No gods. No evidence. Stop Saying There Is!
Ridiculous claims don’t warrant consideration.
I consider it a complete waste of time to debate the fine points of scripture or religion. They are all based on the central claim that there is a god or gods. Remove that central claim and what is left? We are left with nonsensical gibberish that is laughable for its terrible writing, contradictions, impossible scenarios, uneducated superstition, and horrid violence, calls to war, misogyny, mistrust and tribalism… a promotion of all the worst attributes of humans. No, the central pillar is the god myth, and without it, the castle crumbles into sand.
No, there is no god. Not the one you were raised with, not anyone else’s. Not even one that remains undefined.
No, there is no evidence for gods. Not even weak evidence.
No, you aren’t an agnostic atheist. You know damn well there are no gods. That’s atheism. You just don’t have a satisfactory way of expressing it.
Forget the wishy-washy “lack belief” mantra. It’s nonsensical and defers to a default position of belief. If you aren’t damn sure, you are still a theist. If you aren’t damn sure, you don’t take Pascal’s wager. If you aren’t damn sure, you are still waiting for a signal that would convince you. On receiving a message or a sign from god, an atheist probably questions their mental health, or investigates the phenomenon like any other. They don’t drop everything and exclaim “God!”. That is a theist. No, there is nothing that would convince me. Although you would think an existent god should be able to handle that… Too bad there isn’t.
So how can you know there are no gods?
They are defined and described as beyond space and time, beyond comprehension… omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, all loving… claims that seem at odds with observable reality, yet vague enough as to leave doubt. The gods work in mysterious ways. Who can understand the mind of gods? These are concepts that have evolved and been refined as human intellect has grown. Older gods were cast aside when prayers didn’t work, crops failed, rains didn’t come, natural disasters struck, communicable disease ran rampant, or their claims could be shown to be false. The newer, more refined gods, don’t have the burden of having to perform, interact, be visible, etc… It is precisely this undefined, vague quality… along with the carrot and stick of heaven and hell… that have made the current incarnations successful. “I don’t have to prove anything to you. But if you don’t believe… oh boy, you better believe there will be trouble. My sycophants will see to you in this life, and my alter ego will make sure death is no escape from the torment, EVER! But I love you.”
Gods are by definition supernatural. They don’t dwell within the realm of reality, within what we know to to be true. They are beyond the bounds of physics, and have never been shown to influence natural events. They are everywhere, but unseen and undetected. Exactly like things that don’t exist. Exactly like sprites and leprechauns. In fact there is no evidence of a supernatural realm at all… NOR COULD THERE BE. If it was detectable, it would be just another natural phenomenon that can be explained with our knowledge of reality. It can only be supernatural if it can NEVER be detected. Think of any other claim from the realm of the supernatural… sprites and leprechauns, gremlins, poltergeists, ghosts, demons, fairies, and on and on… There is not, and can NEVER be evidence for them, or they cease to be supernatural.
Ra, Odin, Zeus, Vishnu, Yahweh, Allah… or my beloved feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl… Whatever name you want to use, they all suffer from the same malady; nonexistence. Now you could say “But god is omnipotent, and if he chooses to remain out of sight, he can do it.” But what is the basis for this claim? What evidence would make this more probable than simple nonexistence? I assert now, and ask anyone to disprove it, that the gods we know of hatched from eggs laid by an invisible, magical, god-making platypus. How is this claim less likely than the claims of gods? Yet we don’t suspect this is dubious. We KNOW it is utter rubbish.
There are students of philosophy among us, mostly strongly atheist, that REPEATEDLY state that there IS evidence for god. And they pass a link around to a dreadful video by John Hawthorne stating to a room full of students that indeed, there is evidence, and this should be thought of as completely acceptable and noncontroversial. Hawthorne even breaks out the statisticians toolkit, Bayes theorem, (video here: Theism, Atheism and Bayesiansim – Part 1 (John Hawthorne) to lend it credence, or an air of legitimacy. “The fact there is life is evidence for a life giving god.” Sure it is, in the same way gods would be evidence for a god-egg laying platypus. That is a terrible and misleading application of a useful tool, and is the exact opposite of philosophy. Philosophy defined is “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” What the video does is presuppose god as a possible explanation when it should be ruled out as are all supernatural claims. It is not instructive, and tells us nothing about knowledge, reality or existence.
Of course Bayes is a useful tool. But for discounting the god notion, not advocating for it. The first Bayes chart should be divided into “Natural explanations” and “Supernatural explanations”. Not once has any of the billions of prayers to any of thousands of gods been shown to have any effect. Not once has there been a verifiable sighting of god. Not once has a miracle been shown to be anything but natural. Not once has ANY supernatural claim been shown to be true. NOR COULD IT BE, or it wouldn’t be supernatural. Given the immense weight of prior knowledge, and total and utter absence for anything we could describe as supernatural, we can discard that entire category from consideration. If the entire category can be discarded, gods go with it. You can’t then subsequently claim further down the road that we can insert god here as a possible explanation when they were discarded in STEP #1.
God claims can and should be held to the same standards we hold other claims of the supernatural… mistrust and disdain. We should not be wavering or deferring. I’m not agnostic. I don’t even like the term atheist. I refer to myself as a skeptic, because I like my truths to have explanations, preferably that make sense and backed by evidence. And this is not purely academic. Religion is incredibly destructive. Look around the world at the strife in the name of various gods. Look at the monumental waste. We do no one a favor by giving gods a pass. No, gods aren’t here, never were, and never will be. And we need to say so, firmly and with conviction, for ourselves, and especially for those that would be endangered by saying so.