Message 466 of 468 (633112)
09-12-2011 2:21 PM
The "subjective evidence" put forwards for gods in this thread seems to consist of a combination of 3 different arguments. All of them flawed.
1) We have had a few variations of argumentum ad populum. Essentially anything which relies on human belief itself as evidence upon which to justify human belief is circular. Obviously.
2) Confusing cause and effect - Essentially taking an observable phenomenon and instead of asking what the cause of this phenomenon is the theist assumes that the object of their belief is the cause and then cites the observed phenomenon as evidence of their belief. It is completely back to front and lies at the heart of the whole "religious experience" form of evidence. Aside from human belief what is there to link these experiences to anything supernatural at all?
3) Lastly we have the "All conclusions are just different interpretations of the same evidence" approach. Here the fact of the human proclivity to falsely imbue all sorts of things with intelligent agency and to invent intelligent agents is accepted. But in a slightly perverse form of reverse logic the fact that humans have a tendency to invoke false positive agency (i.e. agency that is perceived but isn't actually there as a result of the survival advantage of over-detection in relation to under-detection) is taken as a sign of a real agent at work. That the reason we are so prone to things like conspiracy theories, imaginary friends, false gods and assigning mindless physical processes like the weather with intelligent cause is because we have somehow been programmed to do so in order to eventually achieve an understanding of some real God. The reason humans are so psychologically inclined to do things like believe that Obama is the anti-christ is all part of some wonderfully convuluted plan of revelation.
Anyway - The facts are simple. Humans can and do invent intelligent agents (including - but not limited to - gods) for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with the actual existence of such entities.
Meanwhile the actual existence of any gods remains as unevidenced as every other evidentially baseless proposition one can name. Last Thursdayism, The magically undetectable Easter Bunny, our old friend the Immaterial Pink Unicorn etc. etc. etc.
So we have an objectively evidenced naturalistic explanation for the existence of god concepts Vs an evidentially baseless supernatural one.