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Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 01:32 AM
I am agnostic. I am also atheist. I think most of you have scoffed at that, at least in your mind, but give me a chance.

Atheists have a bad rap, obviously. There is a stigma to the word. There is a very troublesome misconception that atheism in general is just as unscientific and faith-based as theism.

Most atheists strive to be critical thinking/rational/skeptical. Nowadays there those who think only agnostics are like that; theists would even give that to agnostics but not to those who claim to be atheists. A lot of atheists I know even refuse to call themselves atheists; preferring instead to use the term agnostic even though it doesn't always mean what they are trying to say.

Sample exchange:

"Do you believe in god?"

"I am agnostic."

"That's nice, but do you believe in god?"

"I told you, I'm agnostic!"

"Do you believe in dragons like Ying Long?"

"No."

"So I have to break it down to the kinds of gods by region to get your opinion?"

When an agnostic says "There is no proof one way or the other" when pertaining to deities, guess what, this is also what many atheists think. I've encountered, like, ZERO atheists who claim they can provide hard evidence god doesn't exist. Not saying there aren't any atheists like that, just nobody I know.

Agnostic is a philosophy/way of thinking. It's synonymous to skepticism.It just doesn't apply to gods or the supernatural, it applies to everything. Question everything; sounds like a good idea to me.

Being skeptical of existence of dragons (or Santa or Xenu or invisible pink unicorns or athropomorphic space pineapples that poops universes, whatever) makes sense, but does it mean you cannot formulate an opinion at the very least? Agnostics, do you say "Well, there is no proof of the existence of an noncorporeal magical hippo in my closet plotting my demise. No proof of it's non existence either... quite frankly, the jury is still out on that one. It might happen."? I'd bet it be more like "Magical plotting my what? Either stop snorting crack or share your crack." But then if it's the G-word agnostics become ambiguous.

C'mon, we're all on the same boat here. We do not need the infighting. Just like agnostics, as soon a there is evendence proving positive the existence of gods, atheists will start believeing. We just don't believe in it now because there is no evidence (burden of proof, occam's, russell's teapot and all that). No need to disassociate yourselves from the term atheist.

And then there are agnostics who believe in god (yet, being agnostic, they accept that there is no proof of this, natch). These guys seem to prefer to be thought of as theists rather than agnostic, shockingly enough. It's cool, guys. It's okay to call yourselves agnostic too. We are all going to the same hell anyway. God knows what's in your hearts, heathens.

Thoughts?

Thomas Mauer
10-11-2008, 03:58 AM
Whoa buddy, it seems your critical thinking is somewhat muddled.

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
ag·nos·ti·cism (āg-nŏs'tĭ-sĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
n.

1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

----

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
a·the·ism (ā'thē-ĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
n.

1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.



[French athéisme, from athée, atheist, from Greek atheos, godless : a-, without; see a-1 + theos, god; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.]

Ben
10-11-2008, 03:59 AM
I've encountered, like, ZERO atheists who claim they can provide hard evidence god doesn't exist. Not saying there aren't any atheists like that, just nobody I know.You can't provide evidence that God doesn't exist because His (or Their) existence is unfalsifiable partly because he's defined differently by everyone that believes in him! Also, he's supposedly magical, so you can make up any explanation you want to explain away any evidence against his existence.

So it's pretty much impossible right from the start. God, as a concept, was designed to be falsifiable.

And agnosticism is not like skepticism. According to skepticism, you should NOT believe in something UNTIL their is evidence to support its existence. That's more consistent with atheism.

Ultimate Lurker
10-11-2008, 04:04 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

Ben
10-11-2008, 04:08 AM
Whoa buddy, it seems your critical thinking is somewhat muddled.The dictionary is not necessarily the best place to get your philosophy definitions.

Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 04:21 AM
You can't provide evidence that God doesn't exist because His (or Their) existence is unfalsifiable partly because he's defined differently by everyone that believes in him! Also, he's supposedly magical, so you can make up any explanation you want to explain away any evidence against his existence.

