Dawkins Scale (theist-atheist)

Where are you on the Dawkins scale?


  • Total voters
    98
#1
This latest religion/spirituality thread got me thinking. It has seemed to me for some time that the population on this forum leans towards the higher numbers on the Dawkins scale. I would like to see some actual data, and see if I am correct in this.

I don't plan on arguing with anyone, or making some attempt to change anyone's beliefs. I just want the data. Feel free to substitute 'gods' or 'god-like entities' or 'many gods who are one' for God. The God involved need not be the Christian god specifically.

Here's how the scale goes:

Richard Dawkins’ Belief Scale Scoring Rubric


1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.

2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.

3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.

4. Pure Agnostic: God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.

5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be skeptical.

6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.


Here are some quotes taken from this site. I did not confirm their veracity.

Jesus of Nazareth (John 3:16): “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." score: 1.0

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Martin Luther King Jr. "A physical heaven and a physical hell are inconceivable in a Copernican world ... for us immortality will mean a spiritual existence." score: 2.8

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Pascal’s Wager (Blaise Pascal): If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having, neither parts nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what He is or if He is. [So] you must wager. Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that he is.” score: 3.4

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Woody Allen: “If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank” score: 3.9

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Albert Einstein: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." score: 4.0

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Thomas Jefferson: “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” score: 4.2

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Mark Twain: “The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it...” score: 4.8

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Buddha: Neither deny or accept a creator. score: 5.0

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Carl Sagan: “An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone
who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very
stupid” score: 5.5

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Richard Dawkins: "On a scale of seven, where one means I know he exists, and seven I know he doesn't, I call myself a six. That doesn't mean I'm absolutely confident, that I absolutely know, because I don't." score 6.0

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Christopher Hitchens: “Once you assume a creator and a plan, it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well, and over us to supervise this is installed a celestial dictatorship. A kind of divine North Korea.” score: 7.0
 

Silatuyok

Well-known member
#2
I consider myself an atheist, but I acknowledge that that is part of my belief system. I have faith there is no god in the same way that I used to have faith that there is a god. Obviously there is no way for me to be absolutely certain, because I don't know every single thing there is to know about everything. But, it makes sense to me and fits into my world view, so I accept it as my own personal truth. I have no problem with anyone else thinking otherwise. More power to you if you can find comfort in your faith in god.
 
#3
If he could be measured or proved he would not be God. One who could prove his existence would be god himself. That's why you are supposed to believe instead of know. I believe in an almighty god.
 

Starry

Well-known member
#4
I should clarify my poll result - I chose 2, but my actual feelings are between 2 and 3, though slightly closer to 2.

I must add though, surely the Buddha quote is a 4 not a 5, since it's equal between denying and accepting, not leaning towards the former...

Also, I realise it's the quotes which are being scored, but a few of the people quoted were actually Deists or Pantheists... meaning they would have lower numbers than the quotes have been assigned...

But I'm just being pedantic, so don't mind me.
 
#7
If he could be measured or proved he would not be God. One who could prove his existence would be god himself. That's why you are supposed to believe instead of know. I believe in an almighty god.
I suspected this problem might come up--is the wording of 'know' versus 'believe' that important to you? I tried to clarify the sentiment that I don't need the precise wording of the scale to fit everyone--it never would. Beliefs on religion are simply too variable.
 

Section_31

Well-known member
#8
i dont normally talk about my beliefs because to me its somthing very personal and private, that and i never want others to think im trying to influence or interfere. I respect and admire everyones beliefs.

I believe in SOMTHING. A creator. somthing. god, the giant hand, call it flutergork if you want. But i think the major organized religions have it skewed. I dont know. Im constantly changing my mind on it, another reason why i dont talk about it.

Now if you asked me if i believe in somthing after the physical world, i would have said yes. While some may equate afterlife to existence of god, i dont. Not necesarily. I can see scientific reason why we may continue to exist after biological death, and not necesarily because of any devine interference. There are things which, to me personally, is evidence of this. But that goes into a whole other line of thinking.

Some days i dont know what to believe. I believe if there is a god, that he washed his hands of us a long time ago because we were too much trouble.

If i can go all star trekkian for a second, i actually like klingon beliefs. Ancient klingons slew their gods millenia ago, they were found to be more trouble than they were worth, LOL.
 

Flanscho

Well-known member
#9
Strong atheist here. I think that people have the right to do whatever they want to, as long as it doesn't include harming others. So other people can also believe whatever they want, in my opinion, as long as they don't harm others.

But it's my opinion that no god exists. Sometimes I think it would be at times nice to be able to be spiritual in some way. But I can't believe in something when I doubt its existence.

