It is just the worn out old straw man, that all atheism is "hard atheism", which it is not. Hard atheists who are willing to declare their certainty that there is no god and no supernatural or undiscovered natural realms beyond the known, are rare among atheists. Most atheists are soft atheists, who simply declare that they have found no convincing evidence for god, and prefer not to believe without that, or agnostic atheists who do not think it likely that anyone has found such evidence, and think it a waste of effort even to pursue it.
This article is fairly typical of the poor shabby values applied to thinking, which often occurs in those who have come under the thrall of religion, with its destructive effects on the best qualities of the human personality, especially honesty and values. Sadly sometimes found even among scientists. Though of course it is quite possible that the writer is just ignorant of atheism and does not understand it, which is excusable even if not good.
The argument is one which I have heard hundreds of times from apologists, who love it, and is typical of the straw man fallacy. Of defining a thing into existence, in such a way that it is perfectly suited to your counter argument, even though that may not reflect reality.
Atheism is not inconsistent with science because atheism is not a belief system, atheism is the absence of belief/faith.
"If I declare that my god is real and that it's scriptures are infallible."
Atheists do not make the assertion that a god does not exist because then they would have to prove that assertion. An atheist does not care about unsubstantiated beliefs. Believers try to project that everyone is concerned or obsessed with their gods.
Everyone is agnostic, including theists. They, like everyone else, DO NOT KNOW definitively if a god exists, that is why agnosticism is irrelevant.
In order to know, you must have knowledge, in order to have knowledge, you must have evidence. Believers simply believe without evidence producing knowledge. An atheist accepts knowledge that evidence produces. Theists have NOT produced any evidence for gods.
This is why atheists demand proof in order to obtain knowledge and theists demand belief in order to sustain their faith.
A god is not defined by reality or existence, believers make the assertion that it is, the god makes no assertion whether it exists or not, it is therefore the believer who must then prove the assertions they make.
@Fernapple It doesn't matter what a person calls themselves, they are either an agnostic believer or an agnostic atheist. We do not need to use the word "agnostic" when using those terms, because everyone is agnostic. Nor does it matter how much a believer believes that their beliefs are relevant, even that is irrelevant. Every word based upon a fantasy, however emphasized as true, is irrelevant if not proven.
It wouldn't matter how much religious jargon they spew, without proof, it is irrelevant.
This post I wrote may help clarify: "If I declare that my god is real and that it's scriptures are infallible."/
@nogod4me The belief affects the actions, since if they both hear a voice from god in their head telling them to pull the pin, then the admitted agnostic thinks. "Maybe I have a menntal condition, perhaps I should see a doctor. " Because he knows he is agnostic. Where the theist agnostic, thinks. "A voice from god." And pulls the pin. Both act on their beliefs, and the beliefs are quite different, resulting in different actions. There is all the difference in the world between admitting you don't know, and not admitting it.
@Fernapple Again, I am talking about religious beliefs, not actions taken because of religious belief.
When a believer tells you "God loves you," it is irrelevant without proof. I am not talking about them trying to kill you because of their beliefs. When they are trying to convince you that their beliefs are real, all of their words are irrelevant without proof.
He's an agnostic.
He says you cannot prove the non existence of god. Fair enough. However lack of negative proof does not equate to positive evidence - or by that argument there is suddenly positive evidence of everything that has not been proved false. Rabbits performing Italian grand opera, anyone? No-one has actively disproved the idea.
Yet to say you admit that operatic rabbits cannot be disproved (they might be SOMEWHERE) doesn't mean you actually give the idea any serious credit. You can still not believe in operatic rabbits, even while acknowledging that they cannot be disproved.
It does not matter whether a scientist speaks Chinese, Japanese, English or any other language because science is based upon a universal yardstick.
There are no parameters/experiments/apparatus to prove the existence or non existence of any god(s) because such notions do not admit of scientific testing. The Higgs Boson theory was postulated within the existing framework of physics/mathematics, no such framework exists for the notion of god(s).
It seems to me that god(s) and science belong in two distinct categories.
If anyone makes a claim that particular theory is based in science then the onus is on them to produce evidence that such is the case. Ever since the birth of modern science there has been a trend to seek scientific endorsement for a theory and no shortage of people who claim that the work of such and such persons is based in science.
Present credible and verifiable evidence for the existence of any god, and I'll reconsider my stance.
Until then, it is perfectly reasonable for me to deny the existence of that which has no proof of its existence.
