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benbradley
08-09-2007, 06:18 AM
"There is no God."
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557

davids
08-09-2007, 08:27 PM
"There is no God."
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557


Yes yes the article makes perfect sense-he is obviously an astute observer and his logic yet romanitc thoughts strike home-there is no God-Hmmm

I sit and listen to this old disc of mine with Nathan Milstein playing Brahms first violin concerto-logic demands I ask myself is this feeling inside me created by Mr. Milstein and Mr. Brahms simply a chemical reaction of my brain-is Mr. Milstein's playing and interpretation of this work simply some chemical freakish short circuit-same could be said of Mr. Brahms as he sat to compose this work and could only hear the insruments in his head-I mean he really did not have the orchestra sitting in front of him hitting or missing-wait I don't like that I think I will change that-wait I love that I think I will keep it in-then again maybe he had some chemical interaction going on in his brain that allowed him-unlike most others-to do all this?

Hmmm-I wonder cause everytime I get into my fuck you atheist non Brahms/Milstein pick my sorry ass up out of the damned gutter I need to fly somewhere that I never thought I could possibly fly poor me attitude-there is this thing about listening to this work among of course others-that make me wonder-Hmmmm?

Higgins
08-09-2007, 09:27 PM
Yes yes the article makes perfect sense-he is obviously an astute observer and his logic yet romanitc thoughts strike home-there is no God-Hmmm

I sit and listen to this old disc of mine with Nathan Milstein playing Brahms first violin concerto-logic demands I ask myself is this feeling inside me created by Mr. Milstein and Mr. Brahms simply a chemical reaction of my brain-is Mr. Milstein's playing and interpretation of this work simply some chemical freakish short circuit-same could be said of Mr. Brahms as he sat to compose this work and could only hear the insruments in his head-I mean he really did not have the orchestra sitting in front of him hitting or missing-wait I don't like that I think I will change that-wait I love that I think I will keep it in-then again maybe he had some chemical interaction going on in his brain that allowed him-unlike most others-to do all this?

Hmmm-I wonder cause everytime I get into my fuck you atheist non Brahms/Milstein pick my sorry ass up out of the damned gutter I need to fly somewhere that I never thought I could possibly fly poor me attitude-there is this thing about listening to this work among of course others-that make me wonder-Hmmmm?

I've always wondered about why the idea that your ideas are "chemicals" seems to disturb people so much. I see each chemical as a tiny monstrous TV commerical full of animated bubbles and diagrams of the stomach and a few Gaussian distributions in bad 1950s design colors and I hope I can live up to the love they have for staying on the air in my imagination.

I've always found it disturbing that I never have found my images of chemicals disturbing. But I can see how other people might have the feeling that they can never quite love their inner chemistry enough.

It's like the "Tinkerbell-effect"...the little light that makes all the children clap...though its just a projected area of increased photon flux that threatens to steal the show.

I guess I'm saying that if you had to clap for your chemicals in some alchemical theater, you'd love them more, even thought they are just some stuff in your head about the stuff in your head.

Roger J Carlson
08-10-2007, 08:13 PM
I thought it was an extremely well-crafted argument.

pepperlandgirl
08-10-2007, 10:06 PM
Penn is my hero. One day, I hope to shake his hand and thank him for being so articulate, thoughtful, brilliant, and funny. Skeptics and atheists are the minority in this country, and half the time it feels like they're pussy-footing around, as to not offend the religious majority. Penn doesn't give a fuck about any of that. It is just so nice to have somebody in the media who says exactly what I'm thinking, and often, better than I'm thinking it.

Thanks for the link. i would have missed it otherwise.

Meerkat
08-16-2007, 06:52 PM
Bumping this up--everyone should read Penn's article, and thanks so much for posting it Ben!

RumpleTumbler
08-16-2007, 07:09 PM
He certainly spends a lot of time being an evangelist for atheism.

It seems to be important to him that others not believe as well.

For someone who claims to be so self fulfilled and content I wonder why this is?

davids
08-16-2007, 07:10 PM
I've always wondered about why the idea that your ideas are "chemicals" seems to disturb people so much. I see each chemical as a tiny monstrous TV commerical full of animated bubbles and diagrams of the stomach and a few Gaussian distributions in bad 1950s design colors and I hope I can live up to the love they have for staying on the air in my imagination.

