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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@ Clarence "God seems to be a vestage of an idealize parental image the child constructs in infancy and then refuses to abandon. The parent(s) (are) seen as all knowing, all powerful and everlasting in relative measure to the infant's purchase on adult prerogatives.
This can only last into adulthood if the smitten practitioner abandons causality with respect to their own existence and that of the species at least to the degree such a conceptual sock puppet takes up residence in the minds of the deluded."

I have also often thought something similar about our teachers at school. From the age of 4 until 17 we are thought to obey the teachers instructions, as they watch over everything we do and punish us when we break the rules. Our parents do the same thing to us when we are children. And many of us as adults do the same thing to our own children. I guess if you go to church and learn that God is doing the same thing as our parents and teachers, it may seem only normal to believe in god as we believe in our parents and teachers.

(Sorry to bore anybody reading this thread by reposting my post. But it keeps getting tacked onto the wrong person, so just re-posting it at the end because this error is bugging me)

 

@Chres "Christianity, for all that they do, cannot prove to the disbelievers that there is a supreme being. Atheists, for all that they want to do, cannot prove that there is not. Either step is a leap of faith, and if you choose a side, then you're deciding to believe something that cannot be objectively proven.
Period."


I'm going to assume that when you mention proof, you are talking about scientific proof.
And yes, there is no scientific proof either way. This is because God has never been observed in the natural world. And he never will be.

But there is logic that can be used. Philosophical logic. And I think this is what many people here are using as the basis of their arguments.


I'm not saying I think there is. I'm simply saying that whether there is or isn't is irrelevant, and any decision made otherwise is a conscious effort toward something personal.

Although I know as a fact there is no God, I like reading peoples comments here, including yours, because I am wondering why we humans believe in gods and why many of us atheists still have a tiny bit of room in our minds to accommodate stone/bronze age thought and philosophy. 

IF theists keep telling me GOD is made of nothing.. It's a 100 percent guarantee it doesn't exist ;)
An "open mind" is just an expression.

It does not mean that a serious person must entertain the assertions of mystics and shams and charlatans offering up meaningless words and oxymorons.

Offer a coherent definition of "God" if you wish to offer the most infinitesimal assertion that it might exist, otherwise, you are asserting, no matter how likely, the existence of something you have not even bothered to think about enough to define coherently. And that is NOT science.

And, by the way, no witches were burned in Salem. They were hanged.

"Ahh, here creeps in the absolute certainty enigma.

Let me answer this by asking: Do you keep an open mind on all matters?

If your answer is yes another question: How can you be absolutely certain of anything and have an open mind?

Isn't it an oxymoron to be absolutely certain of something and have an open mind about it?

If I am absolutely 100% certain of something, why should I listen or hear any opposing view or argument? Isn't it a waste of time. This presupposes that as I add more and more to my absolute certainty bucket I become more and more close minded."

When I am about to switch a light on, I am 99% sure the light will light up. Which leaves 1% uncertainty. If the light does not light up, I would be 99% sure the filament in the bulb was broken. But if the filament was ok that would leave a 1% of 1% cause, something else was the reason for the light not lighting up. Maybe a power failure, maybe a fuse had blown, maybe a rat ate through the main wire. My mind would be open to any number of reasons why the light did not turn on. But God being one of the reasons for the light not turning on would be impossible for an atheist to assume. An atheists mind would be open to any number of reasons for the light not turning on, but God would not be one of those reasons. It would be an oxymoron if an atheist were to assume God could ever have something to do with it.

 

Many people worry, if you have no certainty, how do you function? Well the answer is I function quite well. Certainty is based on degree, and there are plenty of things I have near 100% certainty -- 99.999...%. Having the .000...1% provides me with an open mind. It is degrees of certainty that allow functionally and provide and for an open mind.

I'm sure there are many people like you have described, and there probably many people who aren't like that. For example atheists in regards to gods existence. Atheists have "no belief in gods existence". It's not a 99% sure thing. Here is a link the Oxford Dictionary's definition of Atheist.

