Why I must be Agnostic and not Atheist.

by OnTheWayOut 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • OnTheWayOut

    The WTS has this nice little explanation for everything. How can man be
    only six thousand years old, how could a global flood have actually taken
    place around five thousand years ago, what proof of Armageddon do you
    have? While we have picked apart the answers and knocked them around,
    it still was a well written story, difficult to pick apart for most of us.

    Well, I have pretty much lost all faith that there is a god, and I have read
    great research that indicates that [Tetragrammaton] (YHWH) was the faceless
    Warrior-god of some Hebrews who worshipped many gods, like everyone else,
    but this god got elevated.

    I have read how the Hebrew writings were the combination of the stories of
    the 2-tribes and the 10-tribes. I have also read how Jesus' life was that of an
    ordinary man who knew Jewish law and scriptures well. There were plenty of
    possible messiahs in his time. I am convinced that most prophetic books were
    written after the fact, there's plenty of proof. I even did research that explains how
    Eden and Adam may have gotten their start from stories told by Hunter-gatherers
    in Sumaria, that Eden would mean "fertile plain" and Adam would mean "settle on
    the plain" and the stories were told at the time of the very birth of writing, so the
    Hebrew author was just story-telling. On and On.

    The thing is this- I have been taken by logical sounding writings before. I am
    confident that the Bible is nonsense, and that YHWH or anything like him is not
    a reality, BUT what if the research I have done is just MORE GOOD WRITING?

    WHAT IF I AM WRONG AGAIN? I can handle that, but easier to say at the
    beginning that I don't know, I need conclusive evidence or else I remain agnostic.
    I expect that a true "discreet slave" would allow for doubt, and not say things are
    "God's promise" unless they were, so I must be the same way with my beliefs.

    Why are you so confident in your beliefs, or not so confident?

  • mavie

    Check this out...by our own Seattle Nice Guy. He touches on this topic.


    I can't disprove the existence of unicorns, but does that make me an agnostic unicornist? No, I'm an atheistic unicornist.

    An atheist is not a person who denies the possibility of something, just a belief in something. I'm open to believing unicorns exist if there is evidence to support it.

    You say that you need conclusive evidence to support a disbelief in god, yet you 'don't know' if he exists at all, well that sounds like an atheistic position.

    Thanks SNG!

  • JamesThomas

    It's garanteed you'll be wrong, unless you step out of the minds conjecture and concepts.

    You can not get the reality you seek out of a book, or from other peoples thoughts and beliefs, or from your own thoughts and beliefs.

    Learn to differentiate between what is thought, and what is real. Still the mind and venture deep into the actuality and reality of silent existence at the core of your being.

    You can not know living Truth, as the changing world of things are conceptually known. The truth you seek is silently lived -- as your own unfathomable Being.


  • LtCmd.Lore

    I agree with mavie, thiesm is the belief in god, atheism is the lack of a belief in god.

    Only people who have either never heard of god, or have never done any research should be called agnostic.

    So if someone says: "Do you believe in god?" What do you say?

    And if someone says: "Do you believe in fairies?" What do you say?

    You can't prove one way or another about either one... but if don't believe that they do exist, then you are atheistic about them.

    But if someone says: "Do you believe in Ninko-Tonimaticons?" What do you say?

    Well if you have no idea what the heck a Ninko-Tonimaticon is, then you are agnostic in regards to them.

    So you can go around calling yourself agnostic, but in my opinion, since you are educated on the subject, you are an atheist unless you think god exists. No offence though. I'm an atheist, because I do not think god exists. I can't prove it anymore than I can prove that fairies don't exist... but I'm still an atheist.

    Summary, there are three classes:

    I believe in god. _ Theist.

    I don't believe in god. _ Atheist.

    What's a god? _ Agnostic.

    And those titles aren't etched in stone, you are allowed to change your mind whenever you need to. You can be a theist and say "I think god exists, but I'm not sure." Likewise you can be an atheist and say "I don't think god exists but I'm not sure."

    You don't have to have undeniable proof that your right before you assume a title... in fact being able to question your beliefs simply means your open minded, and not an idiot... not that you can't say one way or the other.

    Allow me to illustrate. (Caution, watchtower style illustration.) Do you vote for a president? Are you 100% sure that the guy you vote for is better than his opponent? Or will you able to change your mind if evidence to the contary comes up? I'm sure you wouldn't refuse to vote just because someday you might change your mind... Belief in god is the same, plus you are allowed to change your mind later on.


