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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What attributes? Omniscience? Creator? Omnipotence? Miracle worker? Any quality gods are thought to have are impossible. If you have another quality you would like to suggest, let's hear it. And if it is not one of those things in the beginning of this paragraph, or some other nebulous non-identity, then it is probably something we already have a real word for or you would not be talking about a god. However you would like to try and twist words, redefine, avoid defining or obsess about some simple contradictory statement like "This sentence if false" or "You can't prove a negative", the fact remains, concrete noncontradictory identity is absolutely necessary for existence. You use this fact to think very simple statements and then build knowledge based on this fact to then try and tell me that it is, in fact, and you know it, possible for the impossible to exist and that things don't necessarily need identity to exist. A thing, to exist, must have certain qualities and not others. You even give god a sex by calling it her. Does she have a vagina? 2 x chromosomes? And you claim that it is me forcing clear concrete definition or identity for a thing to exist. It is the nature of existence. I do not assume too much to say that every single thing that exists does so because and in conjunction with the fact that it must have identity. Existence and identity are inseparable. Your skepticism is rampant. What sort of thing could possibly exist if it did not have identity? How could it be identified?

It is through a thing's identity that we are able to learn about it. Anything. The very first things we perceive in order to begin building concepts must have an identity in order to perceive them. When we perceive something, it is it's identity's affect that we perceive. A thing can and will do only what is in its nature to do, based on its structure, its identity. And in order to interact with reality a thing must do so in a particular way, based on its identity. A super-being that interacts with reality in arbitrary contradictory ways, cannot be. I do not need science to tell me that I cannot perceive something without a particular identity; I know that before science. I know it when I explicitly grasp, as we all implicitly grasp, that in order to think, reality must first exist, I must be conscious and I must be conscious of something in reality that has identity. If you can grasp that the laws of causality and noncontradiction stem from this and empower the scientific method, then you can see why you do not need science to prove what you already know and you cannot use science or its axiomatic fundamentals to demonstrate the existence or possibility of something that would negate them to begin with.

This universe is not so much a mystery that the impossible can happen. I do not need infinite or perfect knowledge for a concept to integrate contextually without contradiction. Infinitesimal? Super super small trending toward a singularity? I have no idea. I would not describe our knowledge base as infinitesimal. I would call it limited. Not infinite. As in, by nature, by reason, cannot be all-knowing, but can be particularly knowing.

You also do not need evidence for something to exist. Things existed billions of years ago, right? But there was no one to identify anything. That doesn't mean that things didn't have identity. Existence, which is inextricably linked to identity, comes/came before and has primacy over consciousness. Something must exist, with identity, first, to perceive it. Ontologically, cognitively, the first thing any and everyone can say is, "There is something I am aware of". This presupposes a thing existing, it having identity and a conscious mind to perceive it. These are preconditions to thought. They are the necessary axioms. The idea of the supernatural is an aasoult on everything we know about reality. It is a contradiction of every essential of a rational metaphysics. It represents a rejection of the basic axioms of philosophy, or in the case of many people on this thread, a failure to grasp them.

I am 100% certain there is no god. To prove it I challenge god to strike me dead as I write this post.
I am waiting. Hmm nothing so far. Well, there you have it. An all-powerful omniscient god should strike me dead even as I contemplated this post.

Seriously, what is the point of conjecture on such nonsense? I don't mean that as an insult, but if you lack the courage to stand up to superstitious belief, then you probably are not an atheist.
I believe 100% there is no god. I know with as much certainty as I can, but not 100% that there is no god. I am fearful of religion and the power it has to dumb down the population. No religious person would ask me if I know there is no god. Every religious person would ask if I believe in god. I can honestly say I 100% believe there is no god.

Hi Leveni,

I readily concede that God as defined by theists is not possible. But God is is a construct, an invention which serves ignorance and projects human characteristics. Humans have no more ability to identify "god" than 18th century scientists had to identify special relativity or quantum mechanics.

I am saying that Michael is delving into an area which is outside the parameters of epistemology. The epistemological extension into the area of ultimate cause is a form of arrogance I liken to the medieval theologian's "we are the center of the universe". In other words the human pyramid of knowledge is insufficient as a basis of denial where ultimate cause is concerned.

It is not that he has or has not integrated some concept, it is that he fails to recognize the limits of epistemology. Epistemology is what we have to build on but it is not necessarily applicable to the mystery of ultimate cause. Then again I would not want a theist or mystic to use this argument to perpetuate their crap or to say nah nah nah you cant prove me wrong. So the tenor of his thinking is beneficial for humanity.

