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Old 08-05-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I am referring to hardcore Atheists like these:

'In God We Trust' Lawsuit: Freedom From Religion Foundation Sues To Remove Phrase From Currency

Yes, I am Agnostic but not an Atheist. In my understanding, the two terms have completely different meanings and I don't see how you can be both if you are one or the other.
An Agnostic by definition, does not either firmly believe or disbelieve in the existence of a higher power, they simply acknowledge that there is more in the Universe than they can understand.

An Atheist on the other hand completely denies the possibility of any type of deity and chalks up his own existence to little more than the random formation of carbon molecules and the right mix of evolutionary stew.

I have no problem with normal, live and let live Atheists just as I have no problem with the majority of normal religious folks who don't go around constantly proselytizing.
It's the extreme viewpoints on either side that puzzles me, especially the Atheists because I have no idea what motivates their actions when they wish to force a complete void of all public displays or sentiments of things of religious nature....You would think the fact that they don't care about God means they don't care if others do.....but apparently not.
These people are the reason why my wife who works in retail can get written up for committing the unthinkable sin of wishing someone a Merry Christmas....
I could see why a business owner would not want someone wishing their customers "Merry Christmas" - I grew up in Jersey. I was surrounded by Christians, but also Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and lord knows what other religions. The atheists usually don't care about whether they get wished a merry whatever, but people who are DEVOUT IN THEIR FAITH, if it happens to not be Christianity, can feel marginalized or unwelcome in a place of business. I don't wish anyone anything holiday related unless I know them or they have let me know what their faith is, and then I will wish them a happy whatever-they're-celebrating, not a happy whatever-I'm-celebrating.

The whole "Merry Christmas" thing is less about atheism and more about recognizing the multiplicity of faiths in our country and not foisting the dominant one on everyone no matter their personal beliefs.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:42 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,251,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Look at it this way.....I don't know enough or care enough about Odin's existence to have an opinion or to base my actions on his supposed existence or lack thereof.
So you are acting as if his existence makes no difference, or in other words as if he doesn't exist... This is precisely what atheism is about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Dooleys definitions of the three:

Theist: WHITE
One who believes in either a deity or some form of power higher than himself.
His faith may waiver and he may doubt himself and his own beliefs for any number of reasons but overall his belief remains.

Agnostic: GRAY
One who admits that he simply does not have enough information and or faith(or lack of faith) to believe or deny belief in any particular deity or even a higher power.
They may have different levels and reasons for being proverbially on the fence but they remain unconvinced in either direction.

Atheist: BLACK
One who sees the lack of evidence in any deity or higher power as undeniable proof of non existence.
And therefore denies any possibility of existence.

Now, there can most certainly be shades of gray......
One can be an Agnostic with more tendency towards belief or more tendency towards non belief. and that's not contrary to the definition.

But there is only one shade of White, and only one shade of Black.....everything else is simply a lighter or darker shade of gray
The problem is almost all of us Atheists, would in your classification, be extremely dark charcoal Agnostics. We do not deny the possibility of existence, nor claim that we have proof, deniable or otherwise. Your definition of Atheist is extremely rare, because it is a an illogical position. It is a faith based dogma, and as such is a poor alternative to theism. I have run into exactly one person who claimed to have undeniable proof of the nonexistence of gods, and he was pitching his own variation of an unsubstantiated belief, not a rational disbelief.

This is what most of us have been trying to explain, but you keep wanting to push us charcoal agnostics into your atheist classification, so you can tell us we are wrong...

Simply put, the strawman of the gnostic atheist who wants to stifle all expressions of religious belief is just that, a strawman. The vast majority of us (including the outspoken ones like Hitchens and Dawkins) are non-dogmatic agnostic athisets, who dibelieve in gods not out of dogma, but simply because there is insufficient evidence. We are increasingly vocal because we do not want to be discriminated against in out jobs, schools, or local governments. We are tired of being labelled as immoral vipers or unpatriotic traitors because we do not believe. In the United States, we want the government to abide by its own dictates, and refrain from endorsing or establishing a religion, or even theism in general. Leave it as a personal matter, not a governmental one.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
I'm possibly the worlds biggest Agnostic, so I guess it's easy for me to see both sides of the equation of whether or not to believe in God (any God, not just Christian).

To me, being Agnostic means that I am aware of what a small, insignificant creature that I am in the scope of space and time and that it would be incredibly presumptuous and arrogant of me to have an attitude that there is absolutely no higher power than myself in all the cosmos.
On the other hand, every religion of the world thinks that their view is the only right one and that everyone else on the planet is doomed, dammed or whatever.

