In this video my mom and I talk about how we get along even though we believe completely different things as far as religion goes. We also talk about the false messages contained in the movie: God’s Not Dead.
The term agnostic is usually referred to someone who is unsure about the existence of gods/goddesses or something like that. I think that it could easily be applied to being uncertain about any claim to knowledge.
My WordWeb dictionary has two noun definitions of “agnostic”.
1. Someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something
2. A person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist)
I fall under both categories given that I can’t claim 100% certain knowledge about everything that exists or not. Technically I can’t know that I don’t live in a Matrix where everything is all an illusion, but I dismiss this because there is nothing I could do about it if it was true.
I am what I like to call a practical atheist. When it comes to ideas such as the supernatural, spirits, gods, or an afterlife, there is not really anything I can do about these things even if they were true. I have countless reasons for thinking they don’t exist such as the fact that none of them can be clearly defined by the believers in them.
So when a pantheist says God is the universe, then fine, I believe God exists because it has been defined as the universe. However, this is not what a Christian, Jew, or Muslim means when they talk about God. They describe a person with thoughts, emotions, intentions, etc. What I think they are doing is just taking all their own thoughts, emotions, and intentions and combining them all into a blob named “God”.
I used to do the very same thing. I used to think: “I like ketchup so God must like ketchup. I am sad when babies are aborted so God must be the same.”. There came a day when I realized what I was doing. God was nothing more than a clone of my personality. I stopped believing in hell because I didn’t want anyone to burn forever so I figured that God must not be that way either. I was a universalist type of christian for awhile believing that everyone went to heaven after they died.
So what changed? I realized I had not one shred of proof for this. I could not convince anyone that my beliefs were true. Another problem is that I had another internal conflict that was going on. I became increasingly upset at the abortion situation and wondered why God didn’t just turn everyone pro-life, remove their reproductive organs, or just turn everyone asexual.
Of course by this time I already had dismissed the bible as a bunch of lies. I wanted to believe in a nice God instead of the one that demanded animal sacrifices and struck people dead for certain sins. It all sounded so crazy so I quit basing my beliefs on the bible and instead was entirely emotionally driven.
Perhaps I still am a slave to my emotions an what I want to believe, but I have come to understand that is what everyone is doing. What I mean is that we are all biased and have reasons for believing things based on what we believe the consequences are of believing those things.
Think about it this way, people who believe in Free Will do so because they WANT to believe they are in control of their own destiny and what happens to them. At the same time, people who believe in God WANT to believe they have an imaginary friend or heavenly father/mother that will take control over their lives and help them when they screw up.
There is no escape from our desires that compel us to believe or disbelieve certain things. I have come to see believe in God in much the same way as belief in Free Will. It may be a nice thought to believe there is someone to help you when none of the humans in your life care about you, but that does not make it true.
So could I be wrong? Could there be some type of personal guiding force or creator that people have been referring to as “God”? I suppose so, but until I meet this force I will think the concept is just something that mankind started believing to help them overcome their fears about death.
So I am agnostic about this but I use the label of atheist because belief in something is binary. You either live by it or you don’t. I will live this way until I am proven wrong or until I die.
I wasted the first 25 years of my life in christianity and I have come to hate the way it causes people to shut their brain off and just live in a state of perpetual drunkenness. I think of religion as a sort of drug that makes people feel happier but later causes them great pain.
I am a pro-life advocate, but I am not an atheism advocate. The reason is that atheism is a lack of belief, but being pro-life is an actual belief that life is relevant, true, and good. Usually atheists believe that their life on earth is the only one they get. This means that they should think twice before killing anything. The fact that those claiming to be atheists are mostly pro-choice seems impossible to me. Something is wrong.
If atheism was an actual belief system, it could be checked for validity. Instead, I have the challenge of watching individual people who claim to be atheists. Do their words match their actions? Are they truly freethinkers or do they make the mistake of siding with popular opinion?
I understand why some theists might be pro-choice if they have been convinced that murder is God’s will, but for atheists, it is a whole different story. Since atheists don’t have a God telling them what to do, they have the potential to do things that theists can’t do. Some of these things are good and others are bad.
I am disappointed to see that relativism has infected both theists and atheists. The key difference for the atheist is that they don’t have a God to blame their actions on when they do something wrong. This makes them MORE responsible for all their actions. This is something I remember in everything I do.
I think of morality as being something that is based in reality. The Golden Rule is the standard I go by. The reason is because not only is it nice, but also because it is the only thing that makes sense!
If I consider the life of other people to be as relevant as my own, then I don’t kill them. If I kill myself, I don’t live long enough to kill someone else. I don’t understand those who kill other people and then themselves. If they would just start with themselves, then no one’s choice is violated.
Aside from the Golden Rule, there is another rule that I live by. If an action is one that can’t be undone, I should either NOT do it, or I need to have a REALLY GOOD REASON for it. Some things can be reversed and others can’t.
When someone steals something, it is bad, but if they can give it back, then the damage is reversed. If they lie, they will lose trust, but they may be able to tell the truth before more damage is done. In those cases, the damage is reversible. When someone kills someone, they have no way of bringing them back to life. This means that killing is the ULTIMATE irreversible act.
The entire point of being an atheist is that it does not actually define who I am. It only defines what I am not. It strips away all presuppositions so that I can find meaning in my life without needing other sources to tell me what it is.
Not all information is useful and there are motivations for deceiving people. Atheists who hold the pro-choice position on abortion need to stop their hypocrisy. Being pro-choice about things involving life and death means that life does not matter enough to you. If life does not mean anything, then you might as well let the world be run over by those annoying theists who force their God on you.
Avoid the relativism that says that it does not matter what you believe or do. It tells us to be so “tolerant” that we stop asking questions or thinking about things that matter. If this is the only life that we have, then pretending that all truth is relative to an individual means that truth exists only in the minds of the living and then dies. This is why I care about standards that apply equally to life everywhere.
I do not want to let fear control my life anymore. For me, being an atheist means that no God, scientist, philosopher, or king has the right to stop me from telling the truth. They can stop me by killing me, but in the end, they would only be showing their weakness. I find great humor in the way that every time someone comes along and tells people not to kill people, it isn’t long before somebody kills them.
I am convinced that protecting life is the most rational thing that anyone can do. This applies to atheists even more because they can’t expect God to resurrect everyone and make everything right. Many atheists protect their own lives at any cost, but deny the relevance of other people when they see them as a threat. This is mostly based on fear. I want to bridge the gap between theists and atheists.
To help theists understand why I have my own problems with the majority of the atheists, I need to explain that atheists also have “gods” that dictate to them what is right or wrong. Whatever they place their trust in is what they will defend in the same way that theists defend their gods.
If they are trusting in money, then everything becomes about getting money. If this means killing, lying, or stealing, then they WILL do it at the first chance. This can lead to the destruction of many lives. The worst part is that all the work people do at earning money will be completely irrelevant when they die. This is the greatest tragedy of all.
With the knowledge that money does not exist, but life does, it only makes sense to be pro-life rather than pro-money. A pro-money position usually becomes a pro-death position.
As far as whether a creator named God exists, I will let other people fight about that. In daily life, I do not see God, but every day I see the words “In God we trust” . It is written on the paper and metal people refer to as money. There seems to be a relevance between God and money.
When humans choose to murder other humans or other animals. They often say “It is okay to kill because: money.” or “It is okay to kill because: God.”. What then is the difference between God and money? What is it that people put their “trust” in.
The fact that I am not 100 percent sure that God or money exist outside of human brains means that I cannot trust in either. I cannot serve God or money. What then do I serve?
I serve relevance over irrelevance, truth over falsehood, good over bad, life over death.
I trust in what I have seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, and touched with my own hands.
By these rules I have chosen, I am convinced that even if I don’t stay an atheist, I will stay pro-life.
There is much confusion about the difference between atheism and antitheism. While atheism is a lack of belief in gods, antitheism is an opposition to the belief in gods.
I perfectly understand why many think that a belief in a God or gods is harmful, but at the same time, I admit that not one person has ever hurt me just by believing in their god. An isolated belief in a god is completely harmless.
Believing in a god can only become harmful when theists kill people in the name of their god, but the real problem is that they wanted to kill those people anyway and they used their god as an excuse.
No benefit can be gained from promoting theism or atheism. What happens in this world, whether good or bad, is mostly caused by human action. Because of this, it is relevant for me to put more time into choosing my actions and learning what is behind the actions of other humans.
I see the antitheism movement as a waste of time because without a worldwide accepted standard of what a god is, I can not believe or disbelieve, accept or reject, promote or oppose any beliefs or lack thereof.
Antitheism is one more religion that is irrelevant to me. I don’t know enough about what a god is to try to oppose it.
Atheism is misunderstood by many people. It only means a lack of belief in any type of god or deity. It is a rather confusing term, but it is extremely relevant to understand it. The antonym of atheism is theism. Theism is also misunderstood. It could mean monotheism (belief in one God) or polytheism (belief in many gods). Whether “god” is capitalized depends on whether the word is used as a proper name. I get a little confused about whether I should capitalize it or not.
I do not think that a word such as “god” is well defined enough to know whether I can believe in such a thing yet. I still use the word sometimes when I am trying to explain something else which may be relevant to the existence or action of a god that other people believe in.
What must be understood is that atheism is NOT a belief, but a lack of it. This means that every human is originally an atheist even before birth. As I have said before, people do not agree on what defines a god. Often someone calls themself an atheist just to say that they reject the definition of a god they have heard about. It is a label that has no specific meaning but is often the best word someone can use if they are questioned.
Lacking a belief in one definition of what a god is does not mean that they don’t believe in another different definition. Since everyone has a different personality, there are as many “gods” as there are people.
In case my recent irrelevant posts have not confused you enough, I would like to share some thoughts specifically about religion and God. I think that it is possible to separate God from religion. Sadly, this is a rather unusual idea that I don’t often hear about. I would like to share some labels that seem somewhat relevant to my current thoughts. Even though I have already stated that labels are irrelevant, the fact is that when trying to learn about new ideas, it can be relevant to have something to type into Google or another search engine. So below are some words and my general impressions of what they mean.
For the purposes of these definitions, I think that it is relevant to use some type of definition of God. In this case, let us assume that there is a creator who somehow is the cause of at least the planet earth that we are living in. Beyond that, nothing is assumed.
Atheism is a lack of belief in any God. This is the natural way babies are born into the world. It is also a quick solution to the problem of leaving a previous religion. Without God, other beliefs slowly can disappear. It is not the only option for the irreligious, but it is a way.
Deism considers the world to have been created by a God, but do not always hold to the same ideas as major world religions. The idea that God can be understood at least partially through reason and understanding the natural world, rather than through a holy book or set of rules. It is similar to atheism in that it often lacks the harmful beliefs that lead to guilt and violence.
Apatheism is basically not really caring that much about the existence of a God. To an apatheist, such belief may be too confusing or irrelevant to have any positive effect on their life.
Ignosticism is a belief that too much is often assumed about what God is to make any real sense of it. Without definition, it is hard to discuss it.
Those four terms above all have something in common. They are different from the common Abrahamic religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The key difference is that it is not required to assume things such as God being much like a human. The idea of God being directly involved by rewarding or punishing humans for their sins requires that he be on the same level as humans.
I think that the traditional ideas that humans have about God could possibly be offensive to God if it does exist. This is entirely my opinion, but I do not assume that God is human, is male, or cares more about the planet earth than the rest of the universe. It seems to be placing a limit on what God can be or do. There could be a limit, but at this time I think that it is impossible to know.
I also do not assume that God can speak English, or would have any desire to use such a poor language to communicate. I cannot tell whether my ideas about God are influenced by God or if indeed I am just making up a God who is identical to me. I do not want to say that I am correct but only that I have a hope for a power greater than myself which makes perfect sense and ends all my questions.
I still don’t think that believing in a God has any relevance to most of the things I do in life, such as the music or food I like, or how much I like babies and animals. Still, it doesn’t stop me from questioning things.