What a dumb thing for any scientist to say.
He clearly has no grasp of the philosophy of science or the principle of falsifiability. He needs to go back to high school.
I too would be willing to reconsider, but never worship. I will hold my head high and keep standing, never to bow or kneel, and then I will say to this alleged supreme being, “Go to hell and fuck yourself.”
@p-nullifidian Same. Although, knowing myself as I do, I'd probably take a swing at it, too.
You know, just for being such a fucking asshole.
I see no way to ever prove a so called God of everything. If I were to die, and wake up somewhere, I still don't have proof of god. If the so called God, herself, comes to speak at me, I will admit to superior being, but still can't see how any evidence could prove God.
Seeing as how he won the so called Templeton award which is given for "affirming life's spiritual dimension," I'm not surprised by what he is trying to say.
Like Francis Collins and climatologist Roy Spencer, there will likely always be scientists who appear able to live with “two minds:” one of empirical, evidence based research, and another of faith, myth and unscientific credulity. The two cannot, in the long term, peaceably coexist.
Go about your business.
There's nothing to see here.
He is merely contending that you can't prove there are no gods.
But when does science expect one to prove a negative? No evidence for a thing isn't proof that such a thing doesn't exist, but it does exclude using it to explain anything at all.
You can't disprove fairies as they aren't logically impossible, and the same applies to a host of lesser gods (gods with a small "g" ) which also aren't logically impossible, but God (with a capital G) has impossible qualifications to meet which rule out the possibility of the him existing. Anyone who doesn't understand that has no business discussing science.
Why should he even be concerned with this issue?
Faith is the problem, faith that your god is real, faith there cannot be deities.
For myself, I see no evidence that there are what are known as gods by western definition. Thus, I am an atheist. Should evidence arise to counter my belief, then being a scientist change my mind.
In the hardest sense, Marcelo Gleiser is correct that atheism is inconsistent with science, but this is the same for faith in any of the pretend sky faeries humans have invented to explain the world.
excerpting: " I don’t believe.’ Period. It’s a declaration. But in science we don’t really do declarations. We say, ‘Okay, you can have a hypothesis, you have to have some evidence against or for that.’ "
Gleiser is contriving a distinction where there is none (except for the hard or strong atheists). That's because Gleiser doesn't see religion as a bad alternative to science. He gives religion a pass as so many people do in order to preserve their social standing.
Actually, Gleiser is projecting, and has it upside down and backwards. It is religionists who espouse beliefs that are disproved by science, as we know only too well. Religionists can only be scientists if they completely wall off and segregate their beliefs from their science. How can one search for answers when all the answers you'll ever need are in this or that holy book?
Show me a competent scientist who combines their idiotic superstitions with their research.
As someone who prefers to be referred to as agnostic, I find much more in common with atheists than theists including an overlap of how many atheists define their lack of belief in any diety. I realize that my lack of any belief in any particular diety also fits under the the definition of atheism, even though I don't choose to use that term for myself.
While I would tend to believe that the concept of diety as a whole has not and perhaps cannot be disproved - very many concepts of diety exist - I do believe certain specific definitions of diety have been discredited sufficiently as to have been disproved. Amoung these, imo, would be the conception of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God.
In terms of science, the utter lack of any proof of any Gods make attempts to disprove God generally an utter waste of time. The disproving of particular claims concerning the existence of Gods may be worthy of addressing as has been the case with claims coming out of the Discovery Institute in past decades. The goal of the Discovery Institute was deceptive from the beginning claiming to want to advance science when its true aim was to promote one particular religion - Christianity - by appearing to discredit science using essentially pseudoscientific conclusions pretending to disprove long standing scientific theories.
Marcelo Gleiser is as brain damaged as Francis S. Collins.
To answer your question, he is not thinking at all.
So is religion, what is your point?
For future reference, this is from Wikipedia:
"Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief in the existence of deities.Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist.In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities."
I have to agree with the basic premise that pure, unadulterated atheism is unscientific. That is, if atheism is defined as belief that God does not exist, which is not the same as lack of belief in God's existence. If it is the former, then to claim that the lack of evidence of God proves his non-existence would be going too far. Absence of evidence of God is not proof that He does not exist. HOWEVER, a scientist could reasonably talk in terms of probabilities, and say that, considering the dearth of evidence of God's existence, the many inconsistencies in His personality (e.g. His supposed benevolence contrasted with his obvious indifference to the suffering of innocents), and the human propensities for invention and for lying, the PROBABILITY of there actually being a God is vanishingly small. It would be perfectly acceptable for a scientist to self-identify as an atheist-leaning agnostic, or an agnostic who estimates the probability of God's existence at 0.01%, or says (s)he is 99.99% certain that He does not exist. That would be quite alright. But I doubt that most scientists spend a whole lot of time on this issue. There are many more pressing matters at hand.
