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am I turning into an atheist?

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Eddi, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying

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    Regarding the existence or non-existence of God...

    I used to think:

    I don't know... but yes

    I am now beginning to think:

    I don't know... but no

    Does this mean I am turning into an Atheist?

    I did used to be one, from childhood into early adulthood
     
  2. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Well whether that is the case or not, depends on how you would answer the following questions?

    Does God(s) exist?

    (1) Don't believe in God(s) or (2) Don't know

    If the answer is (1) then you are an atheist for sure :)

    If the answer is (2), you can ask yourself:

    Is there any good reason to believe God(s) exist until they have been demonstrated?

    If your answer is "that there is no good reason for it" then you are an atheist as well.

    And if you prefer to complicate things, you can call yourself an agnostic, which is basically leaning towards theism or a subset or what to say of that.
     
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  3. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying

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    I don't really think there are any good reasons, so I must be some sort of atheist

    But of course, there could be a God even if there are no good reasons for him to exist :D

    But what do we puny humans know about anything????

    Not a lot, I'm sure

    Personally, I came to believe in God because I believed he was communicating with me

    After I stopped believing this I still maintained a belief in God

    So for a long time now I have been believing in God for no good reason
     
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  4. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Dont know is more agnostic

    No is more atheist. Although most will accept valid, falsifiable evidence.
     
  5. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    In that case you are an atheist :)

    You have basically two types of atheists. 1) Convinced that there is no God(s) also referred to as strong atheism. 2) Weak atheism. Don't believe in God(s), but see no good reason why one would assume one existed without proof.

    Im a (2) I don't believe there is any God(s), because I don't see any good reasons to believe there is. The reason I go for (2) is because I can't demonstrate that there isn't a God and because the default position of any claim should always be that of a negative one, unless it has been demonstrated otherwise.

    Sure there could be a God, there could also be unicorns or intelligent flying monkeys living in space, but the default position again, should be that of a negative. We don't go around assuming that unicorns are real (positive), despite that they might exist somewhere.

    And we humans only know what can be demonstrated, the rest is just us guessing and occasionally hitting the head of the nail once in a while :D
     
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  6. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Agnostic to me is such a weird position and simply causes confusion I think.

    Either God(s) exist or God(s) don't exist.

    There is no middle ground and atheists, whether you are strong or weak doesn't change this or whether one think you can know or not know about the existence of God(s) is irrelevant.

    That is why I would put agnostics in the theist category as you also state, but honestly I would rather have it completely removed, because it really isn't a sound position as I see it.
     
  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    A person does not become an atheist -- not in the context of what a person is. An atheist chooses whether to be a theist or not. Theism is like a muscle that must be exercised. It is a choice, just like morality is a choice. It is also like riding a bicycle in that you don't instantly lose your ability to do it. Its also like cussing, something you can do absentmindedly when you are used to doing it.

    No one can tell you whether you are an atheist. They don't know, and they can't know. It is always a deep secret, sometimes even from yourself. If you aren't choosing to be a theist then you aren't a theist, but this does not make you atheist. It is not as if there is a change in the substrate of your existence visible to me. It is also not like removing an arm or a sex change. The same person can be a theist and an atheist in the same 10 seconds.

    No. You were an atheist already, the moment you stopped believing in any particular god. For example if you never believed in Aphrodite then you already were an atheist in that context. You didn't change when you didn't believe in Aphrodite. You never exerted such a belief. You were you. Five minutes from now you can will yourself to believe in Aphrodite and be an Aphrodite believer.
     
  8. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I would say agnostics are fence sitters and can jump either way, there are many people who simply don't know sitting on the fence waiting for evidence either way.
     
  9. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    I rather doubt that gods exist with in the universe.

    But they might exist outside it.

    However there well might be intelligences far in advance of our own in the universe , which we might consider to be gods if we came across them.
    What the major religions consider to be god would probably be of the ex-universe kind. however there is no proof of any of these things.

    This world is such a minute spec in the universe that it is hard to imagine that anything such as a god would have any interest in us.

    None of this has ever prevented people speculating about God and our place within creation.

    It is also hard to imagine that the Earth is the only planet with multiple life forms.
     
  10. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    But in that case one is an atheist in my opinion. Agnostics would probably claim that this question is unknowable and therefore weight both options as equally likely. But in that case their default position has to be that God exist, because again, either they do or they don't, there is no middle ground in this question.

    And atheism hold the default position that they don't until demonstrated.
     
  11. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I like definitions that allow one to easily say whether a person or object or process or whatever is included in the extension of that definition or not. I define an atheist as anybody with no god belief. Do you (still) believe a god exists. If the answer is no, as it is with me, I would call you an atheist.

