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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Question Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 07:22 AM

Ok so I identify myself as an Atheist because I do not believe in God. I don't believe in any god for that matter, so by definition I am an Atheist (right..? Or am I wrong..?).

Now, people always ask me what I believe in (since I don't believe in any god) and I always answer with, "I don't believe we have the ability to know how we got here." I think that's an okay response but then people say I'm not a "true" Atheist because I don't believe the whole science theory.

I was just wondering what you believe, am I not a "true" Atheist because of this? I thought an Atheist was someone who did not believe in any god. I know there is more to it than that but I mean the basic definition.

Other religions can answer as well, I just thought other Atheists would know more about this

Thanks in advance!!

Also, if I am wrong about the definition or anything, please correct me.



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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 03:57 PM

Well I believe in God so my opinion might not be as much as a valid point to you, but your belief statement sounds like something that a person who believes in a possible existence of a God might say. Saying "I don't believe we have the ability to know how we got here" kinda insinuates that you don't if we got here by either the Big Bang theory and evolution or possibly by a higher power, and almost like man doesn't need to know or find out. I have some atheist friends and I know that they try to find the logical approach to everything so maybe your statement gives off the hint of probable doubt instead of "yea we definitely got here from the Big Bang theory and evolution ".
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 04:08 PM

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Originally Posted by Alexisdominique View Post
Well I believe in God so my opinion might not be as much as a valid point to you, but your belief statement sounds like something that a person who believes in a possible existence of a God might say. Saying "I don't believe we have the ability to know how we got here" kinda insinuates that you don't if we got here by either the Big Bang theory and evolution or possibly by a higher power, and almost like man doesn't need to know or find out. I have some atheist friends and I know that they try to find the logical approach to everything so maybe your statement gives off the hint of probable doubt instead of "yea we definitely got here from the Big Bang theory and evolution ".
Based on what I said, that makes sense. I should have gone into more detail though, that is my fault, I wasn't clear enough.

I do not believe in God or any other god. I believe that we, as humans, cannot understand how we got here. We just don't have the knowledge to find out, there is so much out there that we do not know. That's why I don't know how we got here, because I don't think I possess the knowledge to make an assumption.

Did that clear things up? If its confusing please tell me so I can reword that.



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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 07:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agony View Post
Ok so I identify myself as an Atheist because I do not believe in God. I don't believe in any god for that matter, so by definition I am an Atheist (right..? Or am I wrong..?).

Now, people always ask me what I believe in (since I don't believe in any god) and I always answer with, "I don't believe we have the ability to know how we got here." I think that's an okay response but then people say I'm not a "true" Atheist because I don't believe the whole science theory.

I was just wondering what you believe, am I not a "true" Atheist because of this? I thought an Atheist was someone who did not believe in any god. I know there is more to it than that but I mean the basic definition.

Other religions can answer as well, I just thought other Atheists would know more about this

Thanks in advance!!

Also, if I am wrong about the definition or anything, please correct me.
Generally, people assume that all atheists are very intelligent and, therefore, rely on science. This isn't always the case. In fact, I know a lot of ignorant and arrogant atheists who are very unintelligent. Their reasons for believe are things like, "there is suffering in the world," and reasons that make me cringe.

An atheist is solely someone who does not believe in god. It doesn't mean you have to accept the current scientific theories. And for the record, science and belief have nothing to do with each other. We don't believe in science the way people believe in god, so I don't know why they are using it in a similar concept. We accept science because it's testable, falsifiable, and repeatable and has supported evidence for all of its theories. You can't BELIEVE in science. Why? Because it's true.

We don't know god exists. We cannot test god, the idea of god is not falsifiable, and we cannot repeat experiences to know there is a god. So, we don't believe. There is no evidence. So we reject it as being false and archaic.

Anyways, atheism has nothing to do with science. Most people just cling to it because it provides evidence, unlike religion.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 07:06 PM

Also, to the above posts. No one who fully understands the scientific thought claims that we got here by evolution and the big bang. We know the Universe started with the big bang (this is hardly questionable anymore), and that the reason for the variety of species we see is through years of evolution (again, anyone who denies this fits in with the holocaust deniers).

Any genuine atheist will also admit that they don't know how we got here, but that it probably wasn't god. Why? Because with all evidence considered, religion has it blatantly wrong which makes the existence of a god improbable, but still possible. We just don't accept it because it cannot be observed.

Theoretically, however we got here, is nearly as absurd as belief in a deity, but not quite. Why? Because we will always require another theory to how we got here. I.E. what caused the big bang (probably string theory), and then that will require a theory, and so-on-and-so-forth. It's just unlikely that the theory is god. Why? Because a living being who knows everything is less likely to exist than a natural occurrence.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 07:06 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Generally, people assume that all atheists are very intelligent and, therefore, rely on science. This isn't always the case. In fact, I know a lot of ignorant and arrogant atheists who are very unintelligent. Their reasons for believe are things like, "there is suffering in the world," and reasons that make me cringe.

An atheist is solely someone who does not believe in god. It doesn't mean you have to accept the current scientific theories. And for the record, science and belief have nothing to do with each other. We don't believe in science the way people believe in god, so I don't know why they are using it in a similar concept. We accept science because it's testable, falsifiable, and repeatable and has supported evidence for all of its theories. You can't BELIEVE in science. Why? Because it's true.

We don't know god exists. We cannot test god, the idea of god is not falsifiable, and we cannot repeat experiences to know there is a god. So, we don't believe. There is no evidence. So we reject it as being false and archaic.

Anyways, atheism has nothing to do with science. Most people just cling to it because it provides evidence, unlike religion.

Thanks for clearing that up!! Yeah, I don't know why they said I wasn't a "true" Atheist.

I understand why other Atheists believe the theories they do, most of which have some type of evidence, I am just still looking at everything relative to science. I didnt want to say that I believe in all of the "Atheism theories" (they called it that) simply because I haven't done enough research into it.

