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)
 
Old 08-06-2013, 04:06 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,025,779 times
Reputation: 453

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I have been reading the replies, but they don't all make sense to me.
I suppose I see the difference between agnostic and atheist as more black and white...or maybe more accurately black and gray.

Also I don't have the energy to type out a reply to every part of every post but I am reading them.

I don't belive in any one God in particular ....that's what makes me an Agnostic...But if I had to pick one, I suppose you could say that I'm sympathetic to the idea of a Christian God of the Presbyterian variety simply because thats how I was raised.
However I don't see that as the only possibility...I also lean towards the possibility of reincarnation or just nothing at all.
That's my definition of Agnostic.

It sounds like you may be confused about agnosticism. Agnosticism is not some kind of third choice in between belief and non-belief. Agnosticism does not even address "belief", it addresses "knowledge". On the spectrum of belief, there are only 2 choices. You either have a belief in god, or you don't. There is no such thing as fence sitting regarding whether or not you have a belief. The presence of a belief in a god and the absence of a belief in a god exhaust all of the possibilities. Let's say someone asked you the question "do you believe in god."? If you cannot answer affirmatively "yes, I believe in god", then you are by definition an atheist in regards to belief. You still can claim that you do not "know" whether or not god exists (agnostic), but you additionally would currently be without a belief in one (atheist). That doesn't mean that you don't think gods are "possible", just that you do not currently actively believe in any particular god. All agnostics either have a belief in god (theist/deist) or they don't (atheist). You don't have to choose to be an atheist, or purposely claim the title of atheist, to be one by definition.

Agnosticism does not say "I don't know if I believe in a god." It says "I believe that god cannot be known". All agnostics still either have a belief in god or not despite their understanding that gods cannot be known. Agnostic theists/deists believe in god despite acknowledging that gods cannot be known. That is why they call it “faith”. Whereas, agnostic atheists acknowledge that gods cannot be known and therefore withhold belief in any until such time as they are presented with any convincing evidence which would make them believe in one.

Here is a link which may describe it better:

Atheism vs. Agnosticism: What's the Difference Between Atheism and Agnosticism?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-06-2013, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,668,169 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
I think it is pretty ironic that christians WANT to have their god associated with filthy lucre. You would think they would be fighting to have it removed. I think it is very fitting and should stay on money.
Is toilet paper next?
LOL! I have often thought that. It has always seemed a sacrilege to me that the Christian religion would allow this. Isn't there a commandment within the Ten that states something about not worshipping "graven images?"

So by imprinting "In God We Trust" on our currency, it seems to me we are turning it into idols and giving license for worshiping money.

All hail cold cash!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,668,169 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by mythunderstood View Post
It sounds like you may be confused about agnosticism. Agnosticism is not some kind of third choice in between belief and non-belief. Agnosticism does not even address "belief", it addresses "knowledge". On the spectrum of belief, there are only 2 choices. You either have a belief in god, or you don't. There is no such thing as fence sitting regarding whether or not you have a belief. The presence of a belief in a god and the absence of a belief in a god exhaust all of the possibilities. Let's say someone asked you the question "do you believe in god."? If you cannot answer affirmatively "yes, I believe in god", then you are by definition an atheist in regards to belief. You still can claim that you do not "know" whether or not god exists (agnostic), but you additionally would currently be without a belief in one (atheist). That doesn't mean that you don't think gods are "possible", just that you do not currently actively believe in any particular god. All agnostics either have a belief in god (theist/deist) or they don't (atheist). You don't have to choose to be an atheist, or purposely claim the title of atheist, to be one by definition.

Agnosticism does not say "I don't know if I believe in a god." It says "I believe that god cannot be known". All agnostics still either have a belief in god or not despite their understanding that gods cannot be known. Agnostic theists/deists believe in god despite acknowledging that gods cannot be known. That is why they call it “faith”. Whereas, agnostic atheists acknowledge that gods cannot be known and therefore withhold belief in any until such time as they are presented with any convincing evidence which would make them believe in one.

Here is a link which may describe it better:

Atheism vs. Agnosticism: What's the Difference Between Atheism and Agnosticism?
This is making my head spin. I am trying to understand. I always thought agnosticism was "I don't know;" atheism was "I know."

I guess it's a lot more complicated than that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 04:58 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,025,779 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
This is making my head spin. I am trying to understand. I always thought agnosticism was "I don't know;" atheism was "I know."

I guess it's a lot more complicated than that.


Agnostics believe that it is impossible to "know" whether or not gods exist. However, this does not answer the question as to whether or not the agnostic has a belief in god. If an agnostic takes a leap of faith and decides to believe in god even though they admit they do not have knowledge of god, then they would be labeled a theist/deist. On the other hand, if the agnostic does not take this leap towards a belief in god, then they are by default "without a belief" in god, which makes them by definition an atheist. Most agnostics are atheists based on their lack of belief in god.

On the other side of the knowledge coin, there are gnostic or strong atheists who may believe/claim that there is no god, or god does not exist. This has a claim of knowledge (gnosis) tied to it, and is actually a claim made by very few atheists. On the other hand, a large percentage of theists are gnostic because they make knowledge claims, claiming that they do indeed have "knowledge" (evidence/personal experience) of god.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 06:56 PM
 
39,112 posts, read 10,849,315 times
Reputation: 5088
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
This is making my head spin. I am trying to understand. I always thought agnosticism was "I don't know;" atheism was "I know."

I guess it's a lot more complicated than that.
Not really.

Agnosticism 'I don't know' (about the existence of gods).....

