: I just want to suggest some reading for your followers who seem to be confused about the notion that atheism simply means "disbelief in God". The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins is a start... also The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens. You don't need science to disprove God because science and God are not contrasting ideas. Science is not a way to find the meaning of life! The two cannot be compared. God is a myth.
Listen to her, read some books!
Anonymous: Before I start I just want to sayI love your tumblr/you, I just like to talk about stuff with peopl. I'm still coming to grips with my views on religion, but agnosticism to me makes sense. I believe that a creator is possible, but since people have come up with so many, how can you be sure to worship the "right" one? OR how do you know that the "right" creator even has a religion dedicated to them? Agnosticism just seems like a label for extreme uncertainty, albeit uncertainty that I understand.
Now I want to make a thing clear: for me it’s totally ok if you’re agnostic. For me it’s ok even if you believe in some god. In the discussion before I was just trying to explain why I’m an atheist, but I wasn’t trying to “convert” agnostics to atheism. You feel that you’re uncertain so agnosticism is good for you because it retains a degree of uncertainty that makes you confortable? It’s ok for me.
: There is not a simply "you believe or you don't believe". That is thinking in black and white. There is no scientific proof to prove either a God does or doesn't exist. If a person could not be bothered with the existence or nonexistence of a God, then that person would be an agnostic.
I’m quite sure that if we could talk I could prove that you either believe or not. My experience is that often agnostics are just “afraid” to admit one or another.
Also, again, you need proof only to believe.
This follows (and hopefully closes), yesterday’s discussion.
@odditiesoflife: I didn’t dismiss your question you mispelled a word, I would be really stupid to do that, because English is not my first language, and it’s evident I don’t know it that well. I dismissed your question because you seemed to assume that the notion of a “collective unconscious” is so evidently real that if I say I think it doesn’t exist, it means I’m so so so wrong. But, I don’t just think it doesn’t exist, I know it doesn’t exist, I don’t even consider it to be an hypothesis that’s worth to take seriously.
You see, if someone comes here and says to me: ” Ah! You’re an atheist? You should be an agnostic!" than he continues arguing that I should believe in the existence of everything I didn’t disprove scientifically (like a mysterious island in the pacific ocean that can’t be detected by any instruments because it has a magnetic field that works like some sort of invisible cloak) and after that he thinks a good argument is "you’re too young to understand”, well, if someone like that comes here, I don’t take him seriously. I just can’t.
@anon#1: No I would not argue the same thing. Anyway, there’s a thing to consider: in your example the question is not if something exists or not. We know for sure life exists. The question is just if it exists somewhere else.
@anon#2: That’s just atheism.
@flowers-unicorns-rainbows: I really don’t know. It’s complicated. If I were you I’d try to talk with her, even if those things make you unconfortable, because it’s really the only way she can understand you don’t have the same belief.
@consciousperception: Theories can be fascinating, but I like the real world better.
@trixi-b: I’ve heard many times that there are levels of atheism or agnosticism. I don’t think so. You either believe or you don’t believe. There’s nothing like somewhat-not-believing.
: What is it that makes a scientist a scientist? Can those that have a strong curiosity of the natural world and a passion for discovery and learning, yet don't publish papers or have a PhD or help build the large hardron collider etc, call themselves scientists too?
Following your example I could call myself: web designer, photographer, film critic, athlete, novelist, philosopher…
I call myself a science enthusiast. Science for me is an hobby, not a career.
: Do you think intelligence has a genetic component? So, for instance, if two families had children, one with both PhD parents and one with high school graduates, all other things being equal, do the children have an equal chance of higher levels of rational thought/IQ? Or can "intelligence" be passed down?
Yes, I do think intelligence has a genetic component. But I also think it’s more complicated. Intelligence is difficult to define. For me, if you have a PhD, it just means you have higher education, not necessary higher intelligence (though, I don’t doubt you’re smart). Children of parents with a high education degree could have some genes passed down that may give them a chance of higher intelligence compared to children of less educated parents. But it’s not just genes that are passed down. Psyhological, social, and cultural factors are just as important. Having parents with high education degree give a child advantages and opportunities that are (for me) more important than just plain “genetic intelligence”. This is why I think that, if you want children to be intelligent, you should make them study.
: Well, silly question here, but do you actually think that there could ever be a zombie apocalypse?
: If you were a scientist, what field would you work in? *crosses fingers for neuroscience*
I’d like a lot to be a neuroscientist!
: The absense of evidence does not mean that something does not exist. It means that it has not been proven by science yet. Just because something is not provable at a given time does not automatically mean that something is not true. You did not address the concept of agnosticism. Would it be so hard to admit that you do not know? That seems a lot more plausible a choice. You have made the "choice" to not believe. And what about the collective unconscience? Does that not exist either?
I guess you mean “collective unconscious”. But, really? “Collective unconscious”? I thought we were serious…(it was just a moment).
: I noticed you stated you were an atheist. I believe that atheists should be agnostic. To state emphatically that there is no higher order or direction and that everything in the universe is random and based on action and consequence on matter is basically stating that you know this to be fact. Since being an atheist cannot be scientifically tested and proven, I would think a scientist would be open to all possibilities. Why would a scientist believe something that can't be proven using science?
I answered several times to this question, but I will answer again.
You’re obviously wrong when you say that being an atheist cannot be scientifically tested and proven. I guess you meant: “the non-existence of a god cannot be scientifically proven”.
My answer to this is very simple: you cannot disprove the existence of the famous Russel’s teapot or that of the invisible pink unicorn, you can’t even disprove the existence of the Olympus and all the ancient Greek gods. Does it mean you’re agnostic about the invisible pink unicorn? No, you’re an atheist about that, you don’t believe it exists, and you have good reasons to believe that. What are the reasons? There’s no evidence. In the absence of evidence, the most reasonable position is disbelief.
That is true also for scientists.
Imagine someone says: I know of the existence of a mysterious energy that permeates everything, but you have to trust me, because this energy is so mysterious it can’t be detected with any of our instruments. Are you willing to believe in this statement just because you can’t prove this energy doesn’t exist? I hope not. If you claim something exists, you should give me evidence.
If there are no evidence, I choose disbelief, because disbelief is the most reasonable position.