Thanks for the response!!



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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 07:41 PM

No , I think it's fine if you believe that. I basically believe that too, just the difference between us two is that I believe in God and you don't. I mean you sound like you're an atheist cause you identify yourself as one and don't believe in a god . Just work your title as a proud atheist boo . <3
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 16th 2013, 11:30 PM

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Originally Posted by Agony View Post



Thanks for clearing that up!! Yeah, I don't know why they said I wasn't a "true" Atheist.

I understand why other Atheists believe the theories they do, most of which have some type of evidence, I am just still looking at everything relative to science. I didnt want to say that I believe in all of the "Atheism theories" (they called it that) simply because I haven't done enough research into it.

Thanks for the response!!
You sound pretty wise. You can't really categorize atheist into one group. There is strong atheism, weak atheism, etc. I categorize myself into agnostic atheism. Simply put, I don't believe in any current definition of proposed gods that I am aware of because I don't see any evidence for it. However, this doesn't mean I KNOW there is no god. Perhaps in the future there will be evidence for a god, or a proposed definition I agree with -- which is why I am categorized into agnosticism too. It's otherwise known as "weak atheism."

Atheism doesn't really have "theories." Just like religion doesn't have "theories." We have a lack of belief, whereas religion has a belief. No theories are involved. It sounds like whoever those people were, were just fairly ignorant.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 26th 2013, 09:02 PM

This might have been said already, but I'm Atheist too so I'll just explain how I look at things..

First of all some people look at being Atheist as a religion.. and some people don't.. I don't think its a religion, but it falls under the religion topic.

So therefore there are many definitions as to being "atheist"

Just because you're Atheist, to me it doesn't matter if you believe in the big bang theory or not.. I do.. I like to at least try and prove things.. But you do make a good point.. we can't really find out how us humans got here in the first place.

The way I look at the term Atheist is that you don't believe in God, any god, or anything of a higher power for that matter.

So your definition of Atheist is correct to me.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 12:03 AM

In general believing that we don't know if there is or isn't a God is referring to agnosticism. While being an atheist is to state that there is not a God. I think perhaps that is why that person said you wouldn't be considered a "true" atheist.




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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 03:09 AM

Not sure if anyone said this but here goes nothing.

Firstly, I consider myself Christian (Pentecostal).

Secondly, there is Athiest and there is Agnostic. Since you do not believe, therefore do not classify yourself under a religion, you could say you are agnostic because agnostic's don't believe in religion, and depending on the person, may vary in beliefs in the scientific realm as well.

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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 04:15 AM

I'd say you're an atheist. The word itself pretty much just means 'without god'. That's the only thing tying atheists together - atheism isn't a religion, so they don't have unifying beliefs. You don't have to believe every scientific theory that comes along, and you don't have to believe what the majority of atheist seem to. In my mind atheism isn't about what you believe, it's about what you don't; namely, in a deity. So on that score, yep, you're good.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 04:22 AM

I believe that you're an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe you're an Atheist because an Atheist, from personal observation, is more likely to provide evidence that leans towards a certain kind of understanding of something. From what I gather, some arguments are about the absurdity of certain religions. For instance, the whole idea about "the father, the son, and the holy spirit." So an Atheist might say that because of the absurdity to it, it brings us closer to the truth that there is no God. An Atheist might say that there is a way of knowing, but we might not have the technology to find it which has a hint of hope that there is evidence out there. An Agnostic, from my understanding, will say...ultimately, regardless of what we discover, there will never be a way of knowing. If there is a God that is all-knowing, God already knows what people are going to come up with and what common beliefs are out there. Do you really think he's that dumb to bring us close to the truth? The only way that we could know the truth is if God allowed us to know it? Perhaps the truth has already been set in motion, but that truth won't be discovered till after the human race has died out?

So an Agnostic Atheist might say, well...there is no way of knowing whether God exists, but there's a lot of evidence out there to suggest that God is NOT real so I'm kinda leaning towards God not existing even when I'll never be sure. Although you lean towards a certain direction, you give up hope.

At least...that's the way I see it. Feel free to correct me.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 08:52 AM

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I believe that you're an Agnostic Atheist. I don't believe you're an Atheist because an Atheist, from personal observation, is more likely to provide evidence that leans towards a certain kind of understanding of something. From what I gather, some arguments are about the absurdity of certain religions. For instance, the whole idea about "the father, the son, and the holy spirit." So an Atheist might say that because of the absurdity to it, it brings us closer to the truth that there is no God. An Atheist might say that there is a way of knowing, but we might not have the technology to find it which has a hint of hope that there is evidence out there. An Agnostic, from my understanding, will say...ultimately, regardless of what we discover, there will never be a way of knowing. If there is a God that is all-knowing, God already knows what people are going to come up with and what common beliefs are out there. Do you really think he's that dumb to bring us close to the truth? The only way that we could know the truth is if God allowed us to know it? Perhaps the truth has already been set in motion, but that truth won't be discovered till after the human race has died out?

So an Agnostic Atheist might say, well...there is no way of knowing whether God exists, but there's a lot of evidence out there to suggest that God is NOT real so I'm kinda leaning towards God not existing even when I'll never be sure. Although you lean towards a certain direction, you give up hope.