So it's pretty much impossible right from the start. God, as a concept, was designed to be falsifiable.

Just to clarify, I'm not claiming it's possible to prove god's non existence. When someone goes "you can't prove he doesn't exist", I'm like "duh".



And agnosticism is not like skepticism. According to skepticism, you should NOT believe in something UNTIL their is evidence to support its existence. That's more consistent with atheism.

Point. Should have picked something more apt than skepticism.

Ben
10-11-2008, 04:53 AM
Just to clarify, I'm not claiming it's possible to prove god's non existence. When someone goes "you can't prove he doesn't exist", I'm like "duh".But you could hypothetically provide evidence that he does exist, depending on just what "he" is.

adam_warlock_2099
10-11-2008, 05:35 AM
I'm not sure what my label is. I usually say nihilist, as a loose definition. While I have enjoyed reading a lot of Nietzsche's writings, I wouldn't agree with everything. I think the thought and the passage "God is Dead" defines more what I think of concerning God. If he is indeed a real being, I subscribe more to the thought that he really just doesn't care, he is "dead".

But I don't really even put too much thought to that. In the long run, I have a life and a family. The existence of God, for me personally, bears nothing on my endevours to live my life and care for my family. It's more of a passing fancy to read his work and to hear other people's thoughts on the existance of God or not.

stevapalooza
10-11-2008, 06:59 AM
I am agnostic. I am also atheist. I think most of you have scoffed at that, at least in your mind, but give me a chance.

Atheists have a bad rap, obviously. There is a stigma to the word. There is a very troublesome misconception that atheism in general is just as unscientific and faith-based as theism.

Most atheists strive to be critical thinking/rational/skeptical. Nowadays there those who think only agnostics are like that; theists would even give that to agnostics but not to those who claim to be atheists. A lot of atheists I know even refuse to call themselves atheists; preferring instead to use the term agnostic even though it doesn't always mean what they are trying to say.

Sample exchange:

"Do you believe in god?"

"I am agnostic."

"That's nice, but do you believe in god?"

"I told you, I'm agnostic!"

"Do you believe in dragons like Ying Long?"

"No."

"So I have to break it down to the kinds of gods by region to get your opinion?"

When an agnostic says "There is no proof one way or the other" when pertaining to deities, guess what, this is also what many atheists think. I've encountered, like, ZERO atheists who claim they can provide hard evidence god doesn't exist. Not saying there aren't any atheists like that, just nobody I know.

Agnostic is a philosophy/way of thinking. It's synonymous to skepticism.It just doesn't apply to gods or the supernatural, it applies to everything. Question everything; sounds like a good idea to me.

Being skeptical of existence of dragons (or Santa or Xenu or invisible pink unicorns or athropomorphic space pineapples that poops universes, whatever) makes sense, but does it mean you cannot formulate an opinion at the very least? Agnostics, do you say "Well, there is no proof of the existence of an noncorporeal magical hippo in my closet plotting my demise. No proof of it's non existence either... quite frankly, the jury is still out on that one. It might happen."? I'd bet it be more like "Magical plotting my what? Either stop snorting crack or share your crack." But then if it's the G-word agnostics become ambiguous.

C'mon, we're all on the same boat here. We do not need the infighting. Just like agnostics, as soon a there is evendence proving positive the existence of gods, atheists will start believeing. We just don't believe in it now because there is no evidence (burden of proof, occam's, russell's teapot and all that). No need to disassociate yourselves from the term atheist.

And then there are agnostics who believe in god (yet, being agnostic, they accept that there is no proof of this, natch). These guys seem to prefer to be thought of as theists rather than agnostic, shockingly enough. It's cool, guys. It's okay to call yourselves agnostic too. We are all going to the same hell anyway. God knows what's in your hearts, heathens.

Thoughts?

The problem with this argument is you're allowing religion to define your concept of god. Atheists say "well there's no evidence supporting organized religion's concept of god, therefore there is no god." But many agnostics have a broader definition of "god." So when they're hesitant to say they don't believe in god it's because their concept of god isn't restricted to Jesus or Allah or any personal deity. The Atheist concept of god is.

