U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Do you consider yourself an agnostic or atheist?
agnostic 57 36.54%
atheist 99 63.46%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-03-2014, 10:08 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,096,081 times
Reputation: 14896

Advertisements

"An atheist is an evolved agnostic."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-05-2014, 11:05 PM
 
771 posts, read 1,119,923 times
Reputation: 719
I vary between Nonreligous, agnostic, and atheist. Honestly, I think the need to label myself ONE of them is just aggravating. And more or less, they're the same thing. My belief is overall, that I just don't believe in The God every other religion believes in. I don't disbelieve some sort of God is possible, I just feel confident that they've all got it wrong, and even if one got it right, I don't care. I don't like religion. I don't like it what it does to people. Regardless if most religions "do good," they are still TOO cult-ish to my taste and it's pretty creepy. Plus, i didn't grow up fitting in anywhere, so I've never felt a need to try too hard to fit in either. Being an Agnostic, or Atheist, requires being OK with being an outsider; which I am. But every once in a while, I get this horrible empty feeling where I feel like I don't belong in this world because of all those religions making me feel like I don't deserve to be here unless I believe what they do. I know they don't SAY it to our faces, but it's this judgmental and self-righteous vibe they give off anyway. Which is funny, considering they're the ones that don't even want to be here... haha.

Anyhow, sometimes I think I could just call myself a Humanitarian. But that's not really a religion. Buddhism has some genius things within it, but not enough to make me wanna call myself one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-06-2014, 06:23 AM
 
39,070 posts, read 10,842,814 times
Reputation: 5085
I am ok with that. There are so many different ideas about atheism/agnosticism that just serious doubts about the (principally Biblical- based) god -claims will dofine.

The need to define and rationalize the terms used really only comes about because Christian apologists use the various definitions to disprove atheism by some mixture of cherry - picking of definitions and some specious chop -logic.

There was a cartoon posted recently where the kid said that he was unable to believe in the God of the Bible and that he was not religious in his mindset and Mommy was fine with that...but mention the word 'Aytheeist..'
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 01:02 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,281,003 times
Reputation: 2973
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
My argument is really no more complicated than this:
And simply repeating it does not strength or improve it in any way. You simply achieve the repetition of the same problems that were in it the first time. Which is that you are making a massive assumption here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
likely be much more advanced than ours, such that we are only in our bacterial stage of development relative to their level of advancement.
This is just fantasy assumption and we have no reason that I have seen on the thread to expect any such thing, let alone to put any stock in your declaring it "Likely". Unfortuantely you compound this nonsense then with this....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
a being that is god-like should rightfully be called a god in my opinion.
I see no reason to use such a label for such a set of beings, even if they were to exist outside the realm of your over active imagination. The label has some specific meanings and I can think of no reason to use that label in this context except to satisfy some fetishism for the word itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
If one can accept that some planets will be in their bacterial stage of advancement compared to us, then one should also be able to accept that our planet will be in the bacterial stage of development compared to the advancement of some other planets out there.
No that simply does not follow automatically. You simply want it to be so, but wanting it to be so and it actually being so are massively different things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
My evidence for this is evolution
Simply typing the word "evolution" does not magically make it evidence for something you just made up on the spot. You have to explain exactly how and why evolution is evidence for your assertions. You seem, as I said before, to think that evolution will attain pretty much anything you want it to if you simply add time. But evolution simply does not work that way.

The same is so for simply labeling your own spiel a "logical inference" or "inductive reasoning". Try showing and arguing for the logic and induction you feel you are making rather than simply labeling it so.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 03:10 AM
 
Location: NWA/SWMO
2,946 posts, read 2,825,026 times
Reputation: 2950
I do not believe in a higher power. I acknowledge that I can be wrong, and don't know everything. I cannot put it any more succinctly.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,081 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
And simply repeating it does not strength or improve it in any way. You simply achieve the repetition of the same problems that were in it the first time. Which is that you are making a massive assumption here:



This is just fantasy assumption and we have no reason that I have seen on the thread to expect any such thing, let alone to put any stock in your declaring it "Likely". Unfortuantely you compound this nonsense then with this....



