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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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.

 

Levini,

Like Dennis states, your definition of the scientific process is correct. What Dennis is trying to say is you have fallen into the same trap as the dogmatic theist and until they have some doubt about their 100% certainty god exists then nothing will change. They do not engage in the scientifc method because their absolute certainty tells them there is no need.

I understand what you are saying, but Dogma is not always bad.

Let's say I believe rape is wrong and I am dogmatic about this belief. Is this wrong?

Let's say somebody believes rape is wrong 99.99% of the time. What happens when that somebody who believes this, meets there 10,000th girl.

I don't think my example here is befitting the topic we are talking about, because it is an extreme example. But it is an example of good dogma all the same.

And for all intensive purposes I know you guys are atheists and the 99.99999% thing has less to do with doubt about Gods existence and more to do with not being dogmatic.

But

I have an objection to mixing science with god.

Call me a Baconite, and an anti-Dawkinsite.

I have no problem with anti-Christian sentiment, because it usually involves ex-Christians vs Christians, and I am neither, and therefore it is none of my business, but I am beginning to notice Christians are starting to use science and turning it upside down or they are turning their backs on science. And this is not good. Science is for everybody, and it is a damn shame if a whole group of people start to turn science on its head or ignore it,  because they are scared of science rather than being curious about it. And people like Dawkins are not helping the cause.

 

Part of the scientific method is being open-minded. Open to where the evidence leads. Open to challeges to that evidence. Open to finding new evidence. Open to new ways of observing.

The street of open-mindedness must go both ways to get closer to a better theory or truth.

I think everybody here has an open mind, mine is just 99.999...% open.

But I am not too sure science is open minded, I would like your opinion on this one.

Science is open minded in regards to knowledge that exists, for it evolves as knowledge grows, but what does science make of a subject where there is no knowledge?

 

I once had a person tell me she was a witch. I said ok, could you define witch? Can you demonstrate by flying on a broom? Can you tell me what I'm thinking now? Can you show me some magic? As soon as I started demanding evidence the converstation got very short. She changed the subject and I was 99.999...% sure she was not a witch when that conversation ended.

People make assertions all the time, some I believe and some I don't, but I am never close-minded about them. I may choose not to investigate some as time does not permit.

 In regards to things like homoeopathy etc, I don't really believe in it, and I have never studied it, but maybe it works. Pheromones play a big part in all species so maybe there is something there. If your witch friend knew something about this sort of thing, maybe she would be entitled to call herself a witch. And if science got involved in the study of 'witches potions', great. Science can do this because the potions would exist. But her being a tradition witch of fairy tales etc, I can't even contemplate it.

 

When the theist come to me and engages in their proselytizing I proceed with the same types of questions. If God exist, why doesn't he show himself, show me one verifiable miracle? Et cetera, et cetera. Every time it comes down to "you just gotta open your heart and believe". Carl Sagan wrote a book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle Light in the Dark, you should read the first part of Chapter 10 -- The Dragon in My Garage. You can find in by doing a search on google books it's on page 171.

Read it.

All I can say is that I am 99.999...% open minded. 

 

What I've been trying to say is I agree with you I don't believe God exists whether it's God, Allah, Zues, Baal, et cetera. But I am NOT dogmatic about it -- i'm open-minded and if someone comes to me with good evidence and not pseudo-science I'll give it the same riogorous scientific method as I gave to the Jehovah Witnesses or the lady who claimed to be a witch.

Yep, I know you are saying 99.9..% in order not to be dogmatic and to be fair to every bodies opinion.

 

I guess I can pretend to be 100% open minded(but please remember I'm not, I'm only 99.99..% open minded). So, if God does exist and if the lady is a witch. Where do they fit-in in regards to science?

The difference between 100% and 99.999% is enormous.

Imagine a God who will let 100% of the people on this planet live through the next minute.
Imagine a God who will let 99.999% live through the next minute?

Is that the same? Not if you are one of the almost 700,000 people who will be 86ed.

If you take your .001 belief that there might be a god and apply it to the universe/multiverse, then there is almost surely a god.

If you believe there is a .001 chance of a god, and that there are infinite universes containing all possibilities, then there is certainly a god. Meaning you are not an atheist.

So, again, offer a coherent explanation for the word "god" or acknowledge that it isn't even a word, but some mystical grunt packed high with connotation and sadly lacking coherent definition. There is no obligation of science to pay heed to mystical grunts with doubt or openmindedness.

