Why I'm not agnostic

by Coded Logic 84 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    I think the time to be agnostic is when you have evidence on both sides of a claim. For example, I'm agnostic about the existence of a historical Jesus. I think a reasonable case can be made that Jesus was a man who was turned into a legend over a period of a couple of decades. But I also I think Dr. Carrier makes a great argument that Jesus could have started out as a celestial deity who was then euhemerized by the early Christians (much like Romulus was by the Romans). Having no way to rule out either of these plausible positions - I'm agnostic.

    But when you have no good evidence for a proposition I think "atheism" is the most reasonable position. For example, I'm not "agnostic" about the existence of flying unicorns. I believe they don't exist. As I believe bigfoot doesn't exist. As I believe that aliens had no helping hand in building the pyramids.

    Of course I can't prove a negative. I can't "prove" flying unicorns don't exist, or that bigfoot doesn't exist, or that aliens didn't help build the pyramids. But it's not necessary for me to disprove their existence to be rationally justified in my disbelief. Because the default position when addressing any claim is disbelief. It takes some prior experience or knowledge or new evidence to move us from disbelief to belief.

    The absolute lowest bar for agnosticism is having some way of establishing a claim is possible - either through president or something of parallel comparison. For a God or Gods, it has not been established it's possible that they can exist. Much less plausible that they do exist. Thus atheism.

    Or, to put all this into one pithy little soundbite; having no good reason to believe something is at least one good reason not to believe it.

  • cofty

    Good OP I agree.

    I think some "agnostics" just haven't thought it through properly. Others are just pedantic about definitions.

    Having said that I don't even like referring to myself as an atheist. Not believing in the god's of ancient goat-herders is just so obvious why does it deserve a label?

  • David_Jay

    For me the case is neither atheism or theism (or something in between). To me this is too elementary of a way of looking at things.

    A lack of evidence does not mean something does not exist. String theory, the theory of parallel universes or a multiverse are things I am not willing to dismiss though some scientists do. I don't need my wife to give me scientific evidence of her love for me or expect to find any evidence that my dog likes me. I believe in these things, but there is no evidence of things like "love" and my dog's appreciation for me.

    On the other hand I don't buy into the "faith is built on evidence" argument of Jehovah's Witnesses and some theists. "Faith" is supposed to be the opposite of evidence. I can put faith in a friend that they will do something though they have not done it before. The event of what I put faith or trust in has not occurred. Faith in this instance is something that one can take pride in because of it not being based on evidence. Otherwise being out on a limb means nothing.

    I think it is a waste of time to argue over something that doesn't exist. I don't argue with others about Bloopadoopawoopa-Kupnta (I just made that up), because such a thing doesn't exist. So what if you believe in it? It's not real.

    On the other hand, if there is a God, how is my mentally accepting his existence relevant or important? Even Scripture says that demons also believe in God, but for them it means nothing but a reason to expect adverse judgment. (James 2:19) Mere belief in God doesn't help demons, and allegedly they've seen him! They obviously know God. If the actual knowledge of God cannot save demons, what good is my mere faith in someone I have not witnessed like they have?

    If I'm going to be on the fence about the issue, why? It has not been established that other universes can't exist. It has not been established that higher forms of life don't exist. You can't disprove something that has yet to be discovered, and "kinda" thinking something might be out there that can't be understood is, to me, like saying you might exist but you are beyond my understanding. Just because I don't know you're out there doesn't mean you aren't real, and if I met you I am sure I could get to understand you.

    People like to argue about "God is real" and "God is not real." I don't care. I don't think convictions or adopting a creed or taking pride that you don't believe in something that you also don't believe is not there (which, if you think about it doesn't make sense to have any pride in) is worth my piddle. That's all childish to me.

    It takes no courage or intelligence to reject that which doesn't exist.

    Mere faith in a deity doesn't mean you are faithful to the same.

    Not taking issue with an issue is like not getting treatment for your cancer because you aren't sure if it will work or not.

    I personally have moved on from the whole thing.

  • cofty
    there is no evidence of things like "love" and my dog's appreciation for me

    Of course there is.

    Apart from that I can't work out what your point is. Could you sum it up in a sentence?

    You seem to be saying that you are better than people who ponder the existence of a deity.

  • LisaRose
    Great. Now you just created a new religion, the Bloopadoopawoopa-Kupntans who worship Bloopadoopawoopa-Kupnta. And you can't prove he doesn't exist.
  • David_Jay
    Sum up it up in a sentence: I think the issue that atheist and theists argue about is stupid and arguing either side of the issue is a waste of time.
  • cofty
    Well good for you
  • David_Jay
    And Cofty, if you can scientifically prove that my wife loves me and my dog likes me, I would "love" to see that.
  • cofty

    I didn't say you could "scientifically prove" either of those things.

    You said "there is no evidence of things like "love" and my dog's appreciation for me."

    Of course there is.

  • cofty

    Do you see the switch you did there?

    That's what theists do.

    The word proof belongs to mathematicians. For everything else in life we balance the evidence.

    The bigger the claim the more compelling the evidence ought to be before we accept it.

    Theists make the biggest claims imaginable with the flimsiest evidence possible.

    But this is all beneath you.

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