Poll: What best describes those agnostic about God
This poll is closed.
Gutless Atheists 8.33% 2 8.33%
Dreamers 0% 0 0%
Off track and annoying 4.17% 1 4.17%
Deeper Thinkers 8.33% 2 8.33%
Other? 75.00% 18 75.00%
Uneducated 4.17% 1 4.17%
Total 24 votes 100%
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Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
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10-10-2015, 10:08 AM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2015 10:11 AM by GenesisNemesis.)
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(10-10-2015 09:42 AM)3DJ Wrote:  
(09-10-2015 07:11 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  The problem I have with agnostics is they tend to argue that "we can't know that a god doesn't exist", even though an atheist is simply someone who lacks belief in gods. If you do not believe in any gods, you are an atheist.

Broadly, there is "I don't know", as in a complete lack of certainty (I don't know where my keys are...no clue...not compatible with having a belief), and narrowly there is "I don't know", as in a lack of complete certainty. Broadly, there is a-theist, as in "not a theist", and narrowly there is athe(os)-ist, as in "someone who believes no gods exist".

From my experience, people using just the "agnostic" label tend to use the broad definition of "agnostic" and a narrow definition of "atheist". People who label themselves "atheist", first, tend to use the narrow definition of "agnostic", and a broad definition of "atheist".

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Do you disagree that someone is an atheist if they lack belief?
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10-10-2015, 04:09 PM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(10-10-2015 10:08 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  Do you disagree that someone is an atheist if they lack belief?

I prefer using the narrow definition of atheist, myself. I think the broad definition is illogical and somewhat dishonest.

Matt Dillahunty gives an analogy of a large glass jar full of gumballs. The total number is either odd or even. Using that analogy...

Someone who has a belief that there is an odd number of gumballs, can clearly be called an odd-ist. Someone who has a belief that there is an even number of gumballs, can be clearly called an even-ist. Some of them might also claim complete certainty, making them -gnostics.

Now, that still leaves no belief, at all...someone who's suspending judgement. I don't find it logical, or honest, to broaden the definition of oddist to mean, not an evenist, or broaden the definition of evenist to mean, not an oddist.

Quote:"In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word 'atheism' may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. 'Whyever', it could be asked, 'don't you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?'" ~ Antony Flew, 1984
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10-10-2015, 06:26 PM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
I think they are ether misinformed and think that agnostic is some special third option from theism and atheism or just a pussy atheist too afraid to call themselves the big A.


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10-10-2015, 06:34 PM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(10-10-2015 04:09 PM)3DJ Wrote:  
(10-10-2015 10:08 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  Do you disagree that someone is an atheist if they lack belief?

I prefer using the narrow definition of atheist, myself. I think the broad definition is illogical and somewhat dishonest.

Matt Dillahunty gives an analogy of a large glass jar full of gumballs. The total number is either odd or even. Using that analogy...

Someone who has a belief that there is an odd number of gumballs, can clearly be called an odd-ist. Someone who has a belief that there is an even number of gumballs, can be clearly called an even-ist. Some of them might also claim complete certainty, making them -gnostics.

Now, that still leaves no belief, at all...someone who's suspending judgement. I don't find it logical, or honest, to broaden the definition of oddist to mean, not an evenist, or broaden the definition of evenist to mean, not an oddist.

Quote:"In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word 'atheism' may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. 'Whyever', it could be asked, 'don't you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?'" ~ Antony Flew, 1984

That's because there is no blank state in the analogy. There is no blankt state of even or odd being the believe.

The alternative view comes from acknowledging humans and thinking beings aren't born thinking or believing such positions. They have a blank state of off. So unless you flip the ON switch which is something like theism, they are currently still off, so they fit the description of non-belief/atheist to that degree.

Just as I am a Non-Smoker, Non-Stampstamp collector/non-Philatelist, etc. Now there is no reason to label oneself these things, they're politically/socially motivated labels in contrast to something existing. But I am accurately described by my actions to these things.

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11-10-2015, 06:18 AM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
Anyone who doesn't know how and/or why the universe exists is most definitely a pussy. I just looked in Webster's and that's exactly how they defined it. Pussy = someone who doesn't know how and/or why the universe exists [/sarcasm]....Drinking Beverage
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11-10-2015, 08:05 AM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(10-10-2015 04:09 PM)3DJ Wrote:  
(10-10-2015 10:08 AM)GenesisNemesis Wrote:  Do you disagree that someone is an atheist if they lack belief?

