It's funny that you should mention this issue of "evidence." I have been discussing this with several Hubbers recently. Most of the problem seems to come down to definitions. Generally, theists (believers in God) have a very different definition of the word "evidence" than non-believers.
For example, many believers claim to "hear God speak to them in prayer." THEY count this as evidence for their religion, while atheists do not consider such an ambiguous claim as evidence. As another example, many believers simply consider nature itself as evidence of their specific God, while non-believers interpret nature in a whole different way. Both groups may be sincere, but their perspectives are very different.
The point of all this is that discussions between theists and atheists are difficult because one group (for various reasons) will probably not accept as "evidence" the claims of the other group. Most every atheist I've ever known has been open to any evidence. Generally they are not closed-minded people.
In direct answer to your question, if solid, objective, verifiable evidence were produced that clearly made the case for the existence of a specific God, then to remain a seeker of the truth I would be obliged to consider that evidence. If that evidence existed, it would by definition BE scientific. You may say that that evidence is already present, but then of course we would disagree on what constitutes "evidence."
Like I've explained, I would accept anything as evidence that passed the test of being solid, objective, and verifiable. But the religions of the world haven't produced this kind of evidence. By the way, what is your religion, Joseph?
the only real evidence is objective, solid evidence. personal experiences are great, they aren't irrefutable evidence. We cant for example convict someone in a court of law on circumstantial evidence - why? because there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I think the same premise applies to God. If there is a God who is all powerful, then there should be some way to show "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence of this beings existence. Otherwise, it's all anecdotal evidence - which is not actual proof.
of course not, there is scientific evidence that dinosaurs existed for example. legal evidence I used in my example. experiential is scientific observation. "belief" is not scientific - bayesian is probability - all tie into science - faith doesn't.
Sure it is. When you say "science" you're referring to a specific epistemology of truth; the belief that all that which is demonstrable, quantifiable, empirical, falsifiable, testable and replicable must necessarily be true.
I'm not going to get baited into an argument - there is no scientific or any concrete evidence of any type for the existence of a deity period. If there is produce it, otherwise it's merely your faith.
If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus proof of a Creator. There's tons more evidence: http://bit.ly/1197U6R
Joseph, whether there exists a supernatural "force" or your God Yahweh are entirely different things. History tells us that Yahweh was a Canaanite god which the Jews adopted as their own. There's no verifiable evidence that Yahweh/Jehovah exists.
There's no evidence other than the Hebrew writings that those men even existed. And still, ancient documents and artifacts show that Yahweh was a tribal diety which the Jews took. Oh and Yahweh was married too. Look it up.
The worship of Asherah became a part of Israel's worship of Jehovah but this was a later apostatizing by unfaithful Israelites. Israel was originally monotheistic. See Jg 3:7; 1 Kings 18:19; 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Chr 33:11-13, 15, 21-23; 2 Kings 23:4-7.
The Old Testament was written by the Jews. They were free to embellish the stories as much as they wanted and to make themselves look good. Other ancient documents tell a different story from the Hebrew account.
Joseph, there's no evidence for the fantastic stories of the OT, like the Red Sea parting, Sun standing still, etc. Those who wrote about these events were obviously lying. How then could you know what IS true about what they wrote?
I don't need to prove they were lying. Just like we don't need to prove that Hercules and Zeus were gods who did miracles. It's up to the believer to prove that those impossible things actually happened. So far no one can.
Joseph, now I know you're scientifically ignorant (or just a troll). You don't understand how parting the Red Sea or a donkey talking is scientifically impossible? Maybe you should ask a group of high school students.
As the end of the article says, "there's many assumptions here." Even if the wind can drive away water, the Bible says the Egyptians drowned in it. That would take more water than the wind could blow away. Facts win again, Joseph.
As usual, you ignore a lot of important details. It would have taken more water to drown the Egyptians. Also, you can't ignore all the other tales of fantasy that the Bible contains. Explain all of those away if you can.
Great response, what if the explanation that Christians provide is evidence beyond reasonable based on the impossibility of the contrary. I believe the explanation that Christians give is amazing, Much better than the atheistic worldview.
Whether the evidence is scientific or not has zero impact on anything. If the evidence shows something to be true beyond any and all doubts, there is no logical reason to not accept said evidence as being valid.
