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How agnostic are you?

Is the likelihood of god(s) in your opinion, vanishingly small but you acknowledge that proof of no god(s) is impossible?

Do you consider that the probability of god(s) or a higher power is more than next to nothing?

Or are you not agnostic at all?

waitingforgodo 8 Sep 21
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28 comments

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8

Not at all. I'm an atheist. I don't waste any time applying inverted Pascal's Wagering with agnosticism.

5

A scientist would say there’s a non-zero chance of a prime mover given existing data. Next subject.😉

4

A god can be anything one thinks it could be plus something no one has even imagined it could be .This is why I am an agnostic and not atheist and have no answer to this question.

4

I am agnostic .It depends on how one defines the meaning of god .To many possibilities to answer this question

4

The chance of a god existing is very small indeed. There are so many other implications if a god existed - ALL of which would have to also be true - that it is basically a 'ludicrously small probability' that you would be silly to give meaningful credence too.

Yet is there PROOF god(s) don't exist? No.

I am 'agnostic atheist' - I can't PROVE god(s) don't exist, but that doesn't stop me seeing the idea as being batshit crazy.

4

I hate Chicken and Garlic

Diaco Level 7 Sep 21, 2022

Funny!!!

I like them!!!

@of-the-mountain Apparently everyone, but me!

4

Said it before and will say it again; it takes a special kind of intellectual cowardice to claim one is agnostic. There is as much evidence for god(s) as there are for circles that are square. Oh lookie... I invented a square-circle. Something that is designed to not meet the definition of either. Now, there must be some miniscule possibility that one exists. Especially since, I can talk about it. No, it's rank ignorance to even entertain the idea. Also, why when these things are questioned does nobody want to talk about the human role in inventing them. Atheists no longer have to say what they believe or don't believe about something that has no evidence and cannot possibly be true.

3

Agnosticism is irrelevant. Everyone is agnostic, including theists. They, like everyone else, DO NOT KNOW definitively if a god exists, that is why agnosticism is irrelevant.

Theist: theist = belief in god
Agnostic: a = without; gnostic = knowledge
Atheist: a = without; theist = belief in god

In order to know, you must have knowledge, in order to have knowledge, you must have evidence. Believers simply believe without evidence producing knowledge. An atheist or non-believer accepts knowledge that evidence produces. Theists have NOT produced any evidence for gods.

This is why atheists demand proof in order to obtain knowledge and theists demand belief in order to sustain their faith.

A god is not defined by reality or existence, believers make the assertion that it is, the god makes no assertion whether it exists or not, it is therefore the believer who must then prove the assertions they make.

There have been innumerable myths over the centuries that are no more real or relevant than they were when the first fool believed the idiot who invented them, it would be foolish to hold onto a false legitimacy of a god until it has been proven, the believer must prove their nonsense or "truth" with evidence first.

For a know it all, you actually know nothing!!!

@of-the-mountain It is very easy for those who know very little to believe that others "know it all".

If you believe in god/s or live your life regulated by beliefs without evidence, then you are a believer.

There are religious believers, political believers, fantasy believers, etc. If you believe something without evidence producing knowledge, then you are a believer.

Trump and his cultists are perfect examples. If Trump had any evidence for the lies that he consistently tells he would have something substantial. His cult followers believe him without evidence and even contrary to evidence.

@nogod4me sorry!!!

No imaginary anything that ruled/rules over my life!!!

@of-the-mountain you are not making sense, you haven't refuted anything. What point are you trying to make?

@nogod4me

that is the point, there is no point, only conjecture!!!

3

I've no need or desire for any sort of god. It's like asking me what type of tampon I like. I don't use tampons nor will I ever so it doesn't matter to me. For everyone else, use whatever feminine napkin you desire.

I work at a charity store and heard a conversation that would completely fit right in. Woman: well I need to know if this purse is going to look good. Man: I need a new wallet. I don't give a shit what it looks like. Woman: But it's important for it to match! Man: As long as I have a damned wallet, who gives a shit?

3

I'm not agnostic at all. I don't have to prove what doesn't exist. I know what's possible and what is silly fairy tales. The burden of "proof" is on the loyal flock.

3

I am atheist. I reject the "you can't prove nonexistence". There is no reason to believe a god exists, so I don't.

I can't prove unicorns don't exist on Mars, but I don't wonder is one might exist there. Does anyone?

John Lennon said

I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?

