All of jafl's Comments + Replies

Fair enough. I only picked Odin since the article mentioned him. My point was that lack of evidence doesn't prove non-existence. It's certainly true that there is plenty of evidence against a God who constantly meddles and makes everybody's life perfect, but there is no evidence for or against a hands-off God, e.g., -- admittedly pretty much by definition :)

For that matter, there are enough crackpots among us that a weak signal will be lost in the noise. That applies equally well to acts of God and the exi... (read more)

New user, folks. Be nice with the karma Hey, welcome to Less Wrong. Introduce yourself here if you like. In the same way you might say that there is no evidence against a silent and invisible dragon in my driveway. But none of us believe in invisible dragons in our driveways because they're so unlikely we would require a lot of evidence to convince us they are there. The same goes for God. God, as it is usually described, is such an extraordinarily complex entity that the chances of one happening to exist are so small as to be irrelevant until we have a lot more evidence in favor of it's (His) existence. See this and the articles listed as prequels at the top of it for deeper discussion.

I'm not sure you can assume that Odin isn't around. He was relatively hands off in the legends, so no evidence for him is not proof that he doesn't exist. It could be a fitting end to a life struggling against blindly cruel Nature where upon death, you go to Valhalla if you die in battle; otherwise you go to hell.

1Jim Balter2y
"I'm not sure you can assume that Odin isn't around." It's an inference, not an assumption. "no evidence for him is not proof that he doesn't exist" Who said anything about proof? We should teach epistemology in kindergarten.
Odin messed around with humans all the time; certainly his offspring did. Leaving aside Siegfried the dragonslayer (and the whole Volsung cycle) and Odin's general interference in wars, he is depicted as wandering the human world checking up on humans (usually rulers), as in the Grímnismál where he executes a king for violating hospitality. (Arguments about Norse myth are hard to do in general, though, as there isn't very much to go on.)