 

Why is it important to have an open mind? Because humans are fallible, and once they latch on to something wrong with absolute certainty, disaster usually follows. Look at Galileo Galilei, who tried to point out the earth revolved around the sun. Or ask a witch burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials how they feel about the absolute certainty of their conviction. How about those who received the death penalty who were subsequently exonerated? Et cetera.

God does not exist. If an atheist latches on to the belief about Gods non-existence, what will happen? The answer is nothing will happen, there will be no disaster. The reason being, there is no God.

First you have to determine what "god" you are talking about. I don't think you can prove there is no God of any sort. That is not good scientific method. Some of the claims are just impossible to determine.

 

For example, how would you know if an entity was all powerful? You can only know that it is more powerful then anything else you know. You just cannot prove it. The same goes for omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. If a super powerful, highly knowledgeable being or entity should show up and claim to be the God of the Bible, how would you know?

 

The burden of proof lies with the one who makes these claims and the standard is evidence. All you can say is that I have reviewed the evidence and it is insufficient. I'm open to the possibility but there is no evidence. Since it would be impossible to prove most of the claims I would argue that I am as certain as is possible about any claim about reality that it is false. However, I retain an open mind and am willing to see proof. It is not that claims about God are outside the realm of rational argument and proof. In that case they would not be genuine claims about reality. It is that they are impossible to prove. There is no evidence of which I can conceive that would suffice.

First you have to determine what "god" you are talking about. I don't think you can prove there is no God of any sort. That is not good scientific method. Some of the claims are just impossible to determine.

Before determining which god we are talking about, lets define scientific process first:

Here are two definitions from Wikipedia and the Oxford Dictionary:

1.To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

2.The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: "a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

So before we determine which God we are talking about, we need to observe that God, take some measurements and so some experiments on him. Unless this can be done, the method of determining if God is God will not be scientific.

Most atheist believe in scientific process. And all of these Atheist want to apply scientific process to god. But until god shows himself, Scientific Process can never be applied to him.

 

For example, how would you know if an entity was all powerful? You can only know that it is more powerful then anything else you know. You just cannot prove it. The same goes for omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. If a super powerful, highly knowledgeable being or entity should show up and claim to be the God of the Bible, how would you know?

If he showed up, we could apply scientific process to him. Until then we can not apply scientific process to him.

 

The burden of proof lies with the one who makes these claims and the standard is evidence. All you can say is that I have reviewed the evidence and it is insufficient. I'm open to the possibility but there is no evidence.

I have high-lighted two sentences in the above paragraph. The first one is wrong, it is not that there is insufficient evidence, but the second one is correct, there is no evidence.

 

Since it would be impossible to prove most of the claims I would argue that I am as certain as is possible about any claim about reality that it is false. However, I retain an open mind and am willing to see proof. It is not that claims about God are outside the realm of rational argument and proof. In that case they would not be genuine claims about reality. It is that they are impossible to prove. There is no evidence of which I can conceive that would suffice.

There is no God, there has been and there never will be.

Nobody in Earth's history has ever seen God, you haven't, I haven't, nobody has ever seen God. And there is a reason for this. A very good reason why nobody has ever seen God. And that reason is he doesn't exist.

I agree with the definition of the scientific process; no argument there. I agree that the scientific process cannot be applied until god, whatever god, shows himself. You can apply scientific process to the supposed evidence claimed by those who believe in god and you can examine whether it is indeed evidence and whether it stands up to scrutiny. They are generally making claims about the real world which can be examined and, IMO, dismissed.

 

Just because god has not yet shown himself does not mean he might not in the future and does not constitute proof that there is no god only that you have not been able to examine the supposed diety and his direct claims. To conclude that the absence of observable data to which you can apply the scientific method constitutes proof is fallacious. 

 

You cannot apply scientific principle to the claims of omnipotence but you can determine what evidence if any MIGHT prove the claim just as you can ask, for the purpose of falsifiability what evidence might disprove the claim. I'm simply saying I cannot conceive of any evidence that could prove the claim by the very nature of the claim itself. That is an argument for the very high improbability of the claim.

 

I have reviewed the supposed evidence for the claim and have rejected the claim because the evidence is not sufficient to prove the claim or it does not constitute evidence for the claim. It may be evidence for a lesser claim such as the reliability of the bible as an historical document. There is evidence for that which can be examined. That evidence even if it proved the historical reliability of the bible in mundane matter it would not be sufficient to prove the historicity of miracles for example.

