Von der Beweislast des Atheisten (also in ENGLISH)

English version: On the burden of proof of the atheist


Beweislast

Vor einigen Jahren hat Paul Copan einen großartigen Artikel geschrieben, wo er zeigt, dass sowohl Theisten als auch Atheisten eine Beweislast bezüglich ihrer Wahrheitsansprüche haben.

http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201303/201303_026_Athiests.cfm

Ich habe auf meinem Blog unter der Kategorie “Parsimonie” zusätzliche Gründe gegeben, so zu denken.
. https://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/category/parsimony/

Wenn Sie mit einem Atheisten diskutieren, sollten Sie diesen Aspekt nicht vergessen.

 

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My other blog on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)

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33 thoughts on “Von der Beweislast des Atheisten (also in ENGLISH)

  1. I didn´t read Copan´s article when you posted this in english, but now I did – and I obviously disagree with pretty much everything he writes, but there is one item in particular that I´d like to mention briefly, Copan says:

    Sixth, we have good reasons for belief in the biblical God, but not in mythical beings like mermaids, elves, unicorns, the tooth fairy, or flying spaghetti monsters. When people say that belief in God is like belief in the tooth fairy or Easter bunny, this is a philosophical blunder, a misguided comparison. These cases are quite different. We have good reasons for thinking tooth fairies or Santa Claus do not exist. For example, we know that parents typically replace their child’s extracted tooth under the pillow with some surprise; we know where Christmas presents under the tree come from — and it’s not the North Pole.

    WLC uses virtually the same argument (“we´ve been to the North Pole, and Santa was not there!”), but this completely misses the point. If Santa can be dismissed on this standard, then Yahweh can as well – we´ve been to the heavens above, and Yahweh wasn´t there, and we know how the earth was formed, and it wasn´t formed by Yahweh. And just like a modern christian would call such objections to the existence of Yahweh foolish because they are based on a “hyperliteral reading”, an enlightened believer in Santa can do the exact same, Santa of course doesn´t live *literally* at the North Pole and he doesn´t *literally* travel around the world to deliver christmas presents, he rather sustains / is the spirit of charity that we can observe on christmas. Prove that to be wrong if you claim that Santa isn´t real 😉

    • WLC uses virtually the same argument (“we´ve been to the North Pole, and Santa was not there!”), but this completely misses the point.

      No, because you are re-defining the definition of Santa, wheras the God of the philosophers is the thing that WLC is arguing for, and then arguing that the biblical God is the same as the God of the philosophers (that’s my shorthand for it, anyway).

      Now, you can disagree and say that you don’t think that Yahweh and the God of the philosophers are the same thing, but you can’t say that Santa and the God of the philosophers are parallels in any reasonable way.

      • No, because you are re-defining the definition of Santa…

        So what? Christian theologians have done the same with God. If you go back to the early church fathers, you´ll see discussions about how much esp. in Genesis is to be read literally, but they unanimously believed that there literally was an original couple Adam & Eve and that there literally was a Noah who literally survived a global flood on a boat. The only reason why christian theologians (well, at least many of them) no longer propose that is because educated people know that this is simply false.
        Why is redefining Santa in the same way not permissible?

        …wheras the God of the philosophers is the thing that WLC is arguing for…

        Does the God concept of St. Augustine (for example) count as the “God of the philosophers”? If so, my point above stands.

      • So what? Christian theologians have done the same with God. If you go back to the early church fathers, you´ll see discussions about how much esp. in Genesis is to be read literally, but they unanimously believed that there literally was an original couple Adam & Eve and that there literally was a Noah who literally survived a global flood on a boat.

        …Which is all entirely separate from the existence of God, which is what we were discussing.

      • @Malcolm:

        …Which is all entirely separate from the existence of God, which is what we were discussing.

        That´s fine. But if that does not count as evidence against Yahweh, then not observing a toy factory on the North Pole and not observing a fat man in a flying sleigh who hands out christmas presents, doesn´t count as evidence against Santa either.
        That´s my entire point.
        Copan says that there are differences between not believing in his God and not believing in Santa because “we know where Christmas presents under the tree come from — and it’s not the North Pole” (for example), and that is not a difference at all if I can simply take such empirically testable claims about Santa and redefine them into a metaphor (i.e. exactly what christian theologians did with pretty much all of Genesis).

      • That´s fine. But if that does not count as evidence against Yahweh, then not observing a toy factory on the North Pole and not observing a fat man in a flying sleigh who hands out christmas presents, doesn´t count as evidence against Santa either.
        That´s my entire point.

