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Published 3 years ago with 75 Comments

Where are you on this?

 

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  • jmcs
    +18

    In the top left quadrant but near the top right as I'm pretty sure that most gods (or variations of them) I've heard about don't exist.

    While this graphic cleans up some misunderstandings is also misleading in that a significant amount of theist also disbelief in most gods or outright claim that all the gods that not their specific gods don't exist.

  • swoopa
    +18

    I put myself in the bottom left. To me, that's what faith is about, believing without proof, I'll never know for sure, but I personally believe there is a god.

    • radixius
      +7

      Slightly agree. I'm in the same quadrant but probably closer to the center on the x asis. I think there's something there, if not a God-like figure, then something else. My reasoning is that the universe is too vast and unknowable for me to not suspect something of higher power out there.

      • neg8ivezero
        +4

        The overwhelming size and complexity of the universe that baffles our little minds often leads us to conclude that something much, much smarter than us made everything. However, that same feeling was present in our ancestors when they saw the sun rise up over the horizon, when they saw it fall at the other side of the sky, when darkness overtook the entire world each night. They couldn't fathom what kind of natural process could possibly coordinate such an amazing feat; a feat that produced such a natural rhythm for life everywhere. Obviously, we learned that these seemingly coordinated, complex, and intelligently motivated things are actually explainable when you have the knowledge and tools to properly observe and analyze them.

        We are still that creature that looked up at the sun and called it a god. We look at the cosmos in its complexity and we say "it must be made by a god" simply because it seems so far beyond our understanding that we can't comprehend it existing and working without design. That is flawed logic and we have proven it time and time again. We can't assign a reason to phenomena without first identifying that reason by use of the scientific method. The scientific method is for us to hypothesize, test, and repeat over and over again until we have enough evidence to confidently declare that something is known. At this point, since there is no way for us to test if a god exists, it does us no favors to hypothesize or worse yet, to have "faith" that there is a god.

        I say all that to explain my own position, not to belittle yours- but reading back through what I wrote, it sounds a bit preachy. I am truly sorry for that. I did my best to edit it a bit and make it less so but, alas, I am not sure I succeeded. If any offense is taken, I truly apologize- that was not my intent.

    • wolfeater
      +2

      I'm pretty much on the middle left these days, I honestly don't have a belief either way (at least not one that doesn't change day to day), so I would rank myself as a pure agnostic. I always am looking to keep searching on this issue until I find an answer I'm comfortable with (which may be never).

  • pixelboot
    +13

    Hey there! Just wanted to say that this doesn't belong in /t/pics. last rule: No screenshots, pictures with added/superimposed text (except for photographer credits), comics, diagrams, etc.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm assuming you just didn't know.

    • hallucigenia
      +6

      Ugh! I'm gonna blame Snapzu for that, actually. It automatically dumps anything that's an image in /t/pics. I'll keep it in mind, though.

  • spaceghoti
    +13

    Top left, agnostic atheist. "I don't know" is why I say "I don't believe."

    • frohawk
      +5

      This best fits me as well. I don't believe out of some sort of firm certainty, but because of uncertainty.

    • picklefingers
      +4

      Yup, I'm in the same place. In my opinion, it annoys me when atheists claim to know with absolute certainty that there is no god, then go and complain when theistic people say that they 100% know their god exists. You are doing the same exact thing. This is why, when in a relevant conversation/debate, I don't really try to "convert" agnostic theists to atheists. In my opinion, they have come to the same logical conclusion about the universe, but their own personal journey has made them decide to place their wager on the theistic side of things.

      • spaceghoti
        +1

        When I encounter those who concede they don't know but assert they believe anyway, I always have to ask: what is it about not knowing that justifies belief? Since when has simply wanting a belief to be true been enough to make it true?

        I can't describe how very much I want there to be more money in my wallet, but my desire alone isn't enough to make it real.

  • bogdan
    +8

    From the perspective of this chart I believe I'd be more bottom left. Let me make some arguments in this regard.

