atheist or agnostic
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10-12-2012, 08:37 AM
atheist or agnostic
I'm a bit hung up on terminology here. I've always considered myself to be agnostic, which I understand to mean " I don't know if there is a "higher power" and I don't know how anyone could know", while an atheist is sure there is no god. I tell people I have an open mind, which is to say, bring me some proof and evidence and not talking snakes and 600 year old boat builders.
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10-12-2012, 09:01 AM (This post was last modified: 10-12-2012 09:04 AM by Vosur.)
RE: atheist or agnostic
(A)theism and (a)gnosticism are not mutually exclusive. An atheist who is sure of god's non-existence is called a gnostic atheist. As far as I can tell, almost all peeps around here are agnostic atheists.

In a nutshell, we don't claim to know whether or not gods exist and as a consequence of the absence of any evidence to support the claim of their existence, we don't have a belief in them.

Based on this post of yours, I'd say agnostic atheism describes your position quite well.

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10-12-2012, 09:06 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
If one claims to be an "agnostic", they do not believe in a God. Do they?

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10-12-2012, 09:08 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
(10-12-2012 09:06 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  If one claims to be an "agnostic", they do not believe in a God. Do they?
Not necessarily. Some believers self-identify as "agnostic theists".
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10-12-2012, 09:30 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
(10-12-2012 09:08 AM)pianodwarf Wrote:  
(10-12-2012 09:06 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  If one claims to be an "agnostic", they do not believe in a God. Do they?
Not necessarily. Some believers self-identify as "agnostic theists".
*raises hand*

Agnostic theist here. Since I'm not omniscience, I can't be gnostic. Moreover, I don't think anyone can be gnostic.

So yeah, technically you're an agnostic, but you have greater leaning towards atheism much like I have greater leanings towards theism.

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10-12-2012, 10:11 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
(10-12-2012 08:37 AM)johnnycee Wrote:  ... I've always considered myself to be agnostic, which I understand to mean " I don't know if there is a "higher power" and I don't know how anyone could know", while an atheist is sure there is no god....

I considered myself agnostic during my transitional (read:chickenshit) phase, when I was truly on the fence about what I believed. I began to think of myself as an atheist after I read, researched and weighed each argument with a placid unbiased mind, eventually coming to a concrete conclusion and finding peace with it. So, for me personally, "agnostic" is a word, similar to "secular," I would expect to hear during the apologetic self-description of somebody who doesn't actually know what the fuck they believe, someone who's waffling about the concept of opening up some objective literature and deciding. The meaning of atheism, similarly, is a phrase meaning a lack of bias, a clear perspective and a certain enlightenment that seldom few have discovered (like the Matrix!).

But... That's just me. Point being, it could be different for you or for anyone. Don't place too much value in terms... Decide what you believe (sounds like you have), decide why you believe that (within reason), and own it. Call yourself a Toyota Camry or a fuckin cheese omelette or a pack of Pall Malls, for all the good it does you.

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Yet with stranger aeons, even death may die.
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10-12-2012, 10:19 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
"Once you label me you negate me. "
Soren Kierkegaard



I thank Wayne's World for providing me with that quote.


Because of discussions on terminology that come and go constantly on here, I have become frustrated with using any label of any kind with respect to my beliefs. Atheist sums it up best in one word. Agnostic atheist sums it up best in 2. But summing up what I believe and how I came to that belief, can't be accomplished in or two sentences and probably not one or two paragraphs, let alone one or two words.


I lack a belief in a god or gods. I lack a belief in the paranormal, the supernatural, and the metaphysical.


Those are the best sentences I can use to say it but they lack any rationale or explanation and don't actually say anything about what I do believe in. Only what I lack a belief in. As such, they are more useless than people think for explaining my beliefs or indeed anything about me.


So, find your preferred label, and use it. But don't expect people to get it and don't expect people to understand you better because of it.


Evolve
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03-07-2013, 03:15 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
A lot of confusion lies in the fact that terms have become blurred and convoluted, mostly over the past 50 years. I prefer older definitions, which are more concise. Your definitions seem to be closer to those, as well.

Originally, in the 16th century, Atheism was defined as a belief...root word Atheos with an -ist (believer) attached. One who believes there is no God.

In the 19th century, the definition was still the same. Huxley, not considering himself an Athe-ist, described Agnosticism as a religious skepticism. It is not compatible with Theism or Athe-ism, because one can't both fully believe a proposition is true and doubt (be skeptical) a proposition is true. Once you believed, you became a believer (-ist) instead. Agnosticism adequately filled the position of no belief, no knowledge.

In 1970, along comes George H Smith. In his book, ATHEISM: The Case Against God, you find him stating that the common definition of Atheism was still Athe-ism. He then goes on to butcher the definition of Agnosticism, totally contradicting Huxley quotes he used. Based on that butchering, he then pushes a new A-theism definition for Atheism, totally contradicting etymology, and linguistics.

Why him, and others like him, decided to label themselves Atheists, then say the definition suit them (If it wasn't suitable, why'd you label yourself that?), is beyond me. But, its only since, about that time, that the A-theist definition has become more prominent, and the Agnostic definition becomes more butchered.

Knowledge is a justified true belief, with 3 steps. 1. no belief, no knowledge (default); 2. belief, no knowledge (true belief); 3. belief, knowledge (justified true belief)

Applied to the two propositions, "God Exists" and "God doesn't exist", here's how it looks with Agnosticism as the default:

3: belief, knowledge = Atheo-Gnostic
2: belief, no knowledge = Athe-ist
1: no belief, no knowledge = Agnostic
2: belief, no knowledge = The-ist
3: belief, knowledge = Theo-Gnostic

Here's how it looks with A-theism as the default:

3: belief, knowledge = Gnostic Strong Atheist
2: belief, no knowledge = Agnostic Strong Atheist
1: no belief, no knowledge = Agnostic (no belief label)
1: no belief, no knowledge = Agnostic Weak Atheist
2: belief, no knowledge = Agnostic Theist
3: belief, knowledge = Gnostic Theist

Convoluted and incomplete, IMO. I'd stick with the definitions you're using. The "I don't know how anyone could know" part addresses a different proposition, "Can anyone know".

Take care.
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03-07-2013, 06:40 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
I don't really feel comfortable with any of these tight definitions, so I call myself a Freethinker.

This is the definition of freethought:

Quote:Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena.

A line from "Clifford's Credo" by the 19th Century British mathematician and philosopher William Kingdon Clifford perhaps best describes the premise of freethought: "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

Source

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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03-07-2013, 06:57 AM
RE: atheist or agnostic
What is with the necroposting of the intro threads? Angry

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