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Margee

'prove' The Non-existence Of God ?

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Agnostics and Atheists - Question Please.:scratch:

 

How do we 'prove' the non-existence of god? I heard it said many times here that we see no evidence for the existence of god. It that it in a nutshell? Do we have better arguments than this?

 

Is it possible to prove the non-existence of god just by saying we don't have verification? :shrug:

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You can make up any imaginary being that's invisible and undetectable and I would find it impossible to prove it doesn't exist. If someone claims such an improbable thing really exists, it is up to them to prove that it does. I could spend several lifetimes trying to prove that fairies, gnomes, elves and deities don't exist.

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I could spend several lifetimes trying to prove that fairies, gnomes, elves and deities don't exist.

 

I keep finding glitter on my carpet. I think it's evidence that fairies do exist! I even remember when I was little, when I put my tooth under my pillow, the next morning there was a dollar there! So don't friggin' tell me they don't exist!

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The glitter on the carpet is most likely from a stripper. Don't ask how I know.

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Seriously, God's existence can't be proven or disproven. How can anyone prove where the biblegod is? We can prove He isn't here or there, but we can't look everywhere. The supernatural is slippery, and can't be located. Like Florduh said, it's invisible and undetectable. How can we verify non-existence?

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The glitter on the carpet is most likely from a stripper. Don't ask how I know.

 

Oh wow! a stripper fairy! Awesome!

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You can make up any imaginary being that's invisible and undetectable and I would find it impossible to prove it doesn't exist. If someone claims such an improbable thing really exists, it is up to them to prove that it does. I could spend several lifetimes trying to prove that fairies, gnomes, elves and deities don't exist.

 

florduh, does this mean that believers, agnostics or atheists cannot prove the existence or non-existence of god?

 

Do certain atheists actually proclaim that they can prove the non-existence of god? I thought they did?

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florduh, does this mean that believers, agnostics or atheists cannot prove the existence or non-existence of god?

 

Do certain atheists actually proclaim that they can prove the non-existence of god? I thought they did?

 

How would one prove something that is undetectable? You can't say, "Look, here it is" or "Look, it's not anywhere." Theists pose "logical" arguments that a god of one sort or another must exist and non-theists refute those arguments. If god was a fact, the Christians trying to save us wouldn't tell us we just need to have faith. We need faith because there is no evidence leading us to believe.

 

It's generally accepted that one can't prove a negative, and those making the assertion must provide some evidence along with their extraordinary claims. I would imagine there is someone somewhere who claims he can absolutely prove there is no god, but that doesn't mean he actually can.

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You can make up any imaginary being that's invisible and undetectable and I would find it impossible to prove it doesn't exist. If someone claims such an improbable thing really exists, it is up to them to prove that it does. I could spend several lifetimes trying to prove that fairies, gnomes, elves and deities don't exist.

 

florduh, does this mean that believers, agnostics or atheists cannot prove the existence or non-existence of god?

 

 

 

It means you can't prove a negative. It's unfair and misleading to put the burden of proof on the one not making the claim. For example, prove to me there is not an invisible monster living under my bed. Can't do it? Then you are on the same level as me and at best you must be agnostic regarding my invisible monster.

 

Do certain atheists actually proclaim that they can prove the non-existence of god? I thought they did?

 

Some do, but when they make the claim, they shift the burden to themselves, leaving themselves in the position of providing proof. They can cover 99% of the universe with their proof and someone could still make the argument god is hiding in the 1% of the universe we can't perceive as humans.

 

At the end of the day, the better question is, why would someone believe in god? Are there problems with their reasoning?

 

If you don't have a good reason to believe in something, why do it?

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florduh, does this mean that believers, agnostics or atheists cannot prove the existence or non-existence of god?

 

Do certain atheists actually proclaim that they can prove the non-existence of god? I thought they did?

