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How do you go from being an atheist to an agnostic?


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31 replies to this topic

#1
Mick Bynes

Mick Bynes

  • 134 posts

Seriously, I do not understand.  I've been an atheist for most of my life, then I actually tried to be Catholic (I was supposed to be raised Catholic, but mom & dad had been divorced and they became Protestant) and I think there was one time where I considered myself agnostic/atheist.  How does it happen?  You don't believe in god and then all of a sudden you're unsure?  Give me a break!  May someone please explain this to me?  I'll never be like... oh I don't believe in god and then a year or two later... oh no, I should become agnostic.  I love Stef's explanation why agnosticism is bad in Agnosticism -- The Incomprehensible Halo...  I love that video a lot and all agnostic people you should watch and listen to it extremely carefully.


 


Now I'm not gonna mention names here or anything.  But I knew a person who was an atheist between the years 2007 - 2009 and then they became an agnostic.  We argued it over it and I couldn't believe the person became an agnostic... and the person was so atheistic during that period in time.  In fact, the person may have been more atheistic than myself at the time (I'm not sure actually, the person once stated they were atheist/agnostic, but leaned towards the atheistic side).  This totally upsetted me 3 years ago, now I'm just like oh well... their loss.


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"I've never seen a homeless guy with a bottle of Gatorade" - George Carlin


#2
SimonF

SimonF
  • 1366 posts

It' possible to be an agnostic atheist in the sense that you 1) don't believe in any deities and 2) don't believe it's possible to have knowledge about the existence or non-existence of deities.


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to see crazy, you have to know sane


 


#3
Flake

Flake
  • 59 posts

What Simon said. Could also be that he became a atheist but only for emotional reasons as a revolt against his prior bad experience with theism, then he later came to find agnosticism the more logical position, to him.


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#4
Rob_Ilir

Rob_Ilir

  • 146 posts

I would think it is the last stage before "hiting rock bottom".


Those are the people that are most likely to commit to major change, if guided right. 


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#5
Mick Bynes

Mick Bynes

  • 134 posts

Thanks for the responses everyone.


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"I've never seen a homeless guy with a bottle of Gatorade" - George Carlin


#6
Mick Bynes

Mick Bynes

  • 134 posts

More on this, it turns out that the person who was ultra atheistic was/is on psychotropic drugs.  However, I knew when the person was on psychotropic drugs... the person was overpowering it for a while.  The person became a "christian atheist" for a little amount of time, then to agnosticism.

 

The drugs didn't fully settle into their system until 2010.  Once they locked in, the person became a "good standing Catholic" for a while.  Then the person became agnostic again once they got into college.  Then the person went to being an "agnostic christian".  As far as I know, the person is now stuck on being an agnostic.

 

The only way they may become an atheist again is if they get off those pills permanently.  Well that's not happening anytime soon, that person is sadly a customer for life... well I hope not.  I cannot get this person off these pills.  The person believes they're helping him.  I sent the person the ultimate resources to get him off the pills too.


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"I've never seen a homeless guy with a bottle of Gatorade" - George Carlin


#7
lowkey

lowkey
  • 1242 posts

Recently I had a friend explain the differences in agnostic and atheist this way to me.

 

Atheism and Theism are about beliefs.

Gnostism and Agnostism are about knowledge.

 

So it is possible to be a Gnostic Atheist or an Agnostic Atheist.  Its just saying your lack of belief in a god or gods is based on knowledge or not.  It seeems that most atheists would be agnostic atheists simply because an absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.  It may lead you to that belief but it isn't logically conclusive.

 

And the same is true for Theists.  They can be agnostic theists (who believe but have no evidence) or gnostic theists (who believe and claim to have knowledge or evidence).  Similar to atheists, I would assume that the majority of theists are actually agnostic theists who choose to believe even through they have no direct or conclusive evidence.  It may just come down to the fact that practicing their faith allows them to participate in their community in a way that feels inclusive.   

 

Seems to me that the idea that there are three different groups results in the confusion.  Of course I could be wrong.  I've never been atheist or theist enough to be accepted by either group without questions. 


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"We thought we knew everything about everything, and it turned out that there were unknown unknowns." - Richard Fisher, NASA 2009


#8
LanceD

LanceD

  • 187 posts

I think the problem here is a lack of proper terminology. People think Agnostic means you are just unsure of your faith in one of the classic religions. Then the term Atheist is certain that God does not exist. 

