Poll: Are you an gnostic atheist?
Yes. I am atheist and I KNOW there is NO god.
No. I am atheist but am not 100% positive god doesn't exist.
I am a believer. And I KNOW god exist. I just KNOW
I am a believer. But I can't be sure.
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Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
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20-08-2012, 07:57 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
Exactly - I'm a gnostic atheist when it comes to your god, for every definition of someone's god that I have been presented with. One day someone might come along with a god I can't easily dismiss. Maybe there are god-beasts outside of our reality that don't interact with our reality and are noone's god in particular.

I'm agnostic to the possibility of a god I do not know about. I'm gnostic to the non-existence of impossible self-contradictory gods whose origins, miracles and interventions have all been entirely human and natural.

A creature may exist that has properties such that we might call it a god... but your god doesn't exist or your god does not have the properties necessary to describe it as a god.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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20-08-2012, 02:07 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(19-08-2012 09:12 PM)Atheist Chiefs fan! Wrote:  I'm searching for a gnostic atheist.

I guess to be fair I should ask if you are a gnostic/agnostic theist too.
I honestly don't mean to be difficult, but before I could possibly vote in this poll, there would have to be a definition of "god". The term "god" can mean anything from a lifeless gold statue to an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent being. In fact, that lifeless gold statue is god to some people and that god does exist. But it's not "god" to me. And I'm pretty sure that isn't what you mean anyway. On the other hand, there could possibly be an alien with powerful abilities that humans don't have. Some might call that a "god". I would call it another species. So anyway what do you mean by "god"?

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20-08-2012, 02:48 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(20-08-2012 02:07 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(19-08-2012 09:12 PM)Atheist Chiefs fan! Wrote:  I'm searching for a gnostic atheist.

I guess to be fair I should ask if you are a gnostic/agnostic theist too.
I honestly don't mean to be difficult, but before I could possibly vote in this poll, there would have to be a definition of "god". The term "god" can mean anything from a lifeless gold statue to an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent being. In fact, that lifeless gold statue is god to some people and that god does exist. But it's not "god" to me. And I'm pretty sure that isn't what you mean anyway. On the other hand, there could possibly be an alien with powerful abilities that humans don't have. Some might call that a "god". I would call it another species. So anyway what do you mean by "god"?

I am willing to throw my my money into the "omnipotent, omniscient, omni-benevolent being" pot on this one!

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20-08-2012, 04:31 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(19-08-2012 10:33 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  A few years ago, I knew that there were 9 planets in the solar system.

Now I know that there are 8.

Knowledge can change when facts change. I know that God does not exist.

This is almost certainly the example I'd use if I were trying to prove that you're equivocating the word "know". You were absolutely certain that there were 9 planets, even though there were 8? And now you're absolutely certain that there are 8, despite the fact that it changed in the recent past and could change with the discovery of another planet?

I don't think you mean that you're absolutely certain, which is generally what is meant by "gnostic" (meaning "knowing"). I think you're just saying that you accept the current consensus, and will accept it if it changes.

If you were a gnostic atheist, you'd still be an atheist if God shook your hand and introduced himself.

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20-08-2012, 05:16 PM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2012 10:32 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
"Are there any gnostic atheist out there?"

I don't gno. I wish I gnu. I do know I saw a gnu in the zoo.
But I don't know much about gnus.
So I am gnostic with respect to gnus, in general.
But I don't really know much about gnus, in the zoo.
But I don't believe so, with respect to yer question.
(Does that makes me an agnostic gnostic ?)
I am definitely agnostic about gnus, especially gnus in the zoo.
I thought I knew more. That's all I know now.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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20-08-2012, 05:55 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
It makesh yer a devol wershiper, dagnabbit!

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20-08-2012, 06:05 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
What if a person doesn't view anything as a god or gods, but accepts others may consider it a god or gods, as anything would just be another species of a sort. Really though, it does seem to be a bit one-sided.... I mean, which god? What is the god? How would you define the god? Is it just one god or many? Depending on these (especially the definition part), people could say with certainty that it does or does not exist.

I mean if someone says that god is the tangible, visible leprechaun that doesn't move, and can be killed if touched and will produce a body if dead--and it's sitting in my hand.... well, it doesn't exist. If it's the tree in my front yard, then it does exist--at least to the person. Or even if a god has all the omni abilities especially if saying it created everything, I'd say the god does not exist.
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20-08-2012, 08:57 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(20-08-2012 04:31 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  This is almost certainly the example I'd use if I were trying to prove that you're equivocating the word "know". You were absolutely certain that there were 9 planets, even though there were 8? And now you're absolutely certain that there are 8, despite the fact that it changed in the recent past and could change with the discovery of another planet?

I don't think you mean that you're absolutely certain, which is generally what is meant by "gnostic" (meaning "knowing"). I think you're just saying that you accept the current consensus, and will accept it if it changes.

