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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Very simply, scott, in my humble opinion, as even Dawkins said in the God Delusion, one can always leave room for the slight statistical chance that we may be wrong. After all, we can't PROVE that Shiva, Zeus or Diana DON'T exist.

What we can be sure of, however,  is that the qualities of deity of every known religion are fabrications of the founders and early proponents of those religions and that the sources of "revelation" are woefully (in our view-happily) inadiquate and easily proven to be inaccurate and humanly flawed.

We can also be confident that the supposed  mysterious and miraculous aspects of life do have plausible natural explanations and that no one can validly demonstrate a channel of communication or living revelation from a supernatural source which can show this to be otherwise.

Quite simply, there is no reason to look beyond what is in front of us and certainly, no reason to suspect or believe that if there is a power which stands apart from nature, that it should play a role in guiding or shaping our lives or that it even wants to or that it gives a damn about whether or not we acknowledge it.



Wow, this is one long thread.   Oh well, I guess there is as much chance of there being a god as there is of me winning the lottery, which is next to nil, since I haven't bought a ticket since 1985.   At least we do know it's not one of the jokers in the old testament or it's sequels.
not 100 percent certain, but there is nowhere near enough evidence to justify affirmative belief  or to not being able to make a judgment call that it is EXTREMELY unlikely.
I agree.

I'm no psychologist, but I believe I have figured out how the "god concept" is formed in an individual's mind. Without getting into it too deeply, what it comes down to is that every person has in their mind a completely different god. If any gods do exist as anything more than a mental concept in a fragile mortal brain, it will be a coincidence--not proof that one person got it right.
I also had a passing thought about a similar concept. But it is along Darwinian lines. When ever religious people take control, they kill all then non-believers.  Leaving only those with genetically orientated brains, that have the ability to believe in God, to breed. Atheists who don't have this genetic ability to believe in God, which is us, are the mutants of those that have this ability to believe. Remember this is only a passing thought.

It was just a passing thought.

But there have been cases in the past when this has happened. But not to Atheists but to believers of other Gods.

For example:

Roman conquest of the Celts. Resulted in the total destruction of the Celtic religion by killing all the druids.

The Spanish Inquisition: Destruction of Islam in Iberia.

Norwegian conversions: by Olaf I of Norway


I do wonder what the percentage of atheists, back in ancient times, in any given population, was. Maybe it was the same as today but they were smart enough to know to keep quiet.

Il est la nature. Il n'y a rien de surnaturel. C'est irréfutable. Par conséquent, il n'ya pas de divinité chrétienne ou islamique.

‎'On ne devient pas athée par souhait' Napoleon Bonaparte


Prompted by your first post:

In focusing on ‘proof’ and its supposed objective output ‘truth’ you – and most on our side, including our intellectual leaders – are perpetuating a game with the theists that we have been unable to win for at least the past 2500 years. We don’t need to play it anymore. We have been, for at least the 75 years since publication of Karl Popper’s ‘The Logic of Scientific Discovery’, in a position to move for checkmate. Most simply, to back the theist’s intellectual leaders up to a clean logical knife edge with reason on one side and their theistic beliefs on the other. No person can force another to change their mind. But any person who claims the support of reason for their beliefs – as the theist’s leaders still do – can in theory be shown clearly that they don’t have it. If, after that, they still choose the beliefs, then all including themselves will understand the intellectual bankruptcy of their position. They may continue to claim justifications other than reason (as they do now, with their ‘faith’ and ‘non doxastic justification’) but it will be trivially easy for the rest of us to show them that that such justifications can be offered for any proposal whatsoever, including an infinite number that are logically exclusive, from which it follows that the justifications are not in any coherent sense functional. As I asked in my last post here, to what extent can a selection gate that we can see to be passing both X and all conceivable variants of contra-X honestly be said to be selecting?

I’ve taken the liberty of pasting another of my short essays here. It is my simple recipe for productive debate with theists. I think that it is also, as suggested in my last post, a chain saw in comparison to the axes that are still being used by most on our side (and, so far as I can determine from their comments, by all on this thread).


