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.  

Views: 14533

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thanks.  A little humor to lighten a topic is always a good thing.  I hope the 100%er's aren't having secret meetings to excommunicate us Ivory Soapers from the Non-Theist Church.  It would be such a shame to have to call up my Atheist Mafia friends.  (Admit it... you really enjoy this topic :)


But my examples are not only objective and contradictory, they are self-evident.  Math fails in the sense that one should not have it both ways:  there is an infinite amount of decimals between any two numbers (a tangent to a line) AND it is also possible to reach the next number (completing the tangent).  Either you can't get to the next number or there are a finite amount of decimals between two numbers.  I say we 'should' not have it this way, but we do.  We accept it as contradictory but we don't discard the usefulness of the tools.


You did propose 2.  But much like the term 'God', without inquiring further into how it was gathered and for what it is used, it's just a useless digit typed on the screen.  [I'm imagining the carpenter who refuses to build the building because his 2x4's are all mismatched to the 10th decimal place.  That would be a hilarious conversation with his contractor.]


I'm really only debating this False Dilemma because I can't seem to fathom why some people need to have absolute certainty of things.  I don't understand it coming from the religious and I don't understand it of the non-theists.  You do seem to be the most adamant on here to the latter.


Oh, BTW.  The cup on my desk has not moved.  (I began measuring and re-measuring since my last post)  But I suppose the Earth hasn't moved in the meantime.


Thanks for being a great conversationalist and a good sport.

What I'm looking for now is how to prove a positive with absolute certainty.


The other day I brought home 2 "things".  Yesterday I brought home 2 "things".  Does this mean I now have 4 "things"?  I can say yes.  But that might be a presumption if I don't investigate further what those 4 "things" are.


I had brought home 2 white swans and then 2 black swans.  Does this mean that I have 4 white swans?  No.  {OMG, did this guy actually kidnap swans to make a lousy point on a website?  Does the ASPCA know about this thread?}  Do I have 4 birds?  Yes.  (And I'm not giving them back.  They will be well cared for.)


A proposition can both be true and false if it's so over-generalized like the proposition 2+2=4


The assertion one can prove a negative from the premise that a proposition cannot both be true and false is either:  1) a fallacy because there do exist propositions that are both true and false; or 2) a tautology if one defines the word "proposition" as a statement that cannot both be true and false.  Either way it's improper.


So I'm now seeking even one positive proposition which by itself cannot both be true and false even upon further investigation.


BTW, I did see your response to Joel concerning the inability to absolutely prove (not claim) the existence of "God".  Very nicely stated indeed - all of you.  ;D

Oh, yes.  I find it fascinating the micro and macro universe.  It's a mental technique I do to try and imagine making myself smaller and smaller, etc and what the perspective would look like.  (LOL if you could watch me through a microscope trying to breathe in that one gigantic oxygen molecule to stay alive - hilarious)  I do the same in the macro way - larger and larger, etc.  Fun things the minds do invent.  I do hope scientists will be able to view these perspectives better in the future.


Thanks for your posts, Vince's and all the others I cannot name at the moment.  It really is a fascinating topic and there are lots of great people on this site.

Zeno's paradoxes are not actually paradoxical. They are just mental exercises, but require a false premise.

For example, in order to leave the room, you must first walk half way to the door. The half of the rest of the way, and so forth... meaning you cannot leave the room.

But that isn't what we do, now is it? We do not reduce ourselves to the size of quarks in order to chase the infinite points between whole numbers. We don't walk half way to the door. We walk all the way to the door and leave... which we prove possible every day.

If you accept the false premise of Zeno's mind game, you will see a paradox, but you'll be wrong of course.

Zeno and your carpenter might get along because they both enjoy uselessly false premises. Again, I didn't say "about two" or "twoish." I said 2.

Notice that when you wish to do your taxes or other accounting, you use a calculator with digits rather than actually counting money. The digits work fine.

How many nostrils do you have? 2.00001? Or 2? How many legs? Arms? Ears? By 2, I mean 2.

BTW, the cup on your desk has moved, but not in relation to your desk which has also moved, but not in relation to the room which has moved, but not in relation to the building or the planet, which has moved...

You still have not demonstrated an example of something that has a property while simultaneously not having the property. And you won't.

Thanks back at you.