I've always found it disturbing that I never have found my images of chemicals disturbing. But I can see how other people might have the feeling that they can never quite love their inner chemistry enough.

It's like the "Tinkerbell-effect"...the little light that makes all the children clap...though its just a projected area of increased photon flux that threatens to steal the show.

I guess I'm saying that if you had to clap for your chemicals in some alchemical theater, you'd love them more, even thought they are just some stuff in your head about the stuff in your head.

I agree with you-it does not bother me in the least-it is just the darned cornsideration of the question that I find interesting. A romantic idea I know-but romantic ideas are for the most part jolly well interesting as well. For the most part I rather enjoy the idea of a chemical aberration being responsible for all things genius-etc. It is just that nagging little man sitting behind me forehead that is always throwing a bloody wrench into my hopefully at least marginally atheotic thoughts-damned chemicals-Dave

rugcat
08-16-2007, 07:32 PM
Penn is my hero. One day, I hope to shake his hand and thank him for being so articulate, thoughtful, brilliant, and funny.He used to have a great show on Showtime which took on many sacred cows. But he lost me when he took on some of the shakier aspects of the environmental movement and the endangered species act.

Nothing wrong with that. They’re no more immune to scrutiny and occasional mockery than is anyone else. But one of the “respected experts” he used to shore up his case was former Congressman Richard Pombo, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pombo) a long time right wing industry shill and one of the most extreme and dishonest members of Congress.

So I can’t enjoy him quite so much, since I no longer trust what he says. Either he didn’t do his research, which is not good, or he did, and used Pombo anyway, which would be worse. Using Pombo in this context would be like doing a piece questioning Hillary Clinton’s record, and presenting Rush Limbaugh as an unbiased political commentator on the matter.

Shadow_Ferret
08-20-2007, 06:26 AM
He certainly spends a lot of time being an evangelist for atheism.


By definition, one can't be an evangelist for atheism.

RumpleTumbler
08-20-2007, 02:46 PM
By definition, one can't be an evangelist for atheism.

Yeah...but you know what I meant. I never thought about it much but I guess atheists enjoy someone affirming their beliefs as much as believers enjoy someone affirming theirs. Perhaps one day Penn will gather thousands in a building somewhere every Sunday....millions will watch on the idiot box to affirm their unbelief. It's interesting. I don't devote time to things I don't believe in and so it's fun to try and determine the motive of people who do.

Bartholomew
08-20-2007, 04:06 PM
I haven't gotten past the "Why does it matter if there are gods or not?" part. This drives my fiance up a tree.

Death Wizard
08-20-2007, 10:44 PM
Penn is my hero. One day, I hope to shake his hand and thank him for being so articulate, thoughtful, brilliant, and funny. Skeptics and atheists are the minority in this country, and half the time it feels like they're pussy-footing around, as to not offend the religious majority. Penn doesn't give a fuck about any of that. It is just so nice to have somebody in the media who says exactly what I'm thinking, and often, better than I'm thinking it.

Thanks for the link. i would have missed it otherwise.

I utterly agree.

Higgins
08-21-2007, 12:20 AM
I agree with you-it does not bother me in the least-it is just the darned cornsideration of the question that I find interesting. A romantic idea I know-but romantic ideas are for the most part jolly well interesting as well. For the most part I rather enjoy the idea of a chemical aberration being responsible for all things genius-etc. It is just that nagging little man sitting behind me forehead that is always throwing a bloody wrench into my hopefully at least marginally atheotic thoughts-damned chemicals-Dave

Well..."chemicals" in general don't mean much to me. Perhaps the weirdest thing is that one's consciousness seems to happen with no particular effort...okay, for me, once I have a few cups of coffee (full of helpful chemicals) then I'm okay...I mean conscious, or at least awake.

Thinking about brain chemistry is close to thinking about one's own personal rhythms: waking/sleeping...eating drinking...thinking about this and that...it like all right there in the flow...

