I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
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14-07-2011, 12:24 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 11:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  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

Hi Ghost.
I liked your first quotation. I think it might have been Paul Tillich who said " In seeking to be become gods, we may become less then men"( women too by implication) Mr Woof.Cool
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14-07-2011, 02:59 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
1. Response...

The reasoning why atheists get upset or annoyed with agnostic people (this is generalities). They assume atheists are hard headed, inflexible, know it alls, the almost always go with the gnostic atheist suggestion, and never really understand that most atheists themselves are agnostic. Now this may not be you but this is what
I've seen in MOST cases for agnostics, but they themselves are arrogant for thinking that they are right, and everyone else is simply closed minded.

Also a lot of people seem to think that agnostics are more reasonable, kinder, then atheists, which again, is annoying because many agnostics would actually fit into being called agnostic atheists, but simply choose to not label themselves as such.

Most agnostics have reasons similar to yours, for not wanting to add atheist to the title, the name has a bad rep/bad people and they don't want to be included in it. This is almost hurtful, they assume incorrectly about atheists, but in actuality share the same beliefs, and then put them down in the same breath.

In the end, as many posters mentioned, it's all almost semantics and euphemisms.

I'm an agnostic atheist, I have almost all of the same ideas as 'agnostics', There really isn't evidence for god, so I make the logical decision to assume there isn't one. I don't claim to be sure, as anything in nature is possible, and you really can't prove/disprove something like that. So in other words, you could say I don't know whether or not there is a god, I live my life like I don't know the answer. However for simplicity's sake I say I don't believe in god, rather then typing an entire paragraph each time.

Like with everything, it's not all black and white, and I'm sure there is a scale of how far you are to not believing to believing in the possibility of a god.

So to sum it all up, I feel upset at agnostics sometimes when they put down or refuse to be associated with atheists/atheism, it feels like a slap to the face when we all almost have the same ideas anyways. I'm sure there are many reasons agnostics don't consider themselves atheists as well, but many of the times it feels like the only reason they don't is because they don't understand most atheists thoughts, or they just think it's a bad word to be associated with.

That's just how I feel about agnostic in generally, not everyone is the same, but it's how I came to my conclusions in the first place.

Please don't take it as an insult or anything at you, it's just how I feel about 'agnostic'.

In the end, it's all just words.

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14-07-2011, 07:08 AM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 11:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I've never liked the teapot argument for one reason. It is demonstrable. But I get where you're coming from.

What about the invisible pink unicorn? He's completely indemonstrable Big Grin

(13-07-2011 11:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  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

I didn't mean to mischaracterize your position, I'm just trying to understand exactly what it is.

When I say not believing, I don't mean believing that it isn't true or actively rejecting it. I just mean lacking a belief either way, and in your case this is because you view it as unknowable. Simply put, not believing means you haven't decided "I think there's a God," not that you have decided to not believe. To me it just means lacking an opinion on the matter.

Would you say that there still is an area between lacking belief and having belief? And if possible, could you mention something else you hold this position on?
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14-07-2011, 08:06 AM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2011 08:10 AM by nontheocrat.)
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
I've never understood how someone responds to the question "do you believe there is a god?" with "I don't know."

The question does not ask what you know, it asks about belief. Taking the teapot analogy, I may not know that a teapot is in orbit around Jupiter, but I don't believe one is there. Same goes with any other supernatural claim I've ever heard of.

By the self-proclaimed Agnostic's criteria, you can't make an affirmative belief for or against any crazy claim. Can't prove Santa Clause doesn't exist? You must withhold an opinion on Santa until you can proof no such person could possibly exist.

Personally I think that is crap, if you can't affirm belief then you have unbelief whether you have knowledge or not. Sorry, call me arrogant all you want, I don't think a true agnostic exists, such an existence would render you unable to make a decision on anything and render a person unable to function in the real world.

My atheism is not defined by what I know or don't know, it is defined by an absence of belief, nothing more.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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14-07-2011, 08:50 AM (This post was last modified: 14-07-2011 08:55 AM by Ghost.)
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Monkey.