 

So where does that leave a person like me? I am sure that all of our organized religions are absolute nonsense and the only real value they offer to me is a study of human behavior. However as far as i'm concerned Atheism is just as nonsensical and ignorant, how the hell do you know anything for sure?

 

I'm an explorer who's mind is open to possibilities and knows that with our extremely limited knowledge there is very little we can be certain of. What do you call me? Well the closest and typically easiest thing to say when someone asks is "I'm Agnostic".


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We're not responsible for how we're born, but we are responsible for how we die.


#9
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

I think the problem here is a lack of proper terminology. People think Agnostic means you are just unsure of your faith in one of the classic religions. Then the term Atheist is certain that God does not exist. 

 

So where does that leave a person like me? I am sure that all of our organized religions are absolute nonsense and the only real value they offer to me is a study of human behavior. However as far as i'm concerned Atheism is just as nonsensical and ignorant, how the hell do you know anything for sure?

 

I'm an explorer who's mind is open to possibilities and knows that with our extremely limited knowledge there is very little we can be certain of. What do you call me? Well the closest and typically easiest thing to say when someone asks is "I'm Agnostic".

 

I used to think like you until I read Dawkins "The god delusion" and later heard some of Stef podcast on the subject, they put the nail on the coffin for agnosticism when applied to the existence of a god.

Agnosticism is a fine position when it comes to possible events, but not impossible ones. e.i (One can be agnostic about a teacup orbiting Venus at the moment, but not about a horse alive and well orbiting Venus.)

 

I caution you against trying to redefine god in order to move it from the impossible to the improbable, the god people speak of when the utter the word is impossible. a god that lives in another dimension that created the universe and does not interfere is not impossible but this is not what people mean.

 

Hope this helps.


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#10
LanceD

LanceD

  • 187 posts

I used to think like you until I read Dawkins "The god delusion" and later heard some of Stef podcast on the subject, they put the nail on the coffin for agnosticism when applied to the existence of a god.

Agnosticism is a fine position when it comes to possible events, but not impossible ones. e.i (One can be agnostic about a teacup orbiting Venus at the moment, but not about a horse alive and well orbiting Venus.)

 

I caution you against trying to redefine god in order to move it from the impossible to the improbable, the god people speak of when the utter the word is impossible. a god that lives in another dimension that created the universe and does not interfere is not impossible but this is not what people mean.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thank you for making my point perfectly. You automatically assume because I use the word Agnostic that I am unsure of the existence of a deity. I'm well aware that there isn't some all powerful being getting disappointed in me every time I masturbate. However the lack of a god does not mean that this reality is all there is to the universe. So I think we need a new word, one that means "i'm an open minded spiritual explorer who has checked his ego enough to know he doesn't know the answer."

 

Also as a side note, Dawkins believes in Atheism like Christians believe in Christ. I'm very suspect of anything said by anyone with a belief.


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We're not responsible for how we're born, but we are responsible for how we die.


#11
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

Thank you for making my point perfectly. You automatically assume because I use the word Agnostic that I am unsure of the existence of a deity. I'm well aware that there isn't some all powerful being getting disappointed in me every time I masturbate. However the lack of a god does not mean that this reality is all there is to the universe. So I think we need a new word, one that means "i'm an open minded spiritual explorer who has checked his ego enough to know he doesn't know the answer."

 

Also as a side note, Dawkins believes in Atheism like Christians believe in Christ. I'm very suspect of anything said by anyone with a belief.

 

You are correct. I assumed you meant a sky god because this is what people mean when they speak of a god. Very few people think of the type you described. Since this is not the intended meaning It will clear things up if the word god and agnostic was not used the way you did. And what does "spiritual explorer" even mean?

 

As far as I know Dawkins and Stef are atheist regarding sky gods since discussing the possibility of a creator that does not interfere in our universe is a mute point. until he decides to show up it can be treated as non-existent. What are you assuming atheist means? It seems as a perfectly valid position when it comes to the existence of sky gods.

 

A definition of theism might help (from webster (View that all observable phenomena are dependent on but distinct from one supreme being. The view usually entails the idea that God is beyond human comprehension, perfect and self-sustained, but also peculiarly involved in the world and its events")

 

That said, You would be also an atheist regarding god (sky gods).