Atheism '....therefore, I will not believe (in the existence of gods) until I do know'.

It has been complicated by the use of agnosticism to denote those who are unsure whether to believe or not and the traditional representation of atheism as claiming to know whether or not gods really exist, which is not a claim that atheism can (strictly speaking) make (though we can be pretty confident that the personal gods described in the Holy Books do not exist - just as we can be pretty sure that Santa, leprechauns and fairies do not exist - strictly speaking we don't know absolutely for sure, but nobody says we are being illogical in disbelieving in Santa or fairies).

The ongoing debate is realy about trying to present us with persuasive evidence for the existence of gods - generally just one is in mind )

Or, in the absence of any decent evidence to try to make a case by fiddling the parameters (e.g requiring that we disprove the existence of God rather than they trying to prove it) telling us that we need to believe in God otherwise we have no morality, our lives are without meaning or it does at least provide an answer to unanswered questions, even if we don't know whether it is true or not (in fact 'God' answers nothing) and of course Pascal's wager - we should believe in God just in case it should turn out to be true and we can't risk being sent to hell.

These arguments are dishonest hogwash and the only rationally sound belief -position arising from agnosticism is to reserve belief in gods (or quasi -god -claims like Karma or thetans) until there is some decent evidence. In fact what evidence there was (cosmic and biological origins, Biblical records, divine intervention) are dwindling away all the time, as the debate goes on.

Hope that clarifies the issue.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 08-06-2013 at 07:05 PM.. Reason: Just a bit of Lucan -style text -shifting.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,884,479 times
Reputation: 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Neither my opinions nor your opinions on this subject are based in fact, they are just opinions.

You are basing your definitions on your (and other atheists) opinions, that does not make them facts.
The definitions I presented are actual definitions not opinions. Words have definitive meanings. If they didn't, language would be pointless. Sorry sir, you just can't make words fit what you want them to fit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,884,479 times
Reputation: 2372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
This is making my head spin. I am trying to understand. I always thought agnosticism was "I don't know;" atheism was "I know."

I guess it's a lot more complicated than that.
Agnosticism answers the question of knowledge while atheism answers the question of belief. I'm an agnostic-atheist because I have no knowledge of a god and don't believe in a god. People have misused agnosticism as some sort of "neutral" position when it isn't. It answers one question. Essentially, it's used when people want to avoid answering the question of belief. Most agnostics I've talked to don't believe in a god but are to afraid to take the label atheist despite being exactly that. People (including the OP) think they're being noble by claiming what they believe to be the "neutral" position when they're usually just afraid to answer the question of belief.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,391 posts, read 3,739,987 times
Reputation: 7795
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
you are just as bad as the morons from the Westboro Baptist Church.
If you really think objecting to religious displays on public property is just as bad as picketing the funerals of dead soldiers in front of their loved ones, you have no moral compass to fix.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-06-2013, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,668,169 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Not really.

Agnosticism 'I don't know' (about the existence of gods).....

Atheism '....therefore, I will not believe (in the existence of gods) until I do know'.

It has been complicated by the use of agnosticism to denote those who are unsure whether to believe or not and the traditional representation of atheism as claiming to know whether or not gods really exist, which is not a claim that atheism can (strictly speaking) make (though we can be pretty confident that the personal gods described in the Holy Books do not exist - just as we can be pretty sure that Santa, leprechauns and fairies do not exist - strictly speaking we don't know absolutely for sure, but nobody says we are being illogical in disbelieving in Santa or fairies).

The ongoing debate is realy about trying to present us with persuasive evidence for the existence of gods - generally just one is in mind )

Or, in the absence of any decent evidence to try to make a case by fiddling the parameters (e.g requiring that we disprove the existence of God rather than they trying to prove it) telling us that we need to believe in God otherwise we have no morality, our lives are without meaning or it does at least provide an answer to unanswered questions, even if we don't know whether it is true or not (in fact 'God' answers nothing) and of course Pascal's wager - we should believe in God just in case it should turn out to be true and we can't risk being sent to hell.

These arguments are dishonest hogwash and the only rationally sound belief -position arising from agnosticism is to reserve belief in gods (or quasi -god -claims like Karma or thetans) until there is some decent evidence. In fact what evidence there was (cosmic and biological origins, Biblical records, divine intervention) are dwindling away all the time, as the debate goes on.

Hope that clarifies the issue.
Yes.

It is just impossible for me to embrace the concept.

When my cousin recently and suddenly died I heard a lot of "why?" and "What is the reason?" I didn't answer because I didn't have one. I don't want to hear the "How do you explain......?" because I can't and I don't feel the need. There is no reason other than she had Cancer. I don't have to justify it by saying it was part of a plan or direction.

I call myself an atheist because I think of that as an absolute as in someone who does not believe in any type of deity.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-07-2013, 01:47 AM
 
39,112 posts, read 10,849,315 times
Reputation: 5088
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Yes.

It is just impossible for me to embrace the concept.

When my cousin recently and suddenly died I heard a lot of "why?" and "What is the reason?" I didn't answer because I didn't have one. I don't want to hear the "How do you explain......?" because I can't and I don't feel the need. There is no reason other than she had Cancer. I don't have to justify it by saying it was part of a plan or direction.

I call myself an atheist because I think of that as an absolute as in someone who does not believe in any type of deity.
That's ok. People become atheist for many different reasons. some because, after born atheist, they remain atheist, others because they begin to doubt the failth that is taught them - for a variety of reasons. What I explained was the logical rationalle for it, which is sound. Very few atheists arrive there through that sort of reasoning and far from all atheists are even aware of it.
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