    We know so little about this universe that it is absolutely silly to think that for sure there isn't something far superior possessing enough knowledge to create life.

    Besides, we are like hamsters in a cage. And that cage may as well be created by someone superior to us.

    Is this creator much more powerful than us? Without a doubt. Is it almighty? No, I don't think so.

    Is it a perfect, absolute, wonderful God? I refuse to believe this. Whatever created this universe - I'm not even saying it's a being, it can literally be anything (I like to think of life as "incarnated energy"... and there is plenty of energy in the universe to incarnate itself on other planets too) - whatever created this universe, given the way it's been abandoned, might very well be a 3 year old child, and we are his toys, except now he grew up and left his toys away in a box. It is definitely a creature with its faults. (Faults that our limited minds might not even conceive).

    We are a faulty creation of a God with limited power, who refuses / doesn't bother to care about us anymore. My feeling.

    • the7egend
      +3

      Yea, this little chart makes it seem things are cut and dry, but the truth is, we are on a spinning blue marble hurtling through space, surrounded by billions if not trillions of other little marbles, and we think it was just 'there'. Or it all started from an explosion and we are expanding outwards, but where did the material for the original explosion come from.

      Then we have the other hand, a omnipotent God, who created everything, but we don't know where this God came from or who created him/her, etc. There's more questions than answers, and we have people claiming neither one is right and we've probably yet to understand even 0.001% of our true orgins in the universe.

      I think it's narrow minded to think a God couldn't exist, maybe in his/her dying breathe he created the universe and sprinkled life throughout it in hopes that his progeny would carry on creating other life eventually. But it's also narrow minded to think that everything was designed by one supreme being. Like I said, there's more questions than we'll ever have answers for, and to side wholly with one side or the other just doesn't seem right.

      History is complex and we are getting varying stories from the past making all kinds of claims that could be true or false, but the future is even more complex. The only thing we know for certain is the present, even history can be re-written.

    • Shimmer
      +2

      We know so little about this universe that it is absolutely silly to think that for sure there isn't something far superior possessing enough knowledge to create life.

      How does our ignorance of the universe imply that there's a superior being out there creating life? All the evidence we have so far indicates that life arose spontaneously here on Earth.

      • bogdan
        +3

        I feel like the fact that we are not fully aware of all the things that exist in this universe, makes it impossible for us to be positive that something which we'd consider a God does not exist. (whatever a God may be to each of us).

        • hitthee (edited 3 years ago)
          +2

          That's an interesting point friend but I must respectfully disagree.

          I suppose you can call this a difference of perspective but the problem I have with this line of thought is that it ignores how we progress and gain knowledge.

          The basic premise of that argument is that since we do not know everything we cannot know anything.

          Sadly that line of thought runs completely contrary to the long and slow process of discovery. We take in everything and through a gradual process of elimination we determine what isn't possible leaving us with the truth. We had eliminated the supernatural long ago through our discovery of, and refinement in, our understanding of physics. Sadly a God falls firmly within the supernatural. The common question "what came before" is moot as we do not know. The common retort "how do you know what came before" is also moot as it does not matter as it would have no influence on the outcome. This missing data does not mean that the answer is supernatural in nature. The creation of the universe and life must fall within the laws of physics not the supernatural.

          The lack of an answer does not make the impossible truth.

          All that being said I'd prefer it if your point of view was correct in all honesty I'd be rather happy if it was.

          • bogdan
            +4

            Thank you very much for your input. I believe this is an excellent point of view, and one I'd be happy to say I'm not at all against; God might very well not exist, and science might in the end turn out to give humanity a purpose well within the reach of our universe / space, which means we do not need to believe in anything else beyond our reach.

            I entirely support the idea that God should not, under any circumstances, fall into the "supernatural" category. God is not some sort of being who is almighty, all-knowing, and entirely perfect. If such a creature as a "God", far beyond our current understanding does exist, it is probably limited too, in my belief, as it would be illogical for it to be able to break the laws of science at will.