 

How would one prove something that is undetectable? You can't say, "Look, here it is" or "Look, it's not anywhere." Theists pose "logical" arguments that a god of one sort or another must exist and non-theists refute those arguments. If god was a fact, the Christians trying to save us wouldn't tell us we just need to have faith. We need faith because there is no evidence leading us to believe.

 

It's generally accepted that one can't prove a negative, and those making the assertion must provide some evidence along with their extraordinary claims. I would imagine there is someone somewhere who claims he can absolutely prove there is no god, but that doesn't mean he actually can.

 

Thank you florduh.That makes sense. Does this mean that we all still have a certain degree of 'faith' - that there is no god?

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Does this mean that we all still have a certain degree of 'faith' - that there is no god?

I don't consider atheism to be an active position. It takes no faith to NOT believe in invisible pink unicorns, but if no evidence is ever presented for same, then you can reach a reasonably certain conclusion about it.

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There's natural explanations for all the things attributed to God and gods or the supernatural. To me, that is powerful evidence that the supernatural does not exist. In addition, God fails to come through in, or do, too many ways that only the supernatural could manifest itself--and nothing manifests itself instead--which is to me another powerful piece of evidence that the supernatural does not exist. I am talking about not only the Christian deities but all things supernatural.

 

I've also looked at so-called primitive religions of Aboriginals around the world and what happens when the rules of faith don't work. In Aboriginal as well as in the Christian religion, the faithful accuse the loser of not trying hard enough, of not praying hard enough, of not believing enough, etc. I've also looked at another thing that is the same in all religions: the mystical experience.

 

There's certain things--specific human activities that bring about and facilitate--the acquisition of the mystical experience. Amazingly, some very common elements of the Christian worship service as well as of the pagan rituals are involved. Some of these are singing, prayer, sermon, dancing, drumming, chanting. The mystical experiences and trances brought about can be so powerful that the participants are deeply convinced it is their God, whatever they perceive God to be--a Cosmic Pig whence cometh all live, or a Resurrected Revolutionary that saves them from their sins, or whatever.

 

Some people--maybe a great many people--don't want to believe these evidences. So be it. Doesn't make them untrue. The human psyche is a powerful force to be reckoned with, highly susceptible to self-delusion for the perceived "higher good."

 

Maybe I'm being unnecessarily cynical but I find Christians shrugging off the responsibility for producing evidence for their God. I think if they can't produce evidence, and I was unable after many decades of sincere search to find any, that probably is proof in and of itself that there is none. Time for more productive pursuits in what is left of my life.

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Does this mean that we all still have a certain degree of 'faith' - that there is no god?

I don't consider atheism to be an active position. It takes no faith to NOT believe in invisible pink unicorns, but if no evidence is ever presented for same, then you can reach a reasonably certain conclusion about it.

 

Margee's going to drive you crazzzzzy tonight! :wacko: Doesn't an atheist have to actively assert the non-existence of deity, to defend that position?

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God fails to come through in, or do, too many ways that only the supernatural could manifest itself--and nothing manifests itself instead--which is to me another powerful piece of evidence that the supernatural does not exist.

I always enjoy the old saw that God can answer prayer "yes, no or not now" or in other words "yes, no or maybe" or in other words, no differently from random happenstance.

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Doesn't an atheist have to actively assert the non-existence of deity, to defend that position?

Don't you have to actively assert the non-existence of pink elephants to defend THAT position?

 

Not at all.

 

Of course some atheists do actively assert the non-existence of deity, which is their right, even when they are bellicose and arrogant about it. Personally I prefer a gentler approach, but to each their own.

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I don't have faith there is no god. I believe there is no god of religion as told to us by the religious who embellish every claim with exaggerations and out-right fraud. That probably puts me in the agnostic camp more than atheist? I have faith in gravity because it has proven to work whether one believes and has faith in it or not. The biblical xtian god has not shown itself to be real at any point in human history. A warm and fuzzy feeling of spirituality when considering the grand scale of the universe, or even sitting by a mountain stream, is still no proof of god. Is it proof there is no god? No. Does it take faith to believe there is no god? No. It's a matter of human history that proves there is no god. What does religion bring us except slavery to new laws and doctrines and theologies and sacrifices of that which is supposedly made by that god? A god that destroys its own creation for its own selfish reasons isn't a god but a human reaction to human problems and human fears of the unknown. Humans kill humans in the name of their gods. If the gods were real, why don't they do their own dirty work? So, I have no belief that they are real.

