In a lot of profiles I've read, people indicate that they identify as both an atheist and as an agnostic. Do you think it's possible to be both, and if so, how?
I am interested in what everyone has to say about this because I know there will be ideas that I hadn't thought of. I may not he able to respond to everyone but I will read what everyone has to say. Thank you.
Okay, now I actually classify myself as being 99.999% Atheist and 0.001% on the side of "If God/s existed why are they not making themselves know?"
After numerous hours and years of studies to gain my ThD, pouring over books, documents, etc, etc, that do little more than propose an unfounded hypothesis that there is a God and yet finding absolutely NO tangible, Empirically tried, tested and proven evidence in favour of that hypothesis in any shape nor form, then I'd state that ALL God/s are nothing more than figments of the imaginations of human kind and, as such, should be treated so.
@LovinLarge To borrow/use a Legal Terminology here, An case that relies sole upon unproven, tried and tested evidence is merely, nothing more than a False claim at best."
E.g. one single compendium of stories, i.e. the bible, CLAIMS itself to be the Truth yet it also contradicts itself time and time again.
No-one, absolutely no-one can prove a Negative just as no-one can prove a false claim, but a claim made with tried, tested Empirical evidence can be proven.
And yet, the Sciences have dozens, if not thousands, of books each containing tried and tested proven evidences with very few, if any, contradictions within them.
It IS easier to follow along with mere assumptions and suppositions IF one is so afraid of the truth hence we have religions where those who fear the truth can hide in relative false safety.
I am agnostic in the sense that I don't - and can't - know for certain that there are no gods.
I am atheist in the sense that I do not believe in any gods.
In this way, I am both atheist and agnostic. For simplicity, I usually just say that I am atheist. Though I technically don't know for sure, I definitely lean more toward atheism.
I have done enough research to claim that I'm 99% atheist. I reserve 1% for the agnostic in me, because, like any good scientist, I keep an open mind on the possibility that I could be in error. I'm always open to further evidence, and will follow the truth where it leads.
As a nullifidian (a person who rejects all religion and faith), I embrace both. Agnosticism says 'we cannot possibly know' to which I fully agree, while atheism says, 'we lack the evidence upon which to form a belief [in the supernatural] thus we remain unconvinced of the existence of a deity.' Both are logical positions which do not, in and of themselves, exclude the other, in my opinion. As such, I am comfortable being described as both agnostic and atheist.
As an agnostic I know there is a huge difference between myself and those who identify as atheists. But I'm tired of talking about it.
Love it!! As an atheist I know there is a huge difference between myself and those who identify as agnostics. But I'm tired of talking about it.
@xenoview I don't believe IN anything, especially supernatural entities. That possibility can't be 100% ruled out, but unlikely. A 'god' who created a place called 'hell?' As close to zero as it gets. A 'god' defined as something like a 'universal consciousness' or a 'collective unconscience?' Maybe, but I wouldn't know what that means.
I think any such thing is so far beyond our ability to comprehend, at this point in our development, it hardly warrants talking about. BUT I think reincarnation has been sufficiently documented (as has been psychism and other unexplained phenomenon) SOMETHING is there. What IS that 'something?' 'God?' No way to tell. We might be ABLE to tell someday, but not now.
Most if not all 'hard' atheists would disagree with that. In fact scoff at it.
Go ahead, but I have more 'evidence' than you do, since you have none.
@Storm1752 Why must you always cause problems? All he asked you is if you believed in any gods and somehow you arrived at the conclusion that you have more evidence. Your comments are quickly becoming irrelevant.
@LovinLarge, @xenoview No and I didn't say I did.
I just said certain things I've read have led me to think it's an open question whether or not there is more to physical reality than meets the eye, NOT something 'supernatural,' but that we just don't understand yet, within physicality but beyond (at present) our ability to comprehend.
(And I said no, I don't think a 'supernatural entity' is at all likely.)
@Storm1752 You said no and then you went on to claim that you had more evidence, without actually presenting any. At the very least, let's stick to the truth.
@LovinLarge I said no, I had no evidence of a god or gods defined as a 'supernatural entity,' because I'm not claiming nor do I believe there is any such thing.
I cite only evidence for 'something like' a 'collective unconscious,' which cannot be explained precisely because if there IS any such thing, it's beyond our comprehension.
I mentioned reincarnation, which has been studied extensively and for which there is compelling circumstantial evidence.
Like I said, if you're a 'hard' atheist no amount of circumstantial evidence will be enough. But many others will be convinced.
