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Old 05-01-2015, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,532 posts, read 2,503,852 times
Reputation: 4250

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As an agnostic, I don't consider my non-atheism to constitute a "mask". Agnostics typically receive the same level of contempt from theists as do atheists. However, we also receive a fair amount of condescension from many of those who define themselves as atheists.

On the broader question, I don't see any room for attaching the term "religious" to either atheism or agnosticism--at least not when the term is used within the context of its primary definition. With that said, it is completely irrelevant to me how individuals self-identify. I'm far more concerned with behavior. As long as one's religious beliefs stay out of the public sphere, I don't give them a second thought.

From my perspective, theists and atheists are on the same field of play, the field of belief. They're certainly on opposite ends of that field. However, consideration of "belief" as a concept, is inherent to the very definition of each. Agnostics are not muddling around weakly and ignorantly in the middle of this metaphorical field, trying to decide which end is more comfortable. We're not on the field at all--we aren't even in the stadium!
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:07 PM
 
39,310 posts, read 10,946,230 times
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Yes. I am aware of the area of indecision that looks like agnostic refusal to adopt a belief -position as regards the god -claim.

But what I say is that disbelief in a claim not known to be true is mandated by logic, unless the arguments for and against the claim are so equal that indecision is justified.

I don't see that as being likely, and am more inclined to put the refusal to plump for belief or unbelief as not knowing the weight of the arguments (which we endeavour to correct here) or a disinclination to adopt what is considered (wrongly, I think) an illogically denialist position by atheism, or indeed an illogically gnostic position by theism.

I think that discussion might clarify the issue, but if you prefer to call yourself agnostic, that is your decision and I don't object. I reckon you are still on Our side - as indeed are irreligious theists, since it is organized religion, not religion as such. that we are militant about.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:53 AM
 
3,637 posts, read 2,705,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Now, now Arq . . . you ignore or deny the existence of personal knowledge that is not subject to scientific verification . . . and then call reliance on said experience irrational! Some of us have information not available to you that makes our certainty rational, Arq. Get over it.
If you can not verify it in any way - then it is not knowledge. It is just something your brain made up for you. You can speak of your own personal certainty all you want - but I doubt your certainty is any different than those who think homeopathy works - that they were abducted by aliens - or any one of the number of conspiracy theories people just "know" are true.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:21 AM
 
13,493 posts, read 5,031,069 times
Reputation: 1368
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogead View Post
As an agnostic, I don't consider my non-atheism to constitute a "mask". Agnostics typically receive the same level of contempt from theists as do atheists. However, we also receive a fair amount of condescension from many of those who define themselves as atheists.

On the broader question, I don't see any room for attaching the term "religious" to either atheism or agnosticism--at least not when the term is used within the context of its primary definition. With that said, it is completely irrelevant to me how individuals self-identify. I'm far more concerned with behavior. As long as one's religious beliefs stay out of the public sphere, I don't give them a second thought.

From my perspective, theists and atheists are on the same field of play, the field of belief. They're certainly on opposite ends of that field. However, consideration of "belief" as a concept, is inherent to the very definition of each. Agnostics are not muddling around weakly and ignorantly in the middle of this metaphorical field, trying to decide which end is more comfortable. We're not on the field at all--we aren't even in the stadium!
years of posting this and finally seeing more people posting this. good show!! keep posting to this notion.


"agnostic" is not wishy washy or indecisive. It's about forming a belief on what is known. It's not about forming a belief because we don't like "them" so we are opposite.

People don't understand that talking about if there is or is not a "god" based on "science" data is different than being against a group of people claiming to have the "only true god" or the "only true non god" belief system.

There are emotional and logical components to all peoples belief. "emotions", or total lack of, can really intrude on a negotiations on what the data is telling us. People that use the tag 'agnostics' seem to have a little more logic in their belief systems. that's "seems", I don't know for sure.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,111,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monumentus View Post
If you can not verify it in any way - then it is not knowledge. It is just something your brain made up for you. You can speak of your own personal certainty all you want - but I doubt your certainty is any different than those who think homeopathy works - that they were abducted by aliens - or any one of the number of conspiracy theories people just "know" are true.
Yes Monumentus, it really comes down to whether your formal knowledge claims are evidence based, and what level of credence you will give to personal experience alone -- which is ALL that faith has to work with that's even remotely evidential-ish. The problem is that there is no mechanism to control for one's biases, perceptual quirks, hopes or fears. There is just one's subjective mental, emotional and/or physical response to a personal perception which is not part of shared reality except in the odd case where you can set others up via suggestion (as for instance ghost hunters do ... creepy location, dark of night plus constant fanciful suggestions produces "I experienced it too" declarations which supposedly equals "confirmation" which equals "evidence").

It would be one thing, Mystic, if you would say "I had this personal experience that seemed like an overwhelming encounter with god, to the point where I felt compelled to believe in some form of deity. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it could mean or how it could be explained potentially." And stop there. But you want the rest of the world, not just to allow you the space to have your own beliefs, but to share and support your perception of your experience. And for any rational actor outside yourself to do that you would have to present proof, not guesses and unfalsifiable hypotheticals. You want this enough that "what it could mean or how it could be explained potentially" becomes "what it means and how I've explained it" and that is where we must part company.

If you can admit that your ideas are what you choose to believe then we can have a pleasant conversation about what we both agree is a hopeful fantasy. If you can't, then you end up demanding on some level that I subscribe your beliefs or at least the plausibility of your beliefs because ... I don't know, because god and dark matter and meditation and composite fields.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:18 AM
 
13,493 posts, read 5,031,069 times
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What we mean mystic, in general terms. Let me put descriptors that fit us all instead of me and my friends.

have a person accept "blind faith" disguised as "what you choose to believe" as a reasonable axiom. This is done So that the pleasant negations will be based on emotions that can be used to sway a person or allow us to bluntly dismiss observations out of hand in order to maintain personal emotional based belief integrity. Despite observations to the contrary.

that's a religious shell game. good stuff right there. real honest.

How about a pleasant conversation about what stances are more reasonable based on just observations. Yep, let us put a pleasantly agreed to number scale on our stances. But wait, I guess removing qualitative descriptive bases to beliefs means we can't just spit out what we want with no proof.

Forget that. crazy me. thinking that we can make statments relating anything science so that a personal belief is "less personal" and "more people" is ok.
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