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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Can we be absolutely certain that gravity will be in effect tomorrow morning? I'm 99.999% sure it will. But what if there is some unknown law of physics that will coincidently make gravity cease to affect us between now and then?


then we would be wrong. : )


For practical applications, I don't subscribe to absolute certainty.  It is, in and of itself, a logical contradiction~ but for less practical applications, I will use it.  After thinking about it in depth, I would say that, on a personal level, I am absolutely certain that a Personal God doesn't exist.  If I were in a debate, I would not hold that position as a matter of strategy; but outside of that, due to the lack of any corresponding evidence, the inherent contradictions, and the nature of the "god" in question (that it would care if I believe or not, thus giving it reason to inform me of its existence) I am absolutely certain that it does not exist.  I have no need for the one one-thousandth of a percent to be proscribed to the notion~ if I do find one day that the god does exist, I'll merely admit defeat and move on.  Aside from that, I am 100% certain of that particular god's nonexistence.


[btw I would like to add, after rereading the original post, I do see evidence against God.  Considering its definition, and the statements made about its intent, the failure of it to adequately operate in a way that would be conducive to achieving its intentions, creates a situation in which it inherently defies its stated definition.  That, to me, is evidence against its existence.] [edited for content and grammar]

I say 99.9999% because its the closest you can get to 100% certainty, as I pretty much feel 100% certain, but I know that knowledgewise its impossible, and wouldn't hold such a position when discussing a matter. So I think we're in agreement here.

I concur.
Yes, we can be absolutely certain that absolute certainty doesn't exist because there is always the possibility that there is something we don't know--perhaps even some plane of existence that is more "real" than our own.  Certainty is something we have to define for ourselves as best we can.

Certainty isn't the knowledge of actual events, its prospective perception and judgement.  Whether I am certain I will win the lottery has no bearing on whether I will or not.  Regardless of whether something else can happen or not, certainty is merely a statement of opinion or belief.  


absolute certainty doesn't exist because there is always the possibility that there is something we don't know--perhaps even some plane of existence that is more "real" than our own.


Thats not the point.

Not 100% no. I dobot feel comfortable being 100% certain of anything. I dobot think tho that 100% is required to consider oneself an atheist. Almost every theists is artistic regarding every god but theirs. I agree w them on not believing in 99% of every god that they also dobot believe in. We atheists go only one god further and also dobot believe in their god as well.

Imo, for us to be 100% certain of something like this, makes us guilty of what we accuse theists of so often, namely coming to conclusions unwarented by evidence. True enuf our world acts as if it would if there were no god, in a mechanical deterministic(or at least probabilities) manner. Imo, this is indistinguishable from a world made by a trickster god to appear deterministic.

Most rational observers would point out that no one currently worships a trickster god and that Jehova is definetly not a trickster god. I beg to differ tho. I have a theists relative who very much believes in a literal interpretation of his bible such that he is a new Earther. Despite mountains of irrefutable physical evidence showing our Earth to be billions of years old my relative prefers to base his conclusions on a collected group of writings authored by a particular grouped of bronze age goat hearders. And when asked what response he could possibly have to this mountain of evidence that refuted his position he discount it mearly as items put there by Satan to confuse us.

I could and should have then asked him if he was also centrist, still believed in witches, or was a holocaust Denver, but I was, at that point, absolutely dumbfounded into silence.

Anyway a god that ran things like that or allowed things like that would be indistinguishable from no god at all. So no, even w all evidence contrary, I don't thinking reasonable to say one is 100% sure (s)he/it doesn't exist.
I think the problem may lie in the definition of atheism and the mixing of science with religion.

Definition of Atheism
In most dictionaries Atheism is defined as 'disbelief' in God. The dictionary doesn't mention we need evidence for not believing in God. So if, for what ever reason, I don't have a belief in God, I am by definition an Atheist.
But in todays world, due to education and the social trend that encourages us to think for ourselves, to only believe or not believe is no longer enough. We now need a reason for our belief or lack of, and anything else we think. And I think this may be causing a problem.

