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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Hi Keith.
Out on a barge on the coast of India? Are you in the merchant navy?

My experience with religious people is pretty much limited to 2 American Mormans, when I lived in Japan 25 years ago and the Christians near where I live now. Also 3 Muslims from when I lived In Egypt. Apart from these experiences, I have also talked to theists on the street.

I'll explain to you how I see their point of view in regards to God.
1.Faith is their main point of reference towards believing in Gods existence.
2.The second point of reference, towards their belief in God, is their interpretation of the Bible.

1. In regards to Faith. I know they have it, but like you, I also can not understand what it is exactly. I guess it has to be like a child's innate love for their parents and visa-versa.

With Mormans they believe we all have a little seed in faith inside us. The metaphorical size of our initial faith is very small like a grain of sand. And the metaphorical meaning of this seed is the question 'where did we come from?'. And through Jesus and the book of Morman and the Bible and the Morman church and the Elders help, we can grow this faith into something like a big metaphorical oak tree.

With Australian Christians. They just invite you to church on Sunday. They don't tend to be pushy. But I have heard some sects are pushy. So I don't know what faith is, in regards to Australian Christians.

With the 3 Muslims I met and talked to in depth about Islam, they never really talked about faith. They would just say "This is what I believe."

2. Interpretation of the bible/Koran. I have found, via the Internet, the Christians have a wide interpretation of the bible. From literal to figurative. With Muslims it is basically the same. But both admit that the bible/Koran is how God talks to you.


I asked you about faith because it has to be the essential/core part of their belief in God. From what I can tell, without faith they have nothing. I think faith/God are like a security blanket.. If you take it away from them they will be really upset. They will think the world will fall apart if their security blanket disappears. They think murder,rape and chaos will reign if their security blanket disappears.

From their point of view, there is a difference between Russell's teapot and the spaghetti monster in the sky and Zeus. Teapots, spaghetti and Zeus can all be described. But it is impossible to describe God. What you have to do, in order to be a good theist, is believe in something that doesn't exist but you 'know' it does exist because you just 'know'.

For me, I don't think I would ever try and change the mind of a theist. I like to encourage people to do as they wish, so if they told me they were Christians I would encourage them to go to Church.

So in regards to conversing with Christians, about God, I rarely do it. In the real world I listen to them politely and let them say what they want, I will also ask them a question like 'how does it make you feel?'. But in the end I always politely reject any invitation to church or further meetings.

I came here to Atheist nexus to practice logical arguments about things that interest me. It's better to practice here, make mistakes here and learn from my mistakes here than in the real world. So, talking/debating/whining here helps me get my thoughts in order.

So, have you ever tried the CBP on any Christians in the real world?

It seems reasonable to me the question postulated falls in the trap of a False Dillema (black and white) fallacy.  Any attempt to discern a "absolute" on something existential which has so very little perceptual evidence other than a word "God" (regardless of definition) must fruit in two conflicting categories:  belief vs knowledge

 

On the one hand I can say I BELIEVE 100% there exists no God or Gods manipulating the expanse of all existence - like some solipsistic, separate individual entity.

 

On the other hand I can say I KNOW so very little about the existence of separate objects beyond what I have perceptually experienced (in my own short life here on this tiny planet), it would be better to leave off absolute certainty of anything in a 100% manner so as to guard against appearing arrogant in communicating with other people - as if I were unwilling to remain open to concepts/ideas/perceptions of which I have not yet experienced.

 

On the first hand, I perceive so little in evidence on the plethora of definitions of "God".  My KNOWLEDGE is so very lacking of everything which could be, my BELIEF says: it's so unreasonable (based on all observable data), I can't believe such far fetch notions... even to 100% certainty.

 

On the other hand:  because we have identified, by scientific method, only a finite amount of existence; it would be unreasonable to assume with absolute certainty notions beyond which only a data/object-inspired perceptual methodology would presume.  This latter being to the extreme of saying: As a world intelligence we have observed and recorded a finite amount of stars and planets in the universe; therefore, there exists no other stars and planets unless we observe and record them.  Or saying:  As a world intelligence we have not encountered (observed and recorded) intelligent life beyond our planet in the universe; therefore extraterrestrial intelligent life does not exist because we have not observed and recorded it.  Both examples have scientific proof and can be extrapolated to reasonable conclusions.  But the tendency of scientific methodology refuses to bend on 100% results based on absolute observable and recorded data.  Scientific methodology remains specious (and potentially dangerous) for any one individual to pursue.  Time and object interactions do appear linear; however, human learning (the thinking mind) is not linear.  There are constant examples of "things" humans have learned that were wrong in the past.  The excuse of "Well, that's the best decision we could make at the time because it was the best knowledge we had." does not excuse the individual/group of having made that past wrong decision.

