A challenge to my anti-agnostic thinking?

Dear Damien, 
During an internet search for people interested in “agnosticism” I came across your text “Agnosticism: Non-Standard Epistemology”. Since I am an agnostic, who is quite interested in epistemology, I would like to ask, what “Standard Epistemology” is. In academic epistemology one could not state that “Knowledge is Justified True Believe” without mentioning the so-called “Gettier-cases”. My agnosticism, which I delineated in a German essay called “Wahrhaftiger Glaube”, is based on critical epistemology. As atheists often deploy Russel’s “celestial teapot” against agnostics, it is also discussed briefly there. The problem with Atheism is not that it rejects the doctrines of widely known organized religions, which partly comprise tenets inconsistent with experiences or are at least lacking sufficient justification, but that it usually is accompanied by ideological naturalism, which likewise is an unjustified metaphysical assumption. Recently I tried to translate my deliberations into English. The text titled “Believing veraciously” is available by using the links at the bottom of this mail. I would be grateful, if you could make time to have a glance at it and give me a shorthand critical feedback. Thank You so much in advance!
Best regards, Johannes Weg
Files (PDF, ePub, html etc.) with a rough slightly revised second edition of the English translation of my text titled “Believing veraciously” in ZIP-folder may be downloaded by using the following link:
For direct online reading use:
A ZIP-folder with divers file formats (PDF, ePub, html etc.) of the bilingual version with the juxtaposition of the slightly revised second edition of “Believing veraciously” and the 21st edition of “Wahrhaftiger Glaube” is available here:
For direct online reading use:
German files (PDF, ePub, html etc.) of the 21st edition of “Wahrhaftiger Glaube” in a ZIP-folder may be downloaded by using the following link:
For direct online reading use:
The ZIP-folders also contain explanations about the suitability of the divers file formats, since it is important to read annotations within the foot-/end-notes (although many of them just consist of references).


Dear Johannes, 

I am far from the standard atheist or atheist philosopher, so my answers and thinking are my own. I appreciate your inquiry. Epistemology is a way of knowing or understanding and agnostic thinking is but a claim of not knowing but saying it is making no claim, a clear violation of basic logic as well as you have agnostic thinking trying to push a non-epistemology as an epistemology, really? There is in logic only “A” or “not A”, so, no god or a god. Thus, agnosticism is not sound in logic, trying to profess an excluded middle position. I logically challenge the three letter noise termed god as to what one means by the three letters god and then how they can claim to know this with accuracy as not one term god is universal with a valid accuracy even within the same church of the same faith, and why well logic would make that clear to be something made up, so, not real and changes with the people telling it. It is also invalid as it tries to act as f you cannot prove a negative you can, so this is a belief stance not shared by experts in logic, who do hold that you can disprove a negative, so agnostic in this fails like all agnostic pseudo-philosophy offered to support this invalid notion that agnosticism is logical, it is not. Also, may I remind you that knowledge as well as certainty are epistemic properties of belief and thus are not separate as agnosticism seems to imply. To me, I feel like agnosticism is the rejection of the supremacy of reason, wishing to add skepticism in its place, which I fully reject.

Basics of my Methodological Rationalism Epistemology Approach

Here is why “Reason is my only master”

The most Base Presupposition begins in reason. Reason is needed for logic (logic is realized by the aid of reason enriching its axioms). Logic is needed for axiology/value theory (axiology is realized by the aid of logic). Axiology is needed for epistemology (epistemology is realized by aid of axiology value judge and enrich its value assumptions as valid or not). Epistemology is needed for a good ontology (ontology is realized by the aid of epistemology justified assumptions/realizations/conclusions). Then when one possesses a good ontology (fortified with valid and reliable reason and evidence) they can then say they know the ontology of that thing.