I see no reason to use such a label for such a set of beings, even if they were to exist outside the realm of your over active imagination. The label has some specific meanings and I can think of no reason to use that label in this context except to satisfy some fetishism for the word itself.



No that simply does not follow automatically. You simply want it to be so, but wanting it to be so and it actually being so are massively different things.



Simply typing the word "evolution" does not magically make it evidence for something you just made up on the spot. You have to explain exactly how and why evolution is evidence for your assertions. You seem, as I said before, to think that evolution will attain pretty much anything you want it to if you simply add time. But evolution simply does not work that way.

The same is so for simply labeling your own spiel a "logical inference" or "inductive reasoning". Try showing and arguing for the logic and induction you feel you are making rather than simply labeling it so.
You aren't able to have this discussion politely, so I won't discuss it with you at all. Moderator cut: deleted

I'm not going to point-by-point rebut this with you. If someone else wants to discuss any points raised above I will be happy to. When and If you ever learn how to discuss a subject without resorting to childish insults, let me know. Until then, don't bother trying to engage me in conversation.

Last edited by june 7th; 04-08-2014 at 03:35 AM.. Reason: Inappropriate reference.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,071 posts, read 2,574,551 times
Reputation: 6004
Sorry I am dredging up old material, but reading back this caught my eye:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
When we are arguing about the existence of god, we make the following premises our unspoken foundation assumptions:

1. Natural things are things proven to exist.
2. To be a god, it must not be a natural thing.
3. Therefore, to be a god it must not have been proven to exist.
I think premise #1 is flawed. Either the set of natural things is an exclusive set, limited by those things which are provable, or it is an open set and consists of the provable things, and some other things.

I assume your intent was for it to be an exclusive set. If so, I am not sure you can make that claim. Take for instance human consciousness. I would put that in the natural world since it is something we experience as individuals. But I also think it is not possible to prove it exists objectively - I assume you have a consciousness because I do, but I cannot prove that.

Somebody further on in the thread said we should not talk of the natural and super-natural to frame a discussion on whether god's existence is provable, but rather use the concept of what is real. I maintain that trying to define reality is no easier than trying to define the natural world. They are essentially two sides of the same metaphysical coin.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,071 posts, read 2,574,551 times
Reputation: 6004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post

If an alien life form exist, why would we assume we are smater then them, or even in the same ball park. If their DNA is a mere 1.2% more advanced than ours we are but chimps to them. What if it is 5% more advanced than ours? We are but cockroaches or ants in comparison. The way we understand math, language and reasoning would be nothing to compared to a being with just 5% improved DNA.
This illustrates the fundamental limitation of us, as humans, to truly comprehend the universe. We have limited brain size and we are very much biased by our own existence. To wit - why should alien life be DNA based? Or even carbon based? If we are to admit all sort of possibilities beyond our own reality, we would very quickly be begging the question of what constitutes life and intelligence. We clearly have ideas of what those things mean here on earth, but are those adequate when we expand our mental reach? I think not. I personally think we are deluding ourselves to believe we will ever know, truly know, the universe. And if that is the case, how can we ponder questions about god? Uh oh, that sounds like an agnostic position.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 09:07 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,081 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
Sorry I am dredging up old material, but reading back this caught my eye:



I think premise #1 is flawed. Either the set of natural things is an exclusive set, limited by those things which are provable, or it is an open set and consists of the provable things, and some other things.

I assume your intent was for it to be an exclusive set. If so, I am not sure you can make that claim. Take for instance human consciousness. I would put that in the natural world since it is something we experience as individuals. But I also think it is not possible to prove it exists objectively - I assume you have a consciousness because I do, but I cannot prove that.

Somebody further on in the thread said we should not talk of the natural and super-natural to frame a discussion on whether god's existence is provable, but rather use the concept of what is real. I maintain that trying to define reality is no easier than trying to define the natural world. They are essentially two sides of the same metaphysical coin.
No worries.

