Patrickatheism

If God exists, atheism is false. Thus atheism is dependent upon the truth of whether or not God exists.

Imagine a world in which it is true that God exists and it is also the case that atheism is true.

This is the world of Patrickatheism.

762 thoughts on “Patrickatheism

  1. Patrick: You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one claiming a god exists. Provide some evidence for it.

    Define “proof” and show you qualify as someone worthy of having proof presented. For example, Sam Harris is an example of an atheist who doesn’t accept proof in this area. Most atheists are like this. It’s not a matter of burden of proof, but a matter of being deaf/attentive on the subject.

  2. Patrick:eople who lack a belief in a god or gods lack that belief for many different reasons.My personal reason is the utter lack of any evidence for such entities.

    I think after years of being a devout believer, the straw that removed my belief was the apparent lack of any impact. Theists are, on average compared to the general population, no wealthier or poorer, no happier or sadder (several world-wide sociological studies seem to indicate that on average, secular societies appear to have happier citizenry overall, but this could very well be due to a number of other factors (such as economic equality) so it’s a little iffy), no more prone to marry or less prone to divorce (although a 1999 Barna Group study did indicate the Christians, on average, were more likely to get divorced in the US than their non-Christian counterparts, but if one looks at world-wide data, it appears to be a wash), no more or less prone to disease or “acts of fate” hardships (though one could argue that some god(s) have it out for some of the bible-belt dwellers with the number of tornadoes that get tossed at them, but…ehh…that’s likely just a function of where they chose to congregate…), no more or less likely to win sports activities or lotteries, and so forth.

    By and large, belief appears to have no impact on life (or death) whatsoever. So why bother?

  3. Erik: Define “proof” and show you qualify as someone worthy of having proof presented.

    I assume you addressed this to patrick, but I share a lot of Patrick’s thoughts on this subject.

    First of all, my skepticism is fueled by the multiplicity of conflicting religious claims.

    If you will narrow things down to a small set of related claims, I might be able say what it is that would cause me to take the claims seriously.

  4. Erik: Define “proof” and show you qualify as someone worthy of having proof presented. For example, Sam Harris is an example of an atheist who doesn’t accept proof in this area. Most atheists are like this. It’s not a matter of burden of proof, but a matter of being deaf/attentive on the subject.

    You’re missing Patrick’s point here Erik. “Burden of proof” is not about the nature
    or even validity or even acceptance of some kind of “proof”; it’s merely a phrase noting who in a given discussion/argument has the responsibility to provide support for claims assuming that person wants his/her said claims considered credible and/or accepted. If you don’t care whether your claims about any god(s) are considered credible or if they are taken at face value, you have no burden to substantiate anything. However, those denying such claims neverhave a burden to disprove such claims. Whether Patrick (or anyone else here for that matter) is worthy of being given proof does not change this point.

    In other words, if someone claims leprechauns, invisible pink unicorns, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Frodo, or some god exists, no one is under any burden to disprove any of those claims as untrue. Anyone who wishes not to accept such claims can simply shrug and, “Meh…that’s silly.” and said claims are thus defeated unless and until the positive claimer can actually substantiate said claim in some way.

  5. Robin: “Meh…that’s silly.”

    Silly because there are so many conflicting claims.

    Perhaps if you grow up sheltered from knowledge of other religious people believing incompatible things, you cannot see this.

  6. petrushka: Silly because there are so many conflicting claims.

    Perhaps if you grow up sheltered from knowledge of other religious people believing incompatible things, you cannot see this.

    I really do think that’s a HUGE influence on some religionist’s thinking; they really are brought up to think that their group’s worldview is the ONLY worldview. They are rarely (if ever) exposed to any other perspective.

  7. Patrick,

    You’re unable to define what it is you worship? Strange.

    This discussion is about evidence not about worship. Evidence that the universe was created vs randomly evolved. For argument sake the creator is defined as God.

    Evidence; 1. The structure of matter is made up of components of atoms and molecules that behave predictably and with about 100 basic building blocks everything in the universe can be built.

    Evidence; 2. Those building blocks can be arranged to form Life.

    Evidence; 3. The mathematical predictability of the Universe especially the repeatability of the 4 forces.

    Evidence: 4. The architecture of life and its similarity to human designs. Especially replication, sequences (DNA Protein other).

  8. Erik:

    Different atheists are saying different things. Some say God does not exist. Some say God probably does not exist. Some say they have not seen evidence for God. Some say belief in God is evil or stupid. All different statements with different motivation and implications, but all characteristic to atheism.

    petrushka:

    What do they have in common, other than lack of belief?

    walto:

    Interest in the subject.

