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3/26/2006                                                                                       View Comments

How can you be sure there is no God?

The following is a transcription of the podcast made available HERE.

Welcome to the ex-Christian monologues, a podcast from the webmaster of exchristian.net.

I’m Dave, the webmaster, and it’s March 26, 2006.

Here’s a comment someone posted on ExChristian.Net just this morning:

“May I ask you a question?” writes the poster. “How are you so sure that there is no god. I think I understand well the position of agnostics. But I am curious about your conviction of no god. Anybody tell me?”

It is both frustrating and fascinating the number of times I’ve seen this question. The people asking are usually sincere, or appear sincere – they believe they are asking a pretty good question, one the requires a pretty good answer. Some people think that by simply asking that question, or some variation of it, that they’ve made a good point, or proven something.

Another version of the “how can you be sure there is no god” question, would be: “what is your evidence that there is no god?”

Okay, let’s consider this for a bit.

Here’s a statement: There is a god.

Here’s another statement: There is no god.

On the face of it, many people see these two statements as almost two sides of the same coin. What I mean by that is that Christians generally see these two statements: There is a god, vs. There is no god, as equal.

But are they really equal?

Let’s create a scene here. I’m no longer a Christian and I’m talking to a Christian friend. My Christian friend states there is a god and I deny that there is a god. Surprised by my denial, he asks me for my evidence that there is no god. I ask him for his evidence that there is a god and he shakes his head, asking again for my evidence that there is no god.

We seem to be at an impasse.

Then he waves his arms dramatically and proclaims, “Look at the world we live in, the complexity and variety of life, the beauty of creation, the majesty of the heavens. That is evidence of my god.”

I look around, and I have to admit, his description is apt. Life is wonderful and so is the rest of the Universe. I have to agree with him on that. What I deny is that the existence of the Universe gives incontrovertible evidence of a god, or that a god played a role in creating the Universe.

My friend and I share a few common beliefs. We both believe life is grand and that the Universe exists, and is magnificent. Now my friend wants to add another belief to this list, a belief in a god.

Now, I freely admit, I don’t know where the Universe came from, if it came from anywhere. I don’t know why our planet appears beautiful to my eyes, or how life can be so complex. I don’t know – I admit it. My Christian friend has offered an explanation for the existence of these things – things we can both agree are quite remarkable.

Now, this is where the in breakdown in our conversation starts – right here.

My friend is the one offering an explanation for why the Universe exists and why it is the way it is. I am not offering an explanation; I’m claiming ignorance on these points. He is claiming authoritative knowledge.

Now, when someone claims to know the reasons for something, it’s proper to expect some justification from them before accepting the explanation.

Let me put it another way.

Someone could state that the Earth is being held in space and spun by giant invisible spirits. Now, before anyone would be expected to accept that belief, they would be well within their rights to ask for some evidence that supports the belief.

I agree that the world is hanging on nothing and spinning. I might not know how the Earth could possibly hang in space and spin, but I don’t believe invisible ghosts on steroids are pushing it in a steady rotation. I might not even have a better explanation than a “ghost theory,” but I still deny that such a thing is true. It falls to the person who claims to have the explanation to provide the supporting evidence. It doesn’t fall to me to provide evidence as to why I don’t believe in the ghostly world turners. All I need do is state that the evidence presented by the "spirit theorists" is unconvincing. I need not provide evidence as to why I deny the explanation; I simply deny that the evidence presented is sufficient for me to accept and believe.

Let’s consider another example. A man’s windshield is smashed and he accuses his neighbor of the crime. The neighbor denies having done it, and asks for the accuser’s evidence. The accuser replies with, “Where is YOUR evidence that you didn’t commit the crime?”

I can hear it already! “That’s not the same thing.”

Isn’t it?

Let’s see, the two neighbors agree that there is a smashed windshield. The owner of the car has a belief. He believes his neighbor is responsible for the crime. He thinks the smashed windshield is enough evidence to prove his neighbor’s responsibility in the matter. He offers no evidence for the crime except that there is a smashed windshield and his belief. Everyone can agree there is a smashed windshield, but one person has stated a belief, an explanation for smashed windshield.

Similarly, my Christian neighbor and I agree there is a Universe, but he has offered his belief, his explanation for the Universe. As with the windshield, it falls to the person making the explanation to provide evidence supporting the explanation.

Should the windshield case ever come before a judge, the accuser will need to present evidence supporting his allegation – his belief – first that he has a neighbor and secondly that his neighbor sabotaged his property. The accused will need to present nothing, except maybe to show that the evidence is insufficient to prove his guilt.

Okay, suppose I say I’ve designed wings that when strapped on my arms, will make me fly. My friends deny that I’ve made such a thing. It falls to me to prove my assertion; it doesn’t fall to my friends to prove their lack of faith.

How about I tell you I was taken into a UFO where I had nice chat over tea with Bigfoot. Would you believe me? If not, why not? Any reasonable person would expect me to provide some solid evidence before believing that Sasquatch and I are acquaintances who occasionally have lunch with Extraterrestrials. Skeptics would be justified in saying “I don’t think so.” It wouldn’t fall to the skeptic to give evidence for his or her lack of belief in my little story, no matter how much I believed it myself.

Still, I can hear the Christian voices, “Prove there is no god! See, you can’t prove it! Therefore, God exists!”

The demand for disproof can never lead anywhere. I can say “there is good evidence that a god does not exist.” Then I could challenge the Christian to prove that my evidence doesn’t exist. The Christian could counter with “There is evidence that your evidence doesn’t exist – prove that there is no evidence disproving your evidence.”

The discussion quickly gets confusing, and silly, and goes absolutely nowhere.

Now if the Christian could offer some evidence that his or her god exists, then a fruitful discussion might ensue.

I don’t believe in Bigfoot, fairies, ghosts that like to play spin-the-world, or Zeus. Until some solid evidence is presented supporting a belief in these things, I can say with much confidence that none of these things exist, except in stories and in the imaginations of some people. I need not PROVE that Bigfoot, fairies, world lifting spirits, or the gods on Mt Olympus don’t exist. It falls to those who state any of these things DO exist to provide the evidence supporting their beliefs.

In a similar fashion, I can claim that the Christian God does not exist. There is simply insufficient evidence supporting the existence of a god. Pointing to the Universe as evidence of Christianity’s god, is much like pointing at the smashed windshield as evidence that the neighbor smashed it. In the story there is a smashed windshield, and how it happened is a mystery. Evidence must be presented showing that the neighbor was indeed responsible for smashing the windshield.

Likewise, there is a Universe, and its genesis is frankly, a mystery.

Now it’s time to see the evidence that supports the Christian’s accusation that the Christian god is responsible for the Universe.

59 comments:

Realist said...

This is interesting to me. Since I was the age of five I questioned the word God. In school in third grade, in an act of protest, I sat out of the pledge because I was questioning the existence of God. They threw me out of school for a day until they met my mom, who straightened them out quick about my rights. We were testing waters that would land in court20 years later. Through friends I went Christian Churches, Catholic Churches, Bahia youth camp, and read books about religion throughout my youth. I studied Buddhism and American Indian beliefs. I decided that God was not provable and there was no possible way I was going to surrender my complete faith in a God I cannot prove exists. God is a word I like to avoid. I am realist, by my beliefs you could also label me an atheist -- but that does not mean I am not a spiritual being.

The Very Irreverand Bill Baker said...

I too prefer not to use the term "God", I personally see it as too theist.
However, in a debate w/a Christian or a theist of any kind, my personal views come in handy, as I am not an atheist, though I am a nontheist/antitheist.
I am a Universist, and my beliefs 'lean' towards the "probability"{at least in my mind} of the Universe having or having had a first cause intelligent force/creator/etc. My intellectual conclusion is not absolute or certain, it is merely a leaning.
So,when a christian points out the argument from design, as a person lenaing on Deistic argument, I tend to say "yes, the seeming design of the cosmos would seem to indicate a Designer of some sorts, at least- possibly or probably, but NOT CERTAINLY, either way....evidence for a first cause designer that may or may not be all-knowing/seeing/powerful/eternal, may exist still or may have faded out of existence long ago; does not AT ALL give anmy creedence to the idea that it has a name/gender/etc and a particular faith that it has been revealed to humanity to through ancient prophets and so-called holy books. Evidence of a deisgner is not evidence that that designer is the god of the bible or quran,etc. It isn't PROOF of a designer even, merely 'evidence', nor is it a valid reason for ideas such as praying or worshipping such, nor is it a valid argument for moral absolutes based on mere biases".

This often leaves them stumped, because MOST of them have never even heard of this idea, let alone considered it. They've heard of atheism and agnosticism, but DEISM...mention that word and you'll get quetsions like- "what's deism, some kind of satanic cult,etc?".

The argument from design is utilized by theistic faithists like Christians, I find it very useful to use their own flawd logic and flawed ot double-standarded way of using such valid arguments against them.

I find that the atheist position and deist position are both equally valid, both have evidence and logic in their favour, but neither one can be{or at leats "yet"} proven or disproven.

What we need to recognize, in my opinion, when debating w/theists like christians,is that there is theistic faith and non-theistic beliefs/unbeliefs. The latter are all equally valid, theisms are all of such a nature as to have the mountain of evidence and logic stcake dup agains them to varrying degrees{depending on the theism}.

Christians and other absolutist theists tend to make their argument to simply in order to defend the "superiority" of their position, alot of strong atheists tend to do the same,make simplistic arguments against the existence of a Creative force and/or spiritual things, this does not good for the non-theistic,non-faith absed, and atheistic viewpoints in argument.

In Reason:
The very irreverand Bill "Iconoclastithon" Baker

Thurokmeir said...

Basically, what the, to generalize the term, 'atheists' have said, is that even if they were given some outstanding, believable, proof and evidence for a god, not necessarily Christian, they would have more faith in that evidence than they would the god itself.

Therefore, if God exists, even if you claimed his existence, you would still go to Hell, for your heart was not truely in God, Himself, but in the mere 'proof' or 'evidence' that he is there.

This is a very prideful way of thinking and is why ALL fall away from Christianity, because their pride has blinded them to the Spirit.

And, granted, the same may be said for practically any religion based on faith. That's when you go to the scriptures and see 'how' they were written. Islam can instantly be dismissed because their Qur'an is written in a very blatant form of self-glorification, THROUGH God. God is merely a tool, or an excuse for an Islamist to say he (the Islamist) is mighty.

You can basically narrow any faith down from there: Jehovas Witness and Mormans are both instantly shot down because they both changed their scriptures and teachings to fulfill a wanting in society. Only Christian scripture is written with the implication that God, not man, is the center of attention and is worthy to be glorified.

Jim Arvo said...

Hello Thurokmeir,

I see you've been posting in quite a few threads here. Let's see what you have to say now...

According to Thurokmeir "atheists" say that "...even if they were given some outstanding, believable, proof and evidence for a god, not necessarily Christian, they would have more faith in that evidence than they would the god itself."

Can you please point to somebody who takes this position? It sounds like a straw man to me. (Besides, you seem to equivocate on the word "faith", as believers are want to do.)

Thurokmeir: "Therefore, if God exists, even if you claimed his existence, you would still go to Hell, for your heart was not truely in God, Himself, but in the mere 'proof' or 'evidence' that he is there."

Let's see if I understand what you just said. You seem to be suggesting that if one actually had compelling evidence for the existence of god, and believed in her on that basis, then that would still be a ticket to Hell because such belief is inferior to "feeling" that she exists. Is that accurate, or did I misinterpret you?

Thurokmeir: "This is a very prideful way of thinking and is why ALL fall away from Christianity, because their pride has blinded them to the Spirit."

What is "prideful"? Deciding to believe in something because it is supported by evidence, and remaining skeptical of claims that are NOT supported by evidence? That is "prideful"? Again, if I misinterpreted your comment, please correct me. But that seems to be what you're saying.

Thurokmeir: "...Islam can instantly be dismissed because their Qur'an is written in a very blatant form of self-glorification, THROUGH God. God is merely a tool, or an excuse for an Islamist to say he (the Islamist) is mighty."

Let's suppose for a moment that your simplistic characterization of Islam is correct. What you have just done here is to argue against the existence of Islam's deity (Allah) based on observations and reasoning (faulty though they may be). Can you please explain to me why your rejection of Allah would not qualify as "prideful", according to your comments above? Are you not in fact in danger of going to Islamic Hell for stubbornly refusing to accept Allah, based on "prideful" reasoning, rather than "feeling" the presence of Allah (as so many millions do).

As for the "self-glorification" of Islam, have you actually read the Koran? I can think of no other religion that is so thoroughly and unabashedly self-effacing, demanding continual supplication toward Allah. Indeed, Muslims are encouraged to express praise to Allah in nearly every sentence they speak. So I think your characterization is about as misguided and simplistic as it is possible to be. My guess is that you are looking for a quick way to dismiss Islam, rather than "opening your heart" to Allah.

Thurokmeir: "You can basically narrow any faith down from there: Jehovas Witness and Mormans are both instantly shot down because they both changed their scriptures and teachings to fulfill a wanting in society."

I actually agree with you on one point. I agree that Jehovahs Witnesses and LDS were both designed by humans (either deliberately or somewhat unconsciously) to fulfill certain needs, such as providing answers, lending credence to certain long-standing practices, lending comfort, etc. However, in order for that indictment to work in your favor, you will need to rebut arguments that *your* religion has done exactly the same thing (as have all other religions).

Thurokmeir: "Only Christian scripture is written with the implication that God, not man, is the center of attention and is worthy to be glorified."

I think you need to sit down with a Koran one day. As for being the "center of attention", what does Christianity teach with regard to the "purpose" of the Earth, its animal inhabitants, and indeed the entire universe? Were these not merely provided as a backdrop for god's final and most special creation: man?

I'll close with a few simple questions for you, Thurokmeir.

1) Do you admit the possibility (however remote) that your god is a myth?

2) Have you read any books that are critical of Christianity? If so, would you be kind enough to list a few of the titles?

3) Have you read any books on evolution written by legitimate scientists? If so, would you be kind enough to list a few of those as well?

4) Do you consider yourself to be a "true" Christian? If so, what makes you a "true" Christian? Do you consider most people who call themselves Christians to be "true" Christians?

5) How did you come to believe that Christianity (at least your flavor of it) is the one TRUE religion? Have you investigated other religions with the same intensity that you invested in Christianity? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reply. I am the poster of the question.

Your point seems to be that the burden of the proving God's existance or non-existance is on the shoulder of Christian.

I think the burden is on the persons who claim their alleation is true. I thought you, atheists, claimed that there is no god. Didn't you?

So you, atheists, I think, should prove that. So, I ask again how are you so sure that there is no god?

Jim Arvo said...

Theist: God exists.

Atheist: I don't believe you. Prove it.

Get it?

.:webmaster:. said...

"...again how are you so sure that there is no god?"

