The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
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21-11-2017, 11:03 PM
The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
Just watching the new video and wanted to respond. Maybe get other people who might consider themselves agnostic to chime in with their own thoughts and definition.

First off, I'm a fan. I haven't been on this forum before but I know other channels have a lot of tribalism where nobody can criticize the host without being pinned as hating the channel. I'm going to criticize Seth's thoughts here and want to make clear I find Seth to be an overall much smarter person than myself, more knowledgeable and I have a lot of respect for him. TTA is one of my favorite channels and I rewatch all the time. I just think his wrong here and that's okay. He can be wrong. So can I. That's why I'm hoping to hear from others.

On this video, I personally related very much to the guy before the hour mark.

I'm an agnostic atheist but I'm more agnostic than atheist. It's impossible to prove whether a god does or doesn't exist without a stable definition. There's no way to reach a conclusion. It doesn't matter if a conclusion is reached or not. You are ultimately the actor. That's my perspective. For me, if a deity reveals themselves tomorrow it changes nothing. So the question itself is pointless.

But on a general scale, I think the thing Seth isn't getting is that when you fight religious influence, you aren't fighting with religion. You're fighting with studies and logic. You fight with religion you will always lose, because the religion is designed to defend against all attacks with inbuilt contradictions and derision of intellectualism. Also, you're an 'evil atheist'. Instead, you bring reality into things like you would with any illogical belief. Fighting purely with religion is like arguing that the tooth fairy couldn't exist because her wings wouldn't allow takeoff at a lower altitude.

The religion matters surprisingly little in a debate. You find out what the person is getting out of their religion and you undermine that. You find out the persons self-image, and you point out beliefs that don't mesh with that. The next time they hear that one thing that conflicts with their self-image, they will remember the contradiction.

I also found that Seth was projecting a conclusion onto his callers, suggesting that they are afraid of the title. I am not afraid of the title. I am an agnostic atheist and when I state my beliefs, I say atheist. Because I like that it hits hard and definite. People do go softer on agnostics because they don't understand it or they can't confront it. I want religious people to hit me hard with everything they've got. If they don't bring out their big guns how can I strengthen my own position? Or change it? How can I learn if I don't have a reason?

But that doesn't mean my kin in the agnostic community are. And move the line of atheism all you like, by saying 'don't you agree x' and 'that's atheism!'. But that's a trait left over from indoctrination and many of us have now built a defence to that kind of manipulation. My bullshit metre was screaming. Well-intentioned though it was, Seth came in with a conclusion (which is fine), and when that conclusion was challenged, I feel he started getting shaky goalposts.

I just found it frustrating to watch. I understand wanting to band together under the title of atheism. Some of us are just more comfortable since we started in a social group defined by a title, some are just conscious that a stable title gives us a better position politically. But it's like all the people who like to tell people that bisexuality is really just 'gay but scared'. No, bisexual is a thing. All on its own.

Feel free to comment and disagree or give your own perspective. I know this is rambley but I don't have time for an essay.
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22-11-2017, 12:15 AM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2017 12:33 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
There is no coherent definition of a "god". It does not *even* merit ANY consideration at all. None. One also cannot prove there are no Pink Sparkly unicorns. Do I need to take a position towards them ? It makes no sense, (and none is required) to take a position with respect to an incoherent, undefined notion. Saying I take a formal position with respect to an incoherent undefined idea gives THAT idea far more credit and grants it a validity it does not merit.

The classical definition of agnosticism ("it is not *even* possible") for us to know if there is a god(s), makes more sense.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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22-11-2017, 01:14 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(22-11-2017 12:15 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There is no coherent definition of a "god". It does not *even* merit ANY consideration at all. None. One also cannot prove there are no Pink Sparkly unicorns. Do I need to take a position towards them ? It makes no sense, (and none is required) to take a position with respect to an incoherent, undefined notion. Saying I take a formal position with respect to an incoherent undefined idea gives THAT idea far more credit and grants it a validity it does not merit.

The classical definition of agnosticism ("it is not *even* possible") for us to know if there is a god(s), makes more sense.

Exactly, this is why I prefer to formally take the stance of ignosticism/igtheism. The question is meaningless. It requires total clarification in all cases. To take a position on it is giving it too much credit.

I prefer to tackle religion by asking why people care if there is a "God", whatever it is. Why are they so eager to surrender their brains and be told what to do? And why, in most cases, are they worshipping a barbaric, idiotic character? Most of the time I get no answer, indicating the lack of thought people have put into this. They're just so used to obeying their programming.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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22-11-2017, 05:46 AM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2017 06:06 AM by M. Linoge.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(21-11-2017 11:03 PM)Aerika Wrote:  But that doesn't mean my kin in the agnostic community are. And move the line of atheism all you like, by saying 'don't you agree x' and 'that's atheism!'. But that's a trait left over from indoctrination and many of us have now built a defence to that kind of manipulation. My bullshit metre was screaming. Well-intentioned though it was, Seth came in with a conclusion (which is fine), and when that conclusion was challenged, I feel he started getting shaky goalposts.

