One thing I’m sure all of us noticed in discussions with theists, is when we ask them for the best piece of evidence of evidence they have for their particular deity, they begin with “everything which begins must have a cause” or “the universe is fine tuned for life” or “If God didn’t exist, then objective moral values and duties would not exist”. In short they start off right away with a Philosophical argument from which they conclude God, rather than that they attempt to demonstrate God with falsifiable and verifiable evidence.
You see, to me God is a Hypothesis for which theists at large outright refuse to present verifiable, falsifiable evidence for. Oftentimes the typical Apologist reply is something to the effect of “God is outside of the natural world and therefore can’t be detected by science”. Now in principle this would be true if we were talking about a deistic god but as soon as we talk about a theistic God who intervenes in nature, we should at least be able to detect the traces of his interventions. We should be able to see measurable effects.
Those effects could be that God answers prayers of the particular religious faith, who has the right God, while all nonbelievers would have none of their prayers answered. Another way to go could be, that God revealed specific foreknowledge to his faithful people for example of a catastrophe etc. and they turn out to be correct. Miracles are another big issue. If you believe the religious texts, then there miracles happening all the time. There are numerous ways with which you can test God.
Oftentimes people tell me, that God speaks to them. One way I like to test, that claim is by asking them whether God could reveal my father’s name (or something else they alone couldn’t possibly know) to them, so they could tell me. At that point of course, we arrive at the second problem, because the first response is “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Luke 4: 12).
I have no doubt, that some of them are genuine when they make that move but to me it’s a convenient cop-out to save God from falsification. I think most of them know, that this voice in all likelyhood doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
With the line “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” you can leave God in the realm of unfalsifiability forever, which as I suspect is exactly what theists want. Why else would they move God outside the Universe? First of all because they had to. He’s nowehere to be detected inside the Universe, so of course he must reside outside of it. Secondly of course, because we can’t go outside the Universe and therefore can’t see whether or not he’s actually there. Keeping him unfalsifiable however means that he is unverifiable as well, which means he is destined to be a Hypothesis forever (or at least until we can actually verify him, at which point he probably resides outside the realm that is outside the Universe ).
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation