Does liking and believing some aspects of what is known as 'metaphysics/new age ' make you less of an atheist? I mean I don't believe the missing part of the Cosmos is god. I think, however that it very well might be Consciousness/Awareness. And that kinda falls into the noetic/metaphysics brand of fringe science or new age philsophy. I posted this question here cause while I acknowledge that is more pseudo science/fringe science, I have head a lot of overlap with the quantum physics field, making me think that metaphysics and quantum physics are virtually the same field just with a different .. lens. one is more experimental the other more .... holistic/spiritual. Like medicine, you have an illness ( gap in our understanding of the cosmos) and you can treat it with pharmaceutical meds tested in labs and all that (quantum physics) or you can go the holistic herbal approach of alternative medicine (metaphysics.)
That is how it computes in my mind. However, given the fringe aspect of this science if this discussion gets moved to religion or philosophy ...etc, that's fine. I just think since it doesn't directly have to do with god or debating existence per se that it would default to a more 'science' category. But that's besides the point ... the point is I find myself wondering what the non-theist community thinks about metaphysics. Because many times I have run into the 'stereotype' Dawkins clone that doesn't believe in ANYTHING nothing that doesn't have evidence to back it up.
So thoughts, as an atheist/non-theist on quantum physics/metaphysics/noetic science/new age philosophy and thinking?
Does liking and believing some aspects of what is known as 'metaphysics/new age ' make you less of an atheist?
It depends on your exact definition of metaphysics/new age, but on the whole, atheism is an absolute state, not really subject to gradation. In other words, there are no way in which to become "more" or "less" of an atheist. You either are or you are not. New age adherence would, however, lessen one's credibility as a skeptic, in my opinion.
I think, however that it very well might be Consciousness/Awareness.
Why is that? In which ways do we have any more cause to believe something like this than gods, orbiting teapots, or flying spaghetti monsters?
Like medicine, you have an illness ( gap in our understanding of the cosmos) and you can treat it with pharmaceutical meds tested in labs and all that (quantum physics) or you can go the holistic herbal approach of alternative medicine (metaphysics.)
Right, and as with medicine, quantum mechanics makes testable predictions, while as with holistic medicine, metaphysics doesn't seem to be as concerned with the science behind the hypotheses, and in many senses has been demonstrated to be nothing more than thought experiment and contemplative masturbation (I don't mean that in a negative sense, it just isn't scientific in nature). For me, quantum mechanics and metaphysics differ in one massive regard: while you could argue that they both strive to achieve the same end, their principles and methods differ enormously.
Because many times I have run into the 'stereotype' Dawkins clone that doesn't believe in ANYTHING nothing that doesn't have evidence to back it up.
I don't understand what a stereotypical Dawkins clone might look like, but I'm assuming you've become bothered by their disbelief or outright rejection of some of the new age ideas that you've come to accept, and this is meant as an insult?
Either way, the disbelief exists because this is true scientific method, and essentially what it means to be a skeptic, which I don't mind saying you probably aren't in the truest sense. Believing or accepting things without good reason is very near to the purest definition of credulity, a characteristic that should be absent in the skeptic, but will not necessarily be in the atheist. Quantum mechanics and metaphysics do not coexist on parity, no matter how badly we would like them to, almost fundamentally because of this principle. I myself don't bother much with metaphysics, not because it isn't entertaining or philosophically fulfilling, but because it often doesn't bother with testable predictions or endeavour to prove its merit. In almost every sense, I care about what's true, not what is fun to hypothesize. True science throws hypotheses out when the evidence is absent, it doesn't continue along the same vane. I think many atheists would categorically fall in with my feelings on this, but certainly not all of them.
The more I think about it, the more I suspect that "metaphysics" is just one more brand of woo, attempting to introduce the supernatural or supernatural aspects to a world which is otherwise examinable, testable, and understandable. As such, I have about as much use for it as a snake has for shoes. Either you can demonstrate your point or your supposition or you can't ... or to put it another way:
If you've got the truth, you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it. Show people.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
I think I'm with you on this one. Philosophy and theology seem to share a fundamental dependence on conditional statements that aren't grounded in the natural world.
Offhand, I'd say that's the understatement of the day!
Like Matthew said, it wouldn't necessarily make you not an atheist, since really all that is is the lack of belief in a god. Not all atheists are rationalists, and some people are skeptical in some fields and credulous in others. My girlfriend is an atheist, but she thinks there might be something to astrology and is agnostic about ghosts. Of course, calling the "Missing part of the Cosmos" a "Consciousness/Awareness." is treading pretty close to a god or divinity of some sort in my book.
I'm not so sure that there is a "missing part" of the cosmos or universe. What there has always been is a lack of understanding of it (and how it works) on the part of humans. Then we invented gods to fill the gap and seemingly solve the problem. In time we discovered that all of the "sacred writings" are badly flawed and there is no evidence of gods.
Quantum science and metaphysics are fine when they work or are proven, but you can get into some areas that are rediculous. There is nothing really new about the "new age" philosophy, and you cannot see or control elements, project your thoughts to someone else's mind, or do the ancient practice of Magick in some "new form" today. Many things here are misunderstood or otherwise just plain hocum. At the bottom of this "hocum" you find that someone is making money! That's what it's all about.
Seances and "ectoplasm" seem to be almost non-existent today. There is no spirit world or "in between state." You do not have a "spirit" as in body, mind, and spirit. (This is all bullshit of 3's from the buybull to further "prove" ideas of a trinity, and put that trinity inside of man.) The truth is, YOU became a living spirit at birth. Death again is like before you were born - there is nothing.
If I knock on wood and ask, "Splitfoot, are you there," it proves that I believe already. There is nothing scientific or proveable here. This is not study and it is not science. All things must be proven or dis-proven.
I do admit that there are times that it appears that the universe has intelligence, but that "intelligence" doesn't appear to be a thinking brain, or give a damn about you. Compare it to your body healing itself after an injury or a cut. The universe (like your body) has so much to it that we are not yet able to understand it all.
I know little of "stereotypes and Dawkins clones" but trust me, all things must be proven.
"Hey, Charley, how does that car work?"
"Nobody knows, but it sure runs good doesn't it."
I suppose you can be an atheist without being a skeptic or a rationalist, though that would put you at odds with a lot of atheists who are those other things.
Metaphysics is interesting, and I like some of the ideas in the way that I like particularly creative science fiction. I don't, however, feel I should adhere to any new age beliefs if there's no evidence to back them up. They're fun things to think about as metaphors for other aspects of the human condition, and that's about it.