Mixing Science with Religion
Part of Wikipedias definition of Science: "knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and capable of being tested for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions"

Therefore if we are to take a scientific approach in regards to god we will have to wait until God is observed. If God is not observed how can we apply science to prove or disprove him.

Therefore, if anybody out there has decided to apply science to proving or disproving the existence of God could you please tell me where you observed God so I can also join in and prove or disprove God. If you have not observed god please refrain from using science and it's definition to prove or disprove god.
To my mind Victor Stinger does best at providing evidence and arguments that there most probably is no god. Basic he uses an argument that absence of evidence is evidence of absence in some cases. True enuf an absence of evidence of celocamps was not good evidence for an absence of celocamps in out oceans (one was caught finally around 1930). However if one walks into any regular sized room and one detects no evidence of there being any elephants in this room then that does qualify as evidence of absence of elephants in this room. Stinger states that our universe shows no evidence that there is any god and that there should be evidence if a god exists and is running it somehow.
We constantly hear people saying you can't prove a negative. This is an obviously untrue distortion of the original statement that you NEED not prove a negative. If you assert that I have a double-wide refrigerator filled with monkey spunk and radish flavored ice cream crammed up my ass, I can prove the negative of that with great ease. The trick is not to grant vague or false premises, but to make the asserter be clear of what he is asserting.

Atheists tend to grant too many false premises when dealing with theists. OK... this three letter utterance you've made: GOD... just exactly what do you mean by that?

"It's a force."

OK. I believe in all kinds of forces. Can you be more specific?

"Well, God is a force of love."

I believe in love as defined as the profound valuation of a person. OK. Can you be more specific?

Eventually, they either acknowledge that they are needlessly using God as a synonym for all sorts of cool stuff that really exists and doesn't need such a vague and dishonest synonym, or they wander into the realm of incoherence.

If you want to tell me that God is a synonym for love or the universe itself, then I'm not atheistic about that... but I'm going to point out that you can be honest and clear without such bullshit synonyms. If you have a flimsy definition so loose that the pizza boy qualifies, then I believe in pizza. I think God started as a synonym for "I don't know" or "what the fuck?"

If I'm going to claim I don't believe in something, I insist on knowing just what it is I'm denying, and I'd prefer not to waste so grandiose a word as "god" on abstractions that have better synonyms. Claiming to think that God is Love is a diplomatic way to say you're an atheist.

Most theists insist that God is an all loving, all powerful, all knowing entity.

One look at a newspaper or a walk through a children's cancer ward will disprove the existence of such an oxymoronic entity with 100% certitude.

Others simply say that God is the creator of the universe. Defining the Universe not just as the tiny multiverse sliver of local time/space and matter/energy that resulted from what we humbly call the big bang, but as the set of all things that exist, it isn't possible that there is anything outside that set that exists to act upon or create the set. The set could never have been null as 0 + 0 = 0. Insisting that the set cannot be causeless leads to the assertion that the cause of the set cannot be causeless. Either way, there can be no creator of the universe. While our observable cosmos was surely spewed forth from a singularity contaminated by space/time, there is no reason to assume that this was a creation event for all of existence.

I am an atheist. I am not an agnostic. And, by my reckoning, if you are 99.9 percent sure there is no God, then you are also .01 percent sure there is... you are a doubter, not a disbeliever, and that's not atheism. You are an agnostic at best. Which is so unnecessary. Either you've heard a coherent definition and argument for "God" or you haven't. Are you atheist or tinyfractiontheist? Make up your mind. And please don't bore me with whackadoo ramblings about weak atheism and strong atheism and such. Either you believe there is a God or you believe there is not a God or you don't know. Pick one.

And you can't honestly say you don't believe in God if you acknowledge any fraction of a percent of doubt. Sorry. Words mean things. If you think there's a .0000000000001 percent chance that Jesus might be coming back to carry you off to Heaven, you can't be an atheist. Sorry. Thanks for playing.

I am 100% sure that there is no God. All attempts to define the word that I have heard are either to reduce it to synonym for something that is not "God" or incoherent/oxymoronic/nonsensical bullshit. I have never heard a single coherent definition of the utterance. Never.

