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Old 08-03-2013, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
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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.

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Last edited by Miss Blue; 08-14-2013 at 08:02 AM.. Reason: personal attack
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,387 posts, read 2,165,728 times
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I personally don't know any of these "hardcore atheists" you refer to.

99% of the atheists I know just want to be left to disbelieve in peace without the laws and education system being unduly influenced by mythology.

You are agnostic but not atheist? Which god/s do you believe in?
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I'm a pretty devout atheist and don't want to be talked to about faith, god, etc... it's like listening to someone talk about Justin Bieber's latest dumb stunt: something I have absolutely nothing to do with and could care less about.

I don't see the point in trying to sue people out of exercising their religious freedom, no matter how much I disagree with it. I take a very line-in-the-sand approach to faith... don't cross over my line and we're cool. A church putting up a nativity scene on its own property is their business and I can choose to ignore it if I don't like it. As far as things like courts mandating religious programs in lieu of jail time or things like that, I am vehemently opposed.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Just over the horizon
8,095 posts, read 2,774,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzly Friddle View Post
I personally don't know any of these "hardcore atheists" you refer to.

99% of the atheists I know just want to be left to disbelieve in peace without the laws and education system being unduly influenced by mythology.

You are agnostic but not atheist? Which god/s do you believe in?
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....

Last edited by FatBob96; 08-04-2013 at 12:30 AM..
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:51 AM
bUU
 
Location: Georgia
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Pedantic considerations: Agnostics allow for the possibility that Atheists are correct. Atheists, by contrast, are like those that believe in supernatural aspects of theistic religions, in that they don't allow for the possibility that any other belief system is correct - they don't allow for the possibility that their own belief system is incorrect.

Extremism shouldn't be surprising, since such bravado is the only way to cover over the lack of legitimacy of their advocacy: What Atheists and those that believe in supernatural aspects of theistic religions are trying to defend is, literally, the indefensible. They talk about taking their precepts on faith rather than crafting their arguments specifically on factual evidence. Atheists bristle at that accusation, but the reality is that they build their belief system on the "absence of evidence to the contrary". That is not a logical foundation for the belief that there is nothing supernatural. It is only logical foundation for the belief that there is no proof that there is anything supernatural.

The only belief systems that are fully grounded in truth are those that acknowledge and accept that much of these matters are unknown, and probably unknowable.

It is important to note that that doesn't mean agnosticism is the only true way, at least not the kind of dogmatic agnosticism we see in action today. The dogmatic agnostics I'm referring to are those that reject the standing of people to, first, acknowledge the unknown and unknowable and then, second, consciously decide that having faith in something, even without proof, works "for them". The dogmatic agnostics I'm referring to don't recognize a difference between (a) dogmatic faith in the supernatural - i.e., that which impugnes lack of faith in their own supernatural perspective - and (b) (for lack of a better term) "agnostic faith". In that way, dogmatic agnosticism becomes as offensive as dogmatic theism and dogmatic Atheism. The paradoxical reality is that the only legitimate foundation for dogmaticism is acceptance of the unknown and unknowable (and therefore the acceptance of legitimacy of all belief systems that accept the unknown and unknowable and the legitimacy of all belief systems that do the same).
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:15 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,936,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dooleys1300 View Post
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 haven't seen many atheists who claim this sort of thing. Care to name, say, 10 of them along with quotes of them saying specifically what you've attributed to them? Should be easy, assuming people like this actually exist.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:27 AM
 
7,378 posts, read 6,729,679 times
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Agnosticism pertains to knowledge. I believe you'll find that nearly all atheists will proclaim to be agnostic. It's all about levels of certainty. For example, most of us are rather certain that pixies and unicorns don't exist, but we have no definitive proof and probably never will. Therefore we are agnostic about pixies and unicorns, though we could be considered a-pixies or a-unicorns because we can make a statement, with reasonable certainty, that they don't exist. The same can be said about atheists' beliefs about gods. Of course, we must address each god individually; but, since we see no evidence of any god at this point, we can also make a general statement that we have no belief in gods, because of the lack of evidence for their existence. So, I believe you'll find that most atheists are actually agnostic atheists.
Pertaining to atheist activities, we "hardcore" atheists only want to be treated respectfully, meaning that we don't want our tax dollars used to promote any religion, which includes publicly funded nativity scenes, "In God We Trust" on our currency, and creationism in our classrooms. I don't see this as extreme. Many of us were originally Christians and are intimately aware of the damage that can be done by Christian indoctrination of young minds. Unlike the Westboro Christians we aren't happy when people die, we aren't intolerant of individuals, simply because they are what they are. However, we are intolerant of forced religious dogma into the public arena.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,957 posts, read 6,495,263 times
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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....
You sound very angry and I am questioning whether you are actually an agnostic. Why does a lawsuit like getting that ridiculous motto off our money bother you so much? Personally I'd like to see it removed but I think it's a waste of time.