        Your point is that you don’t agree with WLC’s claims? Okay then. You disagree with him. But using this Santa analogy doesn’t work, because you need to demonstrate why what he’s saying is wrong.

        In other words – just say “I disagree with Craig’s arguments that God exists, unlike Santa” and be done with it.

        I’m not really sure what you’re saying further here than “I disagree”.

      • Malcolm,

        It’s worth noting that God’s existence isn’t argued for in the Bible – it’s assumed. In principle someone could take some Biblical claims as evidence for God’s existence – I think David Marshall argues that with Jesus – but really, the Bible is a record of God’s acts and character at most. Anyone who, outside of a heavily qualified case with Christ, regards the Bible as some kind of ‘argument for God’s existence’, such that to question the Bible is to question God’s existence (as opposed to questioning the Christian God in particular) is just tragically off-base.

        A lot of what we’re seeing here is trading on ambiguities. Someone can argue that if you have evidence that Kennedy didn’t do this or that act he was previously believed to have done, you can make a case that you’ve ‘disproved the existence of Kennedy’ and, I suppose, proven the existence of ‘Kennedy or something. If a given biblical teaching was interpreted wrongly, someone can likewise argue that this proves God doesn’t exist but ‘God does. Fundamentally it means next to nothing in theist/atheist debates, as if atheists would breathe a sigh of relief that the God who created the earth 6000 years ago doesn’t exist, and it’s merely the ‘God who created the universe that exists.

        As for the claims about what ‘educated people know’ – actually, educated people would know that an original couple isn’t ‘simply false’. Some particulars that weren’t even touched on in Genesis have come to light, but nothing that really harms that notion. A YEC notion? Sure, but that’s not much of a concern. Similar for Noah’s flood – particulars change, but not the essence.

        Most ‘educated people’ who claim to ‘know’ this or that couldn’t even explain what they know. The closest they get is ‘well I heard scientists say…’ – which isn’t knowledge of anything beyond what scientists say. And often that’s misunderstood or worse. Still, that has an impact – if most of the population believes that only fools think evolution is true, then if you’re trying to popularize an idea that’s related to the truth of evolution, you can expect some people to downplay the issue. Same ol’ same ol’.

      • Yeah Crude, that was more or less my point. Saying, “Well, Yahweh can’t have done these things the Bible said he did!” does nothing to disprove any of WLC’s arguments, because they’re not relevant to them.

      • @Malcolm:

        Your point is that you don’t agree with WLC’s claims?

        Nope, here in this thread, it is just a ‘claim’ (singular), and it would be Copan and not Craig (althiough I´ve seen Craig make a similar point).

        But using this Santa analogy doesn’t work, because you need to demonstrate why what he’s saying is wrong.

        In other words – just say “I disagree with Craig’s arguments that God exists, unlike Santa” and be done with it.

        I´ve done so in other threads but I am talking about something completely different here. My point is simply that Copan´s (and Craig´s) objection to the Santa analogy is wrong – atheists cannot empirically disprove Craig´s God like we could empirically disprove Santa, but ONLY if we are not allowed to just take all empirically testable claims about Santa and redefine them into metaphors, if we COULD do that, then we have no empirical arguments against Santa at all (by definition practically) and all we could do is point out that there are no good arguments FOR Santa. That is my entire point here, Copan and Craig say the Santa analogy doesn´t work, and it actually does work, if we redefine all empirically testable claims about Santa into metaphors, then a “Santa skeptic” is in the same situation as a “Yahweh skeptic” – both cannot empirically disprove Santa / Yahweh, and both can merely try to demonstrate that there are no sound arguments FOR Santa / Yahweh. And that´s it, I´m not talking about anything else in this particular thread here.

      • @crude:

        … to question the Bible is to question God’s existence (as opposed to questioning the Christian God in particular) is just tragically off-base.

        Of course it is just about the God of the Bible, and only some particular interpretations of said God to boot – and I´ve never said anything different. “God” is an infinitely malleable concept.

        Fundamentally it means next to nothing in theist/atheist debates, as if atheists would breathe a sigh of relief that the God who created the earth 6000 years ago doesn’t exist, and it’s merely the ‘God who created the universe that exists.

        For Ken Ham´s concept of what “God” means, showing that common descent is true and flood geology false is equivalent to showing that this “God” doesn´t exist, this might be absolutely irrelevant for your concept of what “God” means – but given that “God” is an infinitely malleable concept, this is not exactly surprising. All theists seem to think that atheists have to address their understanding of what “God” means (because it is obviously the right one I guess), and we will do so – if we debate you instead of the other guy who has a completely different understanding of what “God” means.

