Am I an atheist?

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Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 04:33 am
Until now, I've considered myself an agnostic, because i don't directly deny the existance of god(s). I usually do not respond to the idea that a spiritual world exists, because i don't have any direct empirical evidence, haven't seen it myself.

However, I have more empirical evidence of Gods existsance than like for instance the existance of Kyrgyzstan, simply because i have read more litterature about God than I have read about Kyrgyzstan. On the other hand, all people I've met believe that Kyrgyzstan exists, it is commonly accepted. When you think that way, the existance of God was commonly accepted and almost never questioned during the middle ages.

I've also until now considered myself a determinist, but if I'm not an atheist I'll probably have to reconsider this and call myself an agno-determinist? I don't know! Maybe I should say that I'm agnostic in theory but atheist in practice?

How do you define atheist? Am i an Atheist?
 
Icon
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:48 am
@Henrik phil,
The problem with labels is they are limiting and specific. I do not use them myself and generally ignore them.


If you are an Atheist then you directly deny the existence of God and other theistic ideas.

If you are Agnostic, you have just decided that you don't know and don't feel like guessing.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 09:39 am
@Henrik phil,
Henrik wrote:

However, I have more empirical evidence of Gods existsance than like for instance the existance of Kyrgyzstan, simply because i have read more litterature about God than I have read about Kyrgyzstan. On the other hand, all people I've met believe that Kyrgyzstan exists, it is commonly accepted. When you think that way, the existance of God was commonly accepted and almost never questioned during the middle ages.


The problem with this reasoning is that there is objective verifiable evidence of the existence of Kyrgyzstan. No matter how much evidence you read about God, it is all subjective interpretations of the objectively unknowable. In other words, you can travel to Kyrgyzstan and verify its existence, but you cannot go seek out God, and visually observe him/her to verify his/her existence.
 
Henrik phil
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 01:57 pm
@Icon,
Icon;44257 wrote:
The problem with labels is they are limiting and specific. I do not use them myself and generally ignore them.

Thanks for a good answer.
I am a Henrik, other labels to be put on me is up to others to decide, labels like crazy, materialist or anti-social.

...you convinced me, one more post and you'll control me completely! Very Happy
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 02:27 pm
@Henrik phil,
Quote:

but you cannot go seek out God, and visually observe him/her to verify his/her existence

All religions claim you can do this.

If you cannot afford to travel, or you hate flying or travelling by ship, does that mean that now the existence of Outer Mongolia is purely subjective?


Henrik:
Would it be a wise move to assume that Al Queda does not exist because you have never met them?
Quote:
Maybe I should say that I'm agnostic in theory but atheist in practice?

Surely theory and practice are actually supposed to work together?
Is it meaningful to say:
'Theoretically Al Queda may exist, but I'm going to become an alcohol salesman in Afghansitan as I am not sure of their existence.'
?
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:42 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon wrote:
All religions claim you can do this.

Just because the religions claim you can does not mean that you can. My whole life suggest that looking for God the object is a waste of time because it does not exist in the objective realm. Therefore, if I experience God it must be purely subjective and fails empirical verification.

poseidon wrote:

If you cannot afford to travel, or you hate flying or travelling by ship, does that mean that now the existence of Outer Mongolia is purely subjective?


Just because someone cannot afford to travel or hate flying does not mean that it exists only on a subjective, because other people can visit the location. The potential for empirical verification exists unlike in the case for God.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 04:00 pm
@Theaetetus,
I think Icon pretty much nailed it there. But I'd disagree with the 'labels' statement. [INDENT]That's a cat, this is a ball and over there sits a meatloaf; wait!, these are 'labels'. How unfair!
[/INDENT]Well of course they are are. But they're not meant to define or limit you - they only describe one's association with a particular concept. I am a man and a veteran; these only describe my association with a gender and past-vocation in a very general sense. Similarly, if you're an agnostic it only means you have no belief that there is, or is not a god. Reading your post, it sounds like you're a theist...

