An absolute negation needs the proof of the positive to be certain?
Absolute negation: "You will never be anything but a drunk."
To be certain, requiring no faith, the positive, observing the rest of the life, have had to been witnessed. Yet, how could it have? It has yet to exist in the circumstance.
The same can be said about Atheism?
Are Atheist Certain?
"But our inability to say for certain that no gods exists applies to all gods that have ever been presented to us, not just the Christian god."
Why stop with gods at all? Theology is equally idiotic as astrology or alchemy. Do you have any issues with your certainty regarding the latter?
Quite so, Cara.
As an Atheist, I just do not even acknowledge a god. So there is nothing for me to be certain about
Strictly speaking, I am not certain there is no god. But for all intents and purposes, I may as well be. I'm just as certain about the non-existence of a god as I am about Zeus, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
You will have absolute proof when you absolutely disprove the existence of superman. In the mean time, praise be to the man of steel!
I am certain. I am certain that given the information I have on hand, it is unreasonable and thus wrong for me to believe in any deity or the supernatural.
Can I say that I am certain that there is nothing out there? No. Can I say it is certainly unreasonable to entertain the possibility of it being true? Yes it is certainly unreasonable for me to do that. There isn't enough evidence to make it credible for me to consider it as any more reasonable than santa claus or the easter bunny. Of that I am certain as well. I am certain that entertaining the idea is not reasonable. If I run into some evidence that starts to suggest otherwise, I will revisit the reason-ability of the idea.
I'm not absolutely certain of anything, not even that the sun will rise tomorrow. (A number of extremely unlikely yet theoretically possible events could occur which would prevent that.)
All conclusions are provisional and subject to revision upon the addition of new evidence. Due to the lack of any evidence to support the claims of the existence of gods and the absence of evidence that would be expected to exist given claims made about gods, my current conclusion is that there are no gods and thus there is no reason to believe that they exist. If, in the future, evidence is found that supports the existence of gods, then I will revise my conclusions in the light of that evidence. In the meantime, my conclusion on gods remains the same as my conclusions on the Loch Ness Monster, pixies, aliens molesting cows in South Dakota and werewolves.
RE: "I'm not absolutely certain of anything, not even that the sun will rise tomorrow."
Actually, Dave, at c. 96 million miles, it takes c. 8.5 minutes for light from that orb to reach the earth - none of us can really say that we ever see the sunshine, we only see how the sun looked 8.5 minutes ago. It could wink out as we speak, and no one would know it for 8.5 minutes.
Actually archeopteryx, if you want to be yet more precise, it takes anywhere between a couple of million to a couple of ten thousand years for the bulk of the light generated by the Sun to first leave the orb in the first place. Yet in this case we can be reasonably sure that light is being generated inside the Sun as we spoke 8 and half minutes ago, because the neutrinos keep coming apace, unhindered but in their flavor oscillating merry ways.
No argument Albert - my point was, if we can't even be sure, at any given moment, that the sun is shining, even though we believe we clearly see it, how much room does that leave for faith in an invisible entity?
Once again I point out that "certainty" is an ambiguous word. It can mean a state of certainty, in which one's belief is factually correct, or it can mean a state of mind we might describe as "feeling certain," which is a whole lot different from being certain. One should be clear at all times to which meaning one is referring or you might as well not argue at all.
Being Atheist isn't certainty, its simply a position that doesn't believe the claims presented by theists. Its as simple as that, that try and extend the meaning Atheism to me certainty that there is no god or gods doesn't make sense. Unless you are talking about the types of atheist's when Richard Dawkins uses his scale of 1-7 I think.