Hey Glen,

Humans have no more ability to identify "god" than 18th century scientists had to identify special relativity or quantum mechanics.

There is a slight difference between these two examples about things we can and can not understand. One of the things in your sentence has to do with magic the other the natural world.

When we talk about God and Gods abilities, we are not basing our opinions on anything that is verifiable. But with things like special relativity and quantum mechanics, and anything and everything else in the real world, we make the statement that they exist and we try to prove their existence by doing experiments to test their verifiability. For example: Special relativity tries to explain how light travels. Quantum mechanics tries to explain the connection between matter and energy. These examples are explainable and verifiable because we are talking about something that exists or we assume exists.

As for God, we have been explaining and identifying him for a long time. And every explanation about God and what God has done can be proven to be wrong. Or, it's not that we don't have the ability to identify God, we do have this ability, it's just that when we do identify him, the identity we give him is proven to be impossible.  

I am saying that Michael is delving into an area which is outside the parameters of epistemology. The epistemological extension into the area of ultimate cause is a form of arrogance I liken to the medieval theologian's "we are the center of the universe". In other words the human pyramid of knowledge is insufficient as a basis of denial where ultimate cause is concerned.

Sorry, but I can't agree. Basically what you are saying is: Things that are out side the realm of existence exist. Knowledge out side the realm of knowledge exists. For me, saying things like this is just playing with words.

But

you are correct in regards to our collective knowledge being insufficient to understand where the universe came from. But again, we can see the universe. We know it exists. We can prove it exists. We can make up theories about it and do experiments on it to prove and disprove those theories.

It is not that he has or has not integrated some concept, it is that he fails to recognize the limits of epistemology. Epistemology is what we have to build on but it is not necessarily applicable to the mystery of ultimate cause

Ok, so let's get back to your main point in this debate. Your main point is something along the lines of: Regardless of whether or not knowledge has a limit, we can never know everything in the universe. Although we have a lot of collective knowledge, there is still knowledge out side this collective knowledge that we don't know and will never know. Is this right?

 

Hey Leveni,

You seek to understand my position-the better to undermine it. No objection there.

I put god in quotes to signify my departure from any theological notion. I am getting at creation or lack (an incredible mystery tantamount to absurdity). Also a loose concept relating to nature of universe and or inner workings of universe. The epistemological denial of theological god is fine with me. I dont want to include anything supernatural as being beyond the analysis of the big E.

I am not saying that things outside the realm of existence exist. What I am saying to use the allegory of the cave is that humans are only seeing shadows. We lack the divining rod, the analytical tools to judge of "god". There is something, I can not recall title, by Twain where the characters are reduced to such small size that the bacteria they lived in was the ocean. They had no way to judge of what they were observing, which to them appeared to be a stormy and perilous sea.

 

 

Hi Glen,

 

I honestly do not want to undermine you. I'm just looking at your point of view from every angle that I can. I'm forcing the both of us to make our points very clear to one another. Some people hate this type of debating, because it may seem personal, but when I look at your answer, rather than taking it personally, you give a great example of what you are expressing. Your bacteria example is a great example, because it really sums up what you are trying to express. And I thank you for that example. 

 

I unfortunately have a problem with what you are saying about "god". Firstly, I am one of a growing number of people who don't have the intrinsic idea of God in them. I was never indoctrinated from a young age about God, so his concept is not a part of my subliminal thinking. So when you mix the word "god" up with 'initial cause' or 'epistemology', I get a little confused about what you really mean. For me God or god only means a man who looks like us and lives in heaven and made the universe. That's it! Straight out of the bible God. Any non-biblical interpretation of God is wrong. So rather than mentioning "god", which is so ambiguous, could you just write down what you actually mean. Then we can go from there.

 

The cave example I can not understand at all. Are you saying we don't have the tools to understand what knowledge is?


But your bacteria parable is great. And when I compare it to the universe, it fits in well. I love thinking about the vastness of the universe. And how small we are compared to it. All the millions of people that have existed before us, but none of whom are known to us. All those that exist today, I hardly know any of them, and hardly any of them know me. And all the billions of people in the future who will never know who we were.

