Brought to you by the letter Warren, we have another argument with Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon (you all remember how well she took to my deconstruction of radical feminist terminology, and my criticism of trait genderization), this time over making definite conclusions without any supporting evidence. That is, she claims without a doubt that God does not exist. It’s great that she figured that out, because scientists and philosophers have been trying for millennia.
I didn’t actually take part in any of the real action of the argument and kind of missed the boat with my post, but whatever.
I’ll let said post illustrate my position on the discussion:
Claiming for certain that God doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exist is just as crazy as claiming for certain that he does. If you have no evidence, a definite conclusion is meaninglessÃ¢â‚¬â€œspeculation masquerading as rational thought with a costume tailored by Ã¢â‚¬Å“because I said soÃ¢â‚¬?Ã¢â‚¬â€œ, but to persist in making it smacks of fundamentalism. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
There may be a God, and there may not. Nobody has enough evidence to say one way or the other. Which is why I believe that the only way we can get anything right insofar as politics et al is to remain completely and utterly secular: Leave God or the absence of God completely out of it. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make laws on the premise of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s existence, and donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make laws on the premise of his absence; make laws on the premise of applicability to the observable world, and the reduction of net misery.
Basing anything on conclusions that have been made without evidence is treacherous territory, and should be avoided if we are to retain any semblance of sanity.
Amanda Marcotte wrote:
“But only god has a special role where he gets to be put in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“maybeÃ¢â‚¬? category, even though after millenia of people wringing their hands over his existence hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t resulted in a shred of evidence that he exists.”
See also: UFOs, Zero-Point Energy, et cetera. God isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the only thing that gets put in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“maybeÃ¢â‚¬? categoryÃ¢â‚¬â€œanything for which there is a hypothesis but no definitive evidence is in there as well.
Edit: Almost missed this one:
The assumption that people who are less decisive than me must be more correct is a silly assumption.
Perhaps, but the assumption that people who choose not to make definite, “decisive” conclusions without ample proof either way must be more correct is completely accurate. Or, as you might put it, “fundamentally sound”.
One would’ve hoped that the last several years would have taught people not to be so damned stubbornly decisive about things.