We all like to think that we base our views on evidence, but sometimes evidence gets in the way of a good argument. Here are 8 good ways to avoid evidence (with examples).
Not long after christianity began, a critic named Celsus argued that Jesus couldn’t have been divine, for he missed the opportunity to prove his divinity by disappearing from the cross. I find this an unsatisfactory argument, because it assumes that Celsus knew what God’s purpose was. And I find similarly unsatisfactory arguments being used today.
It’s a common theme of atheist critiques of religion: religion causes war and mass killing. And yet the historical evidence shows something different.
I expect discussions between christians and atheists to get edgy at times. We are talking about important matters and the two ‘sides’ are poles apart. But some responses seem extreme, even to people on the same side.
Why do you believe what you do – about religion, politics, ethics or life itself? Many sceptics about religion are evidentialists, that is, they believe we should proportion our belief according to the evidence. Different disciplines (e.g. law, science, history, journalism and everyday life) require different types of evidence, but the principle seems reasonable. But […]
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney has been mounting an extensive disinformation campaign on climate change for years now. The tactic is simple, and apparently effective, if not truthful – latch onto any isolated “fact” that seems to show some evidence of a cool world, ignore all the facts, evidence and reports to the contrary, and […]
Recently I was following a debate between a christian and a non-believer, and the non-believer said that he (I presume it was “he”) would require “irrefutable evidence” to consider changing his mind about God. It seemed like a rather stringent requirement to me, so I started thinking …. What things could we reasonably say we […]
“Confirmation bias …. is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way …. [or] interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.” (Wikipedia) Atheists often accuse christians of confirmation bias, […]
In recent decades, cosmologists have investigated the ‘fine-tuning’ of a number of physical laws and values that determine the structure and nature of our universe. It appears that these parameters have to be very carefully selected for our universe to survive and for intelligent life to evolve. This scientific conclusions has been used to argue […]