 

Instead of agnostic I prefer the term skeptic to describe myself as far as things than are not impossible.

 

I've seen the word "wide agnosticism" used to describe agnosticism as a method of regulating our beliefs similar to the modern skeptical movement. the term "narrow agnosticism" used to describe agnosticism when applied to the question of god's(sky god) existence.

It is this "narrow agnosticism" that Dawkin and Stef have shown to be flawed.

 

Regards.


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#12
Nathan Diehl

Nathan Diehl

  • 189 posts

http://www.youtube.c...0FC5052954378D3

 

Stef had a debate on "Atheism Versus Agnosticism". Highly recommended and also very enjoyable.


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#13
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

http://www.youtube.c...0FC5052954378D3

 

Stef had a debate on "Atheism Versus Agnosticism". Highly recommended and also very enjoyable.

 

Good videos, I agree with part 3, 9 minutes in: avoiding the use of the word god for the possible and only reserving it for its traditional used/meaning throughout history.


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#14
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

I've gone from being a strong atheist, to a rather weak atheist, but in general, my opinion has always been "You don't know unknowable things either".  In being open minded, and kind to religious people however, I have found that almost none of them think they know.  It's very much two minorities banging it out, "I know there's a god", vs "I know there's not a god"... Slowly, over time, I've grown closer and closer to "You're both idiots... Stop wasting your time".  A whole lot of religious people don't claim to know, they just enjoy believing.

 

I may actually choose a religion one day.  I wrote about this a bit in my "How do you feel about Life of Pi" thread.  I won't choose to say that I know there is a god.  I will simply say, "I enjoy these rituals, traditions, and dances... So I decided to hang out with these people".  If that's not enough for a religion, it won't be the one I choose.  That is enough for quite a few though, so I might just pick one someday.

 

In general, I wish Atheists had cool traditions, songs, holidays, dances, and rituals.  Why not come up with an excuse to hang out together a few days a year, and have fun?  In some ways, this is what Atheism 2.0, and +, and Pastafarianism, seem to be attempting... but it's just not irreverent enough for me personally.  Holi, in India, looks like a freakin' blast.  I'm going to write a thread eventually "Why don't Atheists have the coolest holidays?"... but in general, I would say that's how an atheist becomes agnostic or religious.  Pure emotion, "Wouldn't it be fun to pretend to believe in magic occasionally?".


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#15
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

... "Wouldn't it be fun to pretend to believe in magic occasionally?".

 

Have you looked into why this seems important to you? What are you missing in your life? I can see how humans have always been social animals and to be an atheist is the equivalent of a bee leaving its beehive.

 

To be in a beehive is to be accepted just for being a bee, just like being a fan of a particular sports team will get you acceptance in a group just by wearing the right T-shirt. They treat you like family without even knowing you.


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#16
Naer

Naer
  • 42 posts

athiesm can come out of angst. and going to agnosticism is like a release from the angst


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#17
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

Have you looked into why this seems important to you? What are you missing in your life? I can see how humans have always been social animals and to be an atheist is the equivalent of a bee leaving its beehive.

 

To be in a beehive is to be accepted just for being a bee, just like being a fan of a particular sports team will get you acceptance in a group just by wearing the right T-shirt. They treat you like family without even knowing you.

 

It's not important to me, some of them honestly look like they're having a lot of fun, without being dogmatic.  I'm missing a healthy, loving, relationship... A bit of a tangent, but hey you asked.  Maybe it's a simple reproductive strategy, most available mates believe in religion. Joining a new community, is the most exciting part, and you meet the most people.

 

Sports are fun...  There doesn't need to be a philosophical principle in play for irreverent behavior to make you smile.  If I choose a religion, it will be very casual, or an afterthought of getting into a relationship.


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#18
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

It's not important to me, some of them honestly look like they're having a lot of fun, without being dogmatic.  I'm missing a healthy, loving, relationship... A bit of a tangent, but hey you asked.  Maybe it's a simple reproductive strategy, most available mates believe in religion. Joining a new community, is the most exciting part, and you meet the most people.

 

Sports are fun...  There doesn't need to be a philosophical principle in play for irreverent behavior to make you smile.  If I choose a religion, it will be very casual, or an afterthought of getting into a relationship.

