I am a former pentecostal turned...to anything but religion. I am very grateful for seeing the truth opened up to me (by an atheist). I am trying to find my personal position. At present, I am assuredly agnostic, but leaning toward atheism altogether. I would love to hear what you all have to say regarding the quote/title of this thread.
The title is an excerpt from an article, "'Helter Skelter' author challenges God in his new book". In context it reads:
" The faithful take a beating in Bugliosi's book, but he doesn't spare atheists either.
"When I hear theists and atheists pontificating on how they know God does or does not exist, I can only smile at the irrationality and, yes, vanity of the notion," he writes.
Bugliosi believes that atheists have failed to account for the "first cause" argument for God's existence - that someone or something created the universe. "We know from our human experience that nothing in existence can give itself existence because if it did, then it would have to have preceded itself, an impossibility," he writes. "
The whole article is here:
I look forward to your responses.
Bugliosi believes that atheists have failed to account for the "first cause" argument for God's existence - that someone or something created the universe.
That argument shoots it self in the foot when you ask, well then who created god?
Atheism doesn't actually claim to know how we got here because the results aren't in. The only people who are certain of this uncertainty are those who have fabricated the catch all extraordinary explanation of 'god'.
There could, of course, be a perpetual chain of events of which we are a part. We could also limit our concept of time to our timespace - which is finite and therefore did in fact 'come into' existence. In that sense, we could suggest that it came from nothing, which is absurd - unless it is true. We could also suggest that it was created by a super being of sorts, if you like - I for one have no feelings about the super being causation other than I feel there is no evidence for it, and that it isn't true to the concept of 'god' with which I am most familiar. In point of fact, you could label any of these things god, or you could just label them what they are as they come to be known and labelled - which is, I think, where most atheists stand.
So no, we can't account for our origins, but at least we are looking.
As Bugliosi argues about being irrational and vain in claiming "knowledge" of the origin, are agnostics the only ones being realistic and fair? To say, as an atheist, "we can't account for our origins" is admitting a lack of knowledge (obviously) so aren't you just saying you're agnostic?
I guess my confusion is simply in the division between atheism and agnosticism. I'm sure this is elementary to most of you, PLEASE enlighten me--I would love nothing more than growing past the newbie stage of this transition.
That makes so much more sense to me now. Cleared that right up! Gnostic meaning knowledge, and theism being believe. So a person could be a gnostic theist (claiming that they know god exists and they believe in him) or an agnostic atheist (claiming that they don't know if God exists for sure, but they don't believe in him anyway). <--we call that active listening.
Thank you for expanding!
To be honest, all I can offer you is my personal take on this, which is not very representative of Atheism in general. A lot of it comes down to how you define the word 'god'. If you think that some as yet undiscovered being might meet your definition of 'god' then you'd really have to admit that we can't know whether or not that being exists and you'ld really have to call yourself agnostic. If your definition of god is much more restricted, and you feel that the evidence is very strongly in favour of that being not existing, then you would be well founded in self-describing as atheist, although you would have to admit that you're a 'little agnostic' because there is no way to be certain.
That which I define as god, the concept that I grew up with and am most familiar with, is as far as I am able to discern at this point, completely impossible and self contradicting. For this reason I have a little trouble labeling myself, but for the most part I am well described as a 'militant atheist'. To that end, I don't dispute the conscious prime mover possibility, I just don't consider that to be 'god'.
There is really a lot of room here, but if you don't specifically believe there is a supreme super being of sorts, then you can rest assured that you are somewhere in the agnostic/atheist spectrum. Oh, you may want to read about deism, because there are some other god-concepts out there that may or may not expand your definition of 'god'. That being said, you might also be a deist.
Theist, deist, atheist or agnostic you are most welcome here as long as you are seeking that which can be reasonably discerned.
I don't see First Cause as an argument for or against God's existence. It's an argument based entirely on what we don't know. I'm hard pressed to think of a case where a lack of knowledge makes a positive argument for something.
To insert God as a first cause is arbitrary. Let's assume that there was, in indisputable terms, a first cause to the universe. To say that 'something' must have caused the universe and that 'something' could be God is both abusive to reason and to language. Of course the first cause was God if you are simply willing to label any 'something' or 'someone' that created the universe as 'God'. It's complete tautology. It's a resignation from pursuing a proper explanation.