    Many theists also have an interest in the subject. Petrushka is looking for commonalities among atheists that aren’t found among theists.

  9. Patrick: The burden of proof is on the person making the positive claim. Theists are claiming that a god or gods exist. The burden of proof is on them.

    Presumably you think that if an atheist claims that God does not exist that atheist would have no burden of proof. Am I right?

  10. walto:

    petrushka: What do they have in common, other than lack of belief?

    Interest in the subject.

    I believe if Patrick had an actual interest in the subject he’d adopt a position that can at least be falsified if God does in fact exist.

  11. Patrick: You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one claiming a god exists. Provide some evidence for it.

    Why? It would not falsify your Patrickatheism. I could offer proof that God exists and you could still maintain your lack of belief. I could even offer mere evidence of the existence of God and you could still maintain your Patrickatheism.

    It is not possible to demonstrate that your lack of belief (aka Patrickatheism) is false. It’s a fool’s errand.

  12. Some people seem to think that what defines the meaning of the term “atheism” is what all atheists have in common.

    All atheists are humans, therefore “atheism” means “human.”

  13. More on the nonsensical Patrickatheism.

    I could present before Patrick’s senses and for his objective empirical examination my cat, and claim that my cat is God.

    Then I could say, put Him to the test, if you dare.

    How would Patrick test my claim that my cat is God?

    Why shouldn’t Patrick worship my cat?

  14. Mung: I could offer proof that God exists and you could still maintain your lack of belief. I could even offer mere evidence of the existence of God and you could still maintain your Patrickatheism.

    What’s stopping Mung from testing those absurd claims? Fear of failure?

    It is not possible to demonstrate that your lack of belief (aka Patrickatheism) is false. It’s a fool’s errand.

    How can a lack of belief be false? Show Patrick the instruments of torture, and we may find out.

  15. Mung:
    More on the nonsensical Patrickatheism.

    I could present before Patrick’s senses and for his objective empirical examination my cat, and claim that my cat is God.

    Then I could say, put Him to the test, if you dare.

    How would Patrick test my claim that my cat is God?

    Why shouldn’t Patrick worship my cat?

    Do it, and find out.

  16. Mung’s problem is that he/she just wants to complain.

    Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch, ’till the cows come home.

  17. Mung:
    More on the nonsensical Patrickatheism.

    I could present before Patrick’s senses and for his objective empirical examination my cat, and claim that my cat is God.

    Then I could say, put Him to the test, if you dare.

    How would Patrick test my claim that my cat is God?

    Why shouldn’t Patrick worship my cat?

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”
    – attributed to a variety of people.

  18. keiths:
    Erik:

    petrushka:

    walto:

    Many theists also have an interest in the subject.Petrushka is looking for commonalities among atheists that aren’t found among theists.

    No no no, Norbert. Better read petrushka’s post and my response again, this time trying harder to understand what the word ‘they’ meant in petrushka’s post. It may be hard for you, but give it a shot anyhow. If you continue to be confused about what a subset is, just ask for help and I’ll look around for a third grade teacher who might be able to assist..

  19. Walto, the formatting of your post got screwed up. I have no idea what you tried to say.

    Can someone just name a person who lacks belief in deities but is not an atheist, and perhaps briefly describe their position?

  20. petrushka,

    This was all discussed endlessly in another thread, petrushka. You even participated a bit. If no one is interested in going into this again (I know I’m not), you could break down and read (or reread) that thread. The issue you’re now concerned about was an important element.

  21. So, Patrick, a lack of disbelief. Do you also have that, or is that not part of your “atheism”?

    If an atheist claims God does not exist, is that a “negative” claim which assumes no burden of proof? If I claim London is in England and you claim London is not in England, I am the one making the “positive” claim and therefore I am the only one with a burden of proof?

    Did you remember to pray to my cat today?

    ETA: Hope you’re enjoying your travels.

  22. petrushka: First of all, my skepticism is fueled by the multiplicity of conflicting religious claims.

    Are religious claims the only claims characterized by multiplicity? Don’t atheists often display ridiculous direct self-contradiction, such as God is immoral, false, and doesn’t exist. ?

    Robin: You’re missing Patrick’s point here Erik.

    Maybe. But no more than he misses mine.

    keiths: Petrushka is looking for commonalities among atheists that aren’t found among theists.

