Looking For That 100%

Question from Josie:
Hello this is a college student who is pretty much confused. I do have a fact in mind God doesn’t exist. But, the other part of me doesn’t. Is there any steps to pretty much make me fully sure he doesn’t exist. My mind 85% tells me he isn’t real but some odd reason my mind won’t agree with it. Any suggestion?

Answer by SmartLX:
No one said you had to be sure. I’m not. 85% confidence in God’s absence isn’t bad at all really.

You can’t prove a negative, as they say. To be 100% confident there’s no god you’d need the knowledge of a god yourself, to be aware of all the possible ways a god could influence the universe and know that they’re not happening. If you’re being realistic you have to accept some uncertainty, even if you think the concept of a god doesn’t make sense. (There might conceivably be a way it does make sense that you haven’t learned yet.) But if your opinion is that there isn’t a god because you lack positive belief that there is one, that’s as good as most atheists have it.

So what do you do with that uncertainty, the perceived 15% chance (or whatever you estimate) that there’s a god of some kind? Not much really. You keep an open mind and consider any evidence or arguments for gods that you’re exposed to, if you have the time. But do you behave as if there’s a god, just in case? That’s what people who cite Pascal’s Wager would suggest, because even if there’s no god there’s no harm done, right? Unfortunately if there’s a god it might not be the one you think it is, or demand from its worshipers what you think it does, so praying on the off chance might just piss it off. Not worth the trouble, I say. Better just to try to be a good person, which any god worth worshiping would respect but more importantly is its own reward.

9 thoughts on “Looking For That 100%”

  1. I notice that you say “God” singular, and describe this god as “he”. Which tells me that you’re talking about one particular god. Perhaps the Biblical god, I don’t know. But there have been presented tons and tons and tons of god concepts, including the idea of female gods and multiple gods living and working together. I look at all of those claims individually. And some of them are completely unknowable unfalsifiable, and some are probably not true, and some of them are easy to know with 100% certainty that they can’t exist. This includes god concepts that are logically self contradictory and therefore cannot possibly exist. It’s just a matter of finding the contradictions.

    For the biblical god there are tons. This god is supposedly omnipotent, yet there are many biblical stories where God is overpowered, like judges 1:19. This god is supposedly omniscient, yet tests people in the bible to learn about their motives, and he experiences emotions like anger or regret that one would not do if one knew everything. This god is supposedly omnipotent as well as immortal, yet can such a god kill itself? If yes, it’s not immortal, if no, it’s not omnipotent; a god can’t be both. This god is supposedly perfectly just, yet it commands the most immoral unjust things in the bible, engages in thought crime, divides the moral spectrum of people in black and white; heaven or hell, and he rewards and punishes infinitely for finite deeds and crimes. Even by his own standards, he can’t possibly be perfectly just, since he supposedly forgives people, and forgiveness is a suspension of justice. The list is so long that it’s not even worth discussing anymore. I am 100% certain that the biblical god cannot possibly exist. Not as the bible defines it.

    But, this is only one god concept. And if we lump them all into one big category, and ask over all; how sure am I that there are no gods of any kind? And there, I might be with you, and I think that’s perfectly okay. Then, I am perfectly in agreement with SmartLX. In fact, the fact that you don’t proclaim 100% is probably healthy. It demonstrates that you’re open-minded and honest. Reasonable rational people are always open to the idea that they might be wrong and that they might possibly learn something new and exciting in the future. So that’s only healthy and something you should be proud to say. You’re reasonably certain, but still open for new evidence. I think that’s the healthiest position one can have. 🙂

