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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Hi Michael, The reply button has run out so I have to write a response here.

 

What do you mean you don't have a philosophical mind set?

If we look at the 4 branches of philosphy:

1. Metaphysics: I never really question what I personally perceive to be real. 

2. Epistemology: I never really question myself about knowledge. I speak fluent Japanese and my Chinese is ok, but I never put into question my ability to know these languages. The more I study the better able I am at communicating with Japanese and Chinese in that those languages. That's it.

3. Ethics: No such thing exists. 

4. Logic: Sure, I believe in logic. I guess my interpretation of logic is what, in my mind, binds everybody here at Atheist Nexus together, along with atheism. 

 

It seems to me that you are are opining on the subject of epistemology when you say that atheism is a non-scientific provable fact, which I happen to agree with.

Yep. For me, the level proof I require to prove the omnipresent-God's non-existence is the fact that I can not see him everywhere and or anywhere I go. And  that is good enough for me. Others may require a little more proof than that, and that's fine, I'd be more than happy to expand the level of proof needed to prove his non-existence. 

 

I think philosophy gets a bad rap because so many people hold to principles arbitrarily (not in accordance with reality). I think philosophy is a critical study of thought, which very few people do with intellectual honesty, instead of a hodgepodge of mystical and skeptical derangements.

I'm not critical of philosophy, although it may seem so. I've always liked the questions philosophers have put to me, to make me think a little more. But the philosophical questions put to me, in the real world, are usually the most interesting of questions philosophy has to offer. Those questions have also been simplified, for the lay person to understand. And they have always been fun questions. But the abstract nature of in-depth philosophy is something I'm not really interested in. Sorry.  

 

I think basing everything you think on what you deem to exist in the real world is an ideal foundation for a proper philosophical mind.

Thanks. Maybe as I get older and read a little more, my interest in philosophy will grow.

 

 

Cane,

 

What is the matter with you? It is not up to science, whether or not there is god. And unlike god, extraterrestrials are possible. That's why you can believe they exist without being irrational, like you are being when you suggest that there is a .01% chance, or was it .0001%, that the impossible can happen. Valid beliefs are not at all religious. You are not very critical of your own thoughts. You seem to be irrationally attached to the idea that you cannot prove a negative, but that ridiculous statement is not relevant to whether or not invisible pink unicorns can actually be. Being certain that certainty is impossible is such a clear violation of logic and reason. It has been shown to you in several different ways by myself and others on this thread and you simply ignore reason. You just wrote something about being honest, but you do not have an objective standard to refer to, except your fancy. You just arbitrarily pick principles to back your statements. Philosophy has a proper structure, epistemology and metaphysics have a standard, it is called reality, and contradiction cannot exist within it. You obviously don't care about that. You tell Leveni that you agree with him that atheism is not a scientific endeavor and then on the very same post state that without science to prove a negative, you cannot know for sure. You might as well be defending the existence of macroscopic subatomic particle or a gaseous ice cube or a ubiquitously distributed singular distinct location.

I guess I am ignorant and cannot understand epistemology. I contend you are wrong and I am right. Enjoy!!!

Hi Cane, how are things?

 

. I contend you are wrong and I am right. Enjoy!!!

Although this comment which is directed at Michael disheartens me, I shall endeavour to continue.

 

I suggest that you can never say that there is no extraterrestrials during the time there is the question of whether there are extraterrestrials.

I don't understand what you mean here. Could you please give me another example, a really simple one, or clarify this one, thanks.

 

I hate philosophy

You sure are a funny/unusual guy, Cane. All of your posts are along the lines of 'not being able to know knowledge'  I thought you understood what epistemology was all about. 

 

I have not seriously looked into what epistemology says what knowledge is.
"There are no extraterrestrials." Can you prove this statement as true or false?

Yes, Caine, you're a very clever boy. Lucky for us there's one person able to see the truth where everybody else has failed. Now off you go and play with someone who'll appreciate you. 

 

Michael, give it up. You can only talk sense to a sensible person and clearly that's not the case here. Well done for making such a stirling effort, though, I'd have reverted to ridicule long ago.

 

This is becoming so like a long running battle on LInkedin between a few sensible scientifically trained athiests who have attempted to patiently explain, among other things, why the KJV is unlikely to be the breathed word of god and an accurate account of the history of the world, or why Lee Strobel my not be reliable in his claims for scientific proof of intelligent design or why evolution is as close to proven as it's possible to be. It always ends up with the ignorant calling those with more knowledge egotistical and quickly progressing to accuse them of being bullies because they won't let patently ridiculous statements pass. I'm surprised to see some signs of that here, or at least I should be. 