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Thank you florduh.That makes sense. Does this mean that we all still have a certain degree of 'faith' - that there is no god?

 

Do you have a certain degree of faith because you dismiss the notion of Zeus? The Bogeyman? Or are you just unconvinced?

 

Refusing to believe in something for lack of evidence isn't faith. If it were, then faith would be such a broad concept as to render it useless as a communication symbol.

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Does this mean that we all still have a certain degree of 'faith' - that there is no god?

I don't consider atheism to be an active position. It takes no faith to NOT believe in invisible pink unicorns, but if no evidence is ever presented for same, then you can reach a reasonably certain conclusion about it.

 

Margee's going to drive you crazzzzzy tonight! :wacko: Doesn't an atheist have to actively assert the non-existence of deity, to defend that position?

 

To assert "I don't believe"?

 

No one needs to defend lack of belief when an extraordinary claim is offered without extraordinary evidence.

 

Without evidence presented by the one making the claim, "I don't believe" is pretty much the same as "you haven't given me a valid reason to believe." It's not an assertion, but rather an observation.

 

Remove the extraordinary claim, however, and the tables turn.

 

For example, if you tell me the sun will rise tomorrow and I say "I don't believe," I am discounting a common claim that has massive evidence to support it. In this case, my response may or may not constitute faith, but perhaps it also means I'm crazy.

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And, on a side note: Proof that god does not exist is found in astronomy. The OT claims god created the sun in a single day, one sun to rule the day with its light. Christians swear this is true. One god created one sun for light. However, the sun we have now, is a third generation star, which means there have been two stars prior to the one that exists today. This is proof to me that the OT is wrong in its revelation of god as a creator and it also proves to me that the Christian doctrine of god who created the universe is also wrong.

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it is up to inturpritation, you can really prove or disprove a idea that has no tangiable evidence or counter evidence for... simply inturpretations.

 

but i think that all the inconsistancys in history and judaism easily prove that god is nothing more than a human idea and not a tangiable thing.

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The idea of god has moved further and further away from us until we have now placed him in some magical, metaphysical realm. In other words, we've essentially created an unfalsifiable god. That means you can never disprove him.

 

Just for one example, some people used to believe the gods lived on top of mount olympus. Of course, we now have the ability to go up there and look for ourselves, and keep an eye on it with satellite imagery. In other words, such a thing is falsifiable.

 

But anyway, I believe biblegod, qurangod, and torahgod are all logically impossible, and have other inconsistencies, that to me, make their probability of existence zero. Might there be some other god or gods? Sure, maybe. I don't know. Point is, I have no evidence of such a thing, so there's no reason for me to believe.

 

It's like Russel's teapot around the sun. I can tell you that there is a flying teapot around the sun. It is unfalsifiable right now because even our most powerful telescopes cannot resolve such a small object orbiting the sun. But do you believe in the teapot? Why not? Because I haven't offered any evidence for you to believe. There may well be a teapot around the sun, but if there is, it is a sheer coincidence that I happened to say so - because how else could I *know*? I couldn't. At the most, I would've heard it from someone else. I could've also just made the darned thing up. If the teapot wanted all of humanity to believe and was omniscient, then it would not just tell a single human, knowing full well that there would be no way for other humans to be able to tell if the "prophet" was really telling the truth, telling a lie, or believed he was actually telling the truth when really he had no reason to believe it was actually the truth (or some other scenario). The teapot would have to be a blithering idiot in order to really expect that everyone would suddenly believe given such a method of spreading the word.