At this point I would like to resurrect my comments made a year ago, attached below. The short of it is: either there is a god or there isn't. Biologist Richard Dawkins is mistaken to prevaricate, even slightly. By contrast, I argue from the point of view of physics. 

 


100% is my level of positivity that the Universe had no creator god, and this is largely because the Universe’s ‘origins’, at their currently-debatable scientific level, lie within the realm of explicability by physics. Although one can never be absolutely sure of anything in matters of this kind, the base position is that no one needs to allow for or hypothesise a supernatural creator god because physics has already shown that it can produce credible scientific answers of its own. Instead, we further accept that in coming decades and centuries science will guide us ever nearer to the details of the likely truths.

In commenting on the theme of this discussion A/N members have provided an interesting array of commonsense rationalist opinions for which there is great virtue, but I go further and follow the fully-scientific, strong-atheist, approach which considers more deeply where the laws of physics and quantum mechanics currently lead us.

To start with, atheists at any rate agree that all the gods named by humans were invented by humans and they are 100% fake. Nothing less than 100% will do for these fictions.

Beyond this, as regards the origin of the known Universe, many atheists seem to proffer a degree of caution that leads them to posit something like 99.9999999+++….% positivity instead of 100% just in case there is something ‘divine’ out there behind the workings of the Universe and about which we have no knowledge. In that case, we need to ask what could it be? A creator god? Well, I say not. I side with those scientists and others who say we can dispense with any notion that there might have been any kind of creator god as a supernatural entity that set it all going.

Firstly, if there was some kind of creator god, we then spiral into the problem of the creator of the creator of the creator and so on to infinity (see older discussions in the "Origins" group, like “What happened before the Big Bang”). And if anyone were to say that some sort of creator god could have been there, or was always there, and still might be there (but where is ‘there’?), then one does far better to propound instead that the Universe has always been there. Thus, no creator god needs to be proposed, and in any case scientifically-satisfying explanations arise from within the domain of the theoretical quantum physics of cosmology.

Specifically, for the origin of the Universe I go along with physics professor Vic Stenger's analysis which is based on the virtual quantum properties of an unstable void (see "Origins" group discussions) for which the fundamental physics is above reproach. Using the test bed of quantum mechanics a reasonable theory is that the Universe was instantly self-created, uncaused, from an unstable void or ‘false vacuum’—which is a timeless quantum void—with the property that incipient, virtual particles were omnipresent.

The consequence is that in REAL TIME universes are all there can be. They are eternally present, forever existing, because their absence would imply an unstable state of the void that cannot exist in time. In brief, either "a Universe is present" or its alter ego "the unstable void” is present. However, a quantum void, because of its virtual particles and its instability, would immediately get replaced by a Big Bang and new Universe.

Thus, our Universe IS . . .
. . . . because at least one universe is always necessarily present.

Therefore, because time cannot exist prior to universes, universes cannot have a first cause. With no first cause, there is no primary origin, no creation. Therefore postulations of the supernatural are superfluous, dispensable, worthless, and non-atheistic. Theism and doubt result from inadequate knowledge of science, and people’s gods including creator gods exist only in their heads. Godless atheism is the natural condition of the Universe into which all animal life including ourselves gets born, and life innocently proceeds with its god-free atheism until cerebral indoctrination into some ‘faith’ is pressured by super-gnats (supernatural believers) upon, most commonly, trusting defenceless children.

Although, like the stars, the proposed quantum void is not humanly approachable, its physics is within human understanding, because (as with the stars) it is entrenched in the theory of cosmological inflation [a result of the merging of quantum physics and high-energy particle physics with cosmology and astrophysics] which has abundant empirical evidence supporting it.
What is more, some theoretical physicists, who are working at the frontiers of research in these topics, suggest that our universe is only one of a possibly infinite set of "evolving" universes—hence the concept of the "Multiverse" or what I have termed the “Infiniverse”.

Thus as a 100% true atheist I support the 100% positive statement that “there is no god”. Critics of this expose themselves to a possible charge that a residue of the supernatural lurks within them.

http://www.atheistnexus.org/group/originsuniverselifehumankindandda...

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Tags: For “False vacuum”, “Virtual particles”, “Big Bang”, Universe, etc. try Wikipedia and other sources.

