Thursday

MULTIPLE PROBLEMS WITH ATHEISM: Part 3 Special Pleading


Atheism has not been empirically verified as true.

Atheists do make claims about God. Atheist signs appearing on buses (with official support from the British Humanist Association, atheist Richard Dawkins and atheist philosopher Philosopher AC Grayling) stated: "There’s probably no God.". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign

The burden of proof is definitely upon such atheists to give a positive argument with verifiable evidence that their extraordinary claim is correct. "Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Evidence".

Where is the scientific experiment conducted by atheists that definitively proved that God does not exist? How was the experiment conducted? Which science journal was it published in and who were the researchers? How did they define the God whom they state probably doesn't exist? What is the exactly measured probability and what calculation was used to get that probability?

Note that the above ad campaign puts to rest the incorrect notion that atheists never make claims about God. The ad campaign is a direct claim.

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claim [kleɪm]
n
...
2. an assertion of something as true, real, or factual

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

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I demand evidence for the extraordinary atheist claim that there is no God. The absolutist claim that "there is no God / gods" is a dogma by dictionary definition.

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dog·ma (dôgm, dg-)
n. pl. dog·mas or dog·ma·ta (-m-t)
...
2. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.
3. A principle or belief or a group of them.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." The claim that there is no God / "There is probably no God" is quite extraordinary considering that the vast majority of people in the world believe in God / gods. Atheism is a minority position.  People sprouting that extraordinary claim should be able to prove it.

"He who asserts must prove." The burden of proof is upon the person who claims "There is no God / gods."

Quoting Christopher Hitchens - "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." If atheists cannot give positive evidence for their claims then their claims can be dismissed.

Why do the rules above not apply to atheist claims? Isn't a rejection of these rules for atheists a case of special pleading?

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Special Pleading is a fallacy in which a person applies standards, principles, rules, etc. to others while taking herself  (or those she has a special interest in) to be exempt, without providing adequate justification for the exemption. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

Person A accepts standard(s) S and applies them to others in circumtance(s) C.
Person A is in circumstance(s) C.
Therefore A is exempt from S.

From http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/special-pleading.html

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Dumbing it down for atheists ...

Atheist A accepts standard(s) S ["Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." & "He who asserts must prove." ] and applies them to those who are not atheists in circumtance(s) C [Statements of belief and / or nonbelief]

Atheist A is in circumstance(s) C [Stating the extraordinary claim of nonbelief "There is no God" / There's probably no God."].

Therefore Atheist A is exempt from S.

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Although not all atheists claim "there is no God" many do and it is in the dictionary definition of atheism.

I quote http://www.thefreedictionary.com/atheism

Capitals for emphasis ....

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a·the·ism (th-zm)
n.
1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2. THE DOCTRINE THAT THERE IS NO GOD OR GODS.

[French athéisme, from athée, atheist, from Greek atheos, godless : a-, without; see a-1 + theos, god; see dhs- in Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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While the British Humanist Association, atheist Richard Dawkins and atheist philosopher Philosopher AC Grayling) have not given the calculations that they have made for the probability of God and their result, Stepehn D Unwin has and stated that the proability that God exists is 67%. See http://www.stephenunwin.com/ Complete his test at http://www.is-there-a-god.info/prgod/tt-pgod.shtml