Agnostic belief
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23-05-2011, 12:41 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
Y'know, it might be worth it to put a sticky thread on the definitions of atheism, theism, gnosticism, and agnosticism up at the top of the page. Tongue

Seriously, though, it's no big deal if you didn't get the definitions right. Most people don't. You haven't been exposed to the topic for very long, so don't sweat it.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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23-05-2011, 12:46 PM
 
RE: Agnostic belief
(23-05-2011 10:20 AM)Kthulu Wrote:  Atheism is a metaphysical stance: the supernatural does not exist.

Agnositicism is an epistemological stance: it is not possible to know whether or not the supernatural exists.

When put together, these stances modify each other: the agnostic atheist is one who has no evidentiary basis (factual knowledge) for belief in the supernatural; to the best of his knowledge then, the agnostic atheist lacks belief in the supernatural because there is no supporting evidence to convince him otherwise.

Does this make sense?

That's one of the best definitions of the two I've ever seen.
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23-05-2011, 12:54 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(23-05-2011 12:46 PM)bird Wrote:  
(23-05-2011 10:20 AM)Kthulu Wrote:  Atheism is a metaphysical stance: the supernatural does not exist.

Agnositicism is an epistemological stance: it is not possible to know whether or not the supernatural exists.

When put together, these stances modify each other: the agnostic atheist is one who has no evidentiary basis (factual knowledge) for belief in the supernatural; to the best of his knowledge then, the agnostic atheist lacks belief in the supernatural because there is no supporting evidence to convince him otherwise.

Does this make sense?

That's one of the best definitions of the two I've ever seen.

That'd be because it's the correct one.

Kthulu generally knows his stuff.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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23-05-2011, 04:04 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(23-05-2011 12:07 PM)TheThinkingAgnostic Wrote:  And as for you Ashley, I apologize if I came off on the wrong foot, but when I was confronted with my mom about being an agnostic, she thought I meant athiest and I had to clearly define the two

No hard feelings. I didn't even pick up on anything mean you said(and my apologizes if I came off as rude). Just a brief exchange of idea, which is the fuel of humanity and progression.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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24-05-2011, 06:50 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
Hey, Lilith.

Lilith Pride Wrote:The laws for skepticism state that there is no reason to give any credence to an idea, until supporting evidence exists where is the reason to even doubt your stance?

In reading your post, I managed to unlock what I believe myself. Thank you.

My position is: there is no reason to give any credence to any idea, only to understand its place within a given social construct.

I live by my boy George EP Box. All models are wrong, but some are useful Cool

Hey, Kthulu.

Kthulu Wrote:Atheism is a metaphysical stance: the supernatural does not exist.

Isn't Atheism just not-Theism? Isn't the idea that the supernatural does not exist an assertion?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-05-2011, 07:19 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(24-05-2011 06:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Lilith.
In reading your post, I managed to unlock what I believe myself. Thank you.
Glad to finally be in agreement with you. You never know where you'll find inspiration that's why it's so great for us all to sit here discussing things that for some have been discussed so often.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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24-05-2011, 07:21 PM
RE: Agnostic belief
(24-05-2011 06:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  
Kthulu Wrote:Atheism is a metaphysical stance: the supernatural does not exist.

Isn't Atheism just not-Theism? Isn't the idea that the supernatural does not exist an assertion?

Actually, you're right. I missed that mistake myself.

Though Kthulu might have just meant "god" by "the supernatural".

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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24-05-2011, 08:35 PM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2011 08:39 PM by nontheocrat.)
RE: Agnostic belief
Although I consider myself both agnostic (unable to know) and atheist (without belief), I personally hate the way agnosticism is used as a "safe" position for people who do not believe but are afraid of the dreaded "A" word.

I work with a woman who is an atheist, however she denies it. She says she is agnostic, yet cannot say she is a believer in any god. When I ask her if she believes in a god, she refuses to answer the question. She says "I don't know if a god exists or not", to which I always reply, "I didn't ask for what you know, I asked what you believe."

IMO the real question here is the definition of the word "god". If you get specific as the deity defined in the Bible as most Christians see him then I am certain he does not exist (a hardcore atheist vs Jehovah). That being said, I'm sure someone can come up with definitions that are so vague that I could not have the same level of certainty making me more agnostic. I always reply to theists, tell me what your god is, and I'll tell you whether I am agnostic or atheist about him/her/it.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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24-05-2011, 09:10 PM
 
RE: Agnostic belief
This conversation is the same as would occur if we found a room full of Theists discussing what constitutes "god". Varying degree's of opinion, alleged proofs, simple logic and resounding certainty.

I would say per the Dawkins scale, that I'm a full on 7 when it comes to the notion of the god of religions probability of existence. If the limited lower intelligence, in comparison to anything qualified to be considered higher and thus a supreme being to the human being, does exist, then in order for it to live up to that reputation of higher intelligence it must surpass anything and everything the human imagination can conceive and label, god.

So setting that 7 aside, I will say as science is always trying to answer the why and what cause, behind all that exists and energizes it, that whatever that is it certainly isn't anything humans would call god, unless certain humans are simply reaching for something to substantiate that three letter word by definition. Creator and ruler of the universe. That in and of itself, begs the question what created the creator? And if the creator is god then that what created it can not be so labeled because it is it's source.

I had someone ask me once, do you believe in god? I said, no. Their eyes widened, their breath caught and they looked as if suddenly they were in a panic. At a loss for what to say next, because that answer never occurred to them. Well, they stammered, you do believe in something don't you? Yes, chocolate frosted double stuffed Bavarian cream donuts! Smile
Besides that? I asked, wide eyed too and sounding innocent.
Well yes, the woman said, a bit miffed now but at least her panic had subsided.
I believe in power. I believe in energy. I believe something sought yet to be found is what causes you to ask me that question. As for your mythologies written for primitive minds seeking to aspire higher even as faith alone, I do not believe in those at all.
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26-05-2011, 09:30 AM
 
RE: Agnostic belief
(23-05-2011 04:16 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Although this topic has been beaten so severely on this forum that the horse has begun to bloat and smell, I guess it's something that will always be re-visited as more people show up..

To begin, not everyone agrees with the following, but the majority here would agree. I just don't want to imply that I speak for everyone.

Gnostic/agnostic refers to knowledge.

Theist/atheist refers to belief.


I am an agnostic atheist. That means I don't know if there is a god, and that I don't believe there is a god.
The majority of people who are labeled "atheist" are agnostic atheists. I know of few atheists that claim they can be certain that there is no god, only that there is not enough evidence to convince them to believe in one.

That's the jist of it. There is a great deal of debate on the finer points though. A search of thread titles for "atheist, agnostic" should turn up some interesting debate on the subject. Or give 'er in this thread, though I don't suspect you'll get a whole lot of bites from the members that have been around for this debate a few times already.

Thanks. That clarifies things for me too. I guess I'm an agnostic atheist too then Big Grin
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