How come I'm not an atheist?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
12-05-2017, 10:10 AM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 06:08 AM)Naielis Wrote:  If you ever want to make yourself less sure about things, just research philosophy.

So in other words, philosophy is no longer about the search for truth -- ?

Huh
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thoreauvian's post
12-05-2017, 10:27 AM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 10:10 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 06:08 AM)Naielis Wrote:  If you ever want to make yourself less sure about things, just research philosophy.

So in other words, philosophy is no longer about the search for truth -- ?

Huh

Of course it's about the search for truth.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2017 11:10 AM by JesseB.)
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(10-05-2017 04:13 AM)unknowndevil666 Wrote:  Hi all,

Some of you guys may remember me from several months back. If not, doesn't matter cuz I'm gonna summarize my beliefs here anyway. Feel free to skip any part if I get ranty.

I'm an agnostic: I don't believe that a god does exist, and I don't believe that a god doesn't exist, "god" meaning an intelligent creator/originator/cause/whatever to the universe. Now, by most of your guys' definition of "atheist" as "lack of belief in god", I would be an atheist, but that's not the only definition and its not the definition I find useful. For me at least. I'm only emphasizing this now because I personally hear the same rhetoric over and over again when I express my agnosticism. I recognize agnostic atheism is a thing, I was one, but I'm not that. You can call me an atheist all you like, but I am not "an atheist".

Anyway, that's what my question is all about actually: why am I an agnostic and not an atheist? What is the fundamental reason for me separating myself from atheists? Because even if I also "lack belief in god", I find myself disagreeing time and time again with a good number of people who "lack belief in god". I don't simply dismiss the classical arguments for god (cosmological, teleological, etc.); I prioritize logical and epistemic possibility over physical possibility, such that I consider metaphysical and potentially/probably unobservable possibilities and build models with them; similarly, I am more interested in mathematics and logic rather than science.

What this all comes down to, it seems, is that I am more concerned with consistency than I am with truth. That's not to say I don't care about truth, obviously if I find something to be true it can't be dismissed. But take Matt Dillahunty's saying for a second: "I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible." The problem I have with this philosophy is that it seems that by trying to not believe false things, it halts abstract or creative thinking, thinking about things in theory so that perhaps you will stumble upon some underlying truth. Essentially, you don't consider things that might or might not be true, you only consider things that can be shown to be true. But I personally don't mind considering things that have even a probability of being false, and so possibly ending up believing things that happen to be false, so long as I am discovering true things and building models based on valid reasoning.

So I don't know, and I'm trying to figure it out. Why do I feel so ideologically distant from the group that champions skepticism, science, logic, reason, etc. etc. and with which I generally agree with when it comes to mystical/supernatural stuff. Does it have to do with the fact that I simply don't believe either way on the existence of gods, where atheists do believe that no god exists? Am I not as realist as atheists such that I dream up nice-looking possibilities that have no basis in reality? I don't consider myself a skeptic either, does that have to do with it?

Anyway, that's enough rambling. I'm really trying to figure out what the thing is here, so if anybody is willing to help me out and maybe take a guess as to the fundamental issue here, I'd appreciate it.

Hmm, interesting. If you're trying to figure out a definition for yourself, I really can't help you. I also personally don't think it really matters either. You are you. I am that I am to borrow from one literary construct. I don't particularly understand why being different from... let's say a general consensus between possibly a majority of people who self describe themselves as Atheists is a problem (Since as a group Atheism is simply one position on a single question, and even in that single position Atheism has many different routes. Not everyone values skepticism for instance).

Edit^ I'd like to point out, my personal view. If you subscribe to an Ideology, ANY Ideology, then you are fucking wrong by default. Think for your fucking self, don't sign up for other's to think for you. Ideologically tied people are forced to back asinine faith based beliefs based on lies and falsehoods set forth by their leaders to remain a part of the "ideologically close" group. This is the same for any religion along with social justice folks, or strong political ideologies, all of them. Even if some of the answers they come up with are correct, they still have the baggage left behind from being a part of an ideological group, the group think, and the asinine other beliefs the group has chosen to adopt that are not correct. Possibly the biggest problem in the world today is the massive number of humans who never choose to fucking think, I'm beginning to suspect they are somehow incapable of thought. So if you feel ideologically distant from me then yes, yes you are. Fuck your ideology and all other ideologies. Stick it up your ass and think for yourself for once.

I also don't see how logic, mathematics, and science are somehow exclusively separate (My definition of "science" is simply the scientific method, which is a logical process with built in checks required for problem solving those questions we have about the world around us). Nor do I see more philosophical "Metaphysical" as something to be discouraged. All I care about personally is that we are aware of the distinction between the physical, and those things that exist only within the confines of our inner "selves." My little brother believes in spiritual things that exist as semi tangible objects, theists do too. I remember telling him at once point talking about this, "Well sure, but you do realize that it exists only inside your own mind right?" I think this might have offended him a little, but he finally understood me a bit better, so there's that. To put it another way, I would point to the Harry Potter series (of course I would I'm a nerd). When Harry "dies" and is talking to Dumbledore and asks "Is this all in my head." To which Dumbledore replies, "Of course it is but that doesn't mean it's not real." (My quote might be slightly incorrect as I'm going off memory here)

Things that are verifiable and accurate are important, yet we can find a great deal of personal "truths" from half truths and even outright falsehoods. I would point to Ender's game near the end of the first chapter I think, (Again going from memory so my quote isn't 100% right here) "So humans are just tools? ....Yes, isn't that the way it has always been?.... You're wrong..... No, it's just a half truth, you can worry about the rest later."