Salem
08-21-2007, 12:32 AM
We humans sit aboard a planet that is a mere speck of nothingness in a universe so vast our minute little minds can't even grasp the concept of it. How anyone can say with such certainty that something doesn't exist seems a bit egotistical to me.
(For the record, I find Penn very entertaining and I love to watch him, whether or not I agree with him.)

davids
08-21-2007, 12:43 AM
Well..."chemicals" in general don't mean much to me. Perhaps the weirdest thing is that one's consciousness seems to happen with no particular effort...okay, for me, once I have a few cups of coffee (full of helpful chemicals) then I'm okay...I mean conscious, or at least awake.

Thinking about brain chemistry is close to thinking about one's own personal rhythms: waking/sleeping...eating drinking...thinking about this and that...it like all right there in the flow...


Yes yes well put-my problem is after all said and done aare the glips in the process that often are the most creative-so yes it is and can be chemical but the romantic in me which is always confronted with the rather pedantic logical me-are quite often at the old heads of loggers. It is the damned genius which let's say for simplicity's sake is musical. I mean in point of fact folks like-oh-lemme see-Wagner and Beethoven two to say the least on a social plain were not nice guys-rather brutes is what they were yet the music-God the music-so the chemicals? Yes of course quite so-however the Godly music-maybe not your personal God but the one of Einstein-universal and elegantly musical in all ways-nice thought that is for me-just a nice romantic concept-now where are me damned chemicals anyway??

Higgins
08-21-2007, 01:02 AM
We humans sit aboard a planet that is a mere speck of nothingness in a universe so vast our minute little minds can't even grasp the concept of it. How anyone can say with such certainty that something doesn't exist seems a bit egotistical to me.
(For the record, I find Penn very entertaining and I love to watch him, whether or not I agree with him.)


To say that something of which you see no evidence does not exist is much less egotistical than to suggest that people find something credible purely on the basis of your assertion that it is credible.

Salem
08-21-2007, 02:56 AM
To say that something of which you see no evidence does not exist is much less egotistical than to suggest that people find something credible purely on the basis of your assertion that it is credible.

I totally agree with that, too. I'm just pointing out that it's impossible to say what can or can't exist elsewhere in this universe based on the limited knowledge that we have.

Shadow_Ferret
08-21-2007, 03:41 AM
Yeah...but you know what I meant. I never thought about it much but I guess atheists enjoy someone affirming their beliefs as much as believers enjoy someone affirming theirs. Perhaps one day Penn will gather thousands in a building somewhere every Sunday....millions will watch on the idiot box to affirm their unbelief. It's interesting. I don't devote time to things I don't believe in and so it's fun to try and determine the motive of people who do.

I agree. I don't go around talking about the fact that I don't believe in something. But on the flip side, I don't walk around talking about things I believe in either.

So I can forgive an athiest for discussing his non-beliefs when I consider that it is encouraged by most Christian churches that the members go out and "disseminate" their belief to the non-believers. Many even have a sign as you leave the parking lot that reads: "You are now entering the mission fields."

If they'd stop telling everyone what they believe, maybe the athiests wouldn't feel it necessary to talk about their non-beliefs.

Marian Perera
08-21-2007, 04:50 AM
I never thought about it much but I guess atheists enjoy someone affirming their beliefs as much as believers enjoy someone affirming theirs.

I lived in the Middle East with my parents until a year ago, and their Christian friends made several attempts to try to convert me. Since these were family friends and my parents didn't want to offend them, I was rarely allowed to present my own point of view. And since that was the Middle East, there were no non-religious books or programs or events. That's one reason I left, and one reason I enjoy someone presenting thoughts and reasoning I agree with (I don't consider these beliefs - more like the lack of them). It can be difficult to be an atheist, especially in a society which disapproves of you and wants you to stop being what you are, so it's pleasant to hear someone speak up for what you think.

benbradley
08-21-2007, 06:24 AM
By definition, one can't be an evangelist for atheism.
That's by literal definition, but I've even heard some Christians claim that atheism is a religious belief. Even without that, the word evangelism can be extended to mean the unsolicited presenting of an argument with the aim of wining others over. Or to quote m-w.com:
1 : the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2 : militant or crusading zeal

I totally agree with that, too. I'm just pointing out that it's impossible to say what can or can't exist elsewhere in this universe based on the limited knowledge that we have.
While that's a point, I'll quote Isaac Asimov on God who said "the burden of proof is on the positive." Why should one even consider a metaphysical question such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when the existence of angels hasn't been established?

