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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You have no means of fundamentally proving that your mental perceptions are a literal and complete representation of the things external to you as the 'real world' could be any combination of factors which result in those perceptions.

 

One illustrative example is a metaphorical demon which feeds you an illusory 'virtual reality' meant to deceive you into thinking it's a real world (yes, The Matrix ripped off some past philosopher's musings). As your only proof is the mental perceptions themselves, you cannot prove the 'real world' you perceive actually exists without circular reasoning. That's where DesCartes came in with his "Cogito ergo sum" line of argument.

 

Don't misconstrue 'meaningful'. If mathematical analysis does not require physical experience beyond the 'fuel' we used to perform the mental operations, then mathematical knowledge remains valid regardless of the presence or absence of humans or their experiences.

 

Again, this is textbook material. You don't have to agree with the historical conclusions, but you do have to acknowledge and respond to the arguments they introduce.

Where have you found suggestion of First Cause ideas in my statements? No, I argued exactly against that concept in favor of an Uncause, or the very idea that causality is incomplete (thus eliminating the recursion that spawned the First Cause sentiment).

 

All of your 'impossible' examples are showing a consistent pattern: You mention an analytic a posteriori Identity of some form (I'll call mine "Bob"), then proceed to describe synthetic a posteriori interactions which are incompatible with that Identity (like Bob stealing ice cream from a kid). But it's all farcical Straw Men because I'm saying that you're ignoring a priori knowledge and you're countering with a posteriori anecdotes.   

 

All discussion of the pre-temporal universe-in-potentia are a priori in nature, so they're obviously not based on a posteriori methods. We're not arguing on that point. The issue I see is that you will not acknowledge a priori methods such as mathematics and logic for the analytical tools they are, so you remain certain that we have no such tools.

 

Your whole "cognition necessarily requires both non-contradiction and causality" argument should be properly presented in a separate thread in the Philosophy forum. It does little good to keep dancing around it here without the full argument to deconstruct. If you can provide an air-tight argument that these are "necessary axioms" then you could have a real impact on other's thinking, but it won't do anything to spout conclusions without the supporting logic.

 

But you're consistently misreading my suggestions towards self-reflection and such as attacks on your personal identity. Disregard that, because it's not what I'm doing. I've been trying to convey professionally-focused advice for refining your presentation and verifying the soundness of your arguments. In the above paragraph, I'm being about as direct with it as possible: write it all out so we can actually discuss it, and maybe in a fresh thread. This 'arguing on many fronts' style simply won't work if we don't resolve the fundamental issues first.

"The entire universe carries the structural imprints of its origin,"

-Does this not imply a first cause? The universe carries the structural imprints of causality maybe, not a beginning.

Dividing knowledge into a priori and a posteriori is not uselful here, imo. Both must be programmed from perception to begin with. Without reality existing, perception existing and conceptualization existing first, neither a priori or posteriori could be. Discussions about pre-temporal anything are not about knowledge about the real world. They are not a priori or a posteriori, they are simply irrational. I clearly acknowledge the use of math and logic, just not to invalidate the axioms that allow them to be in the first place. Math and logic depend on existence existing and a consciousness being aware of a things with identity.

I should not have to deconstruct this any more than I have. Maybe you are not getting the fundamental nature of identity. For something to exist, it must be somethings and not others. You know this already implicitly. You have enough information to know it explicitly. It must stand out from other things around it, for us to perceive it. When a brain is first presented with reality, it must perceive things with identity, to recognize them. And when a human can couple a things structure to its behavior, they have grasped, implicitly, the corollary of identity that is causality. You implicitly grasp that things do only what is dictated by their structure and momentum. You now have enough knowledge to know this explicitly. Example, balls roll, books slide. The implicit recognition of the fact that the universe works this way is what allows us to group things according to their essential similarities and form a concept after we discard their arbitrary differences. If a balloon filled with helium could go up or down in this atmosphere, when let go, we could not recognize the essential elements of helium and balloons and atmosphere and nothing of what we see would make enough sense to form concepts, let alone debate the truth of them. And since we are debating them, existence must exist, for if it didn't we would not be members of Atheist Nexus. And you, sir, keep avoiding, the inevitable conclusion of your assertions which is that it is possible that we are not now members or that the impossible is possible.

