- Name: Lonnie Bruner
- Location: Washington, DC, United States
I live in DC, sail the Chesapeake Bay, have a lovely wife who's a web designer, a young son, an unruly hound dog, and am interested in most everything in the world. Oh yea, and I love the smell of burning trash in the Third World. That just gets me going.
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Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I've gone from agnostic to atheist. Finally.
No, just kidding. Seriously, I've made the leap from agnostic to atheist. You always hear about people who are agnostic, but you never hear when they make the switch-over to 100% non-believer. You can now say that about me.
What did it? What pushed me over the edge from near-godless heathen to full-on heathen? The Science Channel.
People, people. We're all fuckin' star dust. It's so logical it's just amazing that it took me 32 years to finally realize it: everything is explainable, logical and measurable. If it can't be measured now, it will be some day. Believe it. There's no such thing as faith---it's all on chance. An agnostic is someone who's afraid to say there are just stars, and zero else.
But I don't have the time or the space to elaborate here. Hopefully you'll be able to catch the Science Channel's earth science programs so you, too, can be a heathen like me.
My own view these days is that we may be cosmic stardust, or we may have been created by a higher power. I lean towards the former since I'm an urban skeptic, but the latter is entirely possible and it'd be great if it were true (the ol' God-created-evolution school of thought).
Athiests: Science cannot yet explain why the star dust exists. But not knowing this is not evidence that a supernatural being created it. That would defy Occam's Razor and the scientific method in general.
Agnostics: Science cannot yet explain why the star dust exists so this *might mean* that a supernatural being created it.
Whether you're a godless secular humanist or otherwise, the Judeo-Christian tradition has formed western civilization's concept of morality for over a thousand years. However, this fact proves nothing about the existence or gods, fairies or wookies for that matter.
Right, but Judeo-Christian concepts of morality explicitly posit the existence of a creator god. Since you're claiming you're certain no godlike power created the universe, you need an alternative source of morality.
Also, I can't go for a drink tonight. Guess why?
My "source of morality" or ideas of right vs. wrong derive from the culture I grew up in, not the idea that there's a supernatural creator standing on a cloud somewhere. Our culture's concepts of right and wrong are directly influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition, and again, that fact 1) does not prove the existence of god and 2) does not mean that an athiest has no source of morality.
As for the drink, I forgot your lady wanted to watch the Apprentice. No problem. I understand.
Welcome to the club. Unfortunately, "theist", "agnostic", and "atheist" are not all points along the same line.
You see, the words "theist" and "atheist" describe the presence or absence of god-belief in a human being. That's all. nothing more, nothing less. They are words that deal with god belief.
"gnostic" and "agnostic" are words that deal with knowledge. Specifically, whether or not a god or gods can be known. A "gnostic" thinks that a god or gods can indeed be known, and an "agnostic" does not think that a god or gods can be known.
So, because the words do not represent points all along the same line, and because they deal with different areas (IE, god-belief and god-knowledge) it is entirely possible to be an "agnostic atheist", or an "agnostic theist".
So, when you say you've gone from "agnostic to atheist", what youy're really saying is that you've gone from "theist to atheist", from a god-believer to a non-believer.
No big deal, really, but it is always surprising to me how many people think that "agnostic" is some sort of fence-sitiing middle-ground. It's not.
In any case, congratulations on your new reality-based outlook on life. You'll find that many folks now will judge you exclusively by your lack of belief, and that your atheism will be discriminated against and equated with evil and immorality.
But you will have your self respect, and you won't have to lie to yourself anymore that some magic man in the sky made it all with magic. That's important.
Hang in there, and Happy New Year!
Wow. Maybe I need to start from the beginning again. I think I made the switch from theist to agnostic (quick stopover) to atheist.
Also, I think the term "atheist" implies a rejection of the idea of god. Otherwise all newborn babies would be "atheists", right?
Anyway, thanks for the tips. And btw, wikipedia has an excellent entry on atheism.
ps. From my experience agnostics are fence-sitiing middle-grounders. Not a criticism. I was one once.
Just kidding, LB. As long as you're a good person, and I happen to know you are, faith is irrelevant outside of family holiday\rituals.
Good Luck with your conviction, since Brent is correct with the evil immorality bias. I personally enjoy confusing people, and myself, by telling people I am an optimistic individual spiritualist with a slant towards judeo-christion monotheism and buddhist fusion. or something.
Actually, I guess I am an agnostic theist, according to Brent.
you evil heathen - what would Ms. Voelker think of you?
Agnostic: I don't know. (My particular brand of agnosticism further states "and I don't care.")
Athiest: I have faith that something doesn't exist, despite the fact that there is no proof of its existence or lack of existince.
Makes Athiests just as bad as the goddies IMHO.
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth values of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities—are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, (some agnostics may go as far to say) irrelevant to life.
Atheism is an absence of belief in the existence of god(s). This definition covers all nonetheists: both those who assert that there are no gods and those who make no claim about the existence of gods.
The key problem of the agnostics is that they think these things are "inherently unknowable", while the atheist says they're just "unknown", but are explainable by the scientific method some day. In addition, Occam's Razor would prevent us from ever assuming that the universe was created by a supernatural being so we know that not to be true. Agnostics fail to recognize this final point.