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Old 08-09-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaznjohn View Post
Actually no. Atheist is the opposite of theist. Either you have belief in a god or you don't. Black or white, no gray area. Agnostic is the opposite of gnostic. Either you have knowledge or you don't. Agnostic and Atheist are independent of one another and unrelated.

There are some here who replied that they can be both Agnostic and Atheist.

So which is it?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:57 AM
 
39,056 posts, read 10,837,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
There are some here who replied that they can be both Agnostic and Atheist.

So which is it?
Both. I am an agnostic atheist. I do not know whether a god exists or not (agnosticism) so I will not (in the absence of any persuasive evidence) believe in the god - claim until there is better evidence. This is called atheism.

It is very simple but is complicated by the very common idea that an agnostic is not sure that a god does not exist and an atheist is sure that it doesn't. That is further complicated in that the atheist often is very sure about particular god -claims (Biblegod, for example - while of course he or she cannot be 100% sure even about the Hebrew war -god), but is obviously far less certain about cosmic creators or gods somewhere else in the universe.

The correct definitions are also confused by agnosticism being also applied to a large number of people who are unsure whether to believe in god or not.

Logically, they ought to be atheist until they are sure, but perhaps they have heard a lot of arguments for the existence of God and don't know whether they are good arguments. I could tell them that they are not, but they must make up their own minds. That is why I welcome the repeated presentation of such evidence for God as Love, Cosmic origins, miracles, real people in the Bible, Universal order, constants and who made dem laws, anyways? Human consciousness, Morality, Josephus, Tacitus, Thallia and bar - Serapion, evidence for the flood, the fastest growing religion (which seems to be all of them, and so is atheism - statistics eh? ) Prophecy..Oh, and personal conviction.

These boards are a splendid vehicle for explaining to those who who are undecided whether the evidence for god -belief is persuasive that it is not. And the more one looks it the less persuasive it looks.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 08-09-2013 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:03 AM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,250,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
There are some here who replied that they can be both Agnostic and Atheist.

So which is it?
Umm, that is exactly what he said. Agnostic and atheist are refer to separate and distinct things. Because they are orthogonal to each other, a person can be any combination of the above. The most common combinations are gnostic theists and agnostic atheists, but the other exist as well.

It really is very simple:

Do you believe that it is possible to definitively know if there is a god? If, yes, the you are gnostic, if no you are agnostic.

Do you believe that a god does exist? If you cannot answer yes, then you are an atheist, if you did answer yes then you are a theist. This is important, unbelief is all that is required. you do not have to hold the positive belief that no gods exist, you don't even have to agree that the question is a valid one. For this simple analysis I would tend to lump ignostics, apatheists, agnostics, and all form of non-theism under the same umbrella.

I think where you are going wrong is lumping any personal character traits that you don't like (combative, sarcastic, stubborn, whatever...) in with "atheist" and assuming "agnostic" is somehow a non-theist position that avoids the character traits you don't like.

This "character assassination" of the word atheist has been ongoing since the greeks. It has been used as an insult, as an indicator of moral failure, of evil, of rejection of ones own humanity for a long time. There is simply no excuse for perpetuating the "evil atheist" meme. It is patently untrue, divisive and unnecessary, particularly coming form a fellow non-theist!

-NoCapo
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:43 AM
 
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Yep. Blinding exposition, Capo. It is of course one reason why some are so aped by this idea that an atheist is claiming certain knowledge that no gods exist that they shrink from the term and instead prefer the term agnostic (even Dawkins, though atheist is what everyone knows he is).

In fact (the argument goes) disbelief for any reason is enough to be an atheist and so, while the term is generally applied to people who have considered the god -claim and rejected it (what I call 'thinking atheists') there are many who don't believe simply because they are not interested or don't believe what they can't see - unless it is in the science books, or because they are just fed up with Church and religion or they had some bad experience at church...Those are not logically sound reasons for atheism, but that doesn't matter. The rationale for atheism per se, is very sound. I should know, as Stanford University's best has rolled up here to have a crack at showing it unsound and got thumped both times, whether it was admitted or not .

Thus (the argument proceeds) those who are just too dumb, disinterested or diseased to be able to comprehend the God -claim also disbelieve and are equally (if technically) atheists, just as those who have never heard of Biblegod don't believe in it and are atheist as far as that god -claim goes, though they may worship geckoes, coconuts and oddly shaped rocks instead.

Thus, the argument concludes, those whose mind are not working well enough to even comprehend the god -claim are also technically atheist and thus, of course, babies are born atheist yippee and hoorah until they they are indoctrinated with their local brand of religion. And then theist they will be until in random factor's (or should that be random factors' ?) good time, evidence and reason will step forward to the liberation of the re- ligiated mind.

Thus, since babies by dint of having a mind no more developed that the cat are atheist, it follows...sit still, I'm almost done...that the cat is (for all we can tell) atheist and so is the dog (no, it doesn't worship me, only values me as a provider of food, walks and tummy -rubs and pleases itself about My Commandments at any rate) and thus squirrels, dolphins, cockroaches and platypeece are also, strictly speaking, atheist, though not of course Atheists. Poor of Fr. Francis never knew he was dishing out breadcrumbs to a lot of feathered hellspawn who would probably have got together to have his Christmas tree banned if they'd had the wits for it

And so to get down to basic physical matter, sub atomic particules and spring -theory, rocks, socks and dandelion clocks are all (for all we are able to tell) not only materialist -natural by default but atheist, too. It is only a technical and not very helpful apellation since practically, atheism is only applied to thinking atheists and some try to get around this rather uncomfortable conclusion by inventing other definitions like 'non -theist' or arguing that they are irreligious or humanist, which is actually even more confusing, inapplicable and wrong.

