Atheism VS. Agnosticism
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11-05-2012, 02:46 PM
Atheism VS. Agnosticism
I have seen more people outwardly saying they are agnostic rather than atheist. I know several agnostics where I live, I know only one other atheist. It seems that more people are saying they are agnostic rather than atheist. I'm not going to talk about agnostics or anything. If you want my opinion on agnostics and agnosticism, please see this video "
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTWlQaZ0DWo".

My question is, do you think more people say they are agnostic rather than atheist?. And if so, why?
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11-05-2012, 03:43 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(11-05-2012 02:46 PM)Scott D Wrote:  My question is, do you think more people say they are agnostic rather than atheist?. And if so, why?
Some people feel a need to clearly define themselves:

to confuse their friends.

for their own I-need-to-categorize-that-shit state of mind.

so they'll have something to call themselves.

so dip-shits don't start climbing their frame about hating God.

as an excuse to not have to go to church... erroneous notions happen.

so they can ease themselves into full on, baby-eating-atheism while still getting Mom's home cooked meal on Sunday.

Drinking Beverage Don't have any idea. Why do you ask?

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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11-05-2012, 04:06 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2012 05:31 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Hey, Scott.

I don't think more people identify as Agnostic. I do, so I have my ear to the ground on this one, and I've met one other Agnostic in person in the last, oh, ever. But I know tons of Atheists. But that's just my experience. Results may vary Cool

As for why, it's for one of two reasons. One, they're wrong. They just don't understand what they're saying. Two, because they ARE Agnostics. Which it is depends entirely on the person you're speaking to and their world view.

I myself AM an Agnostic, so I can't imagine how or why I'd self-identify as something else.

I watched the Penn video.

My issue is this. Agnostic may very well be about exactly what Penn says. But the name that is ALWAYS left out of the debate is Aldous Henry Huxley. He coined the term Agnostic, as in, someone is an Agnostic. AN being the operative word.

Say I come up with a new idea and call it BREAD. Great. It means X, Y and Z. If all we do is argue about how bread means baked flour mixture and ignore the fact that I exist and that I called XYZ "bread", we'll never get to the heart of the matter.

Agnostic means something to us Agnostics and, to be frank, we could give a fuck how others WANT to categorise us. The only identification worth a damn is a self-identification. I am something. That's true without anyone else's opinion. If they wanna tell me what I am, they're in for a long night. If they want to dismiss what I am because they can't grasp that Agnostic can have a plurality of meanings, then eat a dick; I don't take well to being dismissed. If people want to understand what I am, and they listen, and understand what it is I'm trying to explain, well, that's called communion.

The way Penn describes the term Agnostic, yes, everyone is Agnostic. For some, the debate ends there. But they can suck it like it's haaaaaawt. If we roll with Huxley's definition, then no, not everyone is Agnostic, not by a long shot. In fact, very FEW people are Agnostics. Because to Huxley and to myself, Agnostic means 'do not pretend that something is certain if it hasn't been demonstrated or if it is indemonstrable'. Across the board. Everything. It's a method used to approach life. It's not a creed. One's beliefs stem FROM the method. If someone assumes that something is certain when it hasn't been demonstrated or if it is indemonstrable (or worse, if they make a habit of it), for example, that God exists or doesn't exist, then they are not Agnostics; in the strictest sense at least.

Penn reacts negatively to the accusation that Atheists are dogmatic and laughs it off. But this is the EXACT charge that Huxley made in the 1800s. Huxley believed in demonstration and viewed those Atheists that took it for granted that there was no God in spite of there being no evidence to support that position as dogmatic; just as he viewed Theists that did the reverse with God to be dogmatic. They BOTH believed what they wanted to believe, not what was demonstrated. That's where the accusation comes from and that's why Huxlian Agnostics separate themselves from both Theists and Atheists.

So if we look at it like Penn does, an Agnostic Atheist is someone who doesn't believe in God but doesn't truly know. Like Lysol, it kills 99.99% of germs. For many, it's lip service. The true Agnostic believes there's no reason to assume there is no God in the first place. It's not about some small 0.01% chance that what is believed could be wrong, it's that something shouldn't be believed in the first place unless there is evidence.