That doesn't necessarily mean anything specific concerning the existence or nonexistence of any kind of 'god,' only that it gives one reason to pause and think about it.
If you don't think that's relevant, it just means your mind is closed and you want it to stay that way.
@Storm1752 You said, "Go ahead, but I have more 'evidence' than you do, since you have none" and then didn't cite any evidence. You hold such a prejudice against who you ridiculously call "hard" atheists that you've lost all objectivity.
@LovinLarge I cited reincarnation as evidence. It's been extensively studied and there are thousands of case studies of people who remember past lives in detail, but even though you have a computer in your hand and the internet a click away, you won't do even a cursory search to read about it, then tell me there's no evidence.
Psychism? What about Edgar Cayce? Same thing there: you dismiss it without even a glance.
I'm not saying that's hard evidence of 'god,' but it's evidence of SOMETHING which could conceivably be thought of that way, if we had any comprehension of what that might be.
And far from making ME prejudiced, that's exactly what it makes you; you've prejudged the entire subject to the point you refuse to look at any indications at all you might be wrong.
@Storm1752 By not understanding what "evidence" is, you've hit my threshold for not having anything to say that I'm interedted in. Bye.
I don't know with absolute certainty whether there is some divine entity or agency in the universe; so I am agnostic, however considering the evidence for one, I don't believe that any such being exists. That makes me an atheist.
Knowledge and belief are very different.
I'm agnostic as a level of definition:
I can't know a non falsifiable claim.
Which is the weakest argument available to agree there might be a remote outside all but impossible chance of a deity that I can't perceive.
I'm atheist because it's BS and I don't believe it at all.
An Atheist lacks the belief in gods.
An Agnostic believes that it can't be known if gods exist.
Therefore, I'm both atheist and agnostic.
However, there can be agnostics who don't know if gods exist or not, but choose to believe anyway, to be on the "safe side" according to the way they were brought up.
I would think that there are a lot of church goers who are agnostic, but simply take on a believing attitude to keep the peace in their family, keep the inclusion in their church social circle, and just enjoy the rituals and the feeling of hope and inspiration their church gives them.
Different people have different opinions & assumptions viewing of that. As originally termed, and still often listed in many dictionaries and such, an agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know that god does or does not exist. In this context, theism/atheism speaks to your belief or lack of belief in god, while agnosticism speaks to your belief in the limits of objective knowledge.
As such, yes, it is possible for a person to be an atheist and agnostic (or not), and it is possible for a person to be theist and agnostic (or not). You can simultaneously believe in god while at the same time believe that it is impossible to know (read to prove) god does or doesn't exist. Likewise, you can lack a belief in god, while simultaneously believing it is impossible to know that god does or doesn't exist.
On the other hand, agnosticism can be articulated in dozens of ways ranging from a rigid rejection of the possibility of proof all the way to a sort of intentional indifference to the question itself.
Some of those concepts might be stretched to allow something like agnostic atheism. Others are entirely incompatible.
Researchers are still finding explanations but at the end of the day the person can say that they are agnostic/atheist ☺
If you ask a hundred people here about the definitions of agnostic and atheist you'll probably get 99 or more answers. To me, it seems very clear cut, though, and I don't understand the confusion.
Atheism deals with what you believe.
Agnosticism deals with what you can know.
They are 0% in competition with each other.
I am an agnostic atheist because I do not believe in any god, but I know we can't know whether or not one exists.
I am agnostic in the sense that we cannot possibly know everything. I am atheistic in that I see no evidence for any of the god ideas. I am apathetic in that I don't much care. How I live my life does not depend on my ability to know or on what I believe or don't believe. For the sake of simplicity I generally just refer to myself as Atheist. Too many people don't understand Agnostic and I haven't the time to school everyone.
We have had many similar discussions on this. It is surprising how committed people are to their labels.
@itsmedammit Well said. I am what I am, regardless of label, and it’s not something I spend a lot of mental energy on.
Why are labels so important to people .It is just another way to Alienate people from each other and cause more harm than it’s worth.
Have you previously accused the website administrators of that, and if so, how did they respond?
I suppose one has to pick a definition, as some do slightly vary. It is more likely that someone, like myself, leans agnostic because nothing can be proven. I'm sure there is no Abrahanic god or other multitudes of gods created by men. That said, how will I know when dead? I expect nothing, like an atheist. And, if something does turn up, how do I prove it is a god and not a trick of my dying mind; or some sort of odd, unknown manipulation. Quite simple, I don't believe a god could prove it is god. Sure, there may be beings superior than I am. But are they gods? I expect to never know. So, by my convoluted logic I can neither confirm nor deny and I see no way to ever prove anything. As I stated earlier, i expect nothing at death. Just a "certain convocation of worms."
Atheism is a claim about belief, or more rightly the lack of belief.
Agnosticism is a claim about knowledge.
I am an atheist because I do not believe in the existence of any gods. Science shows that no god is necessary and I see no need to insert one, or more.
I am an agnostic because I accept that it simply cannot be known/proven whether any gods exist or not.
Belief is or should be the logical consequence of being convinced of the truth or reality of what is believed in.
A conviction is or should logically be based on evidence that can be and has been objectively verified. What has been verified and found to be true can be considered as knowledge.
Atheism is therefore the logical conclusion that the evidence put forward to prove god's existence has been verified and found to be worse than unreliable and therefore most unconvincing.
Necessity is quite another matter and mostly irrelevant to the issue of god's existence. It does not logically follow that because god is not "necessary", it would make sense to reject its existence. Are mosquitoes necessary in the food chain? Is the appendix necessary? Yet they exist.
What I meant by a "god is not necessary" is that science has shown that a creator god is not necessary in order to explain the functioning of the universe. So, why insert one? Newton thought there had to be a god in order to explain what he thought was the erratic orbit of the planets (due to faulty calculations). LaPlace, with his correct calculations, showed that no god was necessary to explain their orbits ; and modern physics/astrophysics shows us the same thing about the universe.
If one inserts a god, especially one complicated enough to create everything, and hold it in place, one must then explain how it came to be, and so on. Using Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is that potential energy, energy has simply always existed. It is not necessary to give this energy consciousness, will/volition and call it god. And, there is especially no reason to give it human emotions like love, anger, jealousy...
But, I simply cannot prove that none exist. If I make the claim "there is no god" it is up to me to provide the evidence and that cannot be done.
As I said, I am an atheist because I see no reason whatsoever to believe in any gods. It really isn't about there being no evidence FOR a god and dismissing its existence on lack of evidence. Quite honestly, I don't know what evidence could be produced that would make me think there is a god.
I do know, if such evidence were to be produced, it would no longer be a matter of faith or belief, it would be a matter of either accepting the evidence or not.
The agnostic part of me is not holding out room that there just "might" be a god of some sort. It is the part of me that simply acknowledges that it is something that, when it comes right down to it, cannot be known/proven either way. I can only say, there is no reason to insert a god, and unless someone can show that a god is necessary I will continue to not believe in any.
About Mosquitoes and the Appendix:
As annoying as they are, mosquitoes have evolved as part of our ecosystem. If we were to remove them completely, I think we would see the negative consequences of that action and would find that they really are necessary. And, it should be said, we know, necessary or not, that mosquitoes exist.
Now the Appendix. We know it is there, and it serves a function; but, it isn't necessary for us to continue living.
Consider this: Let's say people claim there is a Thorplex Organ inside our bodies. We cannot detect it in any way nor see any results of its function. But, it is claimed to be necessary, or even responsible, for our existence (without it we die instantly). I cannot prove that this undetectable Thorplex Organ does not exist, because it is not detectable, I can only say that we can explain the functions of the body, and each of its organs, without "inserting" this Thorplex Organ; so, there is no reason to believe that it exists.
There is a subtle difference many believers miss.
Atheism is about belief, not knowledge. Theists are so used to conflating their belief with knowledge they don't see the distinction.
Agnosticism is about knowledge.
So I can believe there are not any gods (right or wrong), and be intellectually honest enough to say I can't demonstrate a position that would require me to be agnostic, or have better types of proof than theism has ever brought to the table.
So yeah, I am comfortable calling myself an agnostic atheist, and I wish this distinction would resonate more with folks so that became the de facto definition of atheist.
It's my understanding that atheists are certain that there is no god or gods. I call myself an agnostic because I'm not certain, and I genuinely don't care.
Ceritude and atheism are not congruent positions. Using Bertrand Russell's logic, I am confident that a celestial teapot in a distant planetary orbit about the sun doesn't exist. Similarly, the machinations regarding the existence of a deity are just as unlikely. Thus, I withhold my 'belief' in a deity, while at the same time lack any knowledge of such.
@p-nullifidian that celestial teapot is as mightily risible as my prose is abstruse, verbose, obtuse and obstropolous although for the prolix it's hard to top Bertrand's proof that 1 + 1 = 2 .
If you wish to indulge in the modern penchant for labeling that position of
"I'm not certain, and I genuinely don't care."
makes you Apatheist one indifferent to the existence or non existence of deity
@LenHazell53 I'm not the one who introduced the topic of labeling. I merely chose between the two terms that were presented. Please do not attack me for participating.