BIOLOGOS FOUNDATION commenting on Prof. Vic Stenger:
“His 2007 New York Times bestseller, God: The Failed Hypothesis, is one of the foundational texts of the “new atheist” movement, which seeks to take a harder line against religious beliefs. In the book, Stenger argues that evidence from cosmology, particle physics and quantum mechanics shows there is no basis for belief in the existence of a deity”.
Hey Terence,
I have read this reply of yours several times. And have always been hesitant to reply to it. The reason for not replying has to do with my understanding of physics or lack of understanding would be correct. I understanding everything you have written, probably because you have written it for the lay person, but the actual dynamics and intricate workings of matter and energy are still something I am yet to understand for myself.
Thanks.
Leveni
Thank you for clarifying the odds you have chosen for whether or not God exists. Would you mind telling me what facts have brought you to this number? I mean, when a scientist tells me there is a chance of this or a chance of that, they calculate the available data to arrive at a figure based on real math, right?

So what data are you using and what calculations?

Of course, in order for such an assertion to carry any weight, you must define the God that you think stands a .000000...1% chance of existence. If you don't actually define the thing, or at least posit a hypothesis about it, then you aren't actually making a coherent statement are you? Claiming this is the job of theists while insisting that their incoherent claims might be true is pretty weird and decidedly unscientific.

However, if you assert that there is any iota of possibility that such God exists, then you are not an atheist. You can call yourself one... you can call yourself the President of StarFleet... but that doesn't make it so.

In a multiverse where every possible universe is represented, and you assert that God is possible, such a deity would be a certainty in at least one of those universes... rendering you and Richard Dawkins both theists whether you like it or not.

As to openmindedness, I think the term gets a bad rap. Are you openminded to the idea that openmindedness is a vice rather than a virtue? Are you openminded to the idea that astrology might be more accurate than astronomy? Are you openminded to the idea of reading goat entrails to tell your medical status rather than a physical examination by a trained physician? Just how openminded are you?

The bottom line is that if you are unwilling to ascribe a coherent definition to the mystical grunt "God," you really have no bearing to assert its existence or even the most minute chance of it. Such assertion is 100% unfounded.
Joel, I think I understand your perspective. Shall I presume that you meant to be helpful rather than condescendingly pedagogical?

I am not hung up on God, but perhaps you noticed that we are at the atheist nexus website on a thread entitled "Is Everybody 100% Positive There is No God?" and not "Joel Teaches Vocabulary and Doubts the Existence of Apples." Though that might make an entertaining thread as well.

I'm going to go out on a limb and tell you that I am 100% certain that apples and trees and even apple trees exist. You offered, I must point out, absolutely no basis for your chosen fraction of doubt. I am left to assume that you have a default doubt position that you leave on for no scientific reason.

I suspect the meteorological report that provided the 45% chance of rain was contrived by a person with somewhat more mathematical reasons for arriving at that figure. However, a weather forecast calls for assessing data to predict an outcome. Hardly what we're talking about here. I suspect that you are also somewhat unsure if it rained yesterday. I suspect that your default doubt would be in effect and you would decline to assert with certainty that yesterday's weather in your immediate location did or did not include the hailing down of goat testicles, peanut butter cups, and gold coins embossed with the image of Attila the Hun going down on Richard Nixon.

Are you unable to make that assertion with 100% certitude?

If I assert that the whole Chinese Army, their aircraft, and armaments are located entirely in your ass, what is your level of certitude? Still running with 99.999...% against? Or do you trust your investigation of the area in question?

You were kind enough to provide examples where people were supposedly certain based on mysticism and a lack of data. How much data do you need, beyond a colonoscopy, that your colon is not doubling as a barracks for the Chinese Army? Or are you unable to discern the difference between making a wild-ass guess based on faith and intuition vs. making a scientific conclusion based on empirical data?

You ask me if I think that people holding beliefs based on faith and guesses should hold a bit of doubt to hand. Sure. But that really is not the same thing as coming to the 100% certain conclusion of whether or not there is or isn't a national military camping in your butt. I don't mean to dwell on your posterior, but I wanted to provide an example that you can easily investigate with some degree of ease rather than say, the tired stupid teapot in orbit around Mars or some such.

