not to exclude believers or people of faith. you have my respect, but…
for those who consider themselves to be either atheist or agnostic, why do you favor one position over the other?
I prefer considering myself atheist. While I may be pigeon holing myself, I find many (not all) agnostics border the fence simply to remain in the favor of each side, weary of taking the plunge. You could sum it up as atheists are the kids jumping straight into the pool, while agnostics are those creeping in slowly. Regardless, they’re both headed for the same pool! if that makes sense.
Agnosticism is literally just not knowing, gnosticism is claiming knowledge, agnosticism is not. There’s also nothing wrong with Atheism as long as it’s approached correctly, unfortunately most do not, and they treat atheism as an active belief in disbelief (some even turn it into a religion of sorts), which is counter intuitive. We don’t know everything so to claim that no God exists seems foolish to me, so in my opinion until we can claim to hold the entire body of knowledge of the universe it seems foolish to make that claim. But here’s my favorite quote on the subject (amended slightly)
“[Atheism]… is more unbelief than belief in disbelief. Unbelief is a condition reached through negation. It is not a positive expression of belief in disbelief, but rather, the negative cumulative result of refuting and recognizing the groundlessness of any and every instance of belief encountered thus far”
It certainly is a subject that’s fun to ponder, but seeing as how it’s unknowable, it’s crazy to me how fervently all sides will defend their viewpoint.
I used to consider myself atheist because once upon a time I did believe with 100% certainty that there is no god nor gods.
Now, though? I feel more agnostic because there really isn’t any way to tell. There is no way to prove or disprove a god. You can disprove the myths in religions, but you can’t actually say that there’s nothing out there. Religion is just man’s best guess at God when, in reality, chances are no one knows whether or not there is a higher power.
I now look back at my younger self (once theist, then atheist) and realize I was so arrogant to think I had the answer. I now realize literally know nothing, and knowing this leaves me open to the possibility of my opinion changing again in the future.
I myself is agnostic, reasons are basically the idea that we are something and nothing can not be created to something because even matter seems to be something haha hope that makes sense, me and my friend was talking about this. Anyways to carry on from kidds view, the thing is maybe theirs a god it’s just people failed to interpret him and fuck up the translation, think of a simple game of Chinese whispers and back then we didn’t have a really recognised/concise language. Therefore alot of things could be lies but their are some solid truths in God.
I recognize myself a lot in what Kidd said – as a small child I believed in god because I loved the idea that if I prayed for something he would give it to me – when i’d prayed for icecream 5 times with no result though… since then I was always sure that I was an atheist because the idea of a god simply made no sense even though a lot of truth can still be found in the old scriptures. I too felt that agnosticism was really just a way of saying I don’t really know – or perhaps “I don’t really care or have an opinion on that” Now I don’t really know what to tie myself to – I like the idea of Pantheism as it fits together with the belief that science is not just something that we made up and yet the acknowledgement of the fact that we really have no way of ever really knowing wether we are just dreaming (like waking life) or are caught in a digital illusion (the matrix) or whatever. But the idea that there is a kind of surge or consciousness in all things that connects the universe and all things feels quite plausible – not too far out and yet mysterious enough to invoke the thirst for more knowledge and understanding of the world… That way I haven’t said too much or popped my bubble of mystery and wonder by feeling that we know too much, neither does it submit me to blind belief with to apparent base in reality.
sometimes I ponder that it’s not really what you believe but perhaps more why you believe in it. so basically i don’t really fit in either category which i guess sort of makes me agnostic, but with a selfconscious inclination towards pantheism. It just sounds cooler right? ;)
@smalls, I see gnostics as ‘truth seekers’, the opposite of which is not knowing…or another way of putting it – ignorance.
Don’t be an agnostic…always be seeking…its not about ‘proving’ anything, but finding what rings true in your own soul. When you really start looking inward and focusing on your present mind, then the truth will come forward…and it will expand your soul. You DO have access to unlimited knowledge…you just don’t know it yet
I wont go into it but I believe in God. I’d favor agnosticism over atheism simply because atheism leaves no room for error. The only real difference between the two is that an atheist has basically decided that there is no possible way a God or anything along those lines could exist. It is an absolute declaration.
For a believer, they also make the absolute declaration that God does exist, and they explain it as a matter of faith. An atheist is no different from a believer in this sense because they must employ the exact same tool to justify their absolute, an atheist needs faith as much as a believer, so it is hypocritical to criticize those with faith in God as an atheist because they correspondingly have equal faith that he does not exist.
If you consider that one planet on one other star system somewhere in our galaxy may have bacterial life on it, but I have not seen evidence of this, can I make a truly objective judgement? Can I say for certain either way? I can say that until there is evidence that there is life I will reserve judgement. But to say “Yes there is” or “No there is not” is an absolute declaration that can only be justified by faith. No matter how great the odds are that there is bacterial life somewhere.
Some people prefer to believe that being passive in some matters is better than having a defined opinion or action, in my opinion every kind of action or non action has consequences and as such i prefer to take action for something that i believe to be more accurate than other things. And this is why i’m an Atheist, not cause i’m an angry person like i’ve seen some people before saying that Atheists are angry persons, but cause both passiveness and activeness have consequences and i prefer to take action into matters and not let things roll by themselfs and cry over the result if it doesn’t favour me.
@trek79, you have to ask yourself, you see one person being robbed by a burglar and think to yourself, i could help this person and both of us could tackle down the burglar and call the police and he would be jailed for sometime and would not commit anymore crimes for sometime, or should i avoid this situation because i don’t want to bother or try to judge anyone. In this case the passiveness situation puts you in a situation that makes another person be robbed and lets the burglar stay free to keep on his criminal activity, where you might be the next victim, which situation would you prefer?
@zalk, I would help for moral reasons but I would also understand the robbers motive and therefore not consider him less of a human being. If he is trying to make money for his kids operation, if he is a drug addict or he is a sociopath, these are all reasons that humanize a person. A psychopath is subjected to a medical condition, I can empathize with that rather than see him as evil, most people don’t bother.
Gnostic intellectual is where I’m most suitably pidgeon-holed.
“I see gnostics as ‘truth seekers’, the opposite of which is not knowing…or another way of putting it – ignorance.
Don’t be an agnostic…always be seeking…its not about ‘proving’ anything, but finding what rings true in your own soul. When you really start looking inward and focusing on your present mind, then the truth will come forward…and it will expand your soul. You DO have access to unlimited knowledge…you just don’t know it yet”
@trek79, neither is action inferior to inaction, it’s a matter of how you prefer things i prefer to take action and full responsibility for the consequences of my actions than to think that things happen without me having a bit of responsibility on it, cause everyone has abit of responsibility in what happens around us, diferent actions, and actions include the action of passiveness, bring diferent consequences. Just a thing that i want to remind everyone and that people tend to forget just because the human brained as showed in scientifical studies is hardwired to judge direct effects more easily than secondary effects of one’s actions.
@zalk, I believe action or inaction should ultimately depend on how the situation would make us feel about ourselves afterwards. That does not necessarily have to have any resemblance to moral expectations. If a person can find a way to disconnect from all attachment, to dissolve all values that have been acquired in their lifetime of interaction, what has been perceived and taught, then such a person is free to assign meaning to anything of their choosing unconditionally. This includes how they would feel about themselves after a situation of action or inaction.
Because you and I would choose the moral course does not inherently mean we are correct, it just means we believe it correct according to the artificial value system that we have opted to apply to the situation. There really is no right or wrong, there is only cause and effect, what is perceived by history as the most inhumane action can be explained scientifically by results of contributing factors.