I prefer using the narrow definition of atheist, myself. I think the broad definition is illogical and somewhat dishonest.

Matt Dillahunty gives an analogy of a large glass jar full of gumballs. The total number is either odd or even. Using that analogy...

Someone who has a belief that there is an odd number of gumballs, can clearly be called an odd-ist. Someone who has a belief that there is an even number of gumballs, can be clearly called an even-ist. Some of them might also claim complete certainty, making them -gnostics.

Now, that still leaves no belief, at all...someone who's suspending judgement. I don't find it logical, or honest, to broaden the definition of oddist to mean, not an evenist, or broaden the definition of evenist to mean, not an oddist.

Quote:"In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word 'atheism' may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. 'Whyever', it could be asked, 'don't you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?'" ~ Antony Flew, 1984

That is a very poor analogy as it is tri-state.

A better one would be that not all of the gumballs are visible and the only visible gumballs are white. Blackists believe there are black gumballs, ablackists lack that belief as there is no evidence of any - they make no claim.

Agnostics, on the other hand, have no knowledge of any colors but white.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-10-2015, 09:57 AM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(11-10-2015 08:05 AM)Chas Wrote:  That is a very poor analogy as it is tri-state.

A better one would be that not all of the gumballs are visible and the only visible gumballs are white. Blackists believe there are black gumballs, ablackists lack that belief as there is no evidence of any - they make no claim.

Agnostics, on the other hand, have no knowledge of any colors but white.

The analogy is fine.

With yours, there would still be people who outright believe there are no black gumballs (ablack-ists), and those who are certain there are no black gumballs (ablack-gnostics). And, there would still be those who are neither black-ists nor ablack-ists. Why change ablack-ist to a-blackist (not a blackist), when those people are equally not ablack-ists?
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11-10-2015, 10:05 AM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(11-10-2015 09:57 AM)3DJ Wrote:  
(11-10-2015 08:05 AM)Chas Wrote:  That is a very poor analogy as it is tri-state.

A better one would be that not all of the gumballs are visible and the only visible gumballs are white. Blackists believe there are black gumballs, ablackists lack that belief as there is no evidence of any - they make no claim.

Agnostics, on the other hand, have no knowledge of any colors but white.

The analogy is fine.

No. it's not. Your analogy differentiates two sets of beliefs, not belief and non-belief.

Quote:With yours, there would still be people who outright believe there are no black gumballs (ablack-ists), and those who are certain there are no black gumballs (ablack-gnostics). And, there would still be those who are neither black-ists nor ablack-ists. Why change ablack-ist to a-blackist (not a blackist), when those people are equally not ablack-ists?

Lacking the belief that there are black balls makes one ablackist.
I do not understand your distinction between ablack-ist and a-blackist.

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11-10-2015, 10:06 AM
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(10-10-2015 06:34 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  That's because there is no blank state in the analogy. There is no blankt state of even or odd being the believe.

The alternative view comes from acknowledging humans and thinking beings aren't born thinking or believing such positions. They have a blank state of off. So unless you flip the ON switch which is something like theism, they are currently still off, so they fit the description of non-belief/atheist to that degree.

Just as I am a Non-Smoker, Non-Stampstamp collector/non-Philatelist, etc. Now there is no reason to label oneself these things, they're politically/socially motivated labels in contrast to something existing. But I am accurately described by my actions to these things.

Yes, we have the word "nothing", for blank slates. If they haven't seen the jar...haven't been asked the question...they're "nothing". They aren't even involved in the conversation, why label them anything? If they contemplate the question, and suspend judgement, that's the definition Huxley gave for agnostic.
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11-10-2015, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 11-10-2015 10:39 AM by 3DJ.)
RE: Are Agnostics gutless Atheists?
(11-10-2015 10:05 AM)Chas Wrote:  I do not understand your distinction between ablack-ist and a-blackist.

ablack-ist = someone who believes "no black"
a-blackist = not a blackist

An amoralist is amoral-ist (someone who believes we are without morals) not a-moralist (not a moralist). The root word is "amoral" with an "ist" or "ism" suffixes.

Just like the root word for both atheist and atheism is "atheos" with the suffixes attached, rather than the root words being "theist" and "theism" with an "a" attached.
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