I’m going to break my sequence of concepts to present an interesting analogy I just came up with to explain why this argument is subtly wrong:
“There’s no way to prove that god does not exist”
Say I have two urns:
- One is filled with numbered green balls, all of which lie in the range of 1 to 100.
- The other is filled with numbered red balls all of which lie in the range of 1 to 500.
I draw a sequence of balls from a single urn, announce the numbers and I then ask you what color you think the urn I picked was.
Obviously, if there is a single ball >= 101, then you can assert with 100% probability that the urn is red. However, there’s no possible sequence of balls that could definitively prove a green urn. But if I keep on drawing balls under 100, consistently and without a single ball over 100. The more balls are being drawn, the more sure you are that I picked the green urn.
I view this as analogous to the problem of the existence of god. The space of possible universes in which god does not exist is a strict subset of the space of possible universes in which god does exist. It’s therefore strictly impossible to prove that god does not exist.
Each observation is like drawing a ball out of the urn and each observation can be consistent with an atheistic or supernatural interpretation of the world. Say you observed stones independently arranging to form the words of the koran, the ten commandments written in fire across the sky and routine, repeatable, spontaneous limb regeneration after praying. If any one of these happened (and they were verified to be bona fide miracles and not just what seemed like miracles), it would be the equivilant of drawing ball 328: absolute proof that god exists. But we keep on picking balls and observing the world and they keep on being strictly naturalistic phenomena.
Sure, it’s still possible that god exists and we’re going to find evidence of him if we keep on looking harder. But to me, we’ve picked enough balls that it’s not where the smart money is anymore.