        As for the claims about what ‘educated people know’ – actually, educated people would know that an original couple isn’t ‘simply false’. Some particulars that weren’t even touched on in Genesis have come to light, but nothing that really harms that notion. A YEC notion? Sure, but that’s not much of a concern. Similar for Noah’s flood – particulars change, but not the essence.

        Yeah, like with Santa – I mean, there is no Santa, no toy factory on the North Pole and no flying reindeers either, but some children actually do get presents from other people on christmas, so the essence of the story is clearly true.

      • It all depends on what “atheism” means.

        If it signifies “it is extremely unlikely there is a God” then I expect positive arguments from them.

        It does very much depend on what “atheism” means but it depends even more on what “God” means. It is trivial to come up with definitions of “God” that would make the claim that said “God” exists irrefutable, in principle and absolutely irrefutable. So all you could try to do as a skeptic is trying to show that there are no sound arguments FOR the existence of such a “God”. And the same is true if I substitue “God” by “Santa” – if I can just reinterpret all empirically testable claims about Santa into metaphors, then you cannot prove me wrong when I say “Santa exists” (assuming that my definition of Santa is not logically self-refuting of course), all you could do is point out that I have no sound arguments for Santa.
        That is my entire point in this thread here, Copan and Craig argue that the burden of proof concept applies differently to Santa compared because “we know where Christmas presents under the tree come from — and it’s not the North Pole” and Copan is just wrong here if the believer in Santa can do what christian theologians have done for ages, reinterpret everything that is just demonstrably wrong into metaphors.

        • Giving my OWN redefinitions of Santa (in German) as a good man or an angel occasionally distributing gifts to poor children, I believe we should be agnostic towards his existence.

          Giving the normal definition of Santa (bringing gifts to ALL children) it is clear it is extraordinarily unlikely he exists.

      • @Marc:

        Giving my OWN redefinitions of Santa (in German) as a good man or an angel occasionally distributing gifts to poor children, I believe we should be agnostic towards his existence.[1]

        Giving the normal definition of Santa (bringing gifts to ALL children) it is clear it is extraordinarily unlikely he exists.[2]

        1a. If “Santa” just means some nice dude who brings gifts to the poor, especially poor children, then there is no reason to be agnostic – St. Nicholas of Myra then clearly was “Santa” and many other dudes were and are “Santa” as well.
        1b. If “Santa” means some “angel” (defined as a being that is not material in any sense or aspect but rather purely spiritual) however, then I would disagree that we “should” be agnostic towards “Santas” existence. But then, we disagree about what “agnostic” means so this would be mostly a semantic dispute.
        2. Again, the point I keep making in this thread is not about whether these claims are true or not true, it is rather about burdens of proof. Copan and Craig argue that the burden of proof applies differently to Santa than it does to Yahweh because “we know where Christmas presents under the tree come from — and it’s not the North Pole”, and that analogy does not work IF the believer in Santa can redefine all empirically falsifiable claims about Santa into empirically unfalsifiable metaphors. *IF* the believer in Santa would do that, then you could not come up with arguments disproving the existence of Santa (assuming again that the definition of “Santa” is logically coherent / not self-refuting). All you could do is try to show that there are no sound arguments FOR “Santa”. So expecting the “Santa skeptic” to not merely dismantle the arguments FOR Santa, but also to come up with positive arguments AGAINST Santa would be an impossible standard, if that were the standard that would be required to justifiably doubt the existence of Santa, then NO ONE could justifiably doubt Santa, not even in principle. And that is all I am arguing for in this thread.

        • Copan and Craig are clearly wrong to say that MY Santa can be disproved!

          This is truly a shameless lie.

          So ‘s sieht so us, als ob mir doch inverschton sin 😉

          Kinnsch de das gut ohni Iwersetzung begriffe?

          Scheni Grisse us de sonnige Lothringen.

      • @Marc:
        Keine Sorge, ich versteh dich, muss zwar manchmal etwas nachdenken, aber lothringisch versteh ich sogar noch leichter als boarisch oder sächsisch (was ich absolut nicht verstehe ist schwiizerdütsch – alle anderen deutschen Dialekte versteh ich 😉 )

      • Ich war letztes Jahr in Zürich (hab an der ETH einen Vortrag gehalten), und einmal war ich da im Urlaub. Zum arbeiten wäre das eigentlich ein idealer Ort, als Postdoc würdest du da locker das doppelte verdiehnen von dem was du hier in Deutschland bekommst und die Unis sind super ausgestattet – wenn nur die Sprache nicht wäre 😉 Ich sprech ja auch kein Wort französisch, also müsste ich mich da mit englisch durchschlagen.

