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[avatar user=”Randal Harrison” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” /]

Hello Neil,

I must say you are persistent! Lol! I suppose I should have explained my position on proof and evidence. With regards to a belief in the existence of God, “proof” can be defined as the sum of all the evidence which convinces a particular individual of a particular assertion to a particular degree of certainty. I classify degrees of certainty into five groups as follows:

  1.  Air of Reality – There is enough evidence that a person believes there is a possibility that the assertion is true.
  2. Preponderance of the Evidence – The sum total of the evidence in support of the assertion is greater, even if a minute amount, than the evidence falsifying the assertion.
  3. Clear and Convincing Evidence – There is significantly more compelling evidence supporting the assertion than evidence falsifying the assertion.
  4.  Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt – The sum of the evidence supporting an assertion is so compelling that any evidence attempting to falsify the assertion is not reasonable to consider.
  5.  Proof Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt – The evidence supporting an assertion is so compelling there can be absolutely no doubt as to its truth.

This is where we diverge from the murder scenario. What degree of certainty is required for a person to claim belief? That is completely dependent on the person. As I stated before, some people will believe with an Air of Reality. Others will remain atheists even with Evidence Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt, if it existed.

I agree that there are no clearly distinct lines of demarcation for each of the levels I described. Two individuals can claim belief based on preponderance of the evidence, but the belief of one may be greater than that of the other. In addition, one person’s belief can vary from stronger to weaker and vice-versa over time. It’s impossible to quantify a person’s belief and how various evidences affect it. So generally speaking, falsifying the Cosmological Argument might would affect the beliefs of some, it would not for me. As previously stated, that doesn’t mean falsification of other pieces of evidence would not affect my belief.

Hopefully an individual would research available data, consider each piece, and form an opinion. As I said, as time passes this opinion could change either way depending on additional data considered. So to answer your question, yes, I do think this is a sincere way to find the truth.  I hope we can stop beating this “dead horse” now and move on.

Before I close I want to make a statement. I’m sure you realize that no matter what evidences are available, it is impossible to determine the validity of the existence of God or an assertion that no god exists to a level of certainty Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt. Therefore, our discussions will be limited to belief or disbelief. As previously stated, it is my desire as a Christian to provide evidence that there is good reason to believe that the Christian God exists.

Have a blessed day, my friend!

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Published inThe Cosmological Argument