But to give an answer to your loaded question, between the 2 options you have presented and considering that there are people who believe that since their boobs are still in good shape or them miraculously finding their car keys is evidence of god, I would say scientific evidence.
Provided of course that you are talking about God in the first place. With atheist and evidence in the question it seems like a no brainer, but I like to cover as many bases as I can.
The beliefs and opinions of other people really aren't sufficient evidence for much other than the sincerity of those beliefs.
History is the beliefs and opinions of others put down on paper. Being dead really makes no one's opinion matter more than the opinions of live people.
Laws are made by people so if you have legal evidence proving that God is Yahweh, created the universe, and holds you extra dear for thinking he is real, it just means legislators also have opinions and beliefs they genuinely hold. It says nothing as to the reality behind the beliefs.
Bayesian reasoning requires good input to produce useful results. There's nothing but opinions and beliefs to put into it regarding the existence of the divine. You'll just get a possibly more refined set of beliefs and opinions out the other end.
Non-verifiable evidence can easily be, again, the genuine beliefs and opinions of the person giving it rather than unbiased statements of factual observation.
If atheists are close-minded for not accepting beliefs and opinions as evidence, aren't believers close-minded for only accepting as evidence the beliefs and opinions that agree exactly with their own?
I'd consider any evidence that did not rely on opinions or beliefs. For example, the Bible is not acceptable evidence of God's existence because it requires existing belief in God's reality to think it so.
In order to believe that as evidence you have to already think God is real and ignore all internal inconsistencies in the Bible, the unfulfilled prophecies, and all the other people who were just people who've made correct guesses about the future.
Joseph, I've studied the supposed evidence that the Bible is from "God." But upon closer examination of the argument the "evidence" falls flat. You can't use a verse from one book to prove a verse in another. That's circular reasoning.
You're engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic. You do realize that the Bible is a compilation of 66 distinct works recorded by 40 amanuensis over the span of some one thousand six hundred years, right?
Yes, I have. There was a time when I didn't see the problems either---when I falsely believe the Bible was perfect. When I left this intenable, unprovable, and illogical position, I could then see what had ALWAYS BEEN THERE.
I've read many "rebuttals" to Bible problems. Some of them were explained, but many of them were ignored or given a superficial explanation. So no, I've no interest in superficial apologetics from a cult.
I have read it in full. And what you accept as "proof" cannot be called solid, objective evidence. I've asked you through email to provide facts that prove the existance of your Canaanite god Yahweh. But you never do...
Isn't all evidence scientific? I mean, evidence is proof of something and science makes all its conclusions based on the facts, or proof, of what we have before us. If something has no proof, it isn't evidence, and therefore wouldn't be part of science.
But, maybe you're referring specifically to the science surrounding the creation of the universe? If that's the case, then yes, I do consider all evidence. In fact, the principal influence for labeling myself an atheist was literature, not astrophysics. I studied puritan writings in an American literature class and got a much clearer picture how how religion functioned in early America, which is to say that it served as a policeman and jury to a country without a whole lot of laws. While it wasn't my first atheistic thought, it painted religion as a means to an end, rather than something spiritual.
Further, my study of fantasy taught me that humans are capable of writing creation myths, like the bible, without divine intervention. And my study of mythology, that predates the bible, proved that the Christian god was but one deity in a vast sea of other deities we'd already created.
I'm not going to say that scientific evidence didn't have an impact on me, but this is an example of how I considered literary evidence in addition to scientific evidence. Though, I would still argue that all evidence is scientific because the sciences of this world encompass so much more than the big bang and evolution. It's in our lives every day, regardless of whether or not you're a believer. If you look both ways before crossing the street, you're using science.
Very eloquent. Evidence that isn't scientific isn't really evidence, it's beliefs, conjectures, and opinions which only serve as evidence for the existence of beliefs, conjectures, and opinions and not their subject matter.
I would say all of those, except experiential, qualify as scientific evidence. So I would consider them. I don't reject personal experience, but since it can't be verified, it can't be proven and, therefore, isn't evidence, in the literal sense.
History is our knowledge of the past. It's compiled from our experience, observations and recordings. The same principles science uses. Science is the reason we have history, because advancements led to better recording methods.
History is compiled from what we can find, (various recordings). Others can use the same information to come to similar conclusions of what happened. We then form a conclusion until more information comes to light. That's science in a nutshell.
