I frequently run into atheists who spout the politically correct dictum that we cannot KNOW there is no god; we see no evidence for one, so we believe that no gods exist — but we remain agnostic to the possiblity because we have integrity and are openminded to true evidence, should it arise.
Well, I think that’s just bullshit coated with a dressing of the fear of being accused of being an absolutist.
But the fact remains, we certainly CAN know, in every commonly used sense of the word ‘know’, that gods do not exist. To presume our own infallibility is another thing entirely. THAT would be irrational and absurd. But there’s no need to extrapolate that to the question of god.
Do you have any problem saying you know that Superman doesn’t really exist? What about Zeus. Thor. Odin. Isis. Perhaps you’re not too sure about leprechauns, or wood sprites and fairies? Oh, I see, you have no problem stating you know THEY don’t exist. Then why do you not apply the exact same logic to the gods du jour? Why do they get a ‘pass’ on this? They are NO different.
They don’t get a ‘maybe’ from me. I don’t say ‘you can’t prove a negative’ but rather, you have no need, no obligation, to prove a negative. NOR to consider the claim a possiblility simply because it’s untestable.
Now, of course, you might be someone who really isn’t sure. Who can’t quite shed the indoctrination of religion. So you feel maybe there is, maybe not. I am NOT addressing you with this.
And I’m not addressing theists, who in their own peculiar, unfathomable way, ‘know’ gods do exist.
I’m talking to the atheists who say they CANNOT HONESTLY state they KNOW that no gods exist because after all, you can’t prove a negative. Then I say, following that logic, you must also say that those other beings I named above might also exist. If you can, sincerely, claim that perhaps Zeus et all might exist, then I must ask … how do you ever make any decisions? Or better yet, how do you define ‘atheist’?
I will not argue the bible (nor koran or any other ‘holy’ book). To me, that’s like arguing what decor Santa’s home has, or what size outfit he wears. I believe such argument ultimately feeds the believers, because they then feel that it gives a level of credence to the books. Furthermore, I don’t believe absurd books have any relevance to the question of whether gods exist or not. If they do exist – they CAN be irrational. They CAN play games. They can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The question is, DO THEY EXIST in the first place?
I am convinced that there is ample evidence that they do not. This evidence lies in the claims. No, thunder isn’t a god. No, existence isn’t only 6000 yrs old. No, god didn’t save you during your accident. Your air bag did. No, god didn’t take away your child with a horrid cancer – the horrid cancer took away your child. God didn’t make your team win the game. Ad nauseum. Just how many god-did-it claims must you refute before you’ve had enough? Before you can say you KNOW they are ALL not true? That the root – the god part – is just pure human fantasy. ANY other claims except those of the deities-du-jour are quite comfortably dismissed after refuting far less claims than those disproven for a god.
So… where’s the beef?
Why, if you claim atheism, do you allow theology to stick a ‘can’t say for sure’ post-it note on your atheism? I’m not suggesting that we turn around and be rude to believers, I am simply suggesting we be honest with ourselves. It’s like when a kid first discovers there’s no Santa Claus. He’ll say so with assurance, but he keeps a little bit of doubt in there ‘just in case’. Eventually, though, he’ll unload that residual doubt and move on.
I think it’s time we atheists move on. Should Odin drop in for lunch one day, I’ll revise my knowledge. But for now, I’m damned sure. Sure enough to say I know it. I know you KNOW so as well. So stand up and say it, and MEAN it. And be content with your knowledge. You do NOT need to be ‘openminded’ on this one.