I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
20-07-2011, 10:46 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Zach.

Quote:As far as I know, high speed winds aren't capable of shredding something that isn't fragile, like a animal, into such small pieces. I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that it's impossible for a tornado to do that to a horse. Not even a house, there would still be pieces of wreckage all over the place, it doesn't break things down to the point where you can't find any remains.

If I were shown evidence that this can happen then I would accept that it was true, but without any evidence I can only go with my very limited knowledge.

I think that this is the stereotypical difference between Atheists and Agnostics (emphasis on stereotype). Many Atheists say that there is no reason to accept something without evidence. Agnostics say there is no reason to have an opinion without evidence.

Quote:I think taking no action in most situations implies that you don't think it will result in any negative consequences.

You can think all you want but it doesn't make it so Cool

What you believe the consequences are and what your actions are, are two completely different things.

Take Hell. I believe that if Hell exists and I go there, it will suck donkey balls. I believe firmly that if it exists, the consequences would be dire, if I go there that is. But I don't go to church.

Quote:With the God question, there are too many claims to investigate them all, so taking no action seems to accept the pointlessness of trying to falsify each and every claim before rejecting it. But I didn't consider hope playing into a neutral stance on religion. No way of knowing, so take the action that seems most reasonable and hope that any God that may exist will understand.

Now we get into context. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Each cultural group has its own beliefs and they are in some degree either compatible or incompatible with every other cultural group’s beliefs. I know of no one who observes the cultural practices of every single cultural group on the planet. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. For someone who is faithful, there's no point in investigating those competing beliefs because you have your own and even less point in observing their practices.

For myself, I don't follow ANY religious practices. But the lack of practice is not tantamount to a rejection of every last belief on the planet. I believe that every single supernatural belief, be it Yahweh or Thor or the River Spirit or Ghosts or whatever, comes with zero evidence for or against. So they all might be right and they all might be wrong. I accept them all as possibilities, but I don’t accept any as true and I reject none. So my personal lack of practice comes from expedience alone. With nothing to observe, I observe nothing. That being said, I do have a relationship with the supernatural in the same sense that I had a relationship with imminent death during my cancer scare. I didn't believe it was true, but I accepted the possibility. Worship is the action of someone who believes. Since I don't believe, I don't worship. But I do think about it and those thoughts do influence my life.

I find your frame interesting. You seem to come from the position that you NEED to falsify these claims. To what end? That being said, obviously you can't. Also, you put importance on rejecting claims. I assume because you're interested in what is objectively true and therefore not all of them can be true. But that willingness to reject anything is anti-Agnostic. And again, speaking stereotypically, I believe that Atheists have rejected something (more on that below).

You bring up a very interesting point with hope. Having not thought about that at length yet, I imagine that it is the escape valve for Agnostics that rejection is for Atheists. I have no idea if there is a Heaven. I hope there is because it sounds more interesting than oblivion and something is an easier concept to grasp than nothing, but I don't at all believe in Heaven and I have not in any way rejected the idea. During my cancer scare, I hoped to Christ that I didn't have cancer but I didn't know. Hope is an interesting and even a comforting mental exercise but the true Agnostic doesn't base any of their opinions on hope.

In terms of behaviour, in some cases I hedge my bets. Particularly in the traditions I am familiar with and that I was raised around. I really don't think about Gebusi traditions for example because that's way out of my experience. In other cases I just try not to think about it.

Quote:This is what I mean by not accepting or not believing. The absence of a positive belief within your mind, not any active rejection or antagonism towards the idea. I consider that a form of agnostic atheism and you consider it agnostic, but that goes back to the semantics and arguing over how they should be defined, which is irrelevant. But that is what most people mean when they say atheism is the lack of belief in God(s) or not believing in Gods.

It is semantical because we’re just discussing meaning and definition.