Not adequately with limited characters. History is not static, it changes constantly. Events get verified or falsified based on new, repeatable research. Their data is compiled from multiple sources and compared to draw a logical conclusion.
The problem with atheists is they choose not to believe so they can say no one has control over their own destiny but themselves. They rather choose a non belief in any God to get them off of the hook per say.
You seem to have missed the bit about atheists not thinking God is real. You know your belief is based on what you think is real. How is taking the blame and responsibility for everything you do getting off the hook?
JF, you've obviously never been an atheist. We don't simply "choose" to not believe in a god. It's a process by which we look for evidence. Belief in a specific god is not based on objective evidence. Some require solid evidence.
So you are saying you didn't choose to believe in God based on thinking He is real? Please explain how your absence of ego allows you to believe in things you don't think are real. If you want to convert us, we'll need that bit of information.
In other words, you believe because you think God is real because if you thought people could believe in things they don't think are real just by choosing to, you'd explain how so we could do it, too, and not go to Hell. Enjoy your holiday.
JF, as you probably know, no one can prove something doesn't exist (like Santa and elves). But why should anyone feel compelled to obey a god (Jehovah) that has no evidence of existence? Your reasons are based on feelings, not evidence.
Atheists don't "choose not to believe", we simply don't for our own reasons. Atheism is inherently a belief in definable, logical proof. There is no "problem with atheists", because as a belief atheism is far more disparate than any other.
Simply stated, ceb. It's sad that more people do not (or will not?) understand what EVIDENCE is. Evidence must be compiled and analyzed in order to come to a conclusion. But most people operate on what they "feel" is true.
Joseph is simply demonstrating his lack of scientific knowledge. Some people who have studied evolution may not agree with all conclusions scientists make, but informed people do not call it "bunk." It just doesn't fit his little religious book.
Except for the reality that the myth “that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form" is shorn of any demonstrable, quantifiable, empirical, testable or replicable evidence.
Joseph, your ignorance shines brightly again. Evolution has not proven that life came from inorganic matter. The origin of life is not proven. The evolution of lower life forms to higher life forms, however, is well documented.
Joseph, the problem is that you are confusing Evolution with Abiogenesis. The honest position would be that "we don't know how life began" - Your position merely parrots the view of ancient men, who knew almost nothing compared to modern science.
People have evolved over time. but the evolution theory says that chemical and macro evolution has taken place, which means chemicals formed from nothing to form things, and species has formed into totally different species <<---- Balogna lol =
You are equivocating. The General Theory of Evolution is "The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form."- Gerald Kerkut - ”Implications of Evolution"
Joseph, if you pursued the veracity of your illogical beliefs with 1/10 the dogged determination that you scrutinize the Theory of Evolution, you'd be an atheist in a few minutes.Give it a try? You can be an atheist...and not believe in evolution
Science should be Agnostic but today's scientific establishment rules out supernatural & scientific "conclusions" are not the same as fact. They are educated guesses, scientific conclusions have been changed over years based on new facts.
No one claims he Miller Urey experiments prove that abiogenesis happened, what they show is that complex organic molecules can form in natural conditions.no scientist is publishing that the question of abiogenesis is solved nor did Urey Miller.
Jospeh, like many religious believers you've absolutely contorted Gerald Kerkut's words. The quote that you've used is demonstrable of this fact. In "The Implication of Evolution", he is clarifying the differences between evolution and abiogenesis.
A lot of evidence is falsified to project the evolution theory or Atheistic worldview. Therefore, Scientific evidence should be the only thing used for empirical evidence. And by Science I mean things we can observe and know for a fact, and not the things we may have theories about. I am a Christian By the way and I have seen true scientific evidence prove theism or Intelligent design more often than not.
Christian scientists are good at falsifying info. You have to ignore mountains of evidence in order to say that evolution is baloney. There's a good reason more than 99% of scientists accept evolution. Also, evolution can be compatible with a god.
Joseph, it's not so simple as "molecules to man." There are innumerable steps in between. For that info I refer you to any college-level biology book for starters. If you are openminded you just may learn something.
I'm assuming you have mostly studied from a Christian or Creaionist perspective? If so, then of course you found no evidence. Christian "scientists" are notorious for ignoring what is right before their eyes.
