The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
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24-11-2017, 04:25 PM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 01:32 PM)Vera Wrote:  And what are the percentages involved in the atheistic belief, oh wise one?

I don't know the answer to your question, but I sense from the sarcasm, that I've somehow come across as arrogant, and you think I'm talking down to you. If so, I don't intend to be. That's why Seth is so much better at this sort of thing than I am.
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24-11-2017, 04:53 PM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2017 05:01 PM by srobertanv.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  A contradiction. You BELIEVE in a 50 % (positive) probability.

No, by 50% I mean the proposition is 50/50. Neither supported nor falsified by evidence. I neither believe, nor disbelieve.
(24-11-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  a -
an -
"deficient, lacking, without"

a-symmetry : lacking symmetry
an-encephaly : no brain
a-theist : LACKING a/any belief in the gods (NOT a *belief* there are no god)

...
Atheists dismiss the idea, and take no position with respect to it, as it has no meaning.
The way you define it, I would indeed be an atheist. But that definition is not universally understood. There are definitely some right here on this forum who have a belief that there is no god. They go beyond lacking belief. (I think that is because they conflate the Abrahamic god, which they've rejected, with any other possibly defined god) And in the minds of the listener, your definition puts me in the same camp as those who insist that there is no god of any kind. There are some definitions for the term 'god' that put me in the 'I don't know camp', rather than the 'there's no such thing camp'. I want to be sure the listener knows where I'm coming from.
When the listener is a Christian, it gets easier. I can just tell them that I find their god, as Christianity defines it, to be a logical contradiction, and that the evidence is abundant that their god is a work of fiction. But if they respond to that by asking, "Then, you're an atheist?". I answer, "No, I'm agnostic. There may be some kind of god, but I don't see how the one your religion teaches about could exist." Perhaps, they will ask, "Well then what kind of god do you think does exist?" I answer that I'm open to evidence, but that I haven't seen any, for a creator god, who is not necessarily omniscient, omnipotent, or benevolent.
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24-11-2017, 11:36 PM (This post was last modified: 24-11-2017 11:54 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 04:53 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  
(24-11-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  A contradiction. You BELIEVE in a 50 % (positive) probability.

No, by 50% I mean the proposition is 50/50. Neither supported nor falsified by evidence. I neither believe, nor disbelieve.
(24-11-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  a -
an -
"deficient, lacking, without"

a-symmetry : lacking symmetry
an-encephaly : no brain
a-theist : LACKING a/any belief in the gods (NOT a *belief* there are no god)

...
Atheists dismiss the idea, and take no position with respect to it, as it has no meaning.
The way you define it, I would indeed be an atheist. But that definition is not universally understood. There are definitely some right here on this forum who have a belief that there is no god. They go beyond lacking belief. (I think that is because they conflate the Abrahamic god, which they've rejected, with any other possibly defined god) And in the minds of the listener, your definition puts me in the same camp as those who insist that there is no god of any kind. There are some definitions for the term 'god' that put me in the 'I don't know camp', rather than the 'there's no such thing camp'. I want to be sure the listener knows where I'm coming from.
When the listener is a Christian, it gets easier. I can just tell them that I find their god, as Christianity defines it, to be a logical contradiction, and that the evidence is abundant that their god is a work of fiction. But if they respond to that by asking, "Then, you're an atheist?". I answer, "No, I'm agnostic. There may be some kind of god, but I don't see how the one your religion teaches about could exist." Perhaps, they will ask, "Well then what kind of god do you think does exist?" I answer that I'm open to evidence, but that I haven't seen any, for a creator god, who is not necessarily omniscient, omnipotent, or benevolent.

No. Common amateur error. You cannot assign ANY number or probability unless you have DATA. You have none, and therefore it's NOT 50/50. It's undefined until you have data. Saying it's 50/50 is a dishonest ruse. All you can say is "I believe it's "either, or". But in fact you have admitted you do believe. You believe 50 % that a concept with no evidence or definition *could* be true. That IS a weak belief. THAT is irrational, and is neither atheism nor agnosticism ... all it is, is a fake pretend agnosticism, that claims a probability that has no basis at all.

