Agnostics: Come out of the closet

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Agnostics: Come out of the closet

Anyone else tired of Agnostic people?

 

Let me start over. Eye-wink

I don't like indecisive people and I cannot think of a better word to describe agnostics. Yeah, I get it...we cannot know 100% so you're opting to sit this one out. Nobody KNOWS, but you can still make a decision based on what you do know. At least admit you're an atheist until evidence is provided, or you're a theist but don't know what God to believe in. Agnostics are horrible in debates because the Atheists and Theists either despise them for taking the high ground (which is literally choosing ignorance over applied thought), or agnostics become apologetic to both parties by throwing "but, but, buts" in so often that they appear to be PUSSIES. Can you really say they're not? They're not riding a fence, they're up in an airplane looking down at the fence line wondering if it's really a fence.

Here's how I think it should really be divided:

1. Everyone is a weak atheist.

2. Some believe in A God or multiple Gods (Theists).

3. Others deny all gods (Strong Atheists).

 

Everyone IS a weak atheist. Theists don't believe in every single God that has been written down through history, so they're weak atheists to those other Gods. Mathematically, you could make an argument that the average theist is 90% + weak atheist, and 10% - theist, if you were to calculate all possible belief structures and tally up the Gods. Strong Atheists are Weak Atheists who have chosen to go the extra step and deny/disprove God(s). So that just leaves Agnostics...could an agnostic person NOT be a weak atheist? NO. When asked to make a decision in what they believe in, whether they choose to give you a real answer or not, it really doesn't matter. They're not going to admit to believing in ALL Gods, so they obviously don't believe in some. If the answer is "I don't know," instead of "I don't/do believe," they're still admitting to not believing by saying they don't know.

In the unlikely event you run into a Theist or Agnostic person who says they believe in ALL Gods, you would just label them as insane Smiling

 

 

 

 


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I don't care for the

I don't care for the terms
"weak atheist" and "strong atheist."

I would say, either you are or are not an atheist. Period,

The rest are (wishy washy) agnostics, and theists.

BTW. An informal "poll" here didn't appear to show a single "weak atheist" is ACTUALLY any different than a "strong atheist." See my thread entitled something like "What would convince you of the existence of personal gods?"


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Actually, it is possible to be an agnostic theist.

 

You feel there is a lack of knowledge regarding the existance of gods, but you still choose to worship one citing faith. Many people who cling to Pascal's Wager are agnostic theists.

 

 

 

It is also very possible to be an agnostic atheist, in that you feel there is a lack of knowledge regarding the existence of gods, so you do not choose to worship one.

 

 

Either way though, being agnostic doesn't absolve you of being a theist/atheist. It has nothing to do with which "side of the fence" you are on. It is simply a statement about lack of knowledge regarding the subject.

 

 

If someone is not currently believing in a god, (even if they say it might exist) they are an atheist. If they believe in a god, they are a theist. That is all. :3

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Yeah, you two seem to feel

Yeah, you two seem to feel about the same way I do. The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Yeah, you two seem to feel about the same way I do. The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

 

I think you misunderstand me. One is a statement of belief, the other is a statement about knowledge. They are not the same thing.

 

You are either atheist or theist.

 

Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge.

 

 

I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in a god, but I don't believe there is no god. I think there probably isn't,  but I'm not willing to believe in something with what I think is a lack of evidence for the current gods being pushed, or against the existance of a being I am unaware of.

 

 

 

If someone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that a god exists, I would grant them that. I would be a theist then. But also, it would mean it would be a god that didn't require "faith".

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:Either way

ClockCat wrote:

Either way though, being agnostic doesn't absolve you of being a theist/atheist. It has nothing to do with which "side of the fence" you are on. It is simply a statement about lack of knowledge regarding the subject.

 

Yeah, but that's just it...it's not a statement. For many people it actually DOES absolve them from the responsibility of backing up what they do believe by being either an Atheist or a Theist. And don't get me wrong...I don't say "believe," as in everyone has faith in something. I mean, everyone has an opinion either way about the existence of a Deity. The word agnostic SHOULD just be an adjective but it's more often than not a noun. That's what makes me upset. By calling yourself agnostic you free yourself of any burden of proof while remaining "in the game." You can say whatever you want and never appear wrong, because if a Theist or Atheist tries to call you out on anything you simply say, "WELL, good thing it's impossible for us to know."

It's like if I said I don't know if a God exists because it's impossible to know, but I understand how the Universe formed from a singularity based off of measurable energy traces that suggests weak/strong nuclear forces, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces which were expansions from one initial source of power.

...THEREFORE, I'm an Agnostic Cosmologist. Hell, I also believe in evolution...might as well call me an Agnostic Evolutionist Cosmologist. Agnosticism is just a fancy way of saying you're ignorant, but better than everyone else because of it. Fuck agnostics.


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  Ok, check out this link.

 

 

Ok, check out this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIKeC9k2-Jg&feature=channel_page

It really helped me understand where being agnostic or gnostic fits into having a belief or lack of belief.