    1. I’d like to extend the possibility that you have not met the real God. The true God of the Bible. God only tests us to show us where we are at a time in our lives. He wants us to know when we are having trouble and wants us to know our strengths. If we never exercise our will’s they never grow. And many times we don’t recognize where we need help and never focus on them to excise that problem from our character. Thus we see Abraham, willing for Sarah, to lie to the King of Egypt, when they were passing through Egypt when he knew that his wife was the hottest item around, and feared that the Egyptian King would make a play for her, ending up killing Abraham for her. So he failed to trust God to take care of the king. So he encouraged Sarah, to tell a half truth, which was that she was not Abraham’s wife, but his sister. The king became aware of the “white lie” when he spied them together in the king’s garden, and presented this to Abraham, who in turn told the king why he told the lie. As true to His promise God had already took care of the problem, because the king knew about the true God, and sent Abraham on his way, not only with more material riches, but richer in his knowledge in the King of all kings.
      Later God, wanting to allow Abraham to see just how much he had grown in trusting God, He asked Abraham to surrender the one thing that could have mattered more than Abraham’s own life. That was the life of his only son, Issac. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. And as we all may know, Abraham had every intention to perform that sacrifice, and only God could prevent him from this act. Which He did, by sending His angel, and halting Abrahams hand as it begun to trust the knife along the neck of his son. And giving instead another sacrifice that God had provided, caught in the bushes near by. So God provided His own sacrifice for Abraham then as He would do, years later when His own Son to die on the cross for you and me.
      But as to your thinking that God is not really omnipotent. Well He is far more powerful than you or I can imagine. The only thing is that He will mostly consign what He does to what we are able to do. But when what needs to be just has to be, well, just remember what happened to the King of Egypt when Moses led God’s people out of Egypt. Oh, you say, God had the dead sea to take care of the Egyptians. Well remember what happened to some of the Israelites who tried to take over the leadership from Moses, and the ground opened up and they were lost. God does not tolerate from those who know what is right and just refuse to do it to the detriment of the salvation of others. When what needs to be, must be, God will remove anyone and anything to accomplish His will. Which is mainly our salvation.
      And by the way, the concept that even though God will send somebody to Hell, and can still be just and merciful, is entirely a false one. That is not the God I serve. That is a lie that Satan has perpetrated against God, to cause people to worship an image of God. And even cause others to not accept Him because they refuse to worship such a god, and indeed they should. All those Christians who, continue to accept that concept of God ignoring the fact that even though some individuals deserve hell fire, they should not deserve to be tortured for years with out end. Which is itself is a false concept of what the Bible teaches.
      First off, no where in the Bible does it say that Man in any form is immortal. “1 Timothy 6:15-16English Standard Version (ESV)
      15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.”
      So man is not immortal. Man’s soul which can not be separated from his body, which many Christians do believe, but do so at the risk of their eternal salvation, because the Bible says in Genesis 2:7King James Version (KJV)
      “7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Or a “living spirit” as some versions interpret the word. The whole point is that Adam, the entire entire Adam was created by God. The consciousness of Adam was created at the same time that God breathed into Adam the “breath of life” which seems to have been part of God’s own essence, for all practical purposes. Adam was not filled with the life force of an already created being that had no form, and needed a shell. No, Adam was all Adam through and through. And not immortal. How do I know he wasn’t immortal? Well, just look at the part where God told them not to eat from the ” tree of the knowledge of good and evil” Genesis 2:17 ” but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”
      Please notice that the text does not read (your body will surly die) as some imagine the text to say. thus emphasizing the lie, that the soul of man is immortal. Since Adam is a living soul, or spirit, just as he is, when he dies, Genesis 3 clearly states “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
      Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken;
      For dust you are,
      And to dust you shall return.” (did you see. “YOU” not your body)
      Now what about the “breath” that came from God? Well since most of the versions interpret “breath” as “spirit” you will find it hard to ascertain the true, pure unadulterated concept that the unimmortal part of the theme of the Bible is given through it.
      Notice in “KJ Ecclesisates 3:21 then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” If you look in the margins you will see an alternative representation of the word “spirit” that matches the original word given when Adam was formed out of dust of the ground by God. It uses the word “breath” not “spirit”
      “KJ21 then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” This is from the God’s Word version.
      “GNT Our bodies will return to the dust of the earth, and the breath of life will go back to God, who gave it to us.” This is from the Good News Translation.
      “NOG Then the dust of mortals goes back to the ground as it was before, and the breath of life goes back to Elohim who gave it.” this is from the Names of God Bible.
      “NABRE And the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it.” this is from the New American Bible Revised Version.
      So you see that some of the other versions have been influenced wrongly, by the false concept that man has an immortal soul, not taking into account that man is a soul, or a living being.
      This next quotations are taken from “heavendwellers.com” “Many would criticize the translation and say that the translators tried to keep the Engilsh reader front knowing that the word for “soul” is “nephesh” and that it also applies to animals as well as man. Of course this would be a false charge and a maligning of the translators, but even more important, such statements render a great disservice to the Word of God Itself. In Job 12:10 we read: “In Whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” A close look at the context shows that the “soul of every living thing” has reference to “beasts” and “the fowls of the air” (v. 7) and “the fishes of the sea” (v. 8). Thus in job 12 we note that the “beasts,” and the “fowls” and the “fishes” are referred to as being “souls.” Not only that, the translators translated the word “nephesh” SOUL, AND IT SPEAKS OF LIVING CREATURES OTHER THAN MAN.

