I wasn't answering that question, but responding to multiple comments made. But, I do think that atheism is valid contextually and we can be certain. If something has no concrete noncontradictory essential characteristic, then we can be certain that it does not exist. If anything is proved, we can be certain of it.
Just curious, ...what do you think of Ayn Rand?
When I first read her account of epistemology, which I find remarkably consistent with modern cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence, I was able to finally shed the remaining mystical indoctrination attempted by mainstream education and media and, well, really the rest of society. Ideas in physics/metaphysics, ethics and politics that I once struggled with became clear. I give her credit for, far more than any other single source, showing me what is true, how to tell, and helping me to refine and focus a contextually comprehensive noncontradictory morality and worldview. This is not to say that I do not think she didn't make mistakes. There are a few things that she wrote that I do not approve of or think are accurate. Personally, some things I really like about her, others I don't.
Ayn Rand helped you develop a noncontradictory morality and worldview?
This is my take on it.
It is impossible to prove God's non-existence scientifically. Because science only applies to that which we can perceive through our 5 senses. Therefore until God shows himself, we can not prove he is or isn't God.
But we can still use logic to prove the impossibility of Gods existence. For example, if God does exist then all the laws of physics can no longer be true.(I think it was MCT or Glen Rosenberg that pointed this out to me, on this thread.)
Therefore, if it is impossible for God to exist, can he exist?
Science is study of nature. Science has developed so much by now that it has become capable of looking at the origin of the universe and evolution of the species. Science has not detected any supernatural power although its sphere of knowledge is now so widened. This itself is a positive proof that god does not exist. A non-existsnt entity can be seen to be nonexistant in this manner.
Knowledge is contextual.
One can know that god does not exist because it is contradictory or metaphorical or unable to be defined due to lack of concrete, essential characteristics.
God is impossible and is already proved so.
It is impossible to demonstrate that god is non-existent scientifically.
Science doesn't negate the existence of what we already define as supernatural.
Science only tells us about what is, here in the real world.
We can prove with reason and logic, that god does not exist.
Is this what you said?
How can you copy my words down and then ask me if they are mine? Yes I wrote that. Science depends on the same logic that can demonstrate without doubt that god is impossible. Science doesn't tell us there is no god. We shouldn't be asking for a scientific proof of something we already know doesn't have the necessary characteristics to be subject to science.
MCT: I failed to be specific, I meant to ask if these concepts are what you meant, not what you wrote. Not as a criticism, only to clarify. I agree with you. On each sentence. I would go further and say science cannot prove god does not exist because science is a different domain than religion.
Religion evolved from primitive peoples who wanted to understand existence and the only way they could do that was tell stories that seemed to make sense to them. If new evidence appears, many religious cannot change, i.e. from believing the Earth is 6,000 years old to 4.55 Billion; some explain away evidence of fossil records and methods of dating them; or god created Adam out of dust and Eve out of Adam's rib; or that homosexuality is a sin to be cured or punished instead of it being a conidion of nature that needs no treatable . To me, and I assume you, these are ridiculous claims and not worthy of discussing and certainly not worthy of arguing over.
Science, on the other hand, has evolved from not knowing to knowing through evidence. When/if evidence changes or is increased with new evidence, then the scientist is obligated to change accordingly.
I often have difficulty understanding what you mean, MCT. I hope my attempts for clarity can work for you as well as me.
One more question: why do some brilliant scientists continue to believe god exists? i.e. Francis Collins, etc.? I listened to his response to that question and sent it yesterday to Atheist Nexus. It appears to me he is able to pick and choose between writings and is able is discount views of creationism while maintaining a faith that god exists. Whether Collins prays to god or not is not clear.
Keep in mind, intelligence is not properly applied to a person as a whole. It is a descriptor of a level of skill. In some ways I am highly intelligent, in other ways, I am not. Calling someone smart or dumb, can be inaccurate, unless they are so 'across the board'. I understand that scientists tend more towards atheism than non-scientists, because science depends on reason and reason leads to atheism. But the proper arrival at an atheist position does not come from science itself. Science and atheism share a common foundation, that of rationality. But, just because someone uses reason in one area of philosophy does not mean that they use it in other areas. In the same comment, you state that god is not subject to scientific inquiry and then act surprised that some scientists are not atheist. I would be more surprised if an objective epistemologist believed in god. Think of a wedding planner. Are you surprised that a wedding planner may believe in god, even though to plan a wedding, you need to use reason and logic. To navigate safely in today's society, you must exercise extreme reason. Everyone that is alive and well, in a general common sense, is constantly using reason and logic. It is the only path to knowledge and the key to moral choice. How then, can a rational human believe in god? Well, when the concepts are highly abstract, they are dependent on previously stored lower level concepts made over a lifetime, which is commonly indoctrinated, arbitrarily defined and emotionally charged. It is very difficult to unwire a brain that doesn't want to be rewired. Changing my mind about god if god appeared is what I call an invalid counter-factual. It is an impossible scenario, you are presenting. You are basically asking me if I would still think something to be impossible if I saw it, when it is already impossible. The same as asking me if I would still be certain that invisible pink unicorns cannot exist if I saw one, when in no way shape or form can I see an invisible pink unicorn, lest it would not be an invisible pink unicorn, if I saw it. Or what if I saw that 2+2=5, is it then true? No, that is impossible. I cannot ever be presented with a manifestation of something impossible. If I thought I saw something impossible, I would find out where my incorrect premise was and I would do that using something that precludes the existence of anything without physical attachment to this world in an identifiable way. I cannot go about identifying an incorrect premise if god is possible, the law of identity would not be valid. God's existence precludes validation, cognition and existence itself. 'But, don't you have to change your convictions if you then saw it'? No. One cannot see it.
Are you suggesting that I cannot be 100% sure that I am not in Miami? Anytime anyone invokes the phoneme or graphic of god, I assert that there is zero chance whatever they are talking about doesn't exist or else is something else in reality that exists that we likely have a name for already. One can call a chair god and my assertion won't apply. But, that doesn't count, if one cannot define or describe it objectively with a noncontradictory essential characteristic, it doesn't exist. Also, god already has a necessary contradictory essential characteristic of being supernatural, imo. 'Yeah, but you don't know what I mean when I say god', someone might say. And I say, 'unless you can give me a quality, then it cannot properly be considered as existent'. And a metaphor describing god as something else and more complex in reality, doesn't work either. Any way you skin it, it is not possible for a god to exist, as a god, or anything else (unless we are going to throw the language out the window, then cars are trees and nostalgia and not).
Why is there no obverse figure of speech for "devil's advocate"?
"Are you suggesting that I cannot be 100% sure that I am not in Miami?"
….IF ...that's it's REAL name.
"Anytime anyone invokes the phoneme or graphic of god, I assert that there is zero chance whatever they are talking about doesn't exist …"
Show me the math.
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”