I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
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13-07-2011, 05:07 PM
I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
I just ran into a lovely bunch of self proclaimed agnostics. Now like most sensible atheists I consider myself agnostic atheist, I don't believe in a god, but I can't prove there isn't one.

Well, let's here what these fine 'agnostics' have to say first...

Why are both Atheists and Theists jerks to Agnostics sometimes?
Ive seen plenty of times ignorant claims such as "They are fence sitters and dont have balls to pick a side" which isnt true. To think you have divine knowledge shows your own arrogance and nothing more.

I already see a red flag, agnostic is not a belief insomuch as it's an addendum to a belief, an acceptance as not knowing. It literally means A(not) gnostic (knowing). Unless you are simply ignorant to religion as a whole, I really don't think you can be simply agnostic. Also, they totally simplify the whole gamete of religious beliefs into you either whole heatedly agree, or don't believe a thing, which is also incorrect.

With such a display of ignorance, I should have walked away, but for some reason, I just had to let them know of their small error.

Let's here what the penut gallery has to say before I show you what I wrote.

"an agnostic is someone who believes that divine knowledge in unknowable."

-Sure... sounds a lot like agnostic theist to me.

I think Agnostics are more easier to start a conversation with regarding this sort of philosophical/ theological debate.

-Again, confusing the terms... sheesh you would think that atheist was a bad word or something

Well... anyway here is what I had to say on the matter

"You are absolutely incorrect. Most atheists are agnostic atheists, meaning they can't prove or disprove there is a god. They can say there isn't enough evidence to suggest there is a god, but most never make a blanket statement on it."

I understand that agnostic can apply to atheist and theists, but usually when one says they are agnostic, they are agnostic atheist.


Anyways, why are 'agnostics' so against atheists, or admitting they are part of the atheist community?

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13-07-2011, 05:58 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Monkey.

Not to be too confrontational, but if you've ever wondered why Agnostics think that Atheists are arrogant, you really need look no further than your post. I mean that in a very serious way. Let's be honest, it's just dripping with disdain for Agnostics and an overall sense of superiority. I'm not calling you a jerk or anything, honest, but it's sort of a text book example of what we Agnostics are talking about.

Personally, I don't understand why Atheists are so dead set on correcting the "ignorance" of Agnostics and claiming us for your own. Why can't you just let us do our own thing? It kind of smacks of the gay marriage debate for me. "Marriage is defined thusly and your deviance is a threat to the very institution."

The reason that I don't want to be called an Atheist is simple. Atheists make a statement. “I do not believe in God.” Whether they are certain or not, that is a statement. It's also a statement that I refuse to make with the same force of passion that I refuse to say there is a god.

I also do not live in a vacuum. There are a number of Atheists that I simply do not want to be associated with on any level. To be put in the same boat, the same lake, the same ocean as Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens, tarnishes my very being and I will have none of it.

I understand FULLY the Atheist argument about why we're all just Atheists, believe me I do. But I reject it (so let’s avoid re-explaining the AT, AA, GT, GA model) and so do a lot of other Agnostics. When I self-identify, I think of what Thomas Henry Huxley, the man who defined Agnosticism in 1876 said:
Thomas Henry Huxley Wrote:Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle... Positively the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, do not pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable.

For myself, neither the existence nor the non-existence of God are demonstrated or demonstrable. So I can not take a stand either way. “Either way” might be counterintuitive, it might seem illogical, it might seem a lot of things, but in the end, it is simply what I believe.

I am not against Atheists, I am for myself. Like anyone who self-defines, after much thought and introspection and personal exploration and personal honesty, in a way that another group finds unacceptable, I simply say bollocks. Life is too short for me to allow myself to be defined by others. My beliefs are what they are. They are an internal matter that I can attempt to convey to others. If they don't accept how I convey it or if they deny that it's even possible to believe what I do, it's no concern of mine. If they start to insult my character or question my intellect because of it, that's when I get angry. And if they get high and mighty about it, then yes, I think they're being arrogant.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-07-2011, 06:35 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Really don't care what you are as long as you keep your hands off my children, my government, and my penis. Theist seem to have an inescapable ability to want to control you. Agnostics don't, so I frankly don't care what they do. Although if we really want to play semantics, then yes agnostics are more or less agnostic atheist. They don't know if there is a god, yet they live their life if there isn't one. Or at least this seems to be the case to me, could be wrong. Frankly, I don't care, in my world you have non believers, and believers, believers are the enemy.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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13-07-2011, 06:45 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
@Ghost. Cos they get all up themselves about how arrogant people are.

