I'm fond of, and in complete agreement with, Carl Sagan's assessment of the situation:
- The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying ... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.
This does not, however, make me an atheist. As far as I'm concerned, claiming that there is no God is almost as irrational as claiming there is one. Again, I'll share a succinct comment from Sagan on that point as well:
- An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed. - Conversations with Carl Sagan (2006), edited by Tom Head, p. 70
So in one statement sagan says a belief in a theist god is ludicrous then the next one goes on to say 'well, we can't prove it's not there'??
Well, it's impossible to prove a negative. It's up to the believers to demonstrate the existence of something by producing evidence. It's not up to the skeptic to disprove it.
This is an age old example but it serves a purpose: I believe there's a huge teapot orbiting the sun between earth and mars. Prove to me there isn't.