"...it's called 'human evidence'. The sort we use in trials everyday. 20 (or 20is not argumentum ad populorum but is instead based on human experience. Why is it that Sartre can say that he is an atheist based on his "phenomenology and anthropology?" How can he base his atheism on "human experience," but when the realm of human experience tends towards the existence of the supernatural it must be cast aside.
million) people give testimony that they saw a man shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on
TV. But the stories all differ in detail. Do we therefore conclude that Oswald
lives? Or that Ruby did not shoot him? No. We take it that there is probably a
reality here to which people are responding,"
The materialist argument boils down to this:
1) Something is true if and only if it can be made evident to all (or me in the case of the individual materialist).
2) God/things of a supernatural nature are not evident to all (or me).
3) Therefore God/supernatural things do not exist.
An alternative argument seems to be roughly the same but using the scientific method:
1) The scientific method requires that something be testable in order to be "scientific."
2) Only things which are "scientific" are true.
3) Therefore since God/the supernatural is not testable via the scientific method then it is not true.
Regarding the first argument, we understand that this is not true because their are many things which many of us never see or have seen but accept as truth. For instance, how many people have ever seen Rwanda or the atrocities being committed there? No one I know. But none of us doubts that it is a real place and that real atrocities are being committed there against real people. How do we know it isn't a plot arranged by a "charitable company" to make big bucks off of our charitable wallets. We accept it on faith based on human experience.
In addition, many people do claim to have "experienced God" as Mark says. If this is true and placed into the materialist argument then it makes God's existence undeniable. However, then the materialist jumps to the second argument that it cannot be on experience only that we know God's exists because there could be any number of reasons (some quite creative) as to why people "experience God." It must therefore ,they say, be proven via the scientific method.
The second argument too is false. If, for example, I was a european scientist living during the 15th or 16th century and some one told me about such a thing as a tornado in the new world. I might say "What an imagination you have! I do not believe you or your fantasies. If it is true, then I should be able to create such a thing in my laboratory or I should have seen it here in Europe." Would I be a nut? Yes, we all know that such a thing exists and that it cannot be created in a lab because it is very much outside of our control. In the same way, why should you expect to disprove God because you cannot experiment on Him?
The only good argument seems to me to be this:
1) If a supernatural thing has occured then supernatural things must exists
2) If a supernatural thing has never occured then God or supernatural things do not exist and materialism must be true...or God has not chosen to act/ supernatural events simply have not happened yet
3) There are documented cases where supernatural things have occured, therefore supernatural things are true and possibly God exists.
From this point you must still reason toward God's existence, but I think the argument stands. Note that in the second premise the fact that God may not have acted yet or that a supernatural thing has not happened yet does not prove its inexistence. It may be that a supernatural event just hasn't happened or that God exists but has chosen not to act.
As far as the supernatural events, Mark lists a couple such as Fatima and the bleeding host of Betania. Here are a couple of youtubes with some interesting things happening:
With all of that finally out of the way, enjoy the following video. Its a mock of Professor Dawkins (he's the current "pillar of atheism") using his own argument to disprove his own existence. Got it via Alive and Young. BTW, remember that it is a parody and not somebody actually trying to prove that Dawkins doesn't exist. This seems to have happened a couple of times.