Ah, but what is evidence?
I have been reliably informed on many occasions how the fact we, the universe and everything else exist is undeniable evidence that god created it all. I have been unable to figure out where to go from there except away, quickly.
It also appears to be widely accepted that quantum mechanics "scientifically proves" all kinds of things including the "fact" that an observer influences the physical world simply by the act of observing.
Ego quickly becomes a subject of those types of discussion too since athiests, being godless, can only be driven by ego. Glad to see it making an appearance here.
My only concern is that Hitler seems to be late arriving in these proceedings and I wondered if anyone wanted to open a book on when he would? Dammit, I suppose I've already ruined that one by mentioning his name. Not that he was an atheist but it seems a catholic is pretty much the same thing to most fundamentalists.
Okay, seconds out, next round!
Fact today can be folly tomorrow (according the the history of science).
Science is about understanding the way things work and why they are the way they are.
Just because scientific knowledge constantly increases, and therefore constantly changes, doesn't mean it is continuously folly, which is what you are suggesting.
If you can do better, in any field of science, there are millions of people waiting and wanting to hear what it is you have to say. If you can improve on that which has already been studied, again, there are millions of people out there who want to listen to you.
The reason why people will want to listen to you is because they want to improve their own knowledge in regards to the many aspects of science. They want to improve there own understanding of the way things are and the way things work.
Limiting science to just 'facts' and 'follies' is limiting your own understanding of what science is about.
There is an art. Take the words of another and add meaning to them, then twist that meaning into whatever you want, and behold you have refuted the original words. There are two names to this art: Philosophy and Religion
What I was trying to convey with "Fact today CAN be folly tomorrow" is that something we learn tomorrow may be a better description of reality than what we know today.
Sure, but ever since Darwin and Copernicus, science has largely been refining our understanding of reality, not turning it upside down. People used to think the value of pi was 3.14. Then they found out it was closer to 3.14159. Is 3.14 folly as a value for pi, or just not as precise as it could be?
The bottom line is that we have looked for gods, any gods, for thousands of years and come up empty. Inductively, that seems unlikely to change. Logically, the gods we've been looking for don't make any sense, so there's no point looking because they can't exist. Cognitively, we know why people persist in looking. Except some of us have clued in that it's a dangerous waste of time. It's not a statement of faith to say that science won't uncover a god under the next rock it turns over; it's a statement of fact.
In the Star Trek universe, that is similar to Vulcan Philosophy.
I think IMHO that emotions are (for all intents and purposes) "forever" with humans. To deny them is impossible and I will use your statement as support for this statement: "since, by our structure as humans, we have autonomic nervous systems which guarantee an emotional reaction of some sort with each thought."
But you say control, not deny. I think you mean, control our reactions to our own emotions since we cannot suppress them in any meaningful way. We will feel what our biology dictates what we will feel, but we can change what we do when we feel certain things.
This leads me to what we do as scientists. In spite of our feelings, preconceptions, notions, and anything else that gets in the way, we search for a true understanding of the world around us. We do this search using an unforgiving, self-correcting method.
Certain people us a different method which I do not trust.
Anyway, all this talk can be wittled down to my original post:
"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."
@Cane: to boil it down even better... as Bill Maher would say, the rule for today is:
In the face of contradictory evidence, you 'know' not... so you 'believe' yeah or neah. When facing zero contradictory evidence, when the evidence is amassed as a Mt Everest on one side, there is nothing to warrant believing that which has no evidence... zero. Big fat zero :)
"There are people who contend that they have found a god, son of god, etc. Do we discount their belief?"
Yes. Call it a delusion or a passionate mistake. Whatever you call it, these people are clearly incorrect, since apart from their internal conviction, their god has no influence on objective reality.
Of course, discounting somebody's delusion/mistake doesn't mean we have to ignore it. Acknowledging a mistake and understanding it are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they go together.