    But isn’t this commonality sort of dilute? I mean, unborn babies and willow trees lack belief in God, but are they atheists? Surely, atheism must be a well-informed opinion in order to count as atheism, don’t you think?

  23. Erik: Are religious claims the only claims characterized by multiplicity? Don’t atheists often display ridiculous direct self-contradiction, such as God is immoral, false, and doesn’t exist. ?

    Fictional characters can be immoral. What’s the problem?

    The reason for arguing that the God of the Bible is immoral is to point out problems with using the Bible as a legal text to determine what must be done and what must not be done.

    Many of the things done by Muslim extremists are following the Koran. Jews and Christians have many of the same admonitions in their scriptures. They have just chosen to ignore them.

    For example: “For anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood is upon him.

  24. Erik:

    You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one claiming a god exists. Provide some evidence for it.

    Define “proof”

    As I’ve noted previously, the same amount and type of evidence you’d require to rationally conclude that sasquatch exists. Even the type of evidence you need before making a financial investment or just crossing the street would be superior to anything I’ve seen thus far.

    and show you qualify as someone worthy of having proof presented.

    You are free to engage in this discussion or not. If you’re going to make claims about reality like “a god or gods exist” on a place called The Skeptical Zone, you should expect to be challenged to support that claim.

  25. I demand evidence that the quotations in the preceding post actually exist.

    ETA: bad browser. Nevermind.

  26. colewd:

    You’re unable to define what it is you worship? Strange.

    This discussion is about evidence not about worship.Evidence that the universe was created vs randomly evolved.For argument sake the creator is defined as God.

    That’s not entirely accurate. I did ask for a definition of what anyone claiming “a god or gods exist” means by “god”. None I have seen thus far are internally consistent, compatible with the external world, or what the vast majority of people mean when they use the term, even very broadly construed.

    Evidence; 1. The structure of matter is made up of components of atoms and molecules that behave predictably and with about 100 basic building blocks everything in the universe can be built.

    Evidence; 2. Those building blocks can be arranged to form Life.

    Evidence; 3.The mathematical predictability of the Universe especially the repeatability of the 4 forces.

    Evidence: 4.The architecture of life and its similarity to human designs.Especially replication, sequences (DNA Protein other).

    Why is any of that evidence of any god? Are you just making an argument from incredulity?

  27. Nevermind. I have a browser that occasionally whites out certain kinds of text. I don’t know if it’s editorializing.

  28. Mung: Presumably you think that if an atheist claims that God does not exist that atheist would have no burden of proof. Am I right?

    If someone claims that a god definitely doesn’t exist, that person is making a positive claim and shoulders the burden of proof.

    So you’re wrong. Again.

  29. Mung:

    You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. You’re the one claiming a god exists. Provide some evidence for it.

    Why? It would not falsify your Patrickatheism. I could offer proof that God exists and you could still maintain your lack of belief.

    It’s simply atheism, same as the lack of belief of many others.

    If you offered objective, empirical evidence for the existence of a god or gods I would of course provisionally accept that such entities do exist. Got any?

  30. Pedant:
    How can a lack of belief be false?Show Patrick the instruments of torture, and we may find out.

    That does seem to be what it always comes down to with theists.

  31. Patrick: If someone claims that a god definitely doesn’t exist, that person is making a positive claim and shoulders the burden of proof.

    What is your criterion for deciding what constitutes a positive claim that carries with it a burden of proof and a negative claim that does not carry with it a burden of proof? Do you have one?

  32. Patrick: If you offered objective, empirical evidence for the existence of a god or gods I would of course provisionally accept that such entities do exist. Got any?

    You at least on the surface appear to be making a claim that “objective empirical evidence” could establish the existence of God. Is that what you’re claiming?

    If so, how is that the case? Can you provide an example?

    On what basis do you reject the claim that my cat is God? Have you never had a cat?

  33. Erik: Surely, atheism must be a well-informed opinion in order to count as atheism, don’t you think?

    There are no atheists here at TSZ, only Patrickatheists.

  34. Patrick: As I’ve noted previously, the same amount and type of evidence you’d require to rationally conclude that sasquatch exists.

    So, in the world of Patrick, when we first presuppose that God is a sasquatch, then we are having a rational discussion. Okay. Can you point out the next step how we are to rationally proceed from here?

  35. Yes! We must have God sightings! Only then can we investigate using our objective empirical methods for deciding what creatures are Godlike and which are not Godlike. Only a being visible to the naked eye could possibly be Godlike!