Kody
10-11-2008, 07:48 AM
I never really found much logic in arguing about religion. I'm an atheist, most of my family is Catholic. My closest friends are a big variety of religions. We all get along very well and there's rarely a conflict.

I think the trick is to just be respectful of other people's views, and if they disrespect yours, take the high road.

Honestly, I almost never find myself in a position where I have to defend my beliefs.

Boris the Blade
10-11-2008, 08:59 AM
I am agnostic. I am also atheist. I think most of you have scoffed at that, at least in your mind, but give me a chance.

Atheists have a bad rap, obviously. There is a stigma to the word. There is a very troublesome misconception that atheism in general is just as unscientific and faith-based as theism.

Most atheists strive to be critical thinking/rational/skeptical. Nowadays there those who think only agnostics are like that; theists would even give that to agnostics but not to those who claim to be atheists. A lot of atheists I know even refuse to call themselves atheists; preferring instead to use the term agnostic even though it doesn't always mean what they are trying to say.

Sample exchange:

"Do you believe in god?"

"I am agnostic."

"That's nice, but do you believe in god?"

"I told you, I'm agnostic!"

"Do you believe in dragons like Ying Long?"

"No."

"So I have to break it down to the kinds of gods by region to get your opinion?"

When an agnostic says "There is no proof one way or the other" when pertaining to deities, guess what, this is also what many atheists think. I've encountered, like, ZERO atheists who claim they can provide hard evidence god doesn't exist. Not saying there aren't any atheists like that, just nobody I know.

Agnostic is a philosophy/way of thinking. It's synonymous to skepticism.It just doesn't apply to gods or the supernatural, it applies to everything. Question everything; sounds like a good idea to me.

Being skeptical of existence of dragons (or Santa or Xenu or invisible pink unicorns or athropomorphic space pineapples that poops universes, whatever) makes sense, but does it mean you cannot formulate an opinion at the very least? Agnostics, do you say "Well, there is no proof of the existence of an noncorporeal magical hippo in my closet plotting my demise. No proof of it's non existence either... quite frankly, the jury is still out on that one. It might happen."? I'd bet it be more like "Magical plotting my what? Either stop snorting crack or share your crack." But then if it's the G-word agnostics become ambiguous.

C'mon, we're all on the same boat here. We do not need the infighting. Just like agnostics, as soon a there is evendence proving positive the existence of gods, atheists will start believeing. We just don't believe in it now because there is no evidence (burden of proof, occam's, russell's teapot and all that). No need to disassociate yourselves from the term atheist.

And then there are agnostics who believe in god (yet, being agnostic, they accept that there is no proof of this, natch). These guys seem to prefer to be thought of as theists rather than agnostic, shockingly enough. It's cool, guys. It's okay to call yourselves agnostic too. We are all going to the same hell anyway. God knows what's in your hearts, heathens.

Thoughts?
Yeah, but you can't really prove the non-existence of something. I mean, some people believe in the concept of fantastical dragons, but how can you prove against it? The burden of proof is on those who want to confirm the existence. That's where the faith element comes in - belief despite lack of proof.

DeluxeVoltron
10-11-2008, 09:20 AM
if im being truly honest ill say that im agnostic. if im talking to a christian ill claim my atheism. I dont wholeheartedly believe theres no possibility for a god. But i find the Christian God to be logically inconsistent. Telling me theres an all-knowing, all-powerful, good creator of this world; you might as well tell me blue is not blue.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-11-2008, 09:38 AM
The problem with this argument is you're allowing religion to define your concept of god. Atheists say "well there's no evidence supporting organized religion's concept of god, therefore there is no god." But many agnostics have a broader definition of "god." So when they're hesitant to say they don't believe in god it's because their concept of god isn't restricted to Jesus or Allah or any personal deity. The Atheist concept of god is.