I am sure there is no god in the same way I am sure Bigfoot is a myth, that the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist, that UFOs aren't visiting Earth, and that Leprechauns don't sit on pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

Now, if you'd like to present EVIDENCE that there is such a thing as a god, then we can chat.

You just don't get it do you?

Here's a question for you: How can you be so sure there is no Giant Spaghetti Monster floating at the center of the Milky Way searching for the perfect tomato sauce?

You haven't searched the Galaxy have you? How can you possible know that there is NOT a giant Spagetti Monster out there? Hmmm?

Now do you get it?

Anonymous said...

I guess you may misunderstand that I advocate Christianity or its god. No. What I am asking you is that how are you so sure that there is no god (not mecessarily cristian god)? If you don't have any certain proof, why do you call yourseld atheist, not agnostics?

Anyway, your voice is good.^^ I heard it on the podcast or something.

Godless Eye said...

I find this thread both interesting and silly. My adding to it may be the same. You cannot prove God exists. It is just not possible unless he-she-it appears to us. The problem is many people loosely believe in God and have different interpretations of the word. For instance a relative of mine believes there is a God because she believes there is something we do not understand that connects us all. That is not God in any sense of the word. It is a theory that an Atheist COULD agree with as well as most anyone. I agree with it but do not believe in God. Many believe this or something like it. They also believe that not believing in God distracts from spirituality. That this is not all random, many things we do not understand abound -- but it does not distract. God is a supreme being, a creator, usually referred to as a male, an omnipotent being that can judge you and strike wrath upon us, fallen angles, Satan, Heaven and hell. God is a word with a definition. Here are the standard dictionary definitions; listed as most commonly used. Maybe instead of debating the existence of god, we should let some people share their definitions? I bet there would be many.
1. God
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
5. A very handsome man.
6. A powerful ruler or despot.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous: "I guess you may misunderstand that I advocate Christianity or its god. No. What I am asking you is that how are you so sure that there is no god (not mecessarily cristian god)? If you don't have any certain proof, why do you call yourseld atheist, not agnostics?"

Read the webmaster's reply above.

As for the word "agnostic", I'll give you a short answer. As that word is casually used today, it has become (regrettably) virtually synonymous with what some call a "weak atheist". When the word "agnostic" was originally coined (and as it is still used by purists today), it meant one who believes that IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW whether any supernatural entities exist. That is, it applied to *knowledge*, not *belief*. Both "theist" and "atheist" speak to *belief*, not *knowledge*.

I call myself an atheist for the same reason that most atheists do: I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD or any other invisible conscious entity for that matter. Similarly, you are (presumably) an atheist with respect to Zeus and countless other invisible conscious entities. You do not believe in Zeus, yet you cannot prove that he does not exist. (Am I wrong about either of those?)

Does that help?

emptycan said...

It does help, Dave.

Anyway, at first, I am not any longer annonymous. I regestered with the login name of emptycan.^^

So you call yourself "atheist" to only(?) christian god and only on the basis of belief, not on the basis of knowledge? Is that true?

I am asking you of the certainty of your atheistic view on the basis of knowlege not belief.

So I ask you again. How are you so sure that there is no god on the basis of knowlege? Or you never claimed that there is no god? If so, are you agnostic on the basis of knowlege?

I would like to learn from your conviction of no god. So I keep asking. Not to give you hard time. No misunderstand, please.

emptycan said...

So up to now all the discussion, is the truth like this? Nobody knows that there is god or there is no god. So live however you like to live?

.:webmaster:. said...

As far as living however you like, try it and see how far you get, in any society.

Whenever your behavior harms someone else, you can be sure there will be some push back. People and society determine what is right and wrong, and those societies that have chosen to abuse other people eventually fall, when those being abused are in sufficient numbers and won't take it anymore.

That's a simplistic statement, obviously, but if you want to rape your neighbor's wife and steal his stuff, I don't think you'll get away with it for long.

The other point to consider is that if you abandoned your religion today, would you become and anarchist tomorrow? Is it only your religion that is making you a decent citizen? Are you so filled with perverse drives that without the restraint wrought by your faith you'd become the worst sort of demon?

If so, you seriously need help.

.:webmaster:. said...

Emptycan, I think you misunderstand the definition of an atheist.

A theist believes in a god.
the•ism

Pronunciation: (th?'iz-um), [key]
—n.
1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).


An atheist rejects the notion of a god.

a•the•ist

Pronunciation: (?'th?-ist), [key]
—n.
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc.,

That's really all there is to it.

When a theist says there is a god, the atheist asks for evidence. Until evidence is presented, the atheist rejects the claims. Atheists are skeptics. They don't believe in gods or goddesses just by being told to to believe -- they want evidence.

You too are an atheist. You disbelieve in every other god and goddess on the planet except your particular brand. Admittedly I'm guessing here. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Without evidence that Allah, Zeus, Krishna, or Yabadabadoo (God of the Flintstones) are real, then I imagine that you reject those deities. The only difference between an atheist and you is that an atheist rejects but one more god than you have rejected.

Gods are for primitive people, people devoid of the knowledge available today. I personally don't understand how gravity holds people to a large spinning ball (the Earth). We don't fly off into space, neither are we squashed into the ground. We can jump, run, move about at will, and with a little science, even fly or leave the planet altogether. I've studied the basics of gravity, but my comprehension of the science is limited. Still, I don't think invisible glue fairies are keeping my feet on the ground. In fact, I'll boldly say that there is no such thing as invisible glue fairies!

Now, do you really expect me to provide evidence as to why I can boldly deny the existence of invisible glue fairies?

Regardless, thanks for your posts. I now know the topic for the next podcast.

emptycan said...

ok, Dave. Now, what is the difference between atheism and agnosticism on the basis of knowlege?

I ask this because, to me, you are very much an agnostic not an atheist.

emptycan said...

Dave, I guess that you may think I am asking frivolous questions. Right. It's such. However, I expected anything that will help me like very appealing reasons of atheistic conviction. Now, you look very agnostic, I feel a little bit disappointed. Sorry, I say like this. Maybe it is only true that there is nothing new under the sky.

.:webmaster:. said...

Empty wagon, you really ought to get a dictionary. Relying on others to answer simple questions is lazy.

ag•nos•tic

Pronunciation: (ag-nos'tik), [key]
—n.
1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

Now, label me whatever you like: agnostic, atheist, or just plain stupid, I could really care less.

One thing I know, I am an ex-Christian, and until you bring some meat to the table, I'm on to more interesting things.

Have fun.

Oh, and the quote is "nothing new under the sun" -- Ecclesiastes 1:9

emptycan said...

Uh ha ha, right, it's under the "sun." And there is no dictionary in my empty wagon.^^ Thank you for you remind me of that.

Anyway, I have read your testimony. So now understand a lot more where you are. you are basically against or oppostie to Christianiy.

Can you widen the angle of your sight a little bit more? Christianity is not the only religion in the world. Oh, of course, I am not talking about Islam, either. I think Islam is one of the worst religion in the world.

I am talking about Buddhism. You said that youve been in Japan. What did you learn there. Did you only immersed in the doubt of Xnity. Why don't you explore the world of Buddhism? So am i a buddhist? No.^^ But it's worthwhile to search for. Who knows you may find the thing there that you want to find so eagerly?

Anonymous said...

empty can, I have your answer, although I know from your posts that your intentions are to reject any logical answer, because you want so much for your beliefs to be true and unproven.

Here is the answer:
All Gods are imagined from within the mind.

No person is born with a God pre-selected or pre-imagined.

