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#27 Apr 22 2011 at 1:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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bsphil wrote:
"Jophiel believes that leprechauns do not exist" would be the equivalent of gnostic atheism: you're positively asserting that something doesn't exist.

Given that "God does not exist" is the stock phrase of the webbernetz atheist, I'm not seeing reason to worry about the difference.
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#28 Apr 22 2011 at 2:08 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
bsphil wrote:
"Jophiel believes that leprechauns do not exist" would be the equivalent of gnostic atheism: you're positively asserting that something doesn't exist.
Given that "God does not exist" is the stock phrase of the webbernetz atheist, I'm not seeing reason to worry about the difference.
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#29 Apr 22 2011 at 3:46 PM Rating: Good
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bsphil wrote:
Both, because atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive.


Except that kinda depends on how you define them, isn't it? As stated above, some people define atheism in a very broad context as any "lack of belief" in a god. Which would make agnosticism a subset (or at least overlap) of atheism. Unfortunately, that's not a very useful definition of atheism since it doesn't help us distinguish anything. IMO, it's just more useful to define them in ways that does make them exclusive sets so as to avoid confusion about where someone actually stands.

Quote:
Atheism is the lack/denial of belief in a god or gods. Agnosticism is a lack/denial of certainty or ultimate knowledge. An agnostic atheist would be someone who does not believe in a god or gods but lacks absolute certain proof for this (lack of) belief - typically because logically you cannot prove nonexistence.

Most self-described atheists and agnostics are almost always all agnostic atheists.


The problem is, as DSD states, there are a lot of atheists who are absolutely certain that god does not exist, cannot exist, and anyone who believes in god is a moron, and even just accepting the possibility that some form of divine might exist will result in argument from them. These are also the people who are most involved in secular movements and agendas (both politically and socially). Not surprising since they actually care a lot about what is quite obviously a belief.

We kinda need a term for them, don't we. And honestly, the word "atheist" makes the most sense. If someone isn't sure, they're an agnostic. Period. If they are sure that god exists, they are a theist. Period. If they are sure that god does not exist (any god), they are an atheist. All the other combinations were IMO inventions after the fact by people who for some reason want to use different labels in order to avoid criticism of their position or to "fit in" to some larger group I guess.

Dunno. IMO they just confuse the issue because you get people calling themselves agnostics who are clearly atheists (by my definition), and people calling themselves atheists who are clearly agnostic.


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Wrong.
Quote:
a·the·ist
   [ey-thee-ist]

–noun
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
"Not believing in god" =/= a belief. It's a lack of one. The opposite of a belief; a non-belief (which would make that person a non-believer).


Sorry. IMO you are wrong. The definition doesn't say a "lack of belief". It specifically says someone "denies or disbelieves". Disbelief is a belief in the opposite, not a lack of belief in the subject at hand. The prefix "dis" means to reverse the meaning. So a believer is sure god exists, and a disbeliever is sure god doesn't exist. When you disbelieve or deny something you are specifically claiming that it is "not true". It does not allow for the possibility of uncertainty, just as belief does not allow for the possibility of uncertainty. An agnostic both lacks belief *and* disbelief in something.


I'll point out again that the reason I use that set of definitions is because they are useful. The ones you're trying to use are not, and serve only to muddle the issue.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 2:51pm by gbaji
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#30 Apr 22 2011 at 3:57 PM Rating: Decent
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#31 Apr 22 2011 at 6:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think that if there is a God, it is so far beyond our comprehension as to be invisible to us. I don't believe in a God any more than a bacterium believes in humanity.

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#32 Apr 22 2011 at 6:53 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
I think that if there is a God, it is so far beyond our comprehension as to be invisible to us. I don't believe in a God any more than a bacterium believes in humanity.


Eh, I wrote the bacterium bible, it's not my fault if they don't read it.
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#33 Apr 22 2011 at 6:57 PM Rating: Default
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gbaji wrote:
Sorry. IMO you are wrong. The definition doesn't say a "lack of belief". It specifically says someone "denies or disbelieves". Disbelief is a belief in the opposite, not a lack of belief in the subject at hand. The prefix "dis" means to reverse the meaning.
Man you'll argue about anything. You're also wrong, and wrote a hilariously long and completely in-character post.