 

My point was that there a certain appeal to belonging to a particular group in the way the group accepts you without really knowing you. Just like fans of a particular team will accept you just because you are wearing their colors. Do you have such a need to be accepted? After all you rather be dishonest and be accepted, You will be deceiving them. If they knew your true believes they would not see you as one of their own. Do you have a need to use these people?

 

You claim to be missing relationships and molding yourself in order to find one, yet on the "meat" thread you claim to be a monk and wanting to live on some land raising chickens and cows.

 

These questions are for you, to spark thoughts of why you think this way, I don't mean anything by them.

 

Regards


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#19
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

My point was that there a certain appeal to belonging to a particular group in the way the group accepts you without really knowing you.

 

Not really.  I wouldn't want to be a part of any organization that accepts me without knowing me.  Most religions don't really do that though, they just give people a chance to introduce themselves to a community.  If you share their values you are welcome, and if you move, they will try to introduce you to people in your next community.  I share most religious values, I just think faith is a happiness claim, rather than a truth claim.  "It would be nice to believe this".

 

Just like fans of a particular team will accept you just because you are wearing their colors.

 

People who like the same sport, in the same town, have a shared experience of rooting for that team, which provides them with a tiny degree of familiarity, but it doesn't grant them acceptance.  You're trying to turn fun activities into a cult.

 

Do you have such a need to be accepted?  After all you rather be dishonest and be accepted, You will be deceiving them. If they knew your true believes they would not see you as one of their own. Do you have a need to use these people?

 

This is really cruel nonsense, and I see atheists say things like this to people considering religion, all the time.  I would never be dishonest to be accepted.  There are agnostic and atheist sects of Judaism.  There are Buddhist sects that only require belief in meditation. I believe in meditation. "If they knew your true believes they would not see you as one of their own", that's turning every religion into a fundamentalist cult, it's as bad as how fundamentalists feel about atheism, and it's fundamentally untrue. 

 

I would be honest with any faith I would consider, and if my morality and desire to learn about their cultural traditions, wasn't enough for a particular sect... I would have no interest in it.  I'm not going to use anyone, I have a genuine interest in morality, and 90 % of people use religion to pursue and talk about that morality.  I might start going to a temple, and enjoying some ancient traditions, as part of that interest and to increase the number of people I can converse with in real life on moral topics.  There is nothing dishonest about that.

 

You claim to be missing relationships and molding yourself in order to find one, yet on the "meat" thread you claim to be a monk and wanting to live on some land raising chickens and cows.

 

I'm not molding myself to find a relationship.  I could use a significant other, and hopefully I'll meet her in the small town near my farm.  We'll raise cows and chickens together.  There's no contradiction here, except that I might need to find a small town near a Buddhist temple, or build one.  The claim "Maybe it's a simple reproductive strategy, most available mates believe in religion"... Was me playing devils advocate.  It's possible my biology is overpowering my rational sensibility.  One has to be honest if that were occurring.  Been single for awhile, it may be clouding my judgment, into employing unusual tactics. 

 

I do have a genuine interest in several faiths, and especially in having ceremonies.  My whole thing is that I wish Atheists got together and did fun stuff.  I'd prefer to start hanging out at a 2.0 or + place, but they seem boring.  I have relatively good relationships with my parents and a few friends though, just a bit too single...  need to work on that.  To be clear though, lying wouldn't help me.  I'd never choose a religion that made me make affirmations to truth claims they can't provide evidence for.  I would also never claim to believe in a religion, to stay with a significant other.  One who would require that, wouldn't interest me.  Could exploring new communities be a veiled reproductive strategy though?  Sure, I can admit that... I'm human, it's totally possible.

 

"If I choose a religion, it will be very casual, or an afterthought of getting into a relationship." meant that if I meet a religious woman, who accepts that I'm an atheist, I would still give her faith a try, and see if I enjoy spending time participating in it.  Again, provided she's not in a dogmatic religion, and won't try to force it on children.  Where you and I differ, is that I'm certain that exists.

 

These questions are for you, to spark thoughts of why you think this way, I don't mean anything by them.

 

Regards


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#20
tkol8787

tkol8787

  • 1 posts

Watch this video with Dawkins and Gervais discussing the term agnostic > http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EuVHh_3enUQ


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#21
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

Neil deGrasse Tyson rebuttal to Dawkins and Gervais.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=CzSMC5rWvos


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#22
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

Neil deGrasse Tyson rebuttal to Dawkins and Gervais.

