It is not fair to say such because empirical evidence does not define existence. The flaw in this type of logic is that it assumes that something does not exist if it is not scientifically proven. Following this way of thinking we would be led to believe that atoms did not exist until the 19th century, that the various species of plants and animals on earth did not exist until they were discovered or that the celestial bodies of the universe came into existence because they were seen with the Hubble telescope. You can't measure emotions or even life itself, so this logic would propose that these matters don't exist until experienced. This would be an absurd conclusion that is itself more incredulous than the claim you assert against the belief in God.
@Shaheed: Just because something is not scientifically proven doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, this much is true. However, the argument is not that anything not scientifically proven is untrue. The argument is that things which "cannot" be scientifically proven must be "assumed" false because to do otherwise would be absurd. By necessity, things which cannot be measured or observed cannot be scientifically proven. Therefore, anything which we know we cannot measure, we must assume does not exist. God traditionally falls into this category.
It seems to me you are saying "we have no reason to believe a claim unless we can verify its veracity via measurements".
But we have no reason to believe the specific claim that "we have no reason to believe a claim unless we can verify its veracity via measurements" because we cannot verify its veracity via measurements.
It applies to itself and does not meet its own standards, so according to itself it should not be believed.
Please let me know if I have misunderstood.
Consider the premise "it is not the case that past time has been infinite in duration" (P1).
There is no conceivable way to empirically measure whether or not (P1) is true, but we can logically demonstrate its veracity through the impossibility of the contrary.
If (P1) were false, then past time has been infinite in duration, and we have come to the end of an infinite series. However, an infinite series by definition has no end, thus, infinity would have an end AND it is not the case that infinity would have an end, a logical contradiction.
So we see that (P1) is necessarily true, and we conclude this not because of empirical evidence (which we cannot have), but rather because of a non-empirical argument ad-absurdum.
We justifiably believe many assertions absent any possibility of empirical evidence.
C1: You cannot obtain empirical evidence for something which is unmeasurable by nature.
C2: It is absurd to believe something for which there is no empirical evidence.
We can, in fact, verify the veracity of the claim--not absolutely, but nothing empirical is--by inductively applying it to a number of cases to see if there are any to which it cannot apply. A great number of such cases acts as empirical evidence for its truth. For instance, magnetic fields: we have instruments able to measure and observe magnetic fields. We can even three-dimensionally map them now using ferromagnetic fluids. Thus we have reason to believe them, as the statement says. Continued in the next comment.
Your second argument, on the other hand, is much more sophisticated and gets right to the heart of the matter. It, however, relies upon the notion that a logically valid and sound argument is not empirical evidence. It also relies upon a faulty example: not only is there a measurable way to determine whether there was a beginning to time, it has already been done and science has given us empirical evidence that there was a beginning
Briefly, it is logically impossible to iterate through each and every inch in an infinite directional ray, specifically because it is infinite. An infinite set can never be iterated through, by definition. However, we have iterated through every second of past time. Thus, it is not infinite.
More to the point of this page, however, is the argument ad-absurdum in general, which universally suffices to demonstrate the necessity of a premise absent any direct empirical evidence in favor of it.
You've explained that you think it would be absurd to believe in aliens that cannot be detected through our senses. What empirical evidence do we have that such aliens DO NOT exist? Without empirical evidence, unless I misunderstand you, it would be absurd to believe that they do not exist. If we refuse to believe that they exist, and we refuse to believe that they do not exist, it seems we must conclude that we believe that they may or may not exist. But doesn't this stance lack any empirical evidence as well?
1. Its self-defeating nature.
2. Arguments ad-absurdum are examples to the contrary.
3. The Christian God has made Himself known to many people, empirically, thus empirical evidence can and does exist.
It's really just a very poor argument. Not a bad question for this website, though.
I met a man. He told me Unicorns exist and that they spoke to him. He didn't present any empirical evidence. I met another man. He claimed that Unicorns do not exist, and thus cannot speak to people. He didn't present any empirical evidence. If it is reasonable to accept claims without empirical evidence, then it is reasonable to accept both claims. But if we do that, we hold at least one false belief, directly caused by our acceptance of things unsupported by empirical evidence.
Thusly, it seems unreasonable to accept claims unsupported by any empirical evidence. That statement itself is backed by empirical evidence, and so does not fail to meet its own criteria. It doesn't seem to be self-defeating to me at all.
People who use their brains require evidence before accepting a claim. Without it, there is no way to differentiate between ridiculous and reasonable claims.
Thus, we would have no good reason to believe in atoms, certain species of plants & animals, or the Big Bang if it was never empirically demonstrated. In addition, emotions can be measured. Physicians do this all the time using various analog scales and questionnaires.
Using the god in the singular implies there is only one and given that deities abound on this planet it follows that referring to them should be noted as ........."a god"