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ClockCat wrote:The Flying

ClockCat wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Yeah, you two seem to feel about the same way I do. The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

 

I think you misunderstand me. One is a statement of belief, the other is a statement about knowledge. They are not the same thing.

 

You are either atheist or theist.

 

Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge.

 

 

I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in a god, but I don't believe there is no god. I think there probably isn't,  but I'm not willing to believe in something with what I think is a lack of evidence for the current gods being pushed, or against the existance of a being I am unaware of.

 

 

 

If someone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that a god exists, I would grant them that. I would be a theist then. But also, it would mean it would be a god that didn't require "faith".

 

Oh no, I understand what you're saying. I'm saying agnostic should be removed as a title since no one knows. If I were to say I'm an Atheist, that doesn't mean I KNOW there isn't a God. It means I deny the existence of God until evidence is provided. I don't feel a need to call myself an agnostic atheist because it's implied. Everybody is agnostic, they just shouldn't be AN agnostic. If someone is so unsure that they can't make a decision either way, then that still means they're an atheist since they don't...believe. If they believe there is a God but don't know which one is truly the right one, they're a Theist.


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Ryushai wrote:  Ok, check

Ryushai wrote:

 

 

Ok, check out this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIKeC9k2-Jg&feature=channel_page

It really helped me understand where being agnostic or gnostic fits into having a belief or lack of belief.

Hahaha, yes yes, I understand the terms. Agnosticism has nothing to do with faith - it refers to lack of knowledge. Yeah, I got it...

My point, is everybody is agnostic and the word should not even be mentioned in any Atheist vs Theist debate. If people want to identify themselves as Agnostics PHILOSOPHICALLY, cool. However, it's almost always used in debates based on belief. I find it funny how agnostics have SO MUCH to say about something they don't believe in, either way. It's annoying. Smiling

 


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There are people who are not agnostic though. They believe they DO have knowledge of ___________. They may be wrong, but they believe it.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Like the crazy christians that think "The bible of the infallible word of god and proof he exists!"

 

 

They think that is knowledge. Even if it is in error, they do not claim to be agnostic. They claim to have specific knowledge that proves their case to them.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:There are

ClockCat wrote:

There are people who are not agnostic though. They believe they DO have knowledge of ___________. They may be wrong, but they believe it.

What they believe is irrelevant, they do not know. Nobody knows and if they did know, they would need third party perspective to qualify their beliefs and evidence to convince the masses. I guess you could call these people "gnostics," but that's not accurate, either. They don't know. Everyone is agnostic. When someone makes a formula that proves GOD = ________, then we'll discuss knowing Eye-wink


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

There are people who are not agnostic though. They believe they DO have knowledge of ___________. They may be wrong, but they believe it.

What they believe is irrelevant, they do not know. Nobody knows and if they did know, they would need third party perspective to qualify their beliefs and evidence to convince the masses. I guess you could call these people "gnostics," but that's not accurate, either. They don't know. Everyone is agnostic. When someone makes a formula that proves GOD = ________, then we'll discuss knowing Eye-wink

 

It isn't irrelevant, that is the term's usage. You can be agnostic and /wrong/ maybe there is proof right in front of you and you are ignoring it. The same goes the other way.

 

Whether it is accurate or not is irrelevant to the term. No one said they had to be /right/.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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For example. I know that the world is flat because I have ______ evidence that proves it!

 

I may be incorrect, but that doesn't mean that I don't claim (albeit faulty) knowledge.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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ClockCat wrote:The Flying

ClockCat wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Yeah, you two seem to feel about the same way I do. The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

 

I think you misunderstand me. One is a statement of belief, the other is a statement about knowledge. They are not the same thing.

 

You are either atheist or theist.

 

Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge.

 

 

I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in a god, but I don't believe there is no god. I think there probably isn't,  but I'm not willing to believe in something with what I think is a lack of evidence for the current gods being pushed, or against the existance of a being I am unaware of.

 

 

 

If someone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that a god exists, I would grant them that. I would be a theist then. But also, it would mean it would be a god that didn't require "faith".

Exactly.

It's like this:

 

///////////AtheistTheist
AgnosticAAAT
GnosticGA*GT*

 

*Even if they are wrong in their belief of knowledge. The problem comes when(and I think this is what the OP was getting at) people ONLY label themselves as ''agnostic'' and don't use any of the qualifiers of belief.

 

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


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ClockCat wrote:For example.

ClockCat wrote:

For example. I know that the world is flat because I have ______ evidence that proves it!

 

I may be incorrect, but that doesn't mean that I don't claim (albeit faulty) knowledge.

 

In my experience, if you cannot apply logic, reason, or the scientific method in validating a claim, it's incorrect. So by saying you "know" something based off of antiquated biblical text, ignorance, or gut instincts, simply has no merit at all. Einstein made claims that weren't proven correct until years later, even though he knew them to be correct. He also used his understanding of science to guide his thought process. However, with religion...I'm sorry, I don't think people should be given immunity in making such bold statements based on nothing, in regards to knowing God exists.