Someone who says, "I do not accept Theism," is an Atheist in the purest sense of the word. But how many Atheists do you know that stop there? The term doesn't allow for anyone to say what they DO believe, which is fine in theory, but it's not a very good descriptor. We describe things positively, not negatively. We say cat, mouse, amoeba, redwood, mushroom; we don’t say they’re all not dogs. Some Atheists either believe something like "I believe there is no God" or they reject Theism and I believe that those Atheists should have positive descriptors because of that.

Personally, I don't accept Theism as true. But nothing can be inferred from that statement because I don't accept ANYTHING supernatural as true. Nor do I accept it as false. So I don't accept Theism so that makes me an Atheist, but I don't reject Theism, which is why I consider myself different than an Atheist.

I don't think that this argument will ever be put to bed because there's very good arguments on both sides. I think that both arguments make logical sense; I just find the latter argument more useful.

So I think it's important for Atheists who want to use the first definition to restrict their statements to "I don't accept Theism" because the moment they say "I reject" or "I believe in" or "I don't believe in" a new descriptor is required. For me, that's where the second model comes in. I accept, I reject, I believe and I don't believe are the four statements that separate both Theists and Atheists from Agnostics in my opinion.

Is it fair to say that all Atheists either reject Theism or believe there is no God? Probably not. I think some Atheists, like Dawkins and Hitchens, absolutely fall into that category. But the simple fact that many Atheists on this board have told me that they, along with many other Atheists, DON’T fall into that category means that it’s not accurate. So it’s not fair. That being said, NO Agnostic falls into that category. So I see little benefit in using a single term to describe what clearly seems to be to be three different groups.

Lastly, I'm glad you liked my story. I'm glad that something positive can come from such a horrible period in my life.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Ghost's post
20-07-2011, 10:41 PM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:As far as I know, high speed winds aren't capable of shredding something that isn't fragile, like a animal, into such small pieces. I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that it's impossible for a tornado to do that to a horse. Not even a house, there would still be pieces of wreckage all over the place, it doesn't break things down to the point where you can't find any remains.

If I were shown evidence that this can happen then I would accept that it was true, but without any evidence I can only go with my very limited knowledge.

I think that this is the stereotypical difference between Atheists and Agnostics (emphasis on stereotype). Many Atheists say that there is no reason to accept something without evidence. Agnostics say there is no reason to have an opinion without evidence.

I still think that case is different, because I have a basic understanding of how wind works. A horse being shredded by a tornado appears to contradict what I know about wind, so I would doubt that until I understand how wind would disintegrate an animal. But the particular analogy isn't important, your point was that there are claims with no evidence that I wouldn't immediately reject. That is true.

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:I think taking no action in most situations implies that you don't think it will result in any negative consequences.

You can think all you want but it doesn't make it so Cool

What you believe the consequences are and what your actions are, are two completely different things.

Take Hell. I believe that if Hell exists and I go there, it will suck donkey balls. I believe firmly that if it exists, the consequences would be dire, if I go there that is. But I don't go to church.

Yeah... I should have given that statement a little more thought Tongue

Would it be fair to say that decisions reflect priorities that a person has at the given time? Like if I scratch a mosquito bite I'm prioritizing short-term relief instead of the longer-term consequence of it becoming itchier. Decisions might reflect emotions, physical discomfort, etc. instead of an understanding of the consequences. A simple decision might also be based on impulse, failing to consider any more complex ideas such as long-term consequences.

And in the case of hell, since you don't know either way whether or not it's real its existence can't really affect your decision-making unless it can be established. Religious rituals retain their inconvenience or impracticality while losing any benefits. Well I suppose one could have a communion fetish or some other non-religious reason to enjoy religious rituals...

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Now we get into context. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Each cultural group has its own beliefs and they are in some degree either compatible or incompatible with every other cultural group’s beliefs. I know of no one who observes the cultural practices of every single cultural group on the planet. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. For someone who is faithful, there's no point in investigating those competing beliefs because you have your own and even less point in observing their practices.