    Do you also say that you don't know - that a god might exist, and that you have no way to rule that possibility out, as I do? If so, you are an agnostic atheist

    You can add to this by adding on additional beliefs to your basic unbelief in gods. Do you find the question of gods ill-formed due to lack of a clear idea of what is being proposed to exist? You might be an ignostic atheist. I also use a clear and simple definition for gods: conscious, supernatural universe creators, but the theists I debate don't, so, with them, I am also ignostic.

    Also, if you're like me and have essentially ruled out the existence of an interventionalist god - one who delivers revelations, performs miracles, answers prayer, etc.. - and are only left with the possibility of a disinterested god like the deist god, or a god that doesn't know we exist, or is powerless to intervene in our world, then you probably consider the question of whether such a thing exists irrelevant and the answer therefore useless, then, like me, you are also an apatheist.

    I'd go further. If you also believe that faith is never a path to truth, and in the Golden Rule, then you will find secular humanism without looking for it, as I did. Those were my values, and I developed a worldview with a godless, naturalistic ontology, a strictly empirical epistemology, and with a rational ethical system based on reciprocity. Then, one day, I saw the Affirmations of Humanism, and thought, yeah, that's me. This separates this worldview from the religions, which are based in faith and cannot be derived empirically or rationally like this worldview.

    And lastly, if you also believe that organized, politicized religion is a net harm to mankind as I do, you are also an antitheist.

    You can be none, all (like me), or any combination of these based on your beliefs. But mere lack of belief in gods makes one an atheist to me.

    If you read what I just wrote, I consider myself both an atheist because I have no god belief, and an agnostic because I consider the question of the existence of gods unanswered. They have neither been ruled in nor out, and I don't have a need or reason to guess which it is, so I don't guess. Would you still say that I am not agnostic, or that agnostics align with theists? I don't.
     
  12. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Does it matter to you? Maybe just follow your heart.
     
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  13. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    The middle ground is don't know. There is no accounting for human belief

    But you are correct that atheiem is the default state
     
  14. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Just to avoid confusions, I in general don't care a lot about what people identify themselves as, im much more interested in what they think, rather than whatever label they tag on themselves. The labels to me are just a quick way of knowing where a person stand.

    But for me, you are an atheist. Gnostic is as far as I know linked to the word "Knowledge", so A-gnostic means that we can't get knowledge about a given thing and in this case God.
    But to say that we can't get knowledge of something that hasn't even been demonstrated to exist in the first place, doesn't really make sense to me. Because that is sort of like admitting or acknowledge that God or gods exist, but we simply aren't able to get knowledge about them.

    And that I think leads to a weird position, which to me only have two default positions, Yes or No. Its not about whether something is possible or not possible, because essentially anything could be possible, but might simply be unknown to us at the given point in time, obviously ignoring things like making a round square etc.

    So the question is not whether God(s) are possible or not, but whether you believe that they are?

    I don't know if they exist, but my default position is that they don't, because they haven't been demonstrated. The other position is that they are real and have been or have been good enough demonstrated to hold such belief, which is the theist position.

    But as agnostic, if one don't believe such knowledge about God(s) can be obtained, then one don't really have a position, while still given the possibility of God(s) without any demonstration the benefit of doubt. Which to me simply doesn't fit with the default position of atheism as much as it does with theism.

    I know, people uses the agnostic term slightly different, hence why I think it causes confusion and also why I don't as such mind people calling them agnostics etc. Because to me, you have to ask them exactly what their position towards God(s) is.

    But from what you wrote in the last post, I would call you an atheist and obviously a lot of the other things you refer to yourself as, such as antitheist etc. And from what you wrote, I don't think we look at this all that different really.

    Hope that explained it better?
     
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  15. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Its the opposite in my opinion :D

    Agnostic leans towards theism, why I think that you can read in the above post (#14)
     
  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    IMO, being agnostic leads to being a soft atheist.
    Agnostic, lacking knowledge about God, of course dismissing claims made by folks claiming to be prophets.
    Atheist, basically choosing not to invest in any particular belief about God lacking any "valid" knowledge to base a belief on.

    Hard atheist are those denying any God exists.
     
  17. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I'd say you got to start with the question: What do you mean by God?

    In my Advaita Vedanta (Hindu) non-dual (God and creation are not-two) philosophy Brahman/God/Consciousness is the only thing real experiencing its own creation.

    In that understanding, I would label myself a 'Theist'.
     
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  18. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Agnostic doesn't lead anywhere in my opinion, as of post #14, but should it, it would be theism. But all atheists are also agnostics by default. Its a bit confusing :D

    But if I told you about a something called "Trovmar" and you said, I don't believe that exist. Then you are by default also Agnostic about it, because it should hopefully also be considered impossible for you to believe that you could obtain knowledge about something that you don't think exist to begin with. :)
     
    #18 Nimos, Jan 21, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
  19. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I consider the possibility of God, I just have no knowledge to support theism, therefore atheism.
    Perhaps theism is not the only approach available in considering a God.
     
  20. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Theism is just the term we use about those that believe in God, I don't think the approach would matter or do you mean something else? :)
     
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