As to your definition of God: "God is a non-corporal supernatural being who is omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and omnibenevolent being." You need not bother with all the rest as your definition is incoherent. What does "non-corporal supernatural being" even mean? It's mumbo jumbo with no meaning. The definition of a being (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/being) is "a living thing." Living things are made of matter. It isn't just that all the living things we've seen are made of matter, it's that being made of matter is necessary to live and therefore qualify for the definition. A non-corporal being is an oxymoron. The word "supernatural" is itself an oxymoron.

Since your attempt to define god is self-contradicting, there is no need to bother offering proofs for or against. It is 100% impossible. Prima facie.

Again, if you assert that there is an invisible pink unicorn, I need not bother disproving unicorns because no object can possess the visual quality of being pink while also being invisible. The supposedly slippery IPU is easily slain with mere logic and semantics.

Thank you for recommending Sam Harris' books. I read them when they were published some years ago.

I also refuse the false premise that one must remain in the shadow of some infinitesimal degree of doubt in order to be approachable by a person with a conflicting point of view claiming evidence and wishing to present it. After all, I'm talking to you.

I am 100% certain there is no God. If a theist comes up to me (as they are want to do for some reason) and tells me that he has proof of God's existence, I will eagerly await his presentation... not because I doubt, but because I will get a kick out of disproving such assertion... again.

However, I will not kill him or torture him or send him to the gas chambers or the pits of hell as so many religions zealots are all too happy to do. It isn't really doubt that we would like to see in our theist brothers, but merely tolerance. Believe your nonsense if you must, but leave me out of it. Leave my children out of it. Leave it out of government.

As for multiverse theory, you can have nines to as many googolplex places as you like, but if you posit the tiniest possibility that God exists, then in the infinite universes of all possibilities, he does. And that would make you a very odd theist indeed. But not an atheist.

The supposed "open-mindedness" that would grant that there was any remote chance that a theist would be coming forth to supply proof for the actual existence of an oxymoron is not scientific. It is a willful ignorance of language itself and never even makes it to the realm of science.

In this case, you may find it decidedly convenient that your mind is already open to the idea of your being wrong.

Cheers!
Yes and no. Honestly and technically speaking, I can't prove that there is no god but it's not important. First, the burden of proof lies on the believer and second, I will follow what Euclid said : "A statement without proof can be denied without proof". Personally, I give as much importance to the belief of the existence of God as I give to the belief of the existence of Snow White. I mean, as I know Snow White doesn't exist, I can safely deduce God has no chance at all to exist. The possibilty of his existence doesn't prevent me from sleeping well. Plus as an aside, the fact I know that the belief of the existence of a god is primarily a tool used to maintain people quiet, why should I give any importance to an instrument used by crooks to get power ?

My original question was:

"Science is open minded in regards to knowledge that exists, for it evolves as knowledge grows, but what does science make of a subject where there is no knowledge?"

 

And you have a query about it:

I have a little trouble comprehending your statement “where no knowledge exists”

I think I now understand where our discrepancy/misunderstanding exists. It isn't the meaning of Scientific method, and I don't even think it's semantics, I think it is timing

 

When does scientific method begin?

 

For example 'the Dragon in my garage':

If we go to Carl Sagan's Garage to see the Dragon:

For you: Upon hearing the story you decide to apply scientific method to ascertain the truth of the matter. 

For me: I don't think science can become involved until I have seen the dragon. Once the dragon has been seen, scientific method can be used to ascertain the truth of the matter. And everything leading up to the opening up of the garage door is just hearsay and general interest. 

 

A more difficult example would be Uri Geller:

For you: upon hearing about him bending spoons you would use scientific method to ascertain the truth of the matter. And you could go one step closer than the previous example because you would be able to see him bend a spoon in front of your eyes.

For me: I still don't think scientific method could be used until after he bent a spoon in front of many people(preferably rational sceptics) who then agreed psychokinesis had taken place. So only after a group of rational sceptics had agreed psychokinesis had taken place could scientific method begin, and everything up until this decision is just hearsay, general interest and common courtesy. 

 

I think our thinking is basically the same, but our timing is out.

For me: I would merely ask for the definition of "dragon" and proper description. Is it something that a largish lizard could qualify for? Or an actual flying, fire-breathing snake? I would doubtless have no need to open the garage.

As for Uri Geller, we can keep him in the garage as well, and I'll still have no need to open it.

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