NTSC: Matt Dillahunty.

This man rules.

We have two categories:

1.  Gods that exist.
2.  Gods that don’t exist.

Since no amount of searching will ever turn up a god that doesn’t exist, we only need to worry about the first category.  That category has two sub-categories.

1a.  Gods that don’t manifest themselves in any detectable means.
1b.  Gods that do manifest themselves in a detectable way.

Of those two categories, the first is irrelevant, since we’ll never turn up those gods.  They may as well not exist, and no human being could know they exist.  They’d be exactly the same as making something up – nobody would be any the wiser, and that could hardly be called knowledge.  Only the second category remains.

Those are the only gods we should be debating about.  So if somebody tells you that they’re god is untestable, they’ve pretty much just told you that they’re opinion is untrustworthy.

Now he’s talking about how magic, if the environment is changed, can really affect people’s lives.  Take away the honesty of the magician and replace him with someone completely serious, with ornate props and tarot cards, and suddenly people believe that these types can actually perform miracles.  This is far and away the best talk I’ve ever seen Matt give.

I didn’t know this: to this day, nobody has even passed the preliminary test for the JREF’s million dollar prize.  Nobody has ever even made it to the full-on test.  O.o

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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