All people are indoctrinated by their parents with the God that they, (the parents) have imagined and selected to be the one of their choice.

The brain is the only source for held imaginative God.

Now to prove to you that no one particular God exists anywhere.

When a person goes to sleep, all said brain imagined God or Gods disappear.

When a person is under anethestic, all imagined Gods disappear.

When a person dies, their brain dies, all thoughts of any imaginative God or Gods all disappear.

Imagine if you can, all people removed from the face of the Earth, all Gods and demi-gods
and all beliefs, all religions, all things imagined by the human mind, suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth.

The only place a God can exist is by human imagination, placed there by other humans whom prefer to believe in imaginary beings without any proof.

I know you will say, Oh yes a God can be somewhere else in the Universe and we not know it, but it, what ever it is, cannot be correctly imagined, nor described by humans on this Earth.

Ben (Rationalist)

Jim Arvo said...

Emptycan,

I honestly don't know whether you're yanking our collective chain or not, but I'm going to give this one last try. It sure would have helped if you had answered my simple questions about Zeus. But, whatever...

Imagine that I make this claim: There are small purple creatures living on the planet Zoogon, approximately 20,000 light years from Earth. Rather than simply accept my wild claim at face value, you ask me how I know. I explain that my Ouija board clearly spelled it out: "Little purple creatures...".

Question: Do you now believe that there are little purple creatures living on Zoogon? (I *really* do want an answer to that.) I'm going to assume that the answer is "no". Next question: Can you *prove* that there are no little purple creatures living on Zoogon? Again, I'll assume that the answer is "no". So, in summary, you DO NOT BELIEVE in the creatures, even though you cannot PROVE that they don't exist. Have I said anything unreasonable thus far?

Now, how *certain* are you that there are no little purple creatures on Zoogon? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being perfect certainty. Wouldn't you put it somewhere around 9.9999? If so, why?

I will answer that for you. There are actually quite a few reasons: 1) there is NO credible evidence to support that wild claim, 2) nothing in your experience would suggest that the claim is reasonable, 3) crazy people have been known to make such wild-sounding claims, 4) my belief that Ouija boards can confer reliable information casts doubt on other things I say, 5) there seems to be no way to test the claim, 6) if the information I had acquired about Zoogon was correct, you'd think I could also find my missing car keys, etc. etc. etc.

Still with me?

Okay. Now back to "god". The theist claims there is a god. I ask, "How do you know that"? I get answers that are not appreciably better than consulting a Ouija board (e.g. "faith", "unexplained events", "I feel it in my heart", "This ancient book says so", etc.). Thus, I do not believe the claim, for precisely the same reason that you don't believe in the purple creatures. Can I 100% rule it out? No. Just like you cannot 100% rule out the purple creatures. Is it rational for me to treat the matter as settled in the negative unless or until there is some credible evidence to the contrary? You bet; just like with the little purple creatures.

In summary: I am an atheist because I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD or any other invisible conscious entity. I do not believe in them because I have yet to see one tiny shred of credible evidence for any such thing. Am I 100% certain? No, for the simple reason that I can't claim 100% certainty about *ANY* empirical claim. But for all practical matters... and I do mean for ALL practical matters, the case is closed; unless or until I encounter some credible evidence for such a being.

Does that make sense to you?

Please don't bring up the "agnostic" red herring again. People mean different things by that word, and it just confuses things. I steer clear of that word precisely because it seems to muddy up every discussion it gets injected into. And if you DO insist on using it, realize that you are not in charge of defining it, or pinning it on other people. Same with the word "atheist".

John said...

Jim Arvo, you seem to be rather defensive of Islam for someone who claims to be an atheist. If it's so easy for you to doubt the words of the Old Testament, which were written by many men over a period of many years, than why is it not easier for you to doubt the Koran, which was written by ONE man during his own lifetime?

Why did you single out what was said about Islam and appear to defend the faith of Muslims? And if Thurokmuir's chracterization of Islam was so "simplistic" and "faulty," then what is the true chracterization of it? "A religion of peace?"

So someone said something about Islam that isn't true. What do you care? You're an atheist. You don't believe in a god, including the one that Muslims believe exists. Why defend them?

emptycan said...

Hello, Ben and Arvo, I guess there is some misunderstanding maybe on my part.

I thought that atheists were the people who claimed that there is no god. So I asked you that what is the ground of your claim of no god. I did not ask this question to christians.

But you contiunously have referred to what xtians say. I would like to hear what you say independently from christian's opinions. It is sad to know that some people's opinions wholly depend on ohters' althouh the direction is opposite.

Anonymous said...

Here is the answer:
All Gods are imagined from within the mind.

No person is born with a God pre-selected or pre-imagined.

The only place a God can exist is by human imagination, placed there by other humans whom prefer to believe in imaginary beings without any proof.


The word (opinion) was not used anywhere in my post.

Like I said, your agenda for beinh here is not to learn but to instigate.

This is my final answer!
Ben (Rationalist)

emptycan said...

Thank you, rationalist, for your final answer. But it seems little bit funny.^^ You said that: (when people die, the god image disappear out of the people's brain. so God is only a phenomenon of human brain, so god does not exist.)

Is it correctly what you said?

If so, how about your father or mother. I guess, when you die your father or mother's image will disappear from your brain. So? your father does not exist?

Forgive me of saying this: I am sorry, Ben, your answer does not sound very rational.

Ath/Agn said...

Emptycan: "So up to now all the discussion, is the truth like this? Nobody knows that there is god or there is no god. So live however you like to live?"

My personal view. I believe everyone uses the language they have been trained to use, in order to represent the universe as best they can, albeit language is still a poor substitute to commute ideas near perfection/neuro-state.

To the people, who choose to use the word "god" to describe "natural" phenomenon, not yet predictable and understood, I am not an Atheist. Why? Because, I can believe in this natural universe, and attempt to discern a closer understanding and relationship with such a concept. The word "god", in this scenario is much the minority view of those of religion.

If I were pushed, to be politically correct, I suppose I would have to approach this line of thought from two perspectives;

One, from an positive agnostic perspective, where, I believe that currently there are some empirical phenomenon that is beyond our knowledge, however, holding out with hope that we as humanity may be able to evolve to a point that allows us, perhaps with the aid of Artificial Intelligence, etc., to tie together fragmented physical theories in a unifying manner.

On the other hand, I suppose one can believe in a more strict and restrictive manner, more of the skeptical agnostic, that mankind does not have the knowledge, or ever will have the knowledge, of what some people term as a "god", masquerading as empirical phenomenon.

In these two stances, I would be more of the agnostic, with optimism, as mankind has evolved up to this point, and explained a large majority of empirical phenomenon, previously thought to be beyond the boundaries of our knowledge.

To the people, who choose to use the word "god" to describe "super-natural" phenomenon, which by factual "definition", can never be understood or known by the people making the claim, I am an Atheist. Why? Because, if I give credibility to the persons' claim, of a totally transcendent god, which can never be known in this natural universe, then I dismiss the persons' comment based on their own "factual" or "admitted" testimony, because they are making super-natural claims while living in a "natural" environment.


Now, emptycan, notice, that all of the definitions I might associate myself with, are totally dependent on how "another" person defines their "god". Isn't that ironic, I mean, having to explain ones' stance, based on the relationship their belief has, to another persons'. However, someone coined the term theism, and then, through time, epicurianism, evolved into the term we now know as Atheism, and why? In order, for the religious, to discern believers, from unbelievers.

It is a simple term, which is used to broadstroke and paint a person, as having "zero" belief, or knowledge of religious precepts.