Can't say John Lennon didn't have some influence in this world.

There is more possibilities in life, when the mind and heart and imagination is alway open for even greater potential possibilities. Personally I do act on the those possibilities that clearly knock on my door.

@Castlepaloma Who is to say??? People who know more than you know, that is who is to say.

Lennon's influence was fleeting at best. Few people 30 years old or younger know he ever existed.

@Alienbeing

The Beatles are the best music artists of all time?

Any pop chart of any kind has to include the Beatles. Personally I don't know any youth who loves music, who are not aware of the Beatles and how they influence our cultures world wide.

@Castlepaloma If lived in the USA you would see that MANY people on US quiz shows have no idea who the Beatles were, and virtually o one could name them individually.

As to whether they were the best music artists of all time... many would disagree with your choice.

@Alienbeing

US is only 4% of the world population. Who is more popular worldwide? Even Evis or Jackson didn't get to do much internationally and died younger.

@Castlepaloma First we are the only % that matters, second merely because Elvis &/or Jackson did or didn't achieve lasting fame is totally irrelevant to the point that the current younger generations can't ID Beatles.

@Alienbeing

Much of the new music sucks, they keep coming back to the music with soul.

@Castlepaloma Music with soul, or soul music.

3

I have more fun entertaining the thoughts of this universe spawning from a multiverse than I do of any gods haphazardly playing with all of existence for reasons that are suspiciously and specifically humanoid. I'm not compelled to hinge my life and death on the ever miniscule chance that Cthulhu truly wants to enslave my soul.

2

We don't know if any gods exist, because we have a lack of evidence.

2

I used to be agnostic but now I am embracing ignosticism.
This is because after long and deliberate studies of both sides, the atheist and the theist, I find that both positions are based on ill-defined definitions of gods and thus the conclusions that both sides reach are equally ill-defined.

That is my general position but it doesn't preclude me taking a different stance on particular claims.
So for example on the notion that God is everything and everywhere, that I can be an atheist about because that is easily disproven on purely tautological grounds. But on the deist god, one that creates the universe and then simply watches the simulation run for example, then I remain agnostic since I can neither prove nor disprove that one. I can't however, in full honesty, think of any definition of God upon which I embrace the theist position and thus could believe that that God does exist. Agnosticism is the bottom barrel of my belief and if I entertain theism, it's only to weigh both sides of the argument, not because I embrace the tenants of that particular brand of theism.

What of the contention that the tenets of deism, theism and ignosticism are jejunely bereft?

@waitingforgodo
Ask 100 atheists what their definition of god is and you'll get 100 answers.
Ask 100 theists for their definition and you'll get 100 more.

How is anyone to make any cogent determination on the broad question of "does god exist?" if we cannot even pin down WHAT the subject of the question, god, means!? 😀

@waitingforgodo
With that in mind, I can specifically address the specific definitions that that theist and atheist make. BUT, even then, when an atheist defines a god in such a way that "proves" they don't exist, one can come up with a different definition to counter that claim. Likewise, when a theist makes a claim that their god "exists", one can easily point to another definition to counter that claim.

There are precious few definitions that can be nailed down. But given the scope of the human imagination, it seems like "chasing the dragon" to pin down that they do, or do not, exist. Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. But we are SORELY lacking in the toolset, both mental and physical, to make any reasonable determination.

@TheMiddleWay " Ask 100 atheists what their definition of god is and you'll get 100 answers."

R U Kidding!?!...

Seems you have no Idea about atheism, for an atheists GOD is a Null ( even void/null has some definition which is more than GOD! ), We don't have any definition for that Absurd/Null!
But Believers, they have 100*n definitions! and atheist simply Reject those claims and definitions due to lack of proof.

apperently, you mistook Antitheist or satanism for Atheism!

@Diaco
To nullify something, you must define it first.
As you state, theists have their definitions which atheists then nullify. But they can't nullify all definitions, such as the deist one, anymore than a scientists can nullify string theory or multiverses even as they nullify competing theories such as technicolor or hidden variables

The very nature of the god definitions makes them imprecise, untestable, on purpose and thus a lost cause making a determination one way or the other. Claiming gods don't exist is as much a fools errand to me as claiming that they do.

@TheMiddleWay Nullify means to turn something to null, in this case there isn't any to nullify! that made up position/being (god) to atheism IS null.
The Claimer has to proof there's any not the other side!
Well, with your logic, we can made up anything stupid and call denier Fool! Why not 😀

@Diaco

The Claimer has to proof there's any not the other side!

