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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While it is certainly proper manners for the person asserting the existence of something to provide proof, this is simply a matter of protocol.

As an atheist who would like to have less theistic interference in government and society, I think it is very much my responsibility to myself and my children at the very least to prove that God does not exist.

Luckily, this is not very difficult.

What is very difficult is finding someone who can posit a coherent definition for "God" so that I can prove it doesn't exist. Usually, most efforts are either incoherent/oxymoronic, or attempt to synonymize God with love, flowers, bees, birds, the universe, blue skies, and butterflies. Refusing to accept the premise that butterflies are a deity is easy enough.

So we see that there is not merely a lack of compelling evidence that there is a God, but there is absolute proof that there is not.
I think we are on the same page. See my reply to Will-I-am above.
I am 100% sure, such just defies the laws of physics, science and any sense.

100% positive there is no God?

 

Well, no - but, I'm not 100% positive about anything.

 

I'm fairly certain that all the "deity" and "creation" myths are just really myths - as most of them are simply absurd and have no supporting evidence.

 

As to "proof" - ultimately, one can only "prove" mathematics and gain evidence for the existence of something. You can't "prove" something doesn't exist, you can only gain evidence for it's contrary.

"You can't 'prove' something doesn't exist..." Why do people keep saying that when it clearly isn't so?

Seriously, if I believed what the majority of the so-called atheists on this site believe, my ass would be in church every week praying.

People play the lotto with less chance of winning than some of you cling to your atheism by.
People that are only 99.99% sure that there is no god are not atheist they are agnostic. Sometimes called cowards, I just call them confused.

I agree that they are agnostic rather than atheist, but I think "coward" is an unnecessary and inappropriate smear in most cases. I don't think most Ivory Soap Atheists (99 44/100 pure) hold back out of fear, but out of a contrived notion of fairness.

 

Many were reared as theists and recall how certain they were that there was a God and yet appear to have been mistaken. That provides an understandable grain of salt and they fail to discern the difference between being programmed as a child to accept something on faith and falsely but sincerely calling it knowledge, and using logic, that is a system of thought based on non-contradictory data, and arriving at conclusions based on such.

 

They are further held back by such homespun bits like "you can't prove a negative," which many take as a rule of logic even though it is clearly a fallacy.

 

Then they tie themselves with the notion that certainty is a magic spell that will prevent them from having later epiphanies should contrary evidence present itself.

 

I suppose that they imagine some scenario where those of us who are certain are wandering through the rapture with our eyes closed unable to see the risen Christ as he gathers his elect or some such. They pretend that being certain is a vice and never a virtue. They are told that they must be open-minded in order to be scientific, that they must allow the possibility that any random assertion by any nut on the street might be true. Of course, science does not make such a demand anymore than medicine demands that doctors follow the Hippocratic Oath in order to heal. It is a contrivance sold to those who do not think for themselves.

 

It does not logically follow that being approachable by those claiming new evidence for old assertions demands that one never have been certain.

No.

 

Sorry, atheism isn't strong agnosticism - it's just English words - and It's not "believer, agnostic, atheist" as in "big, bigger, biggest".

 

Atheism is a statement about belief - like I believe in god or I don't

 

Agnostism is a statement about knowledge - like I know or don't know the house key is in my pocket.

 

Have you ever heard the expression "Scientists have proof without certainty. Creationists have certainty without proof."?

 

Are you really absolutely 100% certain in anything?

 

You're playing with word definitions in what looks like an aggressive way to push people in to something -> "agree with me or I'll imply you're a coward ... you, you, you ... agnostic!!"

 

Mate, the type of "keybord bullying" doesn't work with me - I already had this type of conversation 15 years ago when internet atheism was new.

Willa, you are right that atheism isn't strong agnosticism. Neither is agnosticism weak atheism. Atheism is the disbelief in the existence of deity. Disbelief is the mental rejection of something as untrue. It is not the mental rejection of something that is possible.

I don't think agnosticism is a dirty word or even an insulting one though I confess that I enjoy luring agnostics off the fence as it were. And there is nothing cowardly about expressing your honest opinion. In fact, that is the epitome of courage.

Semantics are important, however, as intelligent discussion deteriorates pretty quickly when people cannot even agree on the meaning of the words they are using to discuss an issue.

15 years ago? I recall the old #atheism boards on IRC chat clients. Lots of interesting conversations back then.

"You can't 'prove' something doesn't exist..." Why do people keep saying that when it clearly isn't so?

 

They keep saying it because it IS so.

 

Prove to me there's no pink elephants. By providing proof.

 

I personally don't "cling" to atheism - it's simply a conclusion I've come to, based in part on evidence of purely natural processes to explain virtually everything in my observations, and in part on the lack of evidence of a deity or magic or spirits .

 

Honestly, like any scientist (or honest person for that matter), if sufficient evidence came forward for the existence of spirits or gods or magic (or even mundane things, for that matter) and it was validated by various reputable people using the scientific method - I'd believe it - in much the same way I believe in cars and aircraft and gravity, etc.

 

I personally doubt that such evidence will ever become available.

Willa, please name a single professional logician who believes that you cannot prove a negative. You'll find them at WalMart on aisle 5 between God and the invisible pink unicorns. Really, this tired myth is so old that in your 15 years of net atheism, I'm surprised you haven't put it to rest.

As to your challenge, why would I attempt to prove there are no pink elephants? Why would you assume I disbelieve in pink elephants?

However, I think I'll let you disprove your own assertion:

I think you can prove, and that right quick, that there are no full grown, live elephants of any color that live in your ass. How's your level of certainty working out for you on this issue?

As for evidence of magic becoming available... you're in luck, Penn and Teller and countless other stage magicians provide it on a regular basis! What good fortune!

But, as the definition of magic is the suspension of the forces of nature without natural cause, we can see that it is an oxymoron and thus, cannot actually exist. So we applaud Penn and Teller, knowing it is a trick... that we have been wonderfully and happily deceived.

"As to your challenge, why would I attempt to prove there are no pink elephants?"

By not addressing my point you've shown you can't do it or you have simply not found someone on the internet who can ...

... and that's because this IS the point. There is no way to do this.

As to "Why would you assume I disbelieve in pink elephants?" , but you're an atheist? Right? Have I go that wrong?

You don’t believe in God, do you? But you can’t say you don’t believe in Pink Elephants?

"Willa, please name a single professional logician who believes that you cannot prove a negative."

Sorry, here's two:


Here's one -> Bertrand Russell – and he did this explicitly in his celestial teapot argument.

Here’s another -> Peter William Atkins – said it when he spoke about Russell’s teapot.

You’ve heard of “Russell's teapot”, haven’t you Burden of proof argument? Teapot orbiting sun argument. Can’t prove it’s not there, etc.

Hopefully you're well enough read for that.

So ... er ... enjoy.


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