Would you be surprised to know, that an Atheist may in fact accept empirical phenomena as unknown, but choose to not label that empirical phenomena as "god". They could talk to a pantheist, all day long about empirical phenomena, and get along quite well, but a pantheists view of "god", is totally based on a natural point of view, where there is only one existence, and we are living in that existence, as one, forever and ever, as there is nothing of knowledge to provide more than what "Is", in this natural universe. What an Atheist may term as "Natural Universe", a pantheist, terms "god". Yep, same thing, except one uses a different word to describe the same physical/natural object. To me, "god" as presented in this aspect, is benign, and I can accept and understand the logic, as the belief doesn't exceed human intellect and knowledge, nor does the belief contradict basic logic. Still, the word "god", is a "word", that falls short of being definitive, unless more is known about the particular attributes of ones' god.

I really, and ironically, have never heard a pantheist call a non-pantheist, an "a-pantheist". The term Atheist, seems to be most prevalently used by those who believe in a transcendent "god", to show the disparity of views.

I am an Atheist at times, and then an Agnostic at times, because I attempt to convey my thoughts, according to someone elses' point of view, if that isn't too abstract.

However, here's the curveball. If the person I correspond to, is not totally ignorant of basic philosophy, then I could just as easy describe my belief as a "Methodological Naturalist", and not make a claim at all regarding the existence or non-existence of some trascendent god. Yet, my silence, on the matter of a "god", to a christian, would compel them to label me an "Atheist", because they feel anyone not agreeing with their view of a transcendent god, is by default, an Atheist. Its a label, "placed", onto people, as many times, as a label, that is accepted and used by a person to describe their belief.

Now, that you have all that information, let me ask you a question, okay.

I don't believe in dual reality, or a duality of reality. Meaning, I don't believe in a transcendent reality somewhere beyond the natural universe, where a heaven, hell, angels, devils, god(s), exist, in some perfect state. That is my belief, and I have full knowledge to support that belief, based on my life and first hand experience, and all the knowledge on this planet available to me. However, I fully accept this natural universe, to include empirical phenomena as part of the one and only, natural reality, in which we live. Would you call me an Atheist?

Note, that in all of the information I provided, I never had to "prove" a "God" didn't exist, in order to "earn" the title "Atheist".

Your frame of reference, seems to suggest, that all people who are labelled "Atheist", believe in a factual sense, that "god" doesn't exist, and there is much truth, if in fact, a person chooses to accept the label, and make the stance that they can prove/disprove a negative. However, if you look a little closer, you may realize, that one may not necessarily have to take the "stance" of an "Atheist", in the sense that they state that a "god", in fact does not exist, in order to earn the title "Atheist".

Again, I can claim, that I don't believe in a transcendent reality, based on factual knowledge, right here, and right now, using all the knowledge avaliable to humanity. Thus, that same knowledge, could not be used, to support a transcendent reality. We only live, in one reality, its how it works.

If you want to begin a discussion, that borders on calling electrons, quarks, dark matter, etc., transcendent concepts, then of course, I would list those under empirical phenomenon, and thus, transcendency by "definitive" fact, would not exist for me. And, if it transcendency existed in this fashion to support the claim of a god living in "the" transcendent reality, then of course, one is making the claim, that humanity manipulates "god", in order to cook french toast, with electricity.

To end, I don't directly make the claim, a "god" doesn't exist, or try to disprove a "god", however, those making claim a "god" resides in a transcendent reality, would term me "Atheist", not because of my belief based on knowledge, but because I don't side with their belief without supporting knowledge. When I say knowledge, I mean knowledge, available in the universal sense, to everyone, for their own observations.

I would give more information; but lets give an example in conclusion. As much as I like symmetry, and we see it in nature, two eyes, two hands, PI, fibonacci patterns, etc., there are those through history who have used symmetry to denote unknowns, using patterns, i.e., good vs. evil, light vs. dark, heaven vs. hell, angels vs. devils, etc. Now, is everything in this universe symmetrical, that which is, and that which is without? There is a natural universe, therefore, there must exist a non-natural universe, kinda' sorta'.

Think about that, now, how many universes, are there? Going down that same religious/pattern forming perspective, one could create a pure hypothetical, without any substantial knowledge, and make pairs of everything in the universe. Kinda' like A-theist, and Theist, as well as A-messy and messy, and A-noisy and noisy, etc., etc.

Now, that you know probably how, logically, primitive mankind explained and justified empirical phenomena with rudimentary skill, using patterns in nature, let me ask you one last question. Do you believe, everything has an opposite? How can you prove, that everything doesn't have an opposite? If you can't answer that question, then could it be supposed, based on the current christian theology, and symmetry, that christianity on this planet, represents the negative cosmological reflection of a divine belief system, and the more true belief system resides elsewhere in some transcendent reality?

Atheism accepted by the individual on their terms, by definition, means a person doesn't believe in "gods" or "godesses", etc. However, much in our life, is beyond our control, and we are endowed with labels from the intellecturally mediocre, which do not in fact denote our current state of belief, or mind-state. But for the ignorant, its enough to make them feel secure in their own delusion many times.

Otto R. said...

Emptybrain: "Thank you, rationalist, for your final answer. But it seems little bit funny.^^ You said that: (when people die, the god image disappear out of the people's brain. so God is only a phenomenon of human brain, so god does not exist.)"

Thoughts alone, are not total objective empirical evidence.

Emptycan: "Is it correctly what you said?"

Nice, symantics, however, your illiteracy doesn't fit the logical abilty. Therefore, you are either a lazy moron, who doesn't deserve an audience, or you are playing the part of retard, and being cute.^^

Emptystain: "If so, how about your father or mother. I guess, when you die your father or mother's image will disappear from your brain. So? your father does not exist?"

Actually, if you had the IQ of an ant, you'd realize, that mom and pop's image of the dead son, doesn't make the son a living being for them once he's dead. Thus, its mom and pop, that dissociate themselves from the dead. Well, unless you want to tell everyone to kill themselves, so everyone in the family could be reunited, it has had its appeal to christian mothers of late, killing children to keep them together.

Further, the christian god, is a subjective object, and thus, no one will know how to find the true objective god, once they die, because they obviously will not be able to identify their objective god. Unless, however, you suggest that everyone will be able to find god in the afterlife, because no one brings their subjective views of a god, mom, dad, etc., with them. But, then, that kinda' makes the subjective god, irrelevant in the afterlife, begs the question why anyone would have a need to be subserviant to a subjective idea if its meaningless for them in the afterlife, in the search of the true objective god.

Oh, I suppose you could start creating hypotheticals on behalf of an objective god, using your subjective perspective, in order to reconcile the logically inept christian view. Shall, we then, call you god, of the most subjective high, which speaks as if they are most objectively wise.

Empty: "Forgive me of saying this: I'm a true christian!"

Okay, I'll buy that.

emptycan said...

Thank you ath/agn for your answers. It has taken long time for me to read yours partly because english is not my first language, secondly you say some deep thought provoking answer.

It is interesting that you referred to pantheism although you seemed to claim yourself rather a scientific naturalist. To me, you sound like more pantheist, if you let me put a label on you, because the natural universe is more like god which can referred to for explanation of everything.

And you look trying to put self-restraint not to go too far beyond scientifically known natural world. But there are many people, who, with sincer mind, want to explore the world beyond this world at this world and at this time without waiting long time until human science will explain.

About the symmetry, I don't know that everything has its own counterpart. I am more like agnostics on this one, too. But something interesting thinking to me is if christianity has its counterpart, it must be Islam. Although those are bad symmentry to each other.

