How is agnosticism viewed?
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29-12-2016, 03:39 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(28-12-2016 06:20 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Well, I guess that would be "gnostic atheism". Although, I like the way that Yakherder described it ... starting from a position of not knowing / scepticism ... leading to a general "meh" about god being real and stuff.

Point being that this thread is about Saul's ... er ... is "anguish" too strong a word? ... caused by the realisation that he might have taking a wrong turn 20 years ago.

For him, perhaps it's best not to worry about the labels and just describe the emotions he's going through, and the beliefs that he's re-evaluating.

Or ... I can move the thread out of this section into the Atheism/Theism section for a discussion about the terminology etc. (rather than the feelings).

I'm easy either way.

Smile

DLJ,

With respect to the OP question, I would suggest that the theist/agnostic/atheist discussion is all about feelings. A discussion of terminology and labelling would be a 'meta' discussion, clarifying what we mean by certain words in this context, but the meat of the thing is how we feel about the reality of God, possible God, or no God.

A previous poster mentioned giving up on a 'certainty'. Many an existential crisis has bloomed from that feeling, and many a search for another certainty to replace it.

IMHO, what has been called 'hard atheism' is an epistemic replacement for the certainty of believed theism, only agnosticism is the full withdrawal of certainty from our thinking on this topic.

D.
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29-12-2016, 08:44 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(27-12-2016 11:02 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(27-12-2016 09:57 PM)BCSaul Wrote:  Is the ultimate goal to become atheist, or is there acceptance for those who remain doubtful but not necessarily certain?

The ultimate goal is to live well or die trying.

Spend some time here and you'll find that most people remain doubtful but not necessarily certain. That's just good skepticism.

Welcome to the party. Pull up a seat. Smile

The Eco quote is fabulous. That is exactly how I have come to see the world.
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29-12-2016, 09:28 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
Welcome BCSaul. I'm sort of new here myself.

Regarding agnosticism, I can say I've always felt it was more central to who I am than my lack of god belief. Recognizing the limitations of my own point of view informs the way I interact with others and therefore has more bearing on who I am. I have camped a fair amount and still take frequent walks. Nature awes me. When I talk to people about religion (or its lack) I like to imagine doing so around a small campfire in a wild place under a lot of stars. If someone in that setting sincerely told me about their belief in God and what it meant to them, I think I would just have to regard them and human beings generally with still more wonder. Who really is to say they're 'wrong', there is no teacher's edition with all the answers in it lying about to consult. As two people looking up into the vastness we're equals. Doesn't mean I give up my views or my beliefs, it just makes more curious about what it is that motivates god belief and why that fits the human imagination so well.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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29-12-2016, 09:39 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(27-12-2016 09:57 PM)BCSaul Wrote:  New to TTA. Former pastor and college professor who has nearly come full circle from 20 years of conservative evangelicalism to now strident agnosticism. I don't consider myself an atheist at the moment. I don't know if there is a god or not. I know I no longer ascribe to the god that evangelical theology promotes, but as far as god's existence in general, I simply don't know. Twenty years is a long time to undo. How are agnostics viewed in the atheist community? Is the ultimate goal to become atheist, or is there acceptance for those who remain doubtful but not necessarily certain?

Welcome to the forum!

You might find a little bit of pushback against the term "agnostic" from some atheists because it's sometimes used by people who don't quite have the balls to call themselves atheists. The two terms evoke much different responses in casual conversation, but our numbers would be more impressive if we could get all the agnostics on board with the atheist title, for sure.

If you want to get down to the terms separated from their emotional and societal baggage though, I'm sure you could get at least a dozen definitions. Many atheists define atheism as "the belief that there is no god" while many others would say it is a "lack of belief in any god(s)," which is a subtle but very important distinction. Most atheists I know label themselves as such because they are unconvinced by the evidence presented in support of any one god's existence, but are open to the remote possibility that they could be wrong, or that such evidence may be provided someday. I know very few people who will say that they are 100% sure that there is no intelligent being behind the universe or our existence. You can't prove a negative, which is one of religions few remaining advantages.

So take whatever term feels most cozy to you right now, but have an idea of what it means to you, what it might mean to religious folks, and what it might mean to others in the atheist community, such as it is.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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29-12-2016, 11:26 PM
Video RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(29-12-2016 03:39 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  IMHO, what has been called 'hard atheism' is an epistemic replacement for the certainty of believed theism, only agnosticism is the full withdrawal of certainty from our thinking on this topic.

D.

Bullshit. Find me a god that is not a character in fiction, and I'll pay agnosticism a visit.

Until then, why would I believe fairy tales?

IMHO agnostics are too scared to admit the fact to themselves that "god" is an idea.

Nothing more.

There is nothing for me to apply critical thinking to. I read all those books about the gods. Good stories. The babble, not so good. In fact story is too good a word to describe that utter nonsensical rubbish.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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29-12-2016, 11:36 PM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(29-12-2016 11:26 PM)Banjo Wrote:  
(29-12-2016 03:39 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  IMHO, what has been called 'hard atheism' is an epistemic replacement for the certainty of believed theism, only agnosticism is the full withdrawal of certainty from our thinking on this topic.

D.

Bullshit. Find me a god that is not a character in fiction, and I'll pay agnosticism a visit.

Until then, why would I believe fairy tales?

IMHO agnostics are too scared to admit the fact to themselves that "god" is an idea.

Nothing more.

There is nothing for me to apply critical thinking to. I read all those books about the gods. Good stories. The babble, not so good. In fact story is too good a word to describe that utter nonsensical rubbish.


Are you treating agnosticism and atheism as mutually exclusive?

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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30-12-2016, 03:08 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(29-12-2016 11:26 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Find me a god that is not a character in fiction, and I'll pay agnosticism a visit.

Banjo,

That's interesting. If a person were to make that offer in good faith, they would already be agnostic. Yes

D.
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30-12-2016, 03:48 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(30-12-2016 03:08 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Banjo,

That's interesting. If a person were to make that offer in good faith, they would already be agnostic. Yes

D.

Dude, nobody cares.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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30-12-2016, 03:50 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
(29-12-2016 11:36 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Are you treating agnosticism and atheism as mutually exclusive?

I consider gods characters in fiction.

People who do not, without any evidence are fuckwits.

Period. IMO. Smile

Satisfied?

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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30-12-2016, 04:07 AM
RE: How is agnosticism viewed?
At work.

To Banjo, Dworkin, Whateverist and BCSaul.

I'm quite happy to designate m'self an 'Aynostic'.

I also call m'self a 'Non-theist' some times as well.

There might, indeed, be a Great Old One looking in on our reality as a conossure might look into a restaurant fish tank. Tongue

About those 'other' religious type claims? They just don't match the reality we see about us.

Cheers.
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