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Old 01-17-2018, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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I think that a lot of scientist have been labeled "atheist" when they are more along the views of "agnostic".

I think that Carl Sagan summed it up pretty good with this quote: "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know." He was an agnostic who, while maintaining that the idea of a creator of the universe was difficult to disprove, nevertheless disbelieved in God's existence, pending sufficient evidence.

Thomas Edison was an agnostic and thought that religious dogma destroy young people minds, he called them incurably religious. He said, "The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age, and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them. Incurably religious; That is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people. Incurably religious."
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,562,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
I think that a lot of scientist have been labeled "atheist" when they are more along the views of "agnostic".

I think that Carl Sagan summed it up pretty good with this quote: "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know." He was an agnostic who, while maintaining that the idea of a creator of the universe was difficult to disprove, nevertheless disbelieved in God's existence, pending sufficient evidence.

Thomas Edison was an agnostic and thought that religious dogma destroy young people minds, he called them incurably religious. He said, "The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age, and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them. Incurably religious; That is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people. Incurably religious."
(a)gnosticism and (a)theism represent knowledge and belief claims, respectively. They influence each other but vary independently. Most atheists ARE agnostics. Many theists are gnostics (not in the sense of the gnostic heresy, of course -- in the sense of making a positive claim that god is knowable and/or they personally know god).

My position as an atheist is that no supportable knowledge claim can be made for OR against the existence of deities, hence, Sagan's remark is off-base. The reason being, that invisible beings and realms are inherently unfalsifiable. How would you go about (dis)proving such things? They are asserted without evidence and opaque to the five senses, as well as, conveniently, indirect observation methods. So I'm an agnostic in the old-fashioned Huxley sense of the word -- I don't just claim a possibly resolvable personal ignorance about god, I claim that god, as generally posited, is unknowable to begin with.

Then it's just a question of whether belief in god is justified. Seeing zero evidence or persuasive argument, there's no reason to afford belief to even generic gods, much less someone's particular pet deity. But I don't make the claim Sagan is claiming ... that I KNOW there are no gods because I've been everywhere and everywhen.

You have to remember that Sagan was first and foremost a communicator of popularized science via the media. It would be bad for business to be labeled "atheist". So he pretended that "atheist" means that rarest of rare birds, a gnostic atheist. It doesn't, of course -- and he knew that -- but people are ignorant enough about atheism and philosophy that he could get away with that deflection. DeGrasse-Tyson, Sagan's de facto successor, does the same tap dance.

As to scientists and their position on this matter, while they tend to be agnostic atheists, there is nothing to prevent a scientist (in most fields) from compartmentalizing their little hearts out and simultaneously doing science and believing outlandish and unsupportable things. I say "in most fields" because it is really inherently impossible to be both a young earth creationist and, say, a competent paleontologist. But ... for the most part, you have to remember that humans aren't entirely rational, not even scientists.

Also, something many evangelicals for example don't understand, is that most theists hold their faith far less dogmatically and far more loosely than they do. They are so hungry to make an argument from authority that they will assume a scientist saying something nice about god is talking about any sort of god or god-belief that they would actually be comfortable with. Very seldom is that the case. Einstein for example was at best a Spinozan, who equated the natural world with "god". He explicitly labeled evangelical style faith as "childlike" and primitive.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:32 AM
 
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Objective Detective View Post
Atheists, who is your favorite non-believer historically and what did they accomplish that makes you admire them?

Believers, who is your favorite Believer historically and what did they accomplish that you admire?

A picture is worth many words so feel free to add a pic.
There have been relatively few openly atheistic individuals historically. Largely owing to the fact of having terrible things down to them by believers.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:07 AM
 
34,466 posts, read 8,876,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
I think that a lot of scientist have been labeled "atheist" when they are more along the views of "agnostic".

I think that Carl Sagan summed it up pretty good with this quote: "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know." He was an agnostic who, while maintaining that the idea of a creator of the universe was difficult to disprove, nevertheless disbelieved in God's existence, pending sufficient evidence.

Thomas Edison was an agnostic and thought that religious dogma destroy young people minds, he called them incurably religious. He said, "The great trouble is that the preachers get the children from six to seven years of age, and then it is almost impossible to do anything with them. Incurably religious; That is the best way to describe the mental condition of so many people. Incurably religious."
I have the idea that there are a lot of unbelievers out there who are scientists. They are expert at the reason to not believe in a god.

But that doesn't mean that they understand that atheism and agnosticism are not exclusive. It may be possible that some of them are so aware of intense negativity that the name 'Atheist' fires up in the US , that they call themselves agnostic instead, even though they know they are atheists.

There are others who know they are atheists (as well as agnostics (1) but suggest that we change our name in hopes to evade the negative reaction to 'Atheist'.