            But I'm just saying that maybe... look. Here's an imagination exercise, a hypothesis - somewhere out there, there is something that can travel at extreme speeds, it doesn't even have to be intelligent, just move through space like a worm, landing on planets and pooping living cells with unique DNA that inseminate worlds. What if our God is a space worm? It may sound stupid, but it is plausible. I've learned not to dismiss any possibility, as that gives us the option of sparking ideas that may actually make sense in the terms of our level of scientific knowledge.

            • hitthee (edited 3 years ago)
              +2

              Sorry for the delay in replying it took me longer to figure out how than I care to admit.

              It's nice to have a civil discussion on the topic.

              You sir or Madame are great and well informed.

              You make your points, you don't rely on insults or childish mockery to any degree and you took the time to read and digest what I said rather than assuming it was a personal attack. This is completely refreshing so thank you for that.

              You've raised several excellent points and I do like how you singled out the word "God" in quotations.

              One point I believe you've made struck me as something I hadn't considered. Please correct me if I am wrong is that the term God could merely be a linguistic sign post for a concept we have yet to develop due to limits of our understanding.

              This struck me as interesting because it would mean both our ideas are valid. Not for political correctness, lack of data or other such nonsense but because of the need to conceptualize something in order for the human brain to process it let alone to understand it. In essence taking the "divine" out of the realm of the supernatural and place it firmly in the realm of the concrete in order to understand the abstract.

              I may be off in left field here but I'd like your input on this train of thought.

            • bogdan
              +4
              @hitthee -

              Thank you for your elaborate response; it is my pleasure to try and reach a conclusion regarding this as I am absolutely not against atheism.

              I don't really believe in afterlife; and I strongly reject the rules and principles of any religion; I doubt this "God" of ours made any effort to get in contact with us. We might not even realize it if he were.

              Him trying to reach us feels like how we would be waving to our in-game character in front of a computer screen.

              I grew up in an extremely religious environment; when I found atheism I thought it made much more sense. But while reading various books (I'm mostly into science fiction literature) there was this general idea that nothing is impossible; neither is the idea of a creature above us, to be honest. No matter how flawed and limited in power it may be, there is a good chance that the complexity of the universe did not spawn by itself, and there may be something beyond this. Something that won't / doesn't even have the power to punish us for the deeds we do while alive. (my conception, which I'm willing to admit is extremely subjective)

              I keep getting this general feeling that our universe is a simulation; like we're super advanced characters in a mmorpg and there are these "Gods" watching us like we are watching a computer screen.

              There was an article posted some time ago about how men feel instinctively more attracted to women when they're on their period. And as I commented there, it astounds me how our brains do A LOT more work than we give them credit for, without us even realizing it. We are able to contemplate our existence, such as how we are having this conversation now, but a lot of our mind is guided by raw data processed by our brain without our active knowledge. We are not as amazing as we think we are, in this regard.

              Here's a related statement.

              as Nick Bostrom claims in his 2003 article, ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’ in Philosophical Quarterly, No. 211, if it becomes possible for us to build such a simulation, then we will probably do so at some time in the future, assuming that human desires and sensibilities remain much the same as they are now. He then reasons that any species which evolves within such a simulation will probably build their own simulated universe. We know that it is possible for them to do so, because they themselves exist inside a simulated universe… and it is possible to continue this nesting of universes indefinitely, each simulated universe eventually spawning intelligent species which build their own simulations. Given the near infinite number of child universes, it is more likely that we exist in one of the billions of simulations, all creating their own simulations, rather than in the single great-grandparent universe.

        • Shimmer
          +1

          Are you familiar with Russell's teapot?

          If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.

  • RenegadeMizu
    +4

    I'm in the top left. I don't personally believe that I can ever know for sure, but I'm confident enough to not believe.

  • Odd
    +4

    Top left for me. I don't believe and doubt I ever will, but I can't say for sure that a god doesn't exist.

    • Hawkins
      +5

      Same here. Excessive certainty that there couldn't possibly be a god is just as dogmatic as the opposite.

      • neg8ivezero
        +2

        Well said.

