I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
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01-06-2016, 01:15 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(01-06-2016 12:46 PM)3DJ Wrote:  
(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)

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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.

Good response. But this is a long dead thread. Most of the posters aren't even registered anymore.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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01-06-2016, 02:06 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(01-06-2016 12:46 PM)3DJ Wrote:  ...
How did you join this site 3 years ago, yet wait until today to respond to a 5 year old thread?

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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01-06-2016, 02:45 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(01-06-2016 02:06 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(01-06-2016 12:46 PM)3DJ Wrote:  ...
How did you join this site 3 years ago, yet wait until today to respond to a 5 year old thread?

Coma?

It's a miracle! GaspOhmyTongue


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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01-06-2016, 05:56 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Ah a classic Ghost filled thread, good ole bickering times.

These arguments especially the ones highlighting so extensively on the etymology(which im always a fan of learning about and researching) get silly. It's a starting point of the words origin it doesn't ultimately define the usage and multiple forming usage ability of a term.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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01-06-2016, 09:35 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
I think for some, maybe many, they are atheists but they don't want to be a target, so "agnostic" keeps them under the radar.

Some don't want to commit because that is a win/lose concept they can't subscribe to.

Also, some are hedging their bets. They don't want to claim a religion and yet they don't quite want to say "gods, not possible" either.

I'm sure there are more reasons as well.

For me I have no problem saying there are no gods. Just like I have no problem saying there are no fairies, no dragons and no leprechauns.

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01-06-2016, 09:52 PM
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
Is this thread a zombie? Should we shoot it in the head or something?

People are complicated. Using binary pigeon-holing to try and label them is pointlessly foolish. Let them identify however they like.

The only time I ever take issue with the terms is when we get an "agnostic" swaggering about because their lack of knowledge is morally superior or somesuch. Ironic given how many agnostic atheists they're talking down to.

Otherwise nobody much cares.

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01-06-2016, 10:12 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2016 10:24 PM by 3DJ.)
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(01-06-2016 02:06 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  How did you join this site 3 years ago, yet wait until today to respond to a 5 year old thread?

Came up as I was Googling something. Logged in and replied. It was easy as pie. Big Grin
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01-06-2016, 10:14 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2016 10:24 PM by 3DJ.)
RE: I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic...
(01-06-2016 01:15 PM)Commonsensei Wrote:  Good response. But this is a long dead thread. Most of the posters aren't even registered anymore.

Ah well.
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