I have a friend who is agnostic. He is pretty peeved with me right now because he believes i'm arrogant. He says im a hypocrite because my certainty that there is no "God" is the same as being religious. But I truly feel certain despite not being able to prove it. I'd bet my life on it. (now when I say God I mean the traditional sense of the word, christian god, judaism, etc..)
I feel it is not a fair comparison because I base my beliefs on observations of the universe and nature and the fact that religion seems to be an exceedingly growing pocket of ignorance where information comes from an ancient text written by our more primitive ancestors. Obviously that argument only makes him think i'm even more arrogant.
How can I get through?
I showed him this.. but being that DeGrasse isn't even an atheist doesn't help much.. however it is a similar debate..
How can you treat a probability as a certainty? It doesn't wash. This is the kind of thing that holds back progress.
We treat probabilities as certainties all the time. Read Hume. You don't know the light will turn on when you flick the switch, you don't know the sun will come up in the morning, you don't know you won't get hit by a meteorite in five minutes. There are no certainties. But some things are so unlikely that it would be SILLY and illogical to act as if they weren't certainties.
Is it closed-minded to disbelieve in unicorns and to be certain they don't exist? Does that hold back human progress? I think it's the exact opposite, actually.
Acting LIKE you are certain isn't the same as being certain in any absolute sense.
Nail - head.
As I said, a lot of agnostics are also atheists. I don't believe God exists. I think it's a virtual impossibility. However, until I can prove I'm not in a pod a la The Matrix movies, I'm an agnostic also.
Once Chuangtse dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuangtse. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakably Chuangtse. But he didn't know if he was Chuangtse who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly currently dreaming he was Chuangtse.
In the West, we might relate this to Cartesian Doubt.
We can FEEL certain, but that's not the same as being correct.
A big huge round of applause for this guy here....well said sir
Apparently I lack humility because I do not believe in the existence of any specific god. I am also intellectually arrogant for “believing in Science”. Not accepting their god “into my heart” is a sign of how closed my mind is. I had not realised I was so morally weak for making the life style choice of denying their gods existence. Now it turns out my Atheism requires even more Faith than believing in a god. This “not believing” attitude is becoming hard work!! I must do better!! I will try to open my heart in case I appear to be a hypocrite compared to those who are humble enough to tell me that they have knowledge of a divine revealed truth and are also morally superior to me. They have no problem knocking on my front door to tell me all this.
Yeah.... If you're "arrogant" because you're certain there is no God, then he is "ignorant" for his refusal to acknowledge that the evidence against God creates an enormous and undeniable probability that God doesn't exist at all, and a probability of that size is more than enough to be certain.
Agnosticism is the intellectual high ground on almost any subject, and its easy. Our evidence is always limited, and even expected to change, therefore holding any belief to a degree of certainty above reproach is never a good policy as far as intellectual integrity is concerned. However, I hate how people who decide to label themselves agnostics as some sort of high ground over those that would say they are atheistic. Agnosticism is implied by nearly all rational people, but the best evidence in the world has no hint of supernatural intervention of any kind, so most people who give low weight on the possibility of a god as thought of in a religious context label themselves as 'atheist'. Its easy and most adequately describes their position. Most people I have encountered who like to differentiate themselves from atheists like to hold religious (usually one particular religion) perspective at equal weight, as if considering all of mankind's accumulated knowledge and science as equivalent to religious superstition.
'I just can't make up my mind is santa claus real or not real, seems 50/50 to me'.
The idea that all ideas that can't be proven directly should have equal weight is downright stupid, I could make up a religion on the spot (flying spagetti monster... et. al.) and this should have as much validity in the supposed agnostics point of view (if he was being intellectually honest), because he can't rule it out.
Certainty can still be open to reconsideration. If it can't, it borders on religion.
I put it at about 95/5. I still call myself an atheist, I think to call myself an agnostic would be tiresome and splitting hairs.
You're a hypocrite because you are human and flawed like the rest of us (we are all hypocritical about something, whether we know it or not). You are not a hypocrite because you are certain that there is no god.