As I've related elsewhere, I've always had my doubts about the validity of the stories in The Christian Bible, even as a boy of 10. Not that I didn't have a religious phase, but it started out as an attempt to please my mother because she would always get upset whenever I would say that I didn't believe in God.
But over a period of a few years I indoctrinated myself into believing that crap. One day I was flipping through my Dictionary and came across a word that had the meaning of a person who brainwashes themselves. Unfortunately I immediately forget what the word was and have never been able to come across it again to my everlasting chagrin. I even, at one point, fancied myself called by God to preach. I studied the Bible and Bible related reference books all the time. I was voracious. But after about 10 years I became disillusioned with religion because nothing in the Bible was truly reliable (not history, not doctrine, not science, not in it's promises).
So I have returned to my core atheism, and I see no problem with calling myself a strong atheist, which basically just means that I contend that the existence of God is impossible. And I have a multitude of reasons for my position. And I can safely say I never have doubts about my position.
Does anyone here ever doubt their doubt ? Has maybe that microscopic fear that what if I'm wrong ? I don't. And I never will doubt by doubt, and I will never doubt my certainty of God's non-existence.
It's a mighty big universe out there and there is a lot of time both past and present. I can't discount that there might exist something that would appear godlike to us. As for the abrahamic god, I am most certain that it doesn't exist. At least, it doesn't match any of the descriptions that have been given to us by any of the religious sects. It would be ludacris to think that an entity of such power would even be interested in our worship and praise.
"I can't discount that there might exist something that would appear godlike to us."
Any possible beings who might be far more advanced than us in all ways may appear godlike, but that wouldn't make them gods and worthy of our worship. No matter how advanced they are they will still be subject to the laws of nature, though they would likely have far more advanced knowledge of physics than we do.
The universe is it's own explanation. If something has always existed then it would be more likely the universe (at least the quantum fluctuations [oscillations]), which is a form of energy in the timeless void.
The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can transform into matter (mass), and mass can transform into energy. The idea that energy is that which has always existed is more parsimonious than the idea of God in harmony with Ockham's Razor.
When it comes to God and the supernatural I call myself a strong atheist. I'm certain to my personal satisfaction that the existence of an actual God or god is impossible.
One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
I've said this before: we've been about 400 years of modern-day science, figuring out the processes which allow this reality to work. Thus far, every time we've looked for an explanation, we've found one, and in no case has the answer been: "abracadabra" or something suchlike. On the basis of consistency alone, I would expect the pattern to continue: rational explanations, no mumbo-jumbo.
Or I could quote the title of a book I've seen advertised here: The Answer is Never Magic.
"I've said this before: we've been about 400 years of modern-day science, figuring out the processes which allow this reality to work. Thus far, every time we've looked for an explanation, we've found one, and in no case has the answer been: "abracadabra" or something suchlike. On the basis of consistency alone, I would expect the pattern to continue: rational explanations, no mumbo-jumbo."
Very well said. I agree.
For me, atheism is a hypothesis like any other. As such it is subject to revision upon the discovery of new evidence. The current stock of evidence overwhelmingly supports the atheism hypothesis, but does not prove it -- proof is a mathematical concept, inapplicable to the real world. My confidence in the atheism hypothesis is as great as that I have in any other hypothesis, such as the basic laws of physics.
Thomas was a skeptic, for all intents and purposes. For him, seeing was believing, though his boss seemed to think that believing was more important. That begs the question, though: WHY should belief be preferable to knowing? This in turn reminds me of an old but applicable phrase:
The opposite of skeptical is gullible.
To me religious claims like Christianity are too obviously psychologically motivated. It's too obvious why someone would want to fantasize a God that takes care of them, will cause them bliss when they die, will punish their enemies ... If there were some kind of bigger being, like I said in my start at a sci-fi story earlier, that bigger being would be unlikely to react to us based on whether we'd been good or bad, etc.
It's similar to alien abduction stories. Those are also very "psychological", with the aliens probing people's orifices etc. Why would aliens take such an interest in people's rectums?
I have no doubts in my atheism.