Monday, 13 September 2010
The null hypothesis
The null hypothesis, in the context of god, is to assume that something does not exist until there is sufficient evidence to accept that it does. That is the position that the word ‘atheist’ describes; a rejection of the claims about existing gods due to lack of evidence (or the lack of belief in any gods). As a theist you not only need to provide evidence for the existence of your god (who may or may not be personal) but you also need to establish within the same criteria why you do not believe in any other deity such as Odin, Horus, or Allah. In other words you need to show why your scepticism or lack of belief in other gods is justified. Atheists will continue to react to the claim that there is a god by saying, “I don’t believe you” to which the theists inevitably insist that we can’t disprove god. But this is not the point, we simply have no reason to agree that your claim is truthful or justified. It is your job to provide evidence for you claim, not ours to disprove it. You know exactly how this works in your head because you apply the same logical reasoning when you claim disbelief in other gods; as Dawkins says, Atheists always go one god further when withholding belief. Don’t get me wrong it is eminently possible to provide a weak or strong argument for god’s existence but again that is not the point.