@BitFlipper Oh grow up it was just humour pointing a lesser known classification.
NO ONE was attacking you
@LenHazell53 "If you wish to indulge in the modern penchant for labeling" please be honest enough to acknowledge your hostility.
The "You" in this case was a simple neutral pronoun that could have been easily replaced with "we" "one" or could have been left out all-together and simply have had the sentence read " to indulge in the modern penchant for labelling"
How fucking paranoid does one have to be to assume that I was attacking you personally? What possible reason would I have had to do so?
Jesus man, as I said grow the fuck up!
Moreover, yes I do acknowledge my hostility in this reply because bloody stupidity and petulance in a grown adult does anger me!
I’m an atheist because I don’t believe in any gods.
I’m an agnostic because I don’t know what happens to the energy that religious folks call “soul” — the life force that makes us us. If energy can be neither created nor destroyed, what was it before we became us, and what is it after we die?
Why not reject the common definition of 'god' and instead define it as that 'energy' to which you refer?
After all, energy cannot to created or destroyed, ergo, it has always existed.
Indeed, there's a growing questioning of the 'Big Bang' theory, in favor of the 'Big Bounce,' which holds the universe goes through an eternal cycle of expansion and contraction, but for all we know HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE.
That falls in line with the claim 'god' has always been, and always will be. If we consider 'consciousness' as possibly a form of condensed energy, maybe WE have always been here.
I'm not saying I 'believe in' that notion; it's simply a shard of a sliver of something which may or may not have some validity. This is what some agnostics--at the very least THIS one--do, because we are not wedded to a particular 'belief system,' thus are free to speculate as wildly as we wish.
@Storm1752 That’s sort of my thinking ... if energy is neither created nor destroyed but just changes form, that implies infinity. No beginning, no end. I don’t pretend to get my head around that, but maybe the workings of the universe are just too complex for the human mind. Ergo the aspect of creation makes me agnostic.
I think we need to be careful about attributing the us-ness of humans to 'energy' and then conflating the energy in our bodies with the the word energy as used in the laws of thermodynamics. While there is always energy in our bodies (while alive) it's not "the same" energy the whole time we're alive. Every second, our bodies are converting the calories we take in into energy to do work, produce body heat, build tissue, etc.
I think that a YouTube atheist, Bionic Dance, said it well: I am an agnostic, apistevist atheist. I don't claim to have perfect knowledge and can't know if some life form would fit the definition of a god - agnostic. I don't use faith to form my ideas about "god-odds," I follow the data - apistevist. I have not seen sufficient evidence to warrant thinking a god exists - atheist.
If somebody can show me sufficient evidence that we are dealing with a god and not just a hyper advanced species that appear godlike, I would be open to changing my view. Mind you, nothing about worshiping it, just changing the descriptors I have given myself as relates to this topic.
Your question is interesting. I ran right to my favorite source: the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Here is their treatment
Antony Garrard Newton Flew
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading, England. Author of God: A Critical Enquiry; God, Freedom, and Immortality.
See Article History
Agnosticism, (from Greek agnōstos, “unknowable&rdquo, strictly speaking, the doctrine that humans cannot know of the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of their experience. The term has come to be equated in popular parlance with skepticism about religious questions in general and in particular with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought.
There are lots more, but I will stop here. I am an atheist. I reject the idea of gods and religions. In my brain's card catalog of definitions, there is a neutral gray card with the heading atheism. Mind you, have studied world religions for two semesters in school to prepare me for another two semesters of history. It all makes sense to me.
I am atheist about both the God of the Bible and the God of the Torah because it is trivial to show that neither god can exist.
In the strictest sense of the word, I am agnostic about all other gods because nobody has ever produced any falsifiable evidence to support the existence claims thereof.
agnostics don't claim to know if there's a God or not, and Atheists disbelieve in God. It's completely possible to be both. You can also be a gnostic atheist (someone who claims to know there's no God), an agnostic Theist (a person who believes in God, but doesn't claim to know for sure), or a pure agnostic (a total middle of the roader who completely withholds judgement on the topic of God)
thing is that the defs are subjective imo
That's why I didn't include any in the question. People are entitled to that subjectivity when they are filling out there own profile. It's also one of the reasons for my question. The logic on the answers depended on their own definitions which is one of the reasons the answers would differ and why this question made an interesting post.
What evidence could exist to support the hypothesis that there is no god? How can I disprove something that never existed? The onus of proof is on the affirmative, for which there is also no evidence.