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Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist

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posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 07:50 AM
reply to post by Azadok

This is a classic creationist talking point debunked long ago. Its called Hoyle's fallacy.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 07:55 AM

Originally posted by Maslo

Originally posted by THE_PROFESSIONAL
reply to post by reaxi0n

Many people with physics degrees (like myslef) know that god exists. You would know that too if you got your degree.

Not avoiding anything, Let me get home then I will make a nice answer for you.
edit on 112929p://2America/ChicagoFri, 24 Feb 2012 11:55:09 -0600 by THE_PROFESSIONAL because: (no reason given)

I am also looking forward to your 100% sure proof of god using physics, known only by secret cabal of people with physics degrees. Bring it on, dont you cop out now!

Don't hold your breath!
I don't think we will be seeing him back here.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:00 AM

Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
I'm only a very casual follower of Dawkins, personally I find him a bit pretentious and I don't like the idea that believers might get in their heads that Dawkins is some kind of atheist leader or anti-Pope.

In my observation, there are atheists who do care about what he thinks. To them, he might be a leader, to a degree. I've seen people on his forums who have seemed to want his opinion on some of the usual things ppeople want to emulate a religious leader with; whether he is a vegetarian or not, etc.

To me, Dawkins is a leader among the type of atheist who formally self-identifies as an atheist, and who really cares about it, and feels a need to make a big stink about it, and engage in sarcastic mockery of theists, and generally act like a fairly obnoxious jerk, to be honest. There are plenty of atheists around who aren't jerks at all, of course; but the non-jerk atheists tend to be exceptionally quiet and non-militant. They just do their own thing and don't bother anyone else. It's generally the tribe of Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens/Condell adherents who act mildly like a secular answer to extremist Islam, and who can be as tedious (at least rhetorically, if not in terms of actual physical violence) as any adherent of any religion.

That is why, however, that on the rare occasion when a member of this faction's leadership circle *does* express a balanced or sane opinion, it's a fantastic thing. Although they aren't necessarily large, Dawkins does have a band of followers who are as devoted to him as they are vocal, and if he begins to express more moderate opinions, then we can hope that some of them will decide to follow in their prophet's footsteps.

Most people who think Dawkins, and all atheists, are just closed-minded uber-skeptics, should actually pay attention to what is being said by them.

No. Atheism is as much subject to Sturgeon's Law as anything else. Atheism's 10% is likewise as awesome as the 10% of anything else, as well. That includes both the philosophy, and the adherents themselves. A really worthwhile atheist is a lot like a Vulcan, in my observation; extremely detached, logical, and can solve almost any problem you give them.

Those Gods I would say I not only don't believe in but KNOW they do not exist. But in regards to gods like the Deistic "Watch Maker" god I am agnostic because their god is, at least usually, unknowable and does not involve itself in human affairs.

I personally believe that there is an intelligence, but that at a fundamental level, it is not centralised. I basically believe in something like a decentralised box of Lego, or SkyNET. In other words, an intelligence which exists fundamentally as a great big pile of mutable, generic components; and which probably could, if it wanted to, manifest as any of the Gods we have in mythology, but which at the same time is not fundamentally any of them, but exists as something more basic. That might be pantheism, perhaps; but I'm not sure.
edit on 25-2-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-2-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:08 AM
Critical Thinking .... I scooped these of another post and thought I would share...peace

Skepticism is the first step toward truth. 
–Denis Diderot

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones. –
John Maynard Keynes

He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.
 –William Drummond

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. — Albert Einstein

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. –Philip K. Dick

A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it. What has never been gone into impartially has never been properly gone into. Hence skepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone. –
Denis Diderot

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. –
Martin Luther King Jr

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.
 –Richard Feynman

A scientist seeks the truth, wherever that may lead. A believer already knows the truth, and cannot be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence. –
Author Unknown

But what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away. –

Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success
. –Ed Brayton

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
 –Anatole France

That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer. –
Jacob Bronowski

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. –

It is impossible to reason someone out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place. –
Jonathon Swift

Doubt grows with knowledge. –
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do so. –
Bertrand Russell

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. –
Galileo Galilei

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time. –
James Thurber

That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.
 –P. C. Hodgell

It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.
 –James Thurber

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
 –Bertrand Russell

The curse of man, and cause of nearly all of his woes, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.
 –H. L. Mencken

