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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The scientific approach would indeed dictate that the answer can only be in the maginitude of 99.99999... %; after all, there's no hard-core evidence against the god hypothesis, only ridiculously extreme odds. But I'm afraid that if you say anything less than the full 100%, sooner or later you're going to receive a resounding thump of a Bible over your head, accompanied with the ever so predictable "see, even you cannot be entirely sure, that means that you DO believe deep down inside!"
The chance that a god exists is exactly one in infinity. The same odds that any made up BS exists. The chances that flubnard exists is also one in infinity. Same with the likelihood of gamnaps. This is effectively the same as being sure that a god does not exist. We are as sure as it is possible to be. One in infinity is the number we should be using. Although it is not really possible to have less of a chance than one in infinity, it is important to recognize that a belief in a god requires a huge string of ridiculous myths and false assumptions. It is not just one belief. One must believe that there is an invisible reality that exists within our universe, that a god can be created out of nothing (even though the universe cannot), that a god that floats in emptiness with no point of reference would be able to think about what the universe should be and then gather the materials to make it look the way it does, etc. That is just the deists. If you have a sect or denomination you must heap on hundreds of other unsubstantiated assumptions and legends which each have a one in infinity chance of being true. That usually would decrease your chances of being right but 1 in infinity is the worst possible odds. Each time you make up a new belief, infinity gets bigger (so to speak) instead of your chances getting smaller.
Love your honesty: "emotional as fuck".

None of us are purely rational. We wouldn't be human if we were. Still, that does not, or should not, prevent us from using our rationality as best we can. I mean, imagine making every decision based on things like our "gut feelings". I think it was Carl Sagan who said, "I try not to think with my gut". I second that.

Still, emotion or 'gut feeling' has its place and can be a useful guide in some circumstances. For example, it would be difficult to see how one could make a rational decision about when and with whom to fall in love. Love doesn't work like that. It knows nothing of rationality. And immediate emotional responses are useful in immediatley dangerous situations - the 'fight or flight' response, for example. However, it is the amygdala (that deep seated area that we inherited from reptiles) rather than the frontal cortex (that part of the brain that makes us human) that comes into play and predominates in such dangerous situations.

For other decisions of uniquely human concern such as "What is ethical?", "How ought we to live?", "What is the mass of the electron?", "Does god exist?", all these concerns rely on that frontal area that makes us what we are.

For those interested in the dichotomy between the rational brain and the emotional brain, between the right and left hemispheres and their interplay in decision making, I can recommend a recent book: "The Decisive Moment. How the Brain Makes up its Mind", Jonah Lehrer, The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, 2009. A really good read!

Cheers

Rob
My two cents. I do not believe and here are some of my own personal reasons why:

If I imagine that the god's exist then they do, as an electro-chemical or biological process of my grey matter, which I can easily replace with the invention of a new concept(or by playing World of Warcraft). I do believe that the god's exist as an optional escape route to be taken during a flight or fight response to fear, but this is easily replaceable by me 'manning up' and becoming courageous. I believe that there are no Atheists in foxholes only cowards and very smelly people. I once believed that the god's existed as a Ideological Construct of Control with sole dominion over ignorance, but I replaced that idea by becoming edgumaucated. I believe that Mythology is the historical study of Blissful Ignorance.
As far as I have learned, the universe is a 'closed system' thus, all that existed in the beginning - should exist now; as either energy, matter or on the cartoon channel. I have learned that proof of the existence of George Carlin's, "Supernatural Stuff" should be verifiable by scientific inquiry. No proofs exist, only speculation, theories and conspiracies surrounding a huge hill of lost left socks.
I believe that Faith is an indescribable emotional response to the fear of being proven ignorant, no person wishes to be considered an idiot (without their consent). I also believe that Zealotry is the delusional response to the utter terror felt from the possibility of losing control over the meek and ignorant labor class. The guilt of Traditional Sin begets consumption (and welfare babies) which begets an ignorant labor class, which begets the pursuit of a hope, of getting on TV, that can never be achieved in this life time.
I think that if the majority believes in the god's then the minority is incorrect in its non-belief; I believe that this is a false statement. The majority claims unique dominion over a singular common theme, the Atheist is incapable of verifying this claim. In other words the existence of an entity should be factual and verifiable to all humans, at all times, and devoid of conflicting personal experience and multiple delusional disorders.
Unique experience is unverifiable by another person; only the memory of the experience can be communicated to another via (often unreliable and inaccurate) symbolic grammar, but no two individuals will share the exact same meaning or diction to define the experience. Just because it looks like a purple dinosaur does not mean it is a purple dinosaur, it could be a man in a purple dinosaur costume.

