Agnostic belief
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01-06-2011, 08:40 AM
RE: Agnostic belief
(01-06-2011 07:41 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I know. That's the problem. I don't share that belief. So how can I be you?

You don't share what belief? I never said anything about what I believe, I pointed out what I don't believe. If you don't share my lack of belief, you therefore believe.

Quote:A lot of Atheists that call themselves Agnostic Atheists adhere to this principle in the thinnest of senses. They say “I don't believe in God, but I'm not 100% certain”.

This seems to me to be a misrepresentation or at least a misunderstanding of what is said, at least by myself. Saying, “I don't believe in God, but I'm not 100% certain”, makes no sense in the way you use it here. The way you word it is quite ambiguous, because I cannot tell how you mean "I don't believe in God". Are you using it to mean that one believes god doesn't exist or to mean that one withholds belief due to lack of evidence? If someone said that to me, I would have to have them clarify what is meant and then we could go from there.

Quote:In doing so they accomplish two things. 1 - They get to claim Agnosticism when really, their belief in the non-existence of God is so near 100% that they might as well just say they're certain.

Well, no... 100% absolute certainty, the type that many theists claim, is vastly different in epistemological terms compared to 99.9999% confidence. Also, they very well may mean the term agnosticism to represent the idea that the concept is inherently unknowable in general, not just unknown to them at the time. Using the term agnostic is important and seems to me quite helpful and accurate when pitted against those who attempt to claim certainty as gnostic a/theists.
Quote:2 - By doing so, they get to claim that they are more open minded and not as rigidly dogmatic as Theists. That dogmatism is exactly what Huxley was responding to and it's what we true Agnostics wish to separate from.

So you are arguing that everyone who positively asserts that God doesn't exist is actively trying to hide their belief and/or grant it legitimacy by using a label that doesn't describe themselves? I use such a label, and completely reject this accusation.

Quote:For real Agnostics, not pretending conclusions are certain doesn't mean operate as if they are but pay lip service to the fact they're not, it means operate as though they are not. When you say "I don't believe in God" you've taken a position, the true Atheist position, one that many Atheists deny they’ve taken and for all intents and purposes you're all pretending that it's certain.

Once again, your words and the tone seem to be at odds. There is a massive difference between the following statements, but it seems you are using them interchangeably:

1) I don't believe in God.
2) I believe there is no God.

Quote:No, not Atheism. If you could go ahead and keep that that'd be greaaaaaaat. Agnosticism. You've sewn an Agnostic flag on your backpack. Well stop it because the Dutch really like us and now they're gonna think that we're a bunch of douche bags

I use the term because it describes my epistemological stance regarding the concept of knowledge in general, as well as more specifically towards the God question. Sorry if you don't like it, but it's accurate.

Quote:It's an Atheist talking point. Didn't mean to make it sound like you were saying it.

News to me.
Quote:Yes. That's why I'm an Agnostic.

Believing that Yahweh and the deist's impersonal God are equally likely, equally logical, and equally valid assertions, seems absurd and quite silly to me personally, but feel free to hold that position. I'd love to hear why you think the problem of evil is not a considerable one.

Quote:My concern is very simple. I know that the natural universe exists and that I am governed by its rules. Of that, I am certain because it has been demonstrated time and time again. My only question is, does the supernatural, that which is above/beyond (super to) the natural, exist? The supernatural is not governed by the rules of the natural universe, it governs them.

If the supernatural is impossible, then no God, not a single one of the thousands, can possibly exist. If the supernatural does exist, then all Gods are possible.

Even Gods that are illogical and contradictory? Gods that are claimed to be perfectly benevolent yet create a universe filled with evil?
Quote:There is absolutely no way for me to answer the question, does the supernatural exist? None whatsoever.

So if I told you there was a miniature intangible invisible unicorn in my garage, you would neither believe me nor disbelieve me? Seems to me the most honest and frankly pragmatic default stance to take is of provisional skeptical disbelief of all claims until evidence is presented. You disagree?

Quote:Since I cannot answer that fundamental question, I cannot answer the God question. Any of them. So yes, deist God, Judeo-Christian God, Crow spirit, Zeus and his Pantheon, Shiva, Osiris and the Gang, they may all exist. Who knows? Maybe they all do.

