Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
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24-09-2011, 11:47 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Hey, Peterkin.

I don't mean the word.

Your three reasons for being Agnostic were politeness, unpreparedness and transition. I was just wondering if you could list possible reasons for being an Agnostic that involved the deliberate choice to be Agnostic because one values Agnosticism itself. If you think I covered it, cool.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-09-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(23-09-2011 10:25 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Agnostics are just atheists trying to be polite.

Agreed. Totally.

TheThinkingAtheist compares atheists to non-stamp collectors, just to throw out an analogy that you're probably familiar with. Whether you identify yourself as a "non-stamp collector" or whether you simply don't collect stamps, you're still the same person with the exception of your self-image. Even if you tell people that you'd collect stamps given a good reason, that still doesn't make you a stamp collector right now.

You can't not believe in not believing in God. But however you wish to identify yourself, don't feel that I'm putting any pressure on you to identify with atheists... those of us who identify themselves as atheists don't feel any need to "convert" or "win over" agnostics. If it's about comfort with your own identity, use whatever term you feel identifies you best.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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24-09-2011, 03:03 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 03:11 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(24-09-2011 11:47 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Peterkin.

I don't mean the word.

Your three reasons for being Agnostic were politeness, unpreparedness and transition. I was just wondering if you could list possible reasons for being an Agnostic that involved the deliberate choice to be Agnostic because one values Agnosticism itself. If you think I covered it, cool.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Oh now, that's a challenge, isn't it?
You covered, more than adequately, the not taking sides issue, which is something i did consider in those ecumenical, live-and-let-live days before the book-burning began.
Might there be other reasons?
How about some new age types, redefining the god concept to something more like a universal consciousness? Something great and wonderful and worthy of reverence, but unlike the god of currently popular stories?
Or perhaps someone who believes in ghosts - ancestors* walking among us unseen - and spirits, possibly of nature, of other species - some kind of incorporeal being(s) but does not imagine these entities as bossy and vengeful.
Or one who imagines the creator(s), supreme being(s) or meta-entit(y)(ies) as distant: having set this ball of wax to melting, they retreated, requiring no worship or homage or obedience - and thus, not meeting the common definition of "god". The prophets of the wormhole in Deep Space Nine might qualify.
That's all i can think of.
ETA I just thought of one more, but i'm not sure it's valid. Someone who rejects a particular - unpleasant, morally reprehensible, overweening - cultural construct of a god, but does not, therewith, reject the possibility of an as yet undocumented supreme being... perhaps one we are not yet sufficiently evolved to comprehend.

(* best quote off a work of art:
"The ancestors look over our shoulders. Not judging - interested.")

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 08:52 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(24-09-2011 07:14 AM)Ghost Wrote:  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

I don't know about most on this forum, but I know that I find you quite polite, Matt. I mean you didn't say "Agnostics are retarded shitheads who like huffing foul flatulence recreationally for fun and entertainment" now did you? Yes Matt, I find you quite polite.

Atheism is the denial of any of the current definitions of God. Agnosticism concurs but leaves open the possibility that a new, different definition may be acceptable. Same thing as far as I can tell, just with a different emphasis.

I mean I'm starting to think that God is us, so maybe now I'm a deist (or at least a pantheist). Of course all reasonable persons are agnostic, the only problem I see with using that label is that it misleads the evangelists into thinking they still have a chance of "saving" (meaning converting and controlling) my sorry ass. Now if I found myself really bored I could see myself using that label recreationally for fun and entertainment when interacting with evangelists. But I'd be being an asshole if I did that though.

Peace and Love and Empathy Matt, that's all that fucking matters.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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24-09-2011, 09:55 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Hey, Pete.

I had a response before but I just straight up forgot it lol.

Hey, Girlyman.

Quote:Atheism is the denial of any of the current definitions of God. Agnosticism concurs but leaves open the possibility that a new, different definition may be acceptable. Same thing as far as I can tell, just with a different emphasis.

I gotta disagree. Atheism makes no positive statements. So it's not a denial of anything. It is merely the not being of something.

Agnosticism denies nothing. It simply says, if we don't know, I don't pretend to. And it says nothing about new definitions.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-09-2011, 11:57 PM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
I honestly think if I was to think about it, my idea of a god would be energy. The universe is built on energy. Not some ancient caveman book.
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25-09-2011, 01:00 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(24-09-2011 11:57 PM)Monk Wrote:  I honestly think if I was to think about it, my idea of a god would be energy. The universe is built on energy. Not some ancient caveman book.
Hello Monk
I see the words atheist and agnostic as largely interchangeable and quite dependent on the context being used.
Just what god is everyone on about?
Evolution posits that we evolved virtually from nothing as a result of natural selection
and I do not find this argument too enthralling.
Any initial causal factor could, loosely be called god; we don't need "perfect goodness", omnipotnence, omniscience etc . All we need is "something" that we can't explain. This phenomenon could be very far removed from all that scriptural stuff and any grasping whatsoever could only be intuitive and not scientific.
"God" isn't the problem; the problem lies with priests, gurus, mystics and other egocentrics intent on driving us all crazy.....Tongue
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25-09-2011, 01:47 AM
 
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
Back in the day when I thought I believed in God, I didn't know what it meant to be Atheist, it was a scary word. Most of society thinks that atheists are mean evil people who are angry and hate god. They don't really understand atheism, so they fear it.