It's like if I said I believe I could fly and went around calling myself a bird. To my peers, I'm obviously not a bird. However, I know I'm a bird. You could run tests on me to try and convince me that I'm wrong, but I think I know a little bit more about my anatomy than you do. Since you cannot 100% identify every physiological possibility that a human may possess, you cannot disprove my knowledge. We don't fully understand the capabilities of the brain so perhaps I can levitate my body and fly. We cannot fully trace fossil records to every single biological change through history. I know there's a missing man-bird link that hasn't been discovered. I know this, therefore you have to acknowledge what I say...

This is exactly how it sounds to me when people say they know God exists. It's laughable - it's absurd. Just because someone says they know something, doesn't mean we should take them seriously. So yeah, I think everybody is agnostic, whether by choice or by the fact they have no fucking clue what's going on because it's impossible to know everything about origin. They don't even deserve a title of "gnostic," because their knowledge isn't knowledge - it's unproven opinion.

 

 


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SSBBJunky wrote:ClockCat

SSBBJunky wrote:

ClockCat wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Yeah, you two seem to feel about the same way I do. The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

 

I think you misunderstand me. One is a statement of belief, the other is a statement about knowledge. They are not the same thing.

 

You are either atheist or theist.

 

Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge.

 

 

I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in a god, but I don't believe there is no god. I think there probably isn't,  but I'm not willing to believe in something with what I think is a lack of evidence for the current gods being pushed, or against the existance of a being I am unaware of.

 

 

 

If someone can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt that a god exists, I would grant them that. I would be a theist then. But also, it would mean it would be a god that didn't require "faith".

Exactly.

It's like this:

 

///////////AtheistTheist
AgnosticAAAT
GnosticGA*GT*

 

*Even if they are wrong in their belief of knowledge. The problem comes when(and I think this is what the OP was getting at) people ONLY label themselves as ''agnostic'' and don't use any of the qualifiers of belief.

 

 

Exactly. People label themselves as Agnostics and use that to defend their beliefs. I've met some very brilliant people who claimed to be agnostic and they were. Those types of people are almost always those concerned with Philosophy more than Religion. However, most of the people I've met who claimed to be agnostic were simply confused or cowards.


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I wrote a post before on how

I wrote a post before on how I think everyone should be categorized:

1. Rational Atheists. Nearly 100% sure that every religion is BS.

2. Delusional Theists. They actually believe, but have a hard grip on reality.

3. Dishonest Theists. Don't really believe but are suckers for Pascal's wager or see some material advantage in pretending to believe such as impressing a girlfriend or pleasing parents.

4. Don't really give a shit. Never really think things through. They are only Theist or Agnostic because they were raised that way.

 

Most people are 3 and 4. 1 and 2 are small minorities.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:I wrote a post

EXC wrote:

I wrote a post before on how I think everyone should be categorized:

1. Rational Atheists. Nearly 100% sure that every religion is BS.

2. Delusional Theists. They actually believe, but have a hard grip on reality.

3. Dishonest Theists. Don't really believe but are suckers for Pascal's wager or see some material advantage in pretending to believe such as impressing a girlfriend or pleasing parents.

4. Don't really give a shit. Never really think things through. They are only Theist or Agnostic because they were raised that way.

 

Most people are 3 and 4. 1 and 2 are small minorities.

I agree for the most part. The thing is the people that are 3 feed the people that are 2 and their crazy agenda.

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


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This is how I think it

This is how I think it should be (please don't criticize too harshly, I just threw it together. The subcategories don't have to work likes this...but you get the gist):

 


(Click to Enlarge)


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...I just don't think

...I just don't think "Agnostic" should be a category within itself  to identify a person's religious beliefs. Whether you admit it or not, everyone is a theist or atheist. Some just can't come to terms with this.


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

...I just don't think "Agnostic" should be a category within itself  to identify a person's religious beliefs. Whether you admit it or not, everyone is a theist or atheist. Some just can't come to terms with this.

This.

''Black Holes result from God dividing the universe by zero.''


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

This is exactly how it sounds to me when people say they know God exists. It's laughable - it's absurd. Just because someone says they know something, doesn't mean we should take them seriously. So yeah, I think everybody is agnostic, whether by choice or by the fact they have no fucking clue what's going on because it's impossible to know everything about origin. They don't even deserve a title of "gnostic," because their knowledge isn't knowledge - it's unproven opinion.

 

And yet, that is what it is. While I am agnostic, there are gnostic theists and atheists. They claim to have enough knowledge to support their belief. (and don't get me wrong, it is a belief either way if you are gnostic)

 

I may not agree with them, but that doesn't change them from being gnostic. It doesn't actually mean they know something, simply that they believe they do. The same as an agnostic believes there is not enough information to know. 

 

But it is a statement about knowledge again, and has nothing directly to do with theism/atheism, although it may effect why they are one or the other.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

...I just don't think "Agnostic" should be a category within itself  to identify a person's religious beliefs. Whether you admit it or not, everyone is a theist or atheist. Some just can't come to terms with this.

