^I appreciate the irony of a long post, the majority of which is regarding the length of posts.
I want to have a quick
overview of Skepticism (capital S, classically exemplified with Pyrrhonism as defined by the likes of Aenesidemus and Sextus Empiricus). I do this because it has implications regarding the direction of this conversation:
a prefatory assumption of a null--or the assumption of falsity--prior to evidence. It is the suspension of belief
in the face of equipollent concepts
. It is aporetic.
A Skeptic would not say that something should be considered false until proven true; a Skeptic would say a thing could be, could not be, or could otherwise be. This (true) claim continues until both a state of being is proven and other states of being are disproven.
This is far removed from the role of "being skeptical," or having a dismissive or unbelieving predisposition, in discussions of God. Skepticism is a mechanism for inviting intellectual competition, while "being skeptical" is a mechanism for dismissing intellectual competition.
The very nature of having belief that there is a God is "skeptical" (in the way heretofore used by others), as is the very nature of assuming there is not God. Both sides are dismissively disbelieving. It is not accurate to say that atheists are more disbelieving than theists.
What the non-God stance does
have is verifiable evidence for a system which does not require
God, while believers in God have no evidence for a system which does
need God. This means people like Young Earth Creationists are more
disbelieving than typical atheists, who are not rejecting data but are simply refusing to validate unverified claims. Even famed antitheists like Richard Dawkins publicly offer to be changed in the face of evidence. Most YECs would not change their mind in the face of evidence, or their minds would be changed. Such beliefs reject by nature
rather than circumstance
, and offers no addendum for alteration.
The following is directed at E7 particularly:
God cannot be disproven or proven (in a way we recognize currently), as you say. But that does not mean that truth or "reasonable" belief is a matter of personal experience. If it is my personal experience that all dogs bite maliciously, that does not make this belief any more true. In the face of data which disproves this stance, my belief stops becoming reasonable as well. A "reasonable" assumption is an assumption which commands the most data and demands the fewest appeals to skewed data or non-data. By definition, this is an assumption derived from reason ("reasonable"). Is every reasonable assumption true in fact? No. But is a reasonable assumption more valuable than a non-reasonable assumption? By its very nature, it is. If making an exclusionary assumption or belief
, we are best served by the most reasonable assumption. This is partly because the most reasonable assumptions (should always) leave the most room for alteration in the face of additional evidence.