Of course: the burden of proof is always on the claimant.

The theist, in claiming their god exists, has the burden to prove that claim.

The atheists, in claiming that their god doesn't, has the burden to prove that claim.

The ignostic makes the claim that neither side has a coherent and unambiguous definition of what they are trying to prove (theist) or disprove (atheist) and hence finds any conclusions from said burdens foolish.

@TheMiddleWay I assert that few atheists make any claim that "god" doesn't exist.
I don't attempt to define/describe any "god"(s).
I think that is a common atheist position.

@FearlessFly
I know. I think "secular" is a better word for people who are open to god(s) existing but want nothing to do with them regardless.

I use atheist, literally "without god" or "no gids" to be a statement about the universe being without God's, not just the person. It doesn't make sense to me that an atheist's universe can be without a god interesting in their affairs... But god is still out there interfering in theists affair. 🤷🏽♂️

@TheMiddleWay if you ask 100 people from 100 different religions, then I agree you'll likely get 100 different definitions. What if all 100 are in the same congregation though? I would think that though maybe not identical, all 100 would describe something similar.

I acknowledge that there's a possibility of there being a higher power than humanity in the vastness of space. There's even the possibility of some intelligence behind creation as we know it, although certainly not a perfect being as suggested.

However, believing stories out of a so called holy book makes as much sense as believing in the stories written about other mythical creatures that also used to be believed as fact.

@OldMetalHead
Even myths have a grain of truth. I feel it more productive to focus on that grain, and throw away the chaff, then to throw the entire harvest of human thought away.

And in the case of the bible, I believe in the moral lessons behind the story even if I don't believe in the factual historical ontological basis of those stories. I believe the allegories are true even if the history may not be.

@TheMiddleWay There are religious people who treat the bible as metaphor, but there sure are a lot of them that treat everything written as literal. Those are the ones we really need to watch out for. Of course, extremists have proven they can push any belief even if there are no scriptures to back up the assertion, or even if the scriptures contradict it. Case in point, taking away women's bodily autonomy.

2

The reality is that it just does not matter!!!

Your born then you die!!

In the end after a few years you are not even a distant memory!!!

2

No such thing as proof in science. I reject the premiss that underlies your question.

There is proof in science. For example (only one) proof of gravity.

@Alienbeing Apart from math, science never "proves" anything (it can disprove some things).
There is always doubt/error-bars/new evidence.
Newton's Law of Gravity was considered fully convincing until Einstein provided better evidence.

@FearlessFly Things can be supported by extensive evidence and be accepted as fact. That's as good as "proof" for all practical purposes. An opinion isn't required to have evidence. Some opinions are more likely to be true than others based on common sense and logic.

@barjoe I don't agree with your "definition" of "proof",

@FearlessFly I didn't say it was my definition of proof, I said that when something is accepted as fact, it's as good as being proven. In the practical world it's factual and we run with it. We don't need "proof" to accept something in practice.

@barjoe You claim not your "definition of proof", yet you also say "we run with it".
I don't accept that you speak for (some set of) "we".
I don't agree that even that/when 'something is accepted as fact' MEANS 'proof'.
That may be a reasonable (jump to) conclusion, but IMO it doesn't meet CT (or scientific) criteria. 😛

@FearlessFly Who cares about criteria? I don't care about that. I have my opinions and I don't feel the need to justify them to anybody. If someone disagrees, they don't have to justify that to me either.

@FearlessFly The "Law" you referred to actually is the mathematical proof Newton offered, not the observation. A non-math example of scientific proof is water is 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Note in my initial repyl I said "only one" Science has many proofs, and I really don't care to start a list.

@Alienbeing No doubt Newton had convincing math backing-up his 'laws'.
He described gravity as a force.
His 'laws' and the associated math being may still useful.
In terms of CT and science, the Law of Gravity isn't still "TRUE" -- gravity is NOT actually a 'force' but a curvature of spacetime.
Despite science now considering Einsteins relativity as "settled science", I wouldn't call it "proof".
It is possible future new evidence could convince scientists otherwise.

@FearlessFly I have no time for the Madman from Mars, a.k.a. @Alienbeing .

@anglophone You had time to say you had no time. However the real point is you cannot counter anything I said about anythig you posted and I proved you don't know US laws, and customs.