 

It is in a category of it's own, but it is not identifying a religious belief. You are a theist or an atheist in regard to your belief of deities. You are gnostic or agnostic to the knowledge of deities or lack thereof.

 

 

 

They are both identifiers for different things entirely.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


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Quote:This is how I think it

Quote:

This is how I think it should be (please don't criticize too harshly, I just threw it together. The subcategories don't have to work likes this...but you get the gist):

 

Can my badge be changed to "Planeteer"?

 

 

 

SSBBJunky wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

...I just don't think "Agnostic" should be a category within itself  to identify a person's religious beliefs. Whether you admit it or not, everyone is a theist or atheist. Some just can't come to terms with this.

This.

 

 

This

 

 

 

 


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ClockCat wrote:The Flying

ClockCat wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

...I just don't think "Agnostic" should be a category within itself  to identify a person's religious beliefs. Whether you admit it or not, everyone is a theist or atheist. Some just can't come to terms with this.

 

It is in a category of it's own, but it is not identifying a religious belief. You are a theist or an atheist in regard to your belief of deities. You are gnostic or agnostic to the knowledge of deities or lack thereof.

 

 

 

They are both identifiers for different things entirely.

Heh, we're going around the same points over and over again. ;D

I understand what you're saying, but just to clarify, my point is agnostics rarely talk about their knowledge or lack of knowledge like they should. As mentioned, in a philosophical debate on religion as a subject rather than something that affects the person directly, an agnostic often shines because they appear to be open-minded and rational. However, at least in my experience in talking to people in forums like this or with friends offline, agnostics are usually either theists or atheists who use the title of agnostic to absolve themselves from any responsibility in an argument. They'll say whatever they want and if confronted, climb back into their shell and suddenly become a philisopher who cannot be proven wrong. It's annoying and very obvious to those around them.

 


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I've met people who

I've met people who acknowledge that the probability of God existing is extremely low, but don't call themselves atheists. As FSM is saying, they just call themselves "Agnostic," as if this sums up their God belief. By definition, everyone is a theist or an atheist; you either believe in Santa Clause or you don't. However, there are people who don't think this is a dichotomy. Obviously, this is caused by a negative stigma towards the word 'atheism' and a misunderstanding of what these words mean.

I think a lot of people consider theism to be >50% probability while agnosticism is 50% - >0% probability while atheism is 0% probability. Have you seen any drive-by Christians that come in here asking, "How can u'all be 100% sure there's no jesus!?!!!?" Yeah...

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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100% atheist

          That's me sure as hell.  What I am most sure of, beyond any doubt whatsoever, is that in 50 plus years of life I  have not seen any evidence of a god and I have never seen nor heard any reason to buy into a religion.         

 

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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

This is how I think it should be (please don't criticize too harshly, I just threw it together. The subcategories don't have to work likes this...but you get the gist):

 

Where is the largest group, The 'Whatever is convenient' believers?

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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EXC wrote:The Flying

EXC wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

This is how I think it should be (please don't criticize too harshly, I just threw it together. The subcategories don't have to work likes this...but you get the gist):

 

Where is the largest group, The 'Whatever is convenient' believers?

 

Haha, yeah...there's a technical breakdown like what I was trying to do, and a more practical, realistic one which would probably be something like:

- Pascal Wagerer's

- Delusionalists

- Sheepists

- The Whogivesafucks

- Intelligent, Rational people (atheists)


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Cpt_pineapple

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Quote:

This is how I think it should be (please don't criticize too harshly, I just threw it together. The subcategories don't have to work likes this...but you get the gist):

 

Can my badge be changed to "Planeteer"?

 

 

This is classic. Made me laugh for a good minute.

 

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Anyone else tired of Agnostic people?

 

Let me start over. Eye-wink

I don't like indecisive people and I cannot think of a better word to describe agnostics. Yeah, I get it...we cannot know 100% so you're opting to sit this one out. Nobody KNOWS, but you can still make a decision based on what you do know. At least admit you're an atheist until evidence is provided, or you're a theist but don't know what God to believe in. Agnostics are horrible in debates because the Atheists and Theists either despise them for taking the high ground (which is literally choosing ignorance over applied thought), or agnostics become apologetic to both parties by throwing "but, but, buts" in so often that they appear to be PUSSIES. Can you really say they're not? They're not riding a fence, they're up in an airplane looking down at the fence line wondering if it's really a fence.

Here's how I think it should really be divided:

1. Everyone is a weak atheist.

2. Some believe in A God or multiple Gods (Theists).

3. Others deny all gods (Strong Atheists).

 

Everyone IS a weak atheist. Theists don't believe in every single God that has been written down through history, so they're weak atheists to those other Gods. Mathematically, you could make an argument that the average theist is 90% + weak atheist, and 10% - theist, if you were to calculate all possible belief structures and tally up the Gods. Strong Atheists are Weak Atheists who have chosen to go the extra step and deny/disprove God(s). So that just leaves Agnostics...could an agnostic person NOT be a weak atheist? NO. When asked to make a decision in what they believe in, whether they choose to give you a real answer or not, it really doesn't matter. They're not going to admit to believing in ALL Gods, so they obviously don't believe in some. If the answer is "I don't know," instead of "I don't/do believe," they're still admitting to not believing by saying they don't know.