It is actually right that, by default, al creatures that on earth do dwell, and everything they eat, beat into shape or use to conceal their pink forms is also atheist and does not give praise unto the Lord unless it has been trained to do so by organized religion or its catspours.

This is not only technically real, true and so, but is tactically very handy for us goddless satanslime.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 08-09-2013 at 11:30 AM.. Reason: 11...though shalt tidy up thy posts
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:55 AM
 
7,378 posts, read 6,730,992 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
There are some here who replied that they can be both Agnostic and Atheist.

So which is it?
Exactly as Arequipa stated. Also, as a person can be both an electrician and an Episcopalian, one can be both agnostic and an atheist. Some would suggest that one must be an atheist if one is agnostic. I don't fully believe that since I would consider my wife an agnostic deist. She hasn't seen any evidence of a god, so she doesn't know, but she still believes in an inactive god.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:08 PM
 
39,056 posts, read 10,837,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaznjohn View Post
Exactly as Arequipa stated. Also, as a person can be both an electrician and an Episcopalian, one can be both agnostic and an atheist. Some would suggest that one must be an atheist if one is agnostic. I don't fully believe that since I would consider my wife an agnostic deist. She hasn't seen any evidence of a god, so she doesn't know, but she still believes in an inactive god.
Yes that's true, but of course, when related to god -claims (since one can technically be agnostic about UFO's and Bigfoot) agnosticism and atheism are joined at the hip. As is also theism.

It is probably correct to say that were are all agnostic, since nobody really knows whether a god exists, though some may be quite convinced that they do.

In fact is is perfectly possible for someone who is agnostic - that is, doesn't have enough data or evidence to decide whether to believe or not (which logically should mandate non -belief until they did have enough evidence), to opt for god -belief despite that. I won't go into the possible reasons why they should opt to do so, but probably quite a lot actually do.

It is, unlike the atheist default, an illogical position to believe in what one does not know to be true, but then, like the traditional right to change their mind, it may be a right that women are entitled to exercise.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Objection to public displays of religion is one thing.....being so adamant about it that you feel it necessary to ruin other peoples Holidays by dragging them into court over it is another.
Public display is not the same as public PROPERTY. Public property is collectively owned government property. A religious display on public property suggests endorsed/sanctioned/subsidized by the government. The objection here is to the government favoring religion, not to the religious displays themselves which are perfectly acceptable to be in public VIEW on someone's private property.

If you can't have a good holiday without the religious display being on government owned property, then you have some bigger problems I'd say. It would be nice if this would just be respected without having to resort to lawsuits, but people do not typically want to give back what they have already taken from others.

You do know that this and particularly the Merry Christmas thing have more to do with non-Christian religions than they do with atheism right? An earlier poster mentioned how for orthodox Jews (for example) adding additional displays related to their faith doesn't exactly achieve an equalizing result. The only equalizing result is not to display anything on government grounds.

All that said, you won't find me out there actively protesting. I have better things to do. I agree with the idea that even these small traditional items like displays on public property, like that wording on the money, should be removed. The idea that people who don't want them removed say "What's the harm?" definitely demonstrated that they don't understand. And I will say so in discussion like this. But I haven't written my reps about it or anything.

Also FWIW I don't consider a Christmas tree to be a Christian symbol. It goes back before that, and I've put up plenty myself as well as other decorations at that time of year even though I am not religious and do not believe in any religion or deities or similar.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,661,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
What some of you don't seem to understand, no matter how many times you write page long diatribes trying to "explain" the definitions.....is, regardless of what the "dictionary" definitions of Atheist VS Agnostic may be, the fact is that by and large, most of the general public uses definitions closer to mine.
See, people I talk to on the subject feel that being Agnostic in this day and age often brings with it not only a lack of knowledge or uncertainty of belief about the existence of a higher power but also a lack of caring about the subject of existence VS non existence.

Many people just have a general lack of enthusiasm on the subject all together but that does not necessarily make them Atheists.... because in order to actively label oneself as an Atheist you have to have a certain degree of passion about your non belief just as the devout have to have passion about their faith.
And many of us who consider ourselves Agnostic simply lack that passion in either direction.
Why? I don't believe in god but I don't feel a passion. I don't feel I have to convince others. To me, that's like calling it and faith and it isn't a faith. To feel passionate about it I would have to get all worked up about the idea of non-believing and I never have. So to me it's not a faith but rather a conclusion which I came to after a lot of thought and reasoning. I never had any passionate feelings about the subject, just the conviction that the idea of a deity does not work for me.

And labels are for jars of pickles, not for people. I don't feel I have to "actively label" myself to show everyone who or what I am. If the subject of belief or nonbelief comes up, fine, I can say I am atheist. But I don't feel I have to wear a badge proclaiming it any more than I do my favorite dessert.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 20,548,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It is probably correct to say that were are all agnostic, since nobody really knows whether a god exists, though some may be quite convinced that they do.
Heh. Reminds me of an old button I may still have around somewhere (I didn't come up with the line though):

Militant Agnostic: I don't know and you don't either!

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Old 08-09-2013, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Heh. Reminds me of an old button I may still have around somewhere (I didn't come up with the line though):

Militant Agnostic: I don't know and you don't either!

Hey, I like that.

I do not know that she/he/it/whatever does or doesn't exist true enough. I just don't believe she/he/it/whatever exists.

And I believe that just as wholeheartedly as those who do believe but cannot know.
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