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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Burden of Proof (Was Re: "Beli
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 4/29/1994 11:19:00 AM  

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Well, I disagree with you. (Big surprise.) You say, if God showed
up, and walked around my pool, would that be enough to convince me, then
show why that's a flawed argument in any event. But that's not what I
said

Empirical proof must first be defined with a question. You ask,
"What constitutes proof of green penguins in the south pole?" In that
case, producing a green penguin, and putting it through tests to make sure
it isn't just green lime dye, is sufficient.

Penguins are things; god is as much concept as thing. So first you
have to determine the *question* before you can determine what is
reasonable evidence.

The main criterion for god would seem to be creation. Just about
every major belief system has some kind of creation myth, and that their
god was responsible. (Or one of their gods.) So that would seem to me
a good universal test.

So now we go with your scenario: God shows up at my front door. (One
hopes he has made an appointment.) As you say, walking on the pool and
glowing ain't sufficient proof. But I never wanted that as proof. So I
say the following: "If you are who you say, provide empirical proof that
is directly related to the assumption of your beingness, that is crucial
and *specific* to the definition of god. Create a planet in orbit
between Mars and Earth, without disturbing the orbits of either of these."

Now...if this being could do THAT -- and creating a planet with a
wave of the hand is arguably FAR beyond that of even aliens -- I think
that 99.99999? of the human race would accept that as proof positive that
this is either god, or something so astonishingly similar that any
difference is no difference at all.

So yes, empirical proof IS possible. By using the "walk on water"
analogy, you picked something that is by nature flawed, wasn't what I
had said, and really has nothing to do with the nature of god. As any
good scientist, you first have to find a reasonably acceptable definition
of what would CONSTITUTE genuine proof.

Planet-building is *definitely* proof of godhood.

Please alert me as to when this demonstration will take place, so
that I may cancel all other plans for the day.

jms

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