Johnboy74 wrote:Mr Horse, I get the feeling your clinging onto some kind of hope that there is a god out there? Maybe you have been in the grasp of religion in the past and it still has a stranglehold on you?
Meh, I was in a religion when I was very young, but it did not appeal to me, and I have been agnostic for many years (10 or so).
Johnboy74 wrote:Is it not the case that time and scientific enquiry is gradually disproving every held religious belief about a god?
Johnboy74 wrote:Is it not the case that religion is a man made concept, a human belief system born out of our need to understand the world in all its complexity before science as we know it was born? Both science and religion are manifestations of our need to find patterns in things.
I agree to both, but those statements to not disprove God.
Johnboy74 wrote:Is it not the case that we can explain the processes of the origins of the universe right back to the big bang, without needing to resort to divine intervention?
Yes, but we still cannot explain why the bang happened, or what caused it.
Johnboy74 wrote:Is it not the case that if their was a god, all powerful, all prevailing, an advanced entity, the question arises who created god?
This is as unanswerable as the previous question of what created the bang. Again, not a proof against God.
Johnboy74 wrote:I think the problem here are the words religious and atheist, they are two words in mortal battle each trying to destroy each other. Instead, If I say I am a rationalist, believing in empirical evidence for my personal understanding of my place in the universe, can you argue against that? My belief is in complexity from the breaking down of symmetry at atomic level over time, a universe created by chance, not the supernatural.
I think rationalism is a great term, and a great way to live. But in order to rationally disbelieve in God, surely you require proof that there is no God?
Johnboy74 wrote:If we as me way well do destroy ourselves and this planet, would not god die with us? Do you think god exists without humanity?
I suppose if I said yes, then I would be atheist, and if I said no, I would be religious.
I would have said the burden of proof's on your shoulders, bub.
Laplace wrote:The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness
The burden of proof is on those who claim to have an answer. I would demand a religious person provide proof of God, so similarly I demand an atheist provide proof of non-existence.
As for the Laplace quote, there is nothing anymore extraordinary about believing in a higher power than not believing. Both are incredible possibilities, one as unbelievable as the other. Either a super magic dude made everything, or nothing made everything. Omniscience vs. nothingness. Both are extremes.
I feel a bit left out with no direct quote
Essentially you're looking for proof in a sense that just can't exist.
I suggest you look into epistemology, can we know anything other than Descartes "I think therefore I am" or perhaps, a more accurate interpretation, "I"?
Does foundationalism or coherentism work
Can we ever get beyond our own perception?
Can the a priori give us real world facts?
Is the a priori subjective? Or do concepts not change from subject to subject?
Is knowledge subjective?
Is knowledge justified true belief?
Is knowledge justified true belief that isn't co-incidentally true?
Is knowledge beyond doubt?
Is proof the same as knowledge?
To answer questions about God you need to specify what God is.
If God is just the creator the universe, then God does not need to be conscious, God could just be the big bang, in which case someone's just confused the terminology really and need to give a fuller definition of what they mean (as it's not just going to be understood as that).
If God is a conscious being they much be a part of the universe. In which case they can't be beyond the universe, they're a part of it.
If God is everything, then God is matter, energy, and the forces (if they're separate) and the fabric of space etc.
If God is transcendent then we can't know God, or even really believe in anything specific.
God according to many definitions I come across could just be an alien, maybe a few aliens, and thus not supernatural (bizarrely some take offence at this idea, to which I say, piss off you insecure lunatics.)
I think I'm starting to show how abstract everything put forward for the last couple of pages are.
I don't think we can have knowledge (apart from 'I'), in the true sense of the word, as we can't get beyond our perception.
As a result I would talk in terms of belief and justification.
I can't find any justification in a supernatural being outside of the universe. As a result my lack of belief in such a being would appear to be justified.
I think many atheists probably feel this way but can't formulate it like this, but I'm half way through a module called 'ways of knowing'.
If this post, and the questions posed, are of interest to you, I'd look into epistemology, personally the most enjoyable chapter I've read is:
Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology by Jonathan Dancy Chapter 2.
Also see scepticism, how do we know that we're not a brain in a mad scientists vat, or not under an evil daemons spell etc.
"But in order to rationally disbelieve in God, surely you require proof that there is no God?"
Can you give some clarification of what exactly you mean by this?
Do you mean a lack of belief in God or a belief there is no God?
In either case can we talk about this but replace God with the Easter bunny?
Or father Christmas?
I've met many humans who believe in both of these, but I do not.
I have told them they are not real beyond our own concepts, but these humans would not believe me.
Now I'm not sure if their age is relevant or not, I'll leave that out for now, no need for prejudice based on age right