  • OnTheWayOut

    James, I truly understand that ultimate truth is not found in some book.
    Still, as a JW, I was convinced that reading some writings would help
    me to know the "deeper things of God."

    There are great writings that stirred my mind to prove them wrong.
    There are other great writings that stir my mind to think upon the
    ultimate truths.

    I am not a student of ultimate truth being what you make it. I believe in
    the strength of knowledge and understanding. I am a very black-and-white
    person. There is a single God or not. He is not what I decide he is, but is
    what he is (if he is) in reality. The mind may not be able to conceptualize
    him, but that doesn't change his reality.

    YES, I think like an atheist who would accept absolute proof of God's existence,
    but my feelings are not all that sure- there could be a power with intelligence out
    there that you and I don't understand that controls all creation.

  • JamesThomas
    I believe in the strength of knowledge and understanding.

    Not a problem. However, without knowing yourself first, without differentiating between what is REAL and what is not, within you, how can there be any genuine knowledge and understanding?


  • 5go

    listen to bad religion nuff said

  • thebiggestlie

    onthewayout you sound like me...

  • jaguarbass

    Why are you so confident in your beliefs, or not so confident?

    Myself, I am an agnostic. That is where time and circumstance has brought me. Agnostic means to not know. To me that is a very comfortable place to be. To me there is no confidence involved in being an agnostic, just observing and describing my observations as not knowing. When I was a witness there was a pressure for things to be white or black. Today I find many things are not white or black.

    My favorite theory about life on this planet is that there is some kind of designing force for life. The designing force resides in another dimension, the dimension is spirit and invisable to the human eye.

    That theory can umbrella many possibilities and it allows my mind to make some sense of things.

    While my theory doesnt offer concrete answers it is vauge enough to allow many possibilities.

    If I choose No God and evolution. I find myself in an uncomfotable place in not being able to make sense of the complexities of the human body.

    If I choose creator God Yhwh and the bible. I find myself in an uncomfortable place in trying to defend the undefendable, the bible.

    So I gravitate to my favorite theory. There is some kind of designing force for life. The designing force resides in another dimension, the dimension is spirit and invisable to the human eye.

    Using the English language, the definition of atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of supreme beings.

    Using the English language, an agnostic is, a person that holds that the existance of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unkowable or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

    Using the English language, theism is the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe without rejection of revelation.

    For the purpose of this discussion, I see 3 possibilites of how to describe ourself. Theist, Atheist, Agnostic. I take agnostic.

  • Jeepthing

    There are two kinds of people: open people and closed people. This is not a distinction of temperament or emotional character, but of spiritual stance.

    Open people are those who are open to all reality. They are parepared to go beyond themselves. They are open to all questions, including ultimate questions. They reject the obscruantism that would turn away from the beckoning of transcendent truth. They are, therefore, open to the Word of God , to the call to go beyond the comfortable limits of knowledge proportionate to man's own understanding embrace the disconcerting demand to accept mysteries and enter into the darkness of a new, transcendent relation with God.

    Closed people are those who refuse to go beyond themselves. They call a halt and stop at somestage in the process that draws them on beyond the familiar. They remain perhaps within the comfortable, tangible world of sense. Or they refuse to step outside what they can prove for themselves. They find even belief in other men difficult and jib at mutual trust and readiness to commit oneself to others it involves. They prefer cynicism and remain distrustful and sceptical wherever they are not the masters. The call to go understand or prove from a God who remains hidden and demands commitment in the darkness of faith strikes them as intellectual suicide. If God wants them to believe, let him come within their world so that they can number, measure and weigh his words by the light of their own mind. "The Rationalist," said Newman, "makes himself his own centre, not his Maker: he does not go to God, but he implies that God must come to him."Thus they remain enclosed within themselves, within the narrow sphere of their own intellects.

    Here it is important to notice that a genuine openess to truth cannot be limited to an openess to the transcendent in itself and a readiness to believe in God. On the contrary, we reach out towards the unlimited transcendent and do not rest in and idolatrise our own limited concepts and formulations only if we recognise truth as an absolute and universal value to be sought unconditionally wherever it may be found, even in secondary and everyday matters. Concern for truth is necessarily as universal as truth; otherwise, a supposed reality a concern for something else, such as security or authority. And true belief can exist only in the context of an unconditional belief in the true God from belief in false gods, and faith is corrupted into idolatary and superstition. True believers must be concerned with the truth of their beliefs. Consequently, they must be prepared to disbelieve if ever their belief should be shown to conflict with the truth. As Leslie Dewart puts it: "A genuine and lived concern with truth means a hypothetical willingness to disbelieve should the truth require one to do so."

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