Field of Science

Yet more on whether adequate evidence for God could exist

I swear I was gonna leave this subject alone, but a new post by Greta Christina has just said something on the topic of what evidence is needed to persuade atheists of the existence of God that I so disagree with:
Even if a 900-foot Jesus appeared in the sky tomorrow, healing amputees and unambiguously stating his message in all languages and whatnot, a religion would have to explain why God was making all this happen now...and not at any other time in human history.
Notice she says "religion would have to explain". No. The deity that appeared could do that. Suppose the reason for doing godly stuff now, and not in the last 200 or 2000 years, or ever before, was not shared with any humans, then how is any religion supposed to hypothesize about it? Suppose the deity just was busy with other things, or was observing us as an experiment, or was not able to do so (a deity need not be omnipotent). If all current religions are wrong, because the deity had not shared anything with us, then that does not preclude evidence from being adequate.

If I one day let everyone know (in their heads, in their language, at the same time) that I am that deity, and then went on to tell everyone that I could do anything I wanted (let animals talk, create a new planet, sink Australia, make Australia reappear in the Atlantic, let your dead loved ones come back to life, make anything appear that you ask again and again, make you larger than the Earth, make everyone observe and agree that you were made larger than the Earth, suspend the most trusted laws of physics (2nd law of thermodynamics, for starters), and repeat all of the above on command, etc. etc.), and then continued to tell you that, look, I don't care about you, I just happen to have the powers of Q and more, and I did in fact create the whole solar system and life on Earth (and on Europa - go have a look see), but in fact not the entire universe, then just because no "religion" has hypothesized all of these events before it does not follow that I should not be called a god.

Sure, again, it depends on the definition of 'god', but I honestly think we've got it covered by now.

But then, I can just see PZ standing there looking at all that evidence, and say "mighty fine powers, but you're not God, because I you don't look anything like Jesus."


Update 11/8: For some odd reason I cannot comprehend, PZ feels he is all alone on this issue, and is happy (I infer, with all the uncertainties that incurs) to link to two bloggers who agree with him, even though (imo) both posts are senseless supercilious screeds.


  1. You make two interesting points:
    1) religion does not need to explain anything, for all we know religions might not have anything to do with "god"
    2) God does not need to explain anything, and also god's existence migth not matter at all.

    Still I wonder: Is there a religion that has a God that is incabable of having or excerting a free will?

    Cheers Arend

  2. Right. It is as if humans think that their expectations of godhood must be met. Says who?

    And yes, God may exist but may also not care to do anything. Retired?

    As for free will, I think that's the same way. We could expect God to have it (contrary to humans), but may not?

  3. Richard Dawkins rightly pointed out in "The God Delusion" that beliefs considered "religious" are, like all other claims about reality, not exempt from critical examination (falsification), and only a fideist would claim otherwise. He is wrong that the only alternative to NOMA is that evolution conflicts with any sort of design, however, where he is right implies that atheists who think atheism is not falsifiable (Myers), are 'implicitly' fideist.

    Genuine faith/belief is strengthened by evidence and weakened by counter-evidence, so there can be varying degrees of belief/faith/subjective certainty (hence, belief "scale"), but the 'truth' of the matter is very black and white (law of non-contradiction). A belief is either true or not true, regardless the amount of evidence you have in favor of it or against it, and regardless how subjectively certain you are or how strongly you believe it, which is why it is better to use "apistic/pistic" on a belief scale, rather than "agnostic/gnostic".

  4. My dictionary doesn't have 'pistic' or 'apistic'. Is that reason enough to retain gnostic and agnostic - whose meaning we can at least look up?


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