How can you be "pretty sure" about what I heard last night?You are right! I can not be "pretty sure" about what you heard last night, but you and I both agree that you've heard something. Right? cause and effect.
Cause=Banshee or unknown animal (the Creator), effect=the noise (the universe)
You heard something last night so there has to be something which cause the noise it could be your neighbor's dog or it could be a banshee in you head. You just don't hear a noise without a cause.
So let me ask you
when you and your kid hear a noise (you don't know what it is), at night and your kid asks you "Mommy what's that noise outside"?
what do you tell him/her?
Can you prove that the howling noise was not a banshee? Convince me that I did not hear a supernatural monster screeching for my soul. Sure, you would have to prove that the universe was not created by God first.
Now we are getting somewhere.
You realize that I cannot prove to you that there is no god
. Just like we cannot prove to you that there are no elves, witches or ghosts. Does it necessarily follow that we must believe in the existence of all of those things, if we cannot prove they don't exist? Do we have to believe in absolutely everything that could possibly exist (no matter how improbable or silly) just because we can't prove that they aren't real? Why not just believe in everything
that anyone has ever thought up?
Here is the deal. It is very hard to show evidence of a lack of something, ie. that something does not exist
. It is far easier to show evidence of the presence of something that does exist. If something is really there, you should be able to detect it with some kind of evidence of that thing. Then you can evaluate the evidence to see how convincing it is.
For example, some people say a Bigfoot creature lives in the woods. I even know a very reasonable lady who swears that she saw him clearly in broad daylight. I don't know what she saw, but it was surely something. So, I can't prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist, because maybe he is just really good at hiding most of the time.
But I can look at the evidence and see that it is pretty flimsy-- eyewitness reports from some people, a few blurry photos from a long way away, one questionable fuzzy film, some planted hairs that turned out to be yak, etc. And I can conclude that nobody has proven Bigfoot, because the evidence is so bad. I can safely say that there is no Bigfoot, as far as the evidence shows.
And you cannot prove to me that the noise I heard last night was not
a chupacabra, a baka, an avatar of Vishnu, a unicorn-- or a banshee. Does that mean you have to believe in the possibility of all of these being outside my house? If you cannot prove they don't exist, then you have to assume that they do exist
. And not just casually sorta believe, but believe with all your heart and soul, and use that belief to guide your major life decisions.
Tell everyone you know about banshees, lobby to get ideas about banshees taught in the public schools to all children, have people in stores say, "beware of banshees" to customers, put up lists of ways to protect yourself from banshees in public places and government buildings. Go to banshee protection meetings at least once a week to discuss the nasty critters with like-minded people. read banshee literature. Put stuff about banshees on your car. Elect anti-banshee politicians. Go to war against countries that seem too soft on banshees......
If you find the possibility of all this ridiculous, you can only imagine how I feel about religion.