Since ancient times, India has known atheists, but I have not heard of any agnostic person tlll in recent past. The idea of
agnosticism seems to have come to India from the west. This word therefore puzzles me. A theist afirms that yes, there
is a god in whom he believes. An atheist says that no, there is no god. Both of these are firm statements and each
person making these has something to say that is specific. However, the statement that "There is probably no god "
sounds hollow. It is as good as saying "There is probably some god." In either case, someone who says this, does not
appear to have much to say. If you have a 10% doubt that god may exist, you are an agnostic. It is the same if
you have 20% , 50% or 90% doubt. So where does agnosticism stand? Does it really mean anything? If an agnostic is
so much in un-resolvable doubt, should he declare himself as an agnostic, that is, a person not capable of resolving his
The usual excuse for such a doubt is that no one can be 100% sure of anything, but we are so sure of many things in life.
If we have doubt on any subject, we take pains to resolve our doubt. Is it so difficult to resolve a doubt on the existance
of god that it can never be resolved and so force a person to remain an agnostic for all his life? If this were so, there would
be no atheists in the world. Does the agnostic lack something that an atheist has? Or, does an atheist overstep a
limit of sound judgement?
On feeling 'good'
Happiness: The marked lack of fear, pain, and harm.
Delusional Happiness: using something to mask existent fear, pain, and harm
Real Happiness: Finding comfort or contentedness in between the bouts of fear, pain, and harm, or perhaps in spite of them.
Well, you see, when one lives in perpetual fear, there is no peace. Peace, to me is happiness.
Delusional peace/happiness masks fear, pain and harm.
Real peace/happiness ... have you ever seen a dog that has been whipped? or a child that has been beaten? Have you seen their eyes? Have you noticed their jumps or withdrawal when an innocent movement occurs from another? It is one thing to understand one is in a safe place and still responds to motion or words in ways out of proportion to the safe event.
It does feel very very good! In my experience, agnostic suggests a certain fear of letting go that atheism does not. Liberation from that fear is a huge relief.
Annet, a soul mate here! I want the language to be able to reflect what I am thinking. Life force gets closer. The one I have been using, "energy", because energy, as defined by physics, implies activity, as an unseen but force acting upon time and space. It is not observable but is seen through its effects, such as Newton's falling apple.
"...seen through its effects,"
…which are quantifiable and qualifiable, and open to revision when new facts come to light, Newton was right, Einstein was right, neither with 100% certainty. Let's be happy that science is explicitly agnostic, …or we wouldn't be able to delve deeper into what gravity is and how it works.
Someone show me a non-agnostic-atheist-credible scientist, …I don't believe they exist.
"science is explicitly agnostic"
"Someone show me a non-agnostic-atheist-credible scientist, …I don't believe they exist."
I ran across this article when looking for Francis Collins:
"Sadly, it now appears that my old stomping grounds at University Hospitals has been thoroughly infiltrated with quackademic medicine, as evidenced by this clinical trial of reiki for psoriasis that's making the rounds of news services and the offering of acupuncture, reiki, and even reflexology at various UH facilities through the University Hospitals Connor Integrative Medicine Network. Let me tell you, there was none of this pseudoscience going on when I finished my residency there in 1996. Seeing it there now provokes a reaction in me not unlike Sylvester Junior's reactionwhen his father Sylvester embarrasses him, particularly when I noted that the director of the CWRU Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Stanton L. Gerson, was to give one of the keynote talks, entitled, "The Future of Integrative Oncology." (Hint for those of you not familiar with classic Looney Tunes cartoons: A paper bag is involved.) I guess that by expressing my extreme disappointment and embarrassment that the institution where I learned to become a surgeon has during the last 15 years gone woo, I've probably just killed any opportunity I might have to work at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center ever again. Oh, well, add it to the list, along with Beth Israel and my alma mater the University of Michigan.)"
These are examples of "alternative medicine", not theism.
This is rational skepticism in action, not atheism.
This might clarify:
I know, I got distracted.
If it's any consolation, Joan. These quacks are potentially as dangerous as their woo cousins the fundie theists, …and many atheists actually follow their advice.
As good an example as any of what happens when an atheist puts faith before evidence.
When I listen to scientists who perform what looks to me like sound science and continue to believe in god, I listen carefully to their explanations of science and religion. They almost always come down to feelings. "I had a shiver!" or "I felt engulfed by light!" Responses like that. I don't doubt their feelings, I do doubt their interpretations.
Neil deGrasse Tyson asked this question, "Why do 9% of hard scientists still believe in god?" He brings up a good point. Scientists know how to develop inquiry, how to design studies, how to separate feelings from reason.
Forgive me for getting distracted and distracting you by the article on Collins. My timer went off and I had to run an erand.
Glad you brought him up!
Neil deGrasse Tyson - agnostic atheist
Sure about that Richard?