Quote:
dis·be·lief
   [dis-bi-leef]

–noun
the inability or refusal to believe or to accept something as true.
Note that it's "refusal to believe" and not "believing the opposite". Insert any other synonyms for refusal, the bottom line is "not believing".



Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 8:00pm by bsphil
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#34 Apr 22 2011 at 7:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:
Samira wrote:
I think that if there is a God, it is so far beyond our comprehension as to be invisible to us. I don't believe in a God any more than a bacterium believes in humanity.


Eh, I wrote the bacterium bible, it's not my fault if they don't read it.


They're still trying to translate it.

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#35 Apr 22 2011 at 7:20 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:
Samira wrote:
I think that if there is a God, it is so far beyond our comprehension as to be invisible to us. I don't believe in a God any more than a bacterium believes in humanity.


Eh, I wrote the bacterium bible, it's not my fault if they don't read it.


They're still trying to translate it.


I knew I should have written it in base pairs.
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#36 Apr 22 2011 at 8:51 PM Rating: Good
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In response to the OP, this is more of a marketing problem than a conceptual problem.

I doubt many atheists fit the technical definition of atheism, but find the connotation of being a fence sitter in describing themselves as agnostic to be too offensive and inaccurate. In reality, most are probably like me, in that they are teakettle agnostics.

A teakettle agnostic believes that it is fully impossible to ever disprove the existence of deities, in the same way that fully impossible it disprove the existence unicorns, invisible elves, or anything by mere lack of evidence for it. However the possibility is so small and the evidence so weak, that it is a worthless notion to consider. I can't prove my neighbors aren't space aliens hungering for my sweet human flesh, but I refuse to interact with them in anyway way that would give merit to that idea, because it's so incredibly unlikely and unsupported, because it's a terrible gamble. In behavior and practice they are almost identical to the technical definition of an atheist. However to call them agnostics implies to most people that they are far less certain than they are, that their weighting is somewhere around 50-50 when it's more like 1 to Graham's number.

If someone were to ask me to choose a word to describe myself, I would say atheist even though it is wrong, because it conveys a more accurate idea than the alternative (without boring them to death in a more technical explanation).

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 9:53pm by Allegory
#37 Apr 22 2011 at 11:03 PM Rating: Decent
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Allegory wrote:
In response to the OP, this is more of a marketing problem than a conceptual problem.

I doubt many atheists fit the technical definition of atheism, but find the connotation of being a fence sitter in describing themselves as agnostic to be too offensive and inaccurate. In reality, most are probably like me, in that they are teakettle agnostics.

A teakettle agnostic believes that it is fully impossible to ever disprove the existence of deities, in the same way that fully impossible it disprove the existence unicorns, invisible elves, or anything by mere lack of evidence for it. However the possibility is so small and the evidence so weak, that it is a worthless notion to consider. I can't prove my neighbors aren't space aliens hungering for my sweet human flesh, but I refuse to interact with them in anyway way that would give merit to that idea, because it's so incredibly unlikely and unsupported, because it's a terrible gamble. In behavior and practice they are almost identical to the technical definition of an atheist. However to call them agnostics implies to most people that they are far less certain than they are, that their weighting is somewhere around 50-50 when it's more like 1 to Graham's number.

If someone were to ask me to choose a word to describe myself, I would say atheist even though it is wrong, because it conveys a more accurate idea than the alternative (without boring them to death in a more technical explanation).
...hence the term "agnostic atheist".
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#38 Apr 23 2011 at 12:45 AM Rating: Good
My thinking is that if you have to ask if you are an agnostic or not, then you probably are. Same with the probably *** question.
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#39 Apr 23 2011 at 1:47 AM Rating: Decent
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They are totally different things. I am an agnostic atheist. There are also agnostic theists (actually very common). Fundamentally, they address different questions.

