Knock three times for ‘yes’

Michael De Dora said in a comment on Falling at the first post

Scientific claims are probabilistic explanations based on observation and empirical evidence, and are subject to disconfirmation. The God claim is nothing of the sort. We can’t scientifically measure God or God’s interaction with the world, and the God claim is not falsifiable.

Why can’t we scientifically measure God or God’s interaction with the world? One reason could be because god is not there. Another reason could be because god is especially hard to measure for some reason. If it’s the latter we just need better instruments. I think the reason De Dora is suggesting is that god is in principle incapable of being measured. But if that’s the case, De Dora needs to explain further – how he knows that, why it is the case, what it implies for claims about god, and similar.

It’s not at all clear to me that we can’t try to scientifically measure god or god’s interaction with the world – and of course people have made such attempts, as with the intercessory prayer study. If we try, and find that it isn’t possible because there is nothing to measure, then it would seem fair to conclude that there is no reason to believe there is such a god, and that therefore there are good reasons to believe there is not such a god.

In other words if god is so spooky and weird and ineffable that we can’t measure it or its interactions with the world, or investigate it in any other way, then we have zero reason to think it exists, and a lot of reason to think it doesn’t exist, or at least to think that we can’t possibly know anything reliable about it. If god is immune to all empirical investigation, then that means we have no way to know anything about it, so it is in effect non-existent, as far as we’re concerned.

Doesn’t it?

Update: Or to put it another way, as Ben reminds me –

inference to the best explanation.

That clears that up.

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