 

 

I guess there's a point beyond which anyone without the proper knowledge and training can't understand, shame it's so hard for us to accept that. It's become clear to me as more time passes that someone who wishes to believe something will do so in spite of any and all evidence they are given to the contrary. They always do much the same thing, they redefine words to have a meaning which suits them and as soon as they find they're unable to argue sensibly they put themselves in the position of victim, cry foul and fall back on the I'm right, you're wrong yah boo sucks defence. Not much you can do about that I'm afraid, except let it go. 

 

clivephoto said; "They always do much the same thing, they redefine words to have a meaning which suits them and as soon as they find they're unable to argue sensibly they put themselves in the position of victim, cry foul and fall back on the I'm right, you're wrong yah boo sucks defence. Not much you can do about that I'm afraid, except let it go."

 

I am guilty of losing patience and crying foul, and I fell back on "I am right and you are wrong". I say that knowledge requires evidence and belief does not require evidence. Michael has been trying to educate me in epistemology. He contends that he can gain knowledge using the rules of logic and epistemology (without evidence). I say that anything not supported by evidence is not knowledge, but belief. I am not making a judgement on the validity of the belief, but only saying that it is in fact only belief, not knowledge.

Belief and knowing are two different things. To know, you need evidence. To believe, you do NOT need evidence. Following rules of logic does not prove anything, it just means that you have reasoned a conclusion that ends up being a belief not knowledge.

 

According to Leveni, I do not know what knowledge is. Maybe that's where I need correction?

That would be one place to start, though you appear to be spoilt for choice. 

 

Logic is a tool like mathematics. It depends on the assumptions you base your calculations on but it quickly becomes apparent when they're wrong. I'm no logician but when you start out with proven facts any conclusions logic allows you to draw will be equally true, so long as your method is sound. 

 

Beliefs often feel like knowledge but are in danger of falling over when tested. You can sincerely believe that you're able to walk on water and you'll be safe in that belief so long as you don't embark on a journey over deep water on foot. Your belief may turn out to be right but that has no relationship with knowledge arising from sound reasoning based on solid facts. 

 

You believe you're right and that makes you happy. Clearly you are not but, as I say, so long as you don't embark on any serious endeavour which relies on your belief being true, it really doesn't matter. In fact it doesn't much matter to me either way, so good luck. 

First let me state for the record that I am no scientist or philosopher (I do dig science people though).  I only have my education to go on but it seems to me that some people are arguing that you CAN in fact prove a negative.  I agree with clivephoto etal that science does not set out to disprove anything.  Science in fact sets out to test what you've said and see if it holds up.  People make claims and then others try to duplicate the results.  The more times you can duplicate the result the stronger the theory becomes.  In the case of gravity, it is the best we have so far.  Certainly though it is incomplete and there are things yet to be discovered that will make that theory better.

"Christian Science" (oxymoron I know) does at times set out to specifically disprove scientific claims that have mountains of evidence.  One such claim is irreducible complexity.  Scientifically though it fails under the most rudimentary scrutiny.  Science (IMHO) has never been about disproving god but only explaining the unexplainable.  As the centuries have progressed more and more things have been explained and taken from the realm of mysticism and squarely placed in the land of science - things like floods, earthquakes, electrical storms etc - are no longer angry gods but acts of nature.  And all this thanks to science.  

 

So I don't quite understand the argument for proving a negative.  It's just not how science works (at least not at the university where I studied).  

 

Besides that I guess "There are no extraterrestrials" is not really a scientific question.  The statement is not testable and therefore is not considered science.  If it is considered philosophy though that is different - no one can ever be wrong when in a philosophical discussion.  

Science doesn't deal with the supernatural, ie imaginary, world of god, pixies etc., only the natural. If science can be applied then it's no longer supernatural. If it were possible to travel back in time with an Uzi and a projector or any number of modern wonders, you'd be probably be taken as a powerful magician. The Uzi would be especially useful in this respect. 

 

Extraterrestials belong firmly in the natural world because, since we know we exist, it's perfectly reasonable to assume there could be other life forms in the universe. 

 

Gods, being by their very nature, supernatural, are not the province of science and never will be. Any god which can affect the natural world is no longer supernatural and hence not a god, just something more advanced than we might currently understand. Extraterrestials may well appear to be god-like to us should any ever turn up. 

 

Apart from the rather annoying claims that god exists because without a god to create us we couldn't, there's not a shred of evidence for any of the many thousands of gods men have invented to explain that which they don't yet understand. 

 

I can't remember who said it, but when asked by a christian why he didn't believe in god the response was along the lines of- "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"

 

Logic, on the other hand, demonstrates the impossibility of omnipresence, omnipotence and all the other omni's claimed by the fathful. You can argue the finer points of logic up hill and down dale for as long as you like but I think Epicurus has it nailed down when he says- 

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

 

Basically, if god can't be relied on to do something useful when needed, then why bother? 

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