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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I', alot more sure that there isn't a "god" than I am of the notion that a nicely cooked sirloin steak will not magically appear in front of me in the next few seconds. . . . . . . . .... need I actually say that the steak didn't appear?
What difference does it make ? For day to day living, 100% certainty is not achievable, and is not necessary. So, 99.99... % certainty is in practical terms 100% certain.

If you sit in a room, there is a non-zero probability that all of the air molecules will rush to one side leaving you to suffocate. Will you run your life as per this sub-Planck size possibility ? By the way, the probability (I read this somewhere) is 1 chance in 2 raised to the 299th power. The time that the universe has been around, about 14 billion years, is a tiny fraction of he time required for this event to have a 50% chance of happening.

When the deluded, i.e. the religious, badger me with the 100% certainty red herring, I say that I have complete (i.e. 100%) faith that there is no god (or heaven, hell, angels, demons, etc). Since the religious insist that their faith justifies their belief in their invisible mean-spirited, black-mailing, lying, woman-hating, obsessed-with-sex, homophobic, in-favor-of-slavery friend, surely my faith is just as compelling.
I'm 100% sure because it is not in the realm of science, and i'm not a scientist. It doesn't matter I can't prove for the nonexistence the question is ridiculous and could go off into infinite tangents which makes it pointless.
What does it matter whether anything actually exists or whether we can be 100% certain of its existence or nonexistence or whether it exists when we are not perceiving it…? Questions like this are all philosophical fairy floss. The reality for us is that we have to live with some amount of uncertainty. When it comes to the god question, surely the brute fact that matters to us, to we who live in the world and try to make sense of it, is that the world certainly looks as though no god exists. There just simply isn’t any evidence for a supernatural being. Given that brute fact, we can carry on trying to live a good life with reasonable certainty that we can live such a life without having to believe in god/s whether we can be 100% certain of their nonexistence or not.

These sorts of questions remind me of a passage by Sir Arthur Eddington who, when writing about taking an over worryingly scientific view of the world wrote:

I am standing on the threshold about to enter a room. It is a complicated business. In the first place, I must shove against an atmosphere pressing with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body. I must make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round the sun - a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be miles away. I must do this whilst hanging from a round planet head outward into space… The plank has no solidity of substance. To step on it is like stepping on a swarm of flies. Shall I not slip through? No, if I make the venture one of the flies hits me and gives a boost up again; I fall again and am knocked upwards by another fly; and so on. I may hope that the net result will be that I remain about steady, but if, unfortunately, I should slip through the floor or be boosted too violently up to the ceiling, the occurrence would be not a violation of the laws of Nature, but a rare coincidence. These are some of the minor difficulties. I ought really look at the problem four-dimensionally as concerning the intersection of my world-line with that of the plank. Then again, it is necessary to determine in which direction the entropy of the world is increasing in order to make sure that my passage over the threshold is an entrance, not an exit.

Verily, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientific man to pass through a door. And whether the door be barn door or church door it might be wiser that he should consent to be an ordinary man and walk in rather than wait till all the difficulties involved in a really scientific ingress are resolved.


I think Eddington’s point here applies equally to questions such as “Are you 100% certain that…?, to the types of questions armchair philosophers try to tax us with.

Anyway, I for one am as certain as I need to be that no god/s exist and until there is evidence to suggest otherwise, I shall carry on my journey through life accordingly.

Rob
I'm 100% positive there is sufficient evidence to provide an answer to the question of gods' existence. That's why I've always failed to be an agnostic or to think of the agnostic stance as having any merit.
I am 100% positive that.....
There is no cosmic/earthly creator.
That the Abrahamic faiths are utter bullshit.
That there are not hundreds of gods as polytheistic religions suggest.
We do not become gods after we die.
That suffering or mediation brings us closer to a higher state of being as the Hindus and Buddhists suggest.

Everything else I'm not so sure of.
What constitutes 'a higher state of being' (or conversely, a lower state?) Are there more than two states? Which state(s) does 'living' belong to?
I think being human would correspond to being about in the middle/muddle.

I too would like Alex Catgirl to expand on her "states of being" notion. I have no real problem with it. I mean, when I meditate or dream I sometimes "FEEL" as though I am in a higher state of being. Of course, what is happening when I am in this state is all neurological. It's real enough for me at the time and I know I can go back there but of course in order to keep living one must wake up to reality eventualy.

As far as religions go I have less antipathy to Vedanta and Buddhism than to the so called "revealed" religions. The eastern religions are more capable of giving solace to those who need it without causeing misery to those who don't.

Rob
heretic

I am as atheist as anyone here. You have misunderstood. Please read again. What I was saying is that silly philosophical questions such as "Are you 100% sure of..." are just that, silly. No one can be 100% sure of anything and to ask such a question is just an exercise in self-stimulation. Such questions are irrelevant to the question of how we, as atheists, should live our lives. Just as it is silly to take an overly scientific approach to how to face life in this world, so it is ridiculous to let such philosphical fairy floss questions tax us. We don't need to be 100% sure of anything, of god/s' existence or non-existence, just as we don't need to be 100% sure of exactly what a photon or an electron "really" looks or feels like. As rationalists we should be over 100% anything. We trust our senses and their technological extensions more than we trust fairy tales.

You get it now?

Cheers

Rob
Oops! Thanks Bill. An sorry Julian.

Cheers

Rob
On re-reading, I feel I should add that, even if she was referring to the original poster, I think my post goes some way to answering her post. The original poster is an atheist as far as I can make out and the fact that he is not 100% sure of god's non-existence did not warrant that sort of response made by Julian. As I said, none of us can be 100% sure of anything, but the .0000000...% of uncertainty is not enough to matter when deciding on whether to live one's life as if god/s exist. It's about the same as worrying about whether Russel's orbiting teapot exists.

Rob
Thanks for exemplifying another fundamental problem with this thread.

It serves as a source to fuel who can be more extreme and cock sure.

I've mentioned it before but Dawkins is only 97% sure when answering this same question but I'm sure you and everyone else here are more educated in the processes of the universe and the god question than him.

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