      • Lothar,

        Giving my OWN redefinitions of Santa (in German) as a good man or an angel occasionally distributing gifts to poor children, I believe we should be agnostic towards his existence.

        Agnostic? ‘A good man occasionally distributing gifts to poor children’ is broad enough that we can be pretty certain Santa exists. Multiple ones, even.

        Which I think comes at the question from an interesting direction. If someone says ‘Santa’ is just ‘the spirit of giving during Christmas’, then yeah, maybe Santa does exist. Someone can complain that that’s not what someone else meant by Santa, and that’s fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t therefore mean THAT version of Santa should be ruled out too.

        I already pointed out, you can play this game with pretty normal characters. Bill Clinton does not exist because Bill Clinton was the man who did X, but it turns out the Bill Clinton we know never did X.

        You could also apply it to evolutionary theory, and there are some people who love to do this: ‘We’ve discovered X about evolutionary, which runs counter to what Darwin said, ergo Darwin is wrong and darwinian evolutionary theory is wrong.’

        Actually, I guess that’s a good way to say it. ‘The God of the Bible has been disproved the way evolutionary theory has been disproved.’

      • Okay, your clarification is helping. I do not claim that we can take all literal things said about Yahweh in the Bible and turn them into unfalsifiable metaphors. And I do think the existence of the God of the philosophers doesn’t turn on whether or not Yahweh as described by the Old Testament exists anyway.

      • @Malcolm:

        I do not claim that we can take all literal things said about Yahweh in the Bible and turn them into unfalsifiable metaphors[1]. And I do think the existence of the God of the philosophers doesn’t turn on whether or not Yahweh as described by the Old Testament exists anyway[2].

        1. Just out of curiosity, what falsifiable claims about Yahweh remain for your understanding of what “Yahweh” means?
        2. No disagreement there, I´d deny that there is only one particular version of this “God of the philosophers” – there are many, and they require different arguments for (or against) them, but they are all at least in principle independent of the Bible (or the Koran or any other book).

      • It would take some thought to make a full list, and if I did so I might change one particular or so (more likely to make it more, not less, specific), but off the top of my head:

        1) Yahweh had a significant role in shaping Jewish history in particular, as they are His chosen people

        2) Yahweh created the world and everything in it, and is the ground of all being ( philosophical term meaning everything was created by Him and is sustained by His will)

        3) Yahweh was the driving force behind the creation of the tribes of Israel, the government of the Judges, and the government of the Jewish Kings.

        4) Yahweh sent down Prophets to tell Israel to repent of their sins.

        5) The God of the philosophers and Yahweh are synonymous

        6) He Incarnated as a Human, preached for three years, was crucified and then Resurrected Himself three days later.

        Defending each specific point would take a ton of legwork, but there you go.

      • @Malcolm:

        Defending each specific point would take a ton of legwork…

        Sure, I wouldn´t ask you to defend them, but I would be interested in what sense you consider them to be falsifiable. It seems to be mostly about ancient jewish history and early christian history, so what hypothetical observation could show that, say, Isaiah was not actually a prophet? Or what hypothetical observation could show that Yahweh was not the driving force behind key events in jewish history? (by driving force I presume you mean the various miracles like the ten plagues or the trombones of Jericho, if not, what do you mean?)
        The reason why I am asking is this – if we´d assume for the sake of the argument that the available evidence leads a consensus of historians to affirm that the Exodus never happened, and that Jericho could not possibly have been conquered as described in the OT, would that count as falsification for the “driving force behind key events in jewish history” thingy? And if not, what conceivable observation could count as falsification?

      • If the goal is to determine whether or not a given claim stands or falls, appealing to ‘consensus’ is pretty pointless. Just appeal to the arguments that supposedly led to the consensus, and work from there.

        From what I’ve read of the consensus, even those historians wouldn’t agree that they’ve ‘falsified’ the claims of Exodus, etc. What they claim is that they haven’t been able to gather evidence for it, which is a pretty different thing.

        • If the goal is to determine whether or not a given claim stands or falls, appealing to ‘consensus’ is pretty pointless. Just appeal to the arguments that supposedly led to the consensus, and work from there.

