If it is not supernatural, if it did not create everything, if it isn't everywhere or all powerful or acausal then what is it? Then why invoke the concept of god?
Yes, I think that's one of the problems. What is a god specifically? And why use that term?
When we talk about a god everyone needs to be on the same page about what the term means.
Ask ten people and you'll probably get almost as many answers.
I agree that the monotheist position is fundamentally flawed, indeed flat-out wrong. But Dawkins (and others - Hawking?) has also talked about the probability of superior intelligences in the universe that, to all intents and purposes, might be perceived by lesser life forms (such as ourselves) as 'gods'. But then why use the term 'god' because, back to Arthur C Clarke 'magic is only science that we don't yet understand'?
Would you agree that there may be superior lifeforms that may be perceived as 'gods' by us, but in fact are just new areas of as yet undiscovered science?
I really don't want get into an 'aliens thing' here at all. I'm just after the principle.
"The question should be, do you recognize the nature of reality honestly or not?"
Of course, you'd a) need to know how to observe and know that you were observing correctly b) have the ability to recognise the subject c) know what reality was and the nature of it etc etc
Sorry I'm not keeping up - I don't know much about some of these theories - they're new to me.
I agree that Buddhism doesn't always recognise the nature of reality correctly. Luckily, it is easy to reject those aspects without affecting the core of Buddhism (for example, you don't have to believe in reincarnation or karma to be a Buddhist - in my experience most don't)
It is not only the monotheistic god of Abraham that is impossible, but any and all gods, supernaturality, metaphor as existent, spirits, souls, miracles, angels, and all nondefinable, magical, mystical, contradictory notions. If it is not some derivation of these or similar ideas, then wtf are you talking about, 'god'? Yeah, sure, I will concede that I cannot know that some idea you have in your head, without knowing a single claimed piece of identity of it's nature, does not exist. I do not know that there are not 14 dogs sitting quietly outside my front door right now, but I do know that Superman is not hovering above my roof eating a golden banana right now. As soon as one attempts to ascribe identity to god, they have failed, for sure.
Ask 100 billion people about god and you'll get 100 billion different invalid accounts of reality. If you invoke god, you are talking about the nonexistent. It is not only the monotheistic god of Abraham that is impossible, but any and all gods, supernaturality, metaphor as existent, spirits, miracles, angels, and all nondefinable, magical, mystical, contradictory notions. An advanced alien species is certainly not irrational. I'm not saying that things cannot appear magical or random. I am saying that they cannot possibly be magical or random. Aaron R's argument, which seems to stem from, 'but what if it's something else?', just doesn't cut it. Holding on to the possibility of god for skepticism's sake.
We do not need to learn how to observe, our senses do that for us. Our brains objectify our subjective perceptions into concepts through logic, the art of noncontradictory identification and reason, the only path to knowledge. Adhering to rationality honestly results in certainty that the supernatural or anything at all representing what humans have referred to as god or mysticism (the idea that we can gain knowledge through additional means other than our ability to reason from our perceptions) is false. We all grasp the concept of identity and causality implicitly, the vast majority of humans however become brainwashed early and deny or cannot articulate their implicit philosophies explicitly. The same people that believe in god and those that keep a special little place in their brain open to the impossible both use the law of noncontradiction and causality to survive, daily.
"The same people that believe in god and those that keep a special little place in their brain open to the impossible both use the law of noncontradiction and causality to survive, daily."
I think the point is not that some people (incl atheists) keep a little part of their brain open to the impossible, but that they keep their brain open to the possible that we do not yet know about and not to the silly idea that the current and primitive expressions of 'higher intelligences' may eventually be proven. I'm sure that being able to converse in the way we are doing now would have been considered impossible in, for example, Greek antiquity. In fact, it probably wouldn't have even been considered at all.
Again, it's do with the exact expression that is to be tested by the laws of logic.
I disagree. I think it is a blatant disregard for the law of identity and its true implications. You can be certain there is no god and still open to technological discovery and advances in cosmology and physics. We may even meet difficult to understand powerful interdimensional beings, but 2+2 will still be 4 and god will still be 100% impossible. I think what you are suggesting is nothing more than a chair may not be a chair because it depends what people call it. Or that 2+2 could be 5. Useless evasion. You explicitly deny the entire process from perception of identity to concept formation and definition. And of course possible things are possible. I have no problem with the recognition of this fact. It is when people say that there is a greater than zero chance that the impossible and identity-less exist. It shows a lack of understanding of the foundations of reality and fosters mysticism and new age phantasmagoria.
