was Darwin an atheist?

by Ruby456 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • Mephis
    I agree there's no inherent conflict between belief and knowledge, but I suppose ultimately it's how those beliefs are framed. A deist conception of a 'starter' god can happily sit alongside things which cause issues for other ways to imagine god. Deist god triggered the big bang and then walked away. The absent parent par excellence. But sure. It only becomes a problem should we ever demonstrate that there is no need for that initial ignition. And of course, 'god' as the answer does have the problem of just moving the question to 'so how did god begin?'.
  • LoveUniHateExams

    Good OP, Ruby

    I vaguely remember reading different things re this - that Darwin was an agnostic, also that Darwin was Atheist but kept this to himself because of the prevalence of belief in God at the time.

    I genuinely don't know the answer so will read this thread with interest.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I'm wondering if an agnostic is someone who's worldview is not linked to whether or not there is or isn't a God. But I don't know how this would apply in life...thoughts?

    I'm agnostic in the sense that I just don't know whether God exists or not, due to lack of evidence. I accept evolution as any rational person should do.

    For me, having a religion or believing in God is irrational. The only rational positions to take are atheism and agnosticism.

    Granted there is no evidence for God's existence but I try to keep open the possibility that some kind of higher power or being exists. Again, I just don't know ...

  • Finkelstein

    Darwin's ideological concept was the starting point of investigative theories of biological evolution as a science in practice, being that this conceptual idea contravenes the concept of a spiritualistic creation drawn out from ancient mythological beliefs, they are naturally and inherently opposing to one another .

  • Finkelstein

    It isn't irrational to accept that the ancients were bound to their own ignorance of the world they lived in, hence the reason for so much diverse mythical expressions from man in that era of human history ?

  • new boy
    new boy

    Well, good question

    I was in London in 1988 on a tour. We went to West Minister Abby.

    Guess who is buried "inside" the church? Charles Darwin. I asked the tour guide about that. She said Charles was a church member in good standing.

  • Xanthippe

    I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. - Charles Darwin in a letter to Asa Gray (1860)


  • Mephis

    Just one from Einstein. A little girl wrote to him asking him whether scientists pray. His response to her:

    January 24, 1936

    Dear Phyllis,

    I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

    Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

    However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.

    But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

    With cordial greetings,

    your A. Einstein


  • slimboyfat
    I think I am agnostic too.
  • cofty
    I think I am agnostic too

    Agnostic Pantheism. The fastest growing religion on earth.

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