Black Spirituality Religion : OMG I may be an agnostic!

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by thePreacher, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. thePreacher

    thePreacher Banned MEMBER

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    I am not an atheist. I am pretty sure about that.

    But, it has also not escaped my attention that I am not, at all, coming from the same place as people who are typically thought of as religious.

    I didn't use to think I was an agnostic because I do have rather strong convictions about what I perceive to be God.

    But, today, as I did what I do all the time [challenging and re-challenging even my closest held beliefs] I was somewhat shocked to realize that it may well be accurate to think of myself as an agnostic .. at least as far as belief in what most mortals think of as God is concerned:


     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    be what ever you want ... i still love you ... :grouphug:

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Agnosticism refers to a level of certainty of sorts when it comes to these claims. You can still believe in gods and be agnostic. You can be a non-believer and still be agnostic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism

    Unfortunately, even though is a pretty reasonable position but it on one side of the coin it gets a really negative connotation.

    This video series is pretty nice though.
     
  4. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    i was think'n ... :thinking:

    if'n you try'n to get rid of it ... they problee got a pill or shot or sump'n that'll help ... :)

    cure ya in no time flat ... you won't think of nuth'n ... :nuts: ... let alone challenge your own self ... :)

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  5. MimiBelle

    MimiBelle Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I LOVE ME SOME NEIL TYSON. Who cares what he doesn't believe in? The man is brilliant. Something as trivial as religion shouldn't take away from an individual's inspiring work.

    Anywho --
    Negative connotation?
    *shrug*
    It's deserved, I think.
    TECHNICALLY, an individual who called themselves 'agnostic' could have belief in a god - but what sense does it make?

    The agnostic platform says, 'God/dess(es)? It cannot be known. I don't know. It cannnot be proven. I do not believe. I lack faith'.
    The atheist platform says, "There is no god/god(ess)es. There is no proof. I do not believe. I lack faith'.

    I'm not making things up. This is, what is.
    There is a distinction: Doubt (maybe) and conviction(definitely)...but the lack of faith is the common thread.
    I see no need to split hairs?
    *shrug*

    An agnostic theist. A 'reasonable position'?
    How can you believe in a gods and be agnostic? Negative agnosticism...positive agnosticism?
    ...the hell is that?
    You cannot call yourself an agnostic -- claiming that the existence of a deity is beyond the realm of our knowledge. Is not known or cannot be known. An impossibility, even -- but claim to KNOW, to believe in a god/dess(es), anyway....
    What does that mean?

    Atheism is atheism. Agnosticism is agnosticism...and resides beneath the umbrella of atheism.
    You either believe in a 'something' or you don't (for whatever reason).
    There is no 'middle road'...and I wish that more who called themselves agnostics understood that they canNOT claim 'neutrality' when they've already chosen a position. The position of non-belief.
    If agnostics want to hide behind labels? Fine. Whatever.
    Why don't they just call themselves... 'spiritual' and stop using words that they don't understand?
    ...or why not go for broke, join some religion and be done with it? At least with non-atheists, 'cognitive dissonance' is a virtue (and curiously appreciated).
    *shrug*

    **********************
    For my part?
    For the record, I'm - if you wanna get technical - an agnostic. I identify as an atheist and use the terms interchangeably, because nonbelief and not having faith is the core of it all.
    Also?
    Meh.
    Pot-a-toe; po-tat-oe. *laugh*
    One's an atheist. The other's just 'watered down'...and people only 'invented' that philosophy to create distance between themselves and atheism. To allow them to 'doubt' in heretical peace while appearing to be more agreeable and open-minded than the self-identified doubters (known as atheists) already in existence.

    If you ask me?
    There shouldn't even be a separate philosophy for agnosticism.
    It's distinct but...the line is thin. For all agnosticism is, is WEAK/POSITIVE ATHEISM.
    'Agnostic theism'?
    >>rolls eyes<<.
    Lunacy.
    ...but that is, of course, if you asked me. *laugh*

    Everyone is free to come to their own conclusions about such matters.

    I don't say what 'is'. I don't say what 'isnt'.
    I tend to think that 'knowing-it-all' is a job best left to the 'believers'.
    ...because they're just so good at it and all....
    *smirk*

    But -- the most that I have or will ever say on the matter of 'god/dess(es)':
    I. Don't. Know.
    For that matter? Never claimed TO know.
    It can't be known and unless our the religious/believer/theist/whatever types wish to skedaddle down that slippery slope descent into madness and claim a 6th Sense: That they 'commune' by some unknowable process or conduit with 'beings' through extra-sensory means that they can't as yet identify?
    It's nothing but a bunch of guesswork...
    *shrug*

    I'm open to all possiblities, but if our little Secret Squirrels don't know, can't reveal and can't prove? They don't and can't. It's simple. So, why claim otherwise? Why bug the hell out of people like me about it?