So using your reasoning it is more likely that the Loch Ness monster exists than any god. As far as I am aware there have been no sightings of any god but several people have reportedly seen Nessie.
Isolated reports of sightings do not constitute evidence. Evidence must be open to all observers. So reports of Nessie are in the same category as those of Bigfoot: mere urban legend. The probability of Nessie actually existing is right down in the basement with Zeus, Yahweh, Baal, Horace, et al. That is, near zero.
@Flyingsaucesir You are right of course. But there is still more evidence for the existence of any god.
The original statement is nonsensical.
Not sure, but I think you meant to say that there is more evidence for Nessie (i.e. first-hand reports of sightings) than there are of any god. At least that would be consistent with your previous tag. Well I will just point out that there have been LOTS of first-hand reports of visions of gods, angels, devils, etc. Again, the fact that these sightings are not replicable, that they are not open to scrutiny by other observers, means they cannot be accepted as evidence of the existence of supernatural beings. Nessie, Bigfoot, God, Archangel Gabriel with his golden horn, they all have the same abysmally low probability of actually existing.
@Flyingsaucesir Sorry I meant that there is more evidence for the existence of Nessie and friends than of gods but no real evidence of either. The Templeton foundation is a faith based organisation so any award they give is for promoting religious belief.
Science and religion are totally incompatible.
Being an atheist has nothing to do with science. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god. Science doesn't try to prove there is a god.
From my knowledge science doesn't try to prove God or God's exist or not. Scientists simply do test's, have theories that happen to question the word of the religious beliefs. Many scientists believe in some sort of powering force of nature they regularly don't believe in the text in religious scripture. There is a BIG difference in believing in deities something supernatural and believing in religious script. Of course this is just my opinion which don't count for much. I just might be full of crap though. At the end of the day all this is everyone personal opinions since there is NO way to prove or disprove one or many "gods" exist or not. I personally do not believe in any kind of deity or anything supernatural but I absolutely despise organized religion period.
Exactly. Science has nothing to offer regarding the existence of something without evidence. Science continues to scan the universe, from the realm of the extremely minuscule to the vast expanse of space, and nowhere has the fingerprint of a supernatural interruption in the chain of cause and effect been found.
Just goes to show that a person of letters with the prefix, Dr., in front of their name doesn't mean they're above saying something ignorant.
And what does "affirming life's spiritual dimension" mean? Does it mean spiritual in the sense that something is deep and meaningful to you like a love of nature, or is it an affirmation of spirits, ghosts and that sort of thing, or is an affirmation that a spirit dimension of souls and the afterlife are affirmed? What does this award recognize?
I would suspect that "affirming life's spiritual dimension" means one thing more along the lines of a love of nature to this guy, but will be used by quoting him by certain theists to mean a belief in angels, demons, and the supernatural. The same thing happened when Einstein mentioned God prompting him to have to say on Mar 24, 1954, "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."
There's no proof either way. So?
So when people make shit up about invisible sky daddy’s, we atheist are supposed to have empirical scientific evidence to proof they didn’t make the shit up!
Makes sense to me!?!
@Buck, you make sense to me. The post doesn't. There's no proof, empirical or scientific, for the existence of a deity or the non-existence. Simple as that for me. Now, I think any atheist would be more prone to follow scientific data than anything else so the post doesn't make sense to me.
Thank you Dr. Gleiser for settling this. Granted, I will add that what traits people assign to atheism isn't really atheism itself, though this can be hard to make clear. It took a long time for me to recognize this flawed aspect of my argumentation.
As such, Atheism isn't really inconsistent with science. But the baggage that many atheists to to assign to it certainly makes it so. That isn't as baity a headline as Atheism is inconsistent with science, however.
That is all very true well, said. Although I would say that agnosticism is not quite irrelevant, because the agnosticism of someone who calls themselves agnostic, is admitted and honest. While the agnosticism of the theist is not admitted, and therefore still permits them to behave as if they did have evidence.