Agnostic or Atheist?

by done4good 46 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • poppers

    From kid-A

    There is nothing "mystical" or "mysterious" about human consciousness with the exception that we are perhaps more aware of our mortality then other non-sentient animals

    Where did I say that human consciousness was "mystical" or "mysterious"? As far as I know, humans are the only ones able to become aware of awareness, and this makes all the difference in how life is lived and experienced.

  • moshe

    In my lifetime or a future one, a life extinction event will make this question worthless. If God exists, and he can't or won't intervene to save mankind from total destruction, then why worry about the existence of God, Jesus, Allah,etc. It is most probable that men have invented our moral laws and ideals of freedom and justice without any divine help.


  • JamesThomas


    The point is, we are simply the sum collection of neurochemical transactions distributed across our brains.... We are ALL just complicated machines.

    I understand this, as it was very much my mantra once, the conclusion of all "my" wisdom. In a way it's true, as there commonly is a sense of a finite existence created by neurochemical transactions which are concretely believed to be the extent of "reality"; the farthest most horizon at the end of the tiny circumference called "me and my universe". However, this mind generated "me and my universe", is a facade. There is a realization far more real and endlessly vast.

    It is this vastness -- which poppers so poignantly points to -- which is beyond the mind yet too close for the intellect to grasp, which bursts the bubble of boundaries and separations believed to be. We are the sum of transactions only as long as the mind is a far as we dare see. I suggest earnest and sincere questioning and examination of everything the mind presents as real and true. The key being to notice acutely the silent depths which sees it all; and so direct attention into itself. Poppers guidance here, is exceptional.


  • outoftheorg

    I am pretty much with JT and Poppers at this time in my life. I didn't get there by reading a book I just started thinking about "what if there is no singular God with a personality" .

    What if there was just some energy field that is in all the universe?

    I have a headache right now. So can we put this off for a while?

    This worked for my wife.


  • Auchmull

    I think that this article misses something -- or confuses -- the word "know" for "proof." People can know something (i.e., feel certain of the reality of something they cannot see etc.) without being able to prove it. In fact, if you look at the various definition of "know" it can mean:

    1. To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.
    2. To regard as true beyond doubt: I know she won't fail.
    3. To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in: knows how to cook.
    4. To have fixed in the mind: knows her Latin verbs.
    5. To have experience of: “a black stubble that had known no razor” (William Faulkner).
    6. To perceive as familiar; recognize: I know that face.
    7. To be acquainted with: He doesn't know his neighbors.
    8. To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct: knows right from wrong.
    9. To discern the character or nature of: knew him for a liar.
    10. Archaic. To have sexual intercourse with.

    There is "know" as can prove -- and "know" as "feel certain" I maintain that I am agnostic. I don't know if there is a God. Atheists do not believe there is a God. I find that distinction to be important, if only for clarifying my own state of mind.

  • funkyderek


    Well funkyderek, it is confusing to the mind because what I am pointing to lies beneath and beyond the mind, so mind cannot grasp it.

    No, it is confusing to the mind because it is nonsense.

    My intention is not necessarily to confuse anyone but to get them to consider that what they actually and truly are is not limited to the concepts one has about oneself. There is something else that gives light to the mind, that is the"support structure" to what is unfolding within oneself as well as unfolding "out there". It is this that I am pointing to, and it is this which I say is what you really are.

    That's not beyond anything. It's just a poorly-defined concept with no basis in reality.

    "Pure awareness" is just that, awareness without anything attached to it. In other words, instead of awareness "OF" things there is simply awareness left standing on its own. Another word for awareness is "knowingness", so instead of "knowing about" this or that particular thing there is just the "knowing" itself. This knowing is ever pure, ever constant, and is peace itself. This is what you are.

    Nonsense. Stop hijacking words to fit your ideas. Knowledge means knowing about something. Awareness means being aware of something. Whatever concepts you're trying to describe, you need to find more suitable words. poppers, your ill-defined idea that consciousness is some mysterious formless entity that can't even be thought about has no basis and I think that's why you're so unwilling to really discuss it. You rubbish the word "concept" and try to redefine the words "knowledge" and "awareness" so that any attempts to reason with you can be easily dismissed. The concept you describe - and make no mistake, poorly-formed as it is, it's a concept - is a product of your mind, itself a function of your brain, the only part of you that can have knowledge or awareness of anything.

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    I'm suspended between the two. Call me a fence sitter, but here's my current take: I see no objective, reliable evidence for gods and the supernatural. Virtually all of my views are materialistic, so I'm in practice an atheist. But given the limitation and subjectiveness of how we perceive our reality, its possible that some aspects of it (possibly even the kind people believe as the divine) still lie (and may very well always lie) beyond our perception. We can't really discount them as impossible. I find the notion of a divine aspect to reality intriguing. The agnostic stance allows me to entertain this concept with some rationale, despite the lack of evidence. There's no reason to even believe that this unknown is anything like the "heaven" "spirit realm" "nirvana" of the believers though. Am I an arm chair agnostic?

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