 

Thus, we return to this False Dilemma question.

 

I am dissuaded by any absolute notion for or against the existence of a "God".   Further, I remain skeptical and defensive to any individual asserting absolute existence for or against anything.  Both for differing reasons on concepts of BELIEF and KNOWLEDGE.

 

I am willing to state that I believe in no god I have ever heard of, and have seen no evidence to indicate that such an entity exists or has ever existed.  I feel that I  can state with greater than 99% certainty that the god of the Christian majority doesn't exist, and even with my limited understanding of Judaism and Islam, I feel just about as confident with any of the major monotheisms. 

If you simply want to equate god with first cause (as in pre-Big Bang) and drop the rest of the nonsense, then fine believe in god all you want, (but then what really would be the point?) but add any of the rest of it and we have a problem.

The problem with God being a first cause is: What caused God?

Oh I understand the concept of infinite regression, I simply find that most people that try to prove the existence of god fall on extremely vague definitions in order to avoid the easy counters and so are basically left with the word god meaning basically any origin one could fathom.  The word is rendered entirely meaningless in these contexts and the debates become pointless and frustrating.


That or it becomes a case of special pleading where god is the one exception to the everything has a cause rule.

I concur. The moment properties are attributed to any proposal, the simpler it becomes to prove/disprove. God's greatest champions try to keep him as vague as possible often to the point of not defining him at all. The trick is to contrive a being which qualifies as a deity and is not incoherent/oxymoronic. Which is to contrive a being which has a quality while simultaneously not having it... which is further oxymoron.

 

Hey Scott,

Congratulations, nearly 70 pages and no end in sight ... normally you have to be a really cute girl with a provocative photo to get this much attention !!  ;-)

 

Let me float this suggestion : is it possible you have received so many responses becasue folks aren't as sure as they purport?  To paraphrase ol' Will Shakespeare: " methinks [they] doth protest too much

That is an interesting hunch. As many of us were reared in religion, there might logically be a bit of it still taped upon us. I for one always found the notion rather heinous. I didn't like the idea of an all knowing being watching me while I slept, or carried on the rest of my existence. I especially detested the idea that the master of the universe was a spectator to any private... exertions, shall we say.

 

But I think a lot of people find comfort rather than offense in the idea that there is a galactic gastapo and that it is somehow working in their favor. For my own part, my mother proposed reincarnation from a tender age as if it were a given. While I don't believe it for lack of evidence of both the process and a soul to endure the process, were we to vote, I would certainly choose for reincarnation to be real.

But reality is not a democracy.

 

:-)

 

I am reading a most refreshing book : The Atheist's Way - subtitled Living Well Without Gods by  Eric Maisel.It is a wonderfully empowering and inspiring read for anyone going through religion withdrawal and rebuilding their worldview. I'd recommend it highly to all

False Memory, I think you ought to consider changing your name to "False Premise." :)

It is as rationally possible to prove a negative as a positive.

Again, the circumstances people offer as proof are also circumstances where they cannot prove a positive. All they are really saying is that they can contrive such a thing so vague or so distant that there is not enough data available to prove it either way. Fine. But that is not the same thing as not being able to prove a negative.

But some things contradict themselves by ascribing properties that cannot exist simultaneously as you have done with dreadful Aunt Lucy who is simultaneously dead and nocturnally disposed to bestiality. We know that for a person to carry out any activity, they must be alive. We know that being dead prohibits such activity as a corpse is unable to take in and metabolize and use sustenance. Since dead cells do not take in glucose or cause muscle to be able to move, there is no possibility that any dead person spends their evenings fondling the nether regions of felines.

You may assert that you have some new definition of "dead" that allows for kitty-groping zombies, but I don't think the medical community or the fine folks at Websters (or me) will accept that the state of being dead doesn't actually require the corpse to actually be dead. Your premise will be rejected.

Not to mention the fact that I don't have an Aunt Lucy.

So, the negative of your assertion is rationally proven.

Cheers!
You are a bastion of reason, Vince.
God is a human concept. Do bugs or amoebas call us God.

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