If you did know anything about evolution, you would know how extensive the theory is. It can't be explained in these short spaces. Again, I must refer you to credible scientists who have done the work. Try "What Evolution Is" by Ernst Mayr.
@ Mr. Polanco - I'd suggest auditing some college classes on chemistry, biology, & biochemistry & then auditing some evolutionary biology courses. You are asking for a blurb explanation of something that is an entire field of study.
JOP, I know I don't have to tell YOU this but if you research most claims RthB makes you'll find they are lies or distortions, he trolls the hub pages solely to bash Christians, prove he's wrong he'll delete A-star style giving a false reason.
Tsad, you always resort to personal attacks because you can't defend your supposed beliefs. For being a Christian, you sure tell a lot of lies. Why don't you prove wrong my arguments instead of trying to discredit me (ad hominem fallacy)?
The 1st time I did that you deleted my comments later falsely claiming they were nasty that was all I needed to have your number, your arguments are transparently false anyway. You troll up here as usual disparaging Joseph & me, I tell no lies.
@ Mr. Polanco - Overall, only 5% of American scientists do not accept evolution. The percentage drops below 1% when only scientists with degrees in the biological sciences are surveyed. Why must I explain a fraction of a percent who are creationists?
Evaluate theory of evolution itself-not the people who believe it, or the reasonthey believe it. many people have been taught that evolution is true by non-scientists(teachers who don’t know what they are talking about The 5%figure's 23 yrs old
Well u got that right, beliefs which are all they are. Neither have been scientifically proven beyond any doubt. They both require a measure of faith to believe only it takes way more faith to believe macro evolution than believe in a creator
I would accept all evidence to support religion, as an atheist I believe there is no scientific evidence to support religion and in my opinion, there is no other kind of evidence but real-evidence (in other words, scientifically proven evidence) but I am open to suggestion.
Your evidence is heavily biased, Joseph. Can't you see that Christian writers would do ANYTHING to preserve the religion? For example your cult (JW) disagrees with main Christian doctrines. You can't all be right.
Joseph, you know I am not an atheist so If I am out of line answering your question, please delete my answer. However I can shed some light on your question which you will not likely get from any atheist here on Hub Pages or anywhere for that matter (but I guarantee you this would elicit a lot of foul language if it were permissible).
Atheists are a diverse group with only one thing "uniting" them, they do not believe in any God or gods and even that thought is just something they have in common, it does not really unite them. What does seem to unite them is that in most cases, I submit they have made that decision primarily for what is known as the moral reason and once they have made that decision, solely because they do not want to admit the real reason, "the moral reason", they search for any evidence they can to support their decision. If the evidence is proven wrong they cling to it anyway or make up explanations and ignore (and here delete) anything that contradicts their world view. They understand the Bible just well enough to know that they want to reject its redemptive message. The moral reason is simply that people try to protect some area of their life or some habit they want to keep so they go on a search for intellectual reasons why they want to justify that or they find ways to suppress the truth or cover it up because of a bent to hold onto their sin, to justify their desire not to let Jesus be Lord of their life.
This video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjBZIv4CH8o is an interview with two Christian apologists who are experts on atheists, have debated numerous famous atheists and are accomplished people in their own rights who don't put stock in "fiction" as atheists describe the Bible which most obviously have never studied nor have they investigated any credible scholar who has.
A real truth seeker, which atheists are not, will look at all the evidence, take time to meticulously study and continue to evaluate new evidence even after making a decision. A real truth seeker does not make a decision and then look for, cherry pick or makeup evidence to support their world view ignoring all else with frivolous excuses.
The most recent scientific reasoning increasingly makes the case for God, but you won't find an atheist here who will even entertain that FACT.
This is a very good comment and makes sense, unlike the atheist who don't. Atheism is a religion, which denies there is an absolute. They go against all evidence to have their wild faith in Macro Evolution, blinded to reality that contradicts them.
WelcomeJoseph! Yeah, don't have to look far to see an atheist living up to what I've said.Take austinstar's current hubpage, she's deleted more comments than she's approved providing totally false reasons, she thinks she's a master of deception.
Atheism isn't one religion. It is simply a lack of belief in deities. Many religions are atheistic, like Jainism and Buddhism. You can be a Buddhist or a Jain without believing in a god or gods. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe.
