I wanted to put this question out there to see how strongly everyone feels on this subject. Being that most of us trust in scientific fact and reasoning, I was wondering if everyone is absolutely, undeniably, 100% sure that a god doesn't exist.  I personally take into account that there is no proof of any cosmic creator so therefore I am about 99.9999% sure that there is no god. However we all agree that science is an ever evolving field and I don't think that there will ever be any proof to support the existence of a supreme being, but I can't be 100% sure until there is concrete proof against one. I would like to know what all of your thoughts on this.  

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Maybe that's my whole problem. I do not know or I do not agree with philosophers' definitions of Identity, noncontradiction, belief, knowledge, and truth.

I gave it a shot in this reply.

It seems to me, and that may be where my attitude comes from, that philosophers define logical proof into existence.

I hope you do no still think I am playing games.

Cane wrote:

“But if you ask yourself whether you believe there is a God or not, you can reach 100% because believing requires no evidence.”

 

English is a wonderful language having so many different words describing different ideas/concepts.  And while some might see it as quibbling, there is a difference between belief and faith.

Theists and atheists probably share 99.9999% percent of their beliefs.  

For example: because we understand how the observable solar system works, how the earth orbits the sun, rotates on its tilted axis, most theists and atheists agree in the belief that the sun will appear in the east tomorrow morning.

 

(yes, I know there are anti science people who maintain the earth is flat . . . etc.)

 

If you drop a brick, you move your toes.

That’s belief.

 

Believing is based on evidence, past experiences, etc.

Faith is an entirely different thing, assumed or engaged because of a lack of evidence.

There are lots of things we all believe in.

 

I realize that in normal daily conversations we all understand what is meant when someone says “I don’t believe in god”.

But within A/N, within a forum discussing  this VERY THING, we can make the simple effort to be precise about our language.

 

So, Cane, would you object to this rewording of your above quote:

 

“But if you ask yourself whether you have faith in the existence of a God or not, you can reach 100% (certainty) because faith requires no evidence.” ?

If you drop a brick, you move your toes. That’s belief.

Hell no!!! that is not belief! That is learning from experience, it has nothing to do with belief whatsoever. Your definition of belief is very foreign to me. Unless you had it happen to you, you don't know, unless you were indoctrinated to freak out any time something moves near you.

 

Belief is when you lack evidence to make a reasoned decision but descend to deciding based on emotions. There's an awful lot of this kind of BS going on in our society. People obsessed with controlling ALL risks to life, who nurture their fears not based on reason but on irrational beliefs.

@TNT666:

If you drop a brick, you move your toes. That’s belief.

Hell no!!! that is not belief! That is learning from experience, it has nothing to do with belief whatsoever.

 

The proper definition of belief is very simple.  A belief is just a proposition that one holds to be true.  Therefore, statements like "I am holding a brick", I am dropping a brick" are both beliefs. 

Beliefs that lack evidence are simply unjustified beliefs.  Rational beliefs are justified using rational judgement.  Knowledge is generally defined as those beliefs which are both justified and true.

See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/belief/

TNT666 and George;

 

The whole point of my post was to distinguish between faith and belief.

I maintained that

"If you drop a brick, you move your toes. That’s belief."

 

TNT maintains:

 

"Belief is when you lack evidence to make a reasoned decision but descend to deciding based on emotions."

 

No, TNT, that’s “faith”.  (and it’s not a good idea, or polite, to yell “Hell no !!!”, especially when you are wrong.)

 

Belief is assumed as a result of experience, observation, or even the scientific method.  I believe in gravity.  I don’t have to engage faith to know to move my toe when I drop a brick.

 

George has it right.

The only thing I might add is that when George says:

 

"Beliefs that lack evidence are simply unjustified beliefs."

 

he is essentially describing “faith”.


Beliefs that lack evidence are simply unjustified beliefs.  Rational beliefs are justified using rational judgement.  Knowledge is generally defined as those beliefs which are both justified and true.

 

Using your definitions above, you can justify a negative, but you cannot prove a negative? Am I right?

Maybe! I think that something true is something we have evidence for.

If I drop a brick directly above my foot, I will move my foot because I have certain knowledge that gravity will act on it, or influence its motion, in a manner to bring it towards my foot with an increase in momentum. And I will also move it because I believe that there is not a sniper hidden in the nearby woods to destroy it on its way down.

Could I reword your definition of Faith?

 

Faith is the belief you reached without evidence.

If you don't mind, I will continue to use belief.

The Dr. pasted that article above. It is the same one. Should I assume that you do not agree with me that you cannot prove a negative?

Just providing the source in case anybody wanted to easily pass it on.

 

I think the discussion is mostly about how important it is to carefully unpack what seem to be 'simple statements.' I find the thesis a generally useful heuristic and, like most rules of them, there will be situations in which it does not apply. Emerson's quote about 'a foolish consistency' comes to mind.

There is one (correct) answer. Every single time you flip a coin, barring additional variables, it is 50%. If you ask what are the odds, from the beginning, of the coin coming up tails twice in a row, that is different (25%), but each time, the odds are 50%. What the previous coin toss resulted in cannot possible affect what the next one will be, unless the toss isn't randomized by something like a person throwing it up high and spinning.

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