The question posed in the original post asks about certainty of god's non-existence. It does not ask, if we are certain that amazing things won't happen in the future. It specifically asks about god. If you cannot define it, other than giving it contradictory, supernatural qualities, then what do those 3 letters g-o-d represent and is language good for nothing then since it can mean anything at all.
I think what you are suggesting is nothing more than a chair may not be a chair because it depends what people call it. Or that 2+2 could be 5.
What about the defining of a mindstate such as 'feeling pride' or 'experiencing beauty' as opposed to a 'tangible object', such as something obvious like whether a chair is a chair? How do the laws of logic prove/deal with these mindstates?
I'm not trying to oppose, I'm just interested. I think it's probably an old theological argument, but I'm not sure how to answer.
"language good for nothing"
I'm actually in semi-agreement with that. Language is limiting. As William Burroughs proclaimed 'language is a virus'. ;)
And I think Dawkins said the same of cultural information.
Of course there is a God, for the Bible tells me so! LOL :)
Mystery? Doubt? Unknowable? Uncertain? Not knowing? Truth? Theories? Error? Question? These are invitations to wonder and not know and move on to new mystery, doubts, and questions, to live in the question, not in the answer.
Feyman says it so much better than I.
There is no need of god. Belief and faith in stories of the past, imagined or remembered and repeated generation after generation with accidental or deliberate changes, inspire killing and destroying in the name of god.
Domination and oppression in the name of some ancient story provide no more evidence than the story remembered verbally or written that results in repetition of the past.
Stories generate fear in people who have no access to alternatives; individuals self-emulate in the name of some untestable myth.
There are alternatives that offer options and hope and transformative thinking, such as internal wisdom, empowering one to think and act and observe if good or bad consequences occur as a result of realistic, testable, carefully thought out reason.
Through critical thinking, one can move beyond the attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions and values based on Bronze Age cultures and imagine a preferred future. Obedience to old ideas maintains and perpetuates the status quo. Imagination becomes a means for human evolution.
Carl Sagan stated:
Forces we don't understand in the universe.......most likely?
Bearded bloke who created the world in a week.....100% certainly not!
Joan, I think you wrote some of the following in haste and with out re-reading what you wrote. But I will respond to it as is.
You say theism(should be atheism) does not have principles and has nothing to offer the world.
I think you made a typing error here, and yes I still think atheism has no principles.
Most people are not honest, dependable, loyal, responsible, and compassionate because of a deity, they think and act with these attributes out of enlightened self-interest and an innate sense of morals and ethics.
If they have an 'innate sense of morals and ethics' how can they act 'not honest', 'not dependable', 'not responsible' and 'not compassionately'?
I think you wrote the above two paragraphs in haste.
They learn very young about getting what they need by getting along with others and working with others.
Some who do not believe god exists give time, attention, care and money generously to others because they care and have compassion.
I agree. I've met many Christians, here in Australia, who also give generously, in time, attention, care and in money. One of my aunties is a Christian, she did voluntary work from the age of 13 until she was about 80 years of age. She helped return soldiers from WW2 when they first started to come home traumatized by war and she helped heroin addicts by preparing meals for them until it became too dangerous for her to do so. And she is not the only Christian to do this.
But your example and my example have nothing to do with atheism or christianity. People help others because of their own moral code that they develop over time.
Children learn by observing parents and others; their values grow as they develop into adulthood and they pass social skills on to their next generation. Parents, siblings, family, friends, teachers and community live according to values of the community and teach by doing and by shaping behaviors. No god is necessary.
I agree. And I'd like to add that atheism and christianity have nothing to do with what children learn.
In some families the godly men beat their wives and children in the name of god.
There are probably atheists who also beat there wives.
Enlightened parents realize there are other ways to raise healthy children. They do not believe in "spare the rod and spoil the child".
Agreed. And just because somebody is a Christian doesn't mean they are not enlightened.
Atheists don't rob or rape or murder or embezzle because they do not believe god exists; they commit crimes for similar reasons as people who believe god does exist.
Great minds and talents exist in those who believe there is no god. I won't bore you with the long list of outstanding people who do not believe god exists ... you can look them up yourself.
Just because an Atheist has done something great doesn't mean atheism has great principles. And by the same token, if a Christian does something great, it doesn't mean God exists.
Atheism is the non-belief in God. That's it. If you are anti-religious or a person high high moral values, and I think you are a person with high moral values after reading many of your posts, it doesn't mean your morals came from atheism. They came from you.
If all our morals came from atheism, then we would all have the same morals and the same level of morality. But this isn't the case. We have different morals and different levels of morality. This is because our morals come from us. They have nothing to do with atheism.