Subject: Atheists are Fools
By the way, if anyones states there is no God, logic would seem to indicate you would have to be God to know that. Only God could know what is or isn't out there. If someone says there is no God out there, they are claiming knowledge they can't possibly have.
This is a very popular myth: atheists cannot say there is no god without being omniscient, which is a characteristic of a god. This argument rests upon a couple of common misunderstandings. First, it makes the mistake of assuming that an atheist, to be an atheist, must have certain knowledge that no God or gods exist. Second, even if an atheist denies the existence of some particular god or all possible gods, it is not necessary for the atheist to claim absolute certainty. Rationally justified beliefs can be, and often are, based upon evidence which falls short of absolute certainty.
Third, it is not true that it is impossible to prove a universal negative. Certainly there are some universal negatives which cannot be proven absolutely and so can only be held based upon the weight of omniscience -- for example, the claim "No swans are orange." We would have to know the contents of the entire universe in order to make such an assertion with certainty. However, such knowledge is not necessary in order to make other negative statements. Examples of this latter type include "no married bachelors exist" or "no round squares exist."
What's curious is that this myth is addressed on many atheism web sites; thus, if someone makes the claim without an explanation that indicates knowledge of the rebuttals, it's clear that they haven't done the slightest bit of research on the matter. They probably just heard it somewhere from a Christian apologist and are repeating it because it sounds good rather than because they found it rational and defensible.
I asked an agnostic once if he knew everything there was to know in the whole universe. He admitted, "No." I asked if he knew half of everything there is to know in the whole universe, again he replied, "No." I then asked if he did know half of everything to know in the whole universe if God could be in the half he didn't know about yet. He hesitantly repied, "Yes." An agnostic says, "I don't know if there is a God, and neither does anyone else." Maybe the agnostic doesn't know if there is a God but he can not know if there is anyone else who does. Again he is claiming knowledge he can't possibly have.
The best someone like that can do is just set their heart against God.
That's like setting one's heart against Zeus or fairies. After all, unless one is omniscient and knows everything there is not know in the whole universe, can they really claim that no fairies exist or that Zeus does not exist? They cannot, according to Arv's argument, so the best someone like that can do is set their heart against fairies and against Zeus. This, however, makes no sense whatsoever.
The reason why should be clear: we don't need to know the contents of the entire universe in order to dismiss the existence of some alleged beings or things. We might be mistaken, sure, but absolutely certainty with no possibility of being mistaken has never been a necessary standard for accepting or dismissing some claim. It would help, but it's not a standard people can normally (if ever) achieve and it's hypocritical to suddenly demand it when we come to the question of the existence of the Christian god.
Furthermore, upon what would Arv base a claim that his god does definitely exist? How can be he claiming knowledge that he could reasonably have? If "knowledge" is defined as "justified, true belief," how does one justify -- or perhaps I should say "verify" -- belief that a god exists? Even if we accept for the sake of argument that some entity does exist, how does one verify that it is a "god"?
The Bible says they are a fool, but at least they get their own national holiday, April 1st. Have a nice eternity.
What a nice Christian sentiment: calling others fools for daring to not agree with them. Arv insisted that "I didn't say atheists are fools, the Bible does," but that's simply an example of not taking responsibility for one's beliefs and statements.
The Bible is the source of the quote, but when someone repeats it in such a fashion they are expressing agreement with it and must take personal responsibility for that. If I quoted Hitler in such a manner, I couldn't pretend that accusations of anti-Semitism would be false simply by insisting "I didn't say it, Hitler did."
I take responsibility for what I say, whether the words are my own or were originally someone else's. Christians should do the same.
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