After shedding my faith, I turned to agnosticism, because even though I doubted that there was a god, I thought that atheism was an extreme, and that atheism was to say "There definitely is no god."

After more research and thought on the subject I found out that atheists weren't bad people, they weren't scary or mean at all. So basically the reason I turned to agnosticism before atheism is because I didn't understand fully what it is to be an atheist. Instead of, "There definitely is no god." I think that "There probably isn't a god." and "There is no irrefutable evidence that there is a god." are more accurate ways to describe atheism.
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25-09-2011, 02:38 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
(25-09-2011 01:47 AM)MissGueritaLove Wrote:  Back in the day when I thought I believed in God, I didn't know what it meant to be Atheist, it was a scary word. Most of society thinks that atheists are mean evil people who are angry and hate god. They don't really understand atheism, so they fear it.

After shedding my faith, I turned to agnosticism, because even though I doubted that there was a god, I thought that atheism was an extreme, and that atheism was to say "There definitely is no god."

After more research and thought on the subject I found out that atheists weren't bad people, they weren't scary or mean at all. So basically the reason I turned to agnosticism before atheism is because I didn't understand fully what it is to be an atheist. Instead of, "There definitely is no god." I think that "There probably isn't a god." and "There is no irrefutable evidence that there is a god." are more accurate ways to describe atheism.

I've had religious people, a friends pastor, tell me directly that if I chose not to believe, that people like me are responsible for many deaths like Hitler. Of course, when I bring up that Hitler outlawed the German Freethinkers society and had their leader executed (which was an atheist group ) they quickly shudder.
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25-09-2011, 07:52 AM
RE: Law of excluded middle - Agnostics
This thread got me thinking.

Atheism makes no positive statements, but Atheists make positive statements all the time. When you call them on it, the response is, "But Atheism makes no positive statements."

This, to me, is a problem on many levels.

All Theism says is, "We believe in Theos." The real classification comes from the specific memeplex (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Greek Paganism, Wicca) that CONTAINS the Theos meme.

Like Theism, Atheism is really a broad term that means, "All of those groups that don't possess the Theos meme." The real classification SHOULD come from the specific memeplex, whether religious (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christian Atheism) or secular (anti-Theism, secular humanism, Pyrrhonian skepticism) but by and large it DOESN'T.

This for me is the issue because ignoring or avoiding the memeplex classifications allows Atheists to exist in a language loophole that allows them to make all manner of positive statements while still claiming that because they are Atheists they do not make positive statements. Furthermore, they have more of their cake by saying, "you can't put all Atheists in one basket," when people try to speak to Atheism in broad terms. So the rule is, “Atheists make no positive statements even though I do and you can’t lump Atheists together because we believe different things.”

That being said, the question for me is, of these memeplexes that we might call Atheist, which of them (0-100%) simply don't contain the Theos meme and which of them (0-100%) contain a meme that says, we disbelieve in the existence of God? That for me is the fundamental question one must ask when examining the question of where Agnosticism falls.

If some or all Atheist memeplexes simply don't have the Theos meme, then Agnosticism could fall into the category of Atheism. Agnostics do not say, "I believe in God," so the Theos meme, without doubt, is not present.

If some or all Atheist memeplexes have the "disbelief in the existence of God" meme, then Agnosticism would not fall into the category of Atheism because Agnostics do not say, "I disbelieve in the existence of God." And if Atheist memeplexes DO have the disbelief meme, how can it be said that Atheism makes no positive statements?

For me, the unanswered question is, “Does Atheism just not have the Theos meme or does it have the disbelief meme or can it be both?”

Perhaps there is a third category.
Theist: Possessing the Theos meme
Atheist1: Possessing the disbelief in Theos meme
Atheist2: Possessing neither

I think that some people make no differentiation between Atheist1 and Atheist2.

I think that others make a distinction but are trapped in the language. I would argue that Atheist2 is really Agnosticism. But that implies that all Atheists possess the disbelief meme. Perhaps that’s not valid. Perhaps another way of looking at it is that Atheism2 is true Atheism and Atheism1 is not Atheism at all because it makes the positive statement of “we believe there is no God.” I have no idea what you would call it.

I don’t know. Maybe it is simpler to say that there are Theists and Atheists and that’s it and Agnostics are just Atheists. But even if that’s true, I think that the unwillingness to look at the individual memeplexes within Atheism is a mistake. If we do investigate that fully, maybe the dichotomy will be smashed.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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