I lived in the Middle East with my parents until a year ago, and their Christian friends made several attempts to try to convert me. Since these were family friends and my parents didn't want to offend them, I was rarely allowed to present my own point of view. And since that was the Middle East, there were no non-religious books or programs or events. That's one reason I left, and one reason I enjoy someone presenting thoughts and reasoning I agree with (I don't consider these beliefs - more like the lack of them). It can be difficult to be an atheist, especially in a society which disapproves of you and wants you to stop being what you are, so it's pleasant to hear someone speak up for what you think.
This is close to how I feel. I can hardly begin to respond to this without writing several paragraphs covering some critical years of my life, and I might as well flesh it all out for a memoir rather than squeeze it into a post here.

Shadow_Ferret
08-21-2007, 06:36 AM
That's by literal definition, but I've even heard some Christians claim that atheism is a religious belief.
Well of course they're going to say that. They can't understand how someone could possibly live WITHOUT any religious beliefs so they project their own shortcomings onto the atheist.

Roger J Carlson
08-21-2007, 04:09 PM
That's by literal definition, but I've even heard some Christians claim that atheism is a religious belief.
Well of course they're going to say that. They can't understand how someone could possibly live WITHOUT any religious beliefs so they project their own shortcomings onto the atheist.In fairness, however, Penn IS presenting this as a religious belief. It is not just a lack of belief (as some define atheism), it is a positive belief that there is no God.

RumpleTumbler
08-21-2007, 05:07 PM
It can be difficult to be an atheist, especially in a society which disapproves of you and wants you to stop being what you are, so it's pleasant to hear someone speak up for what you think.

Good point.

Higgins
08-21-2007, 05:21 PM
I totally agree with that, too. I'm just pointing out that it's impossible to say what can or can't exist elsewhere in this universe based on the limited knowledge that we have.

You posit the idea of a universe and then say it has no use or content.
In fact as soon as you formulate "universe" you are talking about a set of elsewheres about which you have a lot of reliable fundamental knowledge.

Now, I myself am not saying "God does not exist"...as a Christian in Name only this is not a sensible thing for me to say...but I am saying two things:

1) Christianity took itself on a ride to nowhere when it decided its God had to be totally, objectively cosmic. Why can't he be completely local? or even "all in my head"? Why is that bad?

2) The proto-scientific idea of a "universe" posits a complete, absolute fullness of being in which God is completely contingent and in fact absent for all practical purposes.

davids
08-21-2007, 06:32 PM
You posit the idea of a universe and then say it has no use or content.
In fact as soon as you formulate "universe" you are talking about a set of elsewheres about which you have a lot of reliable fundamental knowledge.

Now, I myself am not saying "God does not exist"...as a Christian in Name only this is not a sensible thing for me to say...but I am saying two things:

1) Christianity took itself on a ride to nowhere when it decided its God had to be totally, objectively cosmic. Why can't he be completely local? or even "all in my head"? Why is that bad?

2) The proto-scientific idea of a "universe" posits a complete, absolute fullness of being in which God is completely contingent and in fact absent for all practical purposes.


gotta give ya another YUP on that one old bean

Salem
08-21-2007, 06:53 PM
You posit the idea of a universe and then say it has no use or content.

I don't recall saying it has no use or content. Obviously I'm not very good at saying what I meant. I just meant that anything can be out there and I wouldn't go as far as to say that something is definately not out there. Or even here, for that matter. I hope that makes sense this time.

Higgins
08-21-2007, 08:36 PM
I don't recall saying it has no use or content. Obviously I'm not very good at saying what I meant. I just meant that anything can be out there and I wouldn't go as far as to say that something is definately not out there. Or even here, for that matter. I hope that makes sense this time.