At least...that's the way I see it. Feel free to correct me.
There's gnostic atheists and agnostic atheists. I know absolutely no one that could qualify for a gnostic atheist. Knowledge and belief are two different things.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 02:30 PM

I'd go with what Brandon and others have said and suggest you're an agnostic atheist. Reason being, you believe there is no such thing as a god or gods but your stance that we don't have the ability to figure out how we got here means we can't claim knowledge. You'll get some atheists who'll dispute that, just as you'll get theists who'll dispute the evidence put forward against the existence of a god or gods (hence why someone like Michael and myself could argue over this for days, were it not likely to hijack the thread ). But it doesn't stop you being an atheist as far as I can see.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 06:55 PM

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There's gnostic atheists and agnostic atheists. I know absolutely no one that could qualify for a gnostic atheist. Knowledge and belief are two different things.
Perhaps you misunderstood. It's a serious play with words, so I don't really blame you. There are Atheists out there that are gnostic; they might not say that there's possibility of a god existing, but they'll certainly call believers "idiots" or something along those lines. For the most part, Atheists are not Gnostic. Here's what I mentioned:

Quote:
For instance, the whole idea about "the father, the son, and the holy spirit." So an Atheist might say that because of the absurdity to it, it brings us closer to the truth that there is no God.



You have to keep in mind that this is in the perspective of an Atheist. What we believe is true to us, but that truth may not be truth to other people. Saying that there is no God may be truth to an Atheist because, as I've mentioned, there's a lot of absurdity to religion. Believing it to be the truth doesn't necessarily mean that you know, but you believe it to be true. Back to what I originally posted, the absurdity of "the father, son, and holy spirit" is an example of what brings us closer to the truth...if that's the perspective of an Atheist, who believes that there isn't an existence of God, then that is just what they believe to be true rather than what they claim to know. I hope that makes sense.

And of course, I went onto saying in the next sentence "An Atheist might say that there is a way of knowing, but we might not have the technology to find it which has a hint of hope that there is evidence out there."

That's confirming that I agree with you. It's accepting the possibility that they could be wrong.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 08:39 PM

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[font="Garamond"][color="Navy"][size="4"]

Perhaps you misunderstood. It's a serious play with words, so I don't really blame you. There are Atheists out there that are gnostic; they might not say that there's possibility of a god existing, but they'll certainly call believers "idiots" or something along those lines.
There's no such thing as a genuine Gnostic Atheist. You're probably referencing STRONG atheism vs weak atheism. Even then, strong atheism will admit that there is certainly the possibility of a god, but definitely not one that is currently defined or that we have evidence for. An atheist that doesn't admit that is childish and ignorant. They are more likely just some person following an atheistic movement/trend (a lot of kids in high school and early college years who read their first Dawkins/Hitchens/Sagan book and think they know everything about religion and science) and think that they look smart. When, in reality, it is worse than a fundamentalist believer (maybe).

I think it would be better phrased, "There are atheists out there who BELIEVE they are gnostic." But, I wouldn't classify them as atheists. I would classify them into a fundamentalist category.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 27th 2013, 11:44 PM

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There's no such thing as a genuine Gnostic Atheist. You're probably referencing STRONG atheism vs weak atheism. Even then, strong atheism will admit that there is certainly the possibility of a god, but definitely not one that is currently defined or that we have evidence for. An atheist that doesn't admit that is childish and ignorant.
If I was a strong Atheist, I might mention that there's a possibility of the existence of God, but we have to define what possibility we're talking about. If you have sex without a condom, there's a possibility that a woman could get pregnant. If you have sex and the woman is on birth control, there's a possibility that she could get pregnant. There's a possibility that unicorns exist. As it goes down the line, that possibility changes. Religion and everything about it is this massive concept about our world, and a strong Atheist would consider that possibility of a God existing along the lines of something so ridiculous that no one would believe it. For example...what if I said that every household has a pink bunny that wanders around and eats socks? Your socks might disappear, so that's a possibility...but you've never seen a pink bunny around your house. But just because you never see it, does that mean it's never there? Also, some people are allergic to rabbits (like myself) so they would know if the a rabbit is in the house. But what if it doesn't contain the bacteria or whatever that causes allergies? What if they don't leave any traceable evidence? If there's an answer to every question, you can't rule out a possibility unless it's proven...but that's absurd. If I honestly believed something like that, people would probably find me crazy. So if I was an Atheist and I found the idea of religion to be completely absurd, I'd mention that there'd ultimately be a possibility, but the possibility of a god existing is astronomically low that it's crazy to believe in such a thing. I'd almost say it out of sarcasm..."oh yeah, there's a possibility all right." It's like asking someone, "hey, out of a scale from 1 to 10, how sexy do you find me to be?" And they respond with a ".0000000001 out of 10." It's so incredibly low that it might as well just be 0. The possibility is so incredibly small that you might as well say there's no possibility, and the only reason why you're giving a decimal percentage possibility is not because you have doubt but because there is no such thing as a 100% possibility. I could say that because you're reading this, there's a 100% possibility that you're alive...but what if you died and death is just a complex dream that everyone shares? What if I said there's a 100% possibility that you will die? Well, what if God grants you immortality during your process of life? What if God makes you an assistant god? So there's a possibility that you may not die. We may say that death is a guarantee, but if you want to make an argument that even a strong Atheist, despite lack of evidence, can believe in a possibility of God's existence, it's like saying that you could become immortal.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 12:35 AM

Well...I don't believe in God...but I do believe that there is the possibility the world is controlled by an energy or that is what the world is based on.
I don't know what that makes me, but I just call myself an atheist because I'm not that bothered, I respect people's beliefs but I don't like them forced on me. I believe in scince and all that, but hey, science doesn't know everything :P
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 12:48 AM

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If I was a strong Atheist, I might mention that there's a possibility of the existence of God, but we have to define what possibility we're talking about. If you have sex without a condom, there's a possibility that a woman could get pregnant. If you have sex and the woman is on birth control, there's a possibility that she could get pregnant. There's a possibility that unicorns exist. As it goes down the line, that possibility changes.
Exactly, this is where we get into probability. An atheist is an atheist because the probability of god existing is limited to none. However, atheists admit, because we are not all knowing, there is a slight insignificant chance that god MIGHT exist. This is what Richard Dawkins calls "climbing mount improbable."

