Posted: Oct 07, 2010 10:31 pm
by Sityl
LIFE wrote:I mean I've never heard an atheist say "I know there is no god", I only hear this coming from theists claiming atheists are "wrong".

Indeed, even Dawkins doesn't make that claim. The concept takes a form that is impossible to invalidate, because, in the evolution of "god" concepts, those concepts that WERE able to be tested to destruction, WERE, and they went the way of the dodo bird. It was only by evolving from a testable idea like "gods live on mount olympus" or "gods walking among us and get women pregnant and making demigods", to the more ephemeral "invisible magic man in the sky," that the meme was able to ensure it's continued survival.

Because it's not invalidatable by evolution, no thinking atheist would make that claim. Again, either Sagan was off the mark on the definition of the word (ie he didn't think that most people who call themselves athesists actually WERE according to his definition), OR he was trying to pander to the religious to convince them to continue to listen to him. If it were the later, it would still be a good thing, since his work helped convert people, not by directly confronting their beliefs but rather by teaching them critical thinking and logical fallacies, which they were then able to, of their own accord, apply to their belief set.