      “Nephesh” is again translated “soul” in Numbers 31:28 where there is a reference to animals as well as men.

      “And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of asses, and of the sheep. ”

      Again we notice that “nephesh” is translated “soul” in the Authorized Version and it is connected with animals, as well as men. Hence, the charge laid at the translators that they failed to translate “nephesh” as “soul” when it is related to animals is found to be false. As a matter of fact, it is apparent from the King James Authorized Version that man and beast have something in common; that being the soul. Remember that God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life and he became a living soul. It is clear that a living soul pertains to man and beast. To this agrees Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

      “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.”
      Now to look at the truth from another point of view. Let’s look at Genesis 3:22 “22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
      Notice that God intended for Man not to be made immortal, so Man is ejected from the Garden of Eden, the paradise created for them, but now lost, at least for a time. But this was done to prevent Man from eating from the “Tree of Life” which prevented Man from obtaining eternal life. Now lets do some reasoning. What good would it be to prevent Man from eating from the ” Tree of Life” if Man or the “soul” of Man is already immortal?
      First off, why would God not Man to be immortal? Would it not be to prevent this suffering that we are going through to continue through out eternity? It appears that once God gives something, He will not take it back. It may be rejected but He will not forcefully withhold what He has already given. So with this in mind, just why would He worry to keep an already immortal being or soul from having an immortal soul. It is unreasonable to assume this. This is part of the concept that many Christians are missing when the refuse to accept the fact that are ” souls ” just as we are, and that our “consciousness” does not go flying off to heaven for a reward, nor cast into Hell as an eternal punishment. Just what happens to Man the soul is another question, which we will have to leave for another time. Suffice it to say that since Man is a soul and does not have an immortal soul, and since Man was prevented from eating from the “Tree of Life”, and therefore is not immortal, man can not be cast into Hell, to burn and be tortured for all eternity. And since Man will not be tortured for all eternity, God is vindicated from this accusation, that He will unjustly cast Man or the “man soul” into Hell for all eternity.
      Now, will there be those who will be cast into Hell? Yes. But, no one is burning in Hell, just yet, because there is no Hell right now. At least not yet. But sadly to say this future sad option, needs to be taken up at a later time. At least by me, for I need to go about doing other things just now. But in any would care to venture to obtain the true meaning of the Soul and Hell, and Eternal life, feel free to check out the Amazing Facts website at amazingfacts.org. Here you can peruse on your own and at your leisure, the simple Bible truths, that can show you that God loves us so much that He would never torture anyone in Hell for eternity. The wonderful thing is that God gave us His Commandments to help prevent us from a tortuous way of life without Him. He knew that eating wrong would cause us to go through needless anguish and pain. He knew that wrong living would cause us to go through times of needless agony and heartbreak. He knew that a life without Him would be bad for us. That is why He gave us the Bible to direct us to Him and to His way of life for us. Sure we would not have it like we would have had it, if our forefathers had followed God’s directions in the Garden of Eden, nor if Israel had stayed on course and allowed God to use them to show the then known world the true God. Nor if the Early Church had not allowed Satan to infuse error into the teaching and practice of the Early Church. But, we can now open God’s word and Search the Scriptures, for these are they which testify of Christ. And No man comes to the Father except by Him.
      Please check out the Amazing Facts website, and should you like don’t hesitate to call me for encouragement or prayer. (817)948-0270

      1. Amazing, isn’t it Josie? Gerald here has “met” the “right” god creature. In fact, every Christian, and Jew, and Muslim, and Buddhist, etc I have ever known will tell you the exact same thing. They’ve all “met” the supernatural thing that is the true supernatural thing, and it just so happens that they know exactly what the supernatural thing wants, while all the others don’t.

        Billions of people, none of who completely agree with anyone else, but they all have it right…

        Your 85% doubt might feel unresolved Josie, but at least you are honest and not deluding yourself that you (and you alone) are the one who actually knows exactly what needs to be known…

  2. Great final sentence! Better to spend one’s existence on this planet trying to create well being effectively, efficiently and ethically. Whether we continue to exist after our bodies die remains to be seen, but what better way to prepare to experience well being in an afterlife, than by doing one’s best to do so in this life. If there is no afterlife, then at least you did your best with this life.

    1. I would say here here. Your words sound very good and the thought of doing your best for the Here and Now is a good thought. But those sentiments will not get you many A +es with many if not all of those who do not believe in God. Because outside of God, wanting to make it better for somebody else does that make any sense if there is no moral right or wrong. And besides that since there is a God there is also a devil who will make life impossible for those who want to do their best.