What I mean is that people begin talking about the natural and the supernatural as if they are two separate and distinct sets of objects. As if there is a theoretical distinction between the two based on the qualities they posses.

But as they use the terms, it quickly becomes apparent that the only distinction is that natural things are things which are proven true or are subject to being real. If a supernatural concept becomes logically explainable or provable it instantly begins to be seen as natural.

For example: For decades if I were to have claimed that other dimensions exists, that would have been considered a supernatural claim. But once we began to accept string theory and other multiverse theories as perhaps being true, the concept of other dimensions became a natural theory.

The characteristics of a "spiritual dimension" (which I don't believe in) are fundamentally the same as, or at least is consistent with, the characteristics of another dimension in a multiverse. But the first type of dimension is considered supernatural and the second natural based on nothing more than the possibility that it actually exists.

If one could explain how a god came to be, it would likely lose its' status as a supernatural being. Once it is consistent with the laws of nature, even if new laws of nature have to be introduced to explain it, it is no longer considered supernatural.

There was a time when the only thing considered natural was matter, and all phenomena was thought to be caused by the interaction of matter. But as non-matter was discovered, we didn't claim that the supernatural was discovered. Instead we expanded the range of what is natural to include non-baryionic objects.

So that is how I derive my 1st claim. Like non-baryionic objects, as things are discovered to exist, they become natural. Perhaps though I could have been more specific, since natural items are also things that are thought possible to exist by an explainable mechanism.

I don't think one needs metaphysical certainty to believe something exists. We infer that other's have conscious because we do, and because people act in ways that are consistent with them having a consciousness. That may not suffice in a strictly philosophical debate, but when we use words like natural and supernatural we mean them in the common sense of the word, (at least here we generally do.) I don't think the existence of the conscience is a legitimate subject of debate in fields of like neuroscience either. So I think it is adequately considered real, and thus normally considered natural.

However, if one believed that conscience was derived from a "spiritual" source, that might be considered a supernatural theory. Not because of the nature of conscience itself, but because of the mechanisms that explain it are considered unreal by the scientific community. If it were shown to be real, I think it would be considered natural, but I have no way of knowing for certain.

I agree with your last paragraphs, but would note the difficulties that presents when one is debating whether god is real, and mandating that the concept of god be supernatural. If real and natural are the same thing, how could we meaningfully debate the concept of a real non-natural god?

That's my opinion anyway.
Regards,
Boxcar
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-07-2014, 09:17 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,729,081 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
This illustrates the fundamental limitation of us, as humans, to truly comprehend the universe. We have limited brain size and we are very much biased by our own existence. To wit - why should alien life be DNA based? Or even carbon based? If we are to admit all sort of possibilities beyond our own reality, we would very quickly be begging the question of what constitutes life and intelligence. We clearly have ideas of what those things mean here on earth, but are those adequate when we expand our mental reach? I think not. I personally think we are deluding ourselves to believe we will ever know, truly know, the universe. And if that is the case, how can we ponder questions about god? Uh oh, that sounds like an agnostic position.
I pretty much agree with you here.

But I would also add that there seems to be a human bias in thinking we are at the end of the evolutionary chain. We can easily imagine something that is far less evolved than us, but we have difficulty finding it plausible that there could be things far more evolved than us. (We could substitute "advanced" for "evolved" here, just so there is no misunderstanding.)

If bacteria is the beginning stages of development, it is easier for us to imagine that any species we might find must be somewhere between us and bacteria in advancement, or perhaps just slightly ahead.

It's harder to imagine that we are at the half-way point between bacteria and what ever other being might be out there.

But if we assume normality, that we are completely average in every way, and we consider how long the universe has been around, it's easy to see how we might not be near the top-end of advanced creatures in the universe.

I believe the most logically defensible position, the null position, is to believe that we are about average, about half-way between bacteria and the most advanced beings in the universe.

That may not be true, but until other evidence is introduced I think that is the most bias free position to take.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top