As Josh has previously posted, I was pretty intoxicated a couple nights ago at a large festival we throw every year. After it was getting late, and the large crowd turned into a small gathering around the fire, the conversation turned to the existence of God and other supernatural beliefs.
While talking about the existence of God, a friend brought up that we couldn’t prove that God does not exist. This is a logical fallacy. Not being able to prove something doesn’t exist is not proof for it’s existence. Following this logic leads to infinite possibilities because anything that we fail to prove does not exist must exist, and the number of those things is only limited by our creativity. As Matt stated, “I might as well believe that dinosaurs still exist, but we can’t see them because they invented a shrink ray to become really small.” Try to disprove that.
Next, he changed his line of attack and said that he didn’t believe that China existed (playing devil’s advocate). He said that I could not prove to him that China existed, especially since I have never been there myself. When told that there were maps, people who are from there, people who have visited there, history, culture, etc., he claimed that it could have all been fabricated. This, like the previous argument, is where people do not understand skepticism. The reason I believe China exists, although I have never been, is because it is simply more ridiculous for me to believe that it doesn’t exist. Think of Ockham’s Razor: I would have to make so many excuses and irrational claims if I were to believe China doesn’t exist compared to the more probable event that it does exist.
As a skeptic, I simply believe in what is most probable and what we have the most evidence for. That is why, although we cannot disprove it, I don’t believe that microscopic dinosaurs are still around. That is why, although I have never flown there, I believe that China does exist.