  3. Why are you so” almost”sure He doesn’t exist? Do you want him to be there? Why or why not do you want to know?
    God understands our confusion. He knows it is hard for us to tell with all that this world says. We had grown up with everything telling us to trust in the eggheads that are helping us with all our needs. But He is always ready to help us know that He realy is here.
    First. Why do you doubt there is a God? Do you think that God could not have been the beginning of everything? Why? Because it doesn’t seem that there is God? Well, if I may. Everything that is around us is petty amazing right? From the heavens where we are so awed by the vastness of the expans to the hills, valleyes plains that surround us which facinate and excite our senses inviling us to go forth and explore. Then with all the organism,micro and otherwise that make us giddy despite our ages. But that which is the most incredible is us. It appears that the only thing that prevents us from realising our dreams are our own imaginations. Our personal biospheres permit ust function in many differen environments. Our sensors are wihout equal. Each one by itself is truly extraordinary, but when combined, they provide us with so much info that only the most sofasticaed compter ever devised can sort and process and iniciate a respose necessary. Now add to that the best ever cooling and heating system ever devised, that is so efficient that it maintains an opptimum temperature that rarely fluctuates unless the defense meacanism is activated, which serves under extreme circumstances. Our personal biospheres have their own irragation and cleaning systems. All of which work day and night for years with out a problem automatically, with no break downs.
    yes, you are right. We are incredible. And all around us we have an enviroment that seems to have been buiIt around us. Everything we could possibly require to entertain and sustain and maintain our person biospheres looks as it has been provided right here for us, and we can obtain it without much to do on our part. It all seems so incredible. We are so incredible. It all seems impossible, yet we are experincing it. So although it seems impossible, it is real.
    Now considering all these impossibilities, yet part of our realities, is it too much to suppose that God is a possibility? would it be too much of a stretch of our imaginations that an incedible, amazing being thought, planned and created all that we are and can captivate with those extraordinary senses we mentioned in the beginning?
    Well I have a lot more to say. If you would like to know more, call (817) 948-o270

  4. Am I 100% sure there is no god?
    Probably not … there is no way to be.

    Do I act like there is no god and go about my life as if there is none?
    Yes, absolutely.

    Why would I do that?
    Clarity of thought and action. Basing one’s actions purely on positive human concepts (well being, utility etc.) while understanding and not getting frustrated by human limitations (mental, physical, emotional, psycho-social) is probably the most non-deluded way to live one’s life. Helps one stay away from traps that one may fall into if one follows any supra-natural/ wishful-magical way of thinking. Even the best and most non-dogmatic of religious thinking has its pitfalls when applied to real life situations – simply because a lot of it is just pure metaphysics with no grounding in practical reality. Actions guided by such thinking can be very damaging to the individual and to society at large.

    What if there is a god and punishes me?
    Its ok … I must have been punished already in this life for not believing already (and maybe am punished continuously). I’ve been pretty ok with the way I have been living for most parts, happy and content in most spheres.
    So, I guess I can endure the “punishment”. I don’t see any need to start believing in tenuous stuff to “ease my burdens” or some such.

    What if when I die, I discover that there is a god and he/she/it asks me why I did not believe?
    To quote Bertrand Russel “Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence”
    If I get to go to hell after making a plea for rationality, so be it. I mean, a man (person) can do only so much, right? (shrugging with my hands up).

    1. There is plenty of evidence. All you have to do is ignore the stuff that Atheists and Evolutionist claim to be that there is no God. They ignore the part of their evidence that proves that what they claim to say that there is no God, but actually shows that they have holes in what they believe.

      1. “Evolutionists” don’t claim there is no god. “Evolutionists” claim that the theory of evolution explains how life has progressed from simple life forms long ago into the current complexity that we find on Earth today. There is no commentary in the scientific theory about god creatures, nor is there any claim about their existence.

        The fact that the theory of evolution contradicts certain religious stories in some religious texts about how various creatures came to be is a problem for the religion, not for the scientific theory. Evolution is well supported by an incredible amount of facts and data.

        Since over half of all scientists in America are religious and/or believe in a personal deity, it’s not even accurate to claim that the theory of evolution is the work of atheists. Many believers have contributed to the verification of evolution as the explanation for where all the sea creatures and land animals and flying things came from.

        You religious folk are the ones that try to claim that evolution claims there is no god. Evolution doesn’t claim that. But it does disagree with your Bronze Age tale…

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