So I've been reading about different terms and it seems like "Atheist" refers to someone who is DEFINITELY positive that no God or other supernatural beings exist. So I'm not sure if I would qualify as an atheist or not... Here is what I believe that could make me not be an atheist:
-I believe that nobody (including myself) is ever 100% correct in the general sense. You can be 100% certain something is true from your perspective, but never from the 'general' or 3rd person perspective.
-I believe that similar to how most animals don't have contentiousness and comprehend reality differently then we do, we are limited to the reality we can comprehend and hence we can never really understand what reality/existence really is.
-Since where we come from, meaning of life, our creator/creation/existence, etc. is not comprehend-able by us any idea is a good idea, so as long as you don't say you're 100% sure, then you are correct and should believe in whatever keeps you motivated.
-Personally speaking, I would say there is about 0.00001% god exists.
So... Would I technically be considered as an Atheist?
To interpret evidence collected through rational means, you would have to use your senses would you not? Therefore, you would be using your senses to collect the data. When I say sense, I mean to use your senses, not ESP or telepathy or other-worldly message. To be fair, any time you touch something, even air, you would be sensing quarks, as quarks make up the atoms in which you are living. You are quite literally made of quarks, therefore, you have sensed them.
We appear to have different definitions of the word "sense." I do not think I can sense quarks, no.
I cannot "sense" any of these, yet I still believe they are true -- based on the evidence for them.
If you want to suggest that I am "sensing" these things when I read or think about them, then by the same definition isn't the Christian "sensing" their truth when they read the Bible or listen to a preacher?
I don't think my senses can tell me when something doesn't exist. Only my reason can do that.
Man is an animal who extends his senses through tools. The telescope allows us to see what our "stock" body cannot. Ditto for X-Ray equipment, magnetic resonance imaging, radar, sonar, and night vision goggles.
Some earthquakes are below the level of perception, and yet we sense them via seismometers.
You make an interesting point Joseph. Your last sentences helped me see in a new way. My only point I was trying to make was that in order to collect the data you use to make a logical assumption about the existence of something or not, you have to use your senses in some way.
When I use the term sense, I mean to use one (or more) the five senses to collect data about an object. You must use reason and logic to make assumptions about it. If I read a fictional book, and it tells me that there are dragons flying around, and that wizard's can make explosions just by waving their hands around, I have to use what I know about the world to determine if it's true or not. I personally believe that is not true. It is fiction, just as much as the Bible is.
If there is no logical data to be collected about an object (used in the most general sense possible) reason would dictate that it does not exist. That, however, is just my personal belief, and you are certainly welcome to have your own.
Oh man, I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say at all. There are two types of thinking:
1) From your perspective 'Your reality.' In which case I would agree with you, there is 0 evidence of god and so it doesn't exist 100%.
2) From 3rd party perspective: For example, just because you've never seen or heard about some dude named John in Nevada doesn't mean he doesn't exist... And just like how other animals have limited or different understanding of life, we are limited as well to what we can perceive using our senses and that is what makes our personal reality.
And what I'm saying, is that viewing at existence from a completely neutral perspective you cannot possibly not allow for a VERY small percentage that it's real just because you cannot disprove it, but it's as real as any imaginary idea is.
I think I understand where your coming from, more or less. It's just that in the original post, the idea that I could look at a dog, touch it, smell it's breath, hear it bark or growl, and then have the smallest chance that it's not a dog completely floors me. Even from a third person perspective, it should be a dog, shouldn't it?
To use your example of John from Nevada who I have never met, someone, in some way, shape, or form, could show me quantifiable proof that he existed.
For something to be as real as an imaginary idea is would be a paradox, if my understanding of the word paradox is correct. I understand that you have your own beliefs, and I'm not trying to shoot them down in any way, please believe me in that, I'm just trying to relate my opinion to you, the world as I see it, if you will.