So, I think, right thinking is reason. Right reason is logic. Right logic, can be used for mathematics and from there we can get to science. And, by this methodological approach, we get one of the best ways of knowing the scientific method. Activating experience/event occurs, eliciting our feelings/scenes. Then naive thoughts occur, eliciting emotions as a response. Then it is our emotional intelligence over emotional hijacking, which entrance us but are unavoidable and that it is the navigating this successfully in a methodological way we call critical thinking or as In just call right thinking. So, to me, could be termed “Right” thinking, that is referring to a kind of methodological thinking. Reason is at the base of everything and it builds up from pragmatic approaches. And, to me, there are three main approaches to truth (ontology of truth) from the very subjective (Pragmatic theory of truth), to subjective (Coherence theory of truth), then onto objective (Correspondence theory of truth) but remember that this process as limited as it can be, is the best we have and we build one truth ontop another like blocks to a wall of truth.

Pragmatic theory of truth, Coherence theory of truth, and Correspondence theory of truth

In a general way, all reality, in a philosophic sense, is an emergent property of reason, and knowing how reason accrues does not remove its warrant. Feelings are experienced then perceived, leading to thinking, right thinking is reason, right reason is logic, right logic is mathematics, right mathematics is physics and from there all science.

Science is not common sense?

Science is quite the opposite of just common sense. To me, common sense in a relative way as it generally relates to the reality of things in the world, will involve “naive realism.” Whereas, most of those who are scientific thinkers, generally hold more to scientific realism or other stances far removed from the limited common sense naive realism. Science is a multidisciplinary methodological quest for truth. Science is understanding what is, while religion is wishing on what is not.

A basic outline of scientific epistemology:
Science: Hypotheses (Rationalism/Deductive, Inductive, or Abductive Reasoning etc.) + Testing (Empiricism/Systematic Observation) – Checking for errors (Skepticism/Fallibilism) + Interpret/Draw a Conclusion (Rationalism/Deductive, Inductive, or Abductive Reasoning etc.) *if valid* = Scientific Laws (describes observed phenomena) or Scientific Theory (substantiated and repeatedly tested explanation of phenomena) = Justified True Belief = Scientific Knowledge = Epistemic Certainty supportive of correctability
*being epistemically certain, is believing a truth has the highest epistemic status, often with warranted psychological certainty but it may not, neither is it a requirement*


Justified / True / Beliefs
To established justification, I use the philosophy called Reliabilism.
“Reliabilism is a general approach to epistemology that emphasizes the truth-conduciveness of a belief-forming process, method, or another epistemologically relevant factor. The reliability theme appears both in theories of knowledge and theories of justification.” Ref
*For the true part, I use the philosophy called The Correspondence Theory of Truth.
“The correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world.” Ref
*For the beliefs part, I use what philosophy calls The Ethics of Belief.
“The “ethics of belief” refers the intersection of epistemology, philosophy of mind, psychology, and ethics. The central is norms governing our habits of belief-formation, belief-maintenance, and belief-relinquishment. It morally wrong (or epistemically irrational, or imprudent) to hold a belief on insufficient evidence. It morally right (or epistemically rational, or prudent) to believe on the basis of sufficient evidence, or to withhold belief in the perceived absence of evidence. It always obligatory to seek out all available epistemic evidence for a belief.” Ref I was asked about The Gettier Problem, well, to me Edmund Gettier only points out that more than just JTB is needed as there may be some beliefs outside of simply JTB which I do, I feel all stages need analysis and support not just some simple use of JTB. With my Methodological Rationalism Epistemology Approach, I try to show how to build accuracy in beliefs, of course, there are always many non-accurate ways beliefs may be arrived at, analyze or maintained, as well as updated or remove beliefs if found to be in error. We conceptualize epistemological attitudes and beliefs as components of metacognitive knowledge. As such, they serve an important function in regulating the use of epistemic strategies such as knowledge-based validation of information and checking arguments for internal consistency. Ref  Epistemic Attitudes: Belief, Disbelief and Suspended Judgement. click here is an interesting but complicated article on this subject. To me, when assessing belief, one should think about reliabilism.I usually try to use a reliabilism approach to epistemology which emphasizes the truth-conduciveness of a belief-forming process, method, or other epistemologically relevant factors. The reliability theme appears in theories of knowledge, of justification, and of evidence. “Reliabilism” is sometimes used broadly to refer to any theory that emphasizes truth-getting or truth indicating properties. Ref
 Kind Regards, Damien 