If something has evidence, like say gravity, I have no compunctions whatsoever about saying "that shit be true fo certain, mofo!" I could care less about that 0.01% because of course everything and everyone could be wrong. Only the credulous believe in infallibility.

He makes an interesting straw man argument about how he's letting Agnostics "win" by admitting that everyone is an Agnostic. But Agnositcs aren't saying that at all. So he's right, that's not interesting.

He thinks that Agnostics are Atheists. That's a common position. But not one I agree with myself. I have Huxley and Dawkins to back me up on this, but for many, that's inconsequential. What cannot be debated is that ideas are ideological. When ideologies clash, it's difficult to get consensus unless those involved recognise that their ideas are ideological. If they think they're just self-evidently true, not much is gonna happen.

Am I a Theist? Absolutely not. No one questions that. Am I an Atheist? By some definitions, yes. By my definition, no. I am wary of those that tell me I'm not entitled to my definition because in their hearts they dream themselves my master.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-05-2012, 04:51 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Yeah. Cause they're wishy-washy. Big Grin

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11-05-2012, 05:38 PM (This post was last modified: 11-05-2012 05:44 PM by NotSoVacuous.)
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
I personally just say I am not Christian when asked--or what ever denomination asks. When pestered to the point I have to label myself I simply say non-religious or I am not religious. I personally don't have a problem with being called and atheist, because I would assume that is what I am, it's just I feel people like to tag stupid shit to that title. I simply do not have a belief. (AKA) Anti-Theist.

As far as agnosticism is concerned, I think it is just stupid. To say something cannot be known is to speak in certainties. For all we know it is possible to know of a god, or that one might reveal it's self one day. With this having a possibility, the claim that knowledge cannot be obtained is more than frivolous.

I view the whole issue as two sides. You believe, or do you not believe. I do not believe. It's as simple as that.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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11-05-2012, 08:26 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(11-05-2012 05:38 PM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  As far as agnosticism is concerned, I think it is just stupid. To say something cannot be known is to speak in certainties. For all we know it is possible to know of a god, or that one might reveal it's self one day. With this having a possibility, the claim that knowledge cannot be obtained is more than frivolous.
Is that what agnosticism is though? To say something cannot be known? I always took agnosticism as meaning that one doesn't know, one is without knowledge. Have I been thinking about it wrong?

To the point of the thread, I know more agnostics than atheists. However, those I know who identify as agnostic do so only in mixed company because of the negative connotations attached to the term atheist. To those they trust, they identify as atheist.

I tend to agree with Sam Harris's speech from 2007 in that we shouldn't allow ourselves to be identified by any term because it marginalizes our argument. Is there any other field of thought or area of life where a group of people are identified by their lack of belief in something? I choose to follow reason and evidence. If there's a term for that, then that's what I am.

Here's a link to the speech I mentioned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODz7kRS2XPs
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11-05-2012, 09:08 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Really surprised no one has started a thread on Neil deGrasse Tyson's announcement declaring his agnosticism.

I don't necessarily buy his explanation, but if that's how he wishes to characterize his views, who are we to judge?

There's a link to his vid in my blog if anyone is interested...

http://centersolid.blogspot.com/2012/05/...pings.html

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11-05-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Hey, KN.

Noooooooo, you mentioned Sam Harris! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Hey, NSV.

I'm gonna refrain from saying up yours and simply mention that it's not nice to call someone's beliefs stupid.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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12-05-2012, 02:26 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Am i the only one who thinks agnosticism doesn't really exist?
We of course can't know whether or not god exists, but you must personally either believe in a god or not.
That's why agnosticism is an adjective and there are terms like atheist agnostic and theist agnostic.

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.
-Karl Marx


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12-05-2012, 02:27 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2012 02:51 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
But agnosticism is stupid, Ghost. Big Grin
I watched that Jillette vid and realized - I don't like Penn Jillette. This is more my kind of asshole:




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