the number of possible theories may become finite and at some point in our developing understanding it possibly will.
God is a baseless theory. In fact, the predominant version of god on this planet (that of the Old Testament) is self disproving due to contradictions within its definition, but all proposed gods are entirely baseless – there is no suggestive evidence at all for their existence. The probability of them actually existing is therefore zero. The probability of god is zero. It’s just another baseless theory amongst an infinite number of them.
Agnosticism is not as reasonable as it might at first seem. Atheism is not a belief on par with theism. It is not a faith. Atheism is simple mathematics and the only position in the god/no-god argument that logic supports unless anyone can offer any suggestive evidence that the god theory may be correct which would result in changed probabilities through changed constaints. Nobody has done this, nobody can do this, and nobody will do this.
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