Atheists and Religious Believers Talk Past Each Other
I hear this from time to time. The believer says there is a God. The atheist says there is no God because there is no scientific evidence for God.
Here is my observation: For the most part the believers do not care about logical or scientific evidence. They are going to believe anyway, and if they are presented with evidence they can’t rationalize they will just admit they don’t understand all that scientific or philosophical stuff.
I can empathize with the believer here. As I have mentioned before, sometimes I enjoy a spiritual experience without caring at all about the natural explaination–or even whether or not there is a natural explanation. Where I make the break with the believer is that I hold these spiritual experiences as purely subjective and having nothing to do with the world outside of my own brain.
And of course there is lots of scientific stuff I don’t understand at all. Where did the universe come from? What caused the “big bang.” I seriously have no clue. I’m betting on there having been a natural explaination for everything–and I’m sure that saying “God did it” explains absolutely nothing at all. There is always the question of where did God come from. If a complex universe needs a designer, doesn’t the designer him/her/itself (who would have to be complex as well ) need a designer?
But back to the point–if atheists and theists are going to talk with each other at all, we should be sure we are all talking about the same thing. In my example if the atheist is talking about how the scientific evidence goes against belief in gods, but the theist is concerned more about the affect that they percieve not believing in gods would have on her emotions or on morality, then they will only be talking past each other.
Maybe, for the atheist, the first point to make is that the earth will not fall out of orbit and morality does not fly out the window when “God” goes away. The scientific arguments can come later.