The hard but just rule is that if the ideas don’t work, you must throw them away. Don’t waste any neurons on what doesn’t work. Devote those neurons to new ideas that better explain the data. Valid criticism is doing you a favor. –
Carl Sagan

For, to speak truly, that superstition has extended itself through all nations, and has oppressed the intellectual energies of all men, and has betrayed them into endless imbecilities.
 –Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)

Learning without thinking is useless. Thinking without learning is dangerous.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite. –
Bertrand Russell

Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow’s too lazy to form an opinion.
 –Will Rogers

Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality. –
Bertrand Russell

For it is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true;it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false.
 –H. L. Mencken

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:25 AM
reply to post by FraternitasSaturni

I didn't say anything of the sort, when you're a Christian you have a personal relationship with God. Of course, you wouldn't know that judging by your bizarre response.

I don't come to ATS to seek approval from people, particularly those without heart and empathy.

You should try being polite when responding to people, learn the golden rule next time you have a chance.

edit on 25-2-2012 by L00kingGlass because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

Look, Dawkins isn't about to switch teams. He's just moving from an illogical, indefensible position to one that is logical. No one can claim "God doesn't exist!", the most a person can claim is "To the best of my limited knowledge God doesn't exist."

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:58 AM

Originally posted by Azadok
reply to post by blupblup

That's not true , numerous people have died and have been brought back to life only to report having met God , I being one of them. People like you just discount our experiences as to some chemical reaction on our. Dying brains.

It is 100% true... absolute fact.
There is nobody on this planet who knows whether God exists or not... It's as certain as death and taxes.

I don't discount anyone's experience.... and I'm not sure what you mean by "People like you" either?

The fact f the matter is xthat people turn a blind eye to the evidence of God and trust only in science when science itself proves that it is impossible for even the simplest protein strand to occur spontaneously in nature, given the fact you need tens of thousands of these to construct a strand of DNA the odds increase expideniously .

It's not about science versus religion or believing science OR religion..... as far as we know, there is no God.
That is, hitherto, a fact.

If that changes and God does become apparent or reveals itself or we realise that god is, for example, water... then fine, we'll readjust and look at it all again.

So for all you so called scientists on the monkey train good luck with that

I'm not a scientist?

Not sure what you're talking about man... but you're talking crap to be honest.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:58 AM
Where and how one seeks evidence, matters only to the seeker,my proof is for me ....peace

A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and giving to them only that degree of credibility which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure the world from most of the ills from which it is suffering.
 –Bertrand Russell

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. –
Carl Sagan

In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
 –Stephen Jay Gould

That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
. –Christopher Hitchens

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
 –Aldous Huxley

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? –
John Maynard Keynes

It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.
 –John Maynard Keynes

The correct scientific response to something that is not understood must always be to look harder for the explanation, not give up and assume a supernatural cause. –
David Attenborough

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
 –W.K. Clifford

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.
 –Bertrand Russell

Not until the empirical results are exhausted need we pass on to the dreamy realms of speculation
. –Edwin Hubble

If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. –
David Hume

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. –
David Hume

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.
 –David Hume

Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. –
Charles Babbage

The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other.
 –Francis Bacon

The enemy of knowledge and science is irrationalism, not religion. –
Stephen Jay Gould

To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another. –
John Burroughs

When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.
 –James Whitcomb Riley

The better a man knows the truth, the less he is likely to condemn. –
Sebastian Castellio

The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations, describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.
 –John von Neumann

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. –
Bertrand Russell

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 08:58 AM
This is nothing new. No GOOD scientist will ever be 100% on anything. Evidence based rationality will only ever allow you to be almost certain-always open to new evidence. Don't get too excited, don't see the balance tipping in Gods favour anytime soon. This is just non-scientific people interpreting a scientific outlook in a rather obtuse, non scientific way.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:01 AM
For something to exist it has to be created for a purpose, why does god exist what did he do before we did not exist, how long will earth continue? What purpose did god serve before he made us and who made him, one can make oneself but only to an extent. Nothingness breeds nothingness. Someone inbox me or reply to this post I need answers. Take care SoS

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:02 AM
Anyone that thinks this is some dramatic U-turn on Dawkins' stance doesn't know Dawkins' works at all.