        No one can be certain of something that has no proof. That being said, the burden of proof is on the claimant.

  • a7h13f (edited 3 years ago)
    +4

    I consider myself an agnostic atheist, as indicated by the top left quadrant. However, those aren't the only two labels that describe me, and as is always the case when using labels to simplify conversations, some degree of information is lost. To that end, if a conversation becomes too focused on what labels I use, I'll drop the usage of them altogether. What's most important to me is a discussion of my position. Semantic discussions about whether someone is or isn't correctly using terminology come in a far second.

  • i208khonsu
    +4

    This chart makes no sense. An Atheist doesn't care if a God exists or not, so stating whether or not a God exists or not is irrelevant to an Atheist.

    As an atheist no theology has any impact on any of the choices I make or behaviors I express. Again, I don't care if a God exists or not; it's irrelevant to my life.

    • a7h13f
      +4

      Are you familiar with apatheism? Most would consider it a subset of atheism, but it's a bit more specific. If you're actively disinterested in the question of whether deities exist or not, I personally think that it would probably better describe your position, as atheism (at least, in my usage) is a much broader term that is used to describe someone who doesn't believe in deities.

    • neg8ivezero
      +4

      I am really confused by your post, perhaps you could elaborate a bit? I apologize, I haven't had my afternoon cup of joe yet and I'm starting to drag.

      An Atheist doesn't care if a God exists or not, so stating whether or not a God exists or not is irrelevant to an Atheist

      It is this sentiment that I am struggling with. I am an Atheist and I WOULD care if a god exists but I don't because I see no indication that he does. Is that the same thing as what you are saying?

      Basically, my position is that no one can be certain of something that has no proof and therefore I cannot be certain that there is no god, however the burden of proof rests on the claimant and no one has yet produced proof that a god does exist; therefore I see no need to entertain the notion of a god.

    • picklefingers
      +3

      Ya, I'm going to just say that is not true. Even if you don't care, you will still probably have an answer to the two above questions unless you are, as /u/a7h13f said, an apatheist, which is debatably not an atheist since you agree with neither the theists claim nor the atheists claim.

      so stating whether or not a God exists or not is irrelevant to an Atheist

      This statement makes absolutely no sense. By definition, atheism is somebody who believes that there are no gods. So by calling yourself an atheist, you have stated whether or not a god exists.

    • Shimmer
      +2

      I'm an atheist, but I definitely care whether God exists.

  • Chinky
    +4

    Upper left quadrant but the deity that the abrahamic religions believe in I feel are too contradictory to exist in such a way for it to be useful to anybody.

  • imnotgoats
    +4

    Top left, but I avoid the title 'atheist' due to its unfortunate connotations in recent times. I kind of look at it as largely unecessary to name an absence of a particular belief.

    On a side point, I wonder if the atheist community here will devolve into something similar to that mess of a sub on reddit. Obviously, I hope it doesn't!

    • hallucigenia
      +4

      Top left, but I avoid the title 'atheist' due to its unfortunate connotations in recent times. I kind of look at it as largely unecessary to name an absence of a particular belief.

      It's a useful label, due to the ubiquity of theism. If theism was a rarity, we wouldn't need to call ourselves "atheists". (It'd be like calling yourself a "non-golfer".) Coming out as an atheist can help others get over their anti-atheist prejudices.

      • imnotgoats (edited 3 years ago)
        +2

        Oh, I understand why people use it, and I'm not judging anyone else for it. I just come from a world where it's more unusual to be religious than not so, for me, it's perhaps less useful and could be perceived to be more about social alignment than philosophy.

        Edit: also, I think it's worth pointing out that when I referred to reddit's /r/atheism as a 'mess', I was directing it at the mean-spiritedness and self congratulation that seem so prevalent there.

        • hallucigenia (edited 3 years ago)
          +5

          /r/atheism is kind of an exaggeration of everything I hate about reddit. Lots of people bitching about how something is "anti-theist" and rude to religious people, or people with covert homophobia complaining about how anything pro-gay had "nothing to do with atheism". Lots of whining, negativity, and stupid drama.