I don't need you to answer anything. Showing you up as ignorant in your adopted hobby is quite satisfying.

@FearlessFly As I previously said "The "Law" refers to the mathematical portion of Newton's study.

If you are trying to say that Science has no laws because if new &/or different evidence becomes available the theory is modified, I agree with yu.

1

The only thing I know for sure is that fried potatoes from a restaurant a few blocks away used to be the best until they hired someone new. Now I do use religious phrases. Mainly 'Goddammit these aren't worth feeding the condemned!'

1

When does something become worthy of the name "god" or "God"? This could be a virtual world with the creator being a human on the outside of the virtual universe, so is that human a god just by being a higher power?

There's no way to disprove (lesser) gods (the ones with a small "g" ), just as you can't disprove fairies, but when it comes to God with a capital "G", you can disprove him because it's impossible for him to meet the required qualifications. The impossible God is the kind that the Abrahamic religions have, and they're the kind that generate the most genocides through their hate, which is why agnostics who keep asserting that you can't disprove God are actively aiding genocidal bigots to go on justifying their behaviour. You need to stop. You need to separate out the kinds of god/God that you're asserting can't be disproved so that you stop doing harm, and you need to recognise that God (with a capital G) is impossible.

God is required to be almighty and omniscient while also being 100% good. Those requirements enable him to be disproved in multiple ways. To qualify as God, God himself has to be able to prove that there is no higher being than him, but there could always be a higher power hiding from his sight and holding all the real levers of power, while any magical knowledge that the being that calls itself God might have can be trumped by the superior magic of the hidden higher being which isn't so thick as to make the same mistake of thinking it's the highest-level being. The reality is that any being that determines itself to be God is necessarily an arsehole. God is impossible, and agnostics need to stop pandering to the stupid beast.

1

In my opinion, the probability of God's existence is vanishingly, and I acknowledge that proof of no god(s) is impossible.

1

More Male Mental Masturbation!

Notice below which gender gets excited by the intricacies of the distinctions....

1

Some people seem to think that a willingness to change one’s belief if new evidence emerges is a fair definition of agnosticism, but I think the better term for that is intellectual honesty.

To me, agnosticism is heartfelt uncertainty about the existence of a literal god… given the knowledge that we have. No one can base a belief on knowledge they don’t have.

So I am not an agnostic of any degree.

Given the knowledge I have, I have zero confidence that such a being exists, and plenty adequate confidence that the being in question is a figment of human imagination. All the while happily acknowledging the undeniable possibility of such a creature existing on some yet undiscovered plane of existence. But I have no knowledge of that plane, and no reason to suspect it exists until such evidence arises.

So, of the three standard options, agnosticism is the least appealing to me. Not because I think I know anything for certain, but because I am adequately convinced.

But I don’t identify as atheist either.

Because all of the above is predicated on one particular concept of god - a literal, all-powerful, sentient being, who consciously and deliberately created the universe. And that’s not what I think God is.

Which is why I can’t call myself a theist either, because I think that’s what most people are referring to as theism - the belief in a literal god-person.

Given what I am currently aware of - a smattering of the biology, psychology, and history of human nature - it appears to me that the term “god” was a word early humans used to refer to the collective forces of nature, that were mostly invisible and inscrutable, and yet had unavoidable and consequential sway over their lives.

These forces self-evidently exist.

To personify them in mythological tales is not a crime. Neither is it a lie. It is an expedient.

It is a useful user interface for the otherwise cumbersome handling of a very complex abstraction.

It works. (The only two words evolution understands.)

Ignosticism is a fair stance relative to a conversation between two or more people. The conversation can’t usefully proceed until an agreement about the definition of “god” is reached.

But, as an individual, I am not living in disabling uncertainty about that definition.

To my own satisfaction, God is

the sum of all things which

at any given moment

cannot

not exist.

This “sum” did create the universe, to whatever extent it was created.

It is a greater power than I am.

It did create me, and to it I will return.

I am subject to its laws.

It is Truth.

Not my truth or your truth, but the abstraction of… ‘whatever happens to be factual.’

It is worthy of veneration.

skado Level 9 Sep 21, 2022

So, do you worship the "sum" or believe that it influences you in any way? How do you know "it" specifically created you or that you will return to "it"? Do you "know" its "laws", will it punish you if you break those laws? Does it have feelings or emotions? Do you believe you have a spirit that can interact with the "sum"? If you believe that "God is the sum of all things which at any given moment cannot not exist", isn't it also possible that there are innumerable possibilities that exist outside that belief?

