Yea agreed. Its far to unspecific a question to be honest. It needs context.
Every true statement states a certainty. You just can't be sure which ones are certain and which ones aren't. Feeling certain = believing, and it isn't the same thing as certainty and doesn't bestow any actuality on what one believes.
For that reason, I am in fact an agnostic atheist. If one wants absolute certainty, major in mathematics. In base 10, 2 + 2 will always = 4.
We arent talking 2 + 2 here..
We are talking is probability which means extremely small numbers that come no where close to even equaling 1.
Then you end up in a logic loop of his original statement too... since absolute certainty is impossible.. his statement of absolute certainty being impossible is itself impossible. Because there is a probability of absolute certainty being possible as well.
Your right i read it as its own conclusion.
Although there is no comma there it reads as a finite statement about the state of possibility.
How is the qualifier "agnostic" useful at all, in describing atheism or anything else, if absolute certainty is impossible? It seems to gets in the way of intelligent conversation, unless the concept of agnosticism is at issue.
Nelson, it depends on why someone thinks the simple statement "I'm an atheist" needs some sort of qualifier. The original question started: "If absolute certainty is impossible ..." It suggests we take that as a given. I'm fine with that premise. I don't think it's even an interesting issue compared to numerous others that can be debated. So, I don't see why a simple statement like "I'm an atheist" needs the agnostic qualifier, any more than other statements like "I'm a evolutionist."
I think you give short shrift to creationists in the issue of evolution. Creationists most certainly do not think that evolutionists have "accept[ed] the evidence for evolution," and of course reject the premise of that statement (i.e., that there is compelling evidence for evolution). For many creationists, the creation vs. evolution question is much like the God question. You might, as I, disagree with their logic and reasoning, but that doesn't exactly make them irrelevant to how we discuss issues.
I assume that when we are talking about qualifying the "atheist" answer, we are dealing with people who actually believe in God. Our universe is not limited to the atheists around here, for if that were so, the statement "I'm an atheist" would be very boring indeed. So when I say "I'm an atheist," I do so in the context of a world where the great majority of people are theists.
I'm sincerely sorry for not being specific with my question. I meant absolute certainty when it comes to gods is not possible, therefore, why are you an atheist rather than an agnostic atheist.
Eric, at least for me, your question as revised is still not interesting.
You mean "absolute certainty when it comes to gods is not possible ..."
Okay, fine. But it seems that absolute certainty about anything -- science, politics, economics, history -- is not possible. If so, then why pick on the God question?
Which is not a terribly interesting question to me. I understand you disagree with me, Nelson. Does anyone else around here, particularly Eric?