So both of the extreme views on either side are just as arrogant and ignorant as the other....

Now, I can understand that the devout are motivated by their faith, but I've always wondered what motivates hardcore type Atheists to be so adamant in demanding a lack of exposure to any religious references or symbols in their daily lives.
What I'm talking about here are the Freedom From Religion Foundation types who want to sue somebody every time a nativity scene goes up at Christmas time and lobbying to get "in God we trust" removed from currency etc.

Do you really have nothing better to do?

Because to me, you are just as bad as the morons from the Westboro Baptist Church.
Personally, I have no problem with "In God We Trust" as that is a historical symbol in addition to being religious. However, I don't think municipalities, states or the federal government should be setting up nativity scenes. There's thousands of churches who set up their own nativity scenes, so why should my taxpayer dollars go to support a specific religion that is already getting plenty of support and which I don't believe in. Why is it so horrendous for private businesses, churches and organizations to put up their own decorations and for governments to simply stick to holiday lights?

Where I grew up there were light-up menorahs and Santas everywhere you went. Why should the government be sponsoring that sort of thing when the general populace is perfectly capable of expressing their own religious views and affiliations?
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:50 PM
 
13,678 posts, read 13,606,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
So you are acting as if his existence makes no difference, or in other words as if he doesn't exist... This is precisely what atheism is about.



The problem is almost all of us Atheists, would in your classification, be extremely dark charcoal Agnostics. We do not deny the possibility of existence, nor claim that we have proof, deniable or otherwise. Your definition of Atheist is extremely rare, because it is a an illogical position. It is a faith based dogma, and as such is a poor alternative to theism. I have run into exactly one person who claimed to have undeniable proof of the nonexistence of gods, and he was pitching his own variation of an unsubstantiated belief, not a rational disbelief.

This is what most of us have been trying to explain, but you keep wanting to push us charcoal agnostics into your atheist classification, so you can tell us we are wrong...

Simply put, the strawman of the gnostic atheist who wants to stifle all expressions of religious belief is just that, a strawman. The vast majority of us (including the outspoken ones like Hitchens and Dawkins) are non-dogmatic agnostic athisets, who dibelieve in gods not out of dogma, but simply because there is insufficient evidence. We are increasingly vocal because we do not want to be discriminated against in out jobs, schools, or local governments. We are tired of being labelled as immoral vipers or unpatriotic traitors because we do not believe. In the United States, we want the government to abide by its own dictates, and refrain from endorsing or establishing a religion, or even theism in general. Leave it as a personal matter, not a governmental one.

-NoCapo
Dude, you're always so sane...

Yep, I'm an atheist not because I steadfastly deny the possibility of their being a god but because I believe the preponderance of evidence indicates very strongly that there is no deity. An agnostic is still sitting on the fence as to where the evidence points, in my opinion. As an atheist, I believe it points towards "no deity"
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:56 PM
Q44
 
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
895 posts, read 766,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
Last I knew it was still a free country and there are plenty of people who agree with my definitions.....so sorry. I do get to have my own.




Look at it this way.....I don't know enough or care enough about Odin's existence to have an opinion or to base my actions on his supposed existence or lack thereof.

Dooleys definitions of the three:

Theist: WHITE
One who believes in either a deity or some form of power higher than himself.
His faith may waiver and he may doubt himself and his own beliefs for any number of reasons but overall his belief remains.

Agnostic: GRAY
One who admits that he simply does not have enough information and or faith(or lack of faith) to believe or deny belief in any particular deity or even a higher power.
They may have different levels and reasons for being proverbially on the fence but they remain unconvinced in either direction.

Atheist: BLACK
One who sees the lack of evidence in any deity or higher power as undeniable proof of non existence.
And therefore denies any possibility of existence.

Now, there can most certainly be shades of gray......
One can be an Agnostic with more tendency towards belief or more tendency towards non belief. and that's not contrary to the definition.

But there is only one shade of White, and only one shade of Black.....everything else is simply a lighter or darker shade of gray
So atheism MUST be in total denial not only in the existence of god, but any possibility of the existence of anything. Yet 'white' your believers are allowed to doubt and waiver.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:59 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,251,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Dude, you're always so sane...