If you say "Anything can be out there" you are saying the idea of a universe conveys nothing at all. If you say "Universe" you mean a very big place with some sort of describable contents and you would posit this "Universe" for some reason. If you say "I have a coherent idea of a universe, and anything can be in it...." then something is wrong somewhere in the formulation: either the idea is not coherent or you don't really mean any given thing is equally likely to be anywhere or both.

The common proto-scientific idea of a universe grew up gradually in Western thought. It was defined as a kind of back drop or theoretical emptiness against which religious ideas could be formulated -- a sort of "Toy Model" of a set of places where God's actions could be played out or not played out. In any case, the formulation of the Universe always included the possibility that God's actions were not identical with it, but that each was contingent on the other.

For example, in Medieval Aristotelean physics before 1277:

a) there is no infinite rectilinear motion (ie only a continuous force can move things rectilinearly)
b) there is no vacuum since the force excluding the vacuum is what propells objects that have been moved and continue moving
c) there is only one world and it has no vacua around it

So what if God wants to
a) create another world or
b) move the present world a rectilinear infinite distance
c) create a total vacuum (such as when a world is removed from among other worlds)?

The Bishop of Paris in 1277 declared that God had to have these options
(among others) which meant that for God to act in a Godly way there had to be:
a) potentially uncreated worlds
b) potential vacua outside of this world

So you can see that for God to be God, there have to be areas where potentially He has not yet acted and this region of His potential non-activity is the first proto-scientific idea of a Universe.

see for example:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/condemnation/

http://www.wmich.edu/gsac/Hilltop%20Pages/PDF%20Hilltop%20Review%20archive/The%20Effects%20of%20the%20Condemnation%20of%20127 7.pdf

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/GRASOU.html?show=contents

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Grant_(Historian_and_philosopher)

Shadow_Ferret
08-24-2007, 06:51 AM
In fairness, however, Penn IS presenting this as a religious belief. It is not just a lack of belief (as some define atheism), it is a positive belief that there is no God.
Guess I missed all that. Maybe, as I stated, you're projecting your own religious views upon his position. It's quite possible to not have a belief but feel the need, when questioned, to defend that belief. That defense does not make the lack of belief a positive belief though.

Roger J Carlson
08-24-2007, 04:23 PM
No, he's explicitly differentiating his belief from a non-belief. He says it's beyond atheism:

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy -- you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. "

Then later:

"But, this 'This I Believe' thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, 'This I believe: I believe there is no God.' "

This is a positive statement that there is no God. It is not a statement that he simply has no beliefs. He explicitly denies that.

Flapdoodle
08-30-2007, 01:17 AM
That's by literal definition, but I've even heard some Christians claim that atheism is a religious belief.

I've heard the same, and it's quite simply not true.

Atheism is a lack of belief. There is no act of faith to simply lack belief.

Religious people try this one all the time.

oscuridad
09-03-2007, 12:25 AM
In fairness, however, Penn IS presenting this as a religious belief. It is not just a lack of belief (as some define atheism), it is a positive belief that there is no God.

I would put it this way. I believe in the extraordinary wonder and indifference of the Universe. Its not even that I do not believe in God, it is that God isn't even in the picture - except as an entirely human construct created in a set of texts of unknown provenance that are open to terrible and frequently fatal interpretation. Gods (and lets face it everyone who believes in a God of some kind cannot be right, ergo, as they all think they are right, they must all be wrong [because each one is mutually exclusive of every other]) exist in people's heads to block out the inevitable Existential Angst that comes with realising that the Universe, its laws and strangeness, are all that there is.

In fact believe is not even the right word, as, all clever philosophical debates about the nature of reality aside (how do I know that I know, etc.), it is not so much a belief as an acceptance of reality.

dadburnett
09-30-2007, 10:11 PM
Thanks, benbradley, for the Penn Teller article. I had somehow missed it. At 70, I’m a latecomer to blogs and blogging and I’ve found few (so far) that contain the insights and quality dialogue of this one … thanks for being.

Penn said: "Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate."

