Atheists’ Irrational Demand for Absolute Proof
by Tom Gilson
“I need proof for God. Real proof.”
“You could be wrong about your God, you know.”
Atheists have a terrible aversion to believing something that might be false. They want proof. Total, complete, undeniable, absolute proof. I’m not exaggerating. My best example comes from Peter Boghossian, Richard Dawkins, and Lawrence Krauss, all of whom have dealt with a question something like this: “Suppose all the stars lined up to spell out to everyone in their own language, ‘I am God. Believe in me.’” They’ve all said that’s not good enough: It might be a delusion.
The Science Connection
Maybe this attitude is related to atheists’ professed love for science, which operates on the never get fooled standard. In science it’s this: Don’t publish anything you’re not sure of. In science that’s a sensible standard: When scientists publish, they’re generally reporting it as a finding everyone can count on. They’re saying it’s true. So it had better be.
It doesn’t always work that way in actual practice, but that’s the standard, the ideal. So the word in science is,”If you’re going to make any mistake, make the mistake of missing some actual truth, rather than the mistake of calling something true when it isn’t.” It’s far better to be wrong by believing too little, than to be wrong by believing too much.
Yet even science accepts conclusions it’s not certain of…