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=CzSMC5rWvos

 

Rebuttal? More like hiding in a corner screaming "Please don't cut my funding".

 

Nothing knew here. But more of intellectual cowardliness. He starts with..

 

"Don't label me, I'm not an atheist..."

 

then he rambles about the definition of agnostic and tries to applied it to the existence of god.

 

"...to refer to one who doesn't know has not seen evidence for it..but its prepared to embrace the evidence if its there..but if its not, won't be forced to think something that is not otherwise supported... "

 

Then he removes himself from the conversation

 

"I don't have the time, the interest, the energy" to debate the question of the existence of god....

 

Then he says it is odd that the word atheist even exists..and equates to non-golfers..non-skiers.... etc.

 

Poor excuse of a scientist who claims to want for people to think straight. but understandable since his paycheck likely comes from religious people and he most cater to a religious public


  • 0

"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#23
Mishelle

Mishelle

  • 335 posts

"Wouldn't it be fun to pretend to believe in magic occasionally?"

 

It's GREAT fun!  Drives my creativity.  I don't have to even pretend!  And then when I need my rationality back, I flip the switch, and I can do it even on drugs.  That takes great devotion and practice.

 

We were meant to experience these things in the right context, without them we will psychically wither and emotionally starve, and that's just what's happening to people's creativity I think, it's a kind of soul-death.  Just read The Little Prince :P   In it's proper place magic-making and believing is essential, heavens let's hope this community never becomes so excessively rational that they forget how to dance or draw an elephant being swallowed by a serpent  !


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"...when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people... will hate the new world order... and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people."
- H. G. Wells,The New World Order

 

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you… you may know that your society is doomed."
–Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


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#25
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

Rebuttal? More like hiding in a corner screaming "Please don't cut my funding".

 

Yeah... because astrophysics, is such an incredibly religious field, that it effects his funding... Who sounds religious now?

 

Nothing knew here. But more of intellectual cowardliness. He starts with..

 

"Don't label me, I'm not an atheist..."

 

That's not a quote, and the reason you put it in quotes was to denounce a much more rational argument that you refuse to listen to.

 

then he rambles about the definition of agnostic and tries to applied it to the existence of god.

 

"...to refer to one who doesn't know has not seen evidence for it..but its prepared to embrace the evidence if its there..but if its not, won't be forced to think something that is not otherwise supported... "

 

What you call rambling... I call sanity.  I don't see evidence, but if it existed, I would change my view.  Perfectly in line with my personal "beliefs". When a dude who thinks he's the son of god, starts walking on water, my view of the world will change.
 

Then he removes himself from the conversation

 

"I don't have the time, the interest, the energy" to debate the question of the existence of god....  Not what he said... He doesn't have the time, interest, and energy, to gather a community to talk about how much he doesn't believe in something.  That's a waste of time.  Provide me with evidence that it isn't a waste of time, and my view will change.

 

Then he says it is odd that the word atheist even exists..and equates to non-golfers..non-skiers.... etc.

 

A perfectly valid critique of the increasingly common practice of evangelical atheism, ie Dawkins/Gervais.  No one dedicates their life to proving that you shouldn't be a skier, or golfer.

 

Poor excuse of a scientist who claims to want for people to think straight. but understandable since his paycheck likely comes from religious people and he most cater to a religious public

 

"Poor excuse of a scientist"... Prove that based on the scientific claims he has made.  Are you literally claiming that he's a bad scientist, because he isn't a strong atheist?  That sounds like something a dogmatic "believer" would do, but in reverse.  "His science is bullshit, because he won't claim to know that there isn't a god".  I don't understand this argument at all.


"Wouldn't it be fun to pretend to believe in magic occasionally?"

 

It's GREAT fun!  Drives my creativity.  I don't have to even pretend!  And then when I need my rationality back, I flip the switch, and I can do it even on drugs.  That takes great devotion and practice.