Here, during the discussion, what I feel is that the discussion is very limitted by the concept of Christianity, which maybe is natural becuase its ex xtian site. I have grown up in a different religious atmosphere although later I was also heavily influence by xtinity. But I would like to inform people that the world is bigger than the christianity.

Anyway, I sincerely appreciate your informative answer.

Ath/Agn said...

Emptycan: "It is interesting that you referred to pantheism although you seemed to claim yourself rather a scientific naturalist. To me, you sound like more pantheist, if you let me put a label on you, because the natural universe is more like god which can referred to for explanation of everything."

So, you ask, what is the difference between a pantheist and a methodological naturalist? Well, the term "god", isn't acknowledged as a viable word to describe the natural universe.

You see, Emptycan, why would someone use a word, that has an infinite number of meanings, in an effort to communicate with someone else? I don't tend to want to lean, into using words, that are totally useless to convey meaning, perhaps, its my sense of perfectionism that prevents me from wanting to delve into the chaotic world of the unknown.

I would not suggest that Pantheists, don't have a valid belief system, its theirs, and is a logical premise, however, Pantheists, must be explicit in their conversation when they mention the word "god", becuase of the infinite number of meanings. Now, having the same freedom of belief as a Pantheist, I don't have to use "god" in my conversation, and yet, I still have the same foundational understanding.

The word, "god", is one of the most subjective words in use around the world. Its like asking someone to describe a color, and trying to build an exact replica in your mind from another persons' description, it doesn't work.

God, as an object, has come to be known as a symbol of "loyalty" for many religious organizations. Many of which, have members, who don't buy into the christian theology, yet, they attend church - out of a sense of loyalty.

In the U.S., its pretty apparent, that as a nation, there seems to be a loss of unity, because of diversification of values. Instead of focusing on values, though, it appears national leaders, hone in on the easy symbols to rally support and loyalty to a cause; god, flag/country, and political ideology. Personally, I don't see the need to require any of those three to garner loyalty of a people, unless the people, require that of the leader in order for them to give their support.

You appear to have a vision where the word "god", has some meaning in everyones' life, so people can be yoked more equally. Unfortunately, I don't believe any two people, can ever be yoked equally, no matter what a holy book states. We are all unique, and thus perceive life differently.

Jonathan M.F. said...

...and on a lighter note...

To Sir Dave the .:webmaster:.

Good arguments on the podcast. I'm also interested on the title/singer of the song that you used in the intro, the music is good. :o)

-Jonathan-
Atheist from the Philippines

.:webmaster:. said...

Thanks Jonathan.

The music is "What Makes the Monkey Dance?" sung by Chuck Prophet.

Jim Arvo said...

John said to me "...you seem to be rather defensive of Islam for someone who claims to be an atheist. If it's so easy for you to doubt the words of the Old Testament, which were written by many men over a period of many years, than why is it not easier for you to doubt the Koran, which was written by ONE man during his own lifetime?"

You missed my point by a country mile. I am no more an adherent of Islam than I am of Christianity (or any other religion); I see no more truth in its supernatural doctrines than I see in Christianity (or any other religion). However, if one tries to prove a point, ANY point, by making false claims (about Islam, or any other religion), then the argument is fallacious. Christians very frequently are quick to disparage other religions, in attempt to vindicate their own. Even more frequently, they fail to see that their own arguments would work equally well when applied in the context of another religion--Islam being a prime example.

In summary, I often use Islam as a *rhetorical* device, to 1) point out fallacious reasoning (e.g. when Christians fail to see that their arguments could be turned around and used to support Islam), and 2) to expose false premises (e.g. when Christians make assertions about other religions that are simply not true).

John: "Why did you single out what was said about Islam and appear to defend the faith of Muslims? And if Thurokmuir's chracterization of Islam was so 'simplistic' and 'faulty,' then what is the true chracterization of it? 'A religion of peace?'"

You're looking for a five-word characterization? Again, you miss my point. How would you characterize Christianity if ten words or less? How about Buddhism? If you think that *any* complex belief system admits such a characterization, then I think you are sorely mistaken.

Let me be perfectly clear: While I do not accept the tenets of any religion, there is nothing to be gained by misrepresenting a single one of them. That is intellectually dishonest. It seems to me that anyone whose objective is to discern what is *true*, and not simply to propagate a specific pre-ordained dogma, should appreciate that.

John: "So someone said something about Islam that isn't true. What do you care?"

Is that a trick question? BECAUSE IT'S DISHONEST. (Or, to be more charitable, it might be the result of laziness, or even an honest mistake.)

John: "You're an atheist. You don't believe in a god, including the one that Muslims believe exists. Why defend them?"

To reiterate, I was pointing out faulty reasoning. If someone claimed that the god of Abrahan did not exist because their Ouija board told them so, I would be just as quick to point out that their *reasoning* was faulty, even if I agreed with their conclusion. Do you see the difference?

How important is honesty to you, John? Do you care if people around you exercise sound reasoning, and characterize other people's beliefs accurately? If you answer "yes" to either one of those, then I fail to see what the issue is.

Jim Arvo said...

The phrasing of my last paragraph leaves something to be desired, but you get my point.

Anonymous said...

Infinite means no beginning and no end. No beginning and no end means no creator and no destroyer. If infinity is true then there is no creator god. From a moral standpoint, if suffering is true, then there is no god of love. From an intelligence standpoint, if habitat is limited but the will to live unlimited, then what is intelligent about creating something, life, that is driven to outgrow its habitat? So no intelligent god. Let’s see, no creator god, no destroyer god, no god of love, no intelligent god. We’re running out of options here, people.

Dave8 said...

Hey Jim, as a regular on this site, I enjoy your candor and honesty. An inaccurately premised argument, seems to be counter-productive, when searching for truth, as it reduces ones' own credibility.

Pehaps, one of the few reasons to deliberately misrepresent information, is to show an example of what "not" to do. However, we have plenty of those examples from the religious who requent this site from time to time ;-) Take care...

Anonymous said...

But... what if there is some timeless important knowledge about how to live and how to treat people and what life means, that has been carried through the ages by the Bible. Science can tell you that you are alive, but not what your life means or how you should live it.

Nature cares not a whit for the individual, as long as enough people replicate their DNA before they die. And if they don't humans will die out and that doesn't matter either.

You are irrelevancy to the universe, at least as far as science can determine.

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water."

Baby? That's a bad metaphor. How about this: don't treat dirty bathwater like it's wine.

Shannon said...

According to one calculation, there has been an estimated 77 billion babies born since man first appeared on earth. That’s a lot of people to share in our irrelevancy. So, we are not completely alone in the cold universe; we do have each other. I think that’s kind of nice – the each other part, that is.

.:webmaster:. said...

"...through the ages by the Bible"

Ages? The Bible is barely 4000 years old, if Moses even existed, and if he actually wrote the Torah. There is considerable doubt on both of these traditional viewpoints.

Anyway, irrelevancy is in the mind of the God? Do you mean that without a god we are irrelevant? Without an outside deity to define us we are without purpose? Without a pat on the back or the threat of eternal torture we don't mean a thing?

I mean very much to the people I interact with on a daily basis, especially my family. Maybe your life is meaningless and you had to find a god to give it meaning, but I've more meaning than I can handle most days. Life has meaning alright. The meaning of life is to live.

Anonymous said...

emptycan: But you contiunously have referred to what xtians say. I would like to hear what you say independently from christian's opinions.

