Yep, and it's why I won't get an honest response from them either.
it seems to me they think (oftentimes at least) that converting one of us would strengthen their own faith.
Yes, and the "virus" was successful in cultural evolution because it induces proselytizing behavior ...
This thread is of such a venerable length that I cannot be certain of not having replied previously. To me as a noncognitivist the question itself makes no sense at all. Charles Bradlaugh put the noncognitivist position quite clearly way back in 1864:
The Atheist does not say "There is no God," but he says: "I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. I do not deny God, because I cannot deny that of which I have no conception, and the conception of which by its affirmer, is so imperfect that he is unable to define it to me."
I am 100% sure. Take all the religions of mankind, and all the gods created in them. The universe does not work in a way described by any. There is no reason to believe it ever did, and no reason to believe that we have one true god unaccounted. Gods are an obvious creation of imagination, including the one we would imagine might exist.
Well put Rich.
Are you referring to the work of Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein? Though I have to add that most archaeologists working in the Levant share his views on the The Bible's general lack of historicity. Lewis Black does an interesting bit on the Christian misuse of "his people's" book. He is very vocal about his ancestor's propensity to "bullshit" & "make shit up".
Of course making up colourful stories about one's ancestors & their relationships with a host of imaginary friends is a universal human pursuit.
I have given my point of view many times in this long-running thread. It has always seemed to me (that is, since childhood) that the concept of god has no more substance than any other piece of invented fiction.
It is getting a bit old, isn't it Terry?! However, there are always new people coming along asking the same old question, and there needs to be someone to reassure the doubters.
It feels so good to get off the fence and take a stand on a position that has such little chance of being overturned. Now, we need to get on with creating a culture that builds on the stones of the ancient past and looks to the reality of all that is. We do need to remember the past and understand those ancient peoples and create morals and ethics that value cooperation.
I am concerned about the militant religious, whether Abrahamic faiths, Asian, or any other tradition. We need a new ethic.
What gives you that 0.0001% uncertainty?
My understanding would be that this is a token concession thrown in not because of any actual uncertainty, but as a practical matter to get the idiots who protest with "You can't prove God doesn't exist" to STFU because that's such a worthless conversation. I don't really care if they want to call me an atheist or an agnostic.
Perfect question! Not worth a gnats eyebrow. Might as well come down off the fence.