Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
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12-03-2014, 11:04 AM
Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
I usually call myself an atheist for my friends but sometimes I call myself an agnostic. I'm still trying hard to understand the difference. Take the following example:

I tell you I have a pink elephant in my garage. You say that's pretty interesting and come over to see it. I open my garage door - you see no pink elephant inside. I assure you it is there. After some investigation however you can find nothing. I tell you it's invisible so you can't see it, you can't touch it cause you can walk through it etc. No matter what test you try I've got an answer. So are you an atheist regarding the pink elephant - I can't see hear, taste, touch, it etc so it is not there or are you agnostic to it? I can't prove it does not exist but maybe it can? Going a bit further if agnosticism is right is anything therefore possible unless proven otherwise? What do you guys think?
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12-03-2014, 11:07 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
What it breaks down to...

Atheism/theism is your belief on the existence of a deity.
Agnosticism/gnosticism is your claim to know/not know whether a deity does/does not exist.

Most atheists are agnostic atheists.

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12-03-2014, 11:07 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
I think this
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?t...._agnostic
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12-03-2014, 11:14 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
(12-03-2014 11:04 AM)john2 Wrote:  I usually call myself an atheist for my friends but sometimes I call myself an agnostic. I'm still trying hard to understand the difference. Take the following example:
For the billionth time.... [Image: 1301705151317.png]

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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12-03-2014, 11:18 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
For situations like this, I like to refer to the Dawkins Scale.

In the situation you propose, I'd be at best a 5 most likely a 6 depending on how trustworthy your word is. Being purely agnostic (4) means that the probability of existence or non-existence is equally likely. If you've given any thought to the existence of something, you're probably not a 4. I think being purely agnostic is only possible for someone who hasn't contemplated the idea or has no interest in contemplating the idea. Simply by thinking about the problem, your thoughts are colored by your previous experiences and beliefs and would tip the scales off of the 50/50 point.


If someone truly were agnostic about god, it wouldn't necessarily mean that they are agnostic about everything. So, no, I don't think to an agnostic, anything would be possible. For example, someone who is agnostic about a deity could be extremely skeptical or extremely convinced in visitation from aliens.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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12-03-2014, 11:18 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
Er, it's a unicorn, not an elephant, dumbass.
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12-03-2014, 11:22 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
(12-03-2014 11:18 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Er, it's a unicorn, not an elephant, dumbass.

[Image: keep-calm-and-wait-for-the-invisible-pink-unicorn.png]

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12-03-2014, 11:24 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
(12-03-2014 11:18 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Er, it's a unicorn, not an elephant, dumbass.

Is there a difference?
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12-03-2014, 11:30 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
(12-03-2014 11:18 AM)itsnotmeitsyou Wrote:  For situations like this, I like to refer to the Dawkins Scale.

In the situation you propose, I'd be at best a 5 most likely a 6 depending on how trustworthy your word is. Being purely agnostic (4) means that the probability of existence or non-existence is equally likely. If you've given any thought to the existence of something, you're probably not a 4. I think being purely agnostic is only possible for someone who hasn't contemplated the idea or has no interest in contemplating the idea. Simply by thinking about the problem, your thoughts are colored by your previous experiences and beliefs and would tip the scales off of the 50/50 point.


If someone truly were agnostic about god, it wouldn't necessarily mean that they are agnostic about everything. So, no, I don't think to an agnostic, anything would be possible. For example, someone who is agnostic about a deity could be extremely skeptical or extremely convinced in visitation from aliens.

I like the scale idea and would describe my position my on god as a 6.
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12-03-2014, 11:30 AM
RE: Atheist or agnostic correct terms?
(12-03-2014 11:24 AM)john2 Wrote:  
(12-03-2014 11:18 AM)alpha male Wrote:  Er, it's a unicorn, not an elephant, dumbass.

Is there a difference?

I wouldn't engage alphapha if I were you. He doesn't understand basic things like logic and rational thought. Also, nitpicking whether your fictional being is an elephant or a unicorn is right up his alley. He will argue with you about which it is while completely ignoring the underlying metaphor that makes the exact species a moot point.

He's a disingenuous troll with nothing better to do.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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