Are you an Agnostic, but think you are an atheist? A rebuttal to RationalResponse

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Are you an Agnostic, but think you are an atheist? A rebuttal to RationalResponse

The definition of agnosticism by RationalResponse is a modern corruption used primarily in psychology to describe god claims as ultimately unknowable. The more accepted meaning, and the one defined originally by Thomas Huxley, is that in the absence of evidence you cannot claim to know.

To say you doubt the existence of god is a knowledge claim because you are stating your position on the spectrum between truth and false.  To cast doubt is to simply place yourself closer to the false position. So the question becomes, what evidence do you have to say god does not exist?

If you lack evidence yet feel this doubt in your bones, then you are indeed an atheist. To an agnostic person, an atheist is irrational, though not to the extent as extreme theists who make extraordinary claims with no evidence. 

The argument of double negation used in paragraph two is illogical because of the assumption that there are only two positions you can take; believing or not believing. So why can we not take a third position, which is “I cannot claim to know either way”. This position is perfectly rational and is simply a statement of having no evidence, or that the evidence in your judgement balances equally; in either case it means that you are a traditional agnostic.

How will you answer this question; did I (author) eat cereal today for breakfast? According to your atheist double negation argument, you can only say Yes, or I doubt it. Clearly both positions are inadequate. 

Further, if you feel in your bones that you are closer to the theist position, but accept you have no evidence, then again you are agnostic. It is the admission of “no evidence” that makes you agnostic. In fact this is the very position that Huxley himself took; Discussing Christian doctrine he says “Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them”. 

Furthermore, what if your belief system has nothing to do with god? A spiritualist, a mystic, a belief in the interconnectedness of the universe, Serendipity, Synchronicity. The word atheist is totally inadequate because as you rightly state the root derivation of the word theist is “God” and there is no room for those who reject this supreme entity outright. Agnosticism however is compatible because instead of using the archaic concept of God, it uses a broader terminology; “anything beyond and behind material phenomena” (OED).  

By the way, I am more than happy to change my own terminology as it seems many members here have. 

 


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Free Radical wrote:The

Free Radical wrote:

The definition of agnosticism by RationalResponse is a modern corruption used primarily in psychology to describe god claims as ultimately unknowable. The more accepted meaning, and the one defined originally by Thomas Huxley, is that in the absence of evidence you cannot claim to know.

 

Lets see you back that up with an actual quote from Huxley rather than stuffing words in his mouth ya dirty weasel.

 

 

Edit:  Sorry, I take that back; my words were very offensive to weasels, who aren't really half bad.  I can't think of substantially slimy and unbecoming creature to reference.  Leeches even have their uses... I'll have to ponder on this for a time.


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wow, I think I've misjudged

wow, I think I've misjudged this site, sorry, no offense intended.


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Free Radical wrote:The

Free Radical wrote:

The definition of agnosticism by RationalResponse is a modern corruption used primarily in psychology to describe god claims as ultimately unknowable.

 

No, it's based on the semantics of the word, and growing common usage across many fields- e.g. "platform agnostic", "agnostic to... X" etc.

More or less meaning "not sure" with a flavour of "don't care" in some cases.  Using "Agnostic" by itself is more likely to indicate Ignosticism.

 

Free Radical wrote:
The more accepted meaning, and the one defined originally by Thomas Huxley, is that in the absence of evidence you cannot claim to know.

 

Thomas Huxley rejected gnosis- that is, magical spiritual revelation- as a source of knowledge.  That's why he was "a + gnostic", because he didn't accept gnosis as evidence.

It was a bit of a diversion, because in truth, he was certainly an atheist whether he liked to admit it or not.

The was Huxley used it, it was more of a condemnation of this woo woo 'gnosis' that prophets of the era championed.  Much in the way James Randi uses the word "Skeptic".

 

Free Radical wrote:
To say you doubt the existence of god is a knowledge claim because you are stating your position on the spectrum between truth and false.

 

Where do you get that?  Some people believe in a god, but have their doubts, some people believe that a god does not exist, and have their doubts.

