I stumbled upon these two linksphilosophy games
Got 1 direct hit and 1 bullet bitten; both around the definition of "justifiable".
Oddly enough I don't actually see a contradiction between:
If, despite years of trying, no strong evidence or argument has been presented to show that there is a Loch Ness monster, it is rational to believe that such a monster does not exist.and
As long as there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality.
I don't see any contradiction. To me its: if (no evidence) then irrational.
- No proof of existence: hard to trust whether it actually does.
- No proof of in-existence: hard to trust whether it actually doesn't.
The bullet I bit is a somewhat wierder though...
You've just bitten a bullet! You are consistent in applying the principle that it is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, regardless of the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity this conviction. The problem is that it seems you have to accept that people might be justified in their belief that God could demand something terrible.
I mean... duh.. This is precisely one of the points you start out with, when doubting a religion...
- "Why should I accept a terrible request from someone who is supposedly all knowing..."
- "You must not doubt your god, it is beyond your comprehension"
- "WTF? 1st commandment: Do not kill. Oh, but you must do the will of my hand and execute J.D. what kind of all knowing, all powerful being places its 'children under these situations?"
- "Its a test of faith?"
- "So, am I supposed to say: no, you already said not to kill, and you could probably actually just do it yourself if you actually wanted to, so I know you don't really want me to do it, you little trickster you..."
- "Hmm, I don't know, who are we to challenge the will of god?!"
and so forth... in any case, if you are already behaving irrationally, there isn't much in the way of making any sense out of what you are doing... So its morally bad but religiously accepted. Had they asked whether society should have punished the rapist that's another story...