Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is Logic the Opposite of Religion?

More about the debate ongoing in another blog. Occam's Razor is the current dispute, but what it comes down to in all these discussions is whether logic can be used to prove or disprove the existence of God or the Supernatural.

Because you can't literally prove a negative, merely deduce its likelihood, the theist automatically has the upper hand. The theist can come back with "just because you see no evidence for it doesn't mean it doesn't exist." When they resort to this it's tantamount to admitting that there is no proof that they could point to that would convince a skeptic (i.e., someone who is waiting for proof before deciding what to believe).

Now they're on the ropes. Having yielded ground on issues of the veracity of the Bible (some is myth, some is erroneously transmitted, some is inconvenient) and provability of the supernatural, there is only one place to turn: "It's a matter of faith."

I've boxed a few theists into that corner, and remarkably, they are smugly satisfied with it. In the end, they realize they believe merely because they want to believe.

Considering how inconvenient it is to be an atheist in American society, I'd kind of like to believe too. But believing in something that's not true just to fit in with society sticks in my craw. I have to wonder how many people make that ultimate choice between belonging to a big chunk of society and embracing reality at the risk of being despised, pitied, or worse.

As much as America admires the Lone Ranger and Rugged Individualist in theory, it doesn't have much use for them in theology.

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