But I would agree that many theology-related terms have taken on a life of their own in many cultures; leading towards an unearned positivism or un-deserved negative connotation. We don't want to apply to ourselves those associative terms that we feel are derogatory or limiting; and I suppose, who could blame us.

Thanks
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 05:19 pm
@Khethil,
Theaetetus wrote:
Just because the religions claim you can does not mean that you can. My whole life suggest that looking for God the object is a waste of time because it does not exist in the objective realm. Therefore, if I experience God it must be purely subjective and fails empirical verification.


A great many things do not exist "in the objective realm". I'm not sure anything exists in such a place; not sure that there is an "objective realm".

Also, experience of God does not fail empirical verification: get two people together who have experienced God and they can verify their experience. Beyond that, however, yes, God fails verification.

Searching for God is not easy. It takes practice, friend. You have not noticed God; that's alright. But just because you have not done so does not mean that experiencing God is impossible. Then again, I really doubt that you have no experience of the sublime, so my guess is that you have some degree of experience with God.
 
schloopfeng
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 05:29 pm
@Henrik phil,
Hmmmm ... there's labels & there's labels .... take the cat one ...simple yes, but then add something .... the ginger cat, keep going ....the ginger tom cat, then we start getting to the optional extras ...the varieties ...the ginger thin outdoor tom cat, or the ginger fat house tom cat (getting to the barcode now lol) the ginger thin outdoor cat that "thinks" it's a dog .......I rekon the only way round this one is to make up your own label ..... at least that way you get the opportunity of explaining yourself to the labels reader until the puzzled look leaves their face and they truly understand said labelled item.
:shocked:
Cheers folks
TTFN
 
comdavid
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 06:58 pm
@Henrik phil,
THE FOOTPRINTS OF GOD is a delicious book who was writen by greg iles...this book is similar to THE DA VINCI CODE...

in both, u find the search that each character is doing for trying to understand the existance of a possible God.

so, the base of my point of view is that u always have been leaded by some in ur way, maybe thanks to the education that u have recibied during your life or why not, some in our brain that was born with u.

in the first book (i recomend u (cause it has interestings reasons and theories about a possible god and his relation with the universe and of course, with the human beings)), the main character discovers that even he thought the he was atheist, to think in that way was impossible, when some or someone with huge power was being felt for him........just read it....hehehe.. i am bad telling the summary.

THE POINT IS: IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE THAT SOME IS GOING TO BE ATHEIST.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 07:05 pm
@comdavid,
I have to disagree, comdavid. Buddhism and Taoism are ancient traditions and both are atheistic.
 
comdavid
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 10:45 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
u r all right..but when I talk about the atheism, i also do reference to the fact, just the fact of believing in something....for instance, a huge strength , not just a god....no...some, whatever ... but some SUPERIOR.

why not???....myself....
my own mind...
my thoughtssssssssssssssssssssss

or am i wrong??
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:34 am
@Didymos Thomas,
No. I agree that people who are theist or atheist have not put enough thought on the matter. This is my personal view wich I am exposing, people who disagree: Dont bother trying to convince me otherwise, its lodged firmly into my mind Smile

Didymos Thomas wrote:
A great many things do not exist "in the objective realm". I'm not sure anything exists in such a place; not sure that there is an "objective realm".

Also, experience of God does not fail empirical verification: get two people together who have experienced God and they can verify their experience. Beyond that, however, yes, God fails verification.