Linguistically and scientifically, I see no need to sacrifice the ground of one iota of certitude. So to answer your question:

I am an atheist.


Good question Scott.


I'm precisely as sure that there is no God, and for precisely the same reason, that I am sure that if I release a heavy object at the earth's surface it will fall. The proposal of there being a 'God' (in the sense implied by any of our traditional theisms) is ruled out by our on-demand-repeatable physical observations to precisely the maximum extent that it can possibly be ruled out. The proposal is contraindicated, and can't be selected through any test that we can coherently understand to be capable of selecting knowledge.


For more on this I've pasted here something that you may find of interest:


Crystal Blue Persuasion


The following is a simple three step guide for constructive engagement with any proselytizing theist. It is, in effect, synopsis and clarification of an 'app' from my main essay 'Truth?'. My hope is that by directing interested parties first to this short and explicitly practical essay some may then become engaged enough to try the longer and more challenging one.


1. Inform the theist that he is offering proposals that you do not believe him to be able to qualify, through any coherent procedure for knowledge selection, as knowledge. Offer to open the debate with him at that level. Specifically, to work with him to arrive first at a procedure that you will both be able to understand to be functional. Offer further that if this step can be completed then you will invite him to clearly state his theistic proposals for your mutual application of the procedure to them, and that if they then can be seen to qualify through it you will publically embrace them, on the spot. Explain politely that you do not wish to waste his time or yours on a further replay of the sterile debate that has been going on between our two sides for thousands of years. Simply, that if he is willing to match your level of commitment, in engaging within a format that you can both understand to be capable of clear and final settlement of our argument, then you are keen to talk to him. But that if he will only engage in the absence of any such format – to hold open his option for declaring a draw, through play of the 'faith' card or some related piece of hokum like 'warrant' or 'non-doxastic justification' as soon as he can see his position becoming rationally untenable – then you have other and more productive uses for your time. He can accept, or he can decline. If he chooses the latter, then it will be with pretty clear implications for both himself and those to whom he had been trying to propagate his theism.


2. [He has accepted, and you’ve mutually agreed on a functional procedure]. Invite him to state his theism's defining proposals. Specifically, those which distinguish it from the all of the others, and from science (unless, of course, he would just as soon have you embrace any of those). Write his proposals down. Get him to sign the sheet. Because once you start applying a functional knowledge selection procedure to them – and they start to melt like sandcastles in the rising tide – he will expect to be able use the standard theist's dodge of linguistically obfuscating and morphing them to avoid your selection procedure’s gates. As in: “Well, I didn’t literally mean……..” and “Of course '……..' should be understood only in a metaphorical sense”, and the rest of that ancient bag of tricks.


3. [You now have the functional procedure and the signed list]. Patiently and systematically apply the procedure to each one of his proposals. Show him how it clearly fails to qualify. Show him that any relaxation of the procedure’s tests that is sufficient to allow his proposals to qualify will also and simultaneously permit qualification of an effectively infinite number of other and logically exclusive proposals (including, and most naturally, those of science). So, and from which, he can see that his proposals simply cannot be coherently selected. That he can have them, but ultimately from precisely the same wishful-thought basis that a boy on a rooftop can have knowledge of his ability to fly like Superman after watching a Superman movie. Go ahead and put him explicitly in the position of having to publically renege on your agreement, or else renounce his theism. [Note: Our side has been in the position to do this for at least the past couple of hundred years; but, in general, we have not. For some thoughts on how and why that has been, and whether our reticence has indeed been justifiable, please see another of the short essays at my blogsite: 'The Cuddly Kitten'.]


Primers for Step 3:


The essay ‘Truth?’ (access via 'view my complete profile' at the blogsite).


William Clifford’s classic essay ‘The Ethics of Belief’.


George Smith’s ‘The Case Against God’.


Michael and Monier’s essay collection ‘The Impossibility of God’.


General recent writings of the ‘new atheists’ (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Victor Stenger, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Anthony Grayling, et al).


For more still, my main URL is  http://www.poppersinversion.blogspot.com . Any and all feedback welcome.

No one is 100% sure of anything, though some people think they are.  Those people are usually the religious.
are you sure about that?


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