    Sasquatch-like even!

    Don’t expect a rational defense from Patrick. He’s away, traveling, and doesn’t have the burden of proof anyways.

  36. Mung: Only a being visible to the naked eye could possibly be Godlike!

    My cat is quite visible to the naked eye. Still wondering how Patrick manages to exclude my cat from consideration. He doesn’t say. Maybe he just lacks belief that my cat is God, with no good reason at all.

  37. Patrick,

    Why is any of that evidence of any god? Are you just making an argument from incredulity?

    God is defined as the creator of the universe. The 4 points are observed evidence that what we are observing is the result of Gods work. If you think any of the 4 points are arguments of incredulity can you be more specific why this is the case?

  38. colewd:
    Patrick,

    God is defined as the creator of the universe.The 4 points are observed evidence that what we are observing is the result of Gods work.If you think any of the 4 points are arguments of incredulity can you be more specific why this is the case?

    Syllogism:

    Major Premise: God is the creator of the Universe.

    Minor Premise: There is a Universe.

    Conclusion: There is a God.

  39. colewd,

    God is defined as the creator of the universe.

    If the universe has no creator, you’ve defined God as nonexistent.

    Care to demonstrate that the universe has a creator?

  40. keiths: Care to demonstrate that the universe has a creator?

    Why? So you can use your tortured “logic” on it? Do you stand with Patrick in saying that God could in fact exist and atheism could still be true (even if God really does exist)?

    keiths tortured logic:
    If the universe has no creator, God is nonexistent.
    If colewd cannot demonstrate that the universe has a creator,
    Then God does not exist.

  41. keiths,

    Evidence; 1. The structure of matter is made up of components of atoms and molecules that behave predictably and with about 100 basic building blocks everything in the universe can be built.

    Evidence; 2. Those building blocks can be arranged to form Life.

    Evidence; 3.The mathematical predictability of the Universe especially the repeatability of the 4 forces.

    Evidence: 4.The architecture of life and its similarity to human designs.Especially replication, sequences (DNA Protein other).

    This is the evidence I provided Patrick to support the argument of a created universe.

  42. I’d love to hear why Patrick thinks that God is like sasquatch but God is not like my cat. These demands for “objective empirical evidence” for the existence of God are beginning to ring hollow.

  43. Mung:
    I’d love to hear why Patrick thinks that God is like sasquatch but God is not like my cat. These demands for “objective empirical evidence” for the existence of God are beginning to ring hollow.

    I think I get this now. Mung doesn’t have a cat.

  44. God is not like my cat because …

    It’s not that difficult. Unless you believe that God is like my cat.

  45. colewd,

    You’ve made four statements without explaining how they support the idea that the universe has a creator.

    For example, you state:

    Evidence; 1. The structure of matter is made up of components of atoms and molecules that behave predictably and with about 100 basic building blocks everything in the universe can be built.

    You’re implying that if the universe didn’t have a creator, then the number of “building blocks” would be different and they wouldn’t behave predictably.

    How did you reach that conclusion?

  46. Mung:

    If you offered objective, empirical evidence for the existence of a god or gods I would of course provisionally accept that such entities do exist. Got any?

    You at least on the surface appear to be making a claim that “objective empirical evidence” could establish the existence of God. Is that what you’re claiming?

    . . . .

    The only thing I’m claiming is that I have never been presented with either

    a) a definition of “god” that is both internally coherent, consistent with external evidence, and broadly within that set of concepts most people would call gods

    or

    b) objective, empirical evidence for such an entity

    Got any?

  47. Erik:

    As I’ve noted previously, the same amount and type of evidence you’d require to rationally conclude that sasquatch exists.

    So, in the world of Patrick, when we first presuppose that God is a sasquatch, then we are having a rational discussion. Okay. Can you point out the next step how we are to rationally proceed from here?

    You could provide a coherent definition of what you mean by “god” and some objective, empirical evidence that such an entity actually exists or you could simply admit that you can’t and the conversation is over.

  48. colewd:

    God is defined as the creator of the universe.

    No, again that is something you claim your god did. It is not what your god is.

    The 4 points are observed evidence that what we are observing is the result of Gods work.

    Without a good definition of what you mean by “god” there is no reason to consider any of those observations as supporting the existence of such a thing.

    If you think any of the 4 points are arguments of incredulity can you be more specific why this is the case?

    Based on past experience with theists, the usual argument is along the lines of “There’s no way to explain that without (my) god!” A standard argument from incredulity.

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