Whether you are atheist or not depends on how you answer the question, "Do you believe there is a god(s)?"
Whether you are an agnostic or not depends on how you answer the question, "Do you believe it is possible to know with certainty whether or not there is a god(s)?"

Atheism is a LACK of belief in God, and says nothing about what the person actually DOES believe except perhaps by process of elimination. A popularly humorous characterization of this argument is that atheism is a religion the same way not fishing is a hobby.

Edit: I could probably stand to check if bsphil has replied to something before I bother to.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2011 12:48am by Kachi
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#40 Apr 23 2011 at 2:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
They are totally different things. I am an agnostic atheist. There are also agnostic theists (actually very common). Fundamentally, they address different questions.

Whether you are atheist or not depends on how you answer the question, "Do you believe there is a god(s)?"
Whether you are an agnostic or not depends on how you answer the question, "Do you believe it is possible to know with certainty whether or not there is a god(s)?"

Atheism is a LACK of belief in God, and says nothing about what the person actually DOES believe except perhaps by process of elimination. A popularly humorous characterization of this argument is that atheism is a religion the same way not fishing is a hobby.

Edit: I could probably stand to check if bsphil has replied to something before I bother to.
I always heard that "not collecting stamps" is not a hobby. Same thing.
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Almalieque wrote:
If no one debated with me, then I wouldn't post here anymore.
Take the hint guys, please take the hint.
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I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#41 Apr 23 2011 at 8:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:
Atheism is a LACK of belief in God, and says nothing about what the person actually DOES believe except perhaps by process of elimination. A popularly humorous characterization of this argument is that atheism is a religion the same way not fishing is a hobby.Edit: I could probably stand to check if bsphil has replied to something before I bother to.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2011 12:48am by Kachi


But it becomes this way to many people, a religion of sorts. Their belief in their disbelief is so overwhelming that they feel the need to push their (dis)beliefs onto anyone who broaches the topic. Some go so far as to become exactly what they loathe about religious folk, proselytizing their lack of belief to the point even other secular folk roll their eyes and take a step back. And those who go this far, can't even realize they have become the "enemy" they are so worked up over.

Im not saying all do this. But with anything, some people go to the extreme in trying to convert others to their way of thinking. And then, it does become a religion of some sort.

I have a friend down here, who, over the past year or so, has become like this. She's even become part of the Free Thought Society which has essentially become her "church". They protest together, have potluck dinners, made billboards and then talk on the news about it. And while I appreciate the message, to hear her talk, shes become a fanatic in this cause, and anyone who even hints at a differing opinion than one she offers in regards to this topic is the biggest idiot to ever walk the earth. You could only be more pathetic if you were actually religious too.
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#42Almalieque, Posted: Apr 23 2011 at 9:00 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.
#43 Apr 23 2011 at 9:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Almalieque wrote:
This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.
That's ridiculous. It is not this forum, it's a select few members on this forum. As always though, that small group is very vocal so it stands out as representing the forum, when in fact, it is not the case.
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#44 Apr 23 2011 at 9:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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Almalieque wrote:
[/quote]

This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.


Obviously false (maybe you just don't spend enough time in the forums or reading what people write?). Several well known "lefty" posters are Christians here.

What is criticized is religious views brought into arguments to prove a point, ie Varus and his theocratic ideas.

Edit: SOME members may well do that. To say the forum at large (or even in a majority) does it is not true.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2011 11:46am by LockeColeMA
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#45 Apr 23 2011 at 9:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.
That's ridiculous. It is not this forum, it's a select few members on this forum. As always though, that small group is very vocal so it stands out as representing the forum, when in fact, it is not the case.


We could always take a poll to find out how many.
#46 Apr 23 2011 at 9:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
Almalieque wrote:


This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.


Obviously false (maybe you just don't spend enough time in the forums or reading what people write?). Several well known "lefty" posters are Christians here.

What is criticized is religious views brought into arguments to prove a point, ie Varus and his theocratic ideas.


