hey everyone, I'm an agnostic atheist. Is anyone of you a gnostic atheist? if there is, would you share your view please? cause i would really love to have some kind of definite answer, but i'm just not there yet for considering myself as a gnostic atheist. so..opened up for discussion! :)
No, no - of course not. Apologies if it came across as though I was attempting to "one up" you. Just a few extra points that I find especially interesting from my general location.
There have been many well known agnostics in the past, like Thomas Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Robert Green Ingersoll and Clarence Darrow. Each has expressed his own opinion in an essay. In present times, Richard Dawkins also describes himself as anagnostic and deals with this subject in his book "The God Delusion". If you ask an agnostic "what would make him an atheist?", that is, a firm believer that no god exists, each person would give a different answer, but said or unsaid, the reason for their doubt is a question about the creation of the universe.
Most atheists are agnostic, they do not claim to know that no flavor of god could possibly exist anywhere at any time. We simply do not have faith in any flavor of god. If a new religion popped up that worshiped wooden spoons, we could probably agree that such spoons exist, but we would not have any faith in them so would remain atheists. However, as far as gods go, I must admit that wooden spoon god would be MUCH more useful and answer just as many "prayers"(none) as any other god out there.
Wooden spoon god could be awesome.
Thomas Huxley said that he needs a logical proof to disprove the existence of god, Bertrand Russell said that he would believe in a god if he saw personal miracles during a 24 hour period in his life and Richard Dawkins disagrees with Huxley and says that only scientific proof is needed. If every agnostic wants a different proof, wherefrom it is to come? This is a self help matter. A combination of scientific information and rational thought should help an agnostic to come to a firm decision. Science has given tremendous help. Now it is up to us to go further from there.
Anyone claiming to be gnostic anything is very probably confused or simply does not understand the issues. This is ultimately why the word agnostic is utterly useless. Everyone is agnostic. Emotional certainty does not equal actual knowledge.
Let me put it this way:
In all the above cases, I think that I could assert without fear of contradiction that leprechauns, mermaids and left-handed zindlefingers do not exist. Yet for some unfathomable reason, gods too often get an exemption. Some wish to put forward the idea that, despite the lack of evidence, gods MIGHT exist, that we cannot be 100% sure of their lack of existence. The only reason I can think of why they might is TIME, because the idea of a god has been around for so long and accepted by so many people. Yet the concept of any form of deity is no more valid than that of a leprechaun or a mermaid or my own invented zindlefinger.
There are countless things which can be conceived by the mind of man, yet have no objective physical existence. For myself, I cannot accept that we have to grant the possibility of something to exist simply because someone thought it up. Without substantiation, without demonstration, without evidence, insofar as I am concerned, gods are NOT, full stop.
All the agnostics that I have quoted in my earlier replies firmly disbelieve in miracles but they have a doubt that a supernatural power may yet be existing. If there is a chance that a supernatural power exists then what would stop it from performing miracles? Since nature keeps on performing according to a set of its own laws, anything that this supernatural power does would be a miracle and so not believeing in miracles is the same as not believing in a supernatural power. This is atheism, not agnosticism.
The term "supernatural" implies a superceding to nature, of which there is lacking evidence. Were there to be a powerful entity with godlike ability, I would still have doubts as to the supernatural aspects of said ability as well as the origin of such a being.
"Why does God need a starship?" comes to mind, as well as the "Q" continuum, both from the Star Trek franchise. More likely any entity that would display such 'supernatural' behavior would flag warning bells in my mind as a techologically advanced species wanting to play with or control a lesser developed species--not instill worship.
With a thank you to joey kurt flockheart and to the others who contributed to joey's discussion.
A few days ago someone posted that there is no such thing as agnostic atheism. I'm less certain of that conclusion and wanted to ask how many kinds of atheism others recognize and accept.
I chose agnosticism 55 years ago because the first atheists I heard from (after 12 years in Catholic schools and a hitch in the US Navy) said they knew no god(s) existed. I was at the time on my way to a degree in mathematics with its perhaps too specialized definition for the verb "to know", and decided that those atheists (other students at the University of Florida) knew no more than the Catholics I had lived among. Ten years ago I came to atheism because in 45 years no one came even close to offering evidence for the existence of one or more gods.
And so, prepared to start a discussion asking How Many Kinds Of Atheism Do We Have?, I searched A/N discussions and found this one with a Venn diagram I liked. Because the Oxford New American Dictionary defines "gnosticism" as a "lesser divinity" kind of theism, I was inclined to use the terms agnostic atheism, faith-based atheism, and knowledge-based atheism.
What say other folks here, how many kinds of atheism do we recognize? (Yeah, with "faith-based atheism" I'm remarking on the legitimacy of "There is no such thing as agnostic atheism".)
Richard Dawkins has considered agnostics and atheists while describing his seven steps leading finally to strong atheism. They are generally true and correct. Dawkins is very practical and the Venn diagram is purely theoretical. An agnostic is a person who feels that more evidence is needed to firmly deny the existence of a god. Every agnostic agrees with this. There may be many personal variations to this and so I feel that it is not necessary to classify agnostics. Every agnostic is an agnostic. There may be personal variations in the thoughts of atheists but they all are convinced that there is no god. No classification is needed.
Dictionaries differ. My New Oxford American says an agnostic:
1. "believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena."
2. "a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."
Please tell us where you found your "An agnostic is a person who feels that more evidence is needed to firmly deny the existence of a god. Every agnostic agrees with this."
I prefer a bit of mental flexibility to a battle over dictionaries.