Many people lack the capacity to really understand how powerful a half truth can be, how important it can be (Personally I think it's almost all people). They get hung up on the "your wrong" part and don't look at the part where it's right, the truths hidden within that half truth. I've heard of such people described as two dimensional thinkers. Their thought process, and by extension their entire worlds lack a certain level of complexity. They lack much of the true beauty of this world, and people like this come across as supremely cognitively deficient. To the point of seemingly to be lacking, in any level, a true sense of self awareness. But then every day when I interact with people, I don't see an "evolved" species a great ape superior to it's predecessors. I see great apes pretending to be humans. When I was younger I once wrote, "the world is full of shadows, shadows full of potential, pretending to be humans. Lacking a truly defining form. Existing only by lying to themselves about their own significance."

But do I think you can curse a person so that lightning strikes them? Do I think that I can shoot giant balls of fire from my dick to burn my enemies alive? Of course not, that shit's totally asinine. Yet some people really "believe" in such things. To me there is only the physical world. Everything else exists only within you, depending on your minds ability to build it. Your brain is a computer, it's designed to be a simulation machine (Just like a computer), anything you can imagine can totally exist. Yet only within the confines of your mind.

Do I sound like a "typical" Atheist to you? And if not does it really matter?

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
Big Grin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-05-2017, 10:56 AM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 10:27 AM)Naielis Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 10:10 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  So in other words, philosophy is no longer about the search for truth -- ?

Huh

Of course it's about the search for truth.

So then you are becoming more certain with a study of philosophy -- ?

Huh
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Thoreauvian's post
12-05-2017, 01:59 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(11-05-2017 07:35 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(10-05-2017 06:09 AM)Vera Wrote:  What I don't get is why people are so obsessed with labels. And more importantly - with labeling themselves.

"You can call me an atheist all you like, but I am not "an atheist" - the thing is, I highly doubt anyone here wants to call you anything or cares one way or another.

Also - ideologically distant? There's no atheist ideology and frankly, what's the point of spending you painfully short days on this earth, obsessing over what ideology to choose (or even wanting to tie yourself to an ideology, whatever the hell that means).

Oh thank goodness you said it. All I could think was I don't care what anyone decides to call themselves. We're all basically, if you don't believe in god(s), atheist. Agnostic is a meaningless word. I'm growing annoyed with that silly fence sitters who seem to think that they're open to anything. If your bar for lack of belief is so low that you can jump back and forth between it, I don't really give a shit.

Hehe, Moms, my first reaction was "I don't give a shit" and the second, in reaction to "you may call me an atheist" was - why do think I want to call you anything or that I give even a single, minuscule fuck.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Vera's post
12-05-2017, 02:50 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 10:56 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(12-05-2017 10:27 AM)Naielis Wrote:  Of course it's about the search for truth.

So then you are becoming more certain with a study of philosophy -- ?

Huh

The first step in the search for truth is recognizing/admitting that you haven't got it yet. Those who haven't taken this step may be suffering from the "certainty of ignorance".

So it seems perfectly natural (to me, at least) to become less certain when you begin to study philosophy.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Grasshopper's post
12-05-2017, 05:41 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 02:50 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  The first step in the search for truth is recognizing/admitting that you haven't got it yet. Those who haven't taken this step may be suffering from the "certainty of ignorance".

So it seems perfectly natural (to me, at least) to become less certain when you begin to study philosophy.

Okay, so Naielis's original statement was an over-generalization. The goal is to unlearn false certainties and replace them with what can really be known. I can go for that, but I am not sure philosophy is the way to get there.

If philosophy is only about becoming uncertain because philosophers undermine language with all the word games they play, I will stick with science and scholarship as paths to knowledge.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Thoreauvian's post
12-05-2017, 08:24 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(10-05-2017 04:13 AM)unknowndevil666 Wrote:  Hi all,

Some of you guys may remember me from several months back. If not, doesn't matter cuz I'm gonna summarize my beliefs here anyway. Feel free to skip any part if I get ranty.

I'm an agnostic: I don't believe that a god does exist, and I don't believe that a god doesn't exist, "god" meaning an intelligent creator/originator/cause/whatever to the universe. Now, by most of your guys' definition of "atheist" as "lack of belief in god", I would be an atheist, but that's not the only definition and its not the definition I find useful. For me at least. I'm only emphasizing this now because I personally hear the same rhetoric over and over again when I express my agnosticism. I recognize agnostic atheism is a thing, I was one, but I'm not that. You can call me an atheist all you like, but I am not "an atheist".

