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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Therefore, it is up to the person making a claim to prove it. Similarly, a Theist making a claim of a Deity should be required to produce the proof, not the Atheist to disprove it by checking for the Deity under every rock or nook or cranny. It's about logistics not logic.
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.

(Although I think christianity is on a downward turn, I'd like to say the following)

 

I've been thinking about the above types of arguments that are always found in Atheist forums. And I would like to say they have no substance. Sitting back and listening to an argument/proof about god and then giving a YES or NO about the 'proof', and not the topic, is meaningless.

 

proof: theistic rhetoric 

topic: God.

 

People who believe the lack-of-evidence/burden-of-proof-argument is enough to get by on, and see no need to take the god issue any further are the beginning of the end of proactive thought. To dismiss a christians 'proof' about gods existence is meaningless unless you yourself think about god and come to a conclusion about god for yourself.

 

If you can think by yourself and make your own decision about God, based on your own thoughts and your own 'proof', then there is something you must use in order to do this. And that something is your brain. But you are not using your brain at all, especially in regards to the God myth, if you believe it is only up to the person making the claim.

 

Many atheists use the 'burden of proof' statement the same way chistians quote verses from the bible. They use it as a standard come back that they have learnt by heart. But there is a problem with the 'burden of proof' statement, in regards to God, in that it stops you from thinking critically about God. And lack of thinking is the very thing many atheists accuse christians of.

 

Another thing I often hear atheists say is, 'we need to teach our children critical thinking because christian dogma stops them from thinking for themselves'. But atheists also say 'I haven't seen enough evidence about it so I won't waste my time thinking about it'. Can you see what is wrong here? Many atheists want their own children to think and I assume make decisions after thinking, but when it comes to God, many atheists don't want to think about it and don't want to make a decision about it. 

 

Atheists can make decisions about god and it only takes a few seconds. And it is easy.

For example: my decision is; there is no god, there never has been, there never will be.

 

Don't be passive and leave you brain blank/unused in regards to gods existence. Use your brain and make a real decision.

 

TV personalities like Dawkins are professionals at playing with words and making things sound intelligent. But that doesn't mean you have to copy them. Just using the 'I have not seen sufficient evidence/the burden of proof lies with you' statement, on its own, is a meaningless statement. It is an excuse to intellectually run away.  It is an excuse to leave part of your brain blank and unused. It is intellectual laziness.

When we see Dawkins or Hitchens in debate stating that the burden of proof is on the claimant, they are simply following the rules of protocol for proper debate and for scientific peer review. In their context, it is a reasonable position.

In the context of open discussion, leveni is correct in that it is a crutch propping up intellectual laziness.

I would however, split a hair on leveni's semantics with the statement: "my decision is; there is no god, there never has been, there never will be." You don't get to decide that there was or wasn't a deity, that there is or isn't, or that there will or will not be. Such a being would exist or not quite independent from any decision of yours.

I prefer to say that I am 100% convinced that the utterance "GOD" has never been defined in a manner sufficiently coherent enough not to be self-contradictory and thus immediately dismissed as impossible prima facie.

Being open to "the possibility" actually creates yet another mythic contrivance: the possibility that an actual oxymoron might come up and tap them on the shoulder and give them directions to heaven or hell. Such silliness is called "open-mindedness" when it is no such thing. It is, rather, the shadow of mysticism.

It is an excuse to intellectually run away.  It is an excuse to leave part of your brain blank and unused. It is intellectual laziness.

 

No it is not, I've yet to hear any description at all of god(s) that do make sense. So when the topic comes up in conversation I would first have to find out what god(s) the other person is talking about before I could say anything meaningful about it. 

For instance, the "Einsteinian God" is very hard to disproof and I would know many a people who's beliefs more closely resemble an invisible "prime mover" then a personal god (which is easier to disproof).

