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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TNT666 wrote:

"Asa, look again at what I wrote and what you wrote. You are complaining that theists arrive at certainty via faith.

 I agree that is a mistake." 

 

So far, so good.

 

"But dismissing certainty because some people cheat to get there is where you confuse certainty with faith."

 

Huh? Didn’t you just agree with me in the sentences above?

 

"I don't think that you achieve certainty thru faith; I think you mistakenly dismiss the possibility and value of certainty because you associate it with faith."

 

  Yes,  when discussing an object of faith, which is the subject of this entire forum.

 

"You think they are hopelessly intertwined, thus my assertion that you confuse them."

They are hopelessly intertwined when discussing an object of faith.

 

There is no other way to reach “certainty” one way or the other, about an object of faith without assuming faith.

There is no way to discuss the existence or non existence of gods without stepping into the realm of faith.  

Once you make the statement: “There is no god”  you have walked down the same path as the theist, and have embraced faith.  There is no other way to reach certainty about an object of faith (one way or the other) but to embrace faith.

 

You  claim to have used logic/reason, and science, but logic/reason and science have nothing to say about the existence or non existence of objects of faith. 

 

You seem to understand that when a theist arrives at “certainty” about the existence of gods via faith it is a mistake.  Why  can’t you understand that arriving at the certainty of gods non existence  is the same mistake?    

 

This is the most baffling mystery to me about my fellow atheists.

The inability to step back and realize what you are saying when you say, with apparent "certainty", “There is no god”.

I’m not sure how to make this clearer.

The only legitimate or reasonable statement an atheist can make concerning the existence or non existence of gods is:

“I do not posses faith in the existence of gods.”

I'm sorry, Asa, but calling a claim about the natural universe an "object of faith" is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. There's nothing whatsoever magical about objects of faith; they are still claims about the objective universe and thus tractable to the methods of science, cognitive, physical, chemical, and so on. Science has plenty to say about such things, generally that they are not part of objective reality.

 

I am not making the same mistake as a theist, because I don't make use of faith in my certainty that gods are imaginary. I use my knowledge of how the universe works (evidence) and how logic works (reason). No faith is involved whatsoever, and it's insulting for you (and theists, who very often make the same claim you do, that atheism is just another kind of faith) to say that I do. You are welcome to argue militantly for agnosticism, but the claim that you can't prove a negative is self-negating, so you might want to revisit your foundational premises rather than keep barking at us that we are just like theists.

I am a third generation atheist. Religion/theism did not exist at all in my immediate family, at all, it was never discussed, not a single time. I have one grandfather who attended church on occasion, just to get out and be social.

I embrace ZERO aspect of faith. Faith and belief and spirituality are not words that I consider useful in the English language, other than to describe mental illness.

Scientific knowledge has little to do with faith. Faith/religion is but a chastity belt imposed upon the brain. Frankly there is only one group of people who annoy me as much as idiot religious people, and that's atheists who know little about the scientific method who have since become "armchair" scientists and now debate from a scientific viewpoint, without any scientific background or higher education.

One can become a Christian, by reading a couple of books, and making up their mind about a concept. One does not become scientific by simply reading a couple of books.

If agnostics spent as much time defending "uncertainty" about unicorns and pegasus and santa... at least it would be intellectually honest. But most agnostics defending the "open mind" position do so with a huge religious bias and take a different approach to the other imaginary beings of cultures past. Intellectual dishonesty is not appealing. Gods... Santa... hold the exact same weight for me... zero. There is no rational defence for the agnostic position, it is nothing more than an emotional plea.

Hear, Hear!

Yes, I quite agree with TNT666 as well.

 

 

If you ask me what I know about whether there is a God, I would have to say I can be 99.9999% sure. If you ask me if I believe there is a God, I would say I 100% believe there is no God. 

If you are honest with yourself, and you ask yourself whether you know, according to science you can never really know with 100% certainty because you require evidence and you cannot prove a negative.

But if you ask yourself whether you believe there is a God or not, you can reach 100% because believing requires no evidence.

Hi Cane, how are things?

 

If you are honest with yourself, and you ask yourself whether you know, according to science you can never really know with 100% certainty because you require evidence and you cannot prove a negative.

According to science? Science is based on our 5 senses. If something can not be sensed by any of our senses, then by definition, science can not be used in regards to it. To mix science with God is therefore impossible.

 

What do you mean can not prove a negative? If you mean we can not prove the non-existence of something, then you are wrong. The non-existence of things can be proven easily.