I could take the time here to posit responses to each of your points.  And as much as I would LOVE to, I don't want to appear to hijack this thread any more than has already been done.  I've given my opinion as to the question posed.  I've also given many examples of things that have a property while simultaneously not having the property.  So, we regress.


As I've stated, I'm currently looking to get some insight on why people feel a need to pursue absolute certainties; and once they believe they have found them, do often act in extreme ways (such as speaking angrily resolute, authoritarian and condescending toward others.)  But now I'm also gleefully looking to find even one positive incontrovertable proposition.  So, as soon as I can figure out what to do with these swans (can't keep them away from my cup), I will begin a new thread in either the Science or Philosophy Forum.

"I've also given many examples of things that have a property while simultaneously not having the property." -- Marc Green

You have absolutely done no such thing.

Saying that 2 white swans plus 2 black swans does not equal 4 white swans is not such an example. Neither is your assertion that your cup is moving and not moving.

You can pretend that this clumsy spin on vague assertions is contradiction, but it certainly is not.

You would need to illustrate that a black swan is not a black swan or that 2 black swans plus 2 black swans do not equal 4 black swans. You would need to illustrate a cup that is both hurtling through space with the earth while simultaneously not hurtling through space with the earth.

Word tricks will not do. Your false premise is rejected.
Partly. A conversation is more likely to be productive if everyone agrees on the meanings of the words. By productive, I don't necessarily mean that one party sways the other, but that everyone considers the topic to their own satisfaction whether they change their mind, get a new insight, or become more convinced of their own point of view through its successful defense.

That someone may posit a coherent definition of God isn't the point, as I have already discussed redefining the word so that even a lunch wagon attendant might qualify. But, for the reasons I've given, the accepted attributes of a deity make the concept incoherent/oxymoronic.

If someone states that 2+2=17, I need not punch it into every calculator on earth to check before asserting that I have 100% proven the negative.


Hello Levini,


First, sorry about delay. I am out on a barge off the coast of India, with a lot going on and with rather sporadic internet connection. So just trying to keep up with the discussion here as best I can.


Next: The post of yours that I was referring to in mine of a few days ago was actually from March 7th (!!) and started with "I agree with the definition of the scientific process; no argument there."


To the question of whether [in CBP's Step 1] I could accept 'faith' as justification for a theist's specific knowledge proposals, the answer is that I'd be very happy to as soon as he or she could explain to me how it actually works. In particular: how it selects their proposals (say, existence the God of Catholic Christianity) in preference to similar but logically exclusive proposals (say, existence of the pantheon of Greek Gods). I would have to confess to them that from my present understanding 'faith' seems to be 100% non selective. It seems to be precisely as capable of justifying Russel's Teapot, and/or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, as it is of the proposals for which they would claim it as justification. From which, I'd have to say, I can't actually understand it to be able to justify anything. I'd note that they seem to be offering me something as a selection gate that we can both understand in theory to be able to 'select' any proposal whatsoever, and both see to have been claimed for thousands of years as support for an almost infinite number of logically exclusive proposals. But then of course I'd reiterate the likelihood of misunderstanding from my side, and reluctance to assume that they might be suggesting anything so silly. From which, my confident expectation of their ability to clear up my little problem.


Hi Keith.
Out on a barge on the coast of India? Are you in the merchant navy?

My experience with religious people is pretty much limited to 2 American Mormans, when I lived in Japan 25 years ago and the Christians near where I live now. Also 3 Muslims from when I lived In Egypt. Apart from these experiences, I have also talked to theists on the street.

I'll explain to you how I see their point of view in regards to God.
1.Faith is their main point of reference towards believing in Gods existence.
2.The second point of reference, towards their belief in God, is their interpretation of the Bible.

1. In regards to Faith. I know they have it, but like you, I also can not understand what it is exactly. I guess it has to be like a child's innate love for their parents and visa-versa.

With Mormans they believe we all have a little seed in faith inside us. The metaphorical size of our initial faith is very small like a grain of sand. And the metaphorical meaning of this seed is the question 'where did we come from?'. And through Jesus and the book of Morman and the Bible and the Morman church and the Elders help, we can grow this faith into something like a big metaphorical oak tree.

With Australian Christians. They just invite you to church on Sunday. They don't tend to be pushy. But I have heard some sects are pushy. So I don't know what faith is, in regards to Australian Christians.

With the 3 Muslims I met and talked to in depth about Islam, they never really talked about faith. They would just say "This is what I believe."