 

It seems far more likely that someone or someones just made it up and is passing it along. Occam's razor would recommend that I cut the much more unlikely explanation that an omniscient god really meant to play telephone with the eternal status of people's souls.

 

There's no more reason for me to believe in your god or gods than there is for me to believe in the great teapot.

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I generally do an end run around "can't prove a negative." I take a pragmatic stance based more on probabilities and what is observed in the real world.

 

"I'm not convinced your god exists, because I see no trace of it. And I've got better things to do than turn over every rock in the universe looking for it. If it wants to communicate with Me, it knows where to find Me."

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Plus remember, the proof of burden is on the claimant. You can reference Russel's teapot for this one as well. In the example above, it would be your burden to prove to me that there is indeed a teapot around the sun. It's not my obligation to disprove you.

 

Or as Carl Sagan said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

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Agnostics and Atheists - Question Please.

 

How do we 'prove' the non-existence of god? I heard it said many times here that we see no evidence for the existence of god. It that it in a nutshell? Do we have better arguments than this?

 

Is it possible to prove the non-existence of god just by saying we don't have verification?

 

Just as we can not prove the non-existence of God, neither can believers prove the existence of God. Many believers will point to the Bible or creation as proof of God. A reading through of the Bible will prove that the Bible is man made, and as much as I wish otherwise some days, just looking at the evidence, the theory of evolution seems more likely than creation (Sumerian legends).

 

Needing proof is likely a hold-over from your Christian days. I know I fought with it like crazy. Needing proof that atheism was right, needing proof that agnosticism was right, needing proof that deism was right - it never ends. It is terribly uncomfortable to go from thinking that we were living with proof to go to living without proof.

 

Here's an example of how I've come to look at it. While very few things can be proven, I can prove that there is not a tree growing with a height greater than a foot in my vegetable garden. However, I can not prove that there is not a tree growing in my garden; it may just be so small yet that it is indistinguishable from a small weed at this point. However, I would tell you that there are no trees growing in my garden. There is no evidence that a tree is growing. Much the same with God. We can not possibly look everywhere in the universe, or what if God is too small for even the best microscopes to find, or what if God exists in a dimension that we humans can not detect? All possibilities.

 

Is there evidence that there is a sky-daddy who cares about the number of hairs on your head? I see none. If God is as all knowing and all powerful and cares for you as the Christians say He is and does, He knows where you are and He knows how to show Himself to you. It speaks volumes that God does not do this. It's almost as if He is non-existent. Instead we are forced to rely on feelings and an old book that is riddled with contradictions. To me, it is easy to say that I am 100% atheist about God existing as the Christians say that God exists. I truly see no verification that that version of God exists.

 

As people, we are certainly not "one size fits all". Fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist atheism both try to make us "one size fits all". You don't have to be able to prove anything to anyone because you can't and neither can they. Study and think it all over, and come to a workable solution for you. You already have your own perspective on events, people, buildings, towns, etc., so you can also have your own perspective on God.

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Agnostics and Atheists - Question Please.:scratch:

 

How do we 'prove' the non-existence of god? I heard it said many times here that we see no evidence for the existence of god. It that it in a nutshell? Do we have better arguments than this?

 

Is it possible to prove the non-existence of god just by saying we don't have verification? :shrug:

 

Depending on how "god" is defined, the non-existence of god may be able to be proved (paul34 touched on this above). For instance, something cannot be both all-powerful and all-knowing as that would create a logical contradiction. If something knows the future with 100% certainty, it would powerless to change that future. The god of the Bible is self-contradictory in many ways, and thus can't exist. That being said, it would be very difficult indeed to prove the non-existence of all possible gods.

 

Is there any evidence at all for any kind of god? Nope. That's good enough for me to not believe. If evidence were to come along that would point to the existence of a god, would I believe? Yep. Don't see it happening, though.

 

A good book on the non-existence of god is Victor Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis.

 

Respectfully,

Franciscan Monkey

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