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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Gnosticism is a religious only position! In a secular society we know because of existence. In a theist society the debate about knowledge WAS whether one can "know" that which there is no evidence of. The gnostic sect were always but a very small group because even moronic religious know you can't "know" that which is imaginary. You are creating a function for the word agnostic that simply does not exist. Gnosticism is a positive statement, it simply does not work in its negative form. In fact the rules of English writing even state that your reasoning must come preferably from positive statements versus negative ones. Negative statements do not inform, and agnostics (what a ridiculous copout word) who insist they can't know anything are simply using weak language structures.

 

The day you stand up here and have any positive statement the existence of god, then you'll actually have something to say.

 

Agnosticism in a theist argument is not only rational but also honest. Theists generally know that to claim "knowledge" of the imaginary makes no sense. The same can not be said for atheist agnostics.

I totally agree with you. In order for their to be doubt there must be evidence. One cannot simply go around spouting nonsense about imaginary concepts and telling other people they must have doubt because certainty is impossible. Certainty is only absent in the presence of contradictory evidence.

The fact that some atheists even consider the existence of god I find totally depressing.

Joel there is no philosophical problem here. Human perception is atrocious. Given contradictory evidence it is essential to have uncertainty, as is the case with the optical illusion you present.

 

Uncertainty = contradictory evidence.

 

God = no evidence, there is no uncertainty there.

 

Those who have doubt without evidence are the scary ones!

 

The Nazis hey... what's that expression about you know how long a thread's been going people using Nazi analogies to make a point?

Like.  "The fact that some atheist even consider the existence of god I find totally depressing".

I pretty much am Gnostic Atheist. We are going to get lost in God Definitions again... but the one thing that makes me unable to go 100% is that if god is a transcendental being not subject to the laws of this universe, then being as we personally are constrained by the laws of this universe I don't see how we could ever have knowledge of something existing outside the bounds of reality.

 

In saying this, a) this makes Gods existence a little pointless if we can't ever interact with it, although i presume it would be able to influence us, even if we cannot have direct proof of it, otherwise it wouldn't really be God if it had no Influence over our universe.

b) Gods described by Religions do not fit my definition, so they are all going to succumb to the myriad of other reasons to doubt their existence which have doubtless been discussed already.

c) If its not God in the traditional sense (ie. a God that has been described specifically by someone who claims to have had contact with it) then it has no relevance to religion in society anyway.

 

The other factor that seems to be cropping up on this thread is the idea of whether we can in theory be 100% sure of anything. All of our knowledge of the world is empirical, that would entail it being impossible to be 100% sure of anything in theory. or would it?

 

I am NOT 100% sure there are no mermaids in the universe because I have not had direct experience of every part of the universe at any one time. But then again, something that is half fish & half person is not that difficult to imagine existing (genetic engineering???)

 

Whereas god would defy the laws of the universe as we understand them, plus no one can agree on what God "is" exactly. God is VERY vague indeed. but so far I don't think we have any empirical evidence of anything existing which is not subject to the laws of the universe, so if God is not a part of the universe he doesn't exist in our reality which would mean he simply doesn't exist, as reality is all we have, and when we talk about existence it seems sort of necessary for things that exist to actually have properties of existence in said reality...

 

...So mermaids are more likely to exist than God!

 

Summary:

a) what is definition of god. and if it doesn't include any of the Gods described by religions then is it a useful definition?

b) Does Empiricism make 100% proof theoretically impossible.

c) Can things that transcend reality be considered as existing.

d) Do we need a new thread for this??

 

I am now more confused than when I started writing this! help :-)

A being outside the realm of reality is an oxymoron, invalid, contradictory, impossible and not at all evidence to doubt clear facts. God is impossible, by definition. What definition? Any one that attempts to describe God. Metaphors cannot exist. If a thing is possible, it is not God. What this boils down to is, are you a skeptic or do you believe that certain knowledge can be obtained? I don't believe skeptics can be gnostic atheists. Skeptics are agnostic about everything. They will always find some little arbitrary way to redefine some word or concept to avoid taking an absolute stance. I believe we have enough contextually valid knowledge to assert with 100% accuracy that there is no God. The nature of cognition and the rest of reality negates the possibility of the supernatural and the self-contradictory. It looks to me that you don't know whether you are a gnostic or agnostic atheist. Well, if you can't say you have knowledge that there is no God, then you are agnostic. If you can say that you are 100% sure, you are gnostic.

@Michael,

would this be a fair summary of your position:

 

a) existing wholly in reality is a necessary requirement of Existence

b) Being subject to the laws of physics is necessary inside of a physically governed universe

c) Definitions of God often consider God to be a transcendental entity

d) Definitions that don't consider God to Transcend the physical would make the entity subject to all physical laws by being existent in this reality.

 

therefore, transcendent Gods necessarily do not exist, and physical Gods have no powers that are not physically possible and therefore achievable by any highly technological species, therefore making them beings and not gods.

 


More or less. And I think the same way for a soul and a spirit. Metaphors, at best.

ok. hopefully more rather than less, I wouldn't want to be pushing you into being a straw man here!

 

I'm still concerned that the inherent problems with empiricism come into this, which was one of my original problems with going Gnostic.

 

Point B "Being subject to the laws of physics is necessary inside of a physically governed universe". I would propose this is not deduced like points a, c, d. This is based on empirical observations? Our understanding that everything follows physical laws is based on observations of things following physical laws, in actual fact there are things that our current models don't explain, and theoretical things like dark matter have to be used to make theories work in practice. We may get to a point where we can explain everything, but I'm not sure that will negate the one underlying flaw with empiricism: that we cannot be 100% certain that thing will continue to act as they have in the past.

 

Is there an argument for empiricism that makes it 100% reliable? am I wrong needing empiricism for this premise?


I think the knowledge we gain from empirical evidence can be said to be valid and certain. I also think that empiricists that assert that our perceptions have primacy over existence would say that our empiric knowledge is not 100% reliable. Skeptics often are those that claim the it is our perceptions that are the first building block of cognition and not reality itself. I would argue that when we are aware of something, it is the existent object that we are aware of first and not the awareness itself, until later. Existence has primacy over consciousness. I think we can be certain that in the future causality and noncontradiction will still be governing any reality that exists and God will still be impossible.
If God is that one narrated in the bible, the one at the garden of Eden, the one that created the whole universe in 6 days and rested on the seventh day. The one that destroyed the whole world iwith water and promised to destroy it wirh fire on a later date. The guy whose voice Moses heard, saw his back and who gave the ten commandments he personally wrote. the one that stopped the construction of a tower that would reach heaven, his abode. The guy who has a chosen race. Then, he cannot be the creator. That guy is  a mere creation of an imperfect human. He cannot have existed, cannot possibly exist, now or in the future. That beiing has no role in the universe as we know it today. He is too primitive, unintelligent, immature, parochial and incapable to be a creator of the universe.

@leveni (to continue where the reply threads have run out)

Agnosticism and gnosticism should never have been brought up in atheism in the first place.

 

evidence of existence = knowledge of existence

 

imaginary concepts = two camps: agnostic belief and gnostic belief. two methods of "knowing" the imaginary, or unevidenced.

 

The very existence of agnostic atheists is a fallacy in itself. Anyone who has any portion of their brain that accepts a god concept is not an atheist. They are simply infinitely weak theists. Of course it serves the aims of politicians to lump together agnostics with atheists. But I disagree fundamentally with that assertion. Atheists live in the real, agnostics reserve a space for the unreal.

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