The god's did exist once as a self replicating meme designed to ease the process of cohabitation i.e. in the form of a directive to 'love thy neighbor.' Vacations to Tahiti are the replacement memetic.
I', alot more sure that there isn't a "god" than I am of the notion that a nicely cooked sirloin steak will not magically appear in front of me in the next few seconds. . . . . . . . .... need I actually say that the steak didn't appear?
What difference does it make ? For day to day living, 100% certainty is not achievable, and is not necessary. So, 99.99... % certainty is in practical terms 100% certain.

If you sit in a room, there is a non-zero probability that all of the air molecules will rush to one side leaving you to suffocate. Will you run your life as per this sub-Planck size possibility ? By the way, the probability (I read this somewhere) is 1 chance in 2 raised to the 299th power. The time that the universe has been around, about 14 billion years, is a tiny fraction of he time required for this event to have a 50% chance of happening.

When the deluded, i.e. the religious, badger me with the 100% certainty red herring, I say that I have complete (i.e. 100%) faith that there is no god (or heaven, hell, angels, demons, etc). Since the religious insist that their faith justifies their belief in their invisible mean-spirited, black-mailing, lying, woman-hating, obsessed-with-sex, homophobic, in-favor-of-slavery friend, surely my faith is just as compelling.
I'm 100% sure because it is not in the realm of science, and i'm not a scientist. It doesn't matter I can't prove for the nonexistence the question is ridiculous and could go off into infinite tangents which makes it pointless.
What does it matter whether anything actually exists or whether we can be 100% certain of its existence or nonexistence or whether it exists when we are not perceiving it…? Questions like this are all philosophical fairy floss. The reality for us is that we have to live with some amount of uncertainty. When it comes to the god question, surely the brute fact that matters to us, to we who live in the world and try to make sense of it, is that the world certainly looks as though no god exists. There just simply isn’t any evidence for a supernatural being. Given that brute fact, we can carry on trying to live a good life with reasonable certainty that we can live such a life without having to believe in god/s whether we can be 100% certain of their nonexistence or not.

These sorts of questions remind me of a passage by Sir Arthur Eddington who, when writing about taking an over worryingly scientific view of the world wrote:

I am standing on the threshold about to enter a room. It is a complicated business. In the first place, I must shove against an atmosphere pressing with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body. I must make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round the sun - a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be miles away. I must do this whilst hanging from a round planet head outward into space… The plank has no solidity of substance. To step on it is like stepping on a swarm of flies. Shall I not slip through? No, if I make the venture one of the flies hits me and gives a boost up again; I fall again and am knocked upwards by another fly; and so on. I may hope that the net result will be that I remain about steady, but if, unfortunately, I should slip through the floor or be boosted too violently up to the ceiling, the occurrence would be not a violation of the laws of Nature, but a rare coincidence. These are some of the minor difficulties. I ought really look at the problem four-dimensionally as concerning the intersection of my world-line with that of the plank. Then again, it is necessary to determine in which direction the entropy of the world is increasing in order to make sure that my passage over the threshold is an entrance, not an exit.

Verily, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientific man to pass through a door. And whether the door be barn door or church door it might be wiser that he should consent to be an ordinary man and walk in rather than wait till all the difficulties involved in a really scientific ingress are resolved.


I think Eddington’s point here applies equally to questions such as “Are you 100% certain that…?, to the types of questions armchair philosophers try to tax us with.

Anyway, I for one am as certain as I need to be that no god/s exist and until there is evidence to suggest otherwise, I shall carry on my journey through life accordingly.

Rob
I'm 100% positive there is sufficient evidence to provide an answer to the question of gods' existence. That's why I've always failed to be an agnostic or to think of the agnostic stance as having any merit.
I am 100% positive that.....
There is no cosmic/earthly creator.
That the Abrahamic faiths are utter bullshit.
That there are not hundreds of gods as polytheistic religions suggest.
We do not become gods after we die.
That suffering or mediation brings us closer to a higher state of being as the Hindus and Buddhists suggest.

Everything else I'm not so sure of.
What constitutes 'a higher state of being' (or conversely, a lower state?) Are there more than two states? Which state(s) does 'living' belong to?
I think being human would correspond to being about in the middle/muddle.

I too would like Alex Catgirl to expand on her "states of being" notion. I have no real problem with it. I mean, when I meditate or dream I sometimes "FEEL" as though I am in a higher state of being. Of course, what is happening when I am in this state is all neurological. It's real enough for me at the time and I know I can go back there but of course in order to keep living one must wake up to reality eventualy.

As far as religions go I have less antipathy to Vedanta and Buddhism than to the so called "revealed" religions. The eastern religions are more capable of giving solace to those who need it without causeing misery to those who don't.

Rob

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