Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
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23-09-2011, 08:27 PM
Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Since it's a 'us' vs 'them' mindset, do agnostics fall under the middle? Religious people don't care for agnostics as much as atheists.

Some atheists view agnostics as unexplainable deists, ie: you know something is there, but it's probably energy or something without intelligence.

Are agnostics alone on both sides?
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23-09-2011, 08:50 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
I personally believe that if someone is calling themselves strictly agnostic it places them entirely in the middle.
I call myself a teapot agnostic or agnostic atheist just so people understand which side I've chosen. But if someone classifies themselves solely as agnostic I take that as someone unwilling to make the choice as a statement. Someone who will ultimately wait until all the evidence is in. I don't want to wait that long so I have chosen based on side with most evidence in favor of mostly to settle my mind. However I am very strong in the opinion that religion is harmful and there is no title for that as such so I accept agnostic atheist. Plus I'm prett confident in the idea of no god. Ugh.
I hate this topic because I always feel the need to chuck my two cents in for some reason but when I'm done I feel as though I haven't made any sense.

"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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23-09-2011, 10:25 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Agnostics are just atheists trying to be polite.

#sigh
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23-09-2011, 11:54 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(23-09-2011 10:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Agnostics are just atheists trying to be polite.

I agree with that. But in my opinion, agnostics are like atheists who are at the stage where they initially started to doubt God, and are considering the fact that God does not exist. As time passes, they are most likely to choose a side. I usually label myself as agnostic so as not to offend anyone, but I view myself as an agnostic atheist.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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24-09-2011, 05:28 AM
 
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Forget about god. The word god is undefined. It usually refers to human myth, one of the many that have been invented in history. See List of gods here.

The question is, of course: do we have all the answers? Do we know everything?

Of course not.

In a practically infinite Universe everything is possible.

So what do we do?

Simple. Keep on trucking, relying on what we DO know, and that is science.

...and work hard to expand our knowledge.

We may speculate about everything else till the cows come home but that won't put bread on the table.

Brainwashing, abusing, suppressing, killing, destroying in the name of this speculation is not only insane but a crime against humanity. The appropriate punishment should apply.

So what am I? Atheist? Agnostic? Religious?

Labels suck!

I consider myself a sane human being, dealing with reality the best I can, not wasting too much time on unprofitable, usually circular speculations. I only get mad like hell when I see it hurting people, especially children who don't know enough yet to defend themselves.

ETA:

The possibility of alien species, so advanced that they would appear godlike to us, is theoretically possible, of course, but it is extremely unlikely (to the point of the ridiculous) that they have anything to do with us (creation, intervention, listening to prayers, punishing, rewarding, etc.) here on Earth. People with overheated imagination should write pulp fiction, not live off of brainwashing and hurting billions. Angry
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24-09-2011, 07:14 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Agnostics are dumb poop faces who smell farts with their stupid noses!

Wait... I'm an Agnostic... That's what that smell was!

Hey, Girlyman.

I don't think many people on this forum would accuse me of being polite Cool

Hey, Robotworld.

I'm unlikely to ever choose a side.

Hey, Monk.

We don't fall under the middle so much as we're thrown under the bus. BA-ZING!!!

An in your face Theist would get all up in my face because I won't say, there is a God. An in your face Atheist would get all up in my grill because I won't say, there is no God. So in some instances, yes, we're in the middle.

But when you get into the language debate, in some circles, we're clearly in the middle and in others, we're clearly Atheists.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-09-2011, 07:29 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Possible reasons for calling onself agnostic:

Politeness - yes. I did that myself for a long time, back when the war hadn't started yet, or at least hadn't been declared. Even though i didn't believe anything about any religion, i saw no reason to get in people's faces who had done me no harm.
corollary:
Consideration for parents/ spouses/ relatives/ friends who still believe and would be upset by the label their pastors have been demonizing.

Unpreparedness for the full monty, as it were. Some people are too shy or actually afraid (circumstances vary; environments vary) to reveal their disbelief all at once.
Agnosticism is a fig-leaf.

Deconversion is not always a single defined event, but a gradual disengagement. For some people, agnosticism is a stage in their journey.

And some people are not all that articulate; maybe don't have a firm grasp on the definitions, maybe don't care about the nuance, and don't yet know how passionately some others do care.

In all cases: cut them a little slack, will ya?

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 08:07 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Hey, Peterkin.

Can you think of any reasons that involve intentionality?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-09-2011, 08:14 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(24-09-2011 08:07 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Peterkin.

Can you think of any reasons that involve intentionality?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

You mean choosing the word on purpose, in full knowledge of the meaning(s)?
I thought you covered that option quite well.
Another possible reason is simply to leave a window open - in case of, say, advanced aliens with flowing white robes and facial hair.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 10:42 AM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(23-09-2011 10:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Agnostics are just atheists trying to be polite.
This is partially true. Some people would rather classify themselves agnostic, rather than atheist, just because it is frowned upon less in our backward society.
The other part of the puzzle concerns the existence of God. Atheists claim no god exists, while agnostics do not stipulate one way or another.

Personally, I think few people are true atheists, because you have to claim with absolute certainty that no god exists.
But, can you be absolutely certain that no universal god exists? No, of course not. To do so would put you on the same playing field as the deists.
Instead, I think atheists are people who claim that god PROBABLY does not exist, and each persons perceived probability varies slightly.

Regardless,
Non-religious, Agnostic, and Atheists are all pretty much the same thing.
These three branches actually hurt the group as a whole however.
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