 

I'll hazard a guess, you are probably living in a country where one religious view dominates public life. This causes you to belief that you know quite well what people consider to be (or define as) god(s) and thus it's easy for you to claim that "there is no god, there never has been, there never will be." There are however many religious people that have defined their god(s) to an undefinable woowoo-laden quasi-Einsteinian god, which they cannot demonstrate but which is near impossible to disproof. 

Read Einsteins God and Spinoza.

They are both Atheists. Neither of them believe in god. All they are doing is changing the meaning of God from 'omnipotent guy' to 'the natural world'. I think these two guys are just trying to be polite. Einstein is being polite to his fellow Jews, many of who were very religious and Spinoza is being polite to everybody around him so he doesn't get burnt at the stake.

What you have done Rob is shift the goal posts in regards to what God is.

 

To prove it is intellectual laziness, I ask you to tell me who God is. I ask you to tell me where he exists. How does he communicate with us? Does god love you? Rather than be a parrot and copy the opinions of others, come up with your own opinion about God. Now please answer the questions I gave you. Don't copy other peoples work, use your own brain and come up with some answers. 

There are however many religious people that have defined their god(s) to an undefinable woowoo-laden quasi-Einsteinian god, which they cannot demonstrate but which is near impossible to disproof.

Call me closed minded Rod. You have convinced me I should not ask you for proof about what you are talking about. What you have done here is write an undefinable sentence.

 

I am Australian Rod.

 

As for Religion, I am as dogmatic about there being no god as I am about there being no religion. To put it simply there are no religions. There never has been there never will be. The reason why I say this is as follows: Everything we believe in is man made. All the religious doctrine is man made. God in man made. All the morals(both good and bad morals) are man made. Religion plays no part in our lives. Each individual is 100% responsible for his or her own actions. Religion is never responsible, only the individual.

 

So what are all those people around the world doing in their mosques and churches and temples? They just enjoy sitting next to each other, having a little chat, and listening to some guy in front of them.

 

And I can keep on going:

There are no Jews there never has been there never will be.

There are no Christians there never has been there never will be.

There are no Muslims there never has been there never will be.

There are no Buddhists there never has been there never will be

And so on.

 

For me, my statements are a stand against those that wish to control others and a stand against mental laziness.

Einstein said:

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

 

He wasn't being polite. He clearly used it as both a metaphor (as in to say the Universe itself is GOD), and as a mockery of the GOD concept.

 

They just enjoy sitting next to each other, having a little chat, and listening to some guy in front of them.

This is largely a false statement.. It's a very narrow-minded view of what organized religion is, and why it's actually a problem that holds man back in the dark ages. Religion is essentially the psychological manipulation of an individual. Religions are not about visiting friends exactly.. It's more about the worship of authority. Much of it is profiteering, or straight up cult like. It's like watching those out there with signs that say "GOD HATES FAGS", or those who stuff a bible in a dying man's face to use his death and tragedy as a propaganda tool... There is so much wrong with religion that it can not just be said to be "people at church holding hands"..

 

If you think there are no religions, you then do not know what religion is. It's the retardation of the advancement of human knowledge. And I mean real knowledge and not mystical self-invented knowledge.. The problem isn't with the fantasy, it's when those who think fantasy is actually real, and then become Theocritus and dangerous. It's when fantasy starts to teach people to be intentionally dumb, or that it's a sin to seek knowledge that doesn't adhere to the ideological constructs of the ideology.. such as:

 

http://rprivitera.newsvine.com/_news/2011/03/13/6258978-religion-th...

