I have not written about the dreaded “A” word in awhile. Some would say that is a good thing, maybe he found a new hobby. But nope. I am into some of the same things that I was before, though this time somewhat unintentional (new activity on old social media threads and conversations).
This is not the first time I have heard of so called Strong Atheists, or Gnostic Atheists as the proper term is. Since agnostic is a claim to lack of knowledge of a deities existence, gnostic claims to have knowledge of a deities non-existence.
I have never had a problem with the agnostic atheist stance. It has always been a rational mindset, being that it fully took into account all of the “evidence” that one has to go on to make the decision (none).
However, I have also always opposed the strong atheist viewpoint. I have always opposed it and been critical of anyone of the viewpoint, mainly because I considered them to be the exact opposite of (in particular) the strong theists that they often take on in debates. They are doing the exact same thing as the strong theists, only reversed. One side somehow claims to see “evidence” for a deity when there is none, while the other claims that the lack of evidence IS the evidence.
No. Maybe my standards are different to those of others, but when I am in any sort of discussion situation, I hold ALL sides to the same standard. I do not just look at the invalidity of the opposing argument, I also look at the arguments being made from my side of the floor to. It is in the name of education (maybe they do not know that they are seemingly, mistaken).
All in all, this rant falls into the category that I now would normally file under “Who gives a shit”. And yet, I feel it has to be said. Because as I type this, many still claim the title of “logical” and the other 3 buzz words, yet have arguments that fail of that level.
Lets look at this in another way. If you take a 5 gallon bucket of water out of an ocean and find no fish, does that indicate proof that there are no fish in the ocean?
A lack of evidence is just that, a lack of evidence. It does not confirm nor does it deny any hypothesis.
And this does not change, if you change the typical “God” or “Ghosts” of this question to any supernatural or mythical being or creature that you can think of. Showing that I also can not confirm or deny leprechauns, unicorns or the loch ness monster does not bolster your argument, it just shows how you lack just as much knowledge about the word “evidence” as the theists you debate do.
A good debater does not just critique the arguments of the opposition, but also their own arguments (and the arguments of those on their side).