You are absolutely correct, DarronS. That’s why I gave my view in one short sentence, was challenged, responded succinctly, then realized we were all Waltzing on a pinhead and shut up.
Although we have no evidence of any other universe at this time, it could be a way of getting around the something from nothing question. Possibly there’s a negative universe in another three physical dimensions. It could contain positrons versus electrons, and negatrons versus protons. However, it’s still game playing until we figure out how to cross into other dimensions.
I know you probably mean well and just don’t like to see people who agree with each other on the improtant stuff bicker over minutiae, but it’s alittle obnoxious to declare conversations yo’re not interested in “intellectual masturbation.” If you aren’t moved, you don’t have to play. I don’t find debates about the historical reality of Jesus or lots of other topics here interesting, but I try not to appoint myself the arbiter of what is or isn’t worth talking about.
I view myself as being both agnostic and atheist. To see why, lets break down the words.
Agnostic (A = without, gnosis = knowledge)
Atheist (A = without, theism = god belief)
I cannot conclusively prove that a god doesn’t exist, therefore I don’t know, i.e., I’m agnostic. At the same time, no one has produced evidence to convince me that there is a god, so I’m without a god belief, i.e., I’m an atheist.
Here’s the kicker. I think that many people who claim to be agnostic are also atheists. Saying you don’t know doesn’t seem to be compatible with “I believe.” If you don’t believe, well…
If you get into agnosticism, you will have to be agnostic about each and every form of theism, not just the ‘christian’ deity. You cannot ‘know’, then for certain, that Zeus, Zenu or Krishna don’t exist. Nor for that matter, dragons, leprechauns, fairies, bigfoot, the Loch Ness ‘monster’ or any of the other millions of fantastical beings people believe in. I believe none of these exist, without proof otherwise, I am a-dragon, leprechaun and and any other supernatural entity dreamed by mankind.
Yes Asanta, and I would posit that otherwise the agnostics who rule your example out, but still offer the idea of a creator, or prime causal force(with or without intent)are simply creating a god.(this being the deism, or other such “soft-tone grey area theism” that has been bandied about here at times lately.) Creating a god in the same exact fashion that all of your listed “silly” gods(zeus, thor, jesus etc..) were created.
Let’s not confuse actual worship methodology with plain “god creation”. However one fashions their god(or possible god) it is irrelevant whether or not they prostrate themselves before it.
We could call this an “agnosticism of the gaps”. The idea that we don’t know what started everything, but the idea of a god has been kicked around, so let’s not rule that out. We’ll just clothe it in neo-scientific terminology.
Perhaps agnostics are just good at ruling out what gods definitely don’t exist, but are keeping an open mind for the possibility of a scientifically-acceptable god possibility. Nice try, that’s still putting the horse before the cart. That’s god creation, and that is how new religions evolve.
Atheists aren’t saying: “We know god doesn’t exist!” We are saying: “We don’t know what’s in the beginning, or in the gaps, but we aren’t going to fill it in with obvious, unprovable ideas, or millennial handed down stories.”
Again these ideas of scientifically proper “prime movers”, or “potentials” or whatever else are simply direct relatives of yahweh, rah, or zeus. It’s contrived, it’s hackneyed, and it’s unoriginal-it also goes to show that my idea that science may have hit a wall for awhile could be true.
No, I can’t be absolutely sure there is no god. So, agnostic? But without any sense that there is a god involved in the world, I’m functionally an atheist. So in the end, the labels just don’t matter. But if I must be labeled, I’ll be an ice creamist.
I like this phrase, though I think it makes the opposite point to that which you intended. If there is a gap, then isn’t the appropriate response to that gap to say “I don’t know?” That’s not “god creation,” it’s just not definitively ruling out god.
Atheists aren’t saying: “We know god doesn’t exist!”
Well, maybe you aren’t, but many are. That’s pretty much exactly what many atheists mean by the term.
By atheist I mean a person that believes that there is no God(s). The belief in a negative state of Godism. Hence my graph with a position for ZERO probability of God’s existence.
Whereas a theist is at 100% probability of God’s existence.
But that leaves all of the theist with the problem of providing more details about their supposed god’s characteristics and objectives. One extreme being the deists with their “Don’t give a damn God” to the run of the mill schizophrenic Euro-cosmic thundering loving God sending people to hell for eating meat on Friday.
By atheist I mean a person that believes that there is no God(s). The belief in a negative state of Godism.
Thanks for the clarification. It seems that we need a more precise term to describe the subset of atheists who claim certainty in their conviction (I’m not fond of the use of strong vs. weak). I strongly identify with the word atheist and strongly assert that the incredibly inept and cruel god described in the Christian bible does not exist. Yet by definition I’m not a strong atheist because I cannot say for certain that no gods exist. The probability of god is so incredibly low that it’s not worthy of my attention (though it sure gets a lot).
Conversely, it sounds as though you are an atheist (without god belief) but feel animosity from a subset of that group. Though I appreciate your concern, it sounds strange to hear an atheist criticizing those darn “atheists.” Hence the need for a more accurate descriptor.
P.S. Thanks for the link to the Vatican Rag vid - great fun!