Re: irrational atheists

Michael S. Lorrey (
Wed, 23 Dec 1998 09:42:41 -0500

Generic wrote:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Perhaps a better scheme would be divided between strength of
> > conviction, perceived evidence and theistic view. The irrational
> > people are those who hold strong convictions in the absence of
> > evidence, regardless of what they believe in.
> >
> > (then we can get Bayesian about it and start to think about what
> > priors to use and so on...)
> >
> Thought I was an atheist for a while there but not so sure now.
> When I read the above I asked myself, "Is it irrational for me to
> not believe in dragons simply because there is no evidence?"
> Must atheists provide evidence that god doesn't exist in order
> to justify their position and avoid the label of "irrational"?

Yes, especially since atheism is based on a practical, scientific view of the universe, we have to wonder when someone like Stephen Hawking gives talks claiming that ANYthing can come out of a black hole, even Cthulhu itself. Now, probabilities are evidence of a sort (they must be, since DNA rules of evidence rely on probabilities), so we can rationally calculate the probability of a supernatural event (the only one we have absolute or near absolute knowledge of is the big bang), where we define the supernatural as not something which behaves outside the realm of physical laws, but something which behaves in the realm of physical laws but is in the most extreme probability of existing within the universe at any given time.