Searching for God is not easy. It takes practice, friend. You have not noticed God; that's alright. But just because you have not done so does not mean that experiencing God is impossible. Then again, I really doubt that you have no experience of the sublime, so my guess is that you have some degree of experience with God.
We have this stable ilusion called "sensible world". Some people dont sense some higher power on it and therefore it will never be possible to convince then of that it is possible to sense god. Some people sense some higher power on it and therefore it will never be possible to convince then of that it is impossible to sense god. Smile
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:12 pm
@manored,
Those who do not "sense a higher power" can be convinced when they notice for themselves. However, once you've noticed there's probably no going back.
 
grasshopper
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:59 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
'experiencing God' is what you said generally, if i got it right. How can we be apart of something but still not being able to experience him/it? It is nonsense to me.
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:15 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Those who do not "sense a higher power" can be convinced when they notice for themselves. However, once you've noticed there's probably no going back.
I disagree, its only a matter of whenever one senses a divine being or an impression created by his own imagination or subconscient. I myself made the way back, no longer believing that the force I sense is god but rather my own mind.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:16 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
A great many things do not exist "in the objective realm". I'm not sure anything exists in such a place; not sure that there is an "objective realm".

Also, experience of God does not fail empirical verification: get two people together who have experienced God and they can verify their experience. Beyond that, however, yes, God fails verification.

Searching for God is not easy. It takes practice, friend. You have not noticed God; that's alright. But just because you have not done so does not mean that experiencing God is impossible. Then again, I really doubt that you have no experience of the sublime, so my guess is that you have some degree of experience with God.


Rereading my response, I realize that I was rather sloppy with my use of language. What I meant to say was that you cannot go for a quest for God like you would your keys or a lost brother. There is no object to find or person to discover.

I think the term God has been ruined by my horrible Catholic family that treated people like objects to be manipulated for their benefit. Its not that I do not believe in a higher power, it is just that from my experience I picture it much as the Taoists do.
 
StupidBoy phil
 
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 05:46 am
@Theaetetus,
In a strictly denotative sense, I doubt there are any more atheists on this site than there are theists. Since there is no way to have any knowledge, a priori, on the subject, there is no way to know for sure.

Generally speaking, however, one can be as sure on this subject as they can on any other subject. It comes down to which way the preponderance of evidence lies. I call myself an atheist even though I am, by definition, an agnostic. All the evidence I've seen lies against the concept of some intelligent super-being structuring the cosmos. I will concede the possibility that I'm wrong (I have been wrong once or twice you know), but I will accept as fact that I am right until I'm faced with new evidence that skews to favor theism.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:38 am
@StupidBoy phil,
These terms aren't concerned with lack or presence of knowledge - not directly. As has been iterated countless times; they are concerned with the presence or lack of belief
 
bk-thinkaboom
 
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:40 am
@Henrik phil,
I personally call myself an Atheist on the grounds that I do not believe in God. For many years prior to utilizing this label, I had considered myself to be an agnostic, because I know there is not currently a way to enitrely prove or disprove the existence of a God; there may even never be a way, and therefore no-one can currently 'know' whether God exists or not. However, from the evidence I have looked at, I have decided that I do not believe in a God; it seems rather irrational to me a lot of the time. Therefore, I call myself an Atheist (when not using the label 'Bright' of course, please follow the link in my signature for more info). This is because I see knowledge and belief as two seperate things that people regularly combine, in both correct and incorrect ways. For example, some people say that they 'know' God exists, which is obviously not possible unless they've got an estranged definition of 'know'.

Without getting into a dispute about what it is to 'know' and what it is to 'believe', I did read somewhere that Agnosticism and Atheism could be combined on the grounds that to 'know' and to 'believe' are two different things. Obviously, it would be immensely irrational to say that you 'know' God exists but you 'believe' he doesn't. So really, if we are to say that agnosticism is a lack of knowledge for whether God exists or not, everyone should be an agnost, because surely no-one can 'know' whether God exists or not, but only 'believe'.

Anyhow, labels are genrally inaccurate as you can see from everything I've just mentioned, and, although my general beliefs haven't changed drastically, my label has, because I find it more efficient to use 'atheist' to make it clear that I do not believe in a God. However, this occaisionally makes it hard to explain to others that I am also totally aware that God could exist, and that I can't entirely disprove that idea,just as others cannot prove it.

I hope that may have helped, or at least been slightly interesting.
 
 

 
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