What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
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01-09-2010, 05:23 AM
 
What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
an agnostic is 'without knowledge' but can still believe in atheism or theism, so what do you call an agnostic who equally does not believe in atheism and theism?
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01-09-2010, 06:08 AM
 
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(01-09-2010 05:23 AM)transcribing Wrote:  an agnostic is 'without knowledge' but can still believe in atheism or theism, so what do you call an agnostic who equally does not believe in atheism and theism?

They're still an agnostic.

The distinction that you are making is one that is relatively minimal. An agnostic is essentially saying that they don't know. So whether they equally believe or don't believe in theism or atheism is beside the point. After all, you're talking about a belief system. And belief and knowledge are not related.

If they were, then we wouldn't have theists.
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01-09-2010, 06:19 AM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
This think this thread should be able to answer most of your questions there. The only reason I don't answer here is because it seemed to get into a huge argument before and I'm not entirely sure it another one would be welcome. =P

I hope this helps you out! =D

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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01-09-2010, 07:21 AM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(01-09-2010 05:23 AM)transcribing Wrote:  an agnostic is 'without knowledge' but can still believe in atheism or theism, so what do you call an agnostic who equally does not believe in atheism and theism?

Not possible.

Agnosticism has nothing to do with atheism or theism. Being an agnostic does not mean that you are neither atheist nor theist.

"Atheist" means "not theist". If you are not a theist, you are an atheist.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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01-09-2010, 07:35 AM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(01-09-2010 07:21 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Agnosticism has nothing to do with atheism or theism. Being an agnostic does not mean that you are neither atheist nor theist.

"Atheist" means "not theist". If you are not a theist, you are an atheist.

Was just going to say this.

The terms answer two different questions. The question is: do you believe a god exists or not? You could say "I don't know" but you're not answering the question. You either believe a god exists or you don't.

Agnosticism and gnosticism refer to knowledge. For example, I consider myself an agnostic atheist because I do not believe there's a god, nor do I claim knowledge that there is no god. I used to be an agnostic theist - I believed there was a god but I did not claim to have knowledge that he existed.

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01-09-2010, 07:54 AM
 
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(01-09-2010 07:21 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Agnosticism has nothing to do with atheism or theism. Being an agnostic does not mean that you are neither atheist nor theist.

"Atheist" means "not theist". If you are not a theist, you are an atheist.
Exactly. Atheism is not a religion, with different denominations. It is the absence of belief in a deity.

You can believe in a deity (hence - you're not an atheist), but reject the particular deities of specific religious denominations. This makes you a theist. Presumably, you accept the existence of your deity on faith, rather than evidence.

There's some controversy about how agnosticism is defined ... for many, it is some sort of middle ground they occupy between theism and atheism, despite the black and white character of the distinction. A dictionary definition of an agnostic: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, such as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Agnosticism rejects the teachings of religious faith, but leaves open the issue of the existence of a deity.

Thus, it's on its way to atheism, but hasn't arrived yet.
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01-09-2010, 08:00 AM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(01-09-2010 07:54 AM)2buckchuck Wrote:  
(01-09-2010 07:21 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Agnosticism has nothing to do with atheism or theism. Being an agnostic does not mean that you are neither atheist nor theist.

"Atheist" means "not theist". If you are not a theist, you are an atheist.
Exactly. Atheism is not a religion, with different denominations. It is the absence of belief in a deity.

You can believe in a deity (hence - you're not an atheist), but reject the particular deities of specific religious denominations. This makes you a theist. Presumably, you accept the existence of your deity on faith, rather than evidence.

There's some controversy about how agnosticism is defined ... for many, it is some sort of middle ground they occupy between theism and atheism, despite the black and white character of the distinction. A dictionary definition of an agnostic: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, such as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Agnosticism rejects the teachings of religious faith, but leaves open the issue of the existence of a deity.

Thus, it's on its way to atheism, but hasn't arrived yet.

Not to split hairs, but this last line is not quite correct. Though it may seem minor, I believe it's an important distiction to be made. Atheism and agnostisism are different things. Therefore one can't really be on it's way to being another. One deals with belief, the other with knowledge.

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01-09-2010, 08:01 AM
 
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
A brief follow-up ... disbelief in a deity is NOT logically equivalent to having proven the non-existence of said deity, nor is it a belief taken on faith. At the risk of being repetitious, atheism is NOT a 'positive' belief system, it's the negation of belief.
(01-09-2010 08:00 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Not to split hairs, but this last line is not quite correct. Though it may seem minor, I believe it's an important distiction to be made. Atheism and agnostisism are different things. Therefore one can't really be on it's way to being another. One deals with belief, the other with knowledge.
My comment is not part of the DEFINITION of agnosticism, but rather an observation that by staking out a position that seemingly denies both atheism and theism, it already has moved away from theism. I used to think I was an agnostic, because of the absence of evidence for the existence of a deity (and the irrationality of monotheistic faiths), but I misunderstood atheism for years as representing a belief - i.e., a belief in the non-existence of a deity, which is NOT a correct characterization of atheism.
(01-09-2010 07:35 AM)TheSixthGlass Wrote:  
(01-09-2010 07:21 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Agnosticism has nothing to do with atheism or theism. Being an agnostic does not mean that you are neither atheist nor theist.

"Atheist" means "not theist". If you are not a theist, you are an atheist.

Was just going to say this.

The terms answer two different questions. The question is: do you believe a god exists or not? You could say "I don't know" but you're not answering the question. You either believe a god exists or you don't.

Agnosticism and gnosticism refer to knowledge. For example, I consider myself an agnostic atheist because I do not believe there's a god, nor do I claim knowledge that there is no god. I used to be an agnostic theist - I believed there was a god but I did not claim to have knowledge that he existed.
I like this description very much! It seems we atheists struggle to find a categorization of our views. People seem compelled to pigeon-hole everyone, including themselves. This leads to something analogous to racism ... I'm an atheist, so someone who doesn't know me thinks of me in some stereotypical terms associated with atheism. I'm white, I'm male, I'm over 30, I'm this, I'm that ... each of those might be an accurate statement but unless you actually know me, these descriptors may not lead you to an accurate understanding of my viewpoint.
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04-09-2010, 07:48 PM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
I'm again late to the party, but atheism does engulf the middle ground. If you do not specifically believe there is a god, then you are an atheist. I had a hard time grasping this at first, but babies, animals, and rocks are all atheists(they are unable to believe in god, they are atheists). I'm going to go off on a little rant I'm sure I already said somewhere on this site.

The term 'atheist' is extremely vague, yet I see so many otherwise intelligent atheists seem to misuse the very label they cling to. It seems that fewer and fewer people view atheism as a 'lack of belief in god', but rather 'the view that nothing supernatural exists, and science is the key to understanding the world around us'. It's baffling to me.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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07-09-2010, 08:39 AM
RE: What do you call an agnostic who does not believe in atheism or theism?
(04-09-2010 07:48 PM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  The term 'atheist' is extremely vague, yet I see so many otherwise intelligent atheists seem to misuse the very label they cling to. It seems that fewer and fewer people view atheism as a 'lack of belief in god', but rather 'the view that nothing supernatural exists, and science is the key to understanding the world around us'. It's baffling to me.
Indeed. I believe 'the view that nothing supernatural exists and science is the key to understanding the world around us' is actually a Naturalist viewpoint, if I'm not mistaken.

Though I must say that I see theists misuse the atheist label far more often than atheists. But it could be my geographical area.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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