Putting God on Trial

A lot of atheists hold that although they don’t have any evidence that God exists, and therefore don’t believe in God, he might exist. It’s just very unlikely.

One of the atheists who hold this position is Matt Dillahunty, who compares the atheist’s position on God’s existence to a trial verdict. In a trial, the defendant is not found to be innocent, they are found “not guilty” – meaning that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them of a crime. Analogously, according to Dillahunty, the atheist is not finding God innocent of existing, i.e., concluding that God does not exist. Rather, he is finding God “not guilty” of existing, meaning that there isn’t enough evidence to conclude that God exists.

I agree that there isn’t any good evidence for God’s existence, but the conclusion Dillahunty draws is not the correct one.

I like the analogy to a trial, so I’ll stick with that. Before a trial is held, there is a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant even having a trial, which is a lengthy and laborious affair. Similarly, before considering a position, it is necessary to have some evidence indicating that it might be true, and is worth investing one’s limited time and energy in exploring further. Positions that fail this initial inspection are “arbitrary.”

Once we have concluded that a position is arbitrary, there is no need to consider it further. We are not obligated to assign it some “degree of probability,” since it has no relation to our knowledge, and hence there is no basis for such a probability assignment. Nor are we obligated to say that it is “possible” or “might be true.” A claim is possible, epistemically, if there are some facts in its favor, but there are no facts in favor of a claim if it is just an arbitrary assertion.

The correct position for an atheist to hold on God’s existence isn’t “it’s very unlikely, but it might be true,” it is “I have no reason to consider that idea.”


9 thoughts on “Putting God on Trial

    1. dstamps2173

      You could travel back through history and find many examples, concepts, or things that had never been proven true–but were true although considered false at the time. Finally, one or more individuals opened their eyes to see the evidence they experience everyday and began looking for proof–eventually finding it.

      GOD will never directly reveal HIMSELF to spiritually corrupt individuals. To do so, would be similar to holding a gun to someone’s head and forcing them to tell a lie to someone over the phone. The person’s normal state is to always to tell the truth, but he will tell a lie under duress to protect what he treasures more–his life or the life of another. If forced to do so almost continually, he would eventually become a very accomplished liar.

      If GOD revealed HIMSELF beyond any doubt, everyone who experienced it would do things out of fear. They would become someone different from who they would be without that experience. Most likely, they would become boot lickers–as many religious already do. GOD did not create anyone to be a boot licker. Therefore, false beliefs can also be a form of force. I believe many of the religious are in that state. It is better to be an atheist rather than religious in that way. At least, the atheist has not limited himself in that way, but his non-belief in GOD does because he doesn’t seek a higher understanding.

      Without force, Man generally becomes what we love. We were created to love those Ways that contribute to unity according to the gifts we develop in pursuit of that goal.

      If Man obtains a level of love for heavenly Ways that GOD revealing HIMSELF would not change the person, then those individuals would experience GOD accordingly.

      1. notabilia

        Why is this “God” a he – I am to infer that this entity has a penis, as I do, as a man?
        As for the other stuff, thanks for relating your state of mind. I have no idea what you are talking about.

        1. dstamps2173

          Obviously, you have no idea. The self-serving nature is blind to many things. Your first comment demonstrated your blindness. The physical reality is representative of spiritual things more according to function rather than form.

          1. notabilia

            What “spiritual things” are you talking about? And “function rather than form” – there is nothing there when you speak that way. Be more rational!

            1. dstamps2173

              When you play a video game, it gives you the impression of familiar forms; but physical form is not limited to two dimensions. Therefore, the two dimensional objects are representative of physical things more according to appearance than form but only to the physical beings observing. The video game reality is really atoms being manipulated to create the desired appearance of physical form. If the characters in the video game were aware, there would be evidence that their reality was only an extension of an unseen reality. The lower reality cannot look into the higher reality. It is one way.

              The relationship between the spiritual reality and the physical reality are similar. The physical reality was created from what is spiritual. The spiritual also has higher and lower planes, and Man is a spiritual being on a lower plane who is connected to a physical form.
              Aspects of Man video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAl8d21MD_Y
              Word Picture: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6odS9k6uDeDY19VMGYwZk5leWM

              1. notabilia

                Okay then. Yours is a worldview that is utterly foreign to me, and I am sorry that you must go through the rigors of life with such a demonstrably false outline.

                1. dstamps2173

                  Wow! You admit you don’t understand something; so you call it false. That sounds like a great way to remain blind to Reality. I assume this line of discussion to be ended. If you want to throw out another obviously ridiculous statement. I will ignore it.

  1. dstamps2173

    “I have no reason to consider that idea.” sounds like a good way to remain blind to Reality.

    An atheist is like a drop of ocean water believing the ocean doesn’t exist.


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