For myself, I don't follow ANY religious practices. But the lack of practice is not tantamount to a rejection of every last belief on the planet. I believe that every single supernatural belief, be it Yahweh or Thor or the River Spirit or Ghosts or whatever, comes with zero evidence for or against. So they all might be right and they all might be wrong. I accept them all as possibilities, but I don’t accept any as true and I reject none. So my personal lack of practice comes from expedience alone. With nothing to observe, I observe nothing. That being said, I do have a relationship with the supernatural in the same sense that I had a relationship with imminent death during my cancer scare. I didn't believe it was true, but I accepted the possibility. Worship is the action of someone who believes. Since I don't believe, I don't worship. But I do think about it and those thoughts do influence my life.

I find your frame interesting. You seem to come from the position that you NEED to falsify these claims. To what end? That being said, obviously you can't. Also, you put importance on rejecting claims. I assume because you're interested in what is objectively true and therefore not all of them can be true. But that willingness to reject anything is anti-Agnostic. And again, speaking stereotypically, I believe that Atheists have rejected something (more on that below).

I'm not sure why, but I always feel a strong need to understand the other side in the theistic debate. When I was a Christian and heard another Christian making an argument or talking, I would often try to understand how an atheist would view it. I pretty much silently played the devil's advocate in my mind whenever religion was discussed. I'm not sure why, I may have been looking for arguments to support my faith or just trying to figure out how "the other side" perceived theistic claims.

I still do that with religious arguments, I'm very interested in being able to communicate clearly with theists in a way that allows us both to reach a consensus. The need to falsify religious teachings comes from an assumption that the divine is knowable if it exists, and that one of these religious claims might be true(which tends to be present in the mind of any theist). It's more the way I would think when talking with a Christian or Muslim or someone from another denomination. They make the claim that their god is good and deserving of my worship.

This wouldn't be an issue if they didn't throw in the "you're going to hell if you don't worship!" part. To even begin to discuss the ethics of punishing non-belief, we need to establish that this particular claim can be verified and opposing claims falsified, otherwise this "god" is punishing people for just having the wrong blind faith, and I wouldn't consider him worthy of my contempt let alone worship. After that, we also need a reason that this particular faith stands out. A person should be able to see it clearly has some merit and deserves further investigation instead of the countless other claims. If the person has to just pick a random religion ,investigate until they're sure it's false, and move onto the next, finding the right faith that won't be punished with eternal torture is once again a matter of luck and their god is an asshole.

Basically, if they want to claim that their god is both good and punishes non-believers, they can't begin to try to justify this arbitrary criteria for judgement until they can establish that one should arrive at their religion without playing a guessing game and following actual evidence. Then they can try to justify God's fucked up judgement system, but I can't follow the mental acrobatics required to say that it's fair and loving.

Sorry for such a long tangent, I'm a little tired at the moment but I hope I've explained some of my thought process on this matter. I'm letting something that should be confined to a discussion of the ethics of proposed gods seep into a talk about atheism vs agnosticism.

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  You bring up a very interesting point with hope. Having not thought about that at length yet, I imagine that it is the escape valve for Agnostics that rejection is for Atheists. I have no idea if there is a Heaven. I hope there is because it sounds more interesting than oblivion and something is an easier concept to grasp than nothing, but I don't at all believe in Heaven and I have not in any way rejected the idea. During my cancer scare, I hoped to Christ that I didn't have cancer but I didn't know. Hope is an interesting and even a comforting mental exercise but the true Agnostic doesn't base any of their opinions on hope.

In terms of behaviour, in some cases I hedge my bets. Particularly in the traditions I am familiar with and that I was raised around. I really don't think about Gebusi traditions for example because that's way out of my experience. In other cases I just try not to think about it.

When I abandoned Christianity and shifted to what is probably more like your agnosticism, I basically resigned myself to not knowing and took comfort in the hope that there might be some truth to God and heaven. I don't think it's even been half a year since I was still a Christian(it was a very gradual shift, and I just ended up acknowledging that I couldn't believe it anymore), and my current position is still fluctuating. I think the shift to atheism was due to the hope fading away. No evidence in favor of theism was valid or convincing, so I ended up having no reason to hope.

