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Alternative Thinking: Agnosticism


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As I hope you can tell from the thread title, this thread is for those who have a different, or 'alternative' viewpoint on the topic of religion or spirituality.  This thread is intended to give a space to those who embrace agnosticism.  

If you are atheist, you might try this thread: 

https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/132098-alternative-thinking-atheism/

 

Please check these rules regularly. I may re-post them throughout the thread as needed.

 

RULES:

No pushing!!!! This thread is for members who question or reject religious belief. It is not a ‘chance’ for anyone to push their belief/nonbelief on anyone else, in any form.  Do not belittle or put down anyone's belief/nonbelief.  Disagree without insult.  

No chasing!!!! No retaliation against those you disagree with. No targeting specific members. If you want to pursue a discussion once the thread has moved on, find a new way to approach it. (‘Thread moved on’ is defined as four or more posts by other members on a completely new idea/topic)

No insulting!!!! Do not insult, demean, put down, threaten, troll, flame, or bait other members. Show respect when you choose to disagree. Convey your opinion about the idea, never the member.

All comments will be open for everyone to respond to. If you quote a post, make it clear you are doing so to reference material. There will be no targeted exchanges between members. If you want to have a one on one exchange, do so in a PM.

 

VIOLATIONS MAY RESULT IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:

>POSTS MAY BE HIDDEN

>ADMIN MAY MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF YOU

>WARNING POINTS MAY BE HANDED OUT

>YOU MAY BE PLACED IN THE MOD QUEUE

MEMBERS WHO CONSISTENTLY, FLAGRANTLY, AND/OR MALICIOUSLY FLOUT THESE RULES MAY BE TEMPORARILY OR PERMANENTLY BANNED!!!!!!

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/18/2017 at 10:58 AM, 20YearsandCounting said:

I'll start things off, but if you have something different to say, please feel free. 

Do you feel agnosticism is an expression of who you are, or is it more like an inescapable conclusion, or maybe a combination of the two?  I have heard both from various people over the years. 

Hi, 20Years - thanks for starting these pinned threads here; I just found them (I've been visiting pretty inconsistently over the past few months). I wouldn't say that agnosticism is an expression of who I am because I don't think that spirituality or lack thereof is a way to express myself,  so I guess it's more a conclusion I came to, though I am not sure if it was potentially escapable. Maybe if things had gone differently in my life I would still have some faith. 

I was raised very loosely Catholic. My parents and grandparents never went to church, except maybe on holidays like Easter or Christmas. I was in Catholic school up until grade 4, though, so that is really how I got my exposure to the Catholic faith. I also had a friend who was Baptist (I think? my memory is fuzzy) and in the summer she did this "vacation bible school" thing, which I went to once or twice with her. So I was also exposed to that, which seemed somehow both less formal and more intense than the Catholic services I attended.

When I was very young, I believed everything I was told, and I thought I had a personal relationship with God. But I soon started looking around and finding things that didn't make sense to me. For example, I didn't understand why people would ever disobey the commandments if they knew an all-knowing God was watching them (I was very good and innocent back then...haha). And of course, I didn't understand why God didn't answer prayers and would let bad things happen, etc. So, eventually I think I just came to the conclusion that it was just a story that people made up to make themselves feel like everything made sense. And I still feel that way.

I have considered myself an agnostic because as standup says, I also cannot disprove the existence of a god. I lean more atheist now than I used to, but I am still not comfortable saying there's nothing out there because of some early life experiences that I had that made me think maybe there is at least something supernatural (or something we can't perceive with our regular senses).

Currently, I am a lapsed UU - I became a UU a few years ago because I felt a lack of a community of people with whom I could discuss spirituality or at least, the bigger things that give life meaning, and I felt that the UUs were doing some good things in the community for social justice, etc. Also, there is at least a subset of members who are humanists (i.e., atheists and agnostics), so I felt comfortable because I was not the only one who did not have religious faith. I still believe in the principles of the UU community and may start attending again once my fiance and I complete our move later this summer.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I doubt there is a deity but accept that I can't prove it one way or the other.  So I don't know if I am an atheist or agnostic, nor do I care much.  Maybe I should just call myself an heathen.  Or I shall take the Resident Evil series as my books of prophesy?  With the recent AI developments I have been reading, maybe I should go with Terminator instead, and call myself a Luddite.

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I got curious about satanism because they are building a memorial here.  It turns out they are just atheists, I'm not sure what the point in being called satanist is.  I got really bored of learning about it pretty fast, it turns out I think atheism is boring.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/7/2017 at 11:11 PM, Teddy545 said:

I got curious about satanism because they are building a memorial here.  It turns out they are just atheists, I'm not sure what the point in being called satanist is.  I got really bored of learning about it pretty fast, it turns out I think atheism is boring.

They have done that before it is usually when separation of church and state is violated they put it up knowing people don't want it up to make a point that the goverment shouldn't be endorsing religion

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On 2/18/2017 at 6:57 PM, standup said:

“God is Dead”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

Saying god is dead is giving the idea he was alive in the first place. . I think N.  probably meant the time of gods was over. 

On 2/18/2017 at 5:58 PM, 20YearsandCounting said:

I'll start things off, but if you have something different to say, please feel free. 

Do you feel agnosticism is an expression of who you are, or is it more like an inescapable conclusion, or maybe a combination of the two?  I have heard both from various people over the years. 

For me it's a combination of the two. Perhaps more an inevitable conclusion.

We can't prove the (non)existence of god. According to Hume and to an extent Kant too neither can we say much about the world beyond our perceptions and our modes of thought. It's with these tools we "know" anything at all. We have no idea does objective reality truly correspond to our scientific testing and deductive/inductive procedures. The world -out-there" is beyond our reach in any objective sense. 

The question of god's existence is left to the realm of belief. Logical positivists just ignored the question as nonsensical.

All we have is in our mind.. I recall Steven Pinker stating that consiousness or what is percieved as "I" is an illusion, something akin to deja vu.

I don't think we can really "know" anything.

Just my opinion.

 

 

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4 hours ago, scienceguy said:

They have done that before it is usually when separation of church and state is violated they put it up knowing people don't want it up to make a point that the goverment shouldn't be endorsing religion

Their website says is's the first satanic memorial statue to be built on public property.  They didn't like that there was a Christian statue in this memorial park.

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  • 1 year later...

For me, agnosticism is a determination to embrace uncertainty. I don't think the mind is naturally disposed to accepting uncertainties with the same comfort as certainties. A crisis of belief or non-belief triggers distress which compels one to search for a binary resolution that restores harmony. 

It takes effort to apply but it's worthwhile to practice embracing uncertainty as much as practicing accepting uncertainty, I think. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/19/2017 at 3:57 AM, standup said:

“God is Dead”

- Friedrich Nietzsche

I might be missing something, but I thought that the statement was supposed to mean that regardless of God's existence or non existence, humans had 'killed' God themselves by ceasing to homogeneously believe in God due to the thinking of the Enlightenment. Either way, I guess it's an appropriate quote for a thread on Agnosticism.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

I think Agnostics would say "I don't know whether God exists or not" and is open for exploration in either directions. Or it would simply be Agnostics does not identify with "believers" or the "atheists" and continue to respect both.

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