Some people just give Christianity a bad name.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2011 11:47am by Ailitardif
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#47 Apr 23 2011 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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[quote=Almalieque
This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.[/quote]

lesson to learn: Its comments like this that create the feeling of Us vs. Them in any sensitive topic, and makes it harder to actually have a mature conversation. Don't take your observations from a few people and broadly color the entire population the same. It makes you look like an ignorant idiot both in this forum, and anywhere else you apply this grossly overgeneralization technique to. I dont go around saying every Christian I meet is a homophobic racist KKK ******* intent on destroying any other faith out there that isnt their own, because it's only a select few people out of millions of people who share the same faith that are actually like that. Give the other side equal credit, whether it be in this forum or in the actual world, mmmkay?
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#48 Apr 23 2011 at 10:09 AM Rating: Decent
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DSD wrote:
Almalieque wrote:

This is what I noticed from this forum. If you mention that you are religious, then you're instantly criticized. It's one thing to not believe in God, but when you start ridiculing others who believe in something that isn't any more believable than what you believe in, then you are crossing that line which you are referencing to.


lesson to learn: Its comments like this that create the feeling of Us vs. Them in any sensitive topic, and makes it harder to actually have a mature conversation. Don't take your observations from a few people and broadly color the entire population the same. It makes you look like an ignorant idiot both in this forum, and anywhere else you apply this grossly overgeneralization technique to. I dont go around saying every Christian I meet is a homophobic racist KKK @#%^ intent on destroying any other faith out there that isnt their own, because it's only a select few people out of millions of people who share the same faith that are actually like that. Give the other side equal credit, whether it be in this forum or in the actual world, mmmkay?


"Over generalization"? I said that was something that I noticed on this forum. I didn't claim that everyone does it. I'm speaking from my experience. I've met many people who don't believe in a religion, but most of the people that I've met that attacked religion unnecessarily came from this forum. There is no malicious intent in that statement, nor does it make me look like an idiot. It's what I've noticed and if you don't like, then that's a personal problem.

I stated that their beliefs aren't any more believable than certain religious beliefs, so I'm not sure how that counts as creating a "vs" atmosphere.
#49 Apr 23 2011 at 10:18 AM Rating: Good
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But Alma, how is this forum different? Why are you singling out this forum? Have you never met an atheist before coming here?
#50 Apr 23 2011 at 10:29 AM Rating: Default
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Guenny wrote:
But Alma, how is this forum different? Why are you singling out this forum? Have you never met an atheist before coming here?


Almalieque just wrote:
I've met many people who don't believe in a religion, but most of the people that I've met that attacked religion unnecessarily came from this forum

#51 Apr 23 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Almalieque wrote:
"Over generalization"? I said that was something that I noticed on this forum. I didn't claim that everyone does it. I'm speaking from my experience. I've met many people who don't believe in a religion, but most of the people that I've met that attacked religion unnecessarily came from this forum. There is no malicious intent in that statement, nor does it make me look like an idiot. It's what I've noticed and if you don't like, then that's a personal problem.

I stated that their beliefs aren't any more believable than certain religious beliefs, so I'm not sure how that counts as creating a "vs" atmosphere.



By stating *this forum* as opposed to *some people on this forum* you overgeneralize and create a broad stroke of stereotyping that does indeed, make you look like an idiot and whether or not your intention is to be malicious, that is what the end result becomes. Its the refusal to take responsibility of stereotyping that does indeed cause part of the issues when you have 2 sides that disagree on a hot topic, such as faith. By continuing the stereotype you cause more harm. Is it a personal problem? Partially. Im frankly sick and tired of hearing about "those **** atheists/agnostics" and "those **** Christians". It ****** me off when Im lumped into a category of highly vocal assholes by religious folk who dont care to take the time to learn not everyone not of a faith is a person without morales. Just as Im tired of other people saying all christians are sheep bleating their faith to others. Do both sides exist? Yes. But does that mean each person who believes one way or the other goes to an extreme each time? No. And thus if you make broad statements you are an idiot for continuing that harmful allusion. And if you cant see why that counts as creating an Us vs. Them atmosphere then you're even more of an idiot. /shrug



Edited, Apr 23rd 2011 1:48pm by DSD
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