Reading Philosophy

Apr 23, 2008 15:32 # 45726

Magicdead *** posts about...

Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

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Well, I think every human has been asked whether he thinks god exists or has at least put some thoughts into it.

For me, for a large part of my live I din't really believe in any god/s, though I might have prayed for some things, and when they happened I'd be like "oh guess I was lucky or if it was due to god, HAHA god, I tricked you into doing my biding".

Later on in my life, i thought i was an atheist, i thought there's no prove for god to be found in the world and therefore, there is no god. Until I realised that "No proof isn't proof" and that the atheist standpoint basically made the same assumptions as the theist one, only in the other direction.

So I ended up with agnosticism, that is, that there is no prove for or against the existence of god, as I thought it to be the most honest and most reasonable approach to answering the question.
I then got to strong agnosticism, meaning there is no prove for or against the existence of god, and that there can be no prove, as the whole concept of god isn't put in a way that's testable or falsifyable by reason.

I've been at that standpoint for quite some time, so for me the answer to "Is there a god?" would have been "i don't know and I can't know".

Now recently I've stumbled upon apathetic agnosticism, with an apathetic agnostic answering the question with "I do not now and I do not care", which basically hits right on the spot for me. If there is no god, it wouldn't influence my live, and if there was one, it wouldn't influence it either, therefore I don't care.
It is also related to ignosticism as ignosticism states that the question "Is there a god?" is completely irrelevant until one gives a reasonably good definition of what a "god" actually was, if there was one. You can perceive the universe as god, you can perceive the laws of physics as god, you could say it's and old guy with a beard living in the sky. It's like asking "is there a wobbledidobbledubbdidu?", i don't know what that would be, so how should I know if it exists?

So, in my researh on apathetic agnosticism, I stumbled upon the UCTAA (Universal Church triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic), which apperently started somewhere around 1996 as a joke website, but which now has tax-exempt status in most us states, "followers" all around the world and is quite serious about what it's doing.

1. The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable.

To believe in the existence of a god is an act of faith. To believe in the nonexistence of a god is likewise an act of faith. There is no evidence that there is a Supreme Being nor is there evidence there is not a Supreme Being. Faith is not knowledge. We can only state with assurance that we do not know.

2. If there is a Supreme Being, then that being appears to act as if apathetic to events in our universe.

All events in our Universe, including its beginning, can be explained with or without the existence of a Supreme Being. Thus, if there is indeed a God, then that god has had no more impact than no god at all. To all appearances, any purported Supreme Being is indifferent to our Universe and to its inhabitants.

3. We are apathetic to the existence or nonexistence of a Supreme Being.

If there is a God, and that God does not appear to care, then there is no reason to concern ourselves with whether or not a Supreme Being exists, nor should we have any interest in satisfying the purported needs of that Supreme Being. However, our apathy to the question of God's existence does not necessarily mean we are apathetic about promoting agnosticism.

I think this sums it up very nicely and it perfectly covers my beliefs (knowledge ;) ) at the moment, maybe I'll be running around shouting jihad in a few years but I doubt it ;), and well, it's the only answer to the question that satifies my need for logical coherence and also covers my lack of interest in the existence of god.

So I'm now officially a member and am just waiting for my official Bacherlor of Ignorance from the International University of Nescience. (I'm gonna frame it and put it on the wall :P )

If you check out the homepage, read the "meditations" section as well, it's quite interesting.

Another funny thing is that I thought you could either be an agnostic, atheist or theist (concerning the one question), but come to think of it, it's completely sane to be an agnostic and a christian (for instance) at the same time, that is, all those christians that chose to believe in the existence of god but will admit that there is no hard proof of said existence.

So i think I'd had to state that I chose to only believe in things that i can perceive or that i can find prove for, so I don't believe in god.

What is your view on this topic? How would you answer the question? What do you think of apathetic agnosticism and agnosticism in general?

"The wise have always said the same things, and fools have always done the opposite"-Schopenhauer

Apr 25, 2008 23:06 # 45731

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

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I've known a few Agnostics and a few apathetic agnostics, and although they are interesting to talk to, it's hard to discuss something that I preceve abundant proof of that they don't.
Nothing is answered or solved by any discussion.
That's what I've found in talking to people who live there.

I can only tell you what my experience has show me. That there is a supreme intellegance at work, and we are part of it and it is a part of us.
But how do you explain god? Or gods or anything else that you can't see or touch or taste?
There are lots of things you can't grab hold of with any of the five senses. But they still exist.
Your emotions for example. You feel them,you know you have them, and you know they are real, but you can't put them into a physical box and say "Here they are."
If I were to look at another person from the agnositc perspecive and say to them "your emotions are not real because there is no proof or not enough to convince me, there for it's impossible for them to exist" they and everyone else on the planet would look at me and most likely laugh.

