What kind of atheist are you?

by Narkissos 105 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LittleToe

    My comment on "x" was in connection with the term "agnostic believer", which you supplied
    I hope the following makes my meaning a little plainer, but please feel free to cross-examine:

    As a signifiant every word we use is somehow a "placeholder"...

    I agree, however in most cases the "signifié" is clearly definable and not subject to much tolerance for re-definition. Individuals with whom we have a relationship aren't in that category, as they change and develop.

    For example: you and I have an online relationship, through this board. When I first became acquainted with your posts I was intrigued by your understanding of ancient texts. After a while we started interacting on threads, and were able to draw each other out, gaining a deeper understanding of one-another's position on subjects. I came to enjoy our correspondance and have really become quite fond of you. Yet we have never met outside of this pubic fora, and such a meeting could easily make-or-break such a relationship.

    My point is simply this: In the case of "God" we have all these little slices and representations of who "He" is. I had read about "Him" all my life and finally got to a proper interaction stage nearly four years ago, finding that "He" was quite unlike the mental picture I had previously developed - that image was shattered. It's a relationship that continues to develop both on a personal level and through reading and hearing other people's slices.

    However there are MANY great unknowns, which can lead to almost constant re-definition. What "God" meant to me four years ago is not anywhere near precisely what "God" means to me now, as a definition. Such are the joys of evolving relationships.

    ...nothing can rightly be said or known about "God".

    I agree that any of our definitions are likely to be flawed and inaccurate (just as they usually are about fellow humans), however I wonder that your desire for "accurate knowledge" might be a little over-ambitious


    My own box I put myself in is Mystic Agnostic

    If I were choose a box it would be Christian Mystic. Pleased to meet ya

    I have had too many experiences of a mystical or divine nature to not believe there is something interested in us.

    Same here, only in my case there has been a strong identification with Jesus.

  • Narkissos


    We're getting philosophical (and that's not a bad thing in my book). I for one don't believe anymore in the traditional value hierarchy (received from Plato) which puts being above word and word above writing. Very decisive points, I think, have been made in this direction by Jacques Derrida in the philosophical realm, and earlier by Marcel Proust in the literary sphere (French references again!).

    What we write is admittedly not what we are. It is less perhaps, but it is more as well. If you met some of the best writers in person you might be greatly disappointed; but would you lose anything from what you have loved in their writings? I think not.

    If "God" didn't "exist" (back to the thread!), or if Jesus was not at all like the mental picture you have gathered of him through personal interaction with scripture (either because there was never a "historical Jesus" or because the "historical Jesus" would be very different, as Albert Schweitzer concluded), would that invalidate your experience? Again, I think not.

  • LittleToe


    We're getting philosophical (and that's not a bad thing in my book).

    Nor in mine

    ...if Jesus was not at all like the mental picture you have gathered of him through personal interaction with scripture...

    That was my situation previously. Now I would have it as "through personal interaction and with scripture..."

  • hamilcarr

    "I don't believe that God exists"

    Disadvantage: atheism is considered a negative viewpoint.

    "I believe that God doesn't exist"

    Disadvantage: atheism is considered a belief

  • BurnTheShips

    Thanks for resurrecting this one.


  • bsmart

    Here you go, the second Resurrection

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