So with the supernatural, you assume that all logic goes out the window? If the supernatural existed something could both be and not be at the same time, be completely black yet entirely white simultaneously, contradictions existing all the time and mutually exclusive entities by definition could all be? What is your basis for claiming this is possible? To me this seems like an entirely baseless assertion. With this mindset, you would believe anything is possible, and it seems to me that this is as absurd as anything else.

Quote:Maybe there's only a single God that masquerades as all of them. Maybe there's only a single God and they're all interpretations of it. Maybe there's only a single God and everyone's holy books have all of the details wrong. I don't know, I can't know and so as a practicing Agnostic, I cannot make a claim one way of the other. Do I believe they're possible? Yes. Do I believe they might not be? Yes. Do I believe one over the other? No.

I agree with all of those answers, BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE THEY DO EXIST THEREFORE YOU ARE AN ATHEIST. Simple as that.

Quote:I could give a fuck about the Bible, or the Gita, or the Qur'an. They're books. They're either written by God, which I can never know, or they're written by men.

So a perfect God who loves us and wants his message to be spread, who is all-knowing and all-powerful by definition would write an imperfect book, filled with contradictions, ambiguities, and scientific impossibilities? You don't have any problem taking this and saying "Yeah, that's just as likely as it is not.."?
Quote:If they're written by God, well, then that's that. If they're written by men, their accuracy, or lack thereof, makes absolutely zero comment on the existence of God. They could be an absolute casserole of nonsense and God could still exist.

So if the God that is described in the book is clearly a flawed human construct, you don't think it's fair to doubt that particular God's existence?

Quote:So the problem of evil doesn't bother me at all. First of all, I think that good and evil are human constructs. I don't believe in good and evil. They're childish concepts. Second, if evil is caused by God, then that is reality and our crappy book is wrong. Reality trumps all models always, including master narratives.

It should bother you, because the book says what good and evil are, says God is good, and then tells of all his evil acts. You can doubt the book all you want, but I still assert that you should and would be justified in doubting the God it describes doesn't exist. Numbers are human constructs and I'm sure you understand them, so if we agree about the concept the single-digit numbers and I tell you that 2+2=5, you don't have any problem with my logic or conclusion because math is a human construct?
Quote:To understand me you must understand what Huxley says. I vigorously apply a single principle. I don't make conclusions about what is neither demonstrated nor demonstrable. No one has ever demonstrated that God exists. No one has ever demonstrated that God does not exist (I’m aware of the proving a negative thing but if it’s a hurdle that can’t be surmounted, then just admit that it can’t be surmounted).

No one has ever demonstrated that my invisible unicorn does or doesn't exist, but don't you think the default position should be disbelief until evidence is presented, especially regarding extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence?

I do not believe that the God question is demonstrable. Therefore, because the God question is both undemonstrated and indemonstrable, I do not and will not make a conclusion. Period. That, to me, is what Agnosticism is and that, to me, is why I am neither a Theist nor an Atheist. Both Theists and Atheists have made their conclusions. They can justify, qualify and testify all they want, but they've made them. I have not. And I won't. You've failed, your highness. I am an Agnostic like my father before me.... So be it... Agnostic.

Actually, I am an atheist and have NOT come to a conclusion as to the existence of a deity - stop asserting I and all atheists have. I will say it AGAIN, one is an epistemological stance, one is a theological stance. You don't have to go around telling people because you think they will label you as something you aren't, but based on the statement I bolded, you are an agnostic atheist by definition.
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01-06-2011, 02:00 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
Hey, Mike.

It was a gas.

We out.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

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22-07-2015, 08:33 AM
RE: Agnostic belief
Is it logical to say I don't know if there is a "god"? And then being asked to define "god".
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22-07-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: Agnostic belief
Guarionex - You could go all day, trying to pin down a useful definition of God. Most tend to be fairly nebulous and shifty, I find.

I like to say I'm an agnostic atheist, not out of some form of weak belief, but in an attempt to be fully honest.

I see agnosticism as a philosophy - from what I understand of the concepts of God/gods I've heard, it's clearly a concept we have no way to know for sure via methods with which I am familiar, and thus I believe the question is unknowable.

I see atheism as my conclusion - from what I understand of the concepts of God/gods I've heard, so far, they're all just obvious inventions of mankind, projections of various psychological needs/desires, and are all bunk.

I'm rather fond of the quip, "I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." -Stephen F Roberts

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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22-07-2015, 02:09 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(22-07-2015 08:33 AM)Guarionex Wrote:  Is it logical to say I don't know if there is a "god"? And then being asked to define "god".

Welcome to ignosticism.
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22-07-2015, 05:08 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(22-05-2011 04:59 PM)TheThinkingAgnostic Wrote:  
(22-05-2011 04:21 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  That would make most of us 5 or 6 on the Dawkins scale, instead of 7's who are absolutely certain that there is no such thing as a god. There are a few 4's and 7's lurking around though. Anyways, welcome to TTA.

Ok. This means that I am a 5 simply because i believe both believers and nonbelievers have no proof of the right answer.

This is true for the clean-cut yes/no debate but the circumstantial evidence is off the scale.


"I love the term magic realism. It's about expanding how you see the world. I think we live in an age where we're just hammered to think this is what the world is. Everything's saying 'That's the world.' And it's not the world. The world is a million possible things." - TG

Salman Rushdie talks to Terry Gilliam
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22-07-2015, 05:43 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(22-05-2011 04:18 PM)TheThinkingAgnostic Wrote:  First I would like to say that this is now my favorite website ever. I admire everything thethinkingathiests are doing. I have one question though.

If the editors and founders of this page are thinking athiests, doesnt that make them/ya'll closer to agnostics? Because one can never be sure if god exists?

Im assuming ya'll have thought of this though. Angel

This has probably been said already, but I am too lazy to read the whole thread.

Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive positions.

Agnosticism is the position that the existence of gods is currently unknown, and possibly unknowable.

Atheism is the disbelief in the existence of gods.

Most atheists, by this definition, are also agnostic.
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22-07-2015, 05:53 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(31-05-2011 08:45 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I get angry when Atheists say they're Agnostics because they're full of crap and they're using the term in the loosest lip service way possible


It is actually the formal definitions of 'atheist' and 'agnostic' that allow them to describe ones position without contradiction.

It is the looser, colloquial definitions that cause the problems you are having.
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22-07-2015, 06:06 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
I went down the path many have traveled from some form of belief, to "spiritual" to agnostic, then finally atheism. Although there are many sub/lateral-categories of "atheism". My personal perspective is after an exhaustive, introspective, analytical and pragmatic approach to researching all known "gods" I have concluded that the creator of god/s is man. Since there does not exist a single strand of evidence for these god/s, and their creation can be traced back to their fabrication and assimilation...then I conclude based on that knowledge and research, and observation of the world around me that no...god/s do not exist.

Now here is where it SEEMS to get tricky. Can I say that the possibility of a god existing is absolutely impossible? No, but based on the above reasoning, highly improbable. I shake off that little bit of shakiness with the thought that I can not disprove that a super genie named Norgg does not reside inside hollow Neptune, BUT, one would conclude based on all known evidence about the world around us, and the universe thus far that the odds of that are pretty fucking slim...dare I

So, this is how I have finally concluded my journey sitting smugly, confidently, and assuredly on the Atheist bench. Could evidence come out tomorrow that would prove a god, then I guess I will be wrong, and will fully admit so upon it presenting itself in all of its world/life creating glory...but I won't hold my breath. So for me, it is atheism.

NOTE: yes I am aware it is a necro post revival, but since it has been "resurrected" like the lawd baby jesus, I have decided to bless it with my reply Laughat

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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22-07-2015, 06:31 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
Necro thread!

Anyways I tend to prefer using the word agnostic for having no dogmatic bias either way. An example of this would be my position towards personal experiences with the supernatural. If my friend tells me they experienced demonic activity I can remain agnostic since if it proves to have been a demon then fine, I believe demons exist. If it was merely the mind playing tricks then fine, I have nothing against that either. I approach the situation with an open mind, and either conclusion does nothing for my world view.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
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