So what does that have to do with anything said here? Buddhists accept the existence of supernatural beings which might be described as gods, but sure it is considered an "atheist religion"So what,show me any modern atheist who buys into that!
As you pointed out the only thing that atheist have in common with each other is that we collectively do not believe in any form of higher power, god or otherwise. What you have outright ignored is where atheists got that belief from; our own logic.
I am not an atheist but needed to get this off my chest. I really don't understand why believers are hung up on "presenting evidence as proof" at all. There is no proof God doesn't exist and never can be. Why can't we just be honest enough to say that we believe because we have faith? People who actively disbelieve in God are also basing that disbelief on their faith that God doesn't exist. People who are just keeping an open mind- what is wrong with that? Maybe they will come in to the faith they need to believe or maybe they won't. Why should we feel like anyone whatever they believe or don't is unworthy of our love and tolerance?
I don't believe in Big Foot. I can't help that I don't. If someone shoots one and drags it to my doorstep tomorrow I'd say "See, Big Foot doesn't exist. It was just this newly discovered now possibly extinct species of North American bipedal ape that people have been mistaking for a Big Foot all along." A believer would look at the corpse and say, "I always knew Big Foot was real!"
I do believe in God, though. I can't help that I do. My friend who lives next door is an atheist. He can't help not believing. Perhaps one day he will find faith. Perhaps one day I will lose mine. Who else besides the individual should care or be burdened with owned beliefs one way or another? Who else but that individual should be bound by them?
What does it matter if I believe or don't or if my neighbor believes or doesn't? Who are either of us hurting by believing whatever we believe? Neither of us forces the other to believe as we do. I don't point a shot gun at him to make him attend my church. He doesn't burn down my house if I string up some Christmas lights. We lend and borrow sugar and milk and feed each others dogs when vacations happen.
The Bible tells me that my Lord Jesus Christ wants me to love my neighbor. He didn't specify just the one who believes in him like I do. He also wants me to be tolerant. I don't need to tolerate people who are like me. I need to tolerate the people who are the most annoyingly different from me. That is most everyone in one way or another- so it is a good thing I take the tolerance thing seriously
Last but not least please stop denying science. It just makes all Christians sound crazy. Evolution happens. The earth rotates around the sun. People wrote and rewrote the Bible, translated it, codified it, left out parts they didn't like. People are fallible no matter how inspired.
Besarian there are good answers to every question you pose. I suggest you get a little less focused on yourself & a little more on the facts.Hear of the great commission? Science indicates evolution doesn't happen.Presenting truth isn't intoleran
"If  the good news we declare is veiled, it is  among those who are perishing, among whom [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ  might not shine ." - 2 Cor. 4:4
Good science indicates in every way possible that evolution happens. If your "science" doesn't. it is based on conclusions that can not be supported by both logic and a thorough understanding of the existing evidence.
I would accept any scientific evidence and any evidence that stands on strong enough arguments, even if those that stand on purely philosophical ground.
However, as an atheist I don't believe that god doesn't exist, but I also don't believe that he exists. I simply don't see how he could affect my life in any way that common man couldn't and so wouldn't gave him any relevance if he was proven to exists. I may burn in hell, or simply fall into oblivion, any way I don't see how praying would change any of that. Morals were different in various eras and places and moral codex of omniscient being would be vastly different from ours and so every judging from his part would be unjust, for he wouldn't judge us from our standpoint of view, he wouldn't judge us on ground of our morals, but on ground of his, which are incomprehensible by our means and so we are unable to live by them.
But anyway, if humans are to gods like ants are to humans, why would he listen to our prayers? Do we listen to prayers of ants?
But even if he listened, he would be either mad from trying to fulfill all of them, for nobody can stay sane in face of milliards requests, pleas; or evil, for what can he be if not evil for turning away from injustices we suffer, from our suffering?
And then there is third option that there simply is no god and in truth this one is for me the most comforting.
TL:DR: I can't know if god exist, nor can I know if he doesn't, but why should I care?
That, as a question, does not make sense. Evidence, actual evidence with credible sources and plentiful citations, is scientific evidence and vice-versa. If something can't be classed as "scientific evidence" then it isn't evidence of any form as it cannot be used to prove an argument "beyond reasonable doubt". If pushed I would have to say that I only believe in scientific evidence, but only because nothing else actually counts.
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