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing". "But," says man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It proves you exist and so therefore you don't. QED." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
-DA
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13-07-2011, 06:55 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hi Monkeyshine.
A really tough issue and I really wonder at times how important the atheist/agnostic debate is?
My view, for what its worth (it changes sometimes) depends on how we conceptualise God.
In Christianity it is claimed that God must be omnipotent, omnisicient, omnipresent
OOO MY GOD!!!!; also perfectly good. As I understand atheism it claims that we require some emperically justifiable reasons for beleiving in gods and the supernatural. If I say I am agnostic, I feel I really should say over what;in the case of Christianity ,where do I feel that God may be true.In other words to say I am agnostic over Christianity or whatever, is clearer than just saying 'I am agnostic'.
Madalyn O'Hair once called agnostics "atheists without guts" and I certainly took offence to that; in fact it turned me to a more agnostic position.
Cheers---Mr Woof.Undecided
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13-07-2011, 07:05 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Sorry if I came off as sounding arrogant and superior, I know I can be a bit boorish at times.

Anyways, I have a response for you, and a few questions (don't worry, I will keep a very open mind.) I would love to talk.

Anyways, sorry for coming off as Boorish.

Take Care.

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13-07-2011, 07:19 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
I personally don't label myself into the atheist category either, although I'm comfortable with the agnostic atheist terminology. I don't personally find it entirely accurate as to how I think, if the label atheist is to be taken as it's dictionary definition would have it.

a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Because I don't deny it or entirely disbelieve it. I only seriously doubt it. However that being said I live my life as if there is no god, and I am very strongly against organized religion in any form that it feels necessary to take. The only thing I feel as close to 100% about is that the god from the bible... any bible, could not possibly exist as it is written. If there is a supreme being out there I don't know, to me it's just as likely that there is one as there isn't really.

So that is why I personally feel more confident applying the old russels teapot to my agnostic label. It helps people understand more of where I am coming from than just saying I'm an atheist.
Plus I like having a teapot as my avatar for things because people always have to ask why I have a teapot as my avatar. Then I get to tell them.Big Grin

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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13-07-2011, 07:52 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 07:19 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I personally don't label myself into the atheist category either, although I'm comfortable with the agnostic atheist terminology. I don't personally find it entirely accurate as to how I think, if the label atheist is to be taken as it's dictionary definition would have it.

a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Because I don't deny it or entirely disbelieve it. I only seriously doubt it. However that being said I live my life as if there is no god, and I am very strongly against organized religion in any form that it feels necessary to take. The only thing I feel as close to 100% about is that the god from the bible... any bible, could not possibly exist as it is written. If there is a supreme being out there I don't know, to me it's just as likely that there is one as there isn't really.
A good balanced response to an ultra tricky issue. We can always be sure enough to be unsure without going into all the hyperbole. You did'nt pinch Berties teapot did you? Onyamate---Mr Woof.



So that is why I personally feel more confident applying the old russels teapot to my agnostic label. It helps people understand more of where I am coming from than just saying I'm an atheist.
Plus I like having a teapot as my avatar for things because people always have to ask why I have a teapot as my avatar. Then I get to tell them.Big Grin
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13-07-2011, 08:36 PM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 05:58 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Monkey.

Not to be too confrontational, but if you've ever wondered why Agnostics think that Atheists are arrogant, you really need look no further than your post. I mean that in a very serious way. Let's be honest, it's just dripping with disdain for Agnostics and an overall sense of superiority. I'm not calling you a jerk or anything, honest, but it's sort of a text book example of what we Agnostics are talking about.

Personally, I don't understand why Atheists are so dead set on correcting the "ignorance" of Agnostics and claiming us for your own. Why can't you just let us do our own thing? It kind of smacks of the gay marriage debate for me. "Marriage is defined thusly and your deviance is a threat to the very institution."