Yep, I'm an atheist not because I steadfastly deny the possibility of their being a god but because I believe the preponderance of evidence indicates very strongly that there is no deity. An agnostic is still sitting on the fence as to where the evidence points, in my opinion. As an atheist, I believe it points towards "no deity"
What is wild to me is that most self declared "Agnostics" seem just as atheistic as I. Let's look at my behavior. I do not make any decisions based on what a god, any god, might think. I don't pray to any of them, I don't pay any attention to the dogma and doctrine of their followers. If I do not alter my life to acomodate their existence, then any distinction between atheist and agnostic is semantic and irrelevant. Atheist and agnostic alike, we live as though the God claims are unevidenced and therefor irrelevant.

-NoCapo
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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Looks like we have a pretty Hardcore Rabid Agnostic
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
No, my reading and comprehension skills are fine, thank you.
It's just my definitions of Theist, Agnostic and Atheist are apparently different than yours.
I GET how you are describing your definitions but I do not agree with them and think someone who describes them selfs as an Agnostic Atheist is being a more of a cop out than anything else.
If you don't believe, fine...own it.


My definition of Agnostic means that I don't know enough to believe or not believe and If that makes me a Moron in your eyes, I'm ok with that.....won't get my panties in a twist.
As others have pointed out, your definitions are rare because they are illogical. You can make up any definition that makes you comfortable, but that doesn't make them correct. Let's use a common analogy:

Suppose we have "X" number of jelly beans in a jar, of which neither of us had any prior knowledge, and I state that there are 2127 jelly beans in that jar, would you agree or disagree with me? If no, then you would be "atheist" about there being 2127 jelly beans in the jars because you don't have enough evidence to believe that what I say is true, though I could be right. You would also be agnostic because you have no knowledge one way or the other.

So, to simplify, are there 2127 jelly beans in the jar? The chances are astronomical that there are not. Though neither of us can say definitively that there is not, you can confidently say that you have no belief that there are 2127 jelly beans in the jar. AND, you don't have knowledge of how many jelly beans are in the jar. Each statement is independent of the other.

Last edited by Amaznjohn; 08-05-2013 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,115,423 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Do you agree with the separation of church and state in the United States?
I am a lifelong Atheist. My answer to your question is No.

In some ways, our government should not get involved with religion. In other ways, it is OK because religions, especially Christianity, have been a very important part of our American culture and they are good for many people in our society.

It depends on the situation. Putting religious symbols on public property is fine with me.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,676,966 times
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As someone who was raised Jewish, the "Merry Christmas" thing brings to mind my mother. At Christmas time, when my sisters and I were little, cute and adorable, people would lean over and ask questions like, "What will Santa bring you this year?"

My mother used to say very indignantly, "Nothing! We're Jewish!"

My sisters and I never believed in Santa. We never believed in Christ. So being used to seeing Christian symbols on money, decorations on Christian holidays or what have you have never and still doesn't bother me in the least. Seeing symbols of Judaism outside Jewish homes and synagogues does a bit. They don't belong there.

When I was a little kid in school back in the 50's, one of my teachers decided that the twenty Jewish kids in the school of otherwise hundreds of good Irish/Italian/Polish Catholic kids should have representation by having Chanukah decorations/songs/food/etc. as well as Christmas decorations around the holidays. The trouble was, they did not know how to go about doing this. So the Jewish kids brought home notes telling our parents the "joyous" news. To a family the parents said "Thanks but no thanks."

You see, they were all Orthodox or Conservative sects of the Jewish faith. They did not "deck the halls." Especially public halls. It was very difficult for the well meaning Christians to understand this. The Jewish parents, many from the old country, just shook their heads. They did not understand either.

Decking the halls and mentioning god's name on currency or other public places was not a Jewish thing to do. God was private entity that did not even have a name in Hebrew. It was, in a sense, blasphemy. Well, maybe a song or two or a little nosh but why on earth would a Christian school, as the Jewish parents considered American schools to be, want to do this? Unheard of!

So we Jewish kids did not get our representation but that was fine with us. We still got the Christmas goodies, heard the stories, the music, saw the lights, got some gifts and best of all, Christmas vacation. To us it was always a fairy tale that the Christ was the Messiah for whom we were still supposed to be waiting.

Fast forward to today with all the political correctness. Everybody and their dogs' religions are well represented in our public schools and everywhere else. The Orthodox and Conservative sects of Judaism would still rather not but they have no say in the matter. Jewish kids still probably see Christmas as a fairy tale. The only difference for me then and now is that when I was a kid I believed in god because that is what I was taught to believe. As an adult I do not. I accept the fact that this country is predominantly religious and that religion is Christianity so there are going to be symbols and words depicting the dominant religion all over the place even on money.

So as for me, I don't give a hoot what halls are decked or with what money is imprinted public or otherwise.
It has no meaning. It never did.

Thanks mom.
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