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Old 10-08-2011, 09:21 AM
 
9,412 posts, read 11,752,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Does a person who never experience consciousness "not believe in God", or does he "not know whether there is a God or not?"

Opinions?
My opinion is you have way too much time on your hands

You have to be able to think before you can 'be' anything. The very definition of coma is a state of deep unconsciousness.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:22 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,651,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Someone born into a coma is born without any theistic indoctrination. He is without theism, therefore he is atheist. Same as any other newborn before indoctrination begins. Atheism is not a belief in itself, it is the absence of theistic belief. If you break down the components of the word it literally means without theism, so it could be logically applied to anyone that lacks theism - even those who lack it only because they have not yet been exposed to it.

As for agnosticism - gnostic means knowing, so the word literally means without knowing. An agnostic is someone who thinks the question of whether or not dieties exist is unknown and/or unknowable. This is separate from belief - one can acknowledge that it is impossible to prove their chosen diety exists but still believe in it, or one can not believe, but still be agnostic. I would not apply this label to a newborn because they lack the higher functions to contemplate the question and come to the conclusion that it is not answerable.

I apply both these labels to myself, I both think that the question is fundamentally unanswerable (because it is impossible to prove that something supernatural does not exist) and do not believe in any dieties. I am without theism. I am an atheist. An agnostic atheist.
Atheist is not a default position. It's just as much committing to a belief as believing in a God. Someone in a coma is nowhere, neither atheist nor theist, neither secular nor religious. Atheist is like black and theism is like white. No position at all is like total blindness--there's no color at all.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:30 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,651,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Atheism is indeed the default position of a mind which has not been indoctrinated into a form of theism. Yes, humans invent gods, and humans invent war. Does that mean that babies are born soldiers? Of course not. Soldiers are trained. Babies are also not born theists. Theists are trained.
Atheism is not the default position. Atheism also presupposes the belief in God as a question. It answers the question "is there a God?" For a person in a coma, there is no question to begin with.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:34 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,651,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Someone born into a coma is born without any theistic indoctrination. He is without theism, therefore he is atheist. Same as any other newborn before indoctrination begins. Atheism is not a belief in itself, it is the absence of theistic belief. If you break down the components of the word it literally means without theism, so it could be logically applied to anyone that lacks theism - even those who lack it only because they have not yet been exposed to it.

As for agnosticism - gnostic means knowing, so the word literally means without knowing. An agnostic is someone who thinks the question of whether or not dieties exist is unknown and/or unknowable. This is separate from belief - one can acknowledge that it is impossible to prove their chosen diety exists but still believe in it, or one can not believe, but still be agnostic. I would not apply this label to a newborn because they lack the higher functions to contemplate the question and come to the conclusion that it is not answerable.

I apply both these labels to myself, I both think that the question is fundamentally unanswerable (because it is impossible to prove that something supernatural does not exist) and do not believe in any dieties. I am without theism. I am an atheist. An agnostic atheist.
Even the absence of a belief is taking a stance. It's creating an axis on which to plot reality. A coma patient has no axis to begin with.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:20 PM
 
5,187 posts, read 5,699,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Does a person who never experience consciousness "not believe in God", or does he "not know whether there is a God or not?"

Opinions?
This person is not held accountable as he or she has no way to make choices.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:51 PM
 
8,680 posts, read 13,324,374 times
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All belief in deities is learned. Therefore, everyone is born an atheist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahhen1 View Post
They had not reached the age of accountability, like children. Hence they are saved. This would be my take on this.
Yep. Saved the torture of indoctrination into fairy tales.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,818,302 times
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Originally Posted by LuminousTruth
Quote:
sheep are herd animals too, and by your standards their default position is atheism.
No their default position would be theism.
I believe that atheism eventually leads to individualism.

Quote:
are you saying that if sheep became self-aware they would immediately become theists?
What makes you believe that sheep aren't self-aware?
Do they not feel pain?
Or do you simply assume that only 'intelligent' creatures like humans can only be self-aware?
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:43 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,027,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilli View Post
Someone born into a coma is born without any theistic indoctrination. He is without theism, therefore he is atheist. Same as any other newborn before indoctrination begins. Atheism is not a belief in itself, it is the absence of theistic belief. If you break down the components of the word it literally means without theism, so it could be logically applied to anyone that lacks theism - even those who lack it only because they have not yet been exposed to it.

As for agnosticism - gnostic means knowing, so the word literally means without knowing. An agnostic is someone who thinks the question of whether or not dieties exist is unknown and/or unknowable. This is separate from belief - one can acknowledge that it is impossible to prove their chosen diety exists but still believe in it, or one can not believe, but still be agnostic. I would not apply this label to a newborn because they lack the higher functions to contemplate the question and come to the conclusion that it is not answerable.

I apply both these labels to myself, I both think that the question is fundamentally unanswerable (because it is impossible to prove that something supernatural does not exist) and do not believe in any dieties. I am without theism. I am an atheist. An agnostic atheist.
Correct! The same applies to me as well!
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:56 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,027,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Atheist is not a default position. It's just as much committing to a belief as believing in a God. Someone in a coma is nowhere, neither atheist nor theist, neither secular nor religious. Atheist is like black and theism is like white. No position at all is like total blindness--there's no color at all.
What? Atheism is "committing to a belief"? What belief would that be? Atheism is specifically a lack of belief (in the existence of gods). If a god exists, I have not yet found any reason to believe in it. But I do not hold the belief that gods do not in fact exist. How should I know? For all I know, there could be hundreds out there! But until such time as I am presented with convincing evidence, I remain without a belief in god. I would gladly be open to any new evidence, and would become a believer if I found it convincing. There is no "committing" to having an "absence" of something.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:58 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,027,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Atheism is not the default position. Atheism also presupposes the belief in God as a question. It answers the question "is there a God?" For a person in a coma, there is no question to begin with.
Atheism doesn't address the question "is there a god", but rather "do you believe in god"? "Is there a god" is a question that addresses knowledge (or the lack thereof).

For example:
-Is there a god? "Yes". This is a response that implies knowledge (gnosticism). In reply: Yes? How do you know there is a god?

-Is there a god? "No" This is also a response that implies knowledge (gnosticism). In reply: No? How do you know there is no god? Have you searched all the corners of the universe?

-Is there a god? "I don't know". This is a response that implies no/knowledge (a/gnosticism).

On the other hand, theism and atheism address belief. The question of "do you believe in god" is a yes or no question. You either believe (theist) or you don't (atheist). If you cannot answer with the affirmative, then you would by default, be without a belief (atheist). Answering the question with "I don't know", means that you obviously do not have a belief (or you would have answered "yes" and could have told us more information about the god that you believed in).

People can be agnostic atheists/ theists, or gnostic atheists/theists. They can answer the "is there a god" question one way, and the "do you believe in god" question another way.

For example:
An agnostic atheist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? I don't know
-Do you believe in god? No, should any gods exist, I have not yet found any evidence which has convinced me to believe.

An agnostic theist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? I don't know
-Do you believe in god? Yes, even though I don't know for sure if a god exists, I still have faith.


An gnostic atheist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? No
-Do you believe in god? No

An gnostic theist would answer the questions as follows:

-Is there a god? Yes
-Do you believe in god? Yes
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