The reason that I don't want to be called an Atheist is simple. Atheists make a statement. “I do not believe in God.” Whether they are certain or not, that is a statement. It's also a statement that I refuse to make with the same force of passion that I refuse to say there is a god.

I also do not live in a vacuum. There are a number of Atheists that I simply do not want to be associated with on any level. To be put in the same boat, the same lake, the same ocean as Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens, tarnishes my very being and I will have none of it.

I understand FULLY the Atheist argument about why we're all just Atheists, believe me I do. But I reject it (so let’s avoid re-explaining the AT, AA, GT, GA model) and so do a lot of other Agnostics. When I self-identify, I think of what Thomas Henry Huxley, the man who defined Agnosticism in 1876 said:
Thomas Henry Huxley Wrote:Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle... Positively the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, do not pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable.

For myself, neither the existence nor the non-existence of God are demonstrated or demonstrable. So I can not take a stand either way. “Either way” might be counterintuitive, it might seem illogical, it might seem a lot of things, but in the end, it is simply what I believe.

I am not against Atheists, I am for myself. Like anyone who self-defines, after much thought and introspection and personal exploration and personal honesty, in a way that another group finds unacceptable, I simply say bollocks. Life is too short for me to allow myself to be defined by others. My beliefs are what they are. They are an internal matter that I can attempt to convey to others. If they don't accept how I convey it or if they deny that it's even possible to believe what I do, it's no concern of mine. If they start to insult my character or question my intellect because of it, that's when I get angry. And if they get high and mighty about it, then yes, I think they're being arrogant.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Is this because you don't like the baggage associated with the word atheist? It has negative connotations, and to many implies strong atheism or anti-theism. As you've described yourself, you don't believe there is a God and don't believe there isn't one. I call that atheist, you call it agnostic, but as long as we each understand what the other does/doesn't believe there's nothing important to argue about.

The whole atheist vs agnostic argument, unless I'm very mistaken, is just a debate over semantics. It seems like an argument over what the words should mean, and as far as I'm concerned that's pointless. Everyone should use whichever label they prefer for themselves, and just understand that the words have different meanings depending on who you're talking to. It would be simpler if everyone agreed on one or the other, which is why there is an argument over what they should mean, but it's just personal preference as far as I'm concerned.

I do get annoyed when people think that calling themselves agnostic makes them more open-minded, and stereotype atheists as people who think they know there isn't a God. Or if they assume that those who call themselves atheists fit into their relatively exclusive definition of atheist, and don't consider that the majority are probably agnostic.
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13-07-2011, 11:20 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, NSV.

How did you uncover my penis gambit?!?!

Quote:They don't know if there is a god, yet they live their life if there isn't one. Or at least this seems to be the case to me, could be wrong.

Can't speak for everyone, but in my case you're wrong. I don't know if there is or isn't a God, not just the former. I don't live my life as if there isn't one; I live it like I don't know.

Hey, Mr. Woof.

I too wonder how important this debate is, but I'm always surprised by how passionately it is debated.

Hey, Monkey.

It should be noted that Leela is preposterously hot... you know... for a cartoon... is there any way to say that without sounding like a total git?

I look forward to your responsenquestions Big Grin

Hey, Ludacris.

I've never liked the teapot argument for one reason. It is demonstrable. But I get where you're coming from.

Hey, Zach.

Yes. I don't like the baggage.

Quote:…you don't believe there is a God and don't believe there isn't one.

Just gotta jump on this cause it's a mischaracterisation (and the grammar is playing tricks with my mind, dude).

I would never say that I don't believe there is a God. I don't know if there isn't one.

I would never say that I believe there is a God. I don't know if there is one.

I totally feel you on the should front.

I wouldn't call myself open minded. I'm quite closed minded on the God question because I believe that it is utterly indemonstrable and I don't comment one way or the other about the indemonstrable. I also believe that the indemonstrability of the God question will never change because the supernatural cannot be investigated by the natural. So since the conditions will never change, my position won't, so yeah, I'm pretty closed minded.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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