Atheism isn't a huge leap from agnosticism or full-blown religion in general. Let me put it this way- Religious people are atheists toward all other gods but their own. As an atheist I just go one god further...
corrodedinnervessel is right- you can be atheist and agnostic at the same time. While I'm an atheist, I can't disprove that god exists--in the same way I can't disprove that Russell's Teapot exists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot#Russell.27s_original_text)
My personal belief is that it doesn't matter WTH you believe in or if a god even exists at all (this is contrary to what religions teach, otherwise they can't get your $$$). Just live life to the fullest and leave it better off than you found it. If people spent sunday's in pursuit of this instead of wasting their lives on the pews the world would be a much better place.
Even Richard Dawkins admits to being a weak atheist.
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 having strong testimony and 'knowing' that God exists, and being a 10, 'knowing' God doesn't exist, RD still says he's a 9, which means he's 98 percent sure there is no God, but will grant a 2 percent chance that possibly there is.
I myself am probably about a 5 or 4. I have no proof that there is or isn't a God, however, I would really like there to be one. Though the thought did occur to me that just because there is a God is not proof that there is an afterlife.
I mean there could be a God and we still end up just as nonexistent after death than if there wasn't a God.
The thing is NOBODY 'KNOWS' for sure. Everything has some 'faith' to it.
Claiming one can't know one way or the other whether there's a God means they accept, to some degree, there's a supernatural world. It's a valid option for them. My my mind isn't wired that way (though I spent the first half of my life trying to function that way).
If anything, I move between being an atheist and an apatheist -- I just don't care whether there's a god.
I am an athiest because I know 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt God does not exsist. God apeared to me and informed me that she does not, could not, never has and never will exsist. If you can't trust God to testify of her non exsistence who can you trust?
Here's my take on this issue. Technically, I'm an agnostic as I do not know FOR SURE, nor can I prove definitively that there is no God or god or gods. (I'm quite convinced in my mind, however, that there is no god of any sort.)
Having said that, I live my life as if there is no God/god/gods. Therefore, for all practical purposes, I'm an atheist.
Coming to this simple understanding has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I'm happier, more fulfilled now than at any time in my life.
I am neither, I am a skeptic. That means that I recognize that which we know for sure. As such, I am willing to look at any thing you want to present as evidence for your position. I allow you your beliefs, but without any evidence, it is hard for me to accept or follow your beliefs. Fantastic claims come to me with the burden of fantastic evidence. Faith is not a gift I have been given.
The structure of the word atheist is a=without theist=a belief in god. So, the atheist describes me: I lack a belief in god.
Gnosis and agnostic refer to having knowledge. I do not have any knowledge (and neither does anyone else really) on the topic. So, I am agnostic.
I don't know, but I lack belief. There can be people who don't know but hold a belief anyway. These are agnostic theists.
Gnostic atheists and gnostic theists are making the claim of having knowledge. They have a burden to prove their gnostic stance on the topic (I wish them both luck). I would not want to defend a statement that gods do not exist although the likelihood seems minimal looking at the evidence. I cannot prove a negative and I cannot prove 100% that things like flying teapots or gods don't exist.
I cannot prove a negative so I am also in the category of soft atheist using Dawkins' terminology.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2011 07:20PM by dagny.
I don't call myself an agnostic atheist, because I think it is more honest to express the strength of my disbelief by dropping the agnostic part. I don't tell many people anything about my disbelief however. It is just not an issue of relevance in most of my relationships and interactions. I do not even want there to be a god. The whole concept of an intervening god as most religionists believe or the universal higher power god do not appeal to me at all. Useless concept.
I think Theism, Atheism and Agnosticism may be over thought on this board.
Some of you may remember my wife (Lucyfer), or may have read some of her old posts from this board.
My wife is from a line of multi-generational Atheists. When we first met, I was somewhat taken aback by it. Trying to get a handle on it I fell into the classic Mormon questions
Don't you wounder where you came from? Where you are going? and why you are here?
Her response was great. She said "No, I don't. There is a question much more important to me. What is for dinner?"
God and religion are not even on her radar screen. They don't matter. She has spent her life in Human Services, helping people with significant disabilities. To her, what you do day to day to help people is far more important than a Deity you may believe in. She is now faculty for a university, teaching adults across the country as part of a Government sponsored project on helping people with disabilities return to work.
She told me that she is open minded on the subject, and if someone can show her hard evidence of a Deity she has no problem accepting it. Basic scientific method, being willing to change the view based on new evidence. I feel Atheism that rejects Deity pedantically suffers from the same shortcoming as Theism.
Since we met and married, I have embraced the same view of traditional Deities.
they tend to think you haven't made up your mind yet. And sometimes they even take that as an invitation to do some missionary work. I kind of got tired of explaining myself when I self-identified as agnostic.
Originally, I took the agnostic stance because I felt that I could not PROVE that God existed, OR that he did not. And I did hold out a little hope at first that maybe there WAS a God.
But over time, I became comfortable with the idea that there was no God. It just made the most sense to me. And I realized that even though I couldn't search every corner of the universe to PROVE there was not a God, I didn't have the slightest faith that one existed. And that qualified me to call myself an atheist.
I think many times people think you have to be a Richard Dawkins type of atheist, and INSIST that there is not God to be a true atheist. But that's just HIS style of atheism.