So God delusions again. How I sort of decided that I am an atheist.
I think there is a clear qualitative difference between “agnostics” who are pretty convinced there is no god but aren’t willing to say that God definitely doesn’t exist, and agnostics who want to say that “we just don’t know”, and leave it more like 50/50. The 50/50 claim seems to be rather dubious. That one should have a 50/50 belief in the existence of God?
Imagine you had a coin, and you couldn’t measure whether it was biased, all you could do is flip it, If it came up heads 99 times out of 100, then you could still reasonably say that you believe it is biased, even though you don’t have direct evidence for it. So why would one insist on having a 50/50 belief? It is only because it has historical significance perhaps?Anyone claiming that position is making an irrational effort to appear “balanced”, irrational in the sense that they are not accounting for the evidence
There is an infinity of possible entities that could exist, and that we don’t have direct evidence for the non-existence of, such as a flying green hippo-giraffe. There is no direct evidence for the non-existence of a flying green hippo-giraffe, but, there is also no evidence for it. I suppose you could argue that it comes down to your prior belief in the existence of entities for which there is no direct evidence of their existence, but then you should have a 50/50 belief in all of those possible things and what that actually means is that you actually believe that 50% of those possible things do exist. For most things, people assign a prior weight to the existence of things that are not consistent with other things that exist. More like how likely you think it is that something that there is no evidence for does, in fact, exist. I think the only reason people want 50/50 is because it’s “god”, which is a woo subject. that people say stupid stuff about. People won’t make the same scrupulous claims about all other possible entities. If to be classed as agnostic you simply have to assign any non-zero weight, however small, to the proposition “God exists”, then it is rational to be agnostic, that is a slippery definition in common discourse, under that definition I would be agnostic, because I assign a small weight to the possibility that none of this actually exists, it’s all in the matrix, it’s all someone’s dream, etc, etc. I don’t know all of those things aren’t true, but I really don’t believe that they are, I couldn’t quantify it, but it’s like 0.00000000001, or something, those things just don’t accord with anything that I experience, but I don’t know, so I am an agnostic, in that sense. Only a ridiculously vengeful god would punish you not believing he existed. How would the creator of the universe be like that?
Jokes apart, I do not know God better, maybe I appreciate uncertainty better 🙂