One thing I know for sure is that atheists and theists will never agree nor will they ever agree to disagree. I believe that if I bet on this, 50 years from now, I will have one the bet. Greta Christina has a great argument about why feeling God is real is not a real argument for believing God is real. She’s right, it can’t be the sole evidence for one’s faith. There should be other evidence; like the testimonies of millions of people who believe, those who claim to be healed or have had visions, etc. However there are also reasons why I would never live my life at the level of sight verification that she does. Take her story about the zebra:
If I saw a zebra in front of my house, I would want to test that perception before assuming that it was correct. I’d ask other people in my neighborhood if they’d seen a zebra. I’d call the zoo and ask if any of their zebras had escaped. I’d call the newspaper, and ask if they’d heard any other reports of zebra sightings. I’d post on Facebook, ditto. I’d check for zebra droppings.And if none of these inquiries confirmed my sighting of a zebra, I would conclude that I almost certainly hadn’t seen a zebra after all. I’d conclude that I was sleep deprived, or that it had been an optical illusion, or that some neighborhood prankster had painted a horse to look like a zebra.
Really? You’d really go through all those steps before you would admit there is a zebra in your yard? Why would you doubt your own senses? Maybe the zebra didn’t come from the zoo. Maybe no one was home in your neighborhood when you saw it. Perhaps the zebra didn’t poop in your yard. You wouldn’t believe your own eyes? Well here I must say that I would. In fact sight is what I would believe first. You can’t say you didn’t see it even if it was a mind trick. She wants to rationally use her mind to test things in one breath and then doubt her mind when she sees or experiences something the next. Question: when CAN you trust your own mind, if at all? Her argument is like the fundamentalist who says you should never trust your own mind but only the bible. Same argument, different mistrust.
But even if this was a good example of testing every hypothesis which I don’t believe it is, I stand by my assertion; atheists and theists will never agree, nor will they ever agree to disagree. Why? Because each side is convinced of its “rightness.” Each have valid arguments yet neither will admit the other has valid arguments. Each will continue to make fun of the other side and their purveyors and to what end? Our premises will forever be at odds. And at some point, each of us makes a choice. Greta’s made a choice and believers have made choices. The problem comes in when we try to convince others of our rightness. Why do we do this? Let’s just say we remain unconvinced and move on. Stop trying to convert each other to score points “for the team.” Living peacefully together is more important. As long as laws are in place where government does not coerce belief or condone religion we can do this.