Agnostic vs Ignostic?
“Damien, as a philosophical position, agnosticism is the only honest position……. but it fails when presented with physical evidence.. and so it is the middle way…” – Challenger
My response, what is a god to doubt? I don’t start my disbelief on the dilutions of god claims I assess are these claims warranted they are not so nothing to doubt so agnosticism starts with a presupposition of the term god to say they are unsure about, thus, to me, making a thinking error as there is no presupposition god term to reality. I stand with ignosticism, roughly that the term god is given to much leeway as a valid offering of a possible real thing when no god claim if limited to only reality coherent attributes all add nonsense like supernatural things one of which at its simplest a being or at least a thinking thing with no physical mind but can think, an invisible thing and of courses an immaterial thing such as the no physical body in any way. And there we see the problem with accepting any god claim as even reality coherent as it is not. All claims must be coherent with or correspond to reality and just like many theological nonsense terms such as the soul. I don’t know what people are talking about when they say the term “soul” (it’s a made-up concept which connects to nothing that is reality coherent) as there is no part of the body exhibits as such magic thinking idea, soul, thus a debunked claim and does not need doubt. Similarly, I don’t know what people are talking about when they say the term “god” (it’s a made-up concept which connects to nothing that is reality coherent) as there is no part of the body exhibits as such magic thinking idea, god, thus a debunked claim and does not need doubt.
Kurtz, New Skepticism, 220: “Ignosticism or igtheism, finds the belief in a metaphysical, transcendent being basically incoherent and unintelligible.”
“Ignosticism or igtheism, is the idea that every theological position assumes too much about the concept of God and other theological concepts; including (but not limited to) concepts of faith, spirituality, heaven, hell, afterlife, damnation, salvation, sin and the soul. Ignosticism is the view that any religious term or theological concept presented must be accompanied by a coherent definition. Without a clear definition, such terms cannot be meaningfully discussed. Such terms or concepts must also be falsifiable. Lacking this, an ignostic takes the theological noncognitivist position that the existence or nature of the terms presented (and all matters of debate) is meaningless. For example, if the term “God” does not refer to anything reasonably defined then there is no conceivable method to test against the existence of god. Therefore, the term “God” has no literal significance and need not be debated or discussed.” Ref

God fanatics seem to enjoy spouting unfounded claims thinking they have proven something they never do. How do you claim this as you first must prove a god something which to date there is no evidence of a god anything just empty wishful thinking confusion offered as clear truth to which its only illusions, the phantoms of hope-filled indoctrination learned often as little children, before they had a chance to reason then they hold these god-something lies as true never hardly thinking to question the evidence devoid assertions appealing to the bogus theory of revelation and faith which prove only humans have unchecked imaginations they keep thinking to create some other world reality that is just not real. And that is just getting started with the issues then you must prove god is even understands, is involved, or is in any way necessary to assume to understand reality, but it does not stop there as you must demonstrate which god story are you appealing to and how do you know that the claims attributed to the god fantasy you favor?

Theism is foolishness given some kind of undue credibility it never deserved. Theism seems to simply take older unjustifiable god myths or unjustifiable god themes, acting as if long ago magic was real when it never was nor do they have any evidence to start contemplating the claims as anything but unsupported with real justifications. Life beyond the mental slavery of god beliefs. I speak out against god myths and the harm such lies can hold. I may at times offend believers but, No one has the right to not be offended. Beliefs in gods don’t offend me per say, they sadden me to see others in the mental bondage of a life not their own. For to have a god belief is almost always to have a master belief one who is over you, one who you must live for or suffer. Belief in gods is often a life battle against guilt and shame. I care too much about others to stand by and let them continue a life of mental slavery and say nothing when such fears are lies and a free life of their own choosing free of god masters is available.