Crystal Blue Persuasion

The following is a simple three step guide for constructive engagement with any proselytizing theist. It is, in effect, synopsis and clarification of an 'app' from my main essay 'Truth?'. My hope is that by directing interested parties first to this short and explicitly practical essay some may then become engaged enough to try the longer and more challenging one.

1. Inform the theist that he is offering proposals that you do not believe him to be able to qualify, through any coherent procedure for knowledge selection, as knowledge. Offer to open the debate with him at that level. Specifically, to work with him to arrive first at a procedure that you will both be able to understand to be functional. Offer further that if this step can be completed then you will invite him to clearly state his theistic proposals for your mutual application of the procedure to them, and that if they then can be seen to qualify through it you will publically embrace them, on the spot. Explain politely that you do not wish to waste his time or yours on a further replay of the sterile debate that has been going on between our two sides for thousands of years. Simply, that if he is willing to match your level of commitment, in engaging within a format that you can both understand to be capable of clear and final settlement of our argument, then you are keen to talk to him. But that if he will only engage in the absence of any such format – to hold open his option for declaring a draw, through play of the 'faith' card or some related piece of hokum like 'warrant' or 'non-doxastic justification' as soon as he can see his position becoming rationally untenable – then you have other and more productive uses for your time. He can accept, or he can decline. If he chooses the latter, then it will be with pretty clear implications for both himself and those to whom he had been trying to propagate his theism.

2. [He has accepted, and you’ve mutually agreed on a functional procedure]. Invite him to state his theism's defining proposals. Specifically, those which distinguish it from the all of the others, and from science (unless, of course, he would just as soon have you embrace any of those). Write his proposals down. Get him to sign the sheet. Because once you start applying a functional knowledge selection procedure to them – and they start to melt like sandcastles in the rising tide – he will expect to be able use the standard theist's dodge of linguistically obfuscating and morphing them to avoid your selection procedure’s gates. As in: “Well, I didn’t literally mean……..” and “Of course '……..' should be understood only in a metaphorical sense”, and the rest of that ancient bag of tricks.

3. [You now have the functional procedure and the signed list]. Patiently and systematically apply the procedure to each one of his proposals. Show him how it clearly fails to qualify. Show him that any relaxation of the procedure’s tests that is sufficient to allow his proposals to qualify will also and simultaneously permit qualification of an effectively infinite number of other and logically exclusive proposals (including, and most naturally, those of science). So, and from which, he can see that his proposals simply cannot be coherently selected. That he can have them, but ultimately from precisely the same wishful-thought basis that a boy on a rooftop can have knowledge of his ability to fly like Superman after watching a Superman movie. Go ahead and put him explicitly in the position of having to publically renege on your agreement, or else renounce his theism. [Note: Our side has been in a position to do this for at least the past seventy five years; but, in general, we have not. For some thoughts on how and why that has been, and whether our reticence has indeed been justifiable, please see another of the short essays at my blogsite: 'The Cuddly Kitten'.]

Primers for Step 3:

The essay ‘Truth?’ (access via 'view my complete profile' at the blogsite).

William Clifford’s classic essay ‘The Ethics of Belief’.

George Smith’s ‘The Case Against God’.

Michael and Monier’s essay collection ‘The Impossibility of God’.

General recent writings of the ‘new atheists’ (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Victor Stenger, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer, Anthony Grayling, et al).

Hi Keith, how are things.

I could actually read this article. Thanks for shortening it.

One question about Step. Are you saying they can or they can't draw the faith card?

Hi again Keith, I looked at my very first post at Atheist-Nexus but I don't think that is the one you are referring to. Could you give me the first few lines of the post you are talking about?
Are all you skeptics 100% sure that you cannot know anything for sure? Or just 99.99999999999%? I'm pretty sure that makes you agnostic. About everything.




I believe agnostic is officially not taking a stand .... an atheist can take a stand based on the overwhelming evidence ...which in this case is even beyond a reasonable doubt ( people are executed on less evidence). The atrheist can say there is no god or supernatural and still allow a statistically insignificant probability for error.





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