First bolded - That is preposterous. Now I'm almost convinced you are trolling.
If it is displayed on government funded (tax payer) land then everyones religion should be included. I never heard of anyone "forcing" anyone to take down a religious display on property one actually owns.

Second bolded - I think the "written up" part is a lie. I call BS. Now if she was told not to say it to customers and she didn't adhere to the person who writes out the paychecks then I can see him/her having a point and your wife deserves to get written up. That is called insubordination.
Maybe the business has a lot of Jewish customers and the business owner doesn't want to offend them.
Best to keep the peace. Happy holiday's include almost everyone.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:01 AM
 
39,034 posts, read 10,825,389 times
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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).
As the world's second biggest agnostic, so can I.

Quote:
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.
Yes, that is a credible philosophical attitude for an agnostic, but the atheist then moves onto the logical follow - up. While we certainly cannot rule out the possibility that there may be a higher power than us in the universe, we also have no evidential basis for claiming that there is. we simply do not know one way or the other. Natural forces could equally well be the origin of everything and so a planning cosmic mind is not a logically mandatory assumption.

Indeed, agnosticism is not knowing whether there is a Mind or not or indeed even having a credible basis for supposing it. Where one does not really know the logically mandatory position is to reserve belief or credibility in the claim that there is such a mind, and that is all that is needed to be an atheist.

Quote:
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.
But religion is really nothing to do with the case for a possible 'higher power'. It is about the claims made for the existence of very definite personal gods, the revealed wishes, commands, likes and dislikes and the pendant rewards and punishments.

In short atheists have no problem with agnostics or even theists who argue about a cosmic mind. While we may debate about the rationale, we have no campaign against them of the kind you see as equal in arrogance to Westboro (really.. ).

Quote:
So both of the extreme views on either side are just as arrogant and ignorant as the other....
Our beef is not even with those people who find some personal satisfaction in religion activities. It is with the authority claimed by religions, the rights they give themselves to impose their religious values on everyone else and the control they exert (or try to) over the societies in which they exist.

Quote:
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.
It is this ongoing interference in the body politic that motivates we militant atheists (since there are many who are not) to actively campaign against religious influence, power and authority.

Quote:
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.
While that may not be my preferred approach, I can't really carp at these particular efforts. While nativity scenes are ok in churches or private houses, I wonder whether they should be put up in public? I suppose if we can have santas, we can have Nativities, too. But then we should reasonably have displays put up by any religion or none. In fact that is often the response to Christians trying to impose some public exhibition of religion - to insist that an equal display by other religion or by irreligion be equally allowed. That perhaps is what you regard as 'just as bad'. But the point is not to propagandize the public, as the christian display is intended to do, but to dissuade anyone from doing so. So it really isn't the same motivation.

As to 'In God we trust' this is an offence. It was sneaked onto the currency during the paranoid disgrace of the McCarthy era and had been allowed to remain there and will until enough numbers of irreligious exert the political clout to get it removed. Pre p.s. Any mention of 'well we are a Christian nation after all' will only increase my slight suspicion that John's post above is smack on the money.

Quote:
Do you really have nothing better to do?
We have other things we'd rather be doing, but this campaign against religious influence is necessary. I am very conscious that the fundamentalist creationist push of the previous few decades threatened to subvert education, law, politics, all society and indeed pervert science. The 'push back' has succeded and churches and even creationists are being forced by discussion and public opinion to be surprisingly reasonable. But that is due entirely to people like us. The Westboros of atheism. If what your kids are taught in school and the basis upon which political decisions are made matter to you, you should be applauding us rather than slagging us off. It's for your benefit that we are spending (unpaid and generally unthanked) hours we'd rather use in fishing, restoring classic cars or chasing skirts.

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Last edited by Miss Blue; 08-14-2013 at 08:07 AM.. Reason: orphaned response to quoted post
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 10,932,268 times
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I am really tired of theists and supposed agnostics coming in here and erecting their strawman arguments, so proud of themselves for knocking them down. Never bothering to actually read a little and determine what our true arguments are. I have never in my life met an atheist who made the arguments which are habitually attributed to us. I am just glad that there are people out there like Arequipa with seemingly infinite patience who can respectfully explain again and again, while I simply roll my eyes and click back because I am so over explaining myself to deaf ears.
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