It’s another scorcher of a day, and I’ve started it out with coffee…
And reading about atheism! :spock:
Posted just a few days ago, Greta Christina writes about 6 (unlikely) developments that could convince her to abandon her atheism and believe in god.
She has a good list, but really only the first — an unambiguous message — is necessary; the rest strike me as corollaries. And this, in my view, is all she really needs to say:
If God were real, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If God were real, it would be freaking obvious. If God were real, nobody would be an atheist. Nobody would even disagree about religion. The most obvious explanation for God’s existence not being ridiculously self-evident is that God does not exist. As Julia Sweeney says in her brilliant performance piece Letting Go of God, “The world behaves exactly as you expect it would, if there were no Supreme Being, no Supreme Consciousness, and no supernatural.”
This is an extension of an earlier essay where she explains what’s been termed “the argument from reasonable non-belief” — the existence of atheists is evidence for the non-existence of god as disbelief indicates an inconsistency in god’s existence. (I’m muddling the argument; it’s better to check the links. 😉 )
I’ve been formulating my own argument for god’s non-existence recently, though I’m sure someone else has come up with it.
The universe itself. It’s big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. By comparison, we are very very small. The Earth is just a mote of dust in the cosmic night. Our lives are not just short, they are insignificant in comparison to how long the universe has existed — and how long the universe will continue to exist.
The universe wasn’t created for us. We just happen to be here, in this particular moment, on this particular dust mote. The vastness of the universe — or if you’re religiously inclined, god’s creation — is completely inaccessible and unknowable to us, to our ancestors, and to many of our descendants. This suggests to me that god does not exist because why would a god have made his creation so small and so insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe?
I will note, however, that this argument, fuzzy though it is because I’m not a logician or philosopher, doesn’t refute all conceptions of the divine. A Deist would be in all likelihood be perfectly fine with the preceding paragraphs as, to a Deist, once god sets the universe in motion he buggers off, leaving humanity here by chance.
Humanity isn’t special. Only humanity’s collective hubris believes otherwise.