You can't provide evidence that God doesn't exist because His (or Their) existence is unfalsifiable partly because he's defined differently by everyone that believes in him! Also, he's supposedly magical, so you can make up any explanation you want to explain away any evidence against his existence.

So it's pretty much impossible right from the start. God, as a concept, was designed to be falsifiable.

And agnosticism is not like skepticism. According to skepticism, you should NOT believe in something UNTIL their is evidence to support its existence. That's more consistent with atheism.

^

A relevant quote:
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Henry Roberts

NickT
10-11-2008, 09:42 AM
I think the trick is to just be respectful of other people's views, and if they disrespect yours, take the high road.

I like how you think :)

Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 11:08 AM
The problem with this argument is you're allowing religion to define your concept of god. Atheists say "well there's no evidence supporting organized religion's concept of god, therefore there is no god." But many agnostics have a broader definition of "god." So when they're hesitant to say they don't believe in god it's because their concept of god isn't restricted to Jesus or Allah or any personal deity. The Atheist concept of god is.

I'm not allowing anything religion anything. The non belief of god applies to all concepts, be it archaic ones thought up by primitive people or modern ones based on what we know about the universe now.

Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 11:14 AM
Yeah, but you can't really prove the non-existence of something. I mean, some people believe in the concept of fantastical dragons, but how can you prove against it? The burden of proof is on those who want to confirm the existence. That's where the faith element comes in - belief despite lack of proof.

I did not say otherwise. I was even saying atheism being just as faith-based as theism is a misconception.

SAVETHEB
10-11-2008, 11:25 AM
i dont believe in any god. and i refuse to label myself as either an athiest or agnostic. why must i have a label. YOU CANNOT LABEL MY ESSENCE!!!

but seriously, why cant i just be "nothing"...no label no nothin...i just exist and pretty much get along

NickT
10-11-2008, 11:26 AM
i dont believe in any god. and i refuse to label myself as either an athiest or agnostic. why must i have a label. YOU CANNOT LABEL MY ESSENCE!!!

but seriously, why cant i just be "nothing"...no label no nothin...i just exist and pretty much get along
I wonder that in the US political threads. Why is everyone so desperate to slap a label on themselves? :)

Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 11:35 AM
i dont believe in any god. and i refuse to label myself as either an athiest or agnostic. why must i have a label. YOU CANNOT LABEL MY ESSENCE!!!

but seriously, why cant i just be "nothing"...no label no nothin...i just exist and pretty much get along

You don't have to label yourself, but the answer "nothing" doesn't really apply to all questions.

Jef UK
10-11-2008, 11:46 AM
Um, you can never prove that something doesn't exist. That's a huge logical fallacy, and the burden of proof is on believers.

Jef UK
10-11-2008, 11:51 AM
I'm not sure what my label is. I usually say nihilist, as a loose definition. While I have enjoyed reading a lot of Nietzsche's writings, I wouldn't agree with everything. I think the thought and the passage "God is Dead" defines more what I think of concerning God. If he is indeed a real being, I subscribe more to the thought that he really just doesn't care, he is "dead".

But I don't really even put too much thought to that. In the long run, I have a life and a family. The existence of God, for me personally, bears nothing on my endevours to live my life and care for my family. It's more of a passing fancy to read his work and to hear other people's thoughts on the existance of God or not.

I doubt you are actually a nihilist. How could you care for you family if so? And Neitzsche certainly wasn't a nihilist.

And remember, it's the madman who proclaims, "God is Dead," in both The Gay Science, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Len Snark
10-11-2008, 12:23 PM
I think most agnostics are atheists that just don't want to commit. I'm cool with it, but it's a little like saying that you like all kinds of music when someone asks what kind of music you like. Pick a side: good or evil. :-?

NickT
10-11-2008, 12:32 PM
I think most agnostics are atheists that just don't want to commit. I'm cool with it, but it's a little like saying that you like all kinds of music when someone asks what kind of music you like. Pick a side: good or evil. :-?
I DO like all kinds of music though :)

Hate_Prime
10-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Agnostics are just people who admit they don't know for sure when it comes to things with no proof.

