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Atheism or agnosticism?Follow

#1 Apr 22 2011 at 9:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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I find myself at a crossroads. I really enjoyed Ricky Gervais's "Why I'm an Atheist" article last year is the WSG, but one thing he says gets to me:
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“I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe”

Gervais claims to be an atheist, theists claim atheism is a belief, and atheists fire back that it's not. By definition it seems like a belief to me. However, Gervais's description above completely encompasses my feelings on a god (or God). The definition of agnostic seems closers, but still not quite right. Gervais isn't saying "knowing God isn't possible," he seems to be saying "There's not proof so I don't have any reason to believe in it." All I know is I have never found a strain of Christianity that seems right to me, and none of the other religious beliefs I've read about really struck me either. So... what am I?
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#2 Apr 22 2011 at 9:31 AM Rating: Good
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#3 Apr 22 2011 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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Have you looked at UU? Some atheist/agnostics go there. They are welcoming of all beliefs.
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#4 Apr 22 2011 at 9:37 AM Rating: Good
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Meh. It really matters little. What it has come down to for me is, do you believe in possibility of something bigger than yourself, or do you think there is absolutely no possible way that something besides this tangible world that you see exists?

I don't believe in God, but I'm not atheist or agnostic. When you pigeonhole it to primarily refer to Christianity, I think the words come a bit clouded in their meaning.

Anyway, I think you're agnostic. You shouldn't doubt your unbeliefs based on what a comedian says in passing in a mediocre article. I lost interest when he couldn't decide whether he wanted to refer to "God" or "a god" in his rant.
#5 Apr 22 2011 at 9:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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Does it really matter what you call it? In the end you are still going to believe what you believe regardless of the label you associate with it.
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#6 Apr 22 2011 at 9:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Well, it's a bit wishy-washy with the definitions, so it's tough to give it a clear answer. People have gotten very liberal with their application of the terms over the years, so there's some overlap.

Atheism has a couple accepted definitions, and the lack of specificity causes some problems. It can mean both "Belief that God does not exist", and "A lack of belief in God." Similar sounding, but there's a key difference, one is a belief system and the other is not.

You could be an atheist of either variety (I'd say it sounds more like the latter). The latter allows for the possibility for god to exist, and is more-or-less the same thing as agnosticism. In my personal experience, the first definition is usually the one assumed, though.

Agnosticism is a tiny bit more clear about it's definitions. It is, by definition, not a belief system. One doesn't believe that God exists, nor that God doesn't exist; you simply don't know. I choose to say that I'm agnostic, because that typically avoids giving the impression that I claim the knowledge that God doesn't exist. I find it helps to think of it like the scientific method: It's impossible to make a conclusion about God's existence (due to lack of data), so a conclusion should not be made. A lack of evidence does not scientifically disprove something, it merely makes it appear less likely.

Something like that, I guess.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 11:44am by Eske
#7 Apr 22 2011 at 9:48 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, I'd be less concerned with labeling myself than with understanding my beliefs and what they may or may not mean to my everyday life.

I spose you've read Dawkins, The God Delusion?? If not, he spends a good deal of time sorting out the 'theisms'.



Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 5:48pm by Elinda
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#8 Apr 22 2011 at 9:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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There was no option for wine in your poll.
#9 Apr 22 2011 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.
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#10 Apr 22 2011 at 10:01 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.


Wasn't there someone who claimed that the banana was evidence of God? Don't have time to google it right now.
#11 Apr 22 2011 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
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Why is there no "All of the above" option?
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#12 Apr 22 2011 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.


Wasn't there someone who claimed that the banana was evidence of God? Don't have time to google it right now.


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#13 Apr 22 2011 at 10:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.


Wasn't there someone who claimed that the banana was evidence of God? Don't have time to google it right now.



So, like 5 minutes after making this comment, I decide to eat the banana that I brought for lunch. The top had fallen off, and it was a little too soft for my liking, but I ate it anyway.

Now my stomach's upset. God exists, and he hates me.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 12:24pm by Eske
#14 Apr 22 2011 at 10:40 AM Rating: Good
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Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.


Wasn't there someone who claimed that the banana was evidence of God? Don't have time to google it right now.


Kirk Cameron

Probably because it fits so nicely into his ****.
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#15 Apr 22 2011 at 10:41 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
The grape is a miracle.


Wine eggs!
#16 Apr 22 2011 at 10:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Nadenu wrote:
There was no option for wine in your poll.
The grape is a miracle.


Wasn't there someone who claimed that the banana was evidence of God? Don't have time to google it right now.


Banana wine?? Yuck.
#17 Apr 22 2011 at 11:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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I lost interest when he couldn't decide whether he wanted to refer to "God" or "a god" in his rant.