 

Here you are being as dogmatic as anyone who makes religious claims. Just because you have never seen him does not mean you never will or that no one has. It is just that there is at the present time no evidence anyone has. This is where you depart from the scientific method and the open mindedness that method promotes.

I would content that Dr. Richard Dawkins knows what scientific method is. He has stated clearly that the claim for the existence of god is a claim which can be examined by scientific method as it is a claim about the real world. Dawkins in "The GOD Delusion" titles one of the chapters "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". Notice the language, "almost certainly". My argument is that the improbability of the existence of God is so high as to be practically absolute.

 

I would say to be 100% certain is to be dogmatic and not "scientific" or even rational.

 

My Old Testament professor in Seminary used to tell a story. The Bible mentions the Hittites. It was the contention at one time by most if not all scholarly archeologist that the Bible was in error. Why? Because up to that point no archeological evidence had sufficed to show or prove that the Hittites actually existed. So they would categorically claim that the Bible was historically wrong and there were not, nor had there ever been, nor would there ever be any Hittites.

 

Well, if you know anything about ancient civilizations you know that one day and archeologist stuck his spade into a tell and it almost erupted with tablets in a heretofore unknown language that was not in the Semitic family. He had found the Hittites. Now you can go to university and get a doctoral degree in Hittitology.

 

Just because there is not yet extent evidence does not mean there never will be. Perhaps God is waiting for just this moment for you to state just this opinion to come down and announce himself to the world. You don't know, you never can unless you want to be dogmatic like those archeologists. Absence of evidence for a claim is not absolute proof that the claim is false, only that there is no evidence or that the evidence is insufficient.

 

However, some claims are so extraordinary and would require such extraordinary proof that you can be practically certain they are false.

I agree with the definition of the scientific process; no argument there. I agree that the scientific process cannot be applied until god, whatever god, shows himself. You can apply scientific process to the supposed evidence claimed by those who believe in god and you can examine whether it is indeed evidence and whether it stands up to scrutiny. They are generally making claims about the real world which can be examined and, IMO, dismissed.

I agree you can look at religious claims and dismiss them using logic. And if a religious claim is visible, and scientists are allowed to examine the claim, measure it, take it apart then scientific process can be applied. In regards to the bible, through scientific process, a scientist could determine what the paper was made from, the chemical content of the ink etc. But as soon as you say the words in the bible are the words of God, you exit the logic of Scientific Process and enter the world of logic or philosophical logic to determine the truth. 

 

Just because god has not yet shown himself does not mean he might not in the future and does not constitute proof that there is no god only that you have not been able to examine the supposed diety and his direct claims. 

Today I can not agree, but a few hundred years ago, I might have agreed. Science and philosophy used to be used interchangeably, even until recently. But today science is on its own and it has it's own definition. And the logic of all the different philosophies is separate from science. You can use the logic that is involved in the different philosophies to argue for and against the existence of God. But, by today's' definition of Scientific Process, the logic of Scientific Process can not be used in regards to God.

 

To conclude that the absence of observable data to which you can apply the scientific method constitutes proof is fallacious. 

 Sorry, but I disagree. Francis Bacon, the man who invented Scientific Process, states the opposite of what you have put here, and for very good reason. 

 

But I'm not denying philosophic logic can not be used to prove or disprove God. But until God shows himself, the logic of Scientific Method, by definition, can never be used.

 

You cannot apply scientific principle to the claims of (Gods) omnipotence

Exactly

 

but you can determine what evidence if any MIGHT prove the claim just as you can ask, for the purpose of falsifiability what evidence might disprove the claim. I'm simply saying I cannot conceive of any evidence that could prove the claim by the very nature of the claim itself. That is an argument for the very high improbability of the claim.

Here you are using philosophical logic. You are not using the logic of Scientific Method. 

 

I have reviewed the supposed evidence for the claim and have rejected the claim because the evidence is not sufficient to prove the claim or it does not constitute evidence for the claim. It may be evidence for a lesser claim such as the reliability of the bible as an historical document. There is evidence for that which can be examined. That evidence even if it proved the historical reliability of the bible in mundane matter it would not be sufficient to prove the historicity of miracles for example.