    • FistfulOfStars (edited 3 years ago)
      +3

      I wonder if the atheist community here will devolve into something similar to that mess of a sub on reddit.

      This is my first online experience with this type of discussion outside of Reddit, and I have to say the civil discourse here is a welcome, and surprising change. This is definitely drastically different. I wasn't expecting that to be honest.

  • ToixStory
    +3

    I suppose I'm an Agnostic Atheist. Not that i necessarily believe that a god exists, but I believe that human understanding is so small, so limited, that we won't ever really know what's really out there unless it's revealed to us. I think the chances of a god existing are slim to none, but like anything in science I don't discount my ability or the ability of other humans to be wrong.

  • Csellite (edited 3 years ago)
    +3

    I would probably put myself under agnostic atheist. I believe in science and when viewing religion from a scientific point of view there is a massive lack of evidence if no evidence at all. This does not mean god doesn't exist. I sway my opinion based the evidence I have seen myself. I cannot claim that I know god doesn't exist because I truly do not. I see myself as open minded person and maybe one day my opinion will change but until I see more valid evidence, my opinion will remain the same.

  • septimine
    +3

    I'm lower left, but close to the middle. I believe God exists, but as far as proof, I'm not arrogant enough to say that I could prove it.

  • Zorgon
    +3

    So where do I fit if I reject the value of believing whether or not a god exists?

    Honest question. I don't care whether or not there is a god, because I don't think it's existence would alter my life's values at all.

    • snapchopsuey
      +2

      I'm on the same wavelength as well. While technically I'm in the upper left quadrant of this chart, "don't care" is far more heavily weighted for me than the subject matter of the question. I wish "don't care" was an option on surveys pertaining to the whole faith and god matter, as it would be good to know how many of us there are.

      • Zorgon
        +3

        Good to know I'm not the only one who just doesn't identify. People always give me a weird look when I tell them that and I just kind of shrug my shoulders as a response.

        • a7h13f
          +3

          Just posted this in response to another comment, but I thought you might be interested in it as well if you aren't familiar with apatheism.

          • Zorgon
            +3

            That sounds about right. Thank you!

  • zeroempathy
    +2

    I guess I'm up there all by myself in the top right. I take that extra step of claiming there are no Gods.

    • kvn
      +4

      I would never consider top right for me. Humans still have not discovered even 1% of the universe' secrets, so stating a fact that has never been proven or disproven, to be proven, is a fallacy.

    • neg8ivezero
      +3

      If you're interested, I would love to hear your reasoning behind this. What evidence do you use to justify your claim that there are no gods of any kind in the universe?

      Thanks!

      • zeroempathy
        +1

        I don't know that I would claim to have evidence or proof that there are no Gods, because I probably don't. I just feel its safe to take the leap from "there is probably no God" to "There is no God." I used to be a Christian who was full of doubt and looking for answers and asking questions. Why is there evil? If the earth is 7000 years old why are there fossils? I finally came to the conclusion that the answer is that there is no God. I suppose I consider absence of evidence evidence, when combined with all the evidence for Gods that doesn't pan out. I used to believe in flying saucers and big foot and psychic powers too. When I realized the evidence for it was continuously debunct as being by liars and frauds, I stopped believing in it.

    • Jasprosesprite2
      +2

      I'm with you on the top right. The reasoning being that it's too fucking stupid to even consider that the universe is a centralized system whereas it is more following a node system. AKA we think as ourselves "humans" to be so important their has to be a superhuman "a god" that set up everything where in fact things tends to be their own in a more chaotic way. We don't know the universe that's true but I don't think that considering that everything we lack should be filled by our "god" theory. Even if it is handy sometimes we should just accept we are some specie on some planet not better than any other specie on the same planet.

  • uSansSnoo
    +2

    What is the source of this graphic? Why aren't both Gnostic squares starred?