I just found it frustrating to watch. I understand wanting to band together under the title of atheism. Some of us are just more comfortable since we started in a social group defined by a title, some are just conscious that a stable title gives us a better position politically.
Last time I argued with an agnostic the other party pitched a fit like you wouldn’t believe and posted in caps ‘how would you feel if I called you a rapist’!?
I still don't know exactly what set him off, so I will apologize in advance and hope I don't come across as too offensive.

What Seth did was explain how the caller fit his(and mine and every honest atheist I know) interpretation of the word. It's not a trick.
The line of atheism has never moved for as long as I have been alive. People can be a lot of things while also being an atheist and non-atheists can slander us from the outside but the line remains the same.

I don’t think atheists in general want to band together. If that was important those of us who have converted probably would have chosen to stay where they were.
Much more political power that way.

To me, the guy at the hour mark seemed a little confused. It sounded like he ascribed the negative attributes of people who put bacon in the food of kindergarteners to drive away muslims, to atheism.
The people he talked about who wanted to ban beards, ”because beards are a part of religion”, might be anti-theistic to an extreme degree, or simply anti-muslim.
Which is kinda understandable given the cartoon incident that caused devout Muslims to burn down Danish embassies, murdering hundreds and boycotting their trade. No wonder they're pissed.
To call the beard-haters strictly atheists doing an “atheist thing” is a victory for religious propaganda. It’s wrong, for the same reason it is wrong to label those who want a new holy war “theists.” Not terrorists, fanatics, murders or jihadists – just average theists, when the truth is most who label themselves theist want to live their lives in peace.

"Throughout history, every mystery, ever solved, has turned out to be; Not magic."
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22-11-2017, 07:01 AM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2017 07:30 AM by unfogged.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
The words atheist and agnostic have multiple meanings as used by different people and I don't particularly care what definitions people use as long as it is clear what is meant. I grew up with "atheist" meaning somebody who believed there is no god and "agnostic" meaning somebody who was unsure and that's still a common understanding of the words.

From theists it often seem to be that "atheist" means rebelling against god and hating people who believe. That's the mindset where it becomes an insult and it is hard to overcome because it has been ingrained that atheism=evil. Agnostics tend to be treated as people who can still be saved because they haven't gone completely over to the dark side yet.

More recently I've heard them defined such that "atheist" means somebody who does not accept any claim of a god's existence and "agnostic" meaning that that they do not claim to know. In general I find these definitions most useful so they are the ones I go with. With regard to Yahweh, Zeus, Thor, etc I would be a gnostic atheist because I am convinced that those gods do not exist. With regard to a vague deistic claim that there might be something somewhere somehow that could qualify for the label "god" I'd be an agnostic atheist -- I don't accept the claim but I'll wait for specific definitions and evidence before coming to a conclusion.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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22-11-2017, 07:06 AM (This post was last modified: 22-11-2017 07:09 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
I just listened to a video about this kind of thing from one of my favourite channels. Some people really are afraid of the label, so much so that they will redefine words to try and claim some sort of intellectual superiority. These people try and sit in the non-existent gap between theism and atheism, while looking down on both. I call them "elite agnostics".

I also don't care how people want to define words as long as they are consistent, and don't then equivocate with what others mean by them.





Here's my own video about it.




I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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22-11-2017, 08:03 AM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2017 10:36 PM by Full Circle.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
I went through the 'agnostic' phase until I finally acknowledged that logically a supernatural anything is a contradiction in terms.

Things either exist, or they do not. If they exist then they are caught up within the very same space-time we all are so by definition could not have 'created' it. Since most gods are ascribed the 'creator' label then I am sure no such entity exists.

In this regard I am a 7.0 on the atheism scale.

It would take those that propose gods to redefine them in such a way that would make them less than Omni for me to even consider the possibility. But then they become something less than what most religious people believe in and we are no longer talking about the same thing.

Drinking Beverage

ps I meant 7 not 6

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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22-11-2017, 08:03 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(21-11-2017 11:03 PM)Aerika Wrote:  Just watching the new video and wanted to respond. Maybe get other people who might consider themselves agnostic to chime in with their own thoughts and definition.

First off, I'm a fan. I haven't been on this forum before but I know other channels have a lot of tribalism where nobody can criticize the host without being pinned as hating the channel. I'm going to criticize Seth's thoughts here and want to make clear I find Seth to be an overall much smarter person than myself, more knowledgeable and I have a lot of respect for him. TTA is one of my favorite channels and I rewatch all the time. I just think his wrong here and that's okay. He can be wrong. So can I. That's why I'm hoping to hear from others.

On this video, I personally related very much to the guy before the hour mark.