I got distracted by a photo of some blonde with a rack in the sidebar.
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#18 Apr 22 2011 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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you sound agnostic. A bunch of my friends have a secular group going on down here to discuss issues that crop up as a parent raising kids in a secular home surrounded by a religious area. A few of them are hardcore atheists and to them there is, without a shadow of a doubt, no possibility for any chance of there being a God. They believe so strongly in their disbelief that it has become, in essence, the very description of a belief system, if that makes sense.

And then there are the agnostics, who dont feel they have THE ANSWER one way or another, and frankly, dont care.

I dont label myself personally. I tend to just say Spritiuality is divine while religion is man made. My concept on what is God is so vastly different from the norm.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 1:29pm by DSD
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#19 Apr 22 2011 at 12:03 PM Rating: Default
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If you believe in atheism then you believe in someting. Thats fact even if they deny it.
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#20 Apr 22 2011 at 12:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Atheism is kind of weird in the sense atheist say they don't believe in anything, yet in the same breath believe that nothing exists beyond because science hasn't said it does. (note they have also never said it doesn't just that they haven't found anything).

Personally I am a mixed bag. I don't specifically believe there is an invisible dude living in the clouds, but I also don't specifically deny the possibility. Considering that we as a people haven't even explored our own oceans in depth yet, have barely begun looking into space, there is so much that we couldn't hope to understand. But we do have historical evidence of evolutionary theory that strongly supports that and hurts the creationist theory. However that doesn't mean perhaps we haven't been "encouraged" to develop this way by some unknown entity.


One thing I do know for sure is that I do not believe in religious organization, be it Christianity(catholicism), Judaism, Muslim, Hindu, w/e the **** you want to call yourself. Ive read the bible, a translated version of the Qur'an, and they are essentially the same book with many of the same characters, with a couple extra chapters added on the later (kind of like the Bible "New Testament" is additional Chapters following Jesus, and the Jewish Old Testemant.

I think their is a possibility that something coerced the life on this planet at some point in time, but I also feel that it could possibly be natural. In the end who really knows. But I will tell you one thing, I really enjoy the drama that crops up now and then when religious organizations spew their rhetoric, be it against non-believers, or other religions themselves, which all more or less worship the same god, and follow the same doctrine.
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#21 Apr 22 2011 at 12:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't get why science and spirituality have to be mutually exclusive.
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#22 Apr 22 2011 at 12:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:
I don't get why science and spirituality have to be mutually exclusive.


They don't.
#23 Apr 22 2011 at 1:10 PM Rating: Decent
Edited by bsphil
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Both, because atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.

Atheism is the lack/denial of belief in a god or gods. Agnosticism is a lack/denial of certainty or ultimate knowledge. An agnostic atheist would be someone who does not believe in a god or gods but lacks absolute certain proof for this (lack of) belief - typically because logically you cannot prove nonexistence.

Most self-described atheists and agnostics are almost always all agnostic atheists.

Holy sh*t that's a lot of assonance.

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If you believe in atheism then you believe in someting.
Wrong.
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a·the·ist
   [ey-thee-ist]

–noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
"Not believing in god" =/= a belief. It's a lack of one. The opposite of a belief; a non-belief (which would make that person a non-believer).

This post is brought to you by the letter 'A', a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and viewers like you.



Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 2:16pm by bsphil
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#24 Apr 22 2011 at 1:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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bsphil wrote:
typically because logically you cannot prove nonexistence.
varus' charisma.
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#25 Apr 22 2011 at 1:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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bsphil wrote:
"Not believing in god" =/= a belief. It's a lack of one.

I don't believe in leprechauns. This can also be accurately described as "Jophiel believes that leprechauns do not exist."

Some people are overly worried about the word "belief" linking them to religious faith. I don't think atheism counts as a religion or anything, but it definitely involves a belief that there is no divine being out there.
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#26 Apr 22 2011 at 1:49 PM Rating: Default
Edited by bsphil
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Jophiel wrote:
bsphil wrote:
"Not believing in god" =/= a belief. It's a lack of one.

I don't believe in leprechauns. This can also be accurately described as "Jophiel believes that leprechauns do not exist."

Some people are overly worried about the word "belief" linking them to religious faith. I don't think atheism counts as a religion or anything, but it definitely involves a belief that there is no divine being out there.
"Jophiel believes that leprechauns do not exist" would be the equivalent of gnostic atheism: you're positively asserting that something doesn't exist.



Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 2:50pm by bsphil
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Almalieque wrote:
If no one debated with me, then I wouldn't post here anymore.
Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
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