Dude, you're at ExChristion.Net! It is hard to think independently from christians opinions when you are surrounded by them. Do you think independently of the religion that surrounds you? I would be very interested to know which religion(s) that is.

emptycan said...

Hello, mr. annonym of 3/30/2006 6:54 AM,

So do you wnat to know my religion? I don't know. Just I can say that I was in the baptist church for a long time and still am sometimes. But when my youth, i was interested in buddhism (zen buddhism) and still interested in that.

Personally, I sometimes think maybe buddhism is the plausible answer to the struggle between christinitiy and islam, which I am concerned as the destroyer of humankind. Buddhism does not claim it is the best and only true religion and others are all satanic. It pursues inner peace and benevolence toward others.

But and however, I am very much christian, still now.

So are you satisfied?

Anonymous said...

http://amightywind.com/hell/hellscreamsstreamRA.html
Go there for the sound of hell. Hell came from the Bible so this is proof. I have heard stories about digging a bit too deep to hear the cries and sounds of Hell.

Anonymous said...

The Sounds Of Hell is an urban legend, you dummy.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/d/drilltohellfacts.htm

-Wes Martin.

boomSLANG said...

PLEASE-----please tell me that there is no one alive on this planet in the year 2006 who would seriously believe that if you dig too deep into the earth, you can "hear"---and in this case--- RECORD, the "sounds of hell".

Hey......is this Webmaster playing a late April fools joke? lol

boomSLANG said...

Emptycan, wandering Seeker of Truth/sometimes "Baptist"/other times "Buddhist"/"I don't know"/"very much christian", said:

Quote: "Personally, I sometimes think maybe buddism is the plausible answer to the struggle between christinitiy and islam, which I am concerned as the destroyer of humankind."

If religion is the problem, then certainly, religion wouldn't be the solution, now would it?

Quote: "Buddism does not claim it is the best and only true religion and others are all satanic."

' Don't know or care what Buddhism claims, yet, Christianity DOES make that claim---and didn't you just say that you are "very much christian, still now." ? So that would technically make Buddhism "satanic", wouldn't it?

Quote: "It(Buddhism) pursues inner peace and benevolence towards others."

You don't need religion and it's assorted dogma(s) to pursue inner peace and act benevolent towards others.

Quote: "So are you satisfied?"

No.

And actually, the more you post here, the more your purpose for being here becomes enshrouded in mystery.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Hey......is this Webmaster playing a late April fools joke? lol"

No, I'd admit it if it was me. And yes, there are idiots that think that recording is legit. That thing has been out on the net for several years and keeps popping up on various websites. What do you expect from "Art Bell?"

Anyway, remember, God loves you! But, if you don't love him back in just the exact right way, He's going to torture you forever in his fiendish, fiery furnace of hideous horror!

MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

Scary, huh?

Bentley said...

Listen I know that most of you Atheists will refues to believe this, But! I and a Christian friend of mine sent up a large helium balloon to 40,000 ft. above the Earth, with a microphone and recorder attached, and we recorded immense laughter, praying, Gospel Songs being sung, people praising God and Jesus, it sounded like a Spirit filled Holy Ghost Mardi Gra.

Now don't make fun of me and my friend, because this is true, and we believe it.

Heathen Sister said...

A helium filled balloon??? I'll go one better....I've been saved because there is mildew in my shower that looks just like jesus christ!!!!! He IS risen!!

The Catholic Heretic said...

I'd like to go back to the original topic as Dave has a very interesting point: Can anyone prove there is a God? Well if anyone could I would think they would have published a book and made a fortune by now. I can’t prove that Dave, the purported Webmaster of this site, exists. I know someone/something posted the topic because I read it. But is that evidence that Dave exists?

I am trying to make a point. For each individual the evidence necessary to prove the existence of anything is different. I see Dave’s comments; I read them and determine that Dave probably exists. To which most, if not all, of us seems reasonable. Dave and I could hook up for coffee. Seeing someone face to face would prove his or her existence. Right? Could I contact Dave’s Christian friend and find out if Dave exists?

Look back at some historical events and see what evidence you need to prove it actually happened. Did World War II actually happen? My Grandfather and Father served in the Army. They both said it happened. My Mother lived through it in the States and she says it happened. I’ve seen film of some of the battles and other events. Is that enough evidence? Well I don’t know. I’ve also seen Jedi Knights on film and I’m pretty sure they don’t exist. Film can be faked, books forged and memories fade. Often we rely on other people’s accounts of the events and what physical evidence may or may not be present to establish truth of existence or that something happened. The problem is that people filter what they hear or see and make it fit some preconceived notion they have rather than weighing all the gathered information. No film director uses all the footage shot but rather splices together pieces to tell a story. There are people alive today that believe The Holocaust never happened.

Dave made two statements:

Here’s a statement: There is a god.
Here’s another statement: There is no god.

Taken at face value these two statements are simple enough. Scientifically you cannot prove either one. Why? They are both theories. Because they are mutually exclusive statements evidence needs to be collected to prove or disprove one of them. Only one can be true. So how do we go about collecting evidence? Well that too is simple because there is no way to collect evidence on the non-existence of something. We can only collect evidence on the existence of God and then validate that evidence. If the evidence does not support the existence of God then it can either support the non-existence or be inconsequential.

What type of evidence should we accept? The best evidence is physical, as it still exists or can exist. It can be examined and scrutinized and have tests run on it. Written testimony is not strong enough by itself, as you cannot cross-examine the individual(s) who wrote it so you would still need physical evidence to support what was written. Multiple supporting documents written by different individuals are only effective when both sides are presented. So lets toss some evidence out there and see what we have.

The Bible – Fact or fiction? Should we discount all the information in the Bible? There are many corroborating documents from different times that have the same stories but are they true? You quote your experts and I can quote mine and we could go on forever. Lets pick something simple that existed approximately 4,200 years ago. The great Pyramid at Giza built around 2,250 B.C. by King Khufu. We can see the structure and we can read the stories but no one knows how this structure was built. There is no writing in the structure and nothing in the tomb. Can the existence of this structure prove that King Khufu existed?

We can go on with all sorts of other items and people throughout history. What it comes down to is an element that cannot be measured. Faith. Unless you actually go to Egypt and do the research your self on Coptic you will never know for sure what really happened or didn’t happen. All your knowledge is built on faith in another humans work and what is written down not on personal knowledge.

I know God exists because of my personal experience and what I have read in the Bible, other texts and what He has personally revealed to me. It is all based on faith. Your faith is in man.

TCH

Bentley said...

THC said,
(I know God exists because of my personal experience and what I have read in the Bible, other texts and what He has personally revealed to me. It is all based on faith. Your faith is in man.)

No! You do not know that a God exists!

You may like to pretend and profess that you know a God exists, but that is all that you can do.

If you know that a God exists, then why do you need faith? Faith only gets in the way of your pretending that you know a God exists.

Who told you a God exists? Another human being thats who.

Had you never heard the three letter word g-o-d, you would not even use that word in any conversation, but because you've heard the three letter g-o-d, from other humans, you presume that a God exists, since the three letter word already exists, before you were born.

But unless you've had personal direct contact with a god with one of the four basic senses, touch, sight, smell, taste, of this god, ownership of knowing personally that a God exists, you cannot say with 100% accuracy that a god exists.

Therefore your claim of a god, holds no basis for truth.

So why spread falsehoods in hopes of convincing someone else of your childhood folly?

I intentionally left out hearing, because billions hear what they claim is god, but it's only their brains echoing their own thoughts back to them.

The ignorant Bible writers thought the Heart spoke to them, but it was their brain, echoing what they wanted to hear, just like you THC.