Religion is a private matter in my opinion. If a person believes in a god that wants him/her to pray to him every 20 minutes during daytime and every 3 hours at night, then I fully support that persons right to do exactly that. But I lose any respect for that person as soon as he/she tries to force others to do the same. Discuss his/her belief with me? Sure. Try to convince me? Yeah, why not. Try to force me? There we cross a line.

The question is also what "harming others" includes. For example, when certain parents tell their children that the earth is 6000 years old, do they harm them? Not physically, but by brainwashing them into believing things that are obviously not true.

Or think about circumcision. The foreskin is extremely sensitive. Sex with it is very different from having sex without it. You become less sensitive. Or in other words: you lose a part of your senses. Like becoming half blind, for example. If an adult person wants to cut off a part of his/her body because of some belief: why not? His/her body, his/her decision.

But cutting off parts of defenseless children, robbing them of parts of their senses? I don't run around trying to prevent that. But I think it's wrong.
 
#10
I should clarify my poll result - I chose 2, but my actual feelings are between 2 and 3, though slightly closer to 2.

I must add though, surely the Buddha quote is a 4 not a 5, since it's equal between denying and accepting, not leaning towards the former...

Also, I realise it's the quotes which are being scored, but a few of the people quoted were actually Deists or Pantheists... meaning they would have lower numbers than the quotes have been assigned...

But I'm just being pedantic, so don't mind me.
Yes, I wouldn't be an integer either. Most people wouldn't, I think. Hard to put that in the poll options though.

And yeah, the quotes aren't really what I expect people to go by. I just found them interesting.
 
#12
Number 1 for me. But i don't think God is a he, or a she. God simply is.
Thank you, rosewood. A good bit of this was copy-and-paste. I hadn't even thought of the whole 'gender issue' thing of God. I appreciate your voting your heart in spite of the wording of the poll.

Clarification: faith and knowledge are two different things, but for the purpose of this poll I'm will to accept them being used interchangeably. Where it says 'know' you can use 'believe' if you like. I am more interested in where people stand than semantics.
 
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#14
Strong atheist here. I think that people have the right to do whatever they want to, as long as it doesn't include harming others. So other people can also believe whatever they want, in my opinion, as long as they don't harm others.

But it's my opinion that no god exists. Sometimes I think it would be at times nice to be able to be spiritual in some way. But I can't believe in something when I doubt its existence.

Religion is a private matter in my opinion. If a person believes in a god that wants him/her to pray to him every 20 minutes during daytime and every 3 hours at night, then I fully support that persons right to do exactly that. But I lose any respect for that person as soon as he/she tries to force others to do the same. Discuss his/her belief with me? Sure. Try to convince me? Yeah, why not. Try to force me? There we cross a line.

The question is also what "harming others" includes. For example, when certain parents tell their children that the earth is 6000 years old, do they harm them? Not physically, but by brainwashing them into believing things that are obviously not true.

Or think about circumcision. The foreskin is extremely sensitive. Sex with it is very different from having sex without it. You become less sensitive. Or in other words: you lose a part of your senses. Like becoming half blind, for example. If an adult person wants to cut off a part of his/her body because of some belief: why not? His/her body, his/her decision.

But cutting off parts of defenseless children, robbing them of parts of their senses? I don't run around trying to prevent that. But I think it's wrong.
It seems to me you don´t believe in God, because you imagine him as some man on the sky ordering people to do absurd things and follow rigid rituals.
For me it´s just rather impersonal natural force and intelligence. But that doesn´t mean I think it would be OK if people behaved like wild beasts, on the contrary they should cultivate humanity, which is higher than animal bloodthirsty instincts. I believe in morality, love and forgiveness, and not in eye for eye toth for tooth. I won´t be going into lenghty discussion why, someone might say it´s not "logical", but for me it´s the only alternative to the other alternative which is stupid. Love is creative force, evil is destructive. And God is creative and harmonious IMO. If he was destructive and chaotic, he would be devil.
 

Flanscho

Well-known member
#15
It seems to me you don´t believe in God, because you imagine him as some man on the sky ordering people to do absurd things and follow rigid rituals.
I don't believe that any sort of deity exists, because there is, in my opinion, no reason for one to exist. No need. There exists, in my opinion, no hints, no evidence, no theory, that would support the existence of a deity. And so I can't believe in one. Whether it's some force or a physical person doesn't really matter to me, as long as there exists for me no reason to believe.

If our galaxy would all of a sudden take the shape of the letters "I am God, I exist", I might... I don't know. I might believe. But it might also just be the result of the actions of some very advanced species of some sort. Even that would be no proof.

Love is creative force, evil is destructive. And God is creative and harmonious IMO. If he was destructive and chaotic, he would be devil.
For me, love is just some form of affection. It's no force. Same as "the evil" and "the good" don't exist to me. They are just conventions we agreed upon.
 
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