In the unlikely event you run into a Theist or Agnostic person who says they believe in ALL Gods, you would just label them as insane Smiling

I really enjoyed your post, thanks for posting this. When I first came here to this site, it took me a while to finally understand what you explained here so well. The responses from everyone too, they really helped me remember how I used to understand atheism. Having a better understanding of atheism has made me a nicer person on the inside. It's odd how that statement is actually true...

The implication that we should put Darwinism on trial overlooks the fact that Darwinism has always been on trial within the scientific community. -- From Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller

Chaos and chance don't mean the absence of law and order, but rather the presence of order so complex that it lies beyond our abilities to grasp and describe it. -- From From Certainty to Uncertainty by F. David Peat


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Everyone IS a weak atheist. Theists don't believe in every single God that has been written down through history, so they're weak atheists to those other Gods. Mathematically, you could make an argument that the average theist is 90% + weak atheist, and 10% - theist, if you were to calculate all possible belief structures and tally up the Gods. Strong Atheists are Weak Atheists who have chosen to go the extra step and deny/disprove God(s). So that just leaves Agnostics...could an agnostic person NOT be a weak atheist? NO. When asked to make a decision in what they believe in, whether they choose to give you a real answer or not, it really doesn't matter. They're not going to admit to believing in ALL Gods, so they obviously don't believe in some. If the answer is "I don't know," instead of "I don't/do believe," they're still admitting to not believing by saying they don't know.

Sorry bud, doesn't work like that.

Atheist implies a lack of belief in ANY god. If you believe in even ONE god, then you are a theist. Believing in a subset of gods with a size greater than one implies you are a polytheist. Believing in all possible gods makes you a pantheist. You can't be "90 percent weak atheist and 10 percent theist," that is a completely nonsensical statement.

In fact, even if your definition were correct, not everyone would be a weak atheist. For instance, having faith in the Christian God would imply (in your definition) a strong belief that no other god exists, because this is a tenant of Christian faith ("put no other gods before me.... etc.&quotEye-wink. Having faith in any such mutually exclusive God would limit you to the possibility of accepting one and only one God.

 

 

 


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theotherguy wrote:The Flying

theotherguy wrote:

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

Everyone IS a weak atheist. Theists don't believe in every single God that has been written down through history, so they're weak atheists to those other Gods. Mathematically, you could make an argument that the average theist is 90% + weak atheist, and 10% - theist, if you were to calculate all possible belief structures and tally up the Gods. Strong Atheists are Weak Atheists who have chosen to go the extra step and deny/disprove God(s). So that just leaves Agnostics...could an agnostic person NOT be a weak atheist? NO. When asked to make a decision in what they believe in, whether they choose to give you a real answer or not, it really doesn't matter. They're not going to admit to believing in ALL Gods, so they obviously don't believe in some. If the answer is "I don't know," instead of "I don't/do believe," they're still admitting to not believing by saying they don't know.

Sorry bud, doesn't work like that.

Atheist implies a lack of belief in ANY god. If you believe in even ONE god, then you are a theist. Believing in a subset of gods with a size greater than one implies you are a polytheist. Believing in all possible gods makes you a pantheist. You can't be "90 percent weak atheist and 10 percent theist," that is a completely nonsensical statement.

In fact, even if your definition were correct, not everyone would be a weak atheist. For instance, having faith in the Christian God would imply (in your definition) a strong belief that no other god exists, because this is a tenant of Christian faith ("put no other gods before me.... etc.&quotEye-wink. Having faith in any such mutually exclusive God would limit you to the possibility of accepting one and only one God.

I don't necessarily disagree with that. Yes, if you believe in at least one God you're definintely a Theist. However, I was just commenting on the actual definition:

Atheist - a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

I was just making the point that if you pooled together all the known, worshiped Gods, you're still an atheist to those other Gods you don't believe in. By "denying the existence of those other Gods," whether by a lack of belief or because as you said, the Christian doctrine demands it, you could be considered an atheist as well. The 90% is just a reflection of how many Gods a Theist doesn't believe in comparision to the number he does believe in (which is usually one, unless he/she's polytheist).

Since this is more an argument on semantics, I won't push for a rebuttal. I stand by what I said but also agree with your point.


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jread wrote:I really enjoyed

jread wrote:

I really enjoyed your post, thanks for posting this. When I first came here to this site, it took me a while to finally understand what you explained here so well. The responses from everyone too, they really helped me remember how I used to understand atheism. Having a better understanding of atheism has made me a nicer person on the inside. It's odd how that statement is actually true...

No prob. I'm new to the site and just chose something random to talk about. I also enjoyed what others have said in response.


 

 

 

 

 

 



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from an agnostic

This is a great site. I had to create a login when I read the atheist view of agnosticism, and comment....

my response being: Atheism - is just another belief.


"Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge."

-Yes that's an excellent way to put it. It's highly illogical to believe we know everything in the scape of science etc, suddenly at this point in our human evolution.  Nor even that we ever necessarily could at any point. I'm not sure that the human brain could concept everything in existence, now there's a concept. But indeed, we really don't know.

And from other views said I can now see atheism as being used as a coping mechanism similarly to how religious people use religion.

I am happy this site exists and all its still relatively like-minded people as to myself in so many ways.

Your,

Agnostic friend


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Welcome to this forum!rebdo

Welcome to this forum!

rebdo wrote:

This is a great site. I had to create a login when I read the atheist view of agnosticism, and comment....

my response being: Atheism - is just another belief.


Not this again. Why does this always happen?

Theism means that you believe in a God or gods. Atheism means that you don't believe in any Gods. Atheism is, by definition, a negative position. A-theism. That means 'without theism.' You cannot spin a negative position into a positive claim no matter how much you play with semantics. Innocent until proven guilty.

I considered myself agnostic before I came to this website, but changed my position in about an hour after I read this:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

A religion usually entails numerous interlocking beliefs, and it requires dogma. Ergo, neither theism or atheism, by themselves, can be a religion. Atheism is not 100% certainly that there is no God either, and agnosticism is not a fallback position. The fallback position is already present, by definition, in atheism. It's most basic definition is, again, simply, you don't believe in God. You are not simply 'agnostic' unless you actually think that the odds of a God existing or not existing are even. You are either an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist.

Quote:
It's highly illogical to believe we know everything in the scape of science etc, suddenly at this point in our human evolution.  Nor even that we ever necessarily could at any point. I'm not sure that the human brain could concept everything in existence, now there's a concept. But indeed, we really don't know.

Edit:

And we don't know everything in science and we don't everything about evolution and we don't think we will ever know everything about everything. Yet, ditto, I am an atheist.

So where, pray tell, in the dictionary does it say that this represents the atheist's position?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Quote:It's highly illogical

Quote:

It's highly illogical to believe we know everything in the scape of science etc, suddenly at this point in our human evolution.  Nor even that we ever necessarily could at any point. I'm not sure that the human brain could concept everything in existence, now there's a concept. But indeed, we really don't know.
It's telling that those who have obvious difficulty expressing themselves coherently also seem to be those with most difficulty distinguishing between the terms agnostic and atheist. Indeed they seem also to be most likely to fall for just about every semantic trick which theism exploits in order to justify belief predicated on nothing.
While this may indeed be a key to understanding just what it is which traps such large numbers of people in the folly of ascribing worth to nonsense, it does seem also to indicate that a huge proportion of the arguments this topic engenders, such as nearly all the threads on this website, are actually pointless to pursue.
Put another way: Atheists with an intelligent and rational explanation for their position have, quite literally, no one to talk to who is capable of understanding them except others of like mind, who by definition cannot be found amongst the religious.

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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rebdo wrote:This is a great

rebdo wrote:

This is a great site. I had to create a login when I read the atheist view of agnosticism, and comment....

my response being: Atheism - is just another belief.


"Being agnostic just means you believe there is a lack of knowledge."

-Yes that's an excellent way to put it. It's highly illogical to believe we know everything in the scape of science etc, suddenly at this point in our human evolution.  Nor even that we ever necessarily could at any point. I'm not sure that the human brain could concept everything in existence, now there's a concept. But indeed, we really don't know.

And from other views said I can now see atheism as being used as a coping mechanism similarly to how religious people use religion.

I am happy this site exists and all its still relatively like-minded people as to myself in so many ways.

Your,

Agnostic friend

It would actually require an impossible level of knowledge to know for certain that a being powerful enough to create the universe actually exists, since such a thing would be so far beyond our comprehension, and infinitely capable of endlessly deceiving us, that for any mere mortal to claim anything approaching certain knowledge of anything about the existence or nature of such a being would be vastly more arrogant and presumptive that the Atheist position on what mere human minds can possibly know about reality.

Until we find some evidence that points strongly to the Universe being run by the arbitrary whim of some powerful mentality, instead of the immense pattern of mathematically precise laws we actually have uncovered so far, there is simply no justification for such a belief. 'God' seems to be the least likely to be true out of what must be an infinite number ideas, simply because the origins of the idea of a super-being are clearly traceable back to naive and long discredited superstitions about old-style Gods and Demons, as more powerful versions of ourselves or other animals.

Whatever the ultimate nature of reality, we may never know, but it is almost certain far more likely to be something so utterly beyond our ability to understand, vastly more mysterious than the primitive idea that it is created and controlled some conscious 'super being'. Even what we have uncovered by our science in the fields of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics points to the nature of reality being much harder to comprehend than naive God ideas, while being entirely different from anything we would attribute to a mind. A powerful 'being' that obeyed the maths of Quantum Mechanics and/or Relativity would be more like a robot or immense multidimensional mechanism than a mind worthy of the name.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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I don't know if this would

I don't know if this would be the place to beat a dead horse (oh wait, it's the Internet -- nevermind) but everyone really IS agnostic. That's like saying "breathing" or "alive". But there's a reason for that, and it's Saint Will's Dichotomy. Either:

1. The god being discussed escapes earthly definition, in which case you wouldn't know what to believe

OR

2. The god being discussed is defined, and is internally inconsistent

 

Try this exercise: start a sentence with "Yahweh is ..."

