Atheism VS. Agnosticism
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19-05-2012, 10:52 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
I think I have missed a lot in this thread since my last post, but I am interested in one point made throughout this discussion, the point of definitions. How I define atheism and agnosticism certainly differ from other people's.


Atheism: The rejection of the claim that a god or gods exist
Agnosticism: A position of uncertainty about the claim of the existence or non-existence of a god(s)

Something about Ghost's arguments have been bugging me for a few days and I couldn't put my finger on it exactly until just now. How you describe agnostics is not what I would consider to be true (that's not the surprise). You say that agnostics only believe things that have been demonstrated or are empirically determined, but that is not a prerequisite nor a co-requisite for agnosticism, or atheism for that matter. Atheism and agnosticism both refer to the claim of god(s) and do not define a person's beliefs otherwise. I think what you mean to say is that you are an agnostic who is also an empiricist or a rationalist or whatever. Agnostics, atheists, and theists can all be rational, irrational, empiricists, etc, their belief in god has no bearing on that.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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19-05-2012, 10:54 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 10:49 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  It probably be smart, from here on, for me to only reply to threads that can't lead to argument.

Why would you wanna do that? Arguing is an opportunity to get to the root of contention, to see what makes you think like you do, and to see if that seed of contention is worth harvesting or furrowing. Wink

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19-05-2012, 10:55 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Oh and one other thing, I didn't pick up any smarminess from your last post and I don't intend for there to be any in mine. It is difficult to convey one's tone and emotion in type.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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19-05-2012, 10:58 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
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It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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19-05-2012, 11:08 AM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Hey, BD.

Quote:You say that agnostics only believe things that have been demonstrated
or are empirically determined, but that is not a prerequisite nor a
co-requisite for agnosticism, or atheism for that matter.

That's true. By the definition you are using. But in the definition I am focusing on, it's not only true that Agnostics only believe in the demonstrated, it IS the definition.

That's the true debate here. Not whether or not there are more than one definition, but rather which of the two is the correct one. Some people think only one is correct which necessarily means that the other is incorrect. I argue that both definitions are valid but that I identify with only one.

You're right that Agnosticism isn't a creed. It's a method. The beliefs aren't handed to us by Agnosticism, Agnosticism is the method we use to reach understanding. It treats all questions exactly the same.

I don't mean any other thing, although if calling me an empiricist helps you to understand my position, then that's sauce for the goose Cool But my understanding of Huxley tells me that the reason that he chose to use Agnostic was to deal specifically with those cases in which nothing had been demonstrated empirically. He espoused the ability to say of those cases, "I do not know. I do not possess that knowledge. I am Agnostic (A-without, Gnosis-knowledge)" An ability that he believed (and I agree) that Theists and Atheists alike do not possess. Not all Atheists mind you, but Huxley was reacting to a movement that he perceived and didn't like.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-05-2012, 12:09 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
I have no desire to call you something you wouldn't call yourself.

With regards to your definition of agnosticism, I think it is only fair to be agnostic about something when you are without knowledge of it and therefore use that term to describe how you perceive it as neither right nor wrong. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that and I would agree with it completely and use this very term in this way myself. What I am getting at is that when you believe something because of evidence for it, you are not displaying an agnostic position towards it, you are displaying an educated position on it, or a gnostic position since you have some knowledge about it (even if that knowledge may be wrong). So, when you say agnostics only believe things that have evidence behind them, I would say that is incorrect, on those issues they are not agnostic.

I am agnostic about a great many things because I lack enough knowledge to have a true position one way or the other (I am agnostic towards make-up brands for instance and a lot of hypotheses I read in the science literature), but I would not describe myself as an agnostic in general because once I have enough knowledge of something (or what I perceive as enough) I take a gnostic position (although that may not really be the best way to describe it, let's say an educated position).

Tomato/potato

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19-05-2012, 12:14 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 12:09 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Tomato/potato

Did someone say, eat stuff? I sure ain't agnostic when it comes to food. Big Grin

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19-05-2012, 12:18 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 12:14 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 12:09 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Tomato/potato

Did someone say, eat stuff? I sure ain't agnostic when it comes to food. Big Grin
Especially pizza, I know what I like then.

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19-05-2012, 12:27 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 10:54 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 10:49 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  It probably be smart, from here on, for me to only reply to threads that can't lead to argument.

Why would you wanna do that? Arguing is an opportunity to get to the root of contention, to see what makes you think like you do, and to see if that seed of contention is worth harvesting or furrowing. Wink
Right on HoC... and truth be told TrulyX; I was able to understand and agree with your stated arguments from the get go. Thumbsup

Beginning and ending with this very statement:

Quote: Atheism vs Agnosticism: This really isn't a debate as far as I'm concerned.


I believe that was post #30 on page 3, and preceded very succinct, coherent, and quite satisfying definitions of Atheism and Agnosticism, and the show and tell of logic and reasoning was very clear and concise.

Debate over as far as I was concerned.


I do understand "Never give up" and all that is "competition"... but being "in it" and being "into it" are very different things...
I am the one who needs to give up observing debate take place, once the argument I agree with has been stated. Personally, I walk a fine line ... I usually enjoy many things about debate, but when it becomes oneupmanship, I'm usually done. But then, I will admit to thinking I will miss learning something if I don't keep up after leaving.

When I interject with an offhanded remark, I'm usually just trying to break up the monotony and possibly pull the arguments back to a more neutral ground - or a least a less intense one.

I enjoy your arguments TrulyX - the only way I or anyone will ever get to know you is through them. Keep 'em coming! Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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19-05-2012, 12:33 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 10:36 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 09:56 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  "Language is supposed to have words with single meanings"

Since when ? Now there's a new one.
Read my slippery slope argument. It's philosophical in nature; you want to avoid ambiguity and equivocation when at all possible. Failing to do so can lead to a big mess. The principle of defining terms based on preference to enhance communication can be a self-defeating one, if you think it through. That's why, in my opinion, it is proper to stick to as strict a meaning as possible in language. It's based on 'everything being that thing, and nothing else'. In philosophy, science, and argument, that's a big deal. In the real-world, it might not be as big of a deal, but it can become one, if you get too carried away.


Sorry. Will have to read through all the thread .. (in non existent "spare time"). I'm with Kim and hoc here..rather just go "cut the grass". I am a "linguist" tho .. so must ponder .. Consider

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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