Anyone Else Agnostic?

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Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 12:51 am
Firstly, I must explain that I do not believe in any type of religion we have today. To me, they are all over-the-top Bronze Age garbage. Also, I want to state that I believe in Darwinism and the sciences that religions dismiss.

That said, I just can't step into Atheist shoes. I have tried, but, it makes more sense to me that our existance is not a mistake than believing it is. Whether we are in a dream, program, or are an experiement, I can't grasp that the complexities of life somehow fell together. This makes no sense to me and I feel it is almost absurd to think that eveything is a pure accident.

The more I study Quantum Mechanics -the more I study Chemistry and Biology - the more I study Astronomy... I am more convinced that something strange is going on. When I say "strange", I mean a strangeness that is calculated and designed.

Anyone else feel this way?

TL
 
Leonard
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 03:30 pm
@TurboLung,
I can tell you that I used to be Agnostic but have been a devout Christian theist for some 3 years. I somehow have the feeling that if there is a hell, it wouldn't make sense to avoid it. As of late, i've been feeling like an Agnostic again, so i'm open to throwing religion away for good. It occured to me that it wouldn't be logical for a subjective being to have objective views.

Of course, this is posted the Evangelism section.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 05:34 pm
@TurboLung,
I am not an agnostic, but I do not try to justify my beliefs in a God I cannot define...
 
IntoTheLight
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 06:14 pm
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;107756 wrote:
Firstly, I must explain that I do not believe in any type of religion we have today. To me, they are all over-the-top Bronze Age garbage. Also, I want to state that I believe in Darwinism and the sciences that religions dismiss.


Why limit your conception of God to existing religions?

I'm a Theist but I don't subscribe to any religious conceptualization of God so I came up with my own conception.

You could do the same thing.

-ITL-
 
Robert phil
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 06:28 pm
@TurboLung,
I used to have frustrating debates with an evangelical agnostic. And I realized that it ultimately came down to a logomachy over what exactly we consider acceptable colloquial certainty.

We can't really be certain of anything, including that our entire lives are just a delusion, including whether the abominable snowman exists, and so on. But when this agnostic expressed that yes, he is agnostic about whether the Easter bunny exists too then I realized it was just a definitional incompatibility.

See I consider myself an atheist just as I consider myself someone who believes the Easter bunny does not exist. I acknowledge that there is no way to be absolutely certain of any knowledge but the universal applicability of this notion makes it not worth highlighting for my religious beliefs.

So in short, I don't believe there are any gods. I admit that this knowledge, like all knowledge, can't be proven with absolute certainty, but I don't find that distinction relevant enough to religion to stake a position on the fence about it.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 06:42 pm
@TurboLung,
Since some who have known me for a while, may have been, and kind of did respond with surprize (when I talked about god on in one post), I though I might take the moment here, to re-state my position. (I had done so in the past, but it may have been missed by many?)

I had grown up in the Methodist Church, my mother's father being a circuit preacher, my father being a lay-preacher (which is an offical position, and he did do evening services from time to time, but mostly ran adult Sunday schools). I had been a fully believing adherent through most of highschool, and near the end of that that period, started looking at other belief-systems too. (non-Chrisitan) Well, I went on to do studies in most the Judeo-Christian bases, and was yet a firm, baptised Christian believer, up to the early 90's . . . when the evidences against such belief-system doctrine became most obviously too high to mount.

I became, and am, a non-theist agnostic. When I use the word 'god,' I am using it in place of the better, and used more often word, 'nature.' Nature, further more, while not being nearly fully understood, and while being so mysterious (due to not understanding), has not shown us that it can be known that there is any center of intelligence behind its operations--not that we can say with absolute certainty that there is not, but simply and truthfully, cannot claim to know.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 10:21 pm
@Robert phil,
I understand that we can never be absolutely certain about anything however there are things in which we behave as if we know certainty. For example if you stood on the street corner and wanted to cross the street, you would look both ways to see if there were any cars coming and presume safe or not safe to cross. The interesting part is if you were blind and had ear plugs in, would you still make the same decision to cross and when? Most would be crippled by such a lack of sense data, yet there are others that claim they can easily make the choice to cross the street. But how? I would love to see this but I wouldn't actually want to place anyone in that kind of danger.

My point being there are times when we can accept certainty when the amount of data pointing to an event seems to be consistent with all the previous data. So therefore the easter bunny could exist however all the evidence or experience of that existence has yet to be discovered so it remains nonexistent. That is being consistent with the data. There is nothing wrong with going along with consistent data. The fact that I am not worried the sun will not rise in the morning is because it has done so, for over thirty years so far, I can rely on that data to believe it will do the same tomorrow. Will it always? I won't say always because I don't have consistent data to tell me it will always happen.

