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Old 08-10-2013, 11:48 AM
 
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Well, I suspect that the theism leads them to the thought -process as part of the exercise of finding a case for God's existence, but there could be some some cases of people who reason their way to the god of Einstein or even that of Anthony Flew and then are persuaded that a sortagod would surely want to communicate with His (damn' there's ME doing it now ) creation and looking round for evidence of communiques and guidance -note from His Ineffable Throne, examples of which many religions would be willing to claim they have examples. yes, I can see how it could happen.

But my money is still on most of 'em beginning with the conclusion and then looking round for the evidence and, in the absence of any, gaps for god. Of which cosmic origins is still a pretty good one.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
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


I am not doubting the textbook validity of your definitions.

I am saying that the only people that I hear using those definitions are people like yourself.......

Why?

I have no idea......maybe they need to insist on explaining the differences to fill the hole that a complete lack of spirituality leaves in them?
Maybe they just enjoy arguing about the subject on line and have armed themselves to the nines with dictionary definitions ad nauseum so they can tell people off with complete confidence.....I don't know.

But I do know that 99% of the people I speak to who call themselves Agnostic are very comfortable using my definitions as previously stated.

If you want to call that willful ignorance or whatever.......knock yourself out.

But you don't need to keep reiterating the definitions as you see them as being written in stone.
Because, quite simply, the rest of us don't particularly care what extremists on either end of the spectrum think of us in order to make themselves feel superior......

See, we can be "combative, sarcastic, stubborn, whatever" too.
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I am not doubting the textbook validity of your definitions.

I am saying that the only people that I hear using those definitions are people like yourself.......

Why?

I have no idea......maybe they need to insist on explaining the differences to fill the hole that a complete lack of spirituality leaves in them?
Maybe they just enjoy arguing about the subject on line and have armed themselves to the nines with dictionary definitions ad nauseum so they can tell people off with complete confidence.....I don't know.

But I do know that 99% of the people I speak to who call themselves Agnostic are very comfortable using my definitions as previously stated.

If you want to call that willful ignorance or whatever.......knock yourself out.

But you don't need to keep reiterating the definitions as you see them as being written in stone.
Because, quite simply, the rest of us don't particularly care what extremists on either end of the spectrum think of us in order to make themselves feel superior......

See, we can be "combative, sarcastic, stubborn, whatever" too.
I guess I just don't understand where you are coming from at all. As best I can tell, you are a person who does not believe in a god, and doesn't believe you can know for sure, which would put you squarely in the same boat I am, agnostic atheist. We were talking about "shades of grey" previously, and I assume you are a much lighter grey than I am, but we are in the same boat. Your understanding of atheism is kind of a strawman, because most atheists are in the agnostic grey spectrum, just like you. Even the loud ones that write books, and get vilified by theists...

Again is seems lie your distinction between atheist and agnostic is not so much what position you take, as much as it is how strongly you hold the position, and how vocal you are about it. If you do not actively hold the belief that there is a god, welcome to the atheist club. Whether your position is "of course there isn't one" or "I don't know if I believe or not", by not believing you are one of us

I understand you are trying to find some "middle way" but that really doesn't work in binary logic. Where you can have a middle way is in behavior. In theory I am opposed to "In God We Trust " on our coinage. In practice, I expend no effort towards removing it. Why? Because it just isn't that important, at this point. When and if someone uses it as a lynchpin in their campaign against equal human rights or religious liberty , then I will make a bigger deal of it. Other things, like YEC in science class or mandatory prayer in schools, I think are an issue that needs to be dealt with. Things like South Carolina and Mississippi's constitutional bans on atheists holding public office, are things that cannot be enforced, but should still be removed from their constitutions as an important symbolic gesture. Some things are worth the effort, some things are not, and each of us has to make those calls individually.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
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.

Maybe passion is not the right word, call it enthusiasm or just certainty if you like......
But in order for someone to officially call themselves Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever, they have to have a some degree of certainty in their beliefs....otherwise they would not qualify as beliefs would they?

Just as an Atheist (using the common definition of someone who does not believe in a higher power of any kind) has to have a degree of certainty in their non belief.

So, you do not have to wear a badge calling yourself an Atheist, because I would assume that the thought and reasoning you have put into your conclusion is close enough to what I call passion to explain what I meant by that statement.

Agnostics, as I define them (and many define themselves) have not the certainty in either direction of belief or nonbelief to call themselves anything other than undecided (Agnostic).
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Agnostics, as I define them (and many define themselves) have not the certainty in either direction of belief or nonbelief to call themselves anything other than undecided (Agnostic).
I think this is a convenient out, a smokescreen. Which god do you pray to? Which set of divine rules do you adhere to? What deity defines your view of morality?

If your life remains unchanged by religious belief, then you are living the same way as the rest of us atheists. At this point, deciding about a god or not, is really an intellectual curiosity. You might end up with some sort of deist concept, or a universal field pantheist idea, but those sorts of gods are practically speaking no different than none at all, they are merely an intellectual stance. It doesn't seem to be a distinction worth pages of discussion, quite frankly.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-10-2013, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I guess I just don't understand where you are coming from at all. As best I can tell, you are a person who does not believe in a god, and doesn't believe you can know for sure, which would put you squarely in the same boat I am, agnostic atheist. We were talking about "shades of grey" previously, and I assume you are a much lighter grey than I am, but we are in the same boat. Your understanding of atheism is kind of a strawman, because most atheists are in the agnostic grey spectrum, just like you. Even the loud ones that write books, and get vilified by theists...

Again is seems lie your distinction between atheist and agnostic is not so much what position you take, as much as it is how strongly you hold the position, and how vocal you are about it. If you do not actively hold the belief that there is a god, welcome to the atheist club. Whether your position is "of course there isn't one" or "I don't know if I believe or not", by not believing you are one of us

I understand you are trying to find some "middle way" but that really doesn't work in binary logic. Where you can have a middle way is in behavior. In theory I am opposed to "In God We Trust " on our coinage. In practice, I expend no effort towards removing it. Why? Because it just isn't that important, at this point. When and if someone uses it as a lynchpin in their campaign against equal human rights or religious liberty , then I will make a bigger deal of it. Other things, like YEC in science class or mandatory prayer in schools, I think are an issue that needs to be dealt with. Things like South Carolina and Mississippi's constitutional bans on atheists holding public office, are things that cannot be enforced, but should still be removed from their constitutions as an important symbolic gesture. Some things are worth the effort, some things are not, and each of us has to make those calls individually.

-NoCapo
I do not believe you can ascribe binary logic to people.......people are not a two sided coin.


I believe in the existence of some higher power in the universe. What that higher power may actually be, I have no clue but I don't subscribe to any organized religion as I feel these are largely made up by man in an attempt to put some meaning to the things he cannot explain.
And organized religion is wholly responsible for all of the bad traits that spirituality in general is saddled with by history, wars, witch burnings etc.


But there is something inside me that looks at things like Karma (I've had plenty) ,the love of another human being, the infinite nature of the Universe, the rise and fall of the oceans or just the simple beauty of a leaf and cannot simply write these things off to chance and science.

But that does mean I believe in what you refer to as Bible God, Buddha, Allah or little green men from Mars either.

It simply means that I have a feeling that there is something responsible for Life the Universe and Everything other than the big bang and subsequent random interaction of Carbon molecules and Amino Acids coming together by chance at the right time in some ancient primordial pool of slime and that I am too small and insignificant on a cosmic scale to make hypotheses as to what that higher power might be.

That and I like Christmas.....even if I don't believe in "Bible God" per se
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:00 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Just as an Atheist (using the common definition of someone who does not believe in a higher power of any kind) has to have a degree of certainty in their non belief.
I am 99.99% certain that a supernatural, all-powerful spirit being had nothing to do with forming the stars in the universe, the sun, our planet, life on our planet or humans.

Does this satisfy your need for passion from us?
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I think this is a convenient out, a smokescreen. Which god do you pray to? Which set of divine rules do you adhere to? What deity defines your view of morality?

If your life remains unchanged by religious belief, then you are living the same way as the rest of us atheists. At this point, deciding about a god or not, is really an intellectual curiosity. You might end up with some sort of deist concept, or a universal field pantheist idea, but those sorts of gods are practically speaking no different than none at all, they are merely an intellectual stance. It doesn't seem to be a distinction worth pages of discussion, quite frankly.

-NoCapo
I do not "pray" per se, although I admit that I sometimes talk to any higher power that may be willing to listen lol.

I do not live strictly by any set of divine rules but my moral compass is guided by some of the same ideals that are common in many faiths and I would certainly fail miserably in being devout to any religion.......that is simply my nature.

I do not view my indecision as being the same as having no belief at all......and that is something for me to define......not any theological scholar, not Webster's dictionary and certainly not you.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I do not believe you can ascribe binary logic to people.......people are not a two sided coin.
Not to people, but the question of "Do you believe a god exists?" is a binary one. It is yes, or no.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I believe in the existence of some higher power in the universe. What that higher power may actually be, I have no clue but I don't subscribe to any organized religion as I feel these are largely made up by man in an attempt to put some meaning to the things he cannot explain.
And organized religion is wholly responsible for all of the bad traits that spirituality in general is saddled with by history, wars, witch burnings etc.


But there is something inside me that looks at things like Karma (I've had plenty) ,the love of another human being, the infinite nature of the Universe, the rise and fall of the oceans or just the simple beauty of a leaf and cannot simply write these things off to chance and science.

But that does mean I believe in what you refer to as Bible God, Buddha, Allah or little green men from Mars either.

It simply means that I have a feeling that there is something responsible for Life the Universe and Everything other than the big bang and subsequent random interaction of Carbon molecules and Amino Acids coming together by chance at the right time in some ancient primordial pool of slime and that I am too small and insignificant on a cosmic scale to make hypotheses as to what that higher power might be.

That and I like Christmas.....even if I don't believe in "Bible God" per se
Gotcha! So in the 2 axis terminology, you would be an agnostic theist. You appear to have a more deistic or maybe pantheistic bent and less of a traditional religious one.

I get frustrated that so much of the nitpicking gets in the way, because ultimately your vision for a good world and mine are probably not very far apart. I am an agnostic atheist, in that I recognize that the existence of a god may be unknowable, but I don't think the evidence is very strong for one, so I don't believe in one. But, I don't want to eradicate religion or spirituality. I don't want to be sheltered from all religious references or other people's faith. I just want a secular society where my unbelief is tolerated as equally as other's beliefs.

-NoCapo

P.S. I like Christmas too...
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I am 99.99% certain that a supernatural, all-powerful spirit being had nothing to do with forming the stars in the universe, the sun, our planet, life on our planet or humans.

Does this satisfy your need for passion from us?
Absolutely.
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