theist to agnostic to atheist
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12-01-2014, 12:17 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(12-01-2014 12:05 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Those both encompass lacking a belief in gods without having an actual negative belief in gods. If you don't know if they exist for sure, then you would be lacking the belief.
Those both encompass lacking a belief in gods because they both contain the word "atheist". However "weak atheist" says nothing about knowledge because the word "agnostic" is absent. "Agnostic atheist" however contains the word "agnostic" and therefore says something about knowledge. Now, do you understand there's a difference between two definitions when one mentions knowledge and the other doesn't? Do you understand that "weak atheist" and "agnostic atheist" are not synonymous? Yes or no?
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12-01-2014, 12:47 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
Artie - can bobbypants make it any clearer ?
All atheists don't believe in God - most are probably weak atheists, they just lack a belief in God.
Just like people might be afairiest or aghostist and lack belief in fairies & Ghosts.

However there are atheists who positively assert they know there is no God - the strong atheists.
For example if you know there are logical contradictions to a classic definition of God (lets say classic medieval theism such as Augustinian conceptions of God) then you can know that type of God does not exist.

Note there can be combinations of strong & weak atheism and even agnosticism in the mix depending on the definitions of God debated.
In my own case very early on I was a strong atheist to Jesus as God - I basically knew Christianity was wrong with very high degree of certainty.
I was weakly atheistic towards some other concepts of God (such as some Islamic/Jewish concepts found in Al-Gazali or Maimonides) which might of had more plausibility i.e I lacked belief but didn't know those concepts definitely did not exist.
I was agnostic to the apophatic negative theology found in mystical Judaism & Sufism which strips the attributes of God only defining God in negative terminology. Therefore I was simultaneously strongly atheistic to Christianity, weakly atheistic to classic Islamic/Jewish concepts of God and agnostic to some of the more sophisticated theologies in the mystical traditions.

Today I consider all personal versions of a deity to be incoherent and would be a strong atheist to all of them. However I may technically be agnostic to the negative theologies (apophasis theology) - but you cannot really sustain a religious life with only defining God via negative terminology & stripping away virtually all attributes of God and all scriptures - one is left with very little and basically lives life lacking a belief in such a God = weak atheist. (of course I cannot positively prove for certain an apophatic negatively defined God does not exist - that is logically impossible which rules out strong atheism because the apophatic concept of God cannot be falsified in any way.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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12-01-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
My strong atheism towards a personal God comes from many sources showing why such a God is incoherent. It might be logical contradictions in scriptures, fallacies in classical arguments for God or outright contradictions reconciling omniscience, Omni-benevolence, omnipotence & omnipresence. This is a much stronger stance to take than just lack of evidence (the strong atheist arguments deals with contradictions and therefore knowledge such a God does not exist whilst lack of evidence does not).

One of the books which influenced me to move from agnosticism to atheism for the apophatic negative theology traditions which are also deeply steeped in doctrines of "the hiddenness of God" (especially common in Judaism and parts of Islam) was "Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason (Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion) by John L. Schellenberg "

This book gave a fully rational justification that there is no justified reason to believe in the doctrine of "the hidden God" which was a challenging area. God might exist and reveal Himself by grace to some people but be hidden to others for a whole host of reasons such as free will arguments, fallen world, twisted heart of stone, sin and of course lets not forget the misleading atheist heretics & apostates who lead people astray Evil_monster

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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12-01-2014, 01:32 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(12-01-2014 12:47 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Artie - can bobbypants make it any clearer ?
All atheists don't believe in God - most are probably weak atheists, they just lack a belief in God.
You misunderstand. That is not the issue. He says that weak and strong atheists are subsets of atheists. They aren't. Let me try to explain it in another way.

Imagine to begin with that you only have two sets. Set one is theist, set two is not theist (weak atheist). They cover absolutely everybody. Not theist is not a subset it's the set. Then from the set not theist pick out those who in addition to being not theist also believe gods don't exist. Those are a subset of not theist. Get it?
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12-01-2014, 01:42 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(12-01-2014 01:32 PM)Artie Wrote:  
(12-01-2014 12:47 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Artie - can bobbypants make it any clearer ?
All atheists don't believe in God - most are probably weak atheists, they just lack a belief in God.
You misunderstand. That is not the issue. He says that weak and strong atheists are subsets of atheists. They aren't. Let me try to explain it in another way.

Imagine to begin with that you only have two sets. Set one is theist, set two is not theist (weak atheist). They cover absolutely everybody. Not theist is not a subset it's the set. Then from the set not theist pick out those who in addition to being not theist also believe gods don't exist. Those are a subset of not theist. Get it?

No, you're just incorrect here. The question "Do you have an active belief in a God/s?" is binary Yes = Theist No = Atheist. You can then split both groups further into Weak and strong or more accurately Gnostic or Agnostic A/theists.

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12-01-2014, 02:34 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(12-01-2014 01:42 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  No, you're just incorrect here. The question "Do you have an active belief in a God/s?" is binary Yes = Theist No = Atheist. You can then split both groups further into Weak and strong or more accurately Gnostic or Agnostic A/theists.
This is so confused that I can only refer you to the basics: http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutatheism...ism101.htm
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12-01-2014, 03:11 PM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
I suppose when I finally decided I was an atheist, I'd been agnostic for a long time.

I found being agnostic to be a fluid thing... My opinions were always moving in one direction or the other. Sometimes I'd feel more inclined to believe, sometimes less, but never a stagnant "don't know" position. This went on for a couple of years at least. By the end I started to get angry with God, about all the evil shit he'd done in the Old Testament, at that point (while I still believed) I didn't want anything to do with him.

Once the emotional connection was gone, I could think more clearly... It didn't matter to me whether there was a god or not, since he didn't factor in my life at all. So it was only a matter of time before I worked it out and declared myself an atheist.

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13-01-2014, 03:23 AM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
I keep seeing people equate gnostic atheism with strong atheism.

They are not the same thing. Strong atheism = believes there is no god. Gnostic atheism = "knows" there is no god.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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13-01-2014, 04:15 AM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(13-01-2014 03:23 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  I keep seeing people equate gnostic atheism with strong atheism.

They are not the same thing. Strong atheism = believes there is no god. Gnostic atheism = "knows" there is no god.
Strong atheist = says he believes there are no gods.
Gnostic atheist = says he not only believes but knows there are no gods.

I have no idea how people manage not to understand the difference.
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13-01-2014, 07:23 AM
RE: theist to agnostic to atheist
(13-01-2014 04:15 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(13-01-2014 03:23 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  I keep seeing people equate gnostic atheism with strong atheism.

They are not the same thing. Strong atheism = believes there is no god. Gnostic atheism = "knows" there is no god.
Strong atheist = says he believes there are no gods.
Gnostic atheist = says he not only believes but knows there are no gods.

I have no idea how people manage not to understand the difference.

It doesn't matter if there is a difference. They're all subsets of atheism.

Theism is still binary. I don't care if you cut the set of atheism into 4029 different subsets. Theism is still binary. You haven't even refuted that. You keep saying "no, it isn't", and then you go on to keep cutting the set of atheism up smaller and smaller as if that somehow makes theism not binary.
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