I am richly fed by the ideas and insights of others because, for me, I’ve been able to move away from the conflicting divisive concepts of GOD. I am not atheist, I am a believer, yet my belief has evolved (or degenerated) to the point of rejecting the “well defined God in a box” of religious congregations and organizations. I believe in the wonder and mystery of the universe, in the electro-chemical interactions in the brain, and in what some call “First Cause.” I speak of God in conversations with others for convenience sake, but for me that which we call “God” is a meta-cosmic energy, a sort of all inclusive “IT” which is variously experienced, perceived and imagined by human beings.

"So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something. "

I learn something new almost every day … and the major result is that yesterday’s truths, facts and beliefs continually evolve, are changed, are replaced by even more transient concepts. There’s a great sense of freedom in that! I am no longer driven to be right and there is no need to prove others wrong; no need to convert, to turn them away from their truths and beliefs. Penn seems to find that freedom in believing there is no God and I find it in the idea of an indefinable “God” that conforms to no human concept of reality.

"Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future."

I am constantly amazed at the “God-Culture” that insists on crediting and blaming “God” for the stuff of life. In a sense I think we are being tested; the test is this – to discover, develop and use the capacity for intelligence designed into this brain-mind-body construct we inhabit. The suffering and conflicts in the world can be overcome if we could let go of the stuff of religion and politics and put the other “90 percent” of our “brain” to work. Attributing suffering, wars and such to “God” is a weak excuse for refusing to take personal responsibility for the stuff of life on planet Earth. For me, the “IT” has well designed and equipped us to resolve and solve our personal problems and humanity’s problems. We have not yet discovered the necessity of teaching that; we find it easier embrace the insanity of assigning blame and responsibility outside of self.

I am in awe of the “chemical” activity within the neural networks throughout our bodies and the wonder of how the inter-workings of the brain and its electrical/chemical interactions give form and substance to what we think we see and hear. In a very real sense, we live within the illusions created within the brain-mind construct. “The difficulty,” teacher Charles Fillmore once said, “is that the illusion is so real!”

This is some of the momentary stuff of my personal illusion, triggered by the fantastic “illusionist,” Penn Teller, and by your insightful comments on this thread. I live in awe of illusion and in expectation of tomorrow’s illusions … that makes the world, the universe, an exciting place in which to live.

Mac H.
10-01-2007, 06:00 AM
I never figured out the 'atheism is a religion' idea.

Even if true, it is a useless concept.

For example, a committed Christian would then have a member of a thousand religions:

1. The 'I believe in the Christian God' religion.

2. The 'I DON'T believe in fairies' religion

3. The 'I DON'T believe in invisible pink unicorns' religion.

If "I don't believe in God" is a religion, then items 2 & 3 in the list above are also religions.


How anyone can say with such certainty that something doesn't exist seems a bit egotistical to me.Absolutely. Those people who are certain that Leprecauns don't exist are egotistical. As you point out, how can they say with certainty that something doesn't exist?

Mac

dadburnett
10-05-2007, 12:46 AM
I never figured out the 'atheism is a religion' idea.

Even if true, it is a useless concept.

For example, a committed Christian would then have a member of a thousand religions:

1. The 'I believe in the Christian God' religion.

2. The 'I DON'T believe in fairies' religion

3. The 'I DON'T believe in invisible pink unicorns' religion.

If "I don't believe in God" is a religion, then items 2 & 3 in the list above are also religions.

Absolutely. Those people who are certain that Leprecauns don't exist are egotistical. As you point out, how can they say with certainty that something doesn't exist?

Mac

I think you've hit the nail on the head, maybe several nails on several heads. But then, what do I know; I'm a beliver but I don't believe in religion or atheism, leprecauns or unicorns ... I do wonder a bit about Bigfoot and and Golem. ;)
Dadburnett

Anthony Matias
02-07-2008, 09:41 AM
500 years from now, we'll realize that we knew nearly nothing 1000 years ago and little more than that, 500 years from then.

We are continuing to evolve as humans (AW members more than others ;)) and to say for certain that there is or isn't a God is probably a bit premature.

Today, I am personally not a believer in God, and that is based on gambit of experiences that I have had throughout my lifetime. But, I am aware that experiences will continue to happen and insight into those experiences may eventually lead me to a God. It's just at this point in my life, I think it would be wrong for me to think I knew anything for certain.

I truly thank all of you for your POV's!