          Appealing to an expert consensus is not pointless if it is a) an actual consensus and not just an asserted one and b) if this consensus represents experts from all relevant fields – this would make it a logically valid appeal to expert authority and it is both customary and meaningful to use such appeals.
          That is beside the point however, because I am just using this as a hypothetical example because I´d like to know *IF* Malcolm would count things like the Exodus being 100% or close to 100% mythical as a falsification of the claim that Yahweh was a driving force behind key events in jewish history (and if that would not be the case – what hypothetical observation would instead count as a falsification of that claim).

          From what I’ve read of the consensus, even those historians wouldn’t agree that they’ve ‘falsified’ the claims of Exodus, etc. What they claim is that they haven’t been able to gather evidence for it, which is a pretty different thing.

          When you have a) looked intensively for evidence supporting a claim and further b) have sound arguments for why the evidence should be there if the claim is true and c) have found no such evidence whatsoever, then (and only then) absence of evidence does become evidence of absence.

          • “Appealing to an expert consensus is not pointless if it is a) an actual consensus and not just an asserted one and b) if this consensus represents experts from all relevant fields”

            I’d certainly add a third condition: the experts impartially and objectively considered ALL possible theories.

            So schlofsch de immer noch nit? 😉

      • Appealing to an expert consensus is not pointless if it is a) an actual consensus and not just an asserted one and b) if this consensus represents experts from all relevant fields – this would make it a logically valid appeal to expert authority and it is both customary and meaningful to use such appeals.

        I’m not arguing that it’s fallacious. I’m arguing that it’s largely useless here – present the arguments, and skip the consensus. The main value of an expert consensus (though people seem to forget this) lies in what it tends to indicate about the quality of the arguments and the evidence that can be brought forth for a given position – and sometimes that’s a bit misleading as a guide.

        So, why not just skip right to the evidence and arguments?

        When you have a) looked intensively for evidence supporting a claim and further b) have sound arguments for why the evidence should be there if the claim is true and c) have found no such evidence whatsoever, then (and only then) absence of evidence does become evidence of absence.

        Two problems. First, that’s going to skunk the chosen examples given right away, since B doesn’t obtain, and C absolutely doesn’t obtain (and here it’s hard to expect it to – it’s hard to ever completely lack evidence for a claim, especially since in this case the Bible will itself count as some evidence.)

        Second, you’re not looking for ‘evidence of absence’ here. You’re looking for falsification. Different ballgame.

        That said, I think – at least if I understand him correctly – I disagree with Malcolm on this front. ‘Falsification’ is just the wrong way to think about historical claims generally, especially of this sort – it’s tempting because the word ‘falsification’ seems to have that intellectual bang of science or near-science going for it, but no, I think it’s an abuse of science to think about it in terms of falsification. It’s not like that’s the only worthwhile standard for evaluating claims besides.

        To put that in perspective – from what I understand, archaeological evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate didn’t show up until around the 1970s. That’s a long, long time after the original events. Would it have been right to say, ‘Up until the 1970s, the existence of Pontius Pilate was falsified’?

      • So, why not just skip right to the evidence and arguments?

        Because it´s hypothetical.

        That said, I think – at least if I understand him correctly – I disagree with Malcolm on this front. ‘Falsification’ is just the wrong way to think about historical claims generally, especially of this sort – it’s tempting because the word ‘falsification’ seems to have that intellectual bang of science or near-science going for it, but no, I think it’s an abuse of science to think about it in terms of falsification. It’s not like that’s the only worthwhile standard for evaluating claims besides.

        When you talk about “evaluating claims”, I presume you have something in mind that could demonstrate the claim to be most likely false (if not, you are certainly not “evaluating” the truth of the claim, in which case the question would be – what are you “evaluating” then?). You don´t have to call it “falsification”, I´m merely wondering if there is something that could convince you that the claim is false – and if so, what that something would be.

        To put that in perspective – from what I understand, archaeological evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilate didn’t show up until around the 1970s. That’s a long, long time after the original events. Would it have been right to say, ‘Up until the 1970s, the existence of Pontius Pilate was falsified’?

        Nope, because Pontius Pilate was not enough of a big shot for us to conclude that you have to find archaeological evidence for his existence if you look for it. For Gaius Julius Caesar, it would be very different – you´d expect to find boatloads.

      • Because it´s hypothetical.

        Call it a superior hypothetical approach, then. Or so I argue.

        When you talk about “evaluating claims”, I presume you have something in mind that could demonstrate the claim to be most likely false (if not, you are certainly not “evaluating” the truth of the claim, in which case the question would be – what are you “evaluating” then?).