Doubt is uncertainty, and it represents a spectrum of degree- don't be a tool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubt

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doubt wrote:

Definition of DOUBT

transitive verb1 archaic a : fear b : suspect 2 : to be in doubt about <he doubts everyone's word> 3a : to lack confidence in : distrust <find myself doubting him even when I know that he is honest — H. L. Mencken> b : to consider unlikely <I doubt if I can go> intransitive verb : to be uncertain doubt·able\ˈda-tə-bəl\ adjectivedoubt·er noundoubt·ing·ly\-tiŋ-lē\ adve

 

Free Radical wrote:
To cast doubt is to simply place yourself closer to the false position. So the question becomes, what evidence do you have to say god does not exist?

 

What are you smoking?

To have doubts is to lack certainty- it is no claim placing a Christian closer to saying their god doesn't exist, they may just be less certain at times in their belief that such god does.  To have doubts make somebody less certain, it does not slide the bar of their belief into the territory of rejection- it is not an assertion that something is more likely to be false, but simply that said person has doubts- doesn't know for sure.

 

Free Radical wrote:
If you lack evidence yet feel this doubt in your bones, then you are indeed an atheist.

 

Are you daft?  Almost every person on Earth, no matter how faithful, feels a little doubt- so... they're all atheists!  No.

 

Quote:
To an agnostic person, an atheist is irrational, though not to the extent as extreme theists who make extraordinary claims with no evidence.

 

To an uneducated and illogical magically "pure agnostic" person who doesn't know what words mean, that may be the case.  To honest, intelligent, and well educated agnostic atheist, his or her fellow atheists probably will not be seen as irrational.

 

Free Radical wrote:
The argument of double negation used in paragraph two is illogical because of the assumption that there are only two positions you can take; believing or not believing.

 

Maybe to somebody who didn't read it, or who doesn't grasp basic logic.  For all others, though, the realization that is does not exclude a sense of uncertainty or probability would likely play a part in understanding it.

 

Free Radical wrote:
So why can we not take a third position, which is “I cannot claim to know either way”.

 

That's not a third position, that's a foot note.  That's saying you're uncertain, and can't really know for sure one way or another.  Few theists will, when really pressed, claim to know for sure, and even fewer atheists will claim to know for sure.

Generally, the human condition itself yields a little uncertainty.

As to whether somebody is a theist, or atheist at the height of uncertainty- that depends on personal inclination, and on action.

 

If you actually knew your history, and the word use (including common definition), a theist is not just somebody who believes a god exists or thinks a god might exist, but a person who calls that being 'god' and expresses due difference and worship in some way.

There are many atheists who believe that gods exist, but do not happen to worship them (I know several).

 

Quote:
This position is perfectly rational and is simply a statement of having no evidence, or that the evidence in your judgement balances equally; in either case it means that you are a traditional agnostic.

A traditional agnostic, following Huxley, would be an atheist who is a strict scientific naturalist and rejects spiritual gnosis as a source of knowledge.  That's it.

The hypothetical case of somebody having precisely balanced notions of evidence for and against a deity is really moot; that doesn't in itself qualify theism.  You could even be a theist in believing that there's a 90% chance that such god doesn't exist, but you're going to believe in and worship it *just in case*.

 

Free Radical wrote:
How will you answer this question; did I (author) eat cereal today for breakfast? According to your atheist double negation argument, you can only say Yes, or I doubt it. Clearly both positions are inadequate.

 

This is a profoundly ignorant straw man.  You really don't get the point, do you?

 

How about this one:  Do you worship cereal?  Yes or no?  Kind of?  Maybe you're on again, off again?  A sunday Cerealist?  Yeah, you're still a Cerealist, just not a very good one.  If you do it, in general, and think there's a chance you might have eaten it, then you're a Cerealist.

If you don't worship it, even if you may have eaten cereal in the past, and think there's a chance that there's cereal in your food or that you may even be eating it now, even if you're pretty sure you're eating cereal but still aren't into worshiping it- you're not a Cerealist.

 

Free Radical wrote:
Further, if you feel in your bones that you are closer to the theist position, but accept you have no evidence, then again you are agnostic.

 

Bull shit.  You just completely refuse to accept common or historical definitions, don't you?

Many, *many* people accept that they have no objective empirical evidence, but absolutely believe in their god on the grounds of faith.  Those people are not "agnostics", and some aren't agnostic in any way, but very much subjects of their own personal gnosis.  The absolute most they could be, if filled with many a doubt, is "agnostic theist"- and not by Huxley's use if they have any place for faith as even the most minute evidence.

 

Free Radical wrote:
It is the admission of “no evidence” that makes you agnostic.

 

No, no it isn't.  By the common definition, it's a substