I decribe myself as an (agnostic) atheist but what exactly is an atheist? Of course, what I am really asking is What is a god? I don't rule out the possibility of a being with superior abilities even of one who caused the Earth to come into being so the question remains: am I an atheist?

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"Why would that be a certainty?"

As I've said here many times in the past, "philosophical certainty" is an oxymoron. 

"he asks how do we actually define the word god"

If NOTHING else, God must be supernatural.

I don't think that is true, Mike.  I haven't ruled out the existence of deities, but I am an atheist.  I just don't believe in any deity.  That's all it takes, IMO.  There are "strong" atheists, who assert that there definitely are no gods, and "weak" atheists, who say they simply do not believe in any but do not claim that there are none. 

Many of us are also agnostic, which I think I am also.  Agnostics can be weak or strong too, claiming that they themselves don't have knowledge of the existence of any gods, or that nobody can know definitively that any gods exist, respectively. 

THIS.  Agnostic atheists don't necessarily rule out the possibility of a god, higher power, or powerful being, they just find it improbable (to varying degrees), and thus typically choose to live life as though this being did not exist.  If you think it might exist but it is of no consequence in your life, then I'd say you're functionally an agnostic atheist - pretty sure I know many self-proclaimed theists and agnostics who also fall in this category :).

When I spoke of a being capable of bringing the Earth into existence, I meant a being who is capable of harnessing physical forces in order to turn pre-existing matter and energy into a planetary body orbiting a sufficiently young sun at the right distance to be (eventually) life-sustaining; how is that supernatural? It's true that humankind are not capable of  such feats but we may someday be

"how is that supernatural?"

Oh dear,oh dear.

@Gallup - Ah for the days when special effects were special. I haven't seen 2001 in FAR too long. One of my favourites.

I am making no such claims: I don't believe in the Judeo-Christian God which makes me as the Irish comedian Dave Allen pointed out "a Christian atheist". What I am really trying to elucidate is in what sense does that make me a generic atheist since there may be religions I have not heard of!

If you don't believe in a deity, whether or not you've been exposed to information about that deity, I believe you are an atheist because you are, literally, without belief in a deity. 

I just love to hear him speak.  

If we build houses, does that make us gods to the mice that live in them?

its completely up to your self what you identify as.  from the day I identified as agnostic to the day I called myself atheist, very little had changed.  one to many theological debates I guess.

I would imagine it would come down to this, (only based on the way I see the two states of scepticism) do you think that there is a real possibility of the supernatural, but you don't necessary believe in it? (agnostic), or that you just cant rule it out, but your convinced that the lack of evidence means by all intents and purposes its a man made construct? (atheist)

either way, its up to yourself, and its not like you have to commit to anything or you cant change your mind by just picking one.  or, of course, you could just say your between them :P  I wouldn't worry to much anyway, you don't feel any different either way.

If we could define god, we would not be having this discussion. As it is, the word god on its own is ambiguous until someone attaches attributes to it do we get to have an idea what they mean.

You say you are an agnostic- to what extent and what extent of topics?


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