 

But just because we are so small when compared to the whole universe doesn't mean we can't know everything in the universe. Gaining knowledge is a step by step process. little by little we are learning so much collectively. Hopefully the universe is infinite, that way we can learn for ever. It would be pretty boring for those in the future if they find out the universe has a limit to it. What would they do next? 

Knowledge must always be limited and particular. Not only do we not require perfection of our knowledge or omniscience, but they are precluded by the limited nature of knowledge to begin with.

Hi Micheal,

Always like reading your posts.

Knowledge must always be limited and particular.

Well, I did say 'Hopefully'.

But I do think/believe existence must have a limit. But that would take us off topic in regards to this thread. There must be a thread here somewhere that delves into the limited nature of existence.

 

Just to confirm what you are saying:

When you use the word knowledge here, do you mean knowledge in general, or knowledge about each particular thing that can be talked about. 

 

Not only do we not require perfection of our knowledge or omniscience, 

Agreed,

 

but they are precluded by the limited nature of knowledge to begin with.

Ok, why is total knowledge impossible about a particular thing if the knowledge about that particular thing has a limit to it.

or

why is total knowledge impossible if knowledge has a limit to it.

or

do I have it all wrong?

 

 

Understanding the entire universe or knowing what is beyond its limits is not rational. An individual consciousness (redundant), which is the only thing that can have knowledge, can only know a part of the whole. We can describe and make theories about more and more of the world that we perceive, but there is most certainly limits to what we can perceive, and hence have knowledge about. The quantum world is one limit to our perception. The very large cosmic scale universe is another. The past. The future. We are simply localized self-aware organizations of universe that can perceive, make knowledge about through reason, predict and manipulate other aspects of the universe, which is simply an abstract concept representing all of existence, all things that did, do and will exist. We can say that we have knowledge about what is going on between the ultra-micro and the ultra-macro. This reality operates by constant laws, even if they vary in different places in the universe due to some other quantum, relativity, dark matter or whatever. In the universe, books slide when pushed and balls roll, I'm sure of it. Our knowledge, which is formed directly, from causal interactions of matter from perception to concept formation to integration, comparison and contrasting by reason and logic is valid and true.

I think we can validly call something knowledge, when it is a concrete concept that integrates into a knowledge base without logical contradiction. If a contextually non-contradictory concept can be reduced to perceptual evidence by deduction, it is valid. I think knowledge can be described in different ways, but the kind I am referring to is the explicit kind, and I hold the above statements in this paragraph to be the essentials. Implicit knowledge is that which we accept and use without conscious decision, like the axioms of thought or riding  a bicycle. Explicit knowledge is, say, that Springfield is the capital of Illinois or, say that in order to properly conceptualize something, you need to retain only the essential characteristics and omit the arbitrary differences or measurements or that all bachelors are unmarried.

I did not mean to suggest that total knowledge about a particular thing is impossible, although I find the two words total and knowledge right next to each other disconcerting. However, I think total knowledge about a very simple particular thing might be possible, well,............ consider 2+2. Simple concept, right? Is 4 the only thing we can know about this? 

That being said, total knowledge in general is definitely impossible because a singular mind cannot be everywhere at once or measure everything everywhere always. Something with total knowledge would be god and as we all know, this is one very invalid and impossible idea. Something that could perceive the entire universe all at once would have to be outside it, which, again fails. A consciousness entails matter being spread over distinct areas that interact with each other. They are needed to be separate to function and cannot possibly do anything more than their share; they are limited. They must be some things and not others. Identity precludes omniscience.

I think the concept of perfection cannot be found to exist. The ideal may be manifest, but not the perfect.

 

MCT,

I am mostly in agreement with what you write about epistemology. In fact you are the arch villain in the world of religion and occult and its spinoffs. That part is great.  It is just that you come across doctrinaire and intransigent. To steal a line you see all things in the most convenient terms and simplest definitions. 

I don't know what doctrin you refer to, but simple, sure, maybe even convenient, but these are not the essential characteristics of what I base my principles on. Causality, objectivity and non-contradiction are and because of that they tend to be simple and convenient, but more pertinent is their literalness and direct description of the real world, devoid of irrationality and mysticism. If one uses metaphor to describe something, they either don't understand it enough to call it knowledge or they are describing their feelings. We do not need super-circuitous lengthy colorful description to describe what really is and to call things like we see them instead of how we want them to be. I am supremely intransigent when it comes to the idea that the impossible can happen. And if something happens to be simple and convenient, it does not mean that it is more likely to be inaccurate. I might argue the opposite.

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