        Depends on the claim, the assumptions brought into the question, the mindset and the attitude.

        Here’s a way of considering things. Do you think trusting someone or not trusting someone is a wholly formal ‘let’s evaluate the evidence and come to a rapt decision!’ thing?

        Nope, because Pontius Pilate was not enough of a big shot for us to conclude that you have to find archaeological evidence for his existence if you look for it.

        See, you say that now, but I don’t think the alternative view was unheard of at the time – and it’s pretty easy to imagine the skeptical attitude at the time. (Roman official lording over a given land! Central public figure in the Bible! Two thousand years – where’s the evidence!) Granted, this is hindsight, but I think it’s superficially plausible. There’s a case with ‘absence of evidence’, up until a point.

        So no, I don’t think falsified works out here.

      • Also, by “driving force” I think that good evidence that things like the fall of Jericho and the plague happened are quite helpful in establishing that the claims of the Bible are true. And I think it quite possible to use the Bible to link Yahweh to the God proven (or, if you would like, attempted to be proven) by Aquinas, and then conversely to link that God successfully with Jesus of Nazareth.

    • ‘s kummt uf de Definitione on.

      Ist Santa derjenige, der Geschenke jedem Kind bringt?

      Wenn es so ist, dann hat man extrem starke Gründe, seine Existenz zu bezweifeln, da es implizieren würde, dass Eltern in der ganzen Welt ständig unter falschen Gedächtnissen leiden.

      Isch de Santa e gudd Monn, de anonymerweise Geschenke ze arme Kinner bringt?
      Ist der Santa ein Engel, der das selbe tut?

      Gemäß dieser Definitionen bin ich agnostisch bezüglich seiner Existenz.

      Aber ich bin ja bekanntermaßen ein hoffnungsloser Spinner 😉

      Sonst würde ich nicht soweit gehen, wie Copan zu behaupten, dass man Beweisstücke für die Existenz Jahwes hätte.

      Ich glaube, dass es normale (obgleich nicht außergewöhnliche) Evidenzen gibt, dass es paranormale Phänomene gibt, und dass Menschen in Berührung mit fremdartigen Wesen kommen.

      Ich glaube aus philosophischen Gründen, dass der Materialismus äußerst problematisch ist.

      Danach denke ich, dass die Beweislage bezüglich der Existenz eines guten Gottes mehrdeutig ist. Wie der französische Philosoph Blaise Pascal behaupte ich, dass es einen Glaubenssprung in beiden Richtungen gibt. Man kann dasselbe über die Auferstehung sagen.

      Ich würde durchaus von einem Wagnis des Glaubens reden, obwohl ich mit Pascal nicht einverstanden bin, dass einer der Ausgänge ewige Pein wäre.

      Scheni Grisse us Lothringen.

      P.S: do es eeni däitschsprochigi Post isch hon ich uf Däitsch un Lothringisch eeni Ontwoat ginn. Nimm’s mir bitte nit iwel 😉

      • So German it is 😉
        Du sagst es kommt auf die Definitionen an, und das stimmt natürlich – das war auch mein eigentlicher Punkt. Das es den Weihnachtsmann nicht gibt lässt sich ganz trivial zeigen, aber nur wenn man die traditionelle Definition des “Weihnachtsmannes” *wörtlich* nimmt. Wenn du alles was empirisch testbar an dieser Definition ist, als Metapher verstehst (so wie moderne Theologen es mit Gott machen), dann kannst du die Existenz des Weihnachtsmannes keineswegs empirisch wiederlegen. Du könntest höchstens sagen das es keine guten Argumente für die Existenz eines solchen Wesens gibt. Und genau das gleiche würde ich über Yahweh sagen wenn man “Yahweh” so definiert wie moderne Theologen es tun – ich kann nicht empirisch demonstrieren das es Yahweh nicht gibt, aber ich kann versuchen zu zeigen das die Argumente für Yahweh logisch fehlerhaft sind. Den Unterschied den Copan daher anspricht gibt es meiner Meinung nach nicht wenn jemand der an den Weihnachtsmann glaubt auch einfach alles was demonstrativ falsch ist, als Metapher umdefinieren kann.
        Liebe Grüße zurück.

    • Hmmm, Crude, I’m not sure what you mean when you say you disagree with me. Say you find evidence that the Crucifixion did not occur – it was an elaborate hoax. This is pretty much universally agreed as false, but bear with me. Would you see this as evidence that Christianity is false?

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