@nogod4me
"So, do you worship the "sum" or believe that it influences you in any way?"

According to Dictionary.com:
"Origin of worship
First recorded before 900; Middle English noun wors( c )hipe, worthssipe, Old English worthscipe, variant of weorthscipe; Middle English verb derivative of the noun; see origin at worth1, -ship"
[dictionary.com]

In other words, to "worth-ship" something is to recognize and acknowledge its value. The sum total of existence is of ultimate value to me, because, without it I cannot exist. Without question, it influences me in every way. We are all made of its ingredients. All of its forces influence every living and non-living thing, at every moment.

"How do you know "it" specifically created you or that you will return to "it"?

How could it be otherwise? If this universe didn't create me, what did? If my constituent parts don't return, at my death, to the environment from which they sprang, where could they possibly go?

"Do you "know" its "laws", will it punish you if you break those laws?

I know a few of them. If I leap off a tall building, the Law of Gravity will slam me into the concrete below, causing the ultimate punishment - death.

"Does it have feelings or emotions?"

I see no evidence that it does.

"Do you believe you have a spirit that can interact with the "sum"?

I don't believe in anything supernatural. To me, the word, "spirit" refers to the mental, emotional, or attitudinal aspects of human nature. So, yes, it is not only my body that interacts with my environment - it is also my mind.

"If you believe that "God is the sum of all things which at any given moment cannot not exist", isn't it also possible that there are innumerable possibilities that exist outside that belief?"

Of course. This is just how it appears to me, given the evidence I have seen. There are many perspectives that can all be true, without conflict. And some others, of course, that do present conflicts. But, just working from first principles, I don't see how it can be denied that this entity is a philosophical necessity, regardless of whether a given individual chooses to call it God or Freddy. The entirety of existence axiomatically does exist. And we are all emergent properties of that entity - all entirely dependent on it for our very existence, not to mention our daily bread.

To my own satisfaction, physics chemisty biology and mathematics is

the sum of all things which exist.

This science did create the universe, to whatever extent it was created.

It is a greater power than I am.

It did create me, and to it I will never return other than as elements.

I am subject to its laws.

It is.

Not truth just reality

Intelligent beings marvel at the reality.

Your words are incontrovertible however I would use a slightly different set of descriptors.

@waitingforgodo

That’s it!

Reality is reality,

regardless of which throat-noises we assign to it.

@skado All Hail Freddy!!!

Who?

God!

Oh...?

@nogod4me

All Hail Freddy/God/Reality…
or not, as you please.

@skado Yawn

@nogod4me
Yes.
Yawn.

1

I'm a radical agnostic. I don't accept any proof from both sides about the existence of a deity. I'm more prone to the non-existence. I don't know if any exists. I don't believe there is. Who cares anyway?

Have you looked into the ignostic position? That is where I am right now.

You're just an agnostic. No need to over dramatise it.

@TheMiddleWay, what I exposed was my personal position in the matter. At the end of the day, what matters the most is if you feel comfortable with what you are and where you stand regarding this and everything else in life. So, the rest, does it really matter?

@Paddypereira
I agree. Just putting forth an option, that identifying as "Ignostic" rather than "radical agnostic" may have the former encapsulates your views better than the latter.

@TheMiddleWay, okay ,I had to look what "ignostic" meant because it was the first time in my life I saw that word. Probably you're right.

1

In a broad sense, no I would not say I am agnostic. You are a God. You exist, I know you exist.

As to Harry Potter God, I would have to say I do not know if Harry Potter God exists.

Therefore at least, in the broad sense I do not have to worry about carrying the label of agnostic around with me every where I go. If I come across a Harry Potter God worshiper or fan club prothelizing, I can then hold agnosticism towards their advertising so long, or until they actually produce some Harry Potter style God whiz bang.

Word Level 8 Sep 21, 2022

I don't like labels, yet agnostic is not so onesided or bad.

1

Having figured it out now, I believe that the religious can even be agnostic. One can be agnostic about anything. What I have figured out is that there are various gods all written about in books. Yes, humans wrote those books. Regardless of claims otherwise humans wrote those books every time.

1

I'm an agnostic atheist. I'm almost not agnostic at all. I don't believe there are any gods. Being agnostic is merely acknowledging I can't know for certain or disprove the existence of a god.

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