.:webmaster:. said...

CatHer: "Unless you actually go to Egypt and do the research your self on Coptic you will never know for sure what really happened or didn’t happen."

Using the logic of your entire post, there is no way we can ever know anything about anything. Stories of Sasquatch, UFOs from Mars, fairies at the bottom of my pond, or ancient astronauts experimenting on early simians until developing mankind all have equal believability to many of the Bible stories.

When I see a picture of a pyramid, with a sarcophagus, and on that casket reads some writing that is translated King Tut, or whatever, then, although I could be wrong, I assume that's Tut in that box. When I read a biography of George Washington, and the book contains a portrait or two pictured, I have a fairly good idea this guy existed and what he looked like, although the details of his life are filtered through the writer.

Now, if you want to say there was a man named Jesus that was some kind of itinerant preacher 2000 years ago, well, okay, maybe there was and maybe there wasn't, but to jump from there and claim the existence of a talking snake, a talking donkey, and a flying un-dead magical man-god on a stick, well...I think that's stretching it.

Likewise, how can I be sure there is no god? The same way I can be sure that there is no Zeus, Apollo, Allah, or a giant, flying, outer-space, spaghetti monster. They're just all pretend.

Anonymous said...

im a christian and i know that god is 100% true, and has created everyone on this earth and died for our sins. i feel sorry for the person who set up this site....

.:webmaster:. said...

That would be me anony.

Thanks' for your pity.

Have a great day!

Warnepiece said...

And another anonymous fundy posts the gullible christian’s credo: “I know god is true and he died for our sins…” Of course you “know”. Excuse the pause while I laugh myself hoarse!


……whew, that’s better. No sense in coming on an Ex-christian website and reading what it is about. Anony’s “sorry” line can be interpreted as….

*Sob-sob-sob*…..how COULD you reject MY god and MY jesus? *Sob-sob-gasp* Have you no shame? *Boo-hoo-hoo…sob…* Don’t you understanding that you have written something that offends my belief?
(Prayerful crying under their breath…) *snif-snif-sob* “Please god, make them stop, make them go away, send them all straight to hell…you can do it!”

Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this is write, there are so many religions in the world why is christianity write? We know that christianity comes from roman beleifs that stem from paganism, and even the bible isn't 100% acurate.

These factors include...

.Adam and Eve only had two children who were both boys

.God was said to make fish however we know due to rock formations(how far down the fist are in the rock) that fish evoloved and long before reptilies and mammals.

.Theorys such as evolution have hard evidence were as christianity has just "Faith"

Anonymous said...

wow this is stupid i've been hearing about this evolution crap ever since i was little .....all i know is that the BIBLE IS TRUE and if i follow God my life would be much better and i'll go to heaven and dwell with him in his house 4ever.There's a passage in the bible that everyone shoule read.Psalm 23 (the whole thing)

Astreja said...

Little Anony boy, I hope you didn't pay any money for your education, because if you did, you wasted every penny of it.

Evolution is a reality; only the explanation is a theory. Things are changing into other things even as we speak. How do you think that viruses become immune to drugs?

And you like the book of Psalms, do you? Here's a better one for you to consider: Psalms 137:9.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

The god of the Bible seems to enjoy seeing babies murdered. What makes you think that a relationship with that monster will magically solve all your problems? What makes you think you would even be safe in the presence of such a capriciously violent being?

Fortunately, I doubt very much that you will ever find yourself in the presence of that bastard Yahweh. This is because your pet god exists primarily as an inconsistently conceptualized character in a book of Middle Eastern fairy tales. No heaven for you.

I think it far more likely that you, like the rest of us, will simply die and then be recycled into something else. When you get around to being a flower, look me up: I'll be the third dahlia on the left.

Mike Orton said...

The need to prove the existence of a God. well I don't know your definition of God, but me it is in the most basic form our creator...
let me first take some basic "Scientific" LOL thoughts on this matter, such as big bang and evolution theories.. we can see some definite truths,
1: everything I have ever had made owned or seen with my own eyes goes from something to nothing. I own a house and a car, and they do not get better as time goes by, they get worse... even though newer cars are "Made" better then they used to be made. my house would be a filthy mess in a couple days if I didn't clean it, it gets messy easy, but I have yet to see my house get cleaner and more organized by itself. my point is everything in Nature (What we can observe) goes from ORDER to Disorder, never from Disorder to ORDER. so with that I can very easily throw away the "Big Bang Theory and the theory of evolution" because both claim that something better came from something less. the only time I have ever seen anything start from unorganized raw materials get better instead of worse was when someone (Intelligent Being) creating it. I have never blown up something (Big Bang) and had it turn into i.e. a new car it just caused even more damage. likewise with life... Creation means that there has to be a creator PERIOD. This is as simple as simple gets. and I don't believe for even one second that anyone here is so blind as to not see something so simple.
I will close here, because you all know that I am right. you can lie to yourselves for whatever reasons you may have, but You know you are trying to convince yourselves of something that is wrong because the TRUTH makes the most simple since.

boomSLANG said...

Mike Orton... I can very easily throw away the "Big Bang Theory and the theory of evolution"....

Right, right... of course you can easily throw away the theory of evolution. And while you're at it, you can "throw away" Atomic theory, and the theory of universal gravitation, too, if that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. But the bottom line--- your rejection of those theories doesn't stop them from being scientifically validated.

BTW, even if evolution was removed from the equation---did you know that Creationism...Oops!...I mean, "Intelligent Design", is neither fact, nor theory? If I'm wrong, please feel free to provide your repeatable, scientifically tested evidence for "Creation", at this time.

And for the record, if it is your position that "complexity" requires a "Designer", then who/what "designed" your "Designer"? Certainly, such a "being" is complex, yes? Further, if you will argue that the "Designer" is uncaused/unintended by a higher source, then I will argue that the singularity was uncaused/unintended by a higher source. See how that works?

Mike Orton... ...because both[Big bang theory and the theory of evolution] claim that something better came from something less.

In natural selection, "better" is simply more suited to survive. What do you mean by "better"?

Mike Orton... everything I have ever had made owned or seen with my own eyes goes from something to nothing.

You are comparing nature, and things found in nature, to manufactured possessions. Where is the factory address where the universe was made? Where is the trademark on "nature"?

Mike Orton continues...the only time I have ever seen anything start from unorganized raw materials get better instead of worse was when someone(Intelligent Being) creating it

But you circumvent a crucial point, and that is, that you HAVE NOT "seen" an "Intelligent Being"(i.e. "God") "creating" anything in nature. This is pure speculation; pure conjecture, on your part. Furthermore---and I know it's a long shot---but this "God" that you speak of?.....it's name wouldn't happen to be "Yahweh", would it? If so, how do you get from "Intelligent Designer", to the God of Abraham? Listening.

Mike Orton chirps...I will close here, because you all know that I am right.

Oh, %@&#!...please! Okay, after that little arrogant tid-bit... I'm now even more convinced that we're dealing with a proponent of "Yahweh & Co". lol

alanh said...

Mike Orton wrote:

I own a house and a car, and they do not get better as time goes by, they get worse..

Is the sun getting worse as time goes by? What about species like horses or dogs, are they worse now than they were 1,000 years ago?

my point is everything in Nature (What we can observe) goes from ORDER to Disorder, never from Disorder to ORDER.

Mike, you are mistaken, what we observe is that matter has the ability to self-organize and self-assemble.

Creation means that there has to be a creator PERIOD.

The idea that the universe was created is an assumption. Do you have any evidence to support that assumption?

you all know that I am right

So far, no.