"I've been trying to convey professionally-focused advice for refining your presentation and verifying the soundness of your arguments."

-By telling me I'm biased by my own position?

I'm 100% sure that the question doesn't even matter!  ;P
I think I agree, who cares just live and don't worry about the questions.
Well, not all questions! But, "does [insert deity or supernatural being] exist despite the lack of evidence," type questions certainly don't matter here. The only usefulness I see in asking a question like this is as an exercise for children, especially on an atheist social site. I find it odd that this post has garnered so much attention.

Hi Bryan,

I don't think it is the question that has garnered the attention but the answers.

@Drake

We begin with the belief that we exist; the challenge is simply to find scientific or philosophic certainty for that. 

If you want scientific evidence that anything exists, then that is easy. 

 

Scientific method according to the oxford dictionary:

consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses:

I've included direct links  to the Oxford dictionary for your personal use in case you don't understand any of the words in the sentence. 

 

exist: occur or be found, especially in a particular place or situation:

        have objective reality or being:

 

In regards to observation, you can open your eyes and look around you, currently you can seen a computer in front of you. Because you can see it, your are observing it. Not only that but when you start typing you can hear sounds from your key broad, You can feel the keyboard with your fingers, lick it and you will be able to taste the plastic it is made from. You can measure its dimensions. test how strong the plastic it is made from is, how heat resistant it is etc. And you can do this to any computer in the world, anywhere in the world, and anybody else can do it to. 

 

According to science method you can prove your computer exists, and other people can prove your computer exists also. You can do it today and tomorrow.

 

There is 100% scientific certanty that your computer exitsts. 

 

But

 

'philosophic certainty'? You can think anything you want in philosophy. It may be logical what you think and it may not be logical. What you and others may be considered to be logical may not be considered logical by others, this is the realm of philosophy.

 

Science can be used to prove hypothesis about things that exist via scientific method. But if it can not be observed, scientific method can not be used to prove anything about it. 

 

 

Leveni, the challenge is the fundamental certainty, not simple justification. Scientific evidence is predicated on the assumption that what we perceive via the senses actually exists, so it cannot be used to prove its own axioms. It's not a trivial issue that you can just skip past.

 

I would recommend that you read DesCartes' Meditations on First Philosophy as a succinct introduction (little more than an afternoon of reading) to this area of questioning. Your unfamiliarity with philosophy in general is fairly obvious from your blatant mis-characterization of its contents and casual disregard of its value, so try to read up a bit before you come swaggering into a discussion you don't understand next time.

Hi Drake,

If I have time I might read DesCartes.

 

In regards to staying out of this discussion: This is an open forum.

 

This is what you said.

We begin with the belief that we exist; the challenge is simply to find scientific or philosophic certainty for that.

YOU asked for scientific certainty. I gave you scientific certainty in accordance with scientific method.

Scientific evidence is predicated on the assumption that what we perceive via the senses actually exists, so it cannot be used to prove its own axioms.

If this is your opinion, then why ask for scientific certainty?

 

Stating that a particular method of proving existence is valid and then deny that very same method for proving existence is.................beyond my comprehension. 

 

 

 

 

It was the 'swaggering' that struck me as more of a problem, rather than the desire to contribute. You immediately poured out a pile of condescension without checking to make sure you actually read my statements accurately.

 

It is not an "opinion" to point out that an argument cannot prove its own axioms (in this case, scientific justification), it's a basic tenet of logic.

 

"Scientific certainty" in the original context referred to theoretical work, primarily in terms of mathematical frameworks (like M Theory). "Philosophic certainty" is distinguished as consisting primarily of logical frameworks instead. As mentioned in followup posts, these are necessarily a priori methods given the nature of the subject, so evidence gathering is not immediately relevant as an a posteriori method. Clearly, physical confirmation would be the proper followup once the theoretical work has been completed, but we're no where near that point yet.

It was the 'swaggering' that struck me as more of a problem, rather than the desire to contribute.
Sorry.
"Scientific certainty" in the original context referred to theoretical work, primarily in terms of mathematical frameworks (like M Theory).
Ok, as this is the case, point taken.
I am still following the thread. And may continue to butt in.

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