wiploc wrote: It was reasonable to form a lightly-held belief that, of however many chains the man might offer me, none of them would be actual gold.
I think it’s prudent for a pawnbroker (or anybody actually) to have this perspective.
It might not exist in the customer’s pocket, but it does not show that a gold chain cannot exist.
I got a lot of gold chains. But I didn’t get any from that guy. I didn’t expect to get any from that guy. It would have been surprising if I’d gotten a real one from that guy.
Right. So, your parable only shows that the customer was a liar. But, it does not show that gold chains do not exist.
The parable explains why it is reasonable to believe that theists aren’t going to offer a good argument for the existence of gods tomorrow, or in the next five thousand years. If they had good arguments, they’d have shared them already.
Even if true, this is not justification for strong atheism. It would only be justification for agnosticism. To justify strong atheism, one needs positive arguments in favor of gods not existing.