As logical people, we cannot claim to know everything, and therefore ANYTHING is possible. Logical people keep their options open knowing that things must be falsifiable. Our current knowledge of the Universe, and our escalating knowledge of the Universe, makes that existence smaller than ever. However, as logical people, we must admit that there MAY be a slight chance that in the future, perhaps our theories will be disproven (because they have to be falsifiable) and maybe there will be a proposed definition of god that we agree with.

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Religion and everything about it is this massive concept about our world, and a strong Atheist would consider that possibility of a God existing along the lines of something so ridiculous that no one would believe it.
Anyone who understands a fair amount of science would say that the probability of god existing is ridiculous. That's why many don't believe. It's not because the possibility is ridiculous. The possibility is ALWAYS there. But, if the religious we're gambling people (which they are -- in essence -- with their beliefs), the house (atheists) would likely win. Of course, there is always the exception, but it's a rare exception.

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For example...what if I said that every household has a pink bunny that wanders around and eats socks? Your socks might disappear, so that's a possibility...but you've never seen a pink bunny around your house. But just because you never see it, does that mean it's never there? Also, some people are allergic to rabbits (like myself) so they would know if the a rabbit is in the house. But what if it doesn't contain the bacteria or whatever that causes allergies? What if they don't leave any traceable evidence? If there's an answer to every question, you can't rule out a possibility unless it's proven...but that's absurd.
Exactly. So, like I said: There is definitely a possibility of that pink bunny. But, without the evidence, it's not very probable, so it's existence is laughable. Parallel to the idea of god.

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If I honestly believed something like that, people would probably find me crazy.
Yep. But, people wouldn't find you crazy because of the possibility. They would laugh because of the probability.

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So if I was an Atheist and I found the idea of religion to be completely absurd, I'd mention that there'd ultimately be a possibility, but the possibility of a god existing is astronomically low that it's crazy to believe in such a thing. I'd almost say it out of sarcasm..."oh yeah, there's a possibility all right." It's like asking someone, "hey, out of a scale from 1 to 10, how sexy do you find me to be?" And they respond with a ".0000000001 out of 10." It's so incredibly low that it might as well just be 0. The possibility is so incredibly small that you might as well say there's no possibility, and the only reason why you're giving a decimal percentage possibility is not because you have doubt but because there is no such thing as a 100% possibility. I could say that because you're reading this, there's a 100% possibility that you're alive...but what if you died and death is just a complex dream that everyone shares? What if I said there's a 100% possibility that you will die? Well, what if God grants you immortality during your process of life? What if God makes you an assistant god? So there's a possibility that you may not die. We may say that death is a guarantee, but if you want to make an argument that even a strong Atheist, despite lack of evidence, can believe in a possibility of God's existence, it's like saying that you could become immortal.
You can't put a finite number on something that is unknown in principle. That is, we cannot say the existence of god is only 0.000001% because we would need to know everything to even give a percentage. You're example is flawed because it's reflecting something relative, and not objective. We can say right now, we our current knowledge, the probability of god existing is ASTRONOMICALLY low. However, because we do not know EVERYTHING, we must keep the possibility that god DOES exist. And perhaps the god that DOES exist does not have a current proposed definition because of our limited knowledge. But, with what we do know, all religions that currently exist, are laughable.

It is possible Zeus exists. It's not probable. In time, as more knowledge increases, people will see today's religions as mere myths. Not because they don't teach great philosophical truths, but because they don't have evidence with our current knowledge. The same reason we rule out Zeus, Poseidon, Thor, Odin, Ra, and Isis, society will rule out Jesus, Allah, etc. in time. Not because it they're impossible to exist. But, simply because they will increase their knowledge and see the lack of probability.

I agree with what you're saying, but I think your definitions are mixed. There is no gnostic atheist. Just weak and strong.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 01:27 AM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Exactly, this is where we get into probability. An atheist is an atheist because the probability of god existing is limited to none. However, atheists admit, because we are not all knowing, there is a slight insignificant chance that god MIGHT exist. This is what Richard Dawkins calls "climbing mount improbable."

As logical people, we cannot claim to know everything, and therefore ANYTHING is possible. Logical people keep their options open knowing that things must be falsifiable. Our current knowledge of the Universe, and our escalating knowledge of the Universe, makes that existence smaller than ever. However, as logical people, we must admit that there MAY be a slight chance that in the future, perhaps our theories will be disproven (because they have to be falsifiable) and maybe there will be a proposed definition of god that we agree with.
I'm a little bit confused because as you probably know, I'm an Agnostic Theist. I don't know what that means for you, but for me it means that there's no real way of knowing whether God exists or not, but I do believe in some kind of supernatural being. I agree with what you're saying, but to me there's a little bit of conflict. You say that logical people, we can't claim to know everything. Our world constantly changes, we learn knew things which, to me, is the whole argument for Agnosticism. Correct me if I'm wrong. If that is the case, aren't all logical people Agnostic? If an Atheist is going to say "look, I don't believe in the existence of God, but I'm not going to exclude the possibility of it," then wouldn't that make the Atheist an Agnostic Atheist considering it takes into account the lack of knowledge about the existence of God rather than just the disbelief in it? Sorry if I'm coming off as an idiot.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 01:54 PM

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I'm a little bit confused because as you probably know, I'm an Agnostic Theist. I don't know what that means for you, but for me it means that there's no real way of knowing whether God exists or not, but I do believe in some kind of supernatural being. I agree with what you're saying, but to me there's a little bit of conflict. You say that logical people, we can't claim to know everything. Our world constantly changes, we learn knew things which, to me, is the whole argument for Agnosticism. Correct me if I'm wrong. If that is the case, aren't all logical people Agnostic? If an Atheist is going to say "look, I don't believe in the existence of God, but I'm not going to exclude the possibility of it," then wouldn't that make the Atheist an Agnostic Atheist considering it takes into account the lack of knowledge about the existence of God rather than just the disbelief in it? Sorry if I'm coming off as an idiot.
Yes, that would make them an agnostic atheist. That's what we've been pointing out. It's the only atheistic position out of the two discussed variants that is epistemically valid.
We've also said that no one can be a gnostic atheist because our epistemology doesn't hold such a position to be permissible. There can not be a single, genuine gnostic atheist until the atheistic position can be reinforced with certainty that what it entails is, in fact, indubitably verscious. Such is not the case today.
As Mike elaborated, any intellectually honest atheist will admit to the possibility of some form of deity existing, in some definition already outlined or perhaps not yet so. That does not entail a belief that such a thing is true.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 02:41 PM

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I'm a little bit confused because as you probably know, I'm an Agnostic Theist. I don't know what that means for you, but for me it means that there's no real way of knowing whether God exists or not, but I do believe in some kind of supernatural being.
I agree with this definition.

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Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
I agree with what you're saying, but to me there's a little bit of conflict. You say that logical people, we can't claim to know everything. Our world constantly changes, we learn knew things which, to me, is the whole
argument for Agnosticism.
An Agnostic, alone, is someone who would posit that it cannot be known. Period. End of discussion. An Atheist would say, "Well, we have a pretty good idea, and considering all the evidence, there is probably no god." Now, we can go on and on about what we define as a god, but for the most part, when an atheist speaks of "god" it is speaking of TODAY'S deities. Those such as Jesus. We would say, "There is no historical evidence of Jesus, the Bible says the Earth is 6,000 years old, it doesn't leave room for evolution, it unnatural miracles, and does not allow room for the big bang." So, now that we realize there is no evidence for Christ, we have multiple sure-proof ways to measure the age of things, and know the Earth is MUCH older than 6,000 years old, since we have examined evolution and micro-levels, since unnatural things do not happen, and with recent discoveries that give evidence of the big bang, we can rule out Christianity and any Abrahamic religion.

The Agnostic would choose to continue saying, "Yeah, but we don't KNOW." When in essence, we do. Granted, as you've aforementioned, we cannot be 100% sure, but we are sure enough to rule it out. So, an agnostic is not really more intelligent. An intelligent person would consider the evidence and make decisions based on that, while acknowledging things could change -- leaving room for error. For example, gravity. Do you accept the theory of gravity? You likely do. However, gravity is "just a theory" (as Creationists would say of evolution). We are not 100% sure gravity is valid. You might think that is foolish to say, but it's the truth. However, it would be stupid to say, "We don't know gravity exists." When, in fact, we have a pretty good idea. So, in this scenario, and agnostic would say, "We don't know if the theory of gravity is true." While that is in some essence true, the Atheist would say, "We have a pretty good idea it is true." Thus, the Atheist would accept gravity as a theory, but would also say, "but that could change -- it's just not likely."

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Correct me if I'm wrong. If that is the case, aren't all logical people Agnostic?
If things were black-and-white, theoretically, yes. But, genuine atheists are agnostic to a degree. A slight degree. They just take current evidences into consideration, which is the logical thing to do as evident with my gravity explanation. I don't think you'd call someone logical who said, "We don't know if the theory of gravity exists." As Dawkins would say, "They are more than welcome to jump off a cliff..." to test the theory.

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If an Atheist is going to say "look, I don't believe in the existence of God, but I'm not going to exclude the possibility of it," then wouldn't that make the Atheist an Agnostic Atheist considering it takes into account the lack of knowledge about the existence of God rather than just the disbelief in it? Sorry if I'm coming off as an idiot.
GENUINE Atheism is Agnostic/Weak Atheism.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 05:16 PM

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An Agnostic, alone, is someone who would posit that it cannot be known. Period. End of discussion.
I'm going to comment no this separately because I feel it would be important for my later comments. The ultimate question is why? As an Agnostic Theist, the existence of God cannot be known but the important thing is to know why. I say that the existence of God cannot be known because as long as there is possibility, there is doubt. To bring into your quote about gravity and testing it, there is always a possibility that I could jump over a cliff and float. The theory of gravity would state otherwise and based on personal experience with jumping, I'd probably free fall. Ultimately, you're given two choices: jump off the cliff, or don't. If you don't, your risk of death is theoretically less than if you jumped off a cliff, therefore deciding to NOT jump off the cliff is the logical choice. Of course, if we had parachutes or some kind of device to decrease risk of death, it won't be as illogical. It's about weighing your options. But I look at it like this...let's just say that you're planning on losing weight and you want some motivation. You tell your friends about you wanting to lose weight and kind of want words of encouragement. Guy 1 says "you know Mike, I'm not sure if you're going to lose weight or not. I've seen your work habits and stuff like that, but I really can't make a decision until I see it happen." Guy 2 says "you know Mike, I've been your friend for a while and I've seen your abilities and from what I can tell...you probably won't lose weight." What it all comes down to is that you'd probably be more upset with Guy 2 than Guy 1 because although they both know who you are, Guy 2 takes it a step further by saying that you probably won't. To me, it's the most logical choice to be Agnostic than to be an Agnostic Atheist because if God actually existed and judged you, I believe that you would be less likely to reach "nirvana" or whatever you believe because you had more doubt. Someone might say God probably doesn't exist, but the fact is that they still don't know. To me, it is more logical to just say "I don't know" rather than say "because of this, I have more doubt" because they are both implying that you're still uncertain. If I were God, I'd be more likely to be kind to the guy who would be willing to sit down and say "I don't know" rather than the guy who would sit down and say "I had my reasons not to believe in you, but I still didn't know for sure." The point is that you still doubted me more than the other guy, so that tells me that you didn't have as much faith.

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Granted, An Atheist would say, "Well, we have a pretty good idea, and considering all the evidence, there is probably no god." Now, we can go on and on about what we define as a god, but for the most part, when an atheist speaks of "god" it is speaking of TODAY'S deities. Those such as Jesus. We would say, "There is no historical evidence of Jesus, the Bible says the Earth is 6,000 years old, it doesn't leave room for evolution, it unnatural miracles, and does not allow room for the big bang." So, now that we realize there is no evidence for Christ, we have multiple sure-proof ways to measure the age of things, and know the Earth is MUCH older than 6,000 years old, since we have examined evolution and micro-levels, since unnatural things do not happen, and with recent discoveries that give evidence of the big bang, we can rule out Christianity and any Abrahamic religion.
That's the thing. I don't believe in a religion or at least the religion that we know. Since I believe there's no way of knowing whether God exists or not, I'm open to the idea of ruling out religions. We could rule out Christianity and I'd be totally okay with that. We could rule out the existence of Heaven and Hell and all those things, but they don't necessarily rule out the existence of God. So what the Bible says is almost irrelevant to me because I kind of believe in the Sisphus(sp?) fragment except it was done to confuse the hell out of people rather than authority. I believe the Bible had absolutely nothing to do with God or Jesus. I actually believe God created science, but that's a different thread.

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The Agnostic would choose to continue saying, "Yeah, but we don't KNOW." When in essence, we do. Granted, as you've aforementioned, we cannot be 100% sure, but we are sure enough to rule it out.
I just don't see how we can rule something out when we live in a world that is constantly changing and finding out new things. Evidence can support the uncertainty of God's existence right now, but that doesn't mean it will always be the case. We have a lot that has been undiscovered still. Supposedly the universe is even expanding. We have not ventured that far. Right now, you can say that evidence suggests otherwise, but things could always change. But if you rule it out and all the sudden we find something that blows you away, it's no longer ruled out. So why rule it out in the first place? It reminds me of those Maury shows with the women saying "Maury, I'm 1000% sure that he is the father" and it turns out he really wasn't the father. You can't rule it out if there's still doubt.

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An intelligent person would consider the evidence and make decisions based on that, while acknowledging things could change -- leaving room for error.
I agree with that. I'm Agnostic and I know there's evidence to support certain things, but my main focus is with the doubt. Despite the evidence, it doesn't disprove the existence of God. I want evidence that proves God's non-existence specifically. If I can't get that, it doesn't really change anything considering my beef isn't with religion. Disprove religion all you want, and that's something that I will make based on that. If Christianity is dis-proven, then I will decide to rule out Christianity. If Shintoism is dis-proved, I'll rule that out. Etc etc. Even as an Agnostic, I still make decisions and I still weigh evidence, but I'm like a conveyer belt at a factory. I only pick stuff out that I can use for my beliefs, and throw all the other things away as they are irrelevant to my belief.

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For example, gravity. Do you accept the theory of gravity? You likely do. However, gravity is "just a theory" (as Creationists would say of evolution). We are not 100% sure gravity is valid. You might think that is foolish to say, but it's the truth. However, it would be stupid to say, "We don't know gravity exists." When, in fact, we have a pretty good idea. So, in this scenario, and agnostic would say, "We don't know if the theory of gravity is true." While that is in some essence true, the Atheist would say, "We have a pretty good idea it is true." Thus, the Atheist would accept gravity as a theory, but would also say, "but that could change -- it's just not likely."
I see your point and can agree with it to an extent. It's like with optimism and pessimism. I could claim to be optimistic, but there are some subjects I could be very pessimistic about. We don't react the same way with all our subjects. If I'm Agnostic, I'm not going to treat the theory of gravity and God's existence as the same because, to me, they are entirely different subjects that should be approached completely differently.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 28th 2013, 07:27 PM

i dont believe in god either but i believe that we came from the evolution because when you go to the zoo you actually see the gorillas and apes doing what we do and you can see the similarities. there has also been scientific research into it as well
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 29th 2013, 08:35 PM

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i dont believe in god either but i believe that we came from the evolution because when you go to the zoo you actually see the gorillas and apes doing what we do and you can see the similarities. there has also been scientific research into it as well
I'm going to respond to this separately and first because my responding to this is going to be shorter.

Evolution has nothing to do with the existence of god. Evolution explains the variety of species we see. You, also, can't "believe" in evolution. Evolution is a scientific theory supported by evidence. You don't believe in evidence or theories. You accept them.


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 30th 2013, 12:01 AM

Okay... where to begin...

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Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
I'm going to comment no this separately because I feel it would be important for my later comments. The ultimate question is why? As an Agnostic Theist, the existence of God cannot be known but the important thing is to know why.
I don't know how relevant this is to the rest of your post, but I don't understand what you mean why. It isn't really important to debate why the existence of god cannot be known, but if that's what you're after, I'll play along. Sorry if I misunderstood. There's something about your wording that makes this confusing, or maybe I'm just not following.

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I say that the existence of God cannot be known because as long as there is possibility, there is doubt.
First, this is flawed. Let's go back to what I said earlier. There is ALWAYS possibility. Where we come to decision making, we base it on probability. Keep this is mind, it's important for the rest of what follows. Let me elaborate.

Let's say you see me in person. You come up to me, you smell my cologne, you shake my hand, and we speak. Now, based on this you've used 4 of your 5 senses. So, just for giggles, lets say you kiss my cheek, because it's part of our greeting. When you kiss my cheek you taste me a bit (I know this is exaggerated, but you'll see where I'm going). You've now used all 5 senses. You saw me, smelled, felt, heard, and tasted.

Here's the problem, though. Studies have shown that the mind can replicate all 5 of these senses when nothing is actually present. There is room for doubt. Let's take this further. Perhaps you're thinking, "Well, other people see you, so I would assume you exist." What if all these people are imagined as well? What if all these people are delusional, too? We can CONSTANTLY doubt, which is why skepticism is redundant. If you say, "as long as there is possibility, there is room for doubt."

Of course, there is ALWAYS room for doubt. But, as mentioned, it is only wise to DOUBT according to probability. There is room to doubt you're an Agnostic Theist. So, does this make you an Agnostic Agnostic Theist? And since you can doubt that, does that mean you're possibly and Agnostic Agnostic Agnostic Theist? Oh, and lets take it the other way. There is ALSO the possibility that you are Atheist. But, you don't seem to think so. Why? Probability.

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To bring into your quote about gravity and testing it, there is always a possibility that I could jump over a cliff and float. The theory of gravity would state otherwise and based on personal experience with jumping, I'd probably free fall. Ultimately, you're given two choices: jump off the cliff, or don't. If you don't, your risk of death is theoretically less than if you jumped off a cliff, therefore deciding to NOT jump off the cliff is the logical choice.
Likewise, if you make a claim about something existing, if there is no evidence of its existence, it's the logical choice to not believe. However, you can still leave room for that possibility, it's just not probable. Just like it's not probable that you will float if you jump off a cliff.

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It's about weighing your options.
Probability.

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But I look at it like this...let's just say that you're planning on losing weight and you want some motivation. You tell your friends about you wanting to lose weight and kind of want words of encouragement. Guy 1 says "you know Mike, I'm not sure if you're going to lose weight or not. I've seen your work habits and stuff like that, but I really can't make a decision until I see it happen." Guy 2 says "you know Mike, I've been your friend for a while and I've seen your abilities and from what I can tell...you probably won't lose weight." What it all comes down to is that you'd probably be more upset with Guy 2 than Guy 1 because although they both know who you are, Guy 2 takes it a step further by saying that you probably won't.
Yes, but if guy 2 knows me, has seen my abilities, then if he has a evidence to show me that I won't lose weight, he is PROBABLY right. This is a COMPLETELY different scenario, though, because we are talking about things within our control. You can't control my existence or non-existence. If there is evidence I exist, it's likely I exist. If there is no evidence of my existence, it's likely I don't exist. It's different than discussing weight loss.

Do you believe in Unicorns, Faeries, the Boogie Man, and Jeepers Creepers? I am assuming you don't. Why? Probability. There is a possibility all of them exist, but evidence points to the contrary.

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To me, it's the most logical choice to be Agnostic than to be an Agnostic Atheist
You said you were an agnostic theist, correct? This means you're making a claim that something exists. A positive claims mean the burden of proof relies on you to prove it exists. In other words, if I say, "I have an invisible friend Jimmy." It is up to ME to prove Jimmy exists. It's not up to you to disprove him. You wouldn't be an Agnostic Jimmy, you'd likely be an Agnostic Ajimmy until I provided evidence. It's illogical to be an Agnostic Theist because you are making a positive claim that you don't know. It's almost self-refuting.

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because if God actually existed and judged you, I believe that you would be less likely to reach "nirvana" or whatever you believe because you had more doubt. Someone might say God probably doesn't exist, but the fact is that they still don't know. To me, it is more logical to just say "I don't know" rather than say "because of this, I have more doubt" because they are both implying that you're still uncertain. If I were God, I'd be more likely to be kind to the guy who would be willing to sit down and say "I don't know" rather than the guy who would sit down and say "I had my reasons not to believe in you, but I still didn't know for sure." The point is that you still doubted me more than the other guy, so that tells me that you didn't have as much faith.
But, you're applying attributes to something you don't even know exists. What makes you think god is even a being? What if god was just the big bang? Or string theory? What if god is just matter? What if god doesn't have a personality? This is the same dilemma as Pascal's Wager. You're assuming god has attributes before even knowing whether or not it exits! You're assuming what YOU BELIEVE is correct, without any evidence, or knowing. What if you die and it's the Christian god that's real? He will punish you equally as severe an Atheist, because you didn't believe in the Christian god. So, why don't you believe in that god? OR what if it's Allah? What if, what if, what if? Just because those scenarios are possible doesn't mean you should believe them. And it also doesn't mean you should be Agnostic altogether. It means you should weigh the evidence and see what the probability of that happening is.

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I just don't see how we can rule something out when we live in a world that is constantly changing and finding out new things.
Because many of the theories that discount god are nearly laws. They have so much evidence to support them, that it's ridiculous to even consider the possibility.

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Evidence can support the uncertainty of God's existence right now, but that doesn't mean it will always be the case.
Evidence doesn't support the uncertainty. The lack of evidence does. You can't have supportive evidence without evidence. Again, if I told you to provide me evidence that Jimmy doesn't exist, you'd have nothing. It's similar to court. Innocent until proven guilty. There's nothing, until proven otherwise.

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We have a lot that has been undiscovered still. Supposedly the universe is even expanding. We have not ventured that far. Right now, you can say that evidence suggests otherwise, but things could always change. But if you rule it out and all the sudden we find something that blows you away, it's no longer ruled out. So why rule it out in the first place? It reminds me of those Maury shows with the women saying "Maury, I'm 1000% sure that he is the father" and it turns out he really wasn't the father. You can't rule it out if there's still doubt.
This is why science is great. If we come across evidence that supports a deities existence, we rewrite science. But, BUT, we have to consider the probability of that happening, and as science progresses, it becomes less and less likely. And as to Maury, how do you know he wasn't really the father? What happened if the tests were wrong? There's always doubt, as I've said. You just have to weigh the probability.

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I agree with that. I'm Agnostic and I know there's evidence to support certain things, but my main focus is with the doubt. Despite the evidence, it doesn't disprove the existence of God. I want evidence that proves God's non-existence specifically.
Well, then, you're going to be waiting a long time. As I've said, you can't give supportive evidence to a negative (atheism). You can only provide evidence for a positive claim (theism). You can't possibly demand that because it doesn't logically work like that. The burden of proof always relies on the positive.

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I see your point and can agree with it to an extent. It's like with optimism and pessimism. I could claim to be optimistic, but there are some subjects I could be very pessimistic about. We don't react the same way with all our subjects. If I'm Agnostic, I'm not going to treat the theory of gravity and God's existence as the same because, to me, they are entirely different subjects that should be approached completely differently.
Different subjects doesn't change epistemology, and therefore shouldn't be approached differently. I'm not here to defend myself. I'm here to find truth. I've found many people are out there to defend their position. I'm here to weigh evidence, and become convinced of truth. Follow me around, I debate everyone. I don't feel defensive about my stances. I am open because I want to find truth, not because I want to be right, and I think that's what separates me from a lot of people. If I can be shown, reasonably, that there is a reason to believe in a deity, I will GLADLY change my views. Perhaps we should take this over to the thread I started right below this, so it's not hijacked.

If anything needs clarifying, let me know. I was in a rush and didn't have time to proof read (though, honestly, I don't do that very much before posting anyways-- I probably should, haha).


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 30th 2013, 02:30 PM

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
If anything needs clarifying, let me know. I was in a rush and didn't have time to proof read (though, honestly, I don't do that very much before posting anyways-- I probably should, haha).
I appreciate you responding and not leaving me high and dry with questions I wanted answered. As far as I know, nothing needs clarifying. =)

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
I don't know how relevant this is to the rest of your post, but I don't understand what you mean why. It isn't really important to debate why the existence of god cannot be known, but if that's what you're after, I'll play along. Sorry if I misunderstood. There's something about your wording that makes this confusing, or maybe I'm just not following.
The last thing I want to do is start a debate with you why existence of God cannot be known because I know you'd tear me to pieces considering you're more knowledgeable about religion than I am. I only know bits and pieces.

I guess the reason why I brought it up is because it's important to understand why the existence of God cannot be known. I don't want to start a debate about God's existence as it's not relevant to the thread so I'm going to give my viewpoint in a nutshell. You claim that Atheism is about probability. With the evidence we have, you say that God probably doesn't exist...and that's perfectly fine. However, the universe is big (from what I gather). With the amount we have discovered and explored, it may be only a small fraction of what we can know. Picture it like this...

Let's pretend you have a female friend, Woman 1. Woman 1 has a friend, Woman 2, who was recently raped while jogging out in her neighborhood. Now...Woman 1 is afraid that she's probably going to get raped when she goes out jogging because she doesn't have very many close friends and 1 just got raped. If she's got 3 good female friends and 1 got raped, that makes a 25% probability of her getting raped (when she's included). You're saying that existence is probably not true based on little with what we know. Right now, the probability is very good that God doesn't exist because we may not know a whole lot. But if woman 1 looked at the statistics on women getting raped while jogging, she'd probably find that it's either more or less than what her original probability is. But that's arguable measurable because we can get that information here on Earth. Even still, the statistics may not be exactly accurate based on rape victims not going to the police about it. But the bottom line is that we can probably come up with a percentage of chance because we don't have to travel far to get it. But with the universe, there's un-explored territory. A lot of it. If I'm to come up with a probability based on what we know and what we can know, that percentage may be miniscule. Now you may say that we can make a prediction and say that we probably won't find anything else to prove/dis-prove God's existence based on what we have explored, but that portrayal can be bad with statistics and things like that. If you have too small of a sample in a study, it won't be deemed very accurate. And what we have is arguably a small sample because we are very limited in what we know. Potentially, our probability is not very accurate. In reality, our probability may be very low because there's a large grey area in knowledge and it is not safe to assume that just because there's a big probability that God doesn't exist based on the evidence we have that it's going to have the same probability on an extremely much wider scale.

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
Likewise, if you make a claim about something existing, if there is no evidence of its existence, it's the logical choice to not believe. However, you can still leave room for that possibility, it's just not probable. Just like it's not probable that you will float if you jump off a cliff.
What is evidence to you may not be evidence to someone else. Religion is kind of a personal thing. No one is obligated to prove anything to anybody, the important thing is that you're convinced of something personally. If a woman lifts up a car to save her child, you might say that it was adrenaline that helped her and things of that nature; however, she might say "it was God who gave me strength." Both are possible since there's always doubt. In your perspective, you are convinced based on what you have learned about the human mind and body, but she may convinced through a religious experience.

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Originally Posted by Of Mike and Men View Post
You said you were an agnostic theist, correct? This means you're making a claim that something exists.
Ultimately, that's correct. Though I don't know whether God exists or not, I believe that a supernatural being exists. I am making a claim of existence.

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It's illogical to be an Agnostic Theist because you are making a positive claim that you don't know. It's almost self-refuting.
I want to reiterate what I said about the universe earlier. We've only discovered a limited amount of things, and that leaves a lot of room for change. The universe is big, there's a lot of science going on that we may not fully understand, and there are complex concepts. Our human civilization has been alive for a long time discovering new things, and in the end...our civilization may not live long enough to witness all the things that are out there undiscovered. To me, it seems like a masterful plan that only someone who is "all-knowing" can create. Considering the possibility, I'm not wrong nor am I right. I have convinced myself based on how I view the world. It is true to me, though I don't know for sure. It may be viewed as illogical to believe in something that I'm not sure of, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.
   
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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - August 31st 2013, 11:53 PM

I'm not sure why you need a strict label for your religious beliefs. Just believe what you want. If you need to describe it to others, you can find a loose term for description. I always tell people I'm "non-religious." I'm really atheist, maybe more secular humanist, but I find these terms annoying philosophical jargon meant to separate people. It's like how I'm registered as a democrat even if I'm more green party/socialistic/extreme liberal. But I can think how I want without having to find a "perfect label."


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Re: Fellow Atheists, I have a question. (Any other religions are free to answer) - September 3rd 2013, 09:47 PM

Maybe agnostic but honestly, you are correct.

I always say I have little desire to go into physics, chemistry, or biology to understand why we are here. It's the same with my car. I have little desire to figure out how all the parts work together to run.
   
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