I am absolutely certain there is no personal god, no one hears and answers prayers, no one judges us for our behaviors and thoughts. There is no heaven or hell. Our individual immortality is through the memories of those who remain after us and the stories they remember to pass on. The stories of Abraham, Moses, Noah, Joshua, etc. ... all those are verbal stories from ancient, pre-written language eras and became written much later. The stories of the miracles of Jesus and the saints and relics are all myths. I have no doubt about that. I actually sat on the stone well where Mother Mary sat after Jesus died and where she lived out the remainder of her life. True? There are those who said this was true. As for myself, who knows? who cares? what difference does it make? It made for an interesting afternoon.
What existed before the Big Bang? That is where I wonder what existed? and what happened? and how? and why? As Hawkin said, "An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have carried out his job!" A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), pp. 8-9.
"So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?" A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 140-41.
What existed before the Big Bang? That is where I wonder what existed? and what happened? and how? and why?
Joan, I did ask such question to myself. The answer is simple. The scientists have researched about OUR universe and if something remains to be researched, it may be done sometime later. Is it not too much to expect everything at once? Scientists are not gods! They know better! You are quoting Hawkins, but be sure to quote what he has said more recently, A lot of water has flown under the bridge since 'A brief history of time.'
Thanks for the heads-up. I see I have another interesting day ahead of reading more recent articles by Hawkins.
Agnostic atheists, but agnostic none-the-less.
I think there is no god. Period.
That said, there is no way to be 100% sure of anything. It is virtually impossible to prove that something does not exist. With that in mind, there appears to more evidence for Bigfoot or the Loch-Ness Monster.
Are you 100% sure that it is impossible to know something for sure? Skepticism fails at the outset.
You are merely theorising. There are many points in my above reply where I have quoted Hitchens. They all need serious consideration. My answer to your question would be " I would not attempt to reply to your theorising, but as far as I am concerned, I am a 100% atheist, no less! If skepticism fails, the first failure would have been Gallileo!
What am I theorizing about? It is not just a theory that the impossible cannot happen. People who say that one cannot be sure of anything are irrational because this is a contradiction in itself. Skepticism in the presence of contradictory evidence is appropriate, but as a fundamental principle is just wrong. Keeping open to the possiblility of the impossible existing is improper skepticism. It is to these two points that I am referring. So your answer to my question is that you won't answer it? I applaud Gallileo and Hitchens, but not in how they may maintain skepticism as universal and fundamental.
What can be clear from my reply is that whatever the theory about the probality of the impossible happening, it is always posssible to take firm decisions. If that remote possilibility is to affect our decision making, bold decesion making wil be nonexisting in the world. Look at the faithfuls. The do not have an iota of doubt about their faith. So, even if you are theoretically right, there will always be subjects on which we will be called upon to take a firm decision. I have stated that I myself have taken a firm decision, just to add force to my argument, because I felt that atheism is one subject that needs my bold decision.
Come on dude,
"whatever the theory about the probability of the impossible happening"
-I just can't take people seriously that think there is even a remote chance of the impossible happening. At least you're correct about there being no god.
My take is that god is extremely improbable. Equally improbable hypothese include unicorns and elves and ghosts.
In terms of everyday life, I think one has to assume that there is no god until such a time that the improbability of god's existence is reduced.
Furthermore, it makes no sense to assume in some improbabilities and not in others. Logic requires consistency. If you believe in god why not believe in other improbabilities such as Ra, elves, the loch Ness monster and Russell's flying celestial teapot?