 

 So Cane, can you rephrase the above statement please? It's too ambiguous for me.

Hi Leveni,

You say "Science is based on our 5 senses...To mix science with God is therefore impossible". I think you are wrong in coming to that conclusion. To explain why, I ask you to define God. If you define God as something unreal then it cannot be studied, but by definition, anything that interacts with us in our Universe must be real. 

 

I will try to rephrase my statement. 

 

The lack of evidence does not mean that there isn't evidence yet to be found. Therefore you cannot prove a negative using the scientific method. You can do so with reasoning and belief, but these are not truly scientific.

I hope I have explained where I am coming from.

That would be true of a brand new hypothesis, you don´t yet... but this question has been beaten to death, for a long time, from all angles. If there was any evidence, it would have shown up. It hasn´t.

Hi Cane,

What I said about the five senses can not be wrong, because it is the basis of scientific method. Scientific method, by definition, can only be applied to a phenomena we can sense/observe. It is not used in regards to things of the imagination/delusion. 

To explain why, I ask you to define God. If you define God as something unreal then it cannot be studied, but by definition, anything that interacts with us in our Universe must be real.

I honestly don't not understand the concept of God. It's not a part of my mind set. But, anything and everything that we can sense can be explained through science. As God has never been sensed by anybody, science is not applicable to him. 

 

My take on proof in regards to science is the following. Science in itself is not proof. It is an attempt to explain how and why things are they way they are, and work the way they work, and proof is used to substantiate scientific claims. 

 

'The scientific study of God' is just a play on words. The sentence is grammatically correct, but it has no scientific meaning because before something can be studied scientifically it must be observed (sensed) first.

 

The lack of evidence does not mean that there isn't evidence yet to be found.

This also means that scientific method can not even begin. And it is therefore outside the realm of science. It is a part of science-fiction or fantasy. Also, 'lack of evidence' in regards to God, implies there is some evidence of God. But this is not true, there has never been any evidence ever for the existence of God. 

 

I understand the underlining point of your argument in this debate, but my point is that your argument is outside the realm of science. And therefore science has nothing to do with God until God is observed.

 

I can demonstrate an experiment that is repeatable by anyone and everyone at any time and any place. This experiment proves there is no omnipresent God. Open you eyes and look to your right, your left, in front of you and behind you and up and down. Do this any where and everywhere you go. Never will you ever see God upon doing this. This proves that an omnipresent God does not exist. This experiment is repeatable with the same result every time it is done. And no matter who does it, the result will always be the same. There you go, proof that there is no omnipresent God. 

 

Every single claim made about Gods existence can easily be disproven. 

 

Therefore you cannot prove a negative using the scientific method.

 

Again, what do you mean by not being able to prove a negative. Can you give me an example of a negative that can not be proven.

 

You wrote:

I can demonstrate an experiment that is repeatable by anyone and everyone at any time and any place. This experiment proves there is no omnipresent God. Open you eyes and look to your right, your left, in front of you and behind you and up and down. Do this any where and everywhere you go. Never will you ever see God upon doing this. This proves that an omnipresent God does not exist. This experiment is repeatable with the same result every time it is done. And no matter who does it, the result will always be the same. There you go, proof that there is no omnipresent God.

But I can do the same thing and never see or sense radio waves, either. And in the current American atmosphere, I'm pretty sure radio waves are omnipresent!

I remain open to the idea that there are things that we don't yet know for sure exist. And the existence of God is really dependent on your definition of it. There are some things I can say I'm 100% sure of, for example, the non-existence of a God who will not allow a sparrow to fall. The non-existence of a God who uplifts the good and casts down the evil. The non-existence of a God who makes sure OUR football team wins!

I am honestly pessimistic that there will ever be any proof of a God, but I am also not so arrogant as to say there is nothing out there that we don't already know about. I truly invite believers to try to convince me, but no one has passed the test yet, and I doubt they ever will.

Hi Natalie, how are things?

 

You can sense radio waves. As soon as you turn on your radio you can sense them. This is proof that they exist.

 

The argument I am making is in relation to science and God. Science is only applicable to that which we can sense/observe, by definition. Because nobody has ever sensed/observed God, God is not in the realm of science. He is outside science. He is in the realm of science fiction/fantasy.

 

I am also not so arrogant as to say there is nothing out there that we don't already know about

Again, science can explain everything that can be observed/sensed. If it can not be observed/sensed then it is not in the realm of science.

 

 

 

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