If we're talking about confused terms, my experience is that most Atheists are not actually Agnostic, they just give lip service to the term. Like they say they aren't certain because they have to, not because they want to. They don't just act "as if" there is no God, they pretty much believe there isn't one. The (somewhat harsh) analogy would be a father saying, “I support gay marriage because if I don’t I’ll be seen as a bigot, but I wouldn’t want my kid to have one.” This of course is different than a true Agnostic because the reason we don't take sides is because we have to, not because we want to. This of course is a generality, but we're talking in those terms at the moment.

In terms of my not wanting to be called an Atheist being hurtful, a well-known moron named Harris would have you believe that you the moderate are responsible for the extremists like Harris himself that give you a bad name. Man that guy bugs me.

Quote:There really isn't evidence for god, so I make the logical decision to assume there isn't one.

This for me is the crux, because the God question is plural. Does God/Doesn't God. It's not just the existence of God that is indemonstrable, it's the non-existence. When looked at in this manner, it's impossible to assume either way.

And for the record I don't take any of that personally and I hope that you don't take what I'm saying personally either Big Grin

Hey, Zach.

I'll just say that I do not lack an opinion on the matter. I very much have an opinion. Neutrality. Neutrality isn't a non-stance, it's a stance.
-not aligned with or supporting any side or position in a controversy: The arbitrator was absolutely neutral.

The areas between lacking (-) and having (+) are actually many:
Neutrality: I will not take sides
Apathy: I don't care to take sides
Undecided: I haven't picked yet
Uninformed: Who and the what with the who now?
Protest: I don't follow anyone's rules, not even my own

I'm all of these things on various subjects. We all are. But the God question specifically, and the supernatural question generally, are special cases.

The reason they are special cases comes from Naturalism, the belief that: “only natural laws and forces (as opposed to supernatural ones) operate in the world and that nothing exists beyond the natural world.” All natural laws and forces are at least theoretically demonstrable (although I don't know if that's true for the speed of light) because everything operates under the same rules. The supernatural not only operates outside of these rules, it has control of them and the arbitrary ability to alter them; therefore, the rules are unreliable tools for investigating the supernatural; unfortunately, they are the only tools we have. There is nothing empirical about the supernatural. It is not only undemonstrated, it is indemonstrable. Because of this, my neutrality can never change because the reasons for it can never change. I can be neutral about cell phones giving you cancer but the reasons for that neutrality can change meaning that my neutrality can change. So the supernatural is the only special case that I know of. But generally speaking, on subjects that I am informed about and interested in and not rebelling against, I try to remain neutral so long as there has been no demonstration (my vigorous application of that single principle). Once there is something demonstrated and demonstrable, I try to accept it and move on with my life.

Hey, Nontheocrat.

All you’ve really done is presented a case for why Agnosticism doesn’t exist period. By your rationale, there are only Theists and Atheists. To me, that makes for a sad world because it’s a world where when faced with a question, people just go with their gut feeling instead of waiting for evidence. That is extremely dangerous.

“Are there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and is Saddam working with Bin-Laden?”
“There must be and he must be. I just got a feeling and besides, we can never really prove that there aren’t. Let’s have a 10-year war just to make sure.”

In terms of Santa Clause, you absolutely can form an opinion because there absolutely is evidence.
Quote:Santa Claus, or Santa, is a figure in North American culture with legendary, mythological and folkloric aspects, which reflect an amalgamation of the Dutch Sinterklaas,[1] the English Father Christmas, and Christmas gift-bringers in other traditions. Santa Claus is said to bring gifts to the homes of good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24.[2] Santa Claus in this contemporary understanding echoes aspects of hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift-giver Saint Nicholas, the man from whom the name of Santa Claus derives and in whose honor Santa Claus may be referred to as Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick…

Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the British character Father Christmas to create the character known to Britons and Americans as Santa Claus.

