Hey guys I was wondering if any of you were Agnostic before you became a Atheist. Me personally I was brought up a Pentecostal, when I stop believing it i was consider a Agnostic, I still believe there was something out there that control or made the universe. I came out as a Atheist after a few years of being a Agnostic (College Biology help)lol.I just want to know if everyone that was a Theist was a Agnostic before they became a Atheist. It seems like a lot of ex-theist have cross the Agnostic field before declaring themselves as Atheist. Well let me know what you guys think.
Hey Jonah, how are things?
Agnostic: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
Atheist: a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods
I don't think it matters if you are a Christian, agnostic or an atheist. We believe or don't believe things for what ever reason.
Me, I'm a pure atheist. There is no God. There can be no God. It is impossible for God to exist. I have the ability to think the words 'I maybe be wrong about God', but deep down inside, I honestly know there is no God. In my mind there is lots of proof that God doesn't exist. And there is no proof that he does exist. But that is not why I'm an atheist, I was born an atheist, and was never really indoctrinated in any religious manner, and I think this is why I'm an atheist.
But if you say, you know there is no God, like I do, you then have to define the word 'know', or 'knowledge'. You then fall into the world of Epistemology, of which I know very little. And this presents a problem: How do I know what I know is true?
But you can say that evidence does not support the existence of god. We can certainly ask the honest question: "Where is the evidence?" Faith alone is not evidence.
Yet we know that many believers will just come back with the response 'beyond all human understanding' and think that should be sufficient.
For me, my atheism was a gradual awareness that gods were created by human beings and that there are no supernatural deities outside of the human brain cavity. The 'nail on the coffin', so to speak, was the fact that so many cultures overlap in their religious belief systems, rituals, and holy scriptures. No single religion could conclude or convince me that any of their explanations were the 'one true path'... as much as they often competed for center stage and world domination, often resorting to murder, bloodshed and torture along the way.
Like yourself, Jonah, college courses in biology and the social sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology) really gave me the opportunity to seek my own answers and to overturn my previous assumptions about religion and Christianity and humanity. I was raised in the Evangelical Lutheran faith and found myself questioning the whole definition of 'sinfulness' and 'human nature' as preached from the pulpit as 'authority'. Now that I'm a freethinker, I can debate the notion of 'one true path' and what it takes to be a decent human being. In my way of thinking, there are many paths and it doesn't take a god or an external, supernatural force to discover them.
While in college studying for a degree in math I went to two meetings of the student atheist club and heard people say they knew no gods existed. I had broken the ties that twelve years in Catholic schools had made, and there I was hearing from students who had no more evidence for their non-belief than I had had for my former belief. I chose agnosticism.
Fifty years later I climbed down from what hadn't felt at all like a fence. That was five years ago and in personal relationships I told people of my atheism. Two years ago I spoke of it in a Toastmasters club and people have been okay with it.
I wrote "Fifty years later I climbed down from what hadn't felt at all like a fence...." and Caroline wrote "you can't sit on the fence forever."
Briefly changing the context, I've told people that perhaps because my dad was a registered Dem and my mom was a registered Repub, I was unable to see one party as good and the other as evil. I became an independent and took a seat on the fence. In time I came to see one party as soft-headed, the other as hard-hearted, and myself as having to choose between them.
When the Repubs recruited southern Dems it got their racism. When they recruited fundies it got their ignorance and their need to obey. The fence became uncomfortable.
I am Agnostic now I was a Muslim before..
Agnosticism is not that far from Atheism.. I can call it a type of Atheism... so, I think I can consider myself an Atheist why not..
I like to take a quiz from time to time to see if I developed myself on Atheism..
Or we could view it on a continuum...from highly religious (orthodox) to not religious at all (atheist).
It is often a matter of degree. How strongly do you believe in a, b, or c?
Possibility and probability should be distinguished (read this for a better understanding: http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/probable.html ...it helps explain the difference)
Asking: "Is it possible for a supernatural force to exist beyond human understanding is different from "What is the probability of a supernatural deity taking a personal interest in human life events and judging worthiness or unworthiness?" We have no physical, material evidence of a god or gods but the human brain can imagine the possibility of such a 'being'. We can imagine heaven and hell and angels and satan's minions but they seem highly improbable!
Thank you, mojo. The site you cited (pun intended) clarifies the explanations I hear from xians. I long ago concluded that xians, in their unhappiness, need explanations for events about which they lack knowledge.
Way back when I was a Catholic teenager, I felt that unhappiness and accepted the explanations I heard from nuns and priests. When I saw Catholicism's requirements as causing me future unhappiness, I began my departure.
The religiously inclined are not the only people who need explanations. For instance, in the big bang explanation of the origin of the universe I have long heard only possibilities for events about which we will never have knowledge: what existed before the bang. I read recently that a Catholic priest-turned-mathematician concocted the big bang hypothesis and understood: he needed an explanation compatible with the Genesis account of creation from nothing.
I like to answer both xians and cosmologists with "Knowing the answer won't help me pay the mortgage or buy food."