Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
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20-06-2014, 12:59 PM
Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
I've heard over the years, more than a few Christian types who say they were atheist or agnostic atheist. But when you look more closely few were raised with "religion" in their homes or like god is kept in a nice box and taken out only when needed. They might say they "believed" in science or something like that...but god wasn't discussed or thought much about.

Until someone exposes them to what sounds good to them and suddenly they "testify" they were atheist and praise jebus for showing them the "light". The god they believe in now seems to fit their "world view" which can be literal YEC or the soft warm and fuzzy god that loves everyone and all go to heaven as long as you're a good person. (Kirk Cameron comes to mind, I doubt he ever gave religion much thought until he hooked up with Comfort or whomever...Now he'll do backflips to prove how atheist he was.)

Then there are those people like the others, not raised with religion but after looking into it, decided they were in fact agnostic atheists because the idea of god is just improbable.

So, what do you think is agnostic atheism a default position or a conclusion? I suppose it can be both for some...Consider


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20-06-2014, 01:43 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
I'm confused about what any of that has to do with agnostic atheism.

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20-06-2014, 01:52 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
I find all the sub-categories of Atheism to be confusing. Unsure
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20-06-2014, 01:53 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
I would say the default position is secular and then through your parents you could take upon the religious or non-religious views they raise you with. Atheism is a reaction to a question and if that question is never raised, so too atheism never need be brought up.

Not knowing is also a default position and as time goes along, hopefully we learn and come to know things.

For many atheists, it is a conclusion that one comes to or for some a realization.
"Oh hey, I never have believed in any kinds of gods from all those religions, looks like I'm an atheist and never even knew it."

Lots of ways to get on the path. Sometimes it's a matter of finding out the name of the path you're on.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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20-06-2014, 01:59 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
I think the default is whatever your parents believed and expressed thru, say, age 6, especially if your immediate society reinforced that belief. We're born believing our parents because that's what's proved evolutionarily "most fit" for most of our history. I think any species whose infant young are natural rebels would die out.

So I don't think belief or disbelief in gods per se could be called the "default" condition. The default is whatever you're told when still too young to have enough experience to even recognize that questioning what you're told is cogent.

That said, our pattern identifying talent is so strong it overdoes it, so that we ascribe "meaning" to what's often meaningless, and from that the concept of a "super parent" that imposes "meaning" can emerge very easily. Thus a society ignorant of most of natural law would develop a "god" belief before it attains enough knowledge of natural law to realize the absurdity of a "god", but by then the belief is so entrenched it persists by sheer cultural inertia.

So in one sense "god" could be construed as the "default" until we know better. But that's a default for a society. For an individual the default is whatever your parents believe.

Unless I'm wrong. Rare, but it happens. Could even be my "default". Tongue
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20-06-2014, 01:59 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
(20-06-2014 01:43 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  I'm confused about what any of that has to do with agnostic atheism.

If its a default position doesn't that imply someone never gave it any thought, as opposed to considering options and arriving at the conclusion?

I see many Christians who I think god/religion is simply their "default" position -- god is kept in a box and taken out when needed.

There are also people who I think agnostic atheism is their default position, like Kirk Cameron claims he once was.

But these are my thoughts, which is why I'm asking, do you feel agnostic atheism or atheism is just a default position or a conclusion?


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And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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20-06-2014, 02:02 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
To the question in the thread title, I think if you are not a theist and you are not a gnostic atheist, then you are an agnostic atheist. From a purely philosophical standpoint, I think if you have either made no conclusions about god or are unaware of god that makes you an agnostic atheist. This would include babies and peoples who grow up ignorant of the concept of God.

In the OP you talk a lot about people who grew up without religion and then later in life converted to religion. I don't see how the two questions are related. People convert to theism for many different reasons. From my own limited experience it appears that people covert to theism late in life based on their own subjective feelings, what I would call a misplaced appreciation for natural things and life, and, above all, comfort.
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20-06-2014, 02:04 PM
Re: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
Unless you proclaim prepositionalism, yes by default you known and believe nothing.

So anything you believe or know is added upon from any of the learning patterns or via genetically instinct.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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20-06-2014, 02:08 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
(20-06-2014 01:59 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(20-06-2014 01:43 PM)Tartarus Sauce Wrote:  I'm confused about what any of that has to do with agnostic atheism.

If its a default position doesn't that imply someone never gave it any thought, as opposed to considering options and arriving at the conclusion?

I see many Christians who I think god/religion is simply their "default" position -- god is kept in a box and taken out when needed.

There are also people who I think agnostic atheism is their default position, like Kirk Cameron claims he once was.

But these are my thoughts, which is why I'm asking, do you feel agnostic atheism or atheism is just a default position or a conclusion?

I thought it was more or less accepted within this community that implicit atheism is the default, but that's just a labeling device. Technically, NEITHER atheist or theism is default since they refer to positions taken on a subject that is learned through exposure to the concept, not something that is instinctually known.

I also question whether Kirk Cameron or his ilk were even agnostic atheists. As you said, they are performing retroactive somersaults to come to a new understanding of themselves through a lens with very specific biases.

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20-06-2014, 02:19 PM
RE: Is agnostic atheism a default position or conclusion?
(20-06-2014 02:02 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  In the OP you talk a lot about people who grew up without religion and then later in life converted to religion. I don't see how the two questions are related. People convert to theism for many different reasons. From my own limited experience it appears that people covert to theism late in life based on their own subjective feelings, what I would call a misplaced appreciation for natural things and life, and, above all, comfort.

I see what you mean, but the same is also true of people who were heavily indoctrinated in religion and left that behind. Some have found religions that better suited their world view and others (like me) did dismiss it all. I suppose a third camp might be my husband who dismisses a lot that his religion dictates (he's a cafeteria catholic).

But at the same time, people often who turn to religion later on will tell others they were an atheist. Kirk Cameron has stated in countless interviews that he knew all about evolution and was an atheist. I know it plays well with his ilk...but it makes me want to scream.

Is atheism just a default postion (for anyone that doesn't believe) or a real conclusion?


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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