I don't know why agnostics have to be all ambiguous and weird about stating their opinions. Come on, take a guess. Don't cost none.

mario
10-11-2008, 12:54 PM
i dont believe in any god. and i refuse to label myself as either an athiest or agnostic. why must i have a label. YOU CANNOT LABEL MY ESSENCE!!!

but seriously, why cant i just be "nothing"...no label no nothin...i just exist and pretty much get along

aah! Then you're an existentialist!

Boris the Blade
10-11-2008, 12:58 PM
My bad, I thought somehow you were posing that arguement.

I occasionally think atheism and agnosticism are like the two sides of the skepticism coin. One's just pessimistic, the other optimistic. :)

RebootedCorpse
10-11-2008, 12:59 PM
i dont believe in any god. and i refuse to label myself as either an athiest or agnostic. why must i have a label. YOU CANNOT LABEL MY ESSENCE!!!

but seriously, why cant i just be "nothing"...no label no nothin...i just exist and pretty much get along

You won't commit to either wishy or washy!;)

Dreaded Anomaly
10-11-2008, 01:00 PM
My bad, I thought somehow you were posing that arguement.

I occasionally think atheism and agnosticism are like the two sides of the skepticism coin. One's just pessimistic, the other optimistic. :)

Which would you say is which?

HoneyDippinDan
10-11-2008, 01:44 PM
http://i34.tinypic.com/b8y1y.jpg

Boris the Blade
10-11-2008, 01:55 PM
Which would you say is which?
Perhaps my reasoning is specious, but I am both a pessimist and an atheist, so I just assumed atheism is pessimistic.

:)

Auguste Miller
10-11-2008, 03:56 PM
I am agnostic. I am also atheist. I think most of you have scoffed at that, at least in your mind, but give me a chance.

Atheists have a bad rap, obviously.

Thoughts?

Outside the States ?, No not at all. Ive dont usually get negative reactions at all...

stevapalooza
10-11-2008, 04:35 PM
I occasionally think atheism and agnosticism are like the two sides of the skepticism coin. One's just pessimistic, the other optimistic. :)

Good observation.

Stupid ape
10-11-2008, 05:19 PM
I think it's foolish to expect people to have so much faith based on stories from a bible. Yeah, Abraham had SO much faith that he was ready to kill his son for God. But then again, he HEARD THE FREAKIN VOICE OF GOD! He SAW the miracles happen. What do we get? "Your lost your job? God works in mysterious ways!" "won the lottery? Thank God for that." Yeah, I guess that proves he's here.
I'm not an atheist. Earth, and everything in it (including life forms) works in such incredibly complicated and amazing ways that it's hard not to believe that someone HAD to have planned it out. The big bang theory is argued as being extremely improbable given the factors needed to make it happen. Then again, given that space is infinite, there are could have been an infinite amount of possibilities, and this 1 in a billion event got everything right.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-12-2008, 09:45 AM
I think it's foolish to expect people to have so much faith based on stories from a bible. Yeah, Abraham had SO much faith that he was ready to kill his son for God. But then again, he HEARD THE FREAKIN VOICE OF GOD! He SAW the miracles happen. What do we get? "Your lost your job? God works in mysterious ways!" "won the lottery? Thank God for that." Yeah, I guess that proves he's here.
I'm not an atheist. Earth, and everything in it (including life forms) works in such incredibly complicated and amazing ways that it's hard not to believe that someone HAD to have planned it out. The big bang theory is argued as being extremely improbable given the factors needed to make it happen. Then again, given that space is infinite, there are could have been an infinite amount of possibilities, and this 1 in a billion event got everything right.

The utter lack of sense in the second part of this post completely cancels out all of the good sense in the first part.

Thomas Mauer
10-12-2008, 09:54 AM
The utter lack of sense in the second part of this post completely cancels out all of the good sense in the first part.

