I have heard many an atheist claim that is the case. Indeed I am sometimes guilty of using that word to describe myself in place of atheist. Occasionally one wants to minimize the impact of their beliefs in a religious world. Agnostic means without knowledge. Atheism means without a god or religion.
I do know that I don't believe in an Abrahamic god, heaven, hell, original sin or supernatural miracles. However, I do not know that death means the end of consciousness. In that sense I am agnostic. It may well be the end of consciousness and I am OK with that. However, I look around at a universe that recycles itself. The body of a dead animal feeds a myriad of other organisms and is thus recycled. Our solar system was born from the death of a star. Our universe may have spawned off of another universe ( Multiverse Theory). It seems like an endless cycle. Ultimately none of us knows as we have not returned from the dead. I suppose it comes down to semantics and how you interpret the word.
Yes it is. Most job interviews seem to have illegal questions. I was asked many about my personal status, family origins, beliefs about controversial issues like abortion, assisted suicide, how do I feel about working with Muslims, and things I no longer remember.
It reminds me of the last time I received a census questionnaire. I read the questions and found many that I would feel uncomfortable asking my mother. I closed the "book" and wrote on the out side "There are four legal U.S. citizens that live at this address, the rest is none of your Damn business". I sent it in and never heard from them again.
I respect other points of view but question your belief in the possibility of death not meaning the end of consciousness. Your analogy doesn't really work, does it? The examples you describe are nothing like the maximum of order that happens to result in consciousness. The death of the brain resulting in continued or reinstated consciousness in some other form would surely be the equivalent of the tornado that throws stuff together and creates a fully formed 747 (or whatever the famous analogy is).
Regarding the terms, I never use agnostic, though I don't begrudge anyone who does because I understand the social situations. I know for certain I don't believe in God or anything remotely like the God of religions. It's odd that that is often seen as cocky; it's just a statement of what one believes to be true, not a guarantee of truth.
(edit: this is supposed to be in response to the opening post at the top of the page. I really don't understand the order replies fall into, they never seem to go where I think they should...oh well)
Death means end of blood flow, end of heart beat, end of brain activity. All organs begin to decay, I mean, rot! There is nothing left but return to earth in the form of dust, or dirt, or whatever euphamism one wants to use. Unless, of course, the body is pickled. My mother, father, and son requested that their bodies not be embalmed. I make the same request.
(edit: I agree, "I really don't understand the order replies fall into, they never seem to go where I think they should...oh well")
I see your point, Jerry and also find a continuation of consciousness seemingly very unlikely. However, everything in this universe is highly unlikely. The odds that the conditions were just right at the big bang for the universe to continue expanding were extremely remote. The odds that the Earth ended up with all of the perfect ingredients for life to evolve into humans is highly unlikely. It had to be the perfect distance from the perfect star. It had to have a very large, single perfect moon to influence the tides and more. It had to have a perfect atmosphere, magnetosphere and plate tectonic engine among many, many other things. The perfect conditions had to arise for the hairless ape to walk upright - possibly a large rift in the ground. What are the odds that, out of all of your father's sperm cells, the one that made you was the one that did.? Life is a series of impossible odds coming together perfectly. If you consider some new theories explaining quantum uncertainty ( Heisenberg principle ) then every possible outcome does occur due to an infinite multiverse of possibilities.
John Dumaker I agree about existence being weirder than we think, or can even imagine. I can't follow all the quantum mechanic stuff and physics and possible multiple universes and such, that stuff is totally not my bag, but it all is, to say the least, counter-intuitive to what evolved hairless apes would expect. Heck, it's intuitive that the sun is revolving around us, not the other way around.
As far as the liklihood of life arising based on the conditions of the planet, etc, that's just chance. Somebody has to win the lottery.
Exactly - numbers dictate that it must happen though. Ive always thought it was egocentric to believe the Earth is the only planet in the universe to house life. I thought that well before the discovery of extra-solar planets. Our galaxy alone has roughly 100 billion stars. There are roughly 100 billion galaxies in the known universe. With numbers like that life must arise. There is an interesting equation called the Drake equation that postulates the frequency of intelligent life in the Milky Way.
Virtually all conditions are the result of hitting a lottery.
I don't think there's any chance of any form of human consciousness surviving death. (Nor do I think it would be in any way desirable if there were.) I can make zero claim to any level of technical understanding of quantum mechanics, but I do think physics is gradually cruising toward proving Einstein's notion that the world of human sensory perception - the empirically verifiable world, in other words, is a "persistent illusion."
Probability that the quantum world obeys local realism is less than one in a billion, experiment shows
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-07-probability-quantum-world-local-reali...
By analogy if we observe a charlatan concoct a cock and bull myth/story are we agnostic or atheistic as to the charlatan's cock and bull?
Notwithstanding the philosophical issue of certainty we ought to stand up and be counted not only because cock and bull is troubling as perpetuation of lies on lies, cock on cock, bull on bull; but because the harm associated with the story is too great to be impassive.
Say it. Say it goddamnit!
I am an atheist.
YES! I am an atheist without any doubt or question!
K.H. KY, as the twig is bent so the tree is inclined but i will admit it to whomever i find be they orange, purple or blue ..I proudly proclaim: atheist, iconoclast, half breed jew.
I have taken risks most of my life...wagering on equines without a sniff and then of a sudden vicissitudes shift causing the author to brandish his gift.