If the two choices in your mind are actually REAL, then you have the real possibility of accepting either one or the other, and your indecision indicates either is at least possible. Just having two choices does not in any way grant someone to equate them, without a calculation. you have not done one, nor presented the data to rest the assertion on. All you can say is "it could be one or the other". Even saying it's 0.05 % means you accept the validity of the god concept.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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25-11-2017, 01:06 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 04:53 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  I think that is because they conflate the Abrahamic god, which they've rejected, with any other possibly defined god

That's what happens when people name their god God Tongue

You hammer it down hard enough 'there is only one', then rejecting that one makes you an atheist to the whole spectrum of possible deities - which is just one, according to majority vote in the free world.

I can't rightly say I reject all possible definitions of something godlike. Just the ones people keep making up and failing to support with evidence.
There may be a god that defies every demand humans have for it (not sure if we can still call that a god) revealing itself tomorrow, but I'm definitely an atheist to every concept floating around to date.

"Throughout history, every mystery, ever solved, has turned out to be; Not magic."
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25-11-2017, 01:21 AM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2017 01:25 AM by M. Linoge.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 01:01 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  The difference between knowledge and belief is merely one of a degree of certainty, not a difference in kind. I'm never 100% certain of anything. But when the percentage gets high enough, I'm likely to start saying "I know" rather than "I believe". The labels "agnostic-theist" and "agnostic-atheist" don't really make much sense to me. The proposition that an intelligent entity (whom we'll call a god) was somehow involved in the creation of the universe is one that, for me, is exactly at 50% certainty. Hence, I'm an agnostic and not generally an atheist.

The problem for me is, the people who champion the idea of intelligent design made their claims entirely without any supporting evidence. They could be right but they can't demonstrate or explain how/why they have arrived at their conclusion without appealing to incredulity.
"I can't think of a better answer", is not an impressive or compelling argument coming from an organic piece of carbon of insignificant lifespan and sensory perception in the cosmic scale of things.
50/50 odds seems generous.

"Throughout history, every mystery, ever solved, has turned out to be; Not magic."
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25-11-2017, 03:26 AM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2017 03:32 AM by Deesse23.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 01:29 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  
(24-11-2017 01:08 PM)DLJ Wrote:  They might be using something like this...

[Image: main-qimg-c088ee8c02024475d46a5682fa4da3d1]

Yes, I've seen that chart before. But it's built around a distinction between knowing and believing as being two different kinds of thought processes. Rather than thinking of them as being different only in the degree of certainty. I'm 99.99% certain the earth is not flat, so I say that I "know it". While I'm only 75% certain that trihalomethanes in the drinking water supply cause cancer, so I "believe" it.

(24-11-2017 01:01 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  The difference between knowledge and belief is merely one of a degree of certainty, not a difference in kind.
You are wrong, i know this, because i can demonstrate what i claim to know. And this is precisely my argument why you are wrong:

You seem to be confused about two things, and thats why you are having problems discussing your position with some people.

DLJ explained already the first one. Agnostic/gnostic are calims of knowledge, theism/atheism claims of belief. Thus being agnostic and atheist are not exclusive. In fact, most people here would admit to fall into this category.

Your second mistake (which is actually analogous to your first one) is thinking that belief and knowledge are the same category (like you thought with being agnostic and atheist), which they arent.

Knowledge is a subset of belief. Knowledge is a belief that can be demonstrated to be true.

No matter how hard you believe in Santa Claus, you will never know that he exits, because you wont be able to demonstrate his existenxe. All the people who claim to know he exists are just making the same mistake you made, by thinking their strong belief somehow magically turns into knowledge. It doesnt.

In your example, both of your statements are beliefs with variying certainties. Beliefs, until you demonstrate them to be true. Since you clearly will be able to demonstrate the earth is a globe this is a knowledge of oyurs (as you correctly assumed, but for the wrong reason).
You may dont have compelling evidence of trihalomethanes in the drinking water supply causing cancer, so its a belief of yours. If you clearly can demonstrate this to be true, you can honestly claim to know this.

Again, there is a distinction between what people claim to know and what they in fact do know. They can demonstrate the latter.

