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11-05-2012, 10:03 AM
Question.....
I'm sure this has been brought up before, but since I'm new here, I thought I'd toss it out there....

I am agnostic. Meaning I don't necessarily believe in God... I have no idea whether such a being exists or not.. Since one cannot prove a negative, I freely admit that I don't know. If "god" were to show up tomorrow, whether on a flaming chariot or a spaceship, I would not be surprised. If he never showed up, I would not be surprised. If the whole concept of religion started with some advanced aliens visiting us in prehistoric times, I would not be surprised. If religion was 100% fabricated from nothing I would not be surprised.

My questions is this: Doesn't professing to be an Atheist require the same kind of faith that professing to be a Christian require? You are professing a belief in something you have never seen and cannot prove.

Just curious....
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11-05-2012, 10:37 AM
RE: Question.....
I consider myself an agnostic atheist.

I think that based on the current evidence the existence of a deity is extremely unlikely. If new evidence emerged, I may change my view.

People talk about placing themselves on a scale of 1-7 where 1 is 100% belief in God and 7 is 100% rejection. I see myself around 6.9. I cannot categorically disprove God but I don't see that as a reason to believe in him. Just the same as I don't believe in Bigfoot, fairies and unicorns though I cannot categorically disprove their existence.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
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11-05-2012, 10:58 AM
RE: Question.....
Good job Hughsie.
The difference between gnosis and theism is the difference between knowing and believing. Your knowledge and your beliefs don't really need to conflict with eachother. I know plenty of agnostic theists who strive towards religious practices, but do not see that there is a definite end. Not everyone who professes a belief in god is certain of that belief. Just like not everyone who proposes a disbelief is certain.

The simple difference between the atheist and the theist (in general) is that the theist is suggesting something that can be possible without having any evidence backing them. This is called faith, a belief held despite current evidence. And the atheist is disbelieving a suggestion that has no evidence. In this way faith then can't describe the atheist. The opinion they hold is (generally) backed by the evidence at hand. It's the simple fact that whether the world works naturally or god makes the word work naturally reaches the same end, and according to occam's razor if we don't need god added to that sentence we can avoid a lot of extra work on proving it.

There are plenty of people currently who profess anti-theism which is a bit different, in which they are opposed to theism rather than just without it. You can more make this argument towards them since they profess that religion is something inherently damaging. Not all atheists hold these opinions, and many are perfectly willing to accept a theistic mindset once sufficient proof is provided. Where you're getting confused is in definitions. The christian definition that most americans grew up with describing atheism is a vioent rejection of theism that demands there be no god. Atheism as is currently being professed is not that. That would be anti-theism. Once you realize that the majority of people professing the title atheist are similar to agnostics, but (generally) less spiritual it makes a bit more sense as to what an atheist is.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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11-05-2012, 11:00 AM
RE: Question.....
There are 2 types of theists and atheists. Gnostic and agnostic. You are an agnostic atheist. A gnostic atheist would claim to know for a fact that god is not real. An agnostic atheist claims that without evidence there is no reason to believe in god. Same for theists. Most theists are gnostic theists and most atheists are agnostic atheists.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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11-05-2012, 11:52 AM
RE: Question.....
It depends on how you define "God."

If you define him as the various Gods that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc claim, then I am a gnostic atheist. I know for a fact that a God as they conceive him/her/it does not exist because we can trace how man developed those ideas over time.

If you define God as some sort of more advanced being of an unknown nature, then I'm an agnostic atheist. I remain open to that possibility but I haven't seen any evidence yet so why would I even consider it?

From there you can get into philosophical arguments about what criteria a more advanced being needs to meet to be considered a "God," but that is a topic for another thread.
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11-05-2012, 12:09 PM
RE: Question.....
As Hughsie answered, you are an agnostic atheist if you do not believe in the existence of God (atheism), but also do not claim to know that He doesn't exist (agnosticism).

However, I actually think that the term "agnostic atheist" is technically superfluous. Why?

Because I think that all atheists are already agnostics by default. They are agnostics because no one actually knows whether or not God exists. Maybe they think they know, or maybe they claim to know, but they don't. And if God doesn't exist, then likewise, you can't ever know that for sure and thus you are still an agnostic. The only way to know that God doesn't exist would be to have an evidence for his non-existence (which is impossible).

I think that terms such as "strong atheist" and "weak atheist" are more accurate because they specify the probability that an atheist holds about the existence of God. The term "agnostic" seems unnecessary to me because it's obvious that they they don't know. No one knows. If someone does claim to know that God doesn't exist, then his claim is still not true, so the term is useless, in my opinion.

The point is that, claiming to know or not know that God doesn't exist just indicates the strength of an atheist's non-belief, but he doesn't actually know what he claims to know.
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11-05-2012, 12:13 PM
RE: Question.....
Shows you what the Muslim knows... Big Grin

I'm a gnostic atheist, 'cause I'm a prophet and that's what all prophets are. Smile

Cereal.

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11-05-2012, 12:19 PM
RE: Question.....
(11-05-2012 10:03 AM)pKaiPkai Wrote:  My questions is this: Doesn't professing to be an Atheist require the same kind of faith that professing to be a Christian require?
No.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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11-05-2012, 12:22 PM
RE: Question.....
The way I understand it, is that a gnostic claims knowledge, while an agnostic does not. So to me a gnostic atheist or gnostic theists is perfectly possible, since it's their claim about knowledge that the term is applied, not whether they actually have that knowledge or not.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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11-05-2012, 12:23 PM
RE: Question.....
Lilith Pride - we are all so privileged to hang around with you! Heart


Bowing I personally admire your flawless ability to articulate complex issues.

_____________

I've found that people who have faith, seem unable to fathom not having it. I guess it's very confusing to many ... and putting a label to it just adds to that confusion.

And of course, that confusion cunningly leads to frustration when trying to reason during conversation. In the end, it's just one more thing that helps me not give a shit about any of it. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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