Evidence for God, part 2

In a recent blog exchange, a believer challenged s group of atheists to think of a deceased person they knew, and then prove that person existed. There was a chorus of ridicule, basically pointing to multiple kinds of written documents that supported the existence of the dear departed. This raises the obvious question, why are all those documents valid, but the documents supporting the existence of God are not?
It’s really no answer to say, “Show me a photo of God.” The deficiency of this response requires a little logical analysis. If you were an atheist, you wouldn’t deny the existence of gravity because I don’t have a photo of gravity. You would say, “Gravity is not the sort of thing that can be photographed. But I can show other evidence.”
My response is, God is in the same logical category; he’s not the sort of thing that can be photographed, or detected with a scale or a Geiger counter.
“But,” I think you would object, “I can show some Laboratory Evidence, quantifiable, verifiable, that gravity exists. Let’s see you do that with God.”
One response is, “Show me quantifiable, verifiable evidence that consciousness exists.” You might think you can, because you can put electrodes on a conscious person’s scalp, and you’ll detect electric activity. But that’s not consciousness. If you passed your electrodes to me and then went into another room to monitor the equipment, you wouldn’t be able to tell if I had hooked up the electrodes to a conscious person or to a computer-controlled device programmed to generate electrical impulses that simulated the brain activity of a conscious person. Consciousness is more than what we can detect in the laboratory.
All these show-me-the-evidence arguments assume that God is the sort of thing that can be tested in a laboratory, which even believers don’t believe. So it’s a straw man argument.
I’d still say it’s intellectually respectable to be an agnostic, although it displays a failure of nerve. But to be an atheist, you have to be a partisan, accepting certain premises as matters of dogma (e.g. No God is worthy of belief unless he is UL approved). The trouble is, the dogmas are internally inconsistent, and atheists continue to live their lives like they really believe in things – thank God!

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