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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This thread has gotten WAY complicated. But here's my simple-minded take on it. I don't believe in unicorns, because I have never seen or heard any convincing evidence that they exist. Likewise, I don't believe in any of the gods that humanity has presented, because I don't see any convincing evidence otherwise. But if I DID see convincing evidence that James Randi and his staff couldn't prove was a fakery, then I might change my mind. It would probably take more than one event. And I notice that no one has ever claimed Randi's prize.

So while I'm 100% convinced that none of the gods posited by humanity exist on the basis of the stories told about them, I cannot say that I'm 100% convinced that there is nothing beyond my feeble ability to understand. It all depends on your definition!

This would be my dot ohh two.  I cannot be 100% sure that there is no god.  I actually think that we cannot be 100% sure of anything.  I can say with some certainty however that no evidence exists that points toward any cosmic creator.  There is one sort of shaky book that relies on itself over and over to implore that there is some omniscient god that directs all of this but that is one source and is not corroborated by anything else.  In most circles that is a problem but not for those of faith.  The real problem here is (IMHO) not with religion but with faith in general.  If people think that "having faith" empowers them then we have a difficult road ahead.  Faith, I believe is surrendering responsibility to a magic man about whom you can say "works in mysterious ways" when things don't go your way but when your "ship comes in" you can praise him...  I'm sorry what did you say?  It sounds eerily like you have no personal responsibility.  I mean if god mandates that I am to fail chemistry who am I to argue with him.... Where does it end?  It ends with you praising god for a potato when you could get a job and earn a steak.  It makes me sad to think that people somehow put religion above astrology or psychic readings.  They are all very much the same person wrapped in different clothes.

Cane,

Knowledge that god doesn't exist does not come from science. It comes from reason, which science depends on. You do not need science to know that 2+2=4 or that leaves cannot burn and freeze at the same time. But you need to know these things to do science. You do not require evidence that something impossible doesn't exist to know that it cannot exist.

This is what I understand from your posts: Humans have faculties that make the pursuit of science possible. And using those faculties can give valid knowledge without invoking science. In everyday life, we cannot make an experiment for every "god blessed thing" that happens or exists, but we can reason what is true and what is false. 

 

My fear (unscientific as that is) is that using those faculties for other than science leads to knowledge gained that could be false, but how could we prove it? Reason does not prove or disprove. It merely accepts or not according to a set of rules. And those rules (as far as I know) are not self correcting.

For a millennia and a half or more, philosophy was the only tool against religion. Then science came. I contend that science is a much better tool than philosophy against religion. The Library of Alexandria was not saved by philosophy, but science has changed the world. So do not over-inflate your ego, or the importance of philosophy.

 

Ignorance is bliss, but so is being right.

Science depends on basic philosophical principles. One's that dictate that god is impossible.
What are those principles? I am ignorant, educate me if you will.

I am going to assume that the document that the link above points to is adequate to explain what a philosophical principle is (that is, what is the definition of philosophical principle). Also it lists a number of principles that are very interesting, but what really caught my attention was the definition of philosophical principle quoted here: "...[philosophical principle] is a rule of procedure that specifies a modis operandi, a way of proceeding in the course of philosophizing."

 

These modis operandi are logical, true in a certain fashion, but I do not see the one that dictates the god is impossible.

In the document above, there is a principle listed that goes like this: "The Impossible Is Never To Be Required"

It is a sound principle, but does it dictate that god is impossible? Not by itself. Since I do not want to teach myself philosophy in 30 minutes, can you help me with a list of principles you are talking about?

 

That a thing is what its identity is. If it has no identity, it does not exist. It starts with the basic axioms of existence. One, it, existence, exists. It must, or what the hell are we talking about. Two, consciousness exists, but existence has primacy over, or comes before, consciousness. And third, identity is existence. That a thing is the characteristics that make it up. Its characteristics are directly dependent on its structure, bringing us to the corollary of the law of identity that is causality. A thing does, only what is in its nature to do, based on its structure, position and momentum.

 

The very first and most basic thought a mind can have is -there is something I am aware of-. This presupposes an existent with identity existing and a consciousness to perceive it. It is a necessary part of cognition, that all other thoughts depend on. We know by perception, it is self-evident that existence exists, consciousness exists and that to exist is to have a particular identity (it must be some things and not others, or we wouldn't perceive it), and that things function based on this identity.

 

These basic building blocks of cognition must be in order and functioning as such for someone to even begin to think about the scientific method (or have any additional coherent thoughts), which is great, but science is about the details of metaphysics, it cannot have anything to do with epistemology, other than to depend on it. Our brains function as pattern recognition machines (it's really the same complex algorithm that happens everywhere in the cortex) and we quickly learn that patterns of patterns in nature act causally. This is how we master our environment the way we do and how we can have language and knowledge.

 

It is not science that tells us that 2+2=4. It is self-evident. I can show you one apple and then bring another apple into view, that is proof that there are 2. Perception, in a human, is enough to very quickly learn about causality and universality, the basis for concept formation from perceptions and then when these concepts are integrated with the laws of logic without contradiction, we have knowledge. Conceptualization, a generally uniquely human skill, happens when you retain the essential characteristics of an entity, but omit its arbitrary measurements. That's how we can think of many types of trees and animals, not just the one's in front of our faces and name them, hold for further contemplation and share the idea through sound to someone else. The whole process of concept formation, or that algorithm in our brains, uses noncontradiction and the law of identity in order to form concepts, define them and manipulate them into a philosophical knowledge base and worldview. When one strictly adheres to the objective process of reason and logic in all realms of thought, they become atheist. When they allow contradiction when integrating their concepts, they become mystics of whatever sort.

Philosophy is not only the proper tool against theism, but also against mysticism of any kind. It is self evident that god is impossible. This is why faith is nothing less than a willful denial of reality. Skepticism less so. For, you cannot use reason and logic to show that there is some possibility that the contradictory, which would obliterate any possibility of cognition, can exist.

 

I’m going to take this one at a time: Identity. In my mind, for something to have identity, you must have evidence of its uniqueness. I cannot accept an identity that has no evidence. God has an identity, in fact many identities.

The most basic thought could be worded as “Do I have evidence that something exists.”

Then you say (in my way of understanding) you must have time flowing in one direction for us to perceive the evidence.

The act of showing me the apples can be considered an experiment that provides evidence of the apples and the amount of apples present and that our perceptions then perceive the evidence. I will also argue that 2+2=4 is not self-evident, but an idea reached after experimentation with numbers. I agree that we gain knowledge through perception of true happenings and identities. Where I think we diverge is how does someone arrive at what is true.

Conceptualization has the word concept as the root. A concept is an idea, and most ideas require evidence to be considered true, but they do not require evidence to BE true, but we would not be aware of them without evidence. I must admit you lost me at conceptualization. I’ll try to plug along.

Let’s take contradiction. If someone allows contradiction in their perception of an identity, then it follows what they perceive is not true.

So, if you follow the rules “religiously” you will lose your religion, because following these rules “religiously” will prevent you from accepting contradictions in your perceptions. And by not accepting contradictions, it becomes self-evident that god does not exist.

I am having trouble with conceptualization and the noncontradiction law.

"I am having trouble with conceptualization and the noncontradiction law."

 

I'll say.

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