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 believe, if you cannot make objective definitions, then you cannot have a meaningful exchange of ideas. You believe agnosticism is officially not taking a stand. I believe this is wrong. Using only the essential qualities that give a concept its identity, I define skepticism as the self-contradictory idea that knowledge can never be certain. And I define agnosticism as the idea that humans cannot know whether or not there is a God. I'm not sure what 'Not taking a stand' means. Not fighting for their worldview? Not thinking hard enough to make a decision? Giving up? Refusing to discuss? Not giving up what one's real thoughts are? Not interfering? It's a metaphor. It can mean anything arbitrary. Thinking something is 51% likely, 75% or 99% is not having knowledge of that thing. There are certain things we can not be sure about, fine, but something that is contradictory to the most basic building blocks of cognition can be said to, for sure, not exist. This is atheism (when concerning God). Not, "I think that there is only a .000000000001% chance God exists". Things that cannot be defined, or don't have identity, or are somehow outside the realm of reality, or can perform impossible things or are metaphors have a zero % chance of existing. For this reason, I think about half of the people on this thread are not atheists.
I have no thoughts about what I would like a word to mean. I define them based on essential characteristics. That is what makes them objective. What arbitrary qualities others interject into their definitions is of less concern to me. You have not demonstrated a contradiction in the idea that to have a meaningful exchange of words, objective definitions must be used. Nor have you demonstrated how my definitions of agnosticism or skepticism are subjective. My perceptions are subjective. And my brain uses the processes of reason and logic to integrate patterns of perceptual stimuli contextually and hierarchically, without contradiction, to build an objective knowledge base of valid concepts. This entire process negates all possibilities of a God. Unless, you define God as a teacup. Then, it does exist and is in my kitchen.
Those are objective definitions. That's what definition is. The objectification of subjective patterns of perceptions into valid concepts. And you copying and pasting my words doesn't demonstrate anything but their presence repeated.
I'm not trying to be a pain here, but in fairness:

To be constructive, if you want to assert a definition that everyone can work with in a conversation, it is best to cite an online dictionary verbatim.

While cute, (and even accurate by some meanings of the word), adding "self-contradictory" to the definition of skepticism is baiting.

Not that baiting can't be entertaining, but if that's your point, own it. Otherwise, if you mean to come to agreeable terms for the point of having a conversation, cite the definition and then add your two cents.
Skepticism as the impossibility of knowledge is itself a contradiction. Unless you mean skepticism as a healthy amount of doubt about something that as yet is not conclusive or not able to be contextually integrated without contradiction. I clarified that, I believe. But these folks are using it as the former, not the latter. In a very contradictory fashion. But, I guess you are right in that it should not be included in an objective definition.
While I have a great deal of respect for those you have quoted, and many of those quotes are contextually valid, most metaphysically, but none of those quotes or anything else I've ever heard, read or seen are convincing evidence that things that are directly opposed to the most basic epistemological (and metaphysical/scientific) rules can exist. Existence, perception, conception and consciousness could not possibly exist if God exists. The whole idea is self-contradictory and therefore cannot exist. There is a limit to our knowledge, true, and exact and perfection are not really good words to describe it, but some absolutes exist and must, for the idea that there are no absolutes is, itself, a contradiction and is therefore false. Reality is an absolute. And dictates that there is no God. For sure.
Whoever espouses the idea or wherever they get it from, skepticism as a foundation of epistemology or metaphysics fails at the outset. Certain knowledge of reality is possible and God is not. Skepticism as doubt of a thing without ample evidence is proper. Skepticism as doubt of already contextually valid knowledge is irrational.

Since you offer them in lieu of answering a direct question, you are not only committing the fallacy, but point it out even as you deny it. Odd.


But, yes, we know that you did not invent skepticism yesterday. Thanks for clearing that up. :)


There are people I could quote as well in an appeal to authority? Really? So why waste all this time thinking for myself?

Jonothan... No, atheist does not mean "without theology." It means "one who believes there is no deity." (Webster)

Believe, in this context, means to hold as true or to have an opinion.

Joel, thanks for the quotes. I'm sure you put a lot of effort into sharing those with us.

However, I don't think Feynman or Sagan or Mill or the others would have any problem attesting their certainty that 2+2=4 and not 17.

When someone says they cannot be certain that a god without properties exists, this is nonsense. If it exists, it already has the property of existence. And if so, must, by definition, have other properties. When we are confronted by oxymoron, a proposal that actually contradicts itself, we can be certain that it does not exist in reality.

As any definition of God, wherein he actually fits the minimum job description of at least being able to, at will, transcend the laws of nature (ie. he must be supernatural, otherwise, he's just a dude who is smart enough to work with the laws of nature sufficiently to impress). Of course, a being able to transcend the laws of nature is an oxymoron. The concept of a creator god is doubly oxymoronic because such a being would have created the laws of nature to his own will. Transcending them would never be necessary and actually doing so would be to act against one's own will... hardly fitting of a deity.

So disbelief in God is really as simple as disbelief in 2+2=17.

Is there anyone here who would afford .000000...0001% doubt that 2+2=17?

Joel, you have a tendency to avoid such direct questions (while demanding that your own are answered repeatedly). So let me ask you directly:

Joel, are you absolutely certain that 2+2 does not = 17?

I am curious as to why it is you cannot directly answer a question, but have to wander off onto an unrelated tangent, talking down to people as if you were the first person to get an education.


Yes, I'm familiar with Zeno's paradoxes, but they are only mind exercises, not true paradoxes (which, of course, don't actually exist).


This has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not 2+2 is equal to 17.


You do not obfuscate well.


And I don't think you have yet answered the question as to whether or not you were certain that the entire Chinese army is not currently residing in your ass.


As I said, I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you. Certainly, if there were even one soldier of any ethnicity, let alone an entire army complete with equipment and armaments, you'd feel the worse for wear and would, no doubt, notice the intrusion.

How childish. I think you are finding your position increasingly indefensible. Probably something to do with the lack of a military presence in your nether regions.


So pick up your toys and go home if you can't win.

If you were truely interested in conversation you'd have not accused me of not answering the question.

If you were truly interested in conversation, you wouldn't throw childish tantrums when your assertions are illustrated to be nonsense. You'd behave like an adult and soldier on.

I only pointed out that you didn't answer the question because you DIDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION. Here's another question you did not answer:

"For those of you who say you can never be certain of anything, I'll take a cheap emotional shot:

If your child comes up to you and says, "Mommy/Daddy, are you absolutely certain that you love me?" Do you have to lie to them?"




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