Belief in god is alot like that. And that is something that is next to impossible to explain to someone who sees belief in god as not possible, because the proof they need to make it real doesn't exist in the way that exists for everything that they do hold as real and true.
But it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or isn't true. It just doesn't fit the perameters of provable evidence for the person who is agnostic.
If the agnostic doesn't care, then all discussions to the idea or notion of the possiblity of there being a god is pointless.

May 16, 2008 03:57 # 45753

marine105 * replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

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This is the very question that began the field of theology.

There are a number of reasons why people do not believe in god. Some people see the great and many evils in the world and think this means there can't possibley be a god.
Also, there exists theodicy, or showing how a good god can exist in a world filled with evil.

I, being a Christian, personally believe there is a god.
There are really two ways that the world views this particular issue: via positivaand via negativa.

via negativa means "the negative way," and is recognizing how god is completely differant than all other creatures.
via positiva means "the positive way," and it examins how things are similar to god.

There is also the argument that god does not exist, because people are leaning heavily on science and the material world to guide them. Scientists are actively studying the bible for scientific evidense that the events in the bible did not take place. So far, they have proved quite a bit. Other Christians and I argue otherwise, saying that god has the both the ability to create and to make. creating is creating something from nothing, in which only God can do, and man can only make things from what god has created. God simply made these events occur from the things that already existed in this world, thus making both sides, the scientists and the beliefs, unprovable.

I rely completely on faith to guide me, and I have an answer to your overall question. How does god exist in a world filled with evil? Is this God allowing it or evil himself? I have the answer, and it's called free will. Humans have original sin, thus making them inclined to sin, and all satan has to do is tempt us weak humans. The reason we reach for god is strength and support to lean on in these hard times.
In our free will comes a price. God loved us so much that he lets us make our own choices by giving us a soul, but with this we are also able to sin and do evil and vicious actions.

So does a god exist? such a question cannot be proven by evidense, but only by faith.

Jun 19, 2008 09:25 # 45831

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

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Pardon me folks, but I have to butt in here.

Faith and science should never be in the same discussion together unless it is a comparison of some sort. They're polar opposites. It's okay to search for proof according to your beliefs but not to the point in which it clouds your judgement.

If you want to define god as a being which can create something from nothing, then I'm a god because I can write a computer program which paints an apple on my screen. That apple wasn't there before, right? Obviously that's not what you intended. Then what did you intend? 'Create' is an incredibly vague word.

It boils down to this: How can you prove the existence of something you don't fully understand? Humans have the amazing capacity to generalize. It's an incredible strength that lets us comprehend incredibly sophisticated concepts by simply creating models for it and leaving out details which would complicate that model. The problem is that 'Creator' is a model which is all too familiar, though we know nothing of how to even define the creator more than 'It's what made us'. Though if we don't even understand how ourselves work, how can we ever hope to understand that which made us, much less prove its existence?

And to flip the coin of this discussion a little, how do you know there's no proof for a supreme being? What are you comparing it to? You have never been in a realm in which there was or wasn't a god. So how can you determine the difference? The way it is now is the way it has always been since you've been alive. The discussion is far deeper than 'there is no god' or 'there is no proof either way for a god existing'.

Heck, we have yet to prove that there could BE proof. To even begin to assume we have or haven't proof for god, you're assuming there exists empirical evidence to support or disprove your claim. I ask, what empirical evidence do we have? Empirical evidence is called observation when you have a basis by which to compare it to. But if you've seen nothing else, you have nothing to compare. It's as if when you were born, the doctors put blue-tinted contact lenses on your eyes that you could never be removed which only allowed you to see the world in shades of blue. If you asked that person if the color green exists, any answer he'd give would be wrong as he couldn't possibly know!!! If he said no, it's wrong because he doesn't know what green is. If he said yes, it's only correct because we happen to know better, not because he truly knows. Even if technically yes, the color green exists, could a person with blue-tinted contact lenses ever find evidence of that? Furthermore, could a person with blue-tinted contact lenses ever truly know what it means to see green?

For him, the correct answer to the question of whether or not green exists can only be "I cannot determine." Anything else is either incorrect or coincidentally correct, but not on the basis of empirical evidence. Okay, technically he'd be also correct to say that green exists, but trivially so. If the entire world had blue-tinted contact lenses from the time of birth, green would be representative of the color which cannot be perceived by anyone but is believed to exist. In this particular scenario, green exists, but it could have easily have been a fictional color which doesn't.

The fact is, we cannot even begin to look for proof. That's beyond agnosticism, theism, and athiesm. It's actually a bit more like nihilism. If there is a god, he's rather the prankster.

I rely completely on faith to guide me, and I have an answer to your overall question. How does god exist in a world filled with evil? Is this God allowing it or evil himself? I have the answer, and it's called free will.

Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes.. free will causes that?

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

This post was edited by Hawkeye on Jun 19, 2008.

Jul 25, 2008 19:42 # 45909

ReallyCoolDude *** agrees...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

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Excellent post Hawkeye. You are spot on.

To add to the perspective and extend your thoughts that I fully agree upon, consider this. Our body is full of cells. Each cell is contributing in part for our body to function properly. None of the cells are self-aware or even capable of understanding a world beyond their own existence. They can't even understand their own existence. Even if they become self-aware due to a miracle, they will probably believe that the whole universe is probably the tissue they are part of when the cells combine with other cells. If a tissue gains self-awareness then they will probably realize that their whole universe is an organ. A tissue on a heart might believe that the whole universe revolves around the heart. A brain tissue will think differently.

After attaining self-awareness, all of the cells, tissues, organs in our body may start believing in a higher-body or a universe that's beyond their realm, but there is no way they can imagine that they are just a part of the body of a human (or any animal or plant for that matter). Even after attaining self-awareness it's highly improbable for any single cell to know what lies beyond the body that they are part of, unless of course they travel outside the body, and "see" for themselves what's encompassing this whole universe around them that they are part of. For them, their "god" could as well be the person whose body the cells are part of. If the person dies, the cells die too slowly, and don't even realize why they are dying. They just assume that their time is up. They just stop functioning because their oxygen supply is cut suddenly, but for them there is no other explanation other than the "higher" being must have decided that their time is up.

Whenever I think of the complexity of everything around us, I compare it at the micro level and know that there is no way to determine what lies around us. We may speculate and try to prove anything, but is it really possible to determine what constitutes our universe, or who is the higher being that we are part of (if such a higher being exists)?

Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.

Jun 16, 2011 14:35 # 47078

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

Seems I did find this post the same year you brought it up..my views have been altered somewhat since then. It's interesting to read this first post and then the one I just wrote.

Just goes to prove that I'm not static in life and how I look at things.

May 29, 2011 23:47 # 47063

Vladimir * replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

I've seen some articles and some presentations about the total energy of the universe. I'm not a physicist so I would not explain it properly...

However, do look at this video. It's a bit long, but for some reason it makes me be a firmer atheist every time I watch it. Concept of god and supreme being seem by definition to be a human invention.

'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009
http://youtu.be/7ImvlS8PLIo

Vladimir, a truly happy person!

May 30, 2011 11:46 # 47066

yoshi314 * replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

I hope i do not offend anyone, but there is a similarity between conspiracy theories and a religion.

And it's already been documented by science. After reading a while on the topic, i must admit i find that kind of behaviour in nearly every religious person/conspiracy theorists.

Http://Www.Wired.Com/wiredscience/2010/08/the-psychology-of-conspiracy-theories/

"Life is a queue. You come in, hang around for a bit, get some service, then depart."

Jun 16, 2011 14:29 # 47077

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Is there a god? or Apathetic Agnosticism

I'm a few years late in finding this post, but like any good juicy question, it's never going to loose it's alure.

I think that it's part of the human experience to find answers for the things we don't understand. The search for God, or Gods, something to believe in so things we don't understand are able to make some kind of sense is a way of coping in an ever changing world.

Since each of us, however connected we are due to the fact that we are all the same species, are unique in enough ways that proof that gets found is often taylor made for us, whether it's us taylor making it or we see things that seem to have a flow and pattern to them that points to there being a being out there who is watching over them, either way, there will be people out there who will have proof of God that they can point to, such as trees and grass and babies and wars and wins and always having food to eat to getting a job that you've always dreamed of.
To them that's their proof, and since it's deals with them personally and their life experience who's to say that they arn't right, for them that is.

Since the rules of belief carry with them the personal encounter and personal relationship with God, what ever name is fine, it's still God and fits well under that title, that's what helps define the proof of existance of said God.

To find a blanket truth is going to be impossible because if it's personal then one blanket doesn't fit all.

I could point out all kinds of things and say to you "if there was no God, thus and so wouldn't exist, because God creates and distroys like an artist does, and so there's my proof.

I could say that the reason we look like we do is because we are the mirror in which everyone can look and see what God actually looks like, and there's my proof.

You may look at me and tell me what you see is nothing more than atoms hard at work, and the reason all thing are what they are is because all of the universe is nothing but energy and matter, and say there's my proof that God doesn't exist.

Because we are the species we are and our brains have developed enough cognitive reasoning we are able to precieved the word God, we are both right, simply because we see things the way we do and that's our experience that we see it through.

To come to the place where you can find no substantial proof that will convince you about the existance or lack there of, of God and realize that you don't care one way or another is like finding a comfortable place in the middle of a road and walking there through life.

If it fits like a good pair of shoes, then wear those and be happy.

It's always good for an on going discussion to explore wether or not there really is a God or not.
Nothing changes in doing this, but it does have the effect of stirring the gray matter quite well.
So it's a good discussion. And in that way, it was something I wanted to put my 2 cents into.

Thanks for posting it. Sorry it took me so long to find it.


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