 

The Tree of Knowledge and the forbidden fruit.. Most people do not grasp what this actually means in terms of human psychology, or in terms of it's purpose.. So the Adam and Eve story about the tree of knowledge and the forbidden fruit was a story about control. Hence it's forbidden to educate yourself, or to seek knowledge that will not be obedient to the ideology. It's well understood in the mechanics of brainwashing people. And it's thus a sin to seek knowledge. The difference between right and wrong was not entirely about morals, or ethics. It was about right being the following of the religion, and wrong being defiant of it. Thus anything that is against the ideology is demonic, sinful, evil, ect. And thus should be murdered, killed, or segregated from society... it's about making you feel less of a human if you do not devote your life to blind obedience to the church/religion. And you wonder why you have Christians out there with "GOD HATES FAGS" signs, or out there protesting at peoples funerals. Religion is for the ignorantly insane, or the plain ignorant. It literally depends on people being complete morons in order for it to have any relevance. Why do you think they prey on peoples emotions, tragedies, children, fear, and vulnerabilities as indoctrination tools. ?

I know this because I was a Christian, and I was taught how to use these tools when I did advertising for many Churches over the last 20 years.

 

And if you read the link, I posted a bit on how religious brainwashing works. And I included books on the subject.

He wasn't being polite. He clearly used it as both a metaphor (as in to say the Universe itself is GOD), and as a mockery of the GOD concept.

I consider this to be polite. The reason why I consider this to be polite is that he continues to use the word GOD. He doesn't deny the existence of GOD. He just changes its meaning. 

 

Read it

I don't blame religion for any abuse to children nor do I blame religion for how we grow up. If anybody abuses a child, it is the abuser that has committed the crime. He is at fault. It has nothing to do with religion. If parents send their kinds to Sunday school and if some of the kids take it all literally, it is not the fault of the Sunday school. It is the fault of the parents. Religion has nothing to do with it.

 

We either take full responsibility for our own lives or we can blame others for things that happen. We can of course blame others, we can do a percentage type blame. You can say to yourself I am 90% responsible of my own actions and other people must take 10% responsibility for my actions. Or you can say I only accept 50% responsibility for my own actions and 50% is the responsibility of others or religion. 

Me I take 100% responsibility for my own actions. But that doesn't mean I don't try and help others. I go to the local church and help out by cooking and cleaning etc for the disadvantaged in society.

 

All the points that are mentioned in the article exist in all levels of society and in all societies. Leaders of major corporations in 3rd world countries go to brothels and have sex with young girls and young boys, these same leaders expect everybody to work for substandard wages or for free. All the points in the text are not limited to religion. All the points in the text are what we humans do to each other, have always done to each other, and we will continue to do this to each other. 

But

there will always be individuals among us, free thinkers, that don't do the above, that don't abuse any of the advantages they have. And these free thinkers will try and counter those that abuse power.

 

Are you the Jackel?

 

As for your brainwashing essay, I agree 100%. But indoctrination and mind control are not limited to religion. The army for example. in the army we all get complete indoctrination on what we have to do. If we aren't heavily indoctrinated there is no way we can do what we do. The Mafia, same thing. Terrorism, is the same. It's all about indoctrination and mind control. Getting others to comply to, commit and ignore crimes is all about indoctrination.

They (Einstein and Spinoza) are both Atheists.

 

Depending on what definition you would use, yes, they could very well be defined as Atheists. However, Einstein specifically said: "I'm absolutely not an atheist." 

This seems to show quite well that people themselves choose their labels and the meaning to those labels, thus they also change the definition of a term.

 

What you have done Rob is shift the goal posts in regards to what God is.

 

Not really, I don't define god(s) at all, it is an utterly meaningless concept to me. My point was to show that other people are moving the goalposts away from what is commonly referred to as god(s).

 

Rather than be a parrot and copy the opinions of others, come up with your own opinion about God.

 

I specifically "copied" opinions about god(s) to show that the definitions for god(s) are as diverse as the people that belief.

 

What you have done here is write an undefinable sentence

 

My point exactly, the vagueness and the lack of properties that this god supposedly has make it impossible to say anything meaningful at all about it.

 

You have convinced me I should not ask you for proof about what you are talking about.

 

Can you make a distinction between what is written by me and my opinions please?