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  It is semantical because we’re just discussing meaning and definition.

Someone who says, "I do not accept Theism," is an Atheist in the purest sense of the word. But how many Atheists do you know that stop there? The term doesn't allow for anyone to say what they DO believe, which is fine in theory, but it's not a very good descriptor. We describe things positively, not negatively. We say cat, mouse, amoeba, redwood, mushroom; we don’t say they’re all not dogs. Some Atheists either believe something like "I believe there is no God" or they reject Theism and I believe that those Atheists should have positive descriptors because of that.

That's practical, using agnosticism as a stand-alone category for anything close to pure neutrality rather than lumping it into atheism makes it easier to understand.

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Personally, I don't accept Theism as true. But nothing can be inferred from that statement because I don't accept ANYTHING supernatural as true. Nor do I accept it as false. So I don't accept Theism so that makes me an Atheist, but I don't reject Theism, which is why I consider myself different than an Atheist.

I don't think that this argument will ever be put to bed because there's very good arguments on both sides. I think that both arguments make logical sense; I just find the latter argument more useful.

So I think it's important for Atheists who want to use the first definition to restrict their statements to "I don't accept Theism" because the moment they say "I reject" or "I believe in" or "I don't believe in" a new descriptor is required. For me, that's where the second model comes in. I accept, I reject, I believe and I don't believe are the four statements that separate both Theists and Atheists from Agnostics in my opinion.

Is it fair to say that all Atheists either reject Theism or believe there is no God? Probably not. I think some Atheists, like Dawkins and Hitchens, absolutely fall into that category. But the simple fact that many Atheists on this board have told me that they, along with many other Atheists, DON’T fall into that category means that it’s not accurate. So it’s not fair. That being said, NO Agnostic falls into that category. So I see little benefit in using a single term to describe what clearly seems to be to be three different groups.

No more argument from me, I agree that your distinction is practical and valid. My attention span is rapidly deteriorating, so I think I'll leave it at that rather than typing out an incoherent response. I'm not sure there's anything else to say, although I really enjoy trying to understand the way you think about your perspective and trying to communicate mine.

(20-07-2011 10:46 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Lastly, I'm glad you liked my story. I'm glad that something positive can come from such a horrible period in my life.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I only wish I could relate to it better, it's hard to imagine exactly how that would feel. I've only ever had brief encounters with that kind of dread, and I doubt the emotions in my memories are comparable to what you felt.
Quote this message in a reply
21-07-2011, 07:15 AM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Hey, Zach.

Quote:Would it be fair to say that decisions reflect priorities that a person has at the given time? Like if I scratch a mosquito bite I'm prioritizing short-term relief instead of the longer-term consequence of it becoming itchier. Decisions might reflect emotions, physical discomfort, etc. instead of an understanding of the consequences. A simple decision might also be based on impulse, failing to consider any more complex ideas such as long-term consequences.

Nice mosquito analogy.

Good times. And I think this also illustrates nicely that beliefs and decisions are different.

Quote:And in the case of hell, since you don't know either way whether or not it's real its existence can't really affect your decision-making unless it can be established. Religious rituals retain their inconvenience or impracticality while losing any benefits. Well I suppose one could have a communion fetish or some other non-religious reason to enjoy religious rituals...

Lol for some reason I imagined someone tied up being drenched by wine and fed crackers.

Someone might be neutral about Hell, but get baptised and go to church and confess because if there is a God, they get into Heaven and if there isn't a God, well, they got entry level therapy.

Quote:The need to falsify religious teachings comes from an assumption that the divine is knowable if it exists, and that one of these religious claims might be true(which tends to be present in the mind of any theist).

Interesting.

So it's a cutting away the dross kind of thing?

Do you feel that you have successfully falsified.... you say religious teachings, but is that or is it not a synonym for the religion itself?