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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25-11-2017, 05:11 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 04:53 PM)srobertanv Wrote:  
(24-11-2017 02:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  a-theist : LACKING a/any belief in the gods (NOT a *belief* there are no god)... Atheists dismiss the idea, and take no position with respect to it, as it has no meaning.
The way you define it, I would indeed be an atheist. But that definition is not universally understood.

Yes it is. In a few simple words, (according to The Atheist Foundation of Australia) atheism is the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of God, gods or the supernatural. In exactly the same way you regard unicorns, mermaids, or centaurs.

Quote:There are definitely some right here on this forum who have a belief that there is no god. They go beyond lacking belief.

And this is why I'm guessing you don't fully understand what atheism is. I'm a lifelong atheist, but I don't have any belief that there are no gods. I also have no idea what you mean by "they go beyond lacking belief"—considering we have no belief to start with.

Quote:I think that is because they conflate the Abrahamic god, which they've rejected, with any other possibly defined god.

Wrong again. I've not "rejected" the Abrahamic god; that presupposes I consider that it could exist in the first place. Which I don't. No gods exist; they're all simply figments of people's fertile imaginations. So there's no need for any conflation, as you claim.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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25-11-2017, 07:53 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
I believe my wife has been faithful to me throughout our marriage, but I don’t know she has been faithful. I am agnostic when it comes to her faithfulness. Only she KNOWS if she has been faithful. She is gnostic on this matter.

That’s the difference. Based on the evidence I have, by the way she acts and treats me, I believe she is faithful. But there is no saying that 20 years ago she didn’t have a weak moment while on a business trip. I can’t know that, so I’m agnostic about it. Same with any god. Given the evidence and how things are going here on earth, I don’t believe any god could exist, but I wasn’t there when everything was created and I can’t be everywhere at all times, so I am agnostic. How the hell do I KNOW if there is a god? I can’t know it, so I’m agnostic. They 100 percent are not mutually exclusive terms, otherwise they would be synonyms, and they clearly aren’t.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
----
Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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25-11-2017, 09:40 AM (This post was last modified: 25-11-2017 10:37 AM by srobertanv.)
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(25-11-2017 05:11 AM)SYZ Wrote:  And this is why I'm guessing you don't fully understand what atheism is.
I assure you that I do understand what atheism is.
It is sometimes defined as lacking belief. That is the definition that I think is preferred by Seth and most people on this forum. It's not a bad definition, but there are others. Here's an alternative definition that appears to come from an authoritative source:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The last sentence in an opening paragraph there reads:
Therefore, in philosophy at least, atheism should be construed as the proposition that God does not exist (or, more broadly, the proposition that there are no gods)."
And that is the sense in which I use the term atheism. With that definition, neither you or I would be atheists. Nor for that matter would Seth Andrews.
(25-11-2017 05:11 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Wrong again. I've not "rejected" the Abrahamic god;
That one is my fault. I would be clearer if I had said rejected the proposition of the existence of the Abrahamic god.
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25-11-2017, 11:25 AM
RE: The Difference Between Atheist And Agnostic
(24-11-2017 11:36 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  No. Common amateur error.
Guilty, I'm using statistical language in an amateurish way.
Prop A: There's a canteloupe in my refrigerator.
Prop B: There's no canteloupe in my refrigerator.
Mutually exclusive propositions, assuming canteloupe, my, and refrigeraton are all reasonably defined. We could get all bogged down in whether a half a canteloupe counts, or whether a musk melon is the same as a canteloupe, or if an ice chest counts as a refrigerator. Or whether the refrigerator is rightfully mine. That sort of thing can go on forever.
When I said 50/50. I merely meant that A and B have an equal chance of being true and an equal chance of being false.
Incidentally, I have no idea whether or not there's a canteloupe in my refrigerator right at this moment. I'm totally agnostic between those two propositions. I am NOT a canteloupe atheist.
(24-11-2017 11:36 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You have none, and therefore it's NOT 50/50. It's undefined until you have data. Saying it's 50/50 is a dishonest ruse. ... ... all it is, is a fake pretend agnosticism, that claims a probability that has no basis at all.
No reason accuse me of dishonesty. The proposition that there could have existed an entity that could reasonably be labelled a god, is for me as likely true, as false in the absence of data. That's all I mean by 50/50.
Something about this entire thread reminds me of Lewis Carrol:
QUOTATION: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that's all.”
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