Seriously. I guess he hasn't heard about the Large Hadron Collider. :)

Stupid ape
10-12-2008, 01:43 PM
Seriously. I guess he hasn't heard about the Large Hadron Collider. :)

I actually haven't! So, I retract that last part. What? no take backs?

Jef UK
10-12-2008, 02:55 PM
Agnostics are just people who admit they don't know for sure when it comes to things with no proof.

I don't know why agnostics have to be all ambiguous and weird about stating their opinions. Come on, take a guess. Don't cost none.

Do you know for sure whether or not Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Pegasus, or Poseidon exist?

(akaRyanHoffman)
10-12-2008, 03:29 PM
Do you know for sure whether or not Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Pegasus, or Poseidon exist?

Hey, you never know...

Stupid ape
10-12-2008, 03:50 PM
Do you know for sure whether or not Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Pegasus, or Poseidon exist?

my santa smelled like whiskey and cheap cigars. Bless that guy for taking time off from making toys to take pictures at the mall

Jonathan Callan
10-12-2008, 08:17 PM
Whoa buddy, it seems your critical thinking is somewhat muddled.

Actually, I was all set to argue that the two terms mean very different things, but based on the definitions you provided there, they actually do not seem mutually exclusive.

Jonathan Callan
10-12-2008, 08:19 PM
So it's pretty much impossible right from the start. God, as a concept, was designed to be falsifiable.

And agnosticism is not like skepticism. According to skepticism, you should NOT believe in something UNTIL their is evidence to support its existence. That's more consistent with atheism.

This, however, would be my caveat, already wonderfully expressed by Ben and others. It seems my work here in this thread has already been done for me!

Goodnight!

DeluxeVoltron
10-12-2008, 09:05 PM
And agnosticism is not like skepticism. According to skepticism, you should NOT believe in something UNTIL their is evidence to support its existence. That's more consistent with atheism.

i think skepticism is more consistent with agnosticism. that is using the definition of atheism as the belief that there is/are no god(s). a skeptic would ask for proof of that claim and weve already discussed the futility of that query. To me, agnosticism is easily defined as pure religious skepticism.

Ben
10-12-2008, 09:23 PM
i think skepticism is more consistent with agnosticism. that is using the definition of atheism as the belief that there is/are no god(s). a skeptic would ask for proof of that claim and weve already discussed the futility of that query. To me, agnosticism is easily defined as pure religious skepticism.I wouldn't necessarily define atheism the way you've defined it.

Dreaded Anomaly
10-12-2008, 09:32 PM
i think skepticism is more consistent with agnosticism. that is using the definition of atheism as the belief that there is/are no god(s). a skeptic would ask for proof of that claim and weve already discussed the futility of that query. To me, agnosticism is easily defined as pure religious skepticism.

Theism is belief in God.

Atheism is therefore "no belief in God", not "belief in no God." The negation prefix "a-" applies to the entire definition of the word, not just the object of the preposition in that definition.

DeluxeVoltron
10-12-2008, 10:02 PM
Theism is belief in God.

Atheism is therefore "no belief in God", not "belief in no God." The negation prefix "a-" applies to the entire definition of the word, not just the object of the preposition in that definition.

or [a+theos (negation of god)] + ism (doctrine). loony, huh?

i always assume nontheism is there for the negation of theism. its equally as ambiguous though.


I wouldn't necessarily define atheism the way you've defined it.

i think this discourse is suffering greatly from the lack of concrete definitions for the terms atheism, nontheism, and even agnosticism. seems a lot of them can be used in several blanket ways and you just have to end up describing how youre using it.

Hate_Prime
10-13-2008, 12:34 AM
Actually, I was all set to argue that the two terms mean very different things, but based on the definitions you provided there, they actually do not seem mutually exclusive.

Precisely. One is lack of knowledge while the other is lack of belief.

Thomas Mauer
10-13-2008, 06:24 AM
Actually, I was all set to argue that the two terms mean very different things, but based on the definitions you provided there, they actually do not seem mutually exclusive.

That's only if you leave out that atheism is defined of denying gods outright while agnosticism is defined as not knowning whether they exist.