My gf is refusing to speak with me. After an entire day of silence and crying she handed me this note...thoughts?
She wrote the following:
The whole store about the dragon in the garage could theoretically disprove anything that could not be proved, like human relationships. Whit if I were to say something like, "My parents love me?" You might ask for evidence: have they told me so? Have they taken care of me? Have they been to my sports games, plays, graduations? You then could present concepts like the biological impulse to breed, societal pressure to partner and breed, birth control failure, sense of duty and reciprocation - the idea that if they care for you now, build up a bond now, you will be in the physical and mental condition to care for them later.
Or what about your friends, or romantic relationships? Do they really think you're interesting, or are they afraid of being alone? Remember, humans are social creatures. Does your partner really love you, can that be said objectively, or is the relationship based upon their decision that you are a decent option to provide for them and any possible children?
It could be said that because it cannot be proven with logic, love as we think of it cannot exist. Emotional bonds serve the purpose of social order, and any ascribed meaning beyond that is all in our heads. When we die, the concepts of love and caring die. Aesthetics and philosophy are also the product of human minds and nothing more. None of these things existed before us, like gravity or mitosis, and they will not exist after us, which means that we have made it up. We have imagined these wonderful ideas that someone on this earth "loves" us and that the art we view offers insights into humanity, but they do not exist in reality. They are not real, no matter how much we beg and plead and pretend they have lasting significance.
Do you see how your argument plays out in reality? According to this line of logic, something cannot have significance - nothing can have significance - just because we have deemed it so. If it does not exist before we are borne/can formulate thoughts, and dies when we do, and cannot be proven by science or logic, then it is not viable, but useless.
She seems to be drawing a false equivalency between "god" and love. Love is an intangible, non-self-aware emotion whereas the asserted "god" is a self-aware being who has a tangible effect on real material.
Love can inspire people to take actions which have a tangible effect, but love itself cannot pick up dirt and create Earth and make a human being from a rib. A self-aware being =/= a feeling.
She lost me after the first sentence, so I may have missed her point, but I'll try anyway...
The dragon in the garage story does not disprove the existence of anything. Mainly it demonstrates the fallacy of "you can't prove it's not true, therefore it is" and why extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
When it comes to human relationships, people love each other for many, very real reasons. I love my son because I understand him, know that he is a good person, and appreciate all that he is. We also see that same love in the animal kingdom, and there may be some instinct that has evolved in all of us animals. Likewise, he loves me because I have put my life into supporting him and showing him everything that's good in life and protecting him during his hard times. My wife & I love each other for many of the same reasons (including some animal instinct ;-)). And we all love people less closely related because they helped us or demonstrate behavior and dedication that we admire. The reasons we admire certain qualities has many explanations without god. None of this requires a god.
The same loving relationships can be seen among many animals and peoples who have not had any belief in god.
This is not that hard. I think your atheism just ended up being a target of her own fear of your commitment. She's having a hard time with something more than atheism. Good luck.
If emotions are not possible without some kind of sky-daddy creating them with a wave of his magic wand, then how can animals feel fear, joy, unhappiness, guilt, etc? They don't worship any gods, yet they manage to do just fine in that department.
Religion cheapens everything, makes even emotions seem like something that is given or taken away at the whim of a "higher" power, like toys snatched away by a sadistic parent.
Now I can say from personal experience after a very spooky encounter in the Himalayas that I'm in the yes camp for the Yeti. Then again, it's completely reasonable to have an open mind about a creature that science has not yet encountered, new species are found regularly. Who would have believed that life could exist around undersea volcanic vents? Bacteria that thrive in petrochemical spills? Madness. But there you go, nature is surprising.
The supernatural, however, is not suggested by any theory nor is it required to make any natural process possible. Sure, the evidence for god is that we and the universe exist but god has apparently done bugger all since. He made a few guest appearances to extricate his chosen people from Egypt but I wonder why so silent when far worse things were happening to them at the hands of that famous catholic German Leader during the 30's and 40's? No, Adolf was not an atheist. Sadly the abrahimic god stopped burning bushes, parting the seas and performing miracles some time ago, which is a shame because I like a good magic show.
There's no doubt the place where I had my Yeti experience has a very special feeling about it, which is no doubt why it became sacred in Hinduism as the place where Shiva first set foot on the earth. You would not believe the huge mass of iron tridents stacked up behind the shrine, each one brought by a pilgrim who had to walk a long, steep and dangerous path for 2-3 weeks to get there. Then do the same to get back again and, trust me, going down is just as hard as going up. I guess I could be considered even more crazy because I endured the same trial for no holy or religious reason. It was just a holiday, I mean how mad is that?
Sorry to digress, but my point would be that everything else seems to be getting along just fine without god, so why should love be any different? From the outside looking in I'd say your chances of anything happy or good coming out of that relationship are slim and none, but then my hormones are not driving me on beyond the bounds of reason. I can only say that experience has taught me that you're better off holding out for someone who shares your world view or you're going to be doing an awful lot of suffering. Only you can decide if it's worth it.