To all the agnostic atheists out there:
If you are an agnostic atheist, you don't believe in Gods existence because there is no evidence of gods existence. You are making a decision based on no evidence. How is it possible to make a decision, about something that exists, based on no evidence? Surely decision making, in regards to things that exist, require evidence.
The agnostic atheist point of view doesn't make sense.
On the other hand, if you are making a philosophical decision, then no evidence of the existence of anything is required, only philosophical logic is required.
The agnostic atheist point of view is a lazy point of view, because no thought process has been applied to the decision made, and this is by your own admission.
As for the pure-Atheist or the Gnostic-atheist. All you have to do is read this thread and you will see the effort and thought that has been put into the subject of gods non-existence.
I'm trying to clarify my own thoughts in regards to agnostic atheism and gnostic atheism.
I understand the definitions but how can they work in the real world.
I find gnostic atheism easier to understand so I thought I'd start with agnostic atheism, which is harder for me to understand. So I wrote the above, to try and get somebody who is an agnostic atheist to clarify their own thoughts for me.
Even though you, Michael, are a gnostic atheist, I will talk it over with you.
"If you believe that we cannot for sure have knowledge that God doesn't exist, but you don't believe He does...."
The problem for me comes down to 'knowledge'.
If I can see my computer in front of me, I have knowledge my computer exists. I therefore know my computer exists in front of me. It's a fact, because visible knowledge exists, there is no belief involved.
If I turn around, then my computer no longer exists in front of me. I know it is on my table behind me. I know I can not see it. My computer does not exist in front of me. This is a fact. No belief involved.
I turn around and face my computer. I look at the space next to my computer. I can not see any computer next to my computer. This is a fact.
But according to the agnostic atheist, there might be an invisible computer next to my computer because God put one there. And there is no evidence to the contrary. Even though I can not see an invisible computer next to my own. If I say it is a fact there is no god given invisible computer next to my own computer, this could be labelled as dogma.
But the agnostic atheist, would never say the above. Through experience, they have learnt to say nothing. They only say 'prove it'. If they said they did not believe in god and left it at that, then ok. But this is not the case. They also say, 'it has not been proven' or 'I have seen no credible evidence' 'therefore I don't believe in god'. And this is where I get confused. Do they want evidence of gods existence? If they do not want evidence of gods existence, then why ask for it. And if they do want evidence for gods existence, why not try and prove it to themselves. If they want neither, why speak? Why make the 'no credible evidence' statement in the first place.
If they label themselves as 'agnostic only' then ok. The 'no proof' statements makes sense. But if they put 'atheist' on the end of their self definition, I find it hard to understand their stance. I can't understand what they are saying. What is their point?
Gnosticism is a religious only position! In a secular society we know because of existence. In a theist society the debate about knowledge WAS whether one can "know" that which there is no evidence of. The gnostic sect were always but a very small group because even moronic religious know you can't "know" that which is imaginary. You are creating a function for the word agnostic that simply does not exist. Gnosticism is a positive statement, it simply does not work in its negative form. In fact the rules of English writing even state that your reasoning must come preferably from positive statements versus negative ones. Negative statements do not inform, and agnostics (what a ridiculous copout word) who insist they can't know anything are simply using weak language structures.
The day you stand up here and have any positive statement the existence of god, then you'll actually have something to say.
Agnosticism in a theist argument is not only rational but also honest. Theists generally know that to claim "knowledge" of the imaginary makes no sense. The same can not be said for atheist agnostics.
I totally agree with you. In order for their to be doubt there must be evidence. One cannot simply go around spouting nonsense about imaginary concepts and telling other people they must have doubt because certainty is impossible. Certainty is only absent in the presence of contradictory evidence.
The fact that some atheists even consider the existence of god I find totally depressing.
Joel there is no philosophical problem here. Human perception is atrocious. Given contradictory evidence it is essential to have uncertainty, as is the case with the optical illusion you present.
Uncertainty = contradictory evidence.
God = no evidence, there is no uncertainty there.
Those who have doubt without evidence are the scary ones!
The Nazis hey... what's that expression about you know how long a thread's been going people using Nazi analogies to make a point?
I pretty much am Gnostic Atheist. We are going to get lost in God Definitions again... but the one thing that makes me unable to go 100% is that if god is a transcendental being not subject to the laws of this universe, then being as we personally are constrained by the laws of this universe I don't see how we could ever have knowledge of something existing outside the bounds of reality.
In saying this, a) this makes Gods existence a little pointless if we can't ever interact with it, although i presume it would be able to influence us, even if we cannot have direct proof of it, otherwise it wouldn't really be God if it had no Influence over our universe.
b) Gods described by Religions do not fit my definition, so they are all going to succumb to the myriad of other reasons to doubt their existence which have doubtless been discussed already.
c) If its not God in the traditional sense (ie. a God that has been described specifically by someone who claims to have had contact with it) then it has no relevance to religion in society anyway.
The other factor that seems to be cropping up on this thread is the idea of whether we can in theory be 100% sure of anything. All of our knowledge of the world is empirical, that would entail it being impossible to be 100% sure of anything in theory. or would it?
I am NOT 100% sure there are no mermaids in the universe because I have not had direct experience of every part of the universe at any one time. But then again, something that is half fish & half person is not that difficult to imagine existing (genetic engineering???)
Whereas god would defy the laws of the universe as we understand them, plus no one can agree on what God "is" exactly. God is VERY vague indeed. but so far I don't think we have any empirical evidence of anything existing which is not subject to the laws of the universe, so if God is not a part of the universe he doesn't exist in our reality which would mean he simply doesn't exist, as reality is all we have, and when we talk about existence it seems sort of necessary for things that exist to actually have properties of existence in said reality...
...So mermaids are more likely to exist than God!
a) what is definition of god. and if it doesn't include any of the Gods described by religions then is it a useful definition?
b) Does Empiricism make 100% proof theoretically impossible.
c) Can things that transcend reality be considered as existing.
d) Do we need a new thread for this??
I am now more confused than when I started writing this! help :-)
@Michael,would this be a fair summary of your position:
a) existing wholly in reality is a necessary requirement of Existence
b) Being subject to the laws of physics is necessary inside of a physically governed universe
c) Definitions of God often consider God to be a transcendental entity
d) Definitions that don't consider God to Transcend the physical would make the entity subject to all physical laws by being existent in this reality.
therefore, transcendent Gods necessarily do not exist, and physical Gods have no powers that are not physically possible and therefore achievable by any highly technological species, therefore making them beings and not gods.
ok. hopefully more rather than less, I wouldn't want to be pushing you into being a straw man here!
I'm still concerned that the inherent problems with empiricism come into this, which was one of my original problems with going Gnostic.
Point B "Being subject to the laws of physics is necessary inside of a physically governed universe". I would propose this is not deduced like points a, c, d. This is based on empirical observations? Our understanding that everything follows physical laws is based on observations of things following physical laws, in actual fact there are things that our current models don't explain, and theoretical things like dark matter have to be used to make theories work in practice. We may get to a point where we can explain everything, but I'm not sure that will negate the one underlying flaw with empiricism: that we cannot be 100% certain that thing will continue to act as they have in the past.
Is there an argument for empiricism that makes it 100% reliable? am I wrong needing empiricism for this premise?