CFI Skeptics of Eugene Message Board › My biography and theological noncognitivism.
|A former member||
I want to discuss the subject of theological noncognitivism and the meaning of the word "God," but I feel that I need to give you all a bio as it really relates to my position on the topic and why I feel it is important in every discussion of religion. I also feel like writing today. If you want, you can skip to the divider.
At my first meetup I had the opportunity to introduce myself and a brief bio, which sort of had me stumped and at a loss for words, since it's hard to explain my theological position in just a couple of minutes. I'm sure some of you notice I was nervous when put on the spot.
I was raised by non-practicing Christians. To my good fortune I was not pressured to believe anything. From my perspective as a child, I had the understanding that there's a omnipotent man that watches over us and occasionally interferes with our lives as needed (I also find it funny that my understanding of Santa Clause was very similar.) I believed this until around age 14 and didn't really care at all about the truth of the matter, mainly because I didn't even know there were alternatives.
From 14 to 15, I battled severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I consider this a positive time in my life. I questioned my life and its meaning. I questioned my importance and significance as a human being and what impact I had on society and the universe. I'm sure you all have been depressed and asked "what's the point?" It's a state of depressive realism that I still face today.
Strangely this state of feeling useless and hopeless had the opposite effects of what one might expect. I had so many questions about life and I was motivated and excited to find answers. It was like I had actually found a purpose or meaning in my life and that was to find out what my purpose or meaning actually was. I was talking to my mother about my depression at the time and started asking her some questions about God and my seemingly useless life. I forget the exact questions but I certainly stumped her.
From then on I studied Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism to find answers to my questions. This only led to more questions. I started questioning verses from my King James bible and how they contradicted with the socially accepted characteristics of God and Jesus. I joined forums and religious discussions to find that other skeptics had the same questions and never found the answers. I reached what I call the "mobius strip" where I stand today. You all know the mobius strip, where you question the bible and get one of a few select answers: "It's God's will, we will never understand." "Stop questioning, blasphemer!" and "You're taking those quotes out of context." Really? What is the actual context? Ask a theist what the actual context is supposed to be and see if they can respond.
Before studying, when I was 15, at the time I didn't know anything about science apart basic academia and had zero knowledge of religion. All I knew was that I was questioning what I thought was a globally accepted belief system and that it was full of flaws and unanswered questions. My depression gradually came to an end during my search for truth. I guess you could say I found "the light." I had new Gods: Truth, Reason, and Science.
I floated around between various labels for a good 10 years after that. I visited agnosticism, pantheism, and atheism. I associated with the atheist community for their skepticism and scientific basis. I started to shy away from the atheist communities as I started to find much of the same illogical behavior as Christian apologists. Even the more militant atheists started to sound just as delusional in that they seemed certain there was no God, just as much as the opposite end seems to be sure there is a God. It's delusional! Understanding that none of us can be positive, I took a seat in the middle of the spectrum. I settled as an agnostic atheist. I rejected the belief in a deity, but I acknowledged the fact that we do not know for sure.
We all have our interpretations on what it means to be atheist, agnostic, and theist. But take the literal definition:
Agnosticism is the view that the existence or non-existence of any deity is unknown and possibly unknowable.
Do you believe in God?
This is a horrible question. Questioning my belief in God assumes way too much about the concept of God. It is not the same as asking if I am theist or atheist. Theism deals directly with supernatural beings and creators of the universe. I don't even consider "intelligent design" to be related to theism (there is too much to say to explain myself here). I am an atheist in that I reject everything supernatural within the confines of our universe/physical laws and I am agnostic to any demiurge outside thereof.
I am an Ignostic
- The word "God" is meaningless and circular without a definition.
- My stance is relative on how one defines "God."
- The concept of God does not require a supernatural deity.
Some define God as a symbol of human values, morals, and ambitions. In this sense, I believe in God. You would have to be an idiot to believe that humans do not have those three characteristics.
Some define God as a creator outside of our physical laws. I am agnostic to this God.
Some define God as an omnipotent and loving spirit or deity with a divine plan for us. I still have to be agnostic to this, but it contains way too many assumptions and I have to consider it improbable and unlikely.
To quote: http://en.wikipedia.o...
"As with ignosticism, many theological noncognitivists claim to await a coherent definition of the word God (or of any other metaphysical utterance purported to be discussable) before being able to engage in arguments for or against God's existence."
With all that being said:
I am an atheist in that I reject supernatural deities and this has nothing to do with my belief in a God.
Edited by User 51,874,612 on Jul 1, 2013 10:41 AM