I agree. And again, I say you are using philosophical logic here, not the logic of scientific Method. 

 

Here you are being as dogmatic as anyone who makes religious claims. Just because you have never seen him does not mean you never will or that no one has. It is just that there is at the present time no evidence anyone has.

In regards to God, I make the following statement:

There is no God, there never has been there never will be.

In regards to Scientific Method, it has a well defined set of rules that have changed over time. For example: Claims today should be verifiable by other scientists before they are to concluded to be Scientific.

 

This is where you depart from the scientific method and the open mindedness that method promotes.

I am sticking to the definition of Scientific Method and for good reason.

 

I have no proof of the following, but logic tells me the following: That any atheist who believes in Science and Scientific Method, probably has a very open mind. Open enough to believe the world is not flat, courageous enough to believe there is no heaven, open enough to believe we can one day visit the stars and courageous enough to make machines and ride those machines to get there.

Atheists who believe and stand by Scientific Method have very open minds, just because the possibility of Gods existence isn't part of our belief doesn't mean we are closed minded, it just means we don't believe in God.

Consciousness can not exist without cause. And thus can not answer the nagging question of why everything exists. The open mind concept drops dead right there. Simply put, no information also means no mind, no consciousness, no awareness, no substance, or value. And thus cause of all causation can only come from which we are all made of, and apart of.. And anything that relies on it to exist is merely a product of, and irrelevant to the existence of existence. Thus no GOD exists!

 

I would content that Dr. Richard Dawkins knows what scientific method is. He has stated clearly that the claim for the existence of god is a claim which can be examined by scientific method as it is a claim about the real world. Dawkins in "The GOD Delusion" titles one of the chapters "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". Notice the language, "almost certainly". My argument is that the improbability of the existence of God is so high as to be practically absolute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOyP44Xu5FA

New born babies don't like science, but one day they might grow to like it. And not just little babies, there are lots of people out there, Christians, Red-necks who today may not like science but may one grow an interest in science, but retarded comments like the above don't help science at all.

 

If I express my opinion of Dawkins here at Atheist Nexus, I am afraid I might be banned, so I'll do what Dawkins should have done and that is shut-up.

 

I would say to be 100% certain is to be dogmatic and not "scientific" or even rational.

Dogmatic: Yes. 

Not Scientific: Yes.

 

I would like to point out though, any comment about Gods existence or non-existence falls outside Scientific Method.

 

 

My Old Testament professor in Seminary used to tell a story. The Bible mentions the Hittites. It was the contention at one time by most if not all scholarly archeologist that the Bible was in error. Why? Because up to that point no archeological evidence had sufficed to show or prove that the Hittites actually existed. So they would categorically claim that the Bible was historically wrong and there were not, nor had there ever been, nor would there ever be any Hittites.

 

Well, if you know anything about ancient civilizations you know that one day and archeologist stuck his spade into a tell and it almost erupted with tablets in a heretofore unknown language that was not in the Semitic family. He had found the Hittites. Now you can go to university and get a doctoral degree in Hittitology.

 

Just because there is not yet extent evidence does not mean there never will be. Perhaps God is waiting for just this moment for you to state just this opinion to come down and announce himself to the world. You don't know, you never can unless you want to be dogmatic like those archeologists. Absence of evidence for a claim is not absolute proof that the claim is false, only that there is no evidence or that the evidence is insufficient.

Nice link about the Hittites discovery

The bible exists. And the words in the bible exist. Anatolia exists. The tablets with cuneiform exist. Up until these things existed Scientific method could not be applied to them. As soon as each of these things were discovered, scientific method could be used to expand knowledge around each of them. 

 

In regards to God and Scientific Method: Scientific Method can never be used on God until God appears and lets us do some experiments on him. But this doesn't mean we can't talk about God and use reason and logic in those talks, we can.

But by definition of Scientific Method, we can not use Science in regards to God.

 

However, some claims are so extraordinary and would require such extraordinary proof that you can be practically certain they are false.

I am an Atheist. By definition I do not believe in Gods existence. Christians believe in his existence. Atheists do not, by definition.

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