2. Interpretation of the bible/Koran. I have found, via the Internet, the Christians have a wide interpretation of the bible. From literal to figurative. With Muslims it is basically the same. But both admit that the bible/Koran is how God talks to you.

I asked you about faith because it has to be the essential/core part of their belief in God. From what I can tell, without faith they have nothing. I think faith/God are like a security blanket.. If you take it away from them they will be really upset. They will think the world will fall apart if their security blanket disappears. They think murder,rape and chaos will reign if their security blanket disappears.

From their point of view, there is a difference between Russell's teapot and the spaghetti monster in the sky and Zeus. Teapots, spaghetti and Zeus can all be described. But it is impossible to describe God. What you have to do, in order to be a good theist, is believe in something that doesn't exist but you 'know' it does exist because you just 'know'.

For me, I don't think I would ever try and change the mind of a theist. I like to encourage people to do as they wish, so if they told me they were Christians I would encourage them to go to Church.

So in regards to conversing with Christians, about God, I rarely do it. In the real world I listen to them politely and let them say what they want, I will also ask them a question like 'how does it make you feel?'. But in the end I always politely reject any invitation to church or further meetings.

I came here to Atheist nexus to practice logical arguments about things that interest me. It's better to practice here, make mistakes here and learn from my mistakes here than in the real world. So, talking/debating/whining here helps me get my thoughts in order.

So, have you ever tried the CBP on any Christians in the real world?

It seems reasonable to me the question postulated falls in the trap of a False Dillema (black and white) fallacy.  Any attempt to discern a "absolute" on something existential which has so very little perceptual evidence other than a word "God" (regardless of definition) must fruit in two conflicting categories:  belief vs knowledge


On the one hand I can say I BELIEVE 100% there exists no God or Gods manipulating the expanse of all existence - like some solipsistic, separate individual entity.


On the other hand I can say I KNOW so very little about the existence of separate objects beyond what I have perceptually experienced (in my own short life here on this tiny planet), it would be better to leave off absolute certainty of anything in a 100% manner so as to guard against appearing arrogant in communicating with other people - as if I were unwilling to remain open to concepts/ideas/perceptions of which I have not yet experienced.


On the first hand, I perceive so little in evidence on the plethora of definitions of "God".  My KNOWLEDGE is so very lacking of everything which could be, my BELIEF says: it's so unreasonable (based on all observable data), I can't believe such far fetch notions... even to 100% certainty.


On the other hand:  because we have identified, by scientific method, only a finite amount of existence; it would be unreasonable to assume with absolute certainty notions beyond which only a data/object-inspired perceptual methodology would presume.  This latter being to the extreme of saying: As a world intelligence we have observed and recorded a finite amount of stars and planets in the universe; therefore, there exists no other stars and planets unless we observe and record them.  Or saying:  As a world intelligence we have not encountered (observed and recorded) intelligent life beyond our planet in the universe; therefore extraterrestrial intelligent life does not exist because we have not observed and recorded it.  Both examples have scientific proof and can be extrapolated to reasonable conclusions.  But the tendency of scientific methodology refuses to bend on 100% results based on absolute observable and recorded data.  Scientific methodology remains specious (and potentially dangerous) for any one individual to pursue.  Time and object interactions do appear linear; however, human learning (the thinking mind) is not linear.  There are constant examples of "things" humans have learned that were wrong in the past.  The excuse of "Well, that's the best decision we could make at the time because it was the best knowledge we had." does not excuse the individual/group of having made that past wrong decision.


Thus, we return to this False Dilemma question.


I am dissuaded by any absolute notion for or against the existence of a "God".   Further, I remain skeptical and defensive to any individual asserting absolute existence for or against anything.  Both for differing reasons on concepts of BELIEF and KNOWLEDGE.


I am willing to state that I believe in no god I have ever heard of, and have seen no evidence to indicate that such an entity exists or has ever existed.  I feel that I  can state with greater than 99% certainty that the god of the Christian majority doesn't exist, and even with my limited understanding of Judaism and Islam, I feel just about as confident with any of the major monotheisms. 

If you simply want to equate god with first cause (as in pre-Big Bang) and drop the rest of the nonsense, then fine believe in god all you want, (but then what really would be the point?) but add any of the rest of it and we have a problem.

The problem with God being a first cause is: What caused God?


© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service