As far as god existing, there is no consistent data that supports the existence of such a being, therefore I do not think any gods exist.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:37 am
@Krumple,
The truth is out there but its damned hard to find. I find so many like minded souls out there that have travelled similar roads as me. My problem is logic, it tells me one thing and my feelings tell me another. Reconciling those differences has made me a complex schizophrenic. I have by experiences and logic concluded that there is a spirit world where nature has the same authority as here. This constant search for one omniscient being is a fruitless task. I dont think its necessary to have a hierarchical system in our beliefs. We accept nature as a power and consciousness as we posses it, is just one facet of this natural expression of creation. We cant comprehend life without this ability but the things we feel and express still exist without our consciousness, it is not a necessity for nature, only its creation. We are the consciousness of creation, maybe not the only one , its our burden to understand but not to comprehend.
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:43 am
@TurboLung,
Technically yes.

By preference, no.
 
soz phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:01 am
@Robert phil,
That evangelical agnostic almost made me ditch that choice of words, but I've held on to it because of the two meanings of atheist. Under the simple "without god" definition, I'm an atheist. (I really don't think there is one.)

However the word also has connotations of "anti-god," and I'm not that. Agnostic seems to be the more neutral of the two words. I don't have a beef with people who are religious, and see many valuable things about religion. I just don't personally happen to think that there is a god.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 08:31 am
@TurboLung,
First, OP, you really must clarify what you mean by, "Anyone else agnostic?". Weak agnosticism holds that we do not know, but that the knowledge isn't (or necessarily) unknowable. Strong agnosticism holds that we do not know, and that the knowledge is unknowable. Big difference.

Next, we must realize that one can be a theist, or an atheist, and also be agnostic. Agnosticism is an epistemological position, dealing with knowledge, whereas theism and atheism deal with belief. You can believe and claim you do not know, or believe and claim you do know. Belief and knowledge are not the same. Belief is however is a condition for knowledge.

Asking what someone knows, or thinks they know, and asking someone what they believe, are different, so I just wanted to clarify what your intentions were.

IntoTheLight wrote:
I can tell you that I used to be Agnostic but have been a devout Christian theist for some 3 years. I somehow have the feeling that if there is a hell, it wouldn't make sense to avoid it. As of late, i've been feeling like an Agnostic again, so i'm open to throwing religion away for good. It occured to me that it wouldn't be logical for a subjective being to have objective views.


Why do you think that we cannot view the objective? If I see a stone, and you see a stone, do you think this intersubjectivity is by chance, or is it more reasonable that a stone actually exists?

Fido wrote:
I am not an agnostic, but I do not try to justify my beliefs in a God I cannot define...


I'm curious, are you saying you believe or do not believe in a God?

Robert wrote:

So in short, I don't believe there are any gods. I admit that this knowledge, like all knowledge, can't be proven with absolute certainty, but I don't find that distinction relevant enough to religion to stake a position on the fence about it.


Keep in mind that you do not have to be certain to know.

Quote:
We can't really be certain of anything, including that our entire lives are just a delusion, including whether the abominable snowman exists, and so on. But when this agnostic expressed that yes, he is agnostic about whether the Easter bunny exists too then I realized it was just a definitional incompatibility.


Can you explain what you mean by "definitional incompatibility"?

KaseiJin wrote:

I became, and am, a non-theist agnostic. When I use the word 'god,' I am using it in place of the better, and used more often word, 'nature.' Nature, further more, while not being nearly fully understood, and while being so mysterious (due to not understanding), has not shown us that it can be known that there is any center of intelligence behind its operations--not that we can say with absolute certainty that there is not, but simply and truthfully, cannot claim to know.


You can certainly claim to know. You may just be mistaken. One can know without being absolutely certain.

xris wrote:

My problem is logic, it tells me one thing and my feelings tell me another. Reconciling those differences has made me a complex schizophrenic.


If you don't mind me asking, can you give me an example? I only ask because I've felt what you've felt, but I've found ways to reconcile it.

soz wrote:

That evangelical agnostic almost made me ditch that choice of words, but I've held on to it because of the two meanings of atheist. Under the simple "without god" definition, I'm an atheist. (I really don't think there is one.)

However the word also has connotations of "anti-god," and I'm not that.


I think you would be what's called a weak atheist. A weak atheist does not believe in God, but does not denounce that God exists. A strong atheist does not believe in God, but does denounce that God exists. The strong atheist is explicitly stating Gods do not exist, whereas the weak atheist is not; the weak atheist simply does not believe.

Dave Allen wrote:

Technically yes.

By preference, no.


Hey Dave,

Sorry to pry, but can you expound on this? Very curious
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 10:12 am
@Zetherin,
Well people have problems with my opinions , they see me having conflicting beliefs. I argue against any description of gods but can conceive of heaven and the existance of a soul. I dont see the need to create gods but find evidence of an engineered universe.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 10:57 am
@TurboLung,
xris wrote:
I argue against any description of gods but can conceive of heaven and the existance of a soul.


