Wednesday, 11 September 2013

This is a true story to do with testable claims and the way different people deal with it.

When I was in high school I had a friend who was a decent guy, however he had a serious character flaw in that he was an absolute compulsive liar. This however did not affect peoples relationship with him as he was not trying to deceive. It was just a case of needing attention which made our friend construct these elaborate stories when he was lying. I want to clarify this was not just someone who was telling entertaining stories to friends, this was a guy who wanted to make you believe everything he was saying was the truth. He was always the guy who had the most sex with the most girls, they guy who drank the most beer without getting drunk, they guy who ran the fastest out of everyone. But these lies are not what I want to talk about I want to talk about the extraordinary lies.

On a certain vacation with 7 friends our compulsive liar friend told us the biggest lie ever. In this story he related how a cousin of  his was driving a motorcycle at 200 km/h which is fine, but.........his cousin then drove into a cow. Apparently the cow was split in half, which is very very very unlikely. The story does not end here, he continued to say his cousin did not fall of his bike he just carried on driving with this mutilated cow left in the road behind him. It is at this point that every friend said in a chorus "bullshit", as this was clearly an extraordinary claim that needed extraordinary evidence. Beyond the already extraordinary that a cow can be split in half.

Now this is how the various people present reacted to this story, 6 of us (me included) just ignored the stupidity of this story. However, one of my friends just would not let it go and we were entertained for 3 hours while our friend deconstructed everything to do with this story and eventually got our compulsive liar friend to admit he was lying.

This story can be correlated to theists and why atheists do not believe in a god. The idea of a god is an extraordinary claim and therefore requires extraordinary evidence to back up these claims. Just as the one friend would not let it go, so some atheists wont let theism go. Others just ignore it and move on with their life. This is like a lot of atheists out there, they do not believe in god they just are not bothered in showing you how wrong you are. Atheism is not a minority, it is on the rise as religion continues to lose followers who cannot accept iron age beliefs.