How is agnosticism viewed?
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27-12-2016, 09:57 PM
How is agnosticism viewed?
New to TTA. Former pastor and college professor who has nearly come full circle from 20 years of conservative evangelicalism to now strident agnosticism. I don't consider myself an atheist at the moment. I don't know if there is a god or not. I know I no longer ascribe to the god that evangelical theology promotes, but as far as god's existence in general, I simply don't know. Twenty years is a long time to undo. How are agnostics viewed in the atheist community? Is the ultimate goal to become atheist, or is there acceptance for those who remain doubtful but not necessarily certain?
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27-12-2016, 10:27 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
To me, agnosticism is the lens through which I view the world and atheism is what I have concluded as being probable based on that view.

It is not impossible, in my opinion, to be agnostic but not atheist or even to be agnostic and theist. Though if that is the case, my assumption is that you have not been introduced to data that I have, have been introduced to data that I have not, or have analyzed said data irrationally Big Grin

'Murican Canadian
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27-12-2016, 10:27 PM (This post was last modified: 27-12-2016 11:02 PM by DLJ.)
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
Welcome indeed, to the world of doubt and the abyss of uncertainty.

That's a good thing, btw ... it's where knowledge grows and blossoms.

There's a lot of kerfuffle over the labels ... including the term "atheist community" (think cat-herding). In the "TTA community", particularly in this section, you can call yourself what you like and you'll find support.

Best to chill, read, have fun and let the labels settle on you like petals in the breeze,

Smile

Edited to add: Tickled by your user name.
The BC Saul (rather than AD) had some strange whims. As a David, I ask that you give me a minute or two to hunt down some TTA Philistines.

Big Grin

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27-12-2016, 10:30 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(27-12-2016 09:57 PM)BCSaul Wrote:  New to TTA. Former pastor and college professor who has nearly come full circle from 20 years of conservative evangelicalism to now strident agnosticism. I don't consider myself an atheist at the moment. I don't know if there is a god or not. I know I no longer ascribe to the god that evangelical theology promotes, but as far as god's existence in general, I simply don't know. Twenty years is a long time to undo. How are agnostics viewed in the atheist community? Is the ultimate goal to become atheist, or is there acceptance for those who remain doubtful but not necessarily certain?

Doubt is a great thing. Trust yourself.

I tend not to care about agnostics one way or the other. If I were to really consider it, through the prism of my life and experiences, I'd think they lacked balls. I would go on to describe myself as a "hard atheist".

I am NOT representative of the atheist community at large. I am a Lifelong atheist. I never had a belief to lose. There's never been a sense of loss. I cannot imagine losing a religion.

However, I am extremely well read. Especially in history. It seems to me there has been the idea of the supernatural for a very long time.

"Ideas are a dime a dozen."
Jack Kerouac.

When science can put anything at all under the microscope resembling the supernatural, I will take interest.

Until then, why not worship Jupiter? He's as real as any other god.

Good luck and I hope you find your way.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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27-12-2016, 11:02 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(27-12-2016 09:57 PM)BCSaul Wrote:  Is the ultimate goal to become atheist, or is there acceptance for those who remain doubtful but not necessarily certain?

The ultimate goal is to live well or die trying.

Spend some time here and you'll find that most people remain doubtful but not necessarily certain. That's just good skepticism.

Welcome to the party. Pull up a seat. Smile

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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27-12-2016, 11:13 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
Welcome to TTA.

You will inevitably be told that agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive, in fact I just did.

One, as you clearly pointed out, pertains to knowledge. I don't think anyone can have true knowledge of anything, much less the existence of a god. The other has to do with belief. So, asking what the atheism community feels about agnosticism isn't really the right question. Atheists are mostly agnostic, and the ones who say they are gnostic are just fooling themselves.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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27-12-2016, 11:14 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
G'day BCSaul, and welcome mate. Smile

As far as I'm concerned, I consider agnosticism and atheism totally incompatible from a philosophical viewpoint. An agnostic is a 99% theist, but that one percent is the decider that means any agnostic can never be a soft atheist.

The difference between theism and atheism is like the difference between being pregnant and not being pregnant. There's no middle ground (as per agnosticism) such as being slightly pregnant.

As long as agnostics hold their viewpoint that it can't be known whether God (or gods) exists, then they obviously must, by extension, accept the possibility of the paranormal or supernatural. Which to any skeptical atheist is absurd.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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28-12-2016, 12:23 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
I must respectfully disagree with the previous posters on this subject.

I consider myself both an agnostic and an atheist. The former is a philosophical position on the knowability of the answer to the question of the existence of god(s), while the latter is an opinion based upon the evidence at hand (none that withstands scrutiny).

As an agnostic, I am perfectly willing to concede that by definition anything supernatural is beyond our ability, here in the natural world, to meaningfully detect in a falsifiable way (the type I would require in order to think of it as evidence... meaning "evident to all"). It is thus perfectly-well possible that magic exists and I have simply not encountered the evidence of it, and/or the evidence is not detectable by a mammalian primate brain. Far from being "absurd" that we might accept such a possibility, I think it is the only honest position in lieu of evidence for or against. That does not mean that an admission of the possibility means that I have accepted it as a probability, however.

As an atheist, I consider those who promote "god-stories" (as I call them) to have not only failed to prove their case or even provide anything I would consider rational evidence for supernatural entities, but to be obviously buying into (or peddling) the same sort of bunkum they see so clearly in the promoters of every other religion on the planet but not in their own. The pattern is quite clear to me, and as someone once said, "They cannot all be true, but they can all be false."

After walking away from my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, I later got a degree in biology/biochem, and learned so much about the nature of the universe around me that the tribal mythologies I was taught growing up became particularly laughable... and I saw that all the other religions were no better, in this regard.

So I do not consider it possible to answer the question about powers or things beyond our universe, in the realm of the "supernatural"... whateverthefuck that is. Thus, I am an agnostic. That said, it is my considered opinion that there are no gods of any kind, all the versions of which I have thus far been informed being clearly fictional characters invented by human minds. Thus, I am an atheist. An agnostic atheist.

"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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28-12-2016, 12:39 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
Also... I like the term, "strident agnosticism". Reminds me of an old favorite throwaway joke:

"I'm a militant agnostic. That means I don't know AND YOU DON'T EITHER!!!"

"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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28-12-2016, 01:17 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
Hi welcome Smile
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