There is a mantra that is constantly recited by the new science-worshiping atheists, which comes in different versions while essentially saying the same thing. Apparently, the evidence provided by science so far suggests that the existence of God is unlikely. Hence, the sound position one must hold on God’s existence until the evidence suggests otherwise is in the negative or at the very least neutral. It is as if science is the only acceptable methodology of acquiring knowledge. Furthermore, apparently the burden of proof is on the believer. It is the believer who must provide the proof that God exists because it is the believer who proposed His existence in the first place. Until the proof is provided, we must again hold the negative position or at least stay neutral. This, according to atheism, is the rational approach.
Before tackling the evidence issue, we should first examine the proposition that the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. This indeed can be justifiably considered to be the rational position to hold under usual circumstances. But is it necessary under all circumstances? John Stewart Mill wrote an interesting essay in 1869 entitled “The Subjection of Women”, in which he was addressing the issue of the rights of women in society at the time. Before tackling the matter, he acknowledged that proposing equal rights for both genders is unorthodox given the values upheld by just about everyone in his society, including intellectuals. Even women themselves were indoctrinated in such a way that they viewed their lesser status and lack of rights in society as natural order. So before getting into the subject and addressing how his society has become that way and why it should change, he brought up the issue of the burden of proof. In circumstances in which the great majority hold a belief of any kind, what the dissenting voice must do is bring forth their case and prove it. In other words, rather than the accused being innocent until proven guilty, they become guilty until proven innocent. So rather than throwing up his hands and saying that what his society is doing is incorrect, Mill wrote a lengthy treatise to establish that the proper thing for a society is to have women enjoy equal rights as men.
Where this comes in with atheists is straightforward. The proposition that the believer must provide evidence for God, and until then we should remain either atheists or agnostic is problematic when we have had, since the beginning of history records, humans having engaged in some form of religious rituals and having acknowledged the existence of God. This is not an appeal to antiquity or to popularity. It is simply a pointing to a fact of life. It does not establish the truth of the claim that God exists, nor does it point to the fallaciousness of the claim that God does not exist. All this fact does is put the burden of proof on the atheist rather than the believer since he is the one dissenting from the great majority. The atheist must undertake the task of proving the negative, which contrary to what many atheists seem to think, is not an impossibility.
When it comes to the issue of evidence, it seems to be a word that is used in an unrestricted fashion by atheists to support their final conclusions. If anything, this reflects either a simpleton mind, or an ulterior motive driving atheists. The broad term “evidence” is defined as a body of information that points towards the validity of a claim. However, because there are several types of evidence, we cannot simply make the broad request of anyone to provide “evidence”. Depending on the matter at hand, we must define the type of evidence we need in order to be convinced. At the very least, we should qualify whether we want direct evidence, or can be persuaded by indirect evidence if it is strong enough.
But let us take this a step back further than just defining “evidence’ and identifying which types are there. The question we should address first if we want to restrict ourselves to pure logic and avoid all fallacies is: can any evidence, irrespective of type, be sufficient to prove that God exists? It would seem that from the atheist perspective the answer to this question is a simple “No”. Regardless of what type of evidence they are provided with, atheists will always have some response to it, which can be frustrating to the believer as they list all the reasons why a belief in God is actually the more rational position to hold. The problem is not with the evidence from an empirical sense. The problem is with the rationalization process that comes after being presented with the evidence, which leads us into a discussion about the nature of knowledge, which we can address elsewhere.
Hubris is the state of the science-worshipping atheists. In a sense, it can be understood why they have become this way. Being able to observe the deep universe, examine the cosmos, send all kinds of technology into outer space, while at the same time be able to manipulate genomes, alter bacteria, play around with viruses, and control diseases are all very impressive feats. Mankind has surpassed its wildest historical imaginations of what it can accomplish. But this does not necessarily mean that our intellectual capacity or ability to reason has also progressed. In fact, it can be argued that we have become more confused as a generation and many are deluded into thinking that they are rational. The vast majority of books put out and read by science-worshipping atheists are sophistical in their reasoning and embarrassing in their conclusions.
The interesting question for the science-worshipping atheist to answer is whether it is about the belief in God, or the consequences of believing in God that are a problem. In other words, is it a matter of acknowledging God’s existence, or a matter of acknowledging what it means to their life after acknowledging God’s existence? It would be interesting to see if for an atheist it is more about an attachment to a hedonistic lifestyle where the caprices and desires are fulfilled without restriction, combined with a hubristic vision of their intellectual capacities and human abilities, than it is being about the actual question of God’s existence. It is reported that in his last recorded interviews, Jean Paul Sartre said he had reflected upon his reasons for atheism and found them to be childish. Whether this is true or not is debatable. But it does reflect a type of recognition of the human condition when it comes to our desires. We become like children when we want something and don’t have a barrier stopping us. And when the parent puts the barrier we get upset. This continues until we can finally move out of the house so we can be “free”. That is what Sartre was talking about. Atheism to him was just a delusion of freedom that dissipated when he finally was being intellectually honest with himself.
It seems that science-worshipping atheists are using science and what they call “reason” as veils to cover their dissatisfaction with being told to bow to something greater than they can comprehend. More interestingly, they also seem to be using these veils to cover up their discontent with being told “do this and don’t do that”. This is not to say that some of their other problems with “religion” might be justified. But given their being taken with sophistical reasoning, they readily confuse actions, statements, and even beliefs of individuals with what their respective religions actually teach. Moreover, what these science-worshipping atheists failed to recognize is that in their rejection of God, they have taken their own egos to be gods and became autodeists. Now they are organizing to form their own brand of religion full of moral theory and even practices, which they began to call people to so they can be “saved”. How ironic?