I'm an agnostic atheist but I'm more agnostic than atheist. It's impossible to prove whether a god does or doesn't exist without a stable definition. There's no way to reach a conclusion. It doesn't matter if a conclusion is reached or not. You are ultimately the actor. That's my perspective. For me, if a deity reveals themselves tomorrow it changes nothing. So the question itself is pointless.

But on a general scale, I think the thing Seth isn't getting is that when you fight religious influence, you aren't fighting with religion. You're fighting with studies and logic. You fight with religion you will always lose, because the religion is designed to defend against all attacks with inbuilt contradictions and derision of intellectualism. Also, you're an 'evil atheist'. Instead, you bring reality into things like you would with any illogical belief. Fighting purely with religion is like arguing that the tooth fairy couldn't exist because her wings wouldn't allow takeoff at a lower altitude.

The religion matters surprisingly little in a debate. You find out what the person is getting out of their religion and you undermine that. You find out the persons self-image, and you point out beliefs that don't mesh with that. The next time they hear that one thing that conflicts with their self-image, they will remember the contradiction.

I also found that Seth was projecting a conclusion onto his callers, suggesting that they are afraid of the title. I am not afraid of the title. I am an agnostic atheist and when I state my beliefs, I say atheist. Because I like that it hits hard and definite. People do go softer on agnostics because they don't understand it or they can't confront it. I want religious people to hit me hard with everything they've got. If they don't bring out their big guns how can I strengthen my own position? Or change it? How can I learn if I don't have a reason?

But that doesn't mean my kin in the agnostic community are. And move the line of atheism all you like, by saying 'don't you agree x' and 'that's atheism!'. But that's a trait left over from indoctrination and many of us have now built a defence to that kind of manipulation. My bullshit metre was screaming. Well-intentioned though it was, Seth came in with a conclusion (which is fine), and when that conclusion was challenged, I feel he started getting shaky goalposts.

I just found it frustrating to watch. I understand wanting to band together under the title of atheism. Some of us are just more comfortable since we started in a social group defined by a title, some are just conscious that a stable title gives us a better position politically. But it's like all the people who like to tell people that bisexuality is really just 'gay but scared'. No, bisexual is a thing. All on its own.

Feel free to comment and disagree or give your own perspective. I know this is rambley but I don't have time for an essay.

If I could build a time machine, and go back in time, I would fucking kick Thomas Huxley in the nuts for cobbling together a horrible word and popularizing it.

What the dipshit never considered was past, present and future.

Agnostic is not a stand alone word when you consider the history of the prefix and suffix.

"a" meaning without
"gnosis" or "gnostic" meaning knowledge.

Neither tell you what you are without knowledge of.

If used properly it can only go in front of theist or atheist, it should not be used alone.

Now, the other thing as I said is he never considered time.

YOU CAN HOLD the "off" position on god/deity claims as far as all past and current claims, while not being sure of any future evidence that might change your position.

THUS, here are what should be your real options.

1. Theist= holding a specific label.
2. Agnostic theist. Hold the on position currently, but not sure what this god's attributes are.
3. Atheist, certain about past present and future that "off".

4. Agnostic atheist= "off" on all past and current claims, but agnostic about what the future might bring.

I call myself an agnostic atheist, I will say this though, while the future is not here yet, even in that case, I cannot see myself in my lucid sane state of mind falling back into any sort of super natural belief.

I think those whom are afraid to use "agnostic" in combo with "atheist" should not be.

One word addresses knowledge, the other addresses position.

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22-11-2017, 08:09 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
G'day mate, and welcome to the forums. Smile

(21-11-2017 11:03 PM)Aerika Wrote:  I'm an agnostic atheist but I'm more agnostic than atheist. It's impossible to prove whether a god does or doesn't exist without a stable definition...

In my opinion, there can be no such definition as an "agnostic atheist"—as each is mutually contradictory by definition. One is either an atheist or an agnostic, but you can't be both at the same time. It's like saying a woman is slightly pregnant.

And as an atheist, it's not up to me to prove that gods don't exist. As the proponents of this claim, it's up to the theists to prove that they do exist. If I claim I can fly, then I have to jump off the roof to prove it—I can't realistically expect you to disprove it.

I can also challenge you to prove that leprechauns don't exist, but you'll be unable to.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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22-11-2017, 09:16 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(21-11-2017 11:03 PM)Aerika Wrote:  I'm an agnostic atheist but I'm more agnostic than atheist. It's impossible to prove whether a god does or doesn't exist without a stable definition. There's no way to reach a conclusion.

There are indeed "stable" definitions for gods or God -- several of them in fact (theism, deism, pantheism, etc). And they all have arguments against them which make each of them highly improbable if not impossible. So when you say "There's no way to reach a conclusion," you are actually thinking there must be some one-size-fits-all argument against all gods or God. In fact, there are plenty of different ways to arrive at conclusions, depending on the God concept, and we discuss them here all the time.
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