 

+1  Pretend wasn't even the right word.  Though in my mind, pretend and believe, can be seen as synonyms.  I am certain that it would be a lot of fun to celebrate dragons and fire for a day, if a whole lot of people participated (Think 4th of July, but international and cooler).  Do I "believe" in dragons?  No, but I believe they're cool looking, bursts of flame look cool, and holidays stimulate an economy. So, if I "celebrate" dragons, am I pretending, or believing?  In my mind, either way, it's fun, play some music, and dance around like an idiot.

 

To Armitage "I don't believe in belief"... in the context you use the words, I agree with you.  I would however, like to suggest that part of the linguistic failing you describe is that, in my opinion and experience, when the average person uses the word "belief" they are making a happiness claim, as opposed to a truth claim.  "It's nice to think"... Provided a person is honest about that, and not claiming that they, for example "know" that their beliefs are valid, more power to them.  There is no rational reason to not think something that makes you happy.  There is a rational reason to not claim to "know" that a particular belief makes everyone happy, or is an objective fact, without evidence.


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#26
wdiaz03

wdiaz03

  • 235 posts

Yeah... because astrophysics, is such an incredibly religious field, that it effects his funding... Who sounds religious now?

 

Nothing knew here. But more of intellectual cowardliness. He starts with..

 

"Don't label me, I'm not an atheist..."

 

That's not a quote, and the reason you put it in quotes was to denounce a much more rational argument that you refuse to listen to.

 

then he rambles about the definition of agnostic and tries to applied it to the existence of god.

 

"...to refer to one who doesn't know has not seen evidence for it..but its prepared to embrace the evidence if its there..but if its not, won't be forced to think something that is not otherwise supported... "

 

What you call rambling... I call sanity.  I don't see evidence, but if it existed, I would change my view.  Perfectly in line with my personal "beliefs". When a dude who thinks he's the son of god, starts walking on water, my view of the world will change.
 

Then he removes himself from the conversation

 

"I don't have the time, the interest, the energy" to debate the question of the existence of god....  Not what he said... He doesn't have the time, interest, and energy, to gather a community to talk about how much he doesn't believe in something.  That's a waste of time.  Provide me with evidence that it isn't a waste of time, and my view will change.

 

Then he says it is odd that the word atheist even exists..and equates to non-golfers..non-skiers.... etc.

 

A perfectly valid critique of the increasingly common practice of evangelical atheism, ie Dawkins/Gervais.  No one dedicates their life to proving that you shouldn't be a skier, or golfer.

 

Poor excuse of a scientist who claims to want for people to think straight. but understandable since his paycheck likely comes from religious people and he most cater to a religious public

 

"Poor excuse of a scientist"... Prove that based on the scientific claims he has made.  Are you literally claiming that he's a bad scientist, because he isn't a strong atheist?  That sounds like something a dogmatic "believer" would do, but in reverse.  "His science is bullshit, because he won't claim to know that there isn't a god".  I don't understand this argument at all.

 

Regardless of the field what matters is who pay the bills.

 

So if a dude walks on water, how would your views change?

 

Claiming that the argument is a waste of time is not a "rebuttal"

 

Noone dedicates their life "to proving that you shouldn't be a skier, or golfer". because last time I checked is not on the golfers and skiers manuals to kill all those who do not sky or golf. Or those groups fighting to include that those sports should be mandatory in public schools, or that if you do not practice the sports you cannot hold public office.


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"So I say, “Live and let live.” That’s my motto. “Live and let live.” Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family." - George Carlin


#27
ThoseWhoStayUofM

ThoseWhoStayUofM
  • 40 posts

I'm an explorer who's mind is open to possibilities and knows that with our extremely limited knowledge there is very little we can be certain of. What do you call me? Well the closest and typically easiest thing to say when someone asks is "I'm Agnostic".

I think the easiest thing to say when someone asks is that you are an epistemological skeptic.  I don't think your "agnostic" views are limited only to God.  I think you align with the idea that you can truly know that you exist and that your perceptions of the world exist, which are only internal things, but to actually say anything external to your mind exists in reality would be a leap of faith not based in reason nor legitimate evidence.

Essentially, you would hold that, if a claim cannot be proved, then it cannot be known.  Since you cannot prove that I exist (not you but me, on the other end of the internet... lol) then you cannot know it.  You can look up the classic "brain in a vat" argument as well as "the problem of other minds" for more details.

