Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

Mimble wrote:

horrible annulment process

You should've told the priest that you got divorced because you suspected your ex was gay.

I like the concept of an "apatheist", where it's not that you believe or disbelieve in a deity in any active way, it's just that the whole concept of "God" is about as relative to your life as magical rainbow-pooping space unicorns. Nobody asks me if I believe in those, and I don't ever think about them. It's the same way with this theoretical "God" person.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I like the concept of an "apatheist", where it's not that you believe or disbelieve in a deity in any active way, it's just that the whole concept of "God" is about as relative to your life as magical rainbow-pooping space unicorns. Nobody asks me if I believe in those, and I don't ever think about them. It's the same way with this theoretical "God" person.

I think you're looking for this.

The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable.

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

We are apathetic to the existence or non-existence of a Supreme Being.

Nevin73 wrote:
Mimble wrote:

horrible annulment process

You should've told the priest that you got divorced because you suspected your ex was gay.

I did have an opportunity to challenge his affidavit and, possibly, make it very difficult for him to get the annulment necessary to re-marry in the Catholic church. I thought about it for a couple of days, but the only reason I wanted to say anything was to be vindictive and spiteful towards him because I was angry that he lied (and who lies to a priest?? I'm not religious and even I couldn't lie to him!). I figured that was a bad reason to ruin the wedding he wanted, so I kept my mouth shut.

But I sure thought about all the mean stuff I wanted to say. Though, the truth would have been enough to guarantee that no annulment would be granted.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I like the concept of an "apatheist", where it's not that you believe or disbelieve in a deity in any active way, it's just that the whole concept of "God" is about as relative to your life as magical rainbow-pooping space unicorns. Nobody asks me if I believe in those, and I don't ever think about them. It's the same way with this theoretical "God" person.

This girl I have been dating said something along these lines. She certainly has more negative feelings towards the religious than I do(See Thunderc*nt Step-Mom).

Now I am not this Zen yet. But I respect the attitude that it just does not matter. Leave me alone, I leave you alone, let me pay my taxes, cook dinner, and watch a movie.

NSMike wrote:

So basically, gnostic atheists are just as irrational as someone acting on religious faith.

I once said in a post on these boards that I thought observable supernatural phenomena are a myth, and I still hold to that idea. Does that make me a gnostic atheist? Or would I have to say that the possibility of observable supernatural phenomena is a myth?

I think you would need to say the possibility doesn't exist. It's my understanding that gnosticism (at least as it's being used here) requires certainty. A gnostic theist is certain that their belief is correct. An agnostic theist is not, but still believes. A gnostic atheist is certain that there is nothing to believe in. An agnostic atheist is not, but still doesn't believe.

I, personally, think observable supernatural phenomena are a myth too (I think that our inability to explain an event doesn't make it supernatural, just beyond our current understanding of the way things work), but I'm willing to admit that I could be wrong.

Mimble wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
Mimble wrote:

horrible annulment process

You should've told the priest that you got divorced because you suspected your ex was gay.

I did have an opportunity to challenge his affidavit and, possibly, make it very difficult for him to get the annulment necessary to re-marry in the Catholic church. I thought about it for a couple of days, but the only reason I wanted to say anything was to be vindictive and spiteful towards him because I was angry that he lied (and who lies to a priest?? I'm not religious and even I couldn't lie to him!). I figured that was a bad reason to ruin the wedding he wanted, so I kept my mouth shut.

But I sure thought about all the mean stuff I wanted to say. Though, the truth would have been enough to guarantee that no annulment would be granted.

But now you can't get another Catholic wedding, probably, because they have records of your child-hate. Should have thought of that.

DSGamer wrote:
Mimble wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
Mimble wrote:

horrible annulment process

You should've told the priest that you got divorced because you suspected your ex was gay.

I did have an opportunity to challenge his affidavit and, possibly, make it very difficult for him to get the annulment necessary to re-marry in the Catholic church. I thought about it for a couple of days, but the only reason I wanted to say anything was to be vindictive and spiteful towards him because I was angry that he lied (and who lies to a priest?? I'm not religious and even I couldn't lie to him!). I figured that was a bad reason to ruin the wedding he wanted, so I kept my mouth shut.

But I sure thought about all the mean stuff I wanted to say. Though, the truth would have been enough to guarantee that no annulment would be granted.

But now you can't get another Catholic wedding, probably, because they have records of your child-hate. Should have thought of that. :)

Dammit. I knew I'd overlooked some important detail!

Mimble wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Mimble wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
Mimble wrote:

horrible annulment process

You should've told the priest that you got divorced because you suspected your ex was gay.

I did have an opportunity to challenge his affidavit and, possibly, make it very difficult for him to get the annulment necessary to re-marry in the Catholic church. I thought about it for a couple of days, but the only reason I wanted to say anything was to be vindictive and spiteful towards him because I was angry that he lied (and who lies to a priest?? I'm not religious and even I couldn't lie to him!). I figured that was a bad reason to ruin the wedding he wanted, so I kept my mouth shut.

But I sure thought about all the mean stuff I wanted to say. Though, the truth would have been enough to guarantee that no annulment would be granted.

But now you can't get another Catholic wedding, probably, because they have records of your child-hate. Should have thought of that. :)

Dammit. I knew I'd overlooked some important detail! ;-)

That's why you fight about this stuff. To preserve *your* rights to a Catholic wedding.

I kind of want the Ryan Scott wedding-Justice of the peace, lunch, watch Lost with new wife.

KingGorilla wrote:

I kind of want the Ryan Scott wedding-Justice of the peace, lunch, watch Lost with new wife.

Hah.. our civil ceremony was - Justice of the Peace, lunch with my sister and her brother, then home for video games

We had a nice fake wedding a couple of months later for Halloween and invited all the friends, family, etc..

Pshaw, you don't need to preserve anything. Just pay them enough and they'll put you in front of the altar any time.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

I like the concept of an "apatheist", where it's not that you believe or disbelieve in a deity in any active way, it's just that the whole concept of "God" is about as relative to your life as magical rainbow-pooping space unicorns. Nobody asks me if I believe in those, and I don't ever think about them. It's the same way with this theoretical "God" person.

I recently stumbled upon the concept of Absurdism.

Wikipedia wrote:

Absurdism is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information, including the vast unknown, makes certainty impossible.

Given that God, if he exists, is ineffable to us mere mortals anyway, it makes a lot of sense to me.

NSMike wrote:

So basically, gnostic atheists are just as irrational as someone acting on religious faith.

That seems to be going a bit far.

I'd count myself in that category based on the argument that (a) obviously we can't actually rule out a deity but (b) everything about the world points to there not being one.

That's certainly not an irrational view, and I'll happily defend it. But it's open to revision based on new evidence, it's not something that I'll defend to the death.

MikeSands wrote:
NSMike wrote:

So basically, gnostic atheists are just as irrational as someone acting on religious faith.

That seems to be going a bit far.

I'd count myself in that category based on the argument that (a) obviously we can't actually rule out a deity but (b) everything about the world points to there not being one.

That's certainly not an irrational view, and I'll happily defend it. But it's open to revision based on new evidence, it's not something that I'll defend to the death.

Hmm. This further muddies the water for me, then.

I'm drawn to the line of thought put forth by Arthur C. Clarke, where any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. It would seem just as plausible to me that an advanced technology could be used to insert evidence of the existence of a god as put forth by human definitions. How far do you take that skepticism? If all of humanity were suddenly to receive a seemingly telepathic message that said "I am god, worship me," what would that mean for skeptics?

Which is the more plausible argument?

"I have never experienced something that was so obviously a communication, and was experienced and can be corroborated by every human being alive, therefore it must have been a god."
"I have never experienced something that was so obviously a communication, and was experienced and can be corroborated by every human being alive, but that does not mean it truly was a god."

What kind of evidence could there possibly be that would be sufficient proof of the existence of a god(s)?

That's way off topic. You don't have to answer if you don't want to. I'm just uncertain if I'm AA or GA, and wondering if such a split is justifiable, or even reasonably distinguishable.

Hm, not sure about the sufficiently advanced stuff. I'd take anything like that on a case by case basis. Certainly if everyone on earth got that message, it would pull the rug out from all our current understanding, but even then there might be other explanations than a deity (such as godlike aliens).

I'm looking at it more from a negative point of view: overall, the universe appears to be something that just happened rather than something that is in any way designed or guided.

Plus there's the Occam's razor argument that if our choices are (1) a being capable of creating the universe just exists and made the universe and (2) the universe just exists then I'll pick number 2.

MikeSands wrote:

Hm, not sure about the sufficiently advanced stuff. I'd take anything like that on a case by case basis. Certainly if everyone on earth got that message, it would pull the rug out from all our current understanding, but even then there might be other explanations than a deity (such as godlike aliens).

I'm looking at it more from a negative point of view: overall, the universe appears to be something that just happened rather than something that is in any way designed or guided.

Plus there's the Occam's razor argument that if our choices are (1) a being capable of creating the universe just exists and made the universe and (2) the universe just exists then I'll pick number 2.

That's pretty much what I was positing. Though I would change "godlike aliens" to "sufficiently advanced aliens."

NSMike wrote:
MikeSands wrote:
NSMike wrote:

So basically, gnostic atheists are just as irrational as someone acting on religious faith.

That seems to be going a bit far.

I'd count myself in that category based on the argument that (a) obviously we can't actually rule out a deity but (b) everything about the world points to there not being one.

That's certainly not an irrational view, and I'll happily defend it. But it's open to revision based on new evidence, it's not something that I'll defend to the death.

Hmm. This further muddies the water for me, then.

I'm drawn to the line of thought put forth by Arthur C. Clarke, where any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. It would seem just as plausible to me that an advanced technology could be used to insert evidence of the existence of a god as put forth by human definitions. How far do you take that skepticism? If all of humanity were suddenly to receive a seemingly telepathic message that said "I am god, worship me," what would that mean for skeptics?

Which is the more plausible argument?

"I have never experienced something that was so obviously a communication, and was experienced and can be corroborated by every human being alive, therefore it must have been a god."
"I have never experienced something that was so obviously a communication, and was experienced and can be corroborated by every human being alive, but that does not mean it truly was a god."

What kind of evidence could there possibly be that would be sufficient proof of the existence of a god(s)?

That's way off topic. You don't have to answer if you don't want to. I'm just uncertain if I'm AA or GA, and wondering if such a split is justifiable, or even reasonably distinguishable.

If such an event truly occurred it would be the sort of thing that would mark (continuing) Gnostic atheists as irrational, however in the absence of such on event I don't think you could call them irrational.

For my frame of reference I suppose I am a Gnostic Atheist for the big popular religions today. As far as "clockmaker" gods or the idea that we are living in an advanced simulation I am purely agnostic, because our current limits of science currently have a handful of elements that come together in an amusing way similar to how you could imagine a simulation being put together.

I'm still trying to place myself in either Agnostic Atheist or Gnostic Atheist. Perhaps I shouldn't bother with such specific labels anymore.

Maybe I'll just go with this:

I am an atheist. I do not believe that any god exists. I reached this conclusion by examining the weaknesses in my previous religious affiliation, the multitude of religions around the world, the human proclivity for creating mythical supernatural beings, and the strength of the arguments and evidence that a god(s) didn't have anything to do with the evolution of our species, the creation of our planet/solar system/galaxy/universe. I will hold that position until such time that sufficient evidence can be presented and repeated using traditional scientific means that would clearly and indisputably demonstrate the existence of a god(s).

What Mike said

Quintin Stone:

I would say agnostic atheist, though that answer appears to surprise some. My apologies, I'm trying to minimize my participation in this thread.

LarryC wrote:

Quintin Stone:

I would say agnostic atheist, though that answer appears to surprise some.

That doesn't really answer the question he asked (unless you forgot some words?)

Quintin Stone wrote:

LarryC, do you consider agnosticism to be at odds with either the Nicene Creed or Apostles' Creed, which are considered the most basic tenants of Catholicism?

Naturally not. Of course, they're not tenants of the faith. The priest at the local parish house is a tenant of the faith, as are the nuns and some few of their caretakers.

LarryC wrote:

Naturally not. Of course, they're not tenants of the faith. The priest at the local parish house is a tenant of the faith, as are the nuns and some few of their caretakers.

Tenet.

Sorry, mistype on my part. Tenet.

Or people who pay to live in faith.

I used to live in faith, but the rent was too high a cost. :p

ruhk wrote:

I used to live in faith, but the rent was too high a cost. :p

IMAGE(http://www.blogcdn.com/realestate.aol.com/blog//media/2010/10/nygovernorsrace.4fec15a3274648fba755188784045445.jpg)

You could try a timeshare.

BTW, Larry, hope you are safe from the storm. I hear it's bad there right now.