  • 902102213
    +2

    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." – Stephen Roberts

  • Bazill
    +2

    I would think that most people are agnostic. Of course you have preachers and others who devote their lives to their particular religion who are purely Gnostic Theists but I feel that most logical people would at some point have to admit that there is zero hard proofs to their particular beliefs. I was raised Christian but over time my beliefs diluted to believing that there very well might be some higher power out there. However this higher power has never once tried to connect with me, and I've never seen any good proof to suggest that there might be so I'm open to the idea of there being no god. Part of me wants there to be a higher power, that my conscience and stream of existence is far more than just an illusion caused by a super computer in my head, but maybe that's just merely childlike imaginings.

    • kvn
      +2

      I personally hate Gnostic Atheists...I can imagine everyone of them is smug. I'm stereotyping and generalizing..but I find absolutely 0 reason to be so certain that there is no god, when we have barely touched upon the mastering of knowledge.

      • Bazill
        +1

        Of course! While it's easy to suggest that religion was created for the sole purpose of finding explanations for things that we have no knowledge for, we still do not know absolutely everything. To claim with absolute certainty that we know anything is smug in its own right. Especially in religious terms, that's annoying.

  • Pockets69
    +2

    Agnostic Atheist, just because i can't prove that god doesn't exist, but to be honest even if god would exist, it wouldn't be how most people depict him.

  • westieslant
    +2

    I don't know where I fall in this, I have no belief if God exists or doesn't exists.

  • Celtore (edited 3 years ago)
    +2

    I consider myself towards the upper right. Sure there's a 0.0001% chance there is a god, but I care about significant digits. If something's existance has been reduced to mythological creature status like a phoenix, a cockatrice or a dragon, I can think with confidence that it's not worth the time entertaining the idea.

    • kvn
      +2

      You DO understand a god doesn't necessarily mean something like an animal, right? A god can be anything, aliens, etc.

      • Celtore (edited 3 years ago)
        +2

        If it makes you feel better, ignore the examples I gave and I'll reword my statement.

        Once something has become or is unlikely enough, I will dismiss it. Otherwise, you would have a mind so open that your brain will fall out. It doesn't matter if we're discussing gods, ghosts, zombies, spiritual energies, mythological creatures or even aliens, everyone has a certain breaking point or reality filter and this just happens to be one thing that doesn't get through mine. Just look at all the ridiculous things North Korea spurts out as another example. There's an incredibly small chance they were being honest about discovering a secret miracle drug which cures MERS, AIDS, Cancer and Ebola, but the existence of this drug is dismissed by just about everyone with free will because of how insanely unlikely it is. Frankly, I'd say it's more probable that dragons exist.

  • double2
    +2

    Bottom right. But I'm a pantheist. I believe most arguments over God are fundamentally derailed over semantics. If you don't know what "God" is, it becomes a placeholder name for a greater power, and what greater power is there than the concept of the meta?

    • Shimmer
      +2

      But how do you know there's a "greater power" in the first place?

      • double2
        +2

        Because everything put together is the greatest power of all. It's a logical truth. You can then choose to call that God or not. It's just a device, bit then again my belief is that all religions use the term as a device to describe the same thing, just perhaps their texts may be abstracted from the fact.

        • Shimmer
          +1

          I think most people use the word "God" to describe a divine being with supernatural powers, such as omnipotence, omniscience, etc. Your usage seems different.

          • double2
            +1

            Actually, a lot of the time, people state that God is a force rather than a consciousness. The ideas of omnipotence and omniscience, as you mention, mainly serve to remind those discussing the matter of how the sum of all human knowledge that will ever be attained, will always be lesser than "God", which could just as easily be a mathematical constant to be in awe of the concept of, as it could be a conscious being

            Bear in mind, however, that if God is everything, and some things are conscious, God is therefore conscious in part. When you look at it that way, you see why God might "move in mysterious ways", as his consciousness is actually an emergent phenomenon manifested through the sum of all conscious beings.

  • StickyKees
    +2

    Agnostic Atheist. I always find claiming to know something you can't prove is an unwise policy.

  • Shimmer
    +2

    Top left. I'd love to be wrong about the non-existence of God.

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