But the bottom line is - if you don't believe in a god, you are atheist, whether you are sure there is no God nor any gods, or are not sure, but are not persuaded. And that applies even to the celebrity scientists who prefer to call themselves "Agnostic'. I think they are misunderstanding or doing it for a Reason, but we don't mind.

It's only a problem when people use the example of scientists calling themselves Agnostics rather than atheist to suggest that there is something wrong with being atheist.

(1) as stated above, agnosticism is not knowing whether there is a god or not. Atheism is not believing in one until we do know. Atheist apologetics is the method of explaining to those who claim they do know there is a god, that they really don't. Faith is refusing to listen to that explanation.
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Old 01-20-2018, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Boston
3,712 posts, read 1,259,382 times
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Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
I can't provide proof of that and he may well have been an atheist. He claimed to be and behaved pretty much like many other so called Christians who seem to genuinely believe in God. I say so called Christians because these people never actually refer to Jesus, only God. Perhaps they are only churchmen?

So, may we hear what Christians have done to improve our world?

Here's one of my guys.
Over the past 100 yrs Christians won the lions share of nobels. I think that's a fair measure of contribution to humanity.

https://youtu.be/H4vxcaDePNI
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
Over the past 100 yrs Christians won the lions share of nobels. I think that's a fair measure of contribution to humanity.

https://youtu.be/H4vxcaDePNI
It is if you assume they did it because of, rather in spite of, their religious beliefs.

It is if you assume that their religion in any way informs their scientific endeavor. Which when you think about it, is rather like suggesting that someone's taste in music informs their cooking.

If is if you assume their stated religious affiliation even MEANS anything. My wife for example, if asked what religious background she has, would state "Presbyterian" because that's where her mother took her and baptized her as an infant. But if you asked her if she believes in god, she'd say "of course not". My stepdaughter would give the same answers to both questions, except she went so far as to complete the Presbyterian catechism classes. They were instrumental in her arriving at the conclusion that it's BS.

As they say, figures lie and liars figure.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:54 AM
 
34,466 posts, read 8,876,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
Over the past 100 yrs Christians won the lions share of nobels. I think that's a fair measure of contribution to humanity.

https://youtu.be/H4vxcaDePNI
Did they win the prize for being Christian or for being something else, like an artist or philosopher or scientist? Anything good, Christianity gets the credit. If a Christian does anything bad, it isn't Christianity that gets the blame.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Under Moon & Star
1,576 posts, read 558,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
Over the past 100 yrs Christians won the lions share of nobels. I think that's a fair measure of contribution to humanity.

https://youtu.be/H4vxcaDePNI
If you want to play the inane game of using the faiths, however strong or tepid, of scientists as a proxy for the worth of religions, then you will get some conclusions that I don't think you were seeking with such a vapid assertion.

For example, roughly two-thirds of Nobel winners have been Christian and about one in five has been Jewish. Yet Christians outnumber Jews in the world by a factor of about 100 to 1; thus, Jewish scientists are punching far, far above their weight.

So the absurd Which belief systems have done more for humanity? metric - as measured by the nominal religion of Nobel winners - indicates a vast superiority of Judaism over Christianity.

Again, this is only by your 'logic', which is anything but logical.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
Well, Hitler, a Christian, was part of that and so was Stalin, an atheist. Just to keep things in perspective.

But I was hoping to hear from folks like you what Christianity has done for the world.


I do believe atheism is best for everyone but I'm puzzled by your statement. You speak as though you have insider knowledge as an atheist believer - how else could you know it's a religion or belief position?
Hitlert was not a Christian!

https://www.premierchristianity.com/...s-No-Christian

Even read wikipedia on Religious views of Adolf Hitler. He wasn't.

Or to sum up, he was as Christian as the shooter in Texas who led Sunday school and attend, but was activde in several facebook atheist forums. Membership in church does not equate Christianity, neither does leadership. The current church has several leaders now, Bishiops esp, who believe in politics, and the Bible is inconvenient to their views.

Belief and conduct is what makes a Christian, not club membership.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,562,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
Belief and conduct is what makes a Christian, not club membership.
Conveniently allowing you to disavow anyone as a Christian that you want to, just by using your subjective opinion of what constitutes valid Christian belief and conduct. And you can always find something to disagree with when you really need to. If only that the person eventually did horrible things that, of course, Christians never do.

At any rate, Hitler's ideology was as facile and slippery as that of Trump or any other fascistic leader. He was only interested in pushing buttons and getting his way, and had no concern for being consistent or truthful. Indeed, Naziism is well-known for being a hopeless hodgepodge of conflicting ideologies -- and thus, itself, an incoherent ideology. So if it helps ... I will say that no one making a claim for Hitler's affiliations is right -- at least not in the way that they think they are. In the real world, many people and groups defy tidy little classifications.
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