Quote:When I abandoned Christianity and shifted to what is probably more like your agnosticism, I basically resigned myself to not knowing and took comfort in the hope that there might be some truth to God and heaven. I don't think it's even been half a year since I was still a Christian(it was a very gradual shift, and I just ended up acknowledging that I couldn't believe it anymore), and my current position is still fluctuating. I think the shift to atheism was due to the hope fading away. No evidence in favor of theism was valid or convincing, so I ended up having no reason to hope.

I find it interesting that a lot of the Atheists I meet were raised religious. It's like the old pendulum swing argument. They believed and now they don't.

I was raised in a reasonably religious household, but I decided to stop going to church when I was like five. It was fucking boring. Hard break your ass wooden pews and all that singing Raffi-level songs. I wanted to play with dirt! But my mother was cool with my decision. So I never really grew up believing per-se; my church issue was with boredom, not content. So I didn't have to rebel against anything. I've never been hook lined and sinkered as they say.

Glad you liked the distinction and I'm glad that you have difficulty relating Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Ghost's post
21-07-2011, 06:47 PM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(21-07-2011 07:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:And in the case of hell, since you don't know either way whether or not it's real its existence can't really affect your decision-making unless it can be established. Religious rituals retain their inconvenience or impracticality while losing any benefits. Well I suppose one could have a communion fetish or some other non-religious reason to enjoy religious rituals...

Lol for some reason I imagined someone tied up being drenched by wine and fed crackers.

Someone might be neutral about Hell, but get baptised and go to church and confess because if there is a God, they get into Heaven and if there isn't a God, well, they got entry level therapy.

That seems kind of pointless, I think most Christian churches teach that belief is required. At least protestants do, I don't know a lot about Catholicism. It would make sense in some religions where belief isn't emphasized, but when it comes to the Christianity I'm familiar with it seems as if belief is so important that everything else is insignificant.

(21-07-2011 07:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:The need to falsify religious teachings comes from an assumption that the divine is knowable if it exists, and that one of these religious claims might be true(which tends to be present in the mind of any theist).

Interesting.

So it's a cutting away the dross kind of thing?

Do you feel that you have successfully falsified.... you say religious teachings, but is that or is it not a synonym for the religion itself?

I don't think I've falsified anything. I feel a need to be able to debate religion with a theist, and I'm just interested in the various problems that one needs to resolve in order to hold certain theistic beliefs. It's more about being able to clearly communicate with a theist about logical inconsistencies in any particular piece of dogma.

I do think that certain god claims can be falsified through logical inconsistency, although that could be fixed by simply altering the claim to account for those problems. For example, a claim that the god in question is benevolent and loving yet kills innocents and sends them to hell? Certain questions like that aren't really a matter of evidence, everything you need to make the evaluation is right there in the claim.

When it comes to many religious claims they seem to require a lot of poor reasoning to accept as true. A big one that really pisses me off is when apologists like to argue that without a god to create absolute morals, every conceivable moral code is just as valid as the next. When people start arguing some frankly disgusting ideas like that or trying to defend the old testament god it gets to me pretty fast.

(21-07-2011 07:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I find it interesting that a lot of the Atheists I meet were raised religious. It's like the old pendulum swing argument. They believed and now they don't.

My family isn't that religious. My parents and brother are all very moderate, and we get along very well. My current attitude towards religion is still related to growing up religious, but it's not so much because I was drowning in it as a kid.

(21-07-2011 07:15 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I was raised in a reasonably religious household, but I decided to stop going to church when I was like five. It was fucking boring. Hard break your ass wooden pews and all that singing Raffi-level songs. I wanted to play with dirt! But my mother was cool with my decision. So I never really grew up believing per-se; my church issue was with boredom, not content. So I didn't have to rebel against anything. I've never been hook lined and sinkered as they say.

I really didn't like church either, except it wasn't that simple for me. The atmosphere was enjoyable some of the time, but I never really wanted to go. I was pretty much guilt tripped into it, since I was told God wanted me to go and I wanted to do what was right. Whenever I didn't go I felt bad about it, and whenever I did I was usually bored out of my mind no matter how hard I tried to find sermons interesting.