He states in "The God Delusion" that their is "Almost Certainly No God". He has never ruled it out entirely. This new quote of "6.9 out of 7" is just about as sure as anyone can be of anything.

Dawkins doesn't have an issue with the idea of God, and readily admits that science has not yet discovered what "started" the big bang. So "God" is as good a theory as any at the present time, although it throws up more questions than answers.

Of course ill-read religious zealots will latch onto this as some kind of refute on his previous stance, but once you've taken the time to familiarise yourself with Dawkins and this idea of REASON that is alien to religon - you'll see it most certainly is not.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:32 AM
What American hasn't heard of Steven Hawking? SERIOUSLY? Any science enthusiast knows who he is globally.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

i would urge for a careful interpretation of this statement in order to prevent some of jumping to the wrong conclusions.
for those with a scientific training this statement is simple logic. Of course Dawkins can't be sure, stating otherwise would be foolish and should be expected in the toolkits of believers. Science in fact never proves something to be "true" 100%. If this kinda stuff interests you, please read Popper's falsification principle, that underlies all good science.

So all Dawkins is doing is showing he has a scientific mind. I like his mind. I like his atheism.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:48 AM
Just ask God... something like: "Who are You?" or "Are you Real?" "If you are, let me know."

Here at ATS the motto is to 'Deny Ignorance'. If state that you adhere to this, but you are reluctant to ask the Creator of the Universe (ask Him... no other substitute will do)....Then you should be asking yourself - why the reluctance?

For a open-minded individual, asking God if He exists should be a no-brainer. Wouldn't you want to know- if He exists?

To be truthful... following God (which by implication includes the belief that He exists) is not just an intellectual pursuit. Following God involves all of our important components. The dirty little secret, as it were... is that it's a Heart matter. It's only dirty because people don't acknowledge this and hide behind a curtain of intellectualism as an excuse and a cover.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:58 AM
As others have already stated, this is not new, nor is it news from R. Dawkins. I hate to leave 1 line answers, so here's a second one.
edit on 25-2-2012 by Engafan because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 10:12 AM

Originally posted by Maslo
reply to post by Azadok

This is a classic creationist talking point debunked long ago. Its called Hoyle's fallacy.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations

OK I am game please produce for me the proper numbers that debunk my statement regarding the impossablity of DNA spontaneously generating in nature.

Since math is the purest of all sciences lets stick to the numbers , please if you may.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 10:31 AM
This thread is redundant. He has always said this in almost all of his videos, he goes on to say he can not say Unicorns don't exist but the possibility is tiny.
Blowing something up that is nothing at all
Silly thread.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 10:44 AM

Originally posted by GoldenVoyager

Originally posted by ComeFindMe
The rational approach would be to accept that we can never be 100% certain - though i've yet to find a practising Christian who would even entertain the notion or remote possibility that there may not be a god....

Add me to the listl I have been shown and experienced so much that personally proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Holy Spirit testifies this is true and I pray that all who read this will have a similar reassurance, comfort and experiences to help instill the same faith. Pray with love and sincerity and you find the truth.

Well, fair enough but I dont think its rational to use one unprovable instance (the Holy Spirit) to 'prove' the existence of something else. Flawed logic i'm afraid.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Originally posted by Azadok

Originally posted by Maslo
reply to post by Azadok

This is a classic creationist talking point debunked long ago. Its called Hoyle's fallacy.

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations

OK I am game please produce for me the proper numbers that debunk my statement regarding the impossablity of DNA spontaneously generating in nature.

Since math is the purest of all sciences lets stick to the numbers , please if you may.

Why should they have to do your work for you? His post proved that the number you pulled out was based on the magical appearance of a dna strand from the most basic building blocks, which is a fallacy as it does not represent the step by step process which occurred. It is not his obligation to provide you with the correct data for your argument, it is your obligation to provide that data as you are making the assertion.

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Originally posted by silent thunder

Richard Dawkins: I can't be sure God does not exist

He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator. An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.” Prof Dawkins said that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Well I am like Dawkins with one difference I am a 10 out of 10 god doesn't exist because MEN create god(s) not the other way!

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