In the British colonies of North America and later the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. For example, in Washington Irving's History of New York, (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into "Santa Claus" (a name first used in the American press in 1773)[23] but lost his bishop’s apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat. Irving’s book was a lampoon of the Dutch culture of New York, and much of this portrait is his joking invention…

Images of Santa Claus were further popularized through Haddon Sundblom’s depiction of him for The Coca-Cola Company’s Christmas advertising in the 1930s.[8] The popularity of the image spawned urban legends that Santa Claus was invented by The Coca-Cola Company or that Santa wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the Coca-Cola brand.[30] Historically, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising – White Rock Beverages had already used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915 and then in advertisements for its ginger ale in 1923.[31][32][33] In fact, Santa Claus had already appeared in red and white on the cover of Puck magazine at the start of the century.[34]
Wikipedia

So there are reams of evidence that clearly demonstrates that Santa Claus, the jolly old fat man riding a magical reindeer-powered sleigh and who wears red and white and comes down your chimney to eat cookies and milk and give you toys made by elves in the North Pole, is a fictional construct.

Quote: Personally I think that is crap, if you can't affirm belief then you have unbelief whether you have knowledge or not.

That’s true only if you ignore entirely the concept of neutrality.

The notion that someone cannot make life-decisions from a position of neutrality is simply demonstrably false.

Quote: My atheism is not defined by what I know or don't know, it is defined by an absence of belief, nothing more.

This, to me, is probably one of the most interesting statements I’ve read since I’ve been here.

If one is to say that an Atheists is someone that does not share the convictions of a Theist, then that would mean that any non-Theist is an Atheist. That way of looking at it, as I simply don’t share that position, is the most concise and clear way of stating it that I’ve heard and the easiest way to support the idea that Atheism makes no positive statement. If only the story ended there. When it is said, Theists believe in God and Atheists do not believe in God, it is another matter entirely. “I do not believe in God” is a positive statement. And it is both that positive statement and the positive statement “I do believe in God” that Agnostics cannot align themselves with.

This is why I’ve always said that if the definition is not-Theist, then yes, everyone is an Atheist. If the definition is someone who does not believe in God, then Agnostics are not Atheists.

Well said, Nontheocrat.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-07-2011, 09:24 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
By 'atheist', i mean that i've assessed, opted out of, totally rejected and turned against, the faith industry. But that last step was taken only recently, in response to aggressive and invasive religious politics.

Before that, for a long time, i called myself 'agnostic', even though i had long ceased to believe in the western god: left open the possibility of something beyond current knowledge. For me, it's never been about proof; rather about the sheer scope and wonder of the universe.

For many people, agnosticism is a stage in their struggle for intellectual autonomy. It's not easy from any starting-point, and may, for a person indoctrinated early in life, be very difficult and painful. When they say "I don't know what I believe" it's often the literal truth: they're still working it out. They need time, information and emotional support - not scorn.

Why many atheists are impatient or downright angry with the undecided is because they've become infected by the war mentality that pervades everything these days. With us or against us; friend or foe; "If you're not behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them." No pacifists, no draft-dodgers, no onlookers. No prisoners? This will not end well. (I should make that a tagline.)

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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14-07-2011, 09:31 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Good point, Peterkin, (do you go by Peter?)

Anyways, like I said before, the reason a lot of atheists become unhappy with agnostics is because of the seemingly rejection of atheism based on prejudice. However your answer was very enlightening, next time I come across an agnostic I'll make sure to probe further about their beliefs.

Thanks for your interesting post.

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14-07-2011, 09:46 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Peterkin.

Quote:If you're not behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

Best.
Line.
Ever.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-07-2011, 10:10 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Funny enough, I actually was a troop, came from a family of troops, and am married to a troop and I always hated that line.

You can disagree with war, in fact many troops do, without being considered unpatriotic. I totally hate the nearly slavish idolization of the military in the US, to me it's creepy. I also hate when fellow airmen post crap like that on their facebook, it boils my blood.

Of course when I tell people I feel about that, they say horrible things like "your unit must have hated you" or "Your family must hate you"... sheesh.

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14-07-2011, 10:33 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Monkey.

I meant best as in most horrifying.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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