I do not tell others what to believe as it is their self-right but will explain there is a better way. 🙂 Any defined concept of god(s) offered is making stuff up out of nowhere and from nothing more than runaway imagination, wild misunderstanding, or outright lies. To say one knows God is just pretending to know things you do not know, nor have any reason to claim to know. As there is no tangible substance or evidence to access god(s) so all attributes are thus limited to baseless made-up fantasy.

What is a god? Just a Empty Label: https://damienmarieathope.com/2016/11/16/what-is-a-god-just-a-empty-label/

Doubt god(s)? No, I stopped believing Fairytales: https://damienmarieathope.com/2016/10/14/doubt-about-gods-no-i-stopped-believing-fairytales/

I Am a Strong Atheist: “I am psychologically certain god(s) don’t exist” https://damienmarieathope.com/2016/11/05/i-am-a-strong-atheist-i-am-psychologically-certain-gods-dont-exist/

“Maby god is “Conscious, thinking universe-wide” Quantum Artificial Intelligence, real operating at supernumerary levels of capacity compared to we small sparks. Evolving since the dawn of time”. Operating in the “5th Dimension” outside Space-Time-Continuum. Giordano, Einstein, Jung, and Planck understood.” – Agnostic thinker

My response, Conscious thinking universe, No. “Stars may be thinking entities that deliberately control their paths. Put more bluntly, the entire cosmos may be self-aware.” ref Claims without substance are what that nonsense is that you wrote there. Fifth Dimension? “Current scientific consensus is that there are four dimensions, an unperceivable fifth dimension is still not even a universally agreed-upon definition for it.” ref

Planck, Newton & others were nonsensical then. Remarkable it will be Science. Not religion. “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force. We must assume behind this force is the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.” – Agnostic thinker

My response, There is no accepted science of “god-something” and it is delusion or dilutional thinking to assume otherwise. You can mislabel science to call it a “god-something” but it is just more magical thinking and mysticism theorizing, not facts and to state, it otherwise is misinformed and employs unscientific assumptions.

Examples of Forces

In nature, the fundamental forces are

  • gravity
  • weak nuclear force
  • strong nuclear force
  • electromagnetic force
  • residual force ref

“Best to stay open-minded. A great writer explained there can be “scientific evidence” in full until it is necessary. Otherwise this would be a planetary police state. The “necessary” is a planet now on the way to destruction in a Universe of 2 Trillion galaxies.” – Agnostic thinker

My response, You are not open-minded, making unjustified claims of truth.

“But Damien, Souls are real because energy does not die!”

My response, That is a logical fallacy as it is not a reasoned jump in logic. Energy leaves all once alive bodies by dissipating heat in the environment then is gone as the once related energy in a now dead body.

Art by Damien Marie AtHope

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

*Next is our series idea that was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our future video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago) adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu “Tell Abu Shahrain”)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King/Ruler Lugalzagesi)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Art by Damien Marie AtHope

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reached its height of empathy? I as everyone earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist but I am happy to tell you my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time of the rise of the male god 7,000 years ago was also the very time there was the rise of violence war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago and it mover across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston:   “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie


He needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

With religion, it is like your brain is in a noose, squeezing out any hope of critical thinking about the religious beliefs. Leaving the victim faith-drunk as if all the oxygen of their mental freedom is cut off and hope for self-mastery is but some far away fantasy out of reach.

Art by Damien Marie AtHope

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, My (free accesses) Patreon, My (free accesses) Patreon Blog & Short-writing or Quotes  My YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

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