Anyway, that's what my question is all about actually: why am I an agnostic and not an atheist? What is the fundamental reason for me separating myself from atheists? Because even if I also "lack belief in god", I find myself disagreeing time and time again with a good number of people who "lack belief in god". I don't simply dismiss the classical arguments for god (cosmological, teleological, etc.); I prioritize logical and epistemic possibility over physical possibility, such that I consider metaphysical and potentially/probably unobservable possibilities and build models with them; similarly, I am more interested in mathematics and logic rather than science.

What this all comes down to, it seems, is that I am more concerned with consistency than I am with truth. That's not to say I don't care about truth, obviously, if I find something to be true it can't be dismissed. But take Matt Dillahunty's saying for a second: "I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible." The problem I have with this philosophy is that it seems that by trying to not believe false things, it halts abstract or creative thinking, thinking about things in theory so that perhaps you will stumble upon some underlying truth. Essentially, you don't consider things that might or might not be true, you only consider things that can be shown to be true. But I personally don't mind considering things that have even a probability of being false, and so possibly ending up believing things that happen to be false, so long as I am discovering true things and building models based on valid reasoning.

So I don't know, and I'm trying to figure it out. Why do I feel so ideologically distant from the group that champions skepticism, science, logic, reason, etc. etc. and with which I generally agree with when it comes to mystical/supernatural stuff. Does it have to do with the fact that I simply don't believe either way on the existence of gods, where atheists do believe that no god exists? Am I not as realist as atheists such that I dream up nice-looking possibilities that have no basis in reality? I don't consider myself a skeptic either, does that have to do with it?

Anyway, that's enough rambling. I'm really trying to figure out what the thing is here, so if anybody is willing to help me out and maybe take a guess as to the fundamental issue here, I'd appreciate it.

Evolving from agnostic to atheist takes awhile. It requires introspective long study of the best of the classic, and all disproven, arguments for a god. It also takes a lengthy amount of research and understanding of how the world does not reflect a design, but just the opposite. As a reference:

The top ten arguments for a god are:

1. Shifting the Burden of Proof - I know God exists. If you disagree, prove otherwise. Oh you say you can't prove God doesn't exist? That's because you know he does!
2. Argument from Popularity - The vast majority of the world believes in God. This supports the universal truth that God is real, otherwise it makes no sense that so many people would believe.
3. The Transcendental Argument - God is, by definition, a being greater than which nothing can be conceived (imagined). Existence in reality is better than existence in one's imagination. God must exist in reality; if God did not, then God would not be that than which nothing greater can be conceived (imagined).
4. Argument from Coercion - You must believe in God/Jesus. It's your only hope for salvation. We are all doomed if we don't accept Jesus as our personal savior. It says so in the Bible. If you want to live forever and avoid suffering, you must accept God.
5. First Cause Argument - Everything that exists in our world is the result of some sort of "first cause" which brought about its existence. Therefore, there must have been a force which created the universe. That "first cause" is what we call God. Also known as Cosmological Argument.
6. Argument from Authority - God is real because the Bible (or whatever sacred text you believe in) says so. Why would so many people write so much about God if it wasn't true?
7. Argument from Personal Experience - I know god exists because I can feel him. I know it in my heart; he talks to me; I feel his strength and existence flow through every fiber of my being.
8. Argument from Improbability - The second law of thermodynamics says matter inevitably becomes entropic (spreads out in chaos) and this defies the observation on Earth where we see, things becoming more organized. Therefore God is responsible.
9. Pascal's Wager - It is a "safe bet" to believe in God just in case he is real. What's the harm? If you believe and he doesn't exist, you don't lose anything, but if you don't believe and he does exist, you lose big time.
10. Argument from Design - If you found a watch on the ground, you never met the watchmaker, but you know from its design, the beauty of it; the way each piece was intricately designed to work together, that this watch had a creator. Theists point to the human body; the precise way each of our organs work with each other and claim it's the most amazing "creation" of all, and surely there was some sort of creator behind it.

All of these are easily dismantled. Deciding if the possibility exists that there is a god out there is a personal thing. I shifted from agnostic to atheist when I came to peace with the amount of knowledge I had accrued on the subject, and that while one can play the, "anything is possible" game, the probability of a god existing is really slim considering what we know of the universe thus far. So rather than holding onto the possibility that we will one day suddenly find out that Uranus is hollow, and all this time Norrg, the creator of everything, has been hiding in Uranus....I am comfortable with saying that zero evidence exists for a god, man fabricated the concept of god, and there is no reason for a god to exist, thus...atheist. I wish you well though on your personal epistemological journey. May you find peace with your decision.

"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)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 10 users Like goodwithoutgod's post
12-05-2017, 08:33 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
Agnostics aren't real people.

[Image: oscar.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes earmuffs's post
12-05-2017, 10:55 PM
RE: How come I'm not an atheist?
(12-05-2017 08:24 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  ...
The top ten arguments for a god are:
...

And where the fuck have you been?

I was beginning to doubt your existence.

That's like an aGWoGist. Not, believe in your non-existence... I'm not an antiGWoGist.

Maybe I'm an agnwogstic?

Ohmy

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like DLJ's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: