I’ve been wondering who said this, which has been floating around the Internet for a while. It turns out to be Stephen F. Roberts:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
Other quotes from Stephen Roberts:
The ‘100%’ Problem
…A popular ploy by theists is the 100% problem. It goes something like this “you cant be an atheist, since you cannot be 100% sure there is no god”.
…Well, of course I cant be 100% sure there is no god. I also cannot be 100% sure that gravity wont stop in 15 seconds, but I can behave as tho I was 100% certain it would not (BTW: it didn’t).
…By the same token, theists can not be 100% sure the universe or the world or their lives will continue for the next 24 hours, and yet they always speak of “tomorrow” and “next week” as if they are certain that such things will happen.
…So yes, I freely admit that I am not 100% sure there is no god, however, lacking any evidence to the positive, I can behave as tho I was 100% sure of that. Just as I act as if I was 100% sure an elephant wont jump out in front of my car and kill me on the drive home, and I can act as if I was 100% sure menacing alien forces wont take control of my mind in the next few hours…
There are many many things we are not 100% sure of and yet every day we behave as if we were. We do so because we have evidence and observations.
To put it more succinctly, Clarence Darrow said
I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.