I'm not trying to complain, but as someone who's no longer religious that kind of stuff really gets on my nerves. Causing children unnecessary anxiety, guilt, and fear in order to raise them in a religion isn't right. The parents usually have good intentions, but it shouldn't be forced on a kid like that.

Anyway, I take issue with many aspects of religion. It can be a good thing in some cases, but in many more it seems like a problem. Even moderate theists can shift towards a more dogmatic, fundamentalist attitude when their personal beliefs feel threatened by something as simple as an atheist billboard. I imagine I'll end up more indifferent to it later on, but right now I see too much negativity arising from it.
Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Zach's post
21-07-2011, 07:56 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
``Anyway, I take issue with many aspects of religion. It can be a good thing in some cases, but in many more it seems like a problem. Even moderate theists can shift towards a more dogmatic, fundamentalist attitude when their personal beliefs feel threatened by something as simple as an atheist billboard. I imagine I'll end up more indifferent to it later on, but right now I see too much negativity arising from it.``

I agree that it more often than not ends up a problem, I also think however that the minimal good that actually does come from religion can easily be replicated outside of the religion and usually to a much greater degree, so why not just do away with the old dead horse.

I also agree that it seems like a fall back position for most even partially religious whenever, as you said, their personal beliefs become even mildly threatened. Which is sad and unfortunate.

Unlike you, I actually sought out the comforts of religion and the answers I had assumed I could find within it as a child of my own choosing. I found nothing but more questions and an uncomfortable feeling that I didn`t understand as of then. However dissatisfied I wandered away and found a life away from it without putting too much thought into it past, ``religion sucks, and god probably isn`t real but if he is I don`t care for him much``. Only now in my adulthood, now that I understand where that uncomfortable feeling came from, do I feel like something has to be done. I thought I would mellow out in my old age... Sad

I want to thank you and Ghost for this discussion as I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

"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
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-07-2011, 01:51 PM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(21-07-2011 07:56 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I agree that it more often than not ends up a problem, I also think however that the minimal good that actually does come from religion can easily be replicated outside of the religion and usually to a much greater degree, so why not just do away with the old dead horse.

I completely agree, although the good that can come out of it is the reason that some religious moderates don't concern/bother me at all. And any theists or deists who reject religion and maintain a skeptical, open-minded worldview aren't really much different than atheists. If these religions ditched the horror stories, the emotional blackmail, and the many other negative aspects then they wouldn't be worth caring about. When it's just a belief in some sort of afterlife or higher power without the baggage of "and He wants you to do this or you'll burn in hell" or "He says this so science can't be true," I can't fault it at all. Unfortunately it's not.

(21-07-2011 07:56 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Unlike you, I actually sought out the comforts of religion and the answers I had assumed I could find within it as a child of my own choosing. I found nothing but more questions and an uncomfortable feeling that I didn`t understand as of then. However dissatisfied I wandered away and found a life away from it without putting too much thought into it past, ``religion sucks, and god probably isn`t real but if he is I don`t care for him much``. Only now in my adulthood, now that I understand where that uncomfortable feeling came from, do I feel like something has to be done. I thought I would mellow out in my old age... Sad

I want to thank you and Ghost for this discussion as I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

I still clung to my religion after I passed the blind faith phase. I was raised in it without any choice, but I still valued it and considered it part of who I was. That was more out of fear than anything else, and not a fear of hell. I was just scared of dying, and wanted to believe in an afterlife.

I'm glad you enjoyed the discussion Smile
Quote this message in a reply
24-07-2011, 06:57 PM
 
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 05:07 PM)monkeyshine89 Wrote:  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?

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 (etc,etc)

"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?

There is only reality and fantasy. An atheist is an atheist is an atheist. There is only one way to approach reality. An 'agnostic' may be many things. But - not an atheist. A 'theist' - possibly. Once a person.. 'gets it' - it is like crystal clear. Reality vs everything else.

Example:
Quote: Most atheists are agnostic atheists, meaning they can't prove or disprove there is a god.
Huh..? How can that statement be made. There certainly is no evidence that science need introduce to 'prove' something does not nor ever existed. The reverse, however, is true. Science fails to prove a deity now or ever existed. Obviously.