Furthermore, in relation to the existence of God and epistemology, there are other epistemological theories of justification to consider.  I would point towards coherentism.  I am a theist.  I believe that it is possible to KNOW that God exists without ever perceiving Him.  There are SEVERAL beliefs that I have that result in an incoherent world view should God not exist, therefore I know He does.  This can be off-putting at first, but since those other beliefs that I have are so well justified, and would otherwise be incoherent should God not exist, it is justified for me to believe that God does exist.


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#28
LifeIsBrief

LifeIsBrief

  • 158 posts

Regardless of the field what matters is who pay the bills.

 

Yeah... and people who fund the Planetarium Tyson is currently employed at, are not a particularly religious bunch.  He is angering as many donors by making fun of atheism, as he could possibly recruit by "appealing to the religious, out of cowardice" in suggesting that he finds there to be no evidence of a god.  If it was about money, he'd claim that there is evidence for a Christian god.

 

So if a dude walks on water, how would your views change?

 

Again, you alter views that disagree with you slightly, to make yourself sound rational.  If a dude "who claimed to be the son of god", as I originally suggested, started walking on water... My views would change dramatically.  Either, belief makes you walk on water, god exists and this is his son, or... a brilliant scientist found a way to walk on water, and is using it to trick people into believing in religion.  In any of those cases, the world changes, so my views do.

 

Claiming that the argument is a waste of time is not a "rebuttal"

 

It is a rebuttal to evangelism on one side of an argument that is a waste of time.

 

Noone dedicates their life "to proving that you shouldn't be a skier, or golfer". because last time I checked is not on the golfers and skiers manuals to kill all those who do not sky or golf. Or those groups fighting to include that those sports should be mandatory in public schools, or that if you do not practice the sports you cannot hold public office.

 

Anyone who believes that, and acts on it, in America, already goes to jail.  I'm pretty sure the same is true in Canada and 70% of the world.  The Islamic faith has issues with that, but Tyson wasn't making a pro Islam argument. Lots of golfers lobby for it to be included in public school, skiers in mountain areas as well... Is it immoral to encourage teaching the golf manual in public high school?  The student's don't have to believe it, simply understand its existence, like any other fact.

 

The Bible exists, and lots of people believe it is the word of god... You and I both know that's dumb, but it's a popular thing that exists, like the constitution, it's not inherently immoral to teach of their existence.


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"Is he crazy... Or are we, who can remain unperturbed in an insane world, the crazy ones?"  Written by Akira Kurosawa for the film "Record of a Living Being"


#29
Mike Fleming

Mike Fleming

    Atheist Anarchist Determinist


  • 377 posts

So if a dude walks on water, how would your views change?

 

 

If a guy walked on water I would not change my views on religion.  All that proves is that someone has found a way to walk on water.  Maybe it is some super-advanced alien race who is doing it.   Just because someone performs feats that seem beyond the reach of current technology doesn't mean that it won't be possible with more advanced technology that we have not reached.   We would have to find out the means by which the feat was accomplished.  Even if for some bizarre reason we couldn't with current knowledge, it's still only proof of a man walking on water.  You can't make any further assumptions from it.


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#30
Nathan Diehl

Nathan Diehl

  • 189 posts
Walk on water? Pffft. These guys ran on water.


 
 
Still an atheist. But I believe in Hi-Tec water resistant running shoes!!!



aaawwwwwww, it's fake.




Back to church for me....
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#31
bootoo

bootoo
  • 41 posts

how to go from atheist to agnostic?

 

fall in love

 

eat a particular kind of mushrooms

 

ask yourself, what evidence is there for a deity? what evidence is there for no deity? why have a conclusion either way? just because some jackasses hijacked the idea and turned it into pure evil doesn't mean its not an interesting idea :D


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#32
nickhk

nickhk

  • 145 posts

... just as nonsensical and ignorant, how the hell do you know anything for sure?


How do you know that you don't know anything for sure?

It seems like proposing that nothing can be known for certain, is making a claim of knowledge and certainty. If that's what's going on, then wouldn't that spiral down to that statement being unsure as well, and every subsequent statement, this one too?

If that's the position, well it can't be, because it only might be. So what's the point of maybe holding it, or not maybe holding it? It's hard to be sure, or is it?

I might be flopping around on the ground, or standing. You can't be sure this text was even typed. I'm certainly not, and I quite possibly might have typed it. Are you seeing it? Are you sure about that?
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