    Some people have issues with atheists.
    I understand. I mean - if someone kept telling me that my religion was FOS and gave me a 3 page heavily bulletted dissertation as to why?
    I might have a problem with them, too.
    *laugh*
    Maybe. The truth is the truth, no matter how dear you hold a specific thing.
    But. Meh.

    Y'know...when I discuss religion and it's deities, I'm always doing it in a very detached manner.

    I'm not anti-religion. I'm not anti-religious/belief system person. *laugh*
    Hell - I go to church with my fiance and my children will attend private school...as I did as a child and teen. *shrug*
    Religion is a small matter to me.
    Not worth fighting, arguing, killing and dying over.

    No - when I talk about religious and things of a spiritual nature? I'm more or less talking about ideas and concepts. I'm arguing a point.
    What I say may come off harshly because I don't actually consider the human or emotional element to belief. For me, everything is open to debate. To be questioned and picked apart.
    I don't actually understand why religion and one's beliefs must be handled with kid's gloves? I thought that everyone was striving for the clearest idea of truth available to us?
    ...and who gives a d*mn if the majority 'believe'.
    Majorities have sanctioned slavery. Majorities approved Manifest Destiny.
    There was a time when the bulk of humanity thought the world flat.
    Didn't exactly affect the shape of the planet, did it?
    *laugh*
    To me, what the follower of a particular belief system/religion feels only matters so much as it impedes their ability to see the matter clearly and affects their participation in the dialogue. You can never actually discuss the matter with OR AROUND most believers without them constantly 'emoting' at every turn.
    It's annoying. I'd say that most believers, by nature, are 'emotional thinkers'...but that's just another of my theories. *laugh*
    Still, being an INTJ -- if you're familiar with personality types, GORILLA -- you can see how that'd be problematic for me.

    *laugh*
    Even now? I'm discussing this agnosticism situation...and I guarantee that I've pissed some agnostic off.
    *laugh*
    That's fine..but it doesn't matter because it's totally besides the point.

    So -- our beloved hellbounders, the atheists...*smirk*... question and do so, harshly, at times.
    I understand.
    Folks got 'em figured all wrong, though.
    Atheists just tend to just have... a really strong need for things to make sense. It's a common trait in all of them, that I've noted. I have this crazy theory that some personalities are just pre-disposed to belief and non-belief. No matter. Atheism...is just the critique of religion.
    Atheists aren't really arrogant, though.

    Just honest....
     
  6. thePreacher

    thePreacher Banned MEMBER

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    One of the reasons I am sure I am not an atheist is that their position [conviction] makes no sense. It has nothing to do with a need for things to make sense. It is about a need to utterly reject an idea that they, personally, find repulsive.

    How can you prove a negative? You can't. Which is why I respect the agnostic position of honest skepticism without the atheist's blind faith conviction in the infallibility of their own mortal wisdom. An agnostic is honest enough to admit there are some things he does not know which might someday be proven true. An atheist goes further than that. An atheist insists that, if he does not know a thing today, it cannot ever be proven to be true. That is about as blind as faith ever gets.
     
  7. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Unfortunately, that's the intellectual trap when wrapping your head around just what agnosticism is. People tend to categorize agnosticism in its practice in reference to whichever position they already hold. Agnosticism itself really tells you nothing about what the person believes. All it does is offer you where they stand in terms of certainty and uncertainty about their position. The problem is that atheism is still considered a bit of a dirty word, so it's co-opted into an attempted middle ground but a person can maintain either position on the sky daddy question and be an agnostic. They're simply not mutually exclusive.

    It would be nice if there was a word that fit the popular usage of the term -- in the sense of how it would be nice if there was a word for what people meant when they say something is ironic but it's just merely an amusing coincidence.


    In an ideal world this would be the case.


    In my personal experience this is the position of most atheists. It's a rejection of the options available not a declaration of having been to the mountain top to return with instagram pictures of a supreme being and scribbled commandments on an ipad.

    Isn't that precisely the issue? Some people regard the idea as fables handed down from the ages or a convenient dues ex machina when bumping against the unknown. On the otherside,
    they believe they're the creation and obsession of something incomprehensibly complex and powerful. To some religious people, rejecting that is rejecting a big part of them and calling their truth a lie. There's no gentle way around this other than recognizing that people disagree and they should have every right to. It's also a matter of recognizing that people should be free from being ruled from this belief.

    Sure, we can pretend it's a light matter from the perspective of a more privileged life than people born into places where it's a lot worse in this respect. On some level to me it's a nice sign of progress that people can consider these matters as significant as what toohpaste a person prefers, but part of me has to recognize the harsher side of reality.

    Church is way too boring. I'll go if they're putting someone I know in the dirt or committing them to the pyre.


    Human beings are the squishy parts of societal machinery that can determine whether or not it moves to the call of compassion or to dispense misery. It would be nice if facts ruled, but people aren't perfectly rational actors and belief gets in the way of good sense all the time. We know vaccines work and are pretty reasonable as an acceptable risk given the immense benefits they provide. Yet, Why am I hearing about measles outbreaks? Why do they have to run commercials for pertusis? Why are we still firing up coal and flushing our toilets with drinkable water?

    I think this is the main point of interest for me when it comes to these discussions. Sure, I like hearing about the religious, philosophical, and historical thoughts out there, but I like seeing what happens between people.


    I was told from a test in school I was an INTP and I got some separate other code for professions I should go into but I don't remember what it was.


    I don't think it's necessarily a common trait of atheists. Atheism just says the person doesn't believe not why, but I think it's a common trait of free thought, which probably requires a tolerance for uncertainty and discomfort. I think at some point there's no comfort, manner, or level of politeness that makes those questions gentler. Maybe there's a need to push a culture that's not afraid to question things with all the risk it comes with.
     
  8. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    What Would JESUS Say to anAGNOSTIC?


    1. If you doubt, find out!
    There weren't too many agnostics around in Bible days. Almost everyone believed in God or gods. (The only question was, which one?) However, I think that what Jesus said to Thomas would apply to agnostics. After Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after being put to death, He appeared to his disciples. Thomas wasn't there at the time, but the other apostles told him about it. But Thomas doubted. He said, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger were the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." (See John 20:20-29)

    Thomas has his doubts. Jesus told him to examine the evidence. Yes, Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" but he didn’t stop Thomas from examining the evidence. In fact, He commanded Thomas to do touch His wound, and to stop doubting and believe.

    No, Jesus isn't going to appear to you to touch, but that doesn’t mean that there is no evidence out there for you to examine. No one will be able to stand before God and claim that they didn’t believe because of lack of evidence. I think God will ask, "Oh? How hard did you try to find out?" There are great books. There are people you can talk to. If you are honestly seeking to find out, there is enough evidence out there for you. If you doubt; find out!

    2. I have revealed Myself to mankind in and through the Scriptures.

    God has not kept Himself hidden. He has revealed Himself to mankind, especially through Jesus Christ. The Bible is truth from God and it is a record of the times God has shown Himself. John 20:30-31 says, "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name." The Bible was written to bring people to belief. There is something very powerful about God’s Word. Seek Him there. The Gospel of John is a good place to start. It specifically said that it was written so that you would believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be, God in flesh.

    3. The most unwise thing you can do is to ignore God.
    Now, you might get offended by this, but let me explain. Psalm 14:1 says,"The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'" The Bible has a lot to say about wisdom. Wisdom is living skillfully for the best long-term results. The opposite of a wise person is a fool. According to the way that the Bible uses the word "fool" a fool might be someone incredibly smart, who makes unwise choices. And the most unwise thing that you can possibly do is to blow off the God who rules the universe, who made you, who must judge you, and who died to offer you forgiveness and true life. If God exists, it is an incredibly unwise thing to pretend He doesn't. Don't be a fool!

    4. I didn’t just create you to know about Me, I created you to know Me.
    Jesus told the religious leaders of His day, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life." (John 5:31-47)

    It is one thing to know about someone. It is another thing to know them. For example, I know about George Bush. I do not know him. Jesus is reminding us that He doesn’t just want us to know about Him, as if He is just some character from ancient history. He wants us to have a relationship with Him. God isn’t an abstract theory to study. He is a person to have a relationship with.

    5. I love you.
    Simple, but true. God wants you to know that He loves you. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

    If you are an agnostic, I think that Jesus might be saying to you, "I loved you enough to go to the cross and die for you. I already did. I died in your place to take your punishment for your sins… that is, unless you don’t want me as your God and sin-bearer. I have made my feelings clear about you. Your future depends on whether or not you reject or accept me."

    God in the Dock
    One last thing...
    C.S. Lewis has a book titled God in the Dock. For a long time I thought it was called God in the Duck, and that didn't make ..

    One of the chapters in the book is actually called God in the Dock. As I read it, I figured out that in a British courtroom, the "dock" is where the person who is on trial sits. With that in mind, C.S. Lewis' words were very profound. He wrote,
    "The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man, the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen. The trial may even end in God's acquittal. But the important thing is that Man is on the Bench and God in the Dock."
    If you are an agnostic, look into the reasons for believing that God exists and that Jesus Christ is God. I believe that if you honestly look into these things, you will find the answers. However, please take C.S. Lewis' words to heart and consider the attitude in which you are doing it. It is one thing to have faith that seeks understanding, or to discover the evidence for belief... but it is another thing to force the Judge of the Universe into the dock and to take His place as His judge. James 4:10 gives some good advice, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

    http://peaceyouthgroup.com/articles/agnostic.htm
     
  9. umbrarchist

    umbrarchist Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I decided I was an agnostic at 12. I simply meant that I did not know not that it could not be known. That is what Huxley originally meant.