Pretty much anything after that is senseless. "... good" brings up all sorts of problems, seeing as I suppose we don't mean "good" like people are good, because Yahweh isn't a person. Even "bad" is odd, for much the same reason. "Tall" seems not to apply. "Invisible" makes sense, but what are we saying is invisible, again? It's a circle of confusion.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:I don't

HisWillness wrote:

I don't know if this would be the place to beat a dead horse (oh wait, it's the Internet -- nevermind) but everyone really IS agnostic. That's like saying "breathing" or "alive". But there's a reason for that, and it's Saint Will's Dichotomy. Either:

1. The god being discussed escapes earthly definition, in which case you wouldn't know what to believe

OR

2. The god being discussed is defined, and is internally inconsistent

 

Try this exercise: start a sentence with "Yahweh is ..."

Pretty much anything after that is senseless. "... good" brings up all sorts of problems, seeing as I suppose we don't mean "good" like people are good, because Yahweh isn't a person. Even "bad" is odd, for much the same reason. "Tall" seems not to apply. "Invisible" makes sense, but what are we saying is invisible, again? It's a circle of confusion.

Exactly. Nobody knows, so everyone is agnostic. Doesn't mean it should be an identification for a person entering a religious debate. Even if the "agnostic" person just doesn't care and that's why he identifies himself as agnostic, he DOES have an opinion on the existence of God. He just might not want to share it or care to think about it. Your brain, gut, intuition, WHATEVER, causes you to lean a certain way.


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Definitions suck

I agree with the thought that it sucks to be defined by something you don't believe in or associate with in any way. A non bowler, non astrologist, non toast eater, non theist. I despise the term atheist, it's a frame used by theists to label us.

I 100,000% believe that there is no such thing as gods of any kind, way, shape or form. All religion and supernatural clap trap is total bull shit. I have no doubts about my beliefs regarding the god concept and crutch of humanity. The agnostic position of claiming they reserve the right to decide until they have proof of the non existence of something that doesn't exist is silly but whatever. I look at it as more of an intermediate position between the silliness of theism and waking up to reality. Giving up the group lie of theism can be hard for many if not most people.  An agnostic position is like training wheels on a bike. Some people skip the training wheels and just start riding. Many people benefit by those training wheels while growing up and learning to truly ride a bicycle.

Respectfully,
Lenny

"The righteous rise, With burning eyes, Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
Witch Hunt from the album Moving Pictures. Neal Pert, Rush


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

You seem to have met some agnostic equivocators, but they're not all like that, and there are theists and atheists who use their claimed certainty to avoid question and debate. Being close-minded is no virtue, and there's nothing particularly clever or brave about making up your mind in the absence of evidence - the only thing you can know for sure is that there's no evidence. What you conclude from that is your choice. In any other context that would be a scientific approach, but in this particular context the subject, God, is, by most definitions, beyond science and the physical, so it is quite reasonable that if you believe science can (in principle) tell us all there is to know, you can confidently say that there is no God, because not only is there no evidence for one, but it is not possible for God to exist. OTOH there are many people who are not certain that science can tell us all there is to know. As the saying has it, 'keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out'.

 With regard to bravery and cowardice, when people claim that those who believe the same things they do are intelligent and rational, and those who do not are supercilious or ignorant or cowardly, that says more about the person making the unfortunate generalization than about anyone else. It's also worth considering whether it's cowardly to honestly maintain an open and undecided stance in the face of bigotry from either side...

Personally, I'm atheist, with a materialistic predilection.

 


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Saying something is beyond

Saying something is beyond 'science' means that it is fundamentally untestable, or amenable to any sort of methodical investigation, or repeated observation.

Even personal experience can be systematically studied, especially if we have more than one individual testimony, as evidence of a subjective experience. Establishing the reality of something beyond the mental world of the person experiencing what seems to them, to be the effect or influence of an external entity, not physically detectable, is inherently difficult, practically impossible. I see no logical way to determine what sort of mental experience could only be caused by some external non-physical agency, rather than by the person's mind reacting to the internal and external environment and its memories, etc, in all the complex ways we know the mind can.

I see no justification for claiming that something can be known in any meaningful way, if it is so ambiguous, poorly defined, fleeting, or only manifest as the subject of a thought or feeling, as to be inherently 'beyond science'. Many people who say this still think of science as restricted to measuring physical objects, and conducting 'experiments' in laboratories like the ones in old movies or corny sci-fi movies and tv shows.