There's nothing wrong with this. This may come from not wanting to accept any notion of God that has been presented before you, but still wanting to believe that some supernatural realm exists. This is not a necessarily a conflicting belief.

Quote:

I dont see the need to create gods but find evidence of an engineered universe.


An engineered universe need not have anything to do with one of the current, common notions of God.

I would think that most people that tell you your beliefs are conflicting, probably haven't contemplated the matter much themselves. Or, may have, but are misinterpreting what you mean. Perhaps you should seek a better way to articulate your thoughts when it comes to this matter.
 
Robert phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 11:20 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108094 wrote:
Keep in mind that you do not have to be certain to know.

Can you explain what you mean by "definitional incompatibility"?


Pretty much what you said before your question. For me my knowledge was good enough for me to believe there is no god. The lack of certainty possible isn't hugely relevant because that is a universal condition.

For the agnostic in question, the inability to have total certainty meant that there was no way to know and that anyone who held a belief was a fool. When he finally acknowledged that we can't know anything and equated his agnosticism towards a god to his agnosticism towards an Easter bunny I realized we are just weighing the value of certainty very differently. I wouldn't describe myself as an agnostic about the Easter bunny, even if I can't be absolutely certain it doesn't exist but he apparently would.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 11:29 am
@TurboLung,
TurboLung;107756 wrote:
Firstly, I must explain that I do not believe in any type of religion we have today. To me, they are all over-the-top Bronze Age garbage. Also, I want to state that I believe in Darwinism and the sciences that religions dismiss.

That said, I just can't step into Atheist shoes. I have tried, but, it makes more sense to me that our existance is not a mistake than believing it is. Whether we are in a dream, program, or are an experiement, I can't grasp that the complexities of life somehow fell together. This makes no sense to me and I feel it is almost absurd to think that eveything is a pure accident.

The more I study Quantum Mechanics -the more I study Chemistry and Biology - the more I study Astronomy... I am more convinced that something strange is going on. When I say "strange", I mean a strangeness that is calculated and designed.

Anyone else feel this way?

TL


You say that you believe in Darwinism, yet you posit a "strangeness" that is calculated and designed. Will you elaborate on how this works?

Also, why is it difficult to believe that our existence is pure accident?

And, by "strange" do you simply mean beyond our ability to understand?

I would suppose that the inability to grasp how the complexities of life fell together to be more of a failure of our own intelligence rather than evidence of some sort of higher power or divine creator.

But that could just be me. I've never believed that we humans held any special place in the universe.

TTM
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 03:41 am
@TurboLung,
What about gnostic? We hear plenty about agnostic. What about gnostic? Are there any of those around? How would you judge what they said?
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 04:45 am
@jeeprs,
What an interesting subject , it has so many points i could agree with. The idea that Christ was a man who help lead man out of ignorance and brutality. A teacher rather than saviour. The idea that a supreme creator is beyond our comprehension.

The problem is in the detail when it starts inventing minor gods etc. We know very little of their real beliefs as Christians found them a danger, destroying most of their culture and records of their beliefs. Once again we see a dogmatic faith holding power by violence and intimidation. We have lost so much because of the dogmatic attitude of the RC church.
 
Emil
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 05:03 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108094 wrote:
First, OP, you really must clarify what you mean by, "Anyone else agnostic?". Weak agnosticism holds that we do not know, but that the knowledge isn't (or necessarily) unknowable. Strong agnosticism holds that we do not know, and that the knowledge is unknowable. Big difference.

Next, we must realize that one can be a theist, or an atheist, and also be agnostic. Agnosticism is an epistemological position, dealing with knowledge, whereas theism and atheism deal with belief. You can believe and claim you do not know, or believe and claim you do know. Belief and knowledge are not the same. Belief is however is a condition for knowledge.

Asking what someone knows, or thinks they know, and asking someone what they believe, are different, so I just wanted to clarify what your intentions were.


I'm surprised that you got all of this correct. I'm very happy that you did. Smile

As for the thread. What god? How can I answer before I know what god we're talking about. Traditional/classical theist god? I'm a positive gnostic atheist. (= I think that I know that there is no classical theistic god.)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 05:22 am
@TurboLung,
Definition of gnostic is 'one who has secret knowledge, knowledge of higher truth'. If the higher truth is that there is no god, why is it higher? Isn't that what every atheist claims to know? How is it different from common or garden varieties of atheism?
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 07:18 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;108094 wrote:
Keep in mind that you do not have to be certain to know. . . You can certainly claim to know. You may just be mistaken. One can know without being absolutely certain.


Here, I'll have to admit to disagreeing. Even though one may make any claim, as to how one may feel, or think that one asserts knowledge of a thing, or matter, to any degree that that would be found to be in error, it would not have been the case that that had actually been known. Of course going off on this track would be off topic, yet for now, simply wished to express that I don't think that simply, and only, thinking one knows, equates actually knowing of that thing, or matter. (I'll leave this at this, here, for this thread.)
 
 

 
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