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.
You're splitting hairs John. The relevant distinction is that on the god question there is both the belief and knowledge aspects that need to be answered. This isn't the case with evolution. If someone said to you "Do you have belief in evolution?" and "Do you think you/we can have knowledge of evolution?", these questions aren't answered anything like the way they are when it comes to god. If someone said "I'm an agnostic evolutionist" you'd say "Wut?"
I don't know why you'd assume that. That's not the case at all. We're actually dealing with people that do and people that do not. For a person can be an agnostic atheist (can't have knowledge, don't believe), a gnostic atheist (can have knowledge, don't believe), a agnostic theist (admittedly rare; can't have knowledge, does believe), and a gnostic theist (claims to have knowledge, does believe).
When you say "I'm an atheist" you're only answering the question "Do you believe?", not, "Do you think we can have knowledge?". So if you want to do that, of course, go ahead. But just know that you've really only answered half the question, and risked coming off as dogmatic in the process.
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! There we go! Thanks for the clarification. You should edit your main post so that anyone else visiting the thread will see what you meant. :)
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?
Because it goes to whether someone is willing to claim absolutely that god's don't exist as opposed to saying that they're agnostic on the question.
Which is not a terribly interesting question to me. I understand you disagree with me, Nelson. Does anyone else around here, particularly Eric?
But, John, you can appreciate that just because a question isn't terribly interesting to you doesn't mean that it's irrelevant, right? I mean, we're talking about what we can know, whether and what we believe, the nature of reality and whether and how we can know it. If all that interests you is whether a person believes or not then, okay. But that doesn't mean that the distinction isn't still important, only that it's not important to you.
Yea the revision was already semi covered. What i want to know is why does that distinction mean anything to you and in what context.
It's interesting enough, apparently, to make several contributions to the discussion. How uninteresting does a topic have to be to drive you to ignore it and floss your teeth or rearrange your sock drawer.
In other words, I don't think you find it all THAT uninteresting!
Eric, why do people have beliefs about things they can't be certain about? Why can't someone be an atheist based on what they believe? I believe that no one has taken my refrigerator out of my apartment even though I'm visiting a relative and have no way to verify that fact. I'm acting based on the best evidence I have, which is how someone can be an atheist. I, too, believe that if many atheists were a little more rigorous, they should really be agnostic, but I can't blame them for being less rigorous and basing their belief on what they feel the truth to be.
Isn't "agnostic atheist" an oxymoron??