Most of society is programmed via rote training, and 'religion' (all are merely cults) is the absolute prime example. Cults have the power & money and most of all - they have a brainwashed flock of sheeple.. sheeple ready, willing and able to die or kill for their cult masters.

How can this tiny little planet, zipping through it's orbit around a mediocre little star.. very very distant from any possible other civilizations.. exist under these circumstances..? The answer - lol, 'not for very long'..!
Quote this message in a reply
01-06-2016, 12:46 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(13-07-2011 05:07 PM)monkeyshine89 Wrote:  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.

That doesn't tell me if you believe there isn't one, or not. Are you an agnostic weak/negative a-theist, that has no belief either way, or an agnostic strong/positive a-theist, that believes gods do not exist, but doesn't claim to know? The 2 axis, 4 position, models are total nonsense. You need, at least, 5 positions.

belief, and claims to know, "gods exist" = theo-gnostic (or gnostic theist)
belief "gods exist", doesn't claim to know = the-ist (or agnostic theist)
no belief "gods exist", no belief "gods do not exist", no knowledge claims = agnost-ic (or agnostic weak/negative a-theist)
belief "gods do not exist", doesn't claim to know = athe-ist (or agnostic strong/positive a-theist)
belief, and claims to know, "gods do not exist" = atheo-gnostic (or gnostic strong/positive a-theist)

[Image: bIkjE99.jpg]

Here's the thing...it has all come about through a long history of words, about which you just don't seem to have a clue.

While the ancient Greeks slapped an "a" (no/not/without) in front of "theos" (god), the French ripped that word, "atheos" (no/not/without god), in full, from the Greeks, and then slapped an "ist" (someone who believes) suffix on it. The root word for "atheist" is "atheos", not "theist".

That happened almost a full century before the English did the same with the word "theos" (god), slapping an "ist" (someone who believes) suffix on that word. There was no word "theist" to slap an "a" prefix to.

Those were still the common usage definitions, when Huxley came along. He came up with a word for no belief, either way, due to lack of evidence. He was a scientist, above all else, and the "ism" he described was a belief in the scientific method, or the justification process that leads to knowledge, and it all amounted to a form of demarcation. No objective/testable evidence = a subjective/unfaslifiable claim. Results: inconclusive and unscientific. No belief, as to the truth, or falsehood, of the claim.

"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe." ~ Thomas Huxley, 1884

So we had athe(os)-ist (someone who believes "no god"), the(os)-ist (someone who believes "god"), and agnost(os)-ic (someone without knowledge, or belief, either way). Agnosticism was a big hit, with some writers at the turn of the century even calling it "the age of agnosticism".

Those were common usage for another hundred years. Then came a push to bring a broader definition of "atheist" into common usage.

"In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels ‘positive atheist’ for the former and ‘negative atheist’ for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word ‘atheism’ may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. ‘Whyever’, it could be asked, ‘don’t you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?’" ~ Antony Flew, 1984

Now, for whatever reason, you may want to start a long list of things you're not, but I don't. Thanks, but no thanks...don't try forcing me to use your word. I think it's nonsensical. A rock is not a theist.

The majority of theists still use the narrow definition. They count as people who use words. The majority of non-theists don't pick "atheist", if given the options "agnostic" or "nothing" on surveys. The majority of non-theists don't use your word. Get over it. You're a minority within a minority trying to force everyone to use words your way.

My word, "agnostic", describes me perfectly, thank you very much. It describes a specific position, all on its own. A-theist doesn't describe a specific position. A-gnostic a-theist doesn't describe a specific position. You still need another qualifying word to describe your specific position. It's a convoluted mess, that I'm not a fan of.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-06-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
3DJ - oh have you come to the right place.
Don't worry, all your misconceptions will be corrected.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Rahn127's post
01-06-2016, 01:12 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
[Image: image.png?w=400&c=1]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Reltzik's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: