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 inner workings are you referring to?

Not having the capacity to understand is not compatible with writing a sentence stating anything, let alone that we cannot understand. You must understand implicitly the axioms of existence, consciousness and identity as well as the explicit understanding of the meanings of the words you are using, understanding the rules of grammar and syntax as well as reason if you are to make any sense, which at least, you do by grammar, if not logic.

By permanence, you mean eternal? Eternal is the only way reality can be. This makes valid sense. A state of nothingness is not compatible with logic, for it would necessarily continue forever. That reality is here, it must be eternal. This is not contradictory.

Knowledge is limited. It must be since it resides inside the skull of a singular entity, which can only perceive in a subjective manner. We can, however, gain limited contextually valid knowledge about this place we call existence. We do not need to know what is going on just outside of Alpha Centauri right now to have contextually valid knowledge that I am typing right now. We also do not need a complete non-contradictory theory of quantum mechanics to know that, for sure, if you let go of a balloon filled with helium, in this atmosphere, its buoyancy will overpower gravity's hold on it and the net force will be directed upwards. And you do not need science to prove that we use our brains to gain knowledge. Though you need to know that to do science, at least implicitly.

And you're damn right I embrace a way of thinking; it is called rationality. I properly and validly reject the use of metaphor, feelings and contradictory ideas as a source of knowledge. It is not helpful to remain open to irrationality. If one can show me where my thinking is erroneous and it is consistent with reason, then I will amend my world-view, but rampant skepticism and postmodern drivel doesn't cut it.

Hi Leveni.

Point taken with respect to parables, fables and metaphors. Although there are instances where those devices convey ideas or nuances that a more direct communication will not. Good poetry conveys more than it says. And digression is the oxygen of intelligence. Like the limited universe, the barren linguistic parlance is not always ideal.

Not certain where you are going with the introduce future technology scenario. Video camera more foreign than instrument of magnification. And considering the propensity for burning witches for any little deviation or hysteria think there is something to the belief.

Dont see the shadows as metaphor for subjective understanding, rather objective reality. Dont understand how it is a play on words. Agree with your statement re science. 

Bottom line the capability of humans to get to the bottom of things is unknowable. It might be interesting to know which side of the issue theoretical physicists are on. Presumably theists of all stripes say that all of reality is uncovered. 

Hi Glen,

Not certain where you are going with the introduce future technology scenario. Video camera more foreign than instrument of magnification. And considering the propensity for burning witches for any little deviation or hysteria think there is something to the belief.

Dont see the shadows as metaphor for subjective understanding, rather objective reality. Dont understand how it is a play on words. Agree with your statement re science. 

My reference to technology was the way I interpreted Plato's fable. The way you see Plato's fable and the way I see his fable may be very different. Or maybe I need to explain why I put technology in my example.

 

 

I think that because you can't prove a negative, it isn't necessary to consider whether or not there is "concrete proof against one".  If the positive claim, that a god exists, is not supported, I am justified in rejecting it out of hand, which makes me 100% certain that there is no god, just as I am 100% certain that there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy.

MCT,

By inner workings I mean understanding the universe, ultimate cause, how, when, where, unifying principle, etc. So many of the physicist's theories sound more like fiction than science fiction.

One can have capacity to understand simple arithmetic without capacity to understand trigonometry. Likewise some aspects of the universe, not all of it. Epistemology is a wonderful tool for the vast majority of issues. But it is a human conceit to assume that our rules can judge of origins or ultimate cause or ever get a handle on the nature of things. (The pattern is to uncover greater complexity.) When you apply epistemology in a doctrinaire way you fail to appreciate the possibility it has these limitations.

Your statement re the eternal makes sense in a vacuum. But creationless existence does not make sense. And creation or creator begs the question.

Why does creation-less existence not make sense? An ultimate cause is incompatible with reason; reject it. Your quest for omniscience with be fruitless. You do not need to know trigonometry to know arithmetic. I follow no doctrine but rationality.

Leveni,

You lost me. If you are saying fables are ambiguous I am in agreement, already conceded.

Please explain your use of technology because my interpretation is inapposite.

Please explain your use of technology

It doesn't have to be technology it can be anything. 

But before I go on, can I ask you what you think the play is about.

 

 

MCT, Creation-less existence is a problem cuz a baby got a momma. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Cant accept eternal, cant accept created. Dont know of any alternatives.

Dont see why omniscience should be required if central principles can be uncovered-theoretical physicists dont either. But I see those scientists as quixotic.

Because mammals reproduce by sexual means does not mean the universe has a mother. The universe was not created. Creation is irrational. Universality of causality is not.

Throwing out a reply to the OP just to present: The universe as I've studied it appears to preclude the possibility of any deity of sufficient stature to command my loyalty. Phrased another way, I think our very existence contradicts any conception of an infinite God, which refutes the question before I can even consider my confidence in the answer.

 

The condensed argument is that any entity must overlap with our existence to affect us, but such a condition would require complete overlap for an infinite deity, making our existence a subset of the deity; in order for this to be occur, our universe must satisfy all of the superset properties of the infinite deity, with the most (theologically) critical being necessity, the inextricable property of such a deity which allows it to exist without prior cause.

 

Now, the easy conclusion would be that if our universe also possesses necessity, then the larger extent of the deity is irrelevant (we'd come to exist either way), but I have a slightly different approach that's relevant to what MCT and a few others have been discussing here.

 

I would instead argue that the universe is not necessary, and by its lack of necessity precludes any concept of an infinite deity. How does this fit together? In an un-necessary universe, the 'bottom' layer of physical structure is transiently existent, or trivial in its form or non-form due to a lack of content. But when it does have a form, and those forms collide in mutual interaction, the informational consequence of that interaction is independent of the original source-- so even if one of the forms 'rewinds' back into non-existence, it can't take its collision history with it. And if the rate of interaction can outpace the transience, you now have informational composites with contingent existence, but without any involvement of necessary elements.

 

So how does that overly-technical explanation translate to normal conversation? There's no Creator that can create Nothing, and everything else is just a long jaunt back to not existing. A creation-less universe would be an unavoidable consequence of a transparent boundary between existence and non-existence, but there would be some clear symptoms of such a situation: the events which 'created' the universe would be a continuous process, so new structures should spontaneously emerge in empty space at low rates (with the behavior of, say, virtual particles); and the net information of the universe would have to progressively increase over time. According to the work of some current physicists describing entropic gravity, that would translate to an accelerating expansion of the universe.

 

To me, that's enough pieces fitting together to justify a creation-less, unnecessary universe, and if we could exist without necessity, then our universe is a refutation of necessity itself. There's no room for an infinite God in this picture-- it's completely and unavoidably excluded (which is proving a negative) --but it does leave room for finite, physical deities like Zeus or Apollo. I'm not inclined to baseless worship, though, so unless I happen to receive a special house call from a pantheistic deity then there can be no gods which I would value more than a normal person. 

Why is it only an infinite god that our existence precludes? Any god is impossible. It is my understanding that a pantheists thinks the universe is god, nature itself, and do not believe in a personal god like Zeus. Zeus would do supernatural things, precluding his existing, although I do admit that there could be a sufficiently advanced being that appears magical to us.

 

Your necessity idea doesn't make sense to me. What does it mean to be necessary? I cannot tell what you mean by this or how this could be or have an affect.  The universe is here and could not have been any other way. You could not observe something if nothing existed to begin with. How can the universe not be necessary? Are you saying that existence is not necessary? Or that to exist, something doesn't need identity? A state of nothingness must continue. Why invoke non-form and non-existence? One cannot have knowledge about non-existence or non-form. Form and existence are two of the necessary axioms and are required by every thing that is, to be. Whatever the reasons that the singularity teens of billions of years ago appears the way it does to us and that we have limits to perceiving things like the universe as a whole make clear the limits of consciousness, but do not change the fact that things exists, necessarily, first and foremost and consciousness and identity must also, lest cognition and perception would not and could not be. It cannot change that we gain knowledge through the non-contradictory integration of perceptual evidence. It cannot change the fact that things do only what is in their nature to do based on their structure and momentum. It cannot change that, in this reference frame, or one close to it, protons will always have more mass than electrons. It cannot change the fact that a ball will roll when pushed and a book will slide. Rocks can't sing and ice-cream cannot read, regardless of what we cannot properly or objectively describe about that which is outside the limits of our perception.

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