I cannot disproof the existence of a god without properties, and neither can I proof that "no god(s) exist" without making an assertion about the properties of "god(s)". Hence, to point out that the burden of proof lies with the theist is not mental laziness.

Sorry for the tone of my reply I get carried away.


Yep I did read that he said he wasn't an atheist. I think he my have decided listening to the dribble on both sides of the argument is a waste of time. We have atheists, theists, agnostics and a 4th group of people who don't waste any of their time thinking about the subject, and therefore can be neither Atheist, Theist nor Agnostic. Maybe Einstein was in the 4th group of people. And when he thought about 'where did we come from' gods existence or non-existence never entered his mind. 

Atheist websites would become very lonely places if we all joined this 4th group of people.

 

My point was to show that other people are moving the goalposts away from what is commonly referred to as god(s).

Point taken.

 

I specifically "copied" opinions about god(s) to show that the definitions for god(s) are as diverse as the people that belief.

Point taken.

 

Can you make a distinction between what is written by me and my opinions please?

When I talk about god, I am talking about God, the God of the bible and the Oxford dictionary. And if you wish, every other God. They are all the same God. That is who I am talking about. My point here was that you are participating in a discussion yet not coming up with your own opinions. You, as you said, are quoting others. This is mental laziness because you are avoiding any decision making in regards to the subject. I am pressing you to make a decision about God. 

 

I cannot disproof the existence of a god without properties, and neither can I proof that "no god(s) exist" without making an assertion about the properties of "god(s)".

If you are an atheist, then just say you don't believe in God. But if you use the above phrase you are an agnostic. I find many atheists using the above phrase and then claiming themselves to be atheists.

 

Sorry for the tone of my reply I get carried away.

 

We all do from time to time, as of yet you did not offend me so I don't see the need for you to apologize to me, although I appreciate the gesture. I like exchanging ideas with other people and the tone is much less important to me then content. So I'd rather focus on the content of our discussion.

 

you are avoiding any decision making in regards to the subject. I am pressing you to make a decision about God.

 

God(s) does not exist, and I'm as certain of that as I am that the sun will "rise" in the east tomorrow. God is an utterly meaningless concept to me. I just don't care enough about all the different definitions of the term and all the different interpretations that people might have in regards to god(s) to say that I am certain that their god does not exist.

 

If people would hold to the definition from the dictionary it would of course be quite different, it would make it quite easy to say that there is no such thing as a god. Alas, people change the definition so much so that it suits their own fluffy woowoo belief.

Thanks for the reply. 

 

I've decided to hold the Oxford dictionary definition of the word God as the only meaning of God. Otherwise games can be played. 

When we see Dawkins or Hitchens in debate stating that the burden of proof is on the claimant, they are simply following the rules of protocol for proper debate and for scientific peer review. In their context, it is a reasonable position.

Correct. All the people involved in scientific peer review have all studied the topic at hand over many years, and have amazing knowledge in regards to the specific topic at hand. They also hope somebody can contribute more to the accumulated knowledge that exists. They all have opinions on the topic and are open to anything new which will enhance the topic at hand. There is knowledge and thinking on all sides. The person putting the proof forward and the people listen to the proof have all thought about the topic at hand in great detail already.

 

To use the 'burden of proof argument' in regards to god, where we are the referees about gods existence, when we have never thought about the subject of god and have no opinions about god would be considered wrong by the peer review process. The peer review process, in regards to god, would require us to be experts about god. But this is of course impossible. If we are going to use such a process, the minimum requirement would be at least having some thought about god's existence or non-existence and some kind of conclusion about god's existence or non-existence.

 

But most people who use the peer review method in their approach towards god have no thoughts about god at all. They are just quoting Dawkins verbatim, just like christians quote the bible.

 

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As for my dogma about no god, it is a stance against god and his believers. And I could not find anyone else who had ever used it before, so I took it as my own.

Actually, it's a stance against people who use something that can't be proven as the source of their power. I still need to work on this one.

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