Any statement can be proven or disproven. This holds especially true of science; scientific facts have a Half-Life. At least if QI is to be believed.
Now what does this mean for belief?
Belief is very rarely anything to do with truth. Ask yourself this question and you will see this.
How do you decide whether something is true or not?
If you don’t know the answer to this question then how do you lay claim to truth as a value for any of your opinions.
Ultimately this leads to a paradox. Say you do have an answer for this question well how do you know it is the right answer?
You are using the answer as a means of deciding between truth and falsehood but how do you assign either value to the means. Who polices the policeman? Who judges the judge?
All beliefs are constructions that we build on top of experience. This can be normal run-of-the-mill sensory experience or spiritual experience. It really doesn’t matter how you get the experience.
We generally choose the construction that satisfies us in some sense. That is our beliefs are like the scratch marks above a flea bite. We have an itch to scratch so we scratch it.
A lot of people are anxious concerning death. They worry about what will happen to them or their loved ones. So their particular scratch is a belief in an after life.
Now all because your beliefs are a result of a need for satisfaction doesn’t mean that they are false. This would be falling for the genetic fallacy: a proposition is not true or false because of how you came to it.
It may disagree with the “truth” according to another decision procedure. We can’t really get at the Truth with a bit T to know if a statement is true or false in an absolute sense.
Zen knows this. Which is why Zen is all about the death of constructs. Just take experience as it comes. Don’t build castles out of sand.
But this can go a bit too far. At least according to my particular itches.
It is fun to build constructions and seeing as we cannot get to the big truth we might as well build pretty castles in the sand. But we mustn’t take them to seriously.
Atheism, theism and even agnosticism are all of the same order of validity as Harry potter and Lord of the rings.
Some people enjoy atheism and some enjoy theism.
The funny thing is though that if you have ears to hear it they all end up saying the same thing. They all end up being languages in which you can tell people “behave” or “It doesn’t matter what they do” just as in French and English you can say “the glass is on the table”.
People argue over the relative merits of language and that is really what the religions have been doing for god knows how long.
Then you see the whole thing is like football teams and their fans. They are all the same but people support one or the other for whatever reasons they can use to con themselves into taking the game seriously.
And they do this because it’s a hoot.