It is a blatant dodge to claim that there is some other way of 'knowing' that bypasses the methods of 'science', yet still can make strong claims about reality, which are more than just speculation.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote:Saying

BobSpence1 wrote:

Saying something is beyond 'science' means that it is fundamentally untestable, or amenable to any sort of methodical investigation, or repeated observation.

Even personal experience can be systematically studied, especially if we have more than one individual testimony, as evidence of a subjective experience. Establishing the reality of something beyond the mental world of the person experiencing what seems to them, to be the effect or influence of an external entity, not physically detectable, is inherently difficult, practically impossible. I see no logical way to determine what sort of mental experience could only be caused by some external non-physical agency, rather than by the person's mind reacting to the internal and external environment and its memories, etc, in all the complex ways we know the mind can.

I see no justification for claiming that something can be known in any meaningful way, if it is so ambiguous, poorly defined, fleeting, or only manifest as the subject of a thought or feeling, as to be inherently 'beyond science'. Many people who say this still think of science as restricted to measuring physical objects, and conducting 'experiments' in laboratories like the ones in old movies or corny sci-fi movies and tv shows.

It is a blatant dodge to claim that there is some other way of 'knowing' that bypasses the methods of 'science', yet still can make strong claims about reality, which are more than just speculation.

 

Very well said. Also, this entire discussion on the origin of life, God, reality, dimensions, etc, is a little too complicated for our species right now. I'm not trying to sell us short in our abilities, these past couple hundred years have been a jaw-dropping exclamation of human discovery. However, The best minds on the planet really aren't collaborating together to try and prove one empirically accepted idea or theory. There's brilliant people on all ends of the spectrum debating, and while Science will help falsify claims, such complex subjects should remain philosophical in nature, instead of defined by some sort of "heavenly purpose," or even as projected science.

So therein lies the problem...we have billions of people connected together in a high-speed, on-demand, instant satisfaction type of existence, wanting to know the meaning of life. Let's pretend for a second there was some way of explaining every one of life's mysteries (or at least enough to satisfy most people). What would be the end result? People would either find out that life is meaningless, which would negatively impact their performance as productive members of society, or they would find out life has an even MORE grand, and meaningful afterlife...which would negatively impact their performance as productive members of society. I'm sure Theists reading this are probably thinking, "No, I believe in God and have a very healthy lifestyle in which I work hard and offer a lot to my community," but the problem is there has never been any real "proof," for God's existence. At least nothing greater than word of mouth, an antiquated, overly translated book, and key chains of wooden crosses. If we could scientifically prove God exists, or if God stopped playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds and revealed itself, do you really think life would be better here on Earth? Schools would become monasteries, the good sin (fun) would be eradicated, the wicked who resist would easily conquer the earth, since everyone is focused on their preparatory transition into Heaven. We would no longer be endeavoring to advance as a species because we'll be humbled by the awe of God. We will become emotionally, physically, and spiritually enslaved from that moment on. People would love there to be a widespread, hand-holding Kumbayah as we're all unified under one single, and great purpose, but that's not how things work when people are individually as different as we are.

So I ask...shouldn't there be be a little mystery to life? Do we really need to prod and probe every orifice the universe exposes? Even if we find a greater meaning, hell...even one that involves a God, but doesn't offer an after life, that would still leave people feeling as though life is meaningless. That whole "living eternally in heaven," is a great bargaining chip for God Eye-wink

Sorry for the rambling...

 

 


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  Not trying to sound glib

  Not trying to sound glib but I just consider myself a non-believer. That term accurately expresses how I view myself. I have simply rejected all religious / spiritual principles because they are false concepts.  Period.

  Although atheism and agnosticism are legitimate terms that express different shades of meaning they are not important distinctions to me.  Perhaps I'm being lazy but how much I disbelieve just doesn't interest me.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


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The Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote:

The only two categories there really should be is Theist and Atheist. I know there are "agnostic atheists," and, "agnostic theists," but I think they're just glorified terms for those who won't make up their minds. When I hear people identify themselves as Agnostics I get the impression they're trying to appear more open-minded or less confrontational, but all I see is cowardice.

You seem to have met some agnostic equivocators, but they're not all like that, and there are theists and atheists who use their claimed certainty to avoid question and debate. Being close-minded is no virtue, and there's nothing particularly clever or brave about making up your mind in the absence of evidence - the only thing you can know for sure is that there's no evidence. What you conclude from that is your choice. In any other context that would be a scientific approach, but in this particular context the subject, God, is, by most definitions, beyond science and the physical, so it is quite reasonable that if you believe science can (in principle) tell us all there is to know, you can confidently say that there is no God, because not only is there no evidence for one, but it is not possible for God to exist. OTOH there are many people who are not certain that science can tell us all there is to know. As the saying has it, 'keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out'.

 With regard to bravery and cowardice, when people claim that those who believe the same things they do are intelligent and rational, and those who do not are supercilious or ignorant or cowardly, that says more about the person making the unfortunate generalization than about anyone else. It's also worth considering whether it's cowardly to honestly maintain an open and undecided stance in the face of bigotry from either side...

Personally, I'm atheist, with a materialistic predilection.