If you were a gnostic atheist, you'd still be an atheist if God shook your hand and introduced himself.

I have to admit that I'm getting more than a little depressed, now. In future, could you please actually read the words that I write, rather than the words you think that I write?

Knowledge doesn't require absolute certainty. Unless you're a skeptic. I addressed this several posts ago. Nor do I follow the consensus. If I did that, I'd be a member of whichever religion had the most followers and a supporter of whichever government is in power. But back to the thing about certainty...

Do you know that the sun will rise tomorrow? You can't be certain. Even if, in the full expanse of recorded human history, something has always happened a particular way... that does not give you certainty that it will always happen that way in the future.

Following that reason, knowledge (with the skeptical certainty that you seem to demand) is impossible. About anything. Ever.

So, we can either abandon the word "knowledge" altogether, eradicating it from our dictionaries, or we can understand that knowledge is something that maps on to our best current understanding of reality.

So, to repeat: knowledge can change when facts change.

I'd already told the OP to read David Hume. Allow me to ctrl-c ctrl-v some of his words on this:-

The sceptical objections to moral evidence, or to the reasonings concerning matter of fact, are either popular or philosophical. The popular objections are derived from the natural weakness of human understanding; the contradictory opinions, which have been entertained in different ages and nations; the variations of our judgement in sickness and health, youth and old age, prosperity and adversity; the perpetual contradiction of each particular man’s opinions and sentiments; with many other topics of that kind. It is needless to insist farther on this head. These objections are but weak. For as, in common life, we reason every moment concerning fact and existence, and cannot possibly subsist, without continually employing this species of argument, any popular objections, derived from thence, must be insufficient to destroy that evidence. The great subverter of Pyrrhonism or the excessive principles of scepticism is action, and employment, and the occupations of common life. These principles may flourish and triumph in the schools; where it is, indeed, difficult, if not impossible, to refute them. But as soon as they leave the shade, and by the presence of the real objects, which actuate our passions and sentiments, are put in opposition to the more powerful principles of our nature, they vanish like smoke, and leave the most determined sceptic in the same condition as other mortals.

The sceptic, therefore, had better keep within his proper sphere, and display those philosophical objections, which arise from more profound researches. Here he seems to have ample matter of triumph; while he justly insists, that all our evidence for any matter of fact, which lies beyond the testimony of sense or memory, is derived entirely from the relation of cause and effect; that we have no other idea of this relation than that of two objects, which have been frequently conjoined together; that we have no argument to convince us, that objects, which have, in our experience, been frequently conjoined, will likewise, in other instances, be conjoined in the same manner; and that nothing leads us to this inference but custom or a certain instinct of our nature; which it is indeed difficult to resist, but which, like other instincts, may be fallacious and deceitful. While the sceptic insists upon these topics, he shows his force, or rather, indeed, his own and our weakness; and seems, for the time at least, to destroy all assurance and conviction. These arguments might be displayed at greater length, if any durable good or benefit to society could ever be expected to result from them.

For here is the chief and most confounding objection to excessive scepticism, that no durable good can ever result from it; while it remains in its full force and vigour. We need only ask such a sceptic, What his meaning is? And what he proposes by all these curious researches? He is immediately at a loss, and knows not what to answer. A Copernican or Ptolemaic, who supports each his different system of astronomy, may hope to produce a conviction, which will remain constant and durable, with his audience. A Stoic or Epicurean displays principles, which may not be durable, but which have an effect on conduct and behaviour. But a Pyrrhonian cannot expect, that his philosophy will have any constant influence on the mind: or if it had, that its influence would be beneficial to society. On the contrary, he must acknowledge, if he will acknowledge anything, that all human life must perish, were his principles universally and steadily to prevail. All discourse, all action would immediately cease; and men remain in a total lethargy, till the necessities of nature, unsatisfied, put an end to their miserable existence. It is true; so fatal an event is very little to be dreaded. Nature is always too strong for principle. And though a Pyrrhonian may throw himself or others into a momentary amazement and confusion by his profound reasonings; the first and most trivial event in life will put to flight all his doubts and scruples, and leave him the same, in every point of action and speculation, with the philosophers of every other sect, or with those who never concerned themselves in any philosophical researches. When he awakes from his dream, he will be the first to join in the laugh against himself, and to confess, that all his objections are mere amusement, and can have no other tendency than to show the whimsical condition of mankind, who must act and reason and believe; though they are not able, by their most diligent enquiry, to satisfy themselves concerning the foundation of these operations, or to remove the objections, which may be raised against them.


David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Of the academical or sceptical philosophy Part II
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21-08-2012, 12:56 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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21-08-2012, 04:01 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
Theism insofar as it applies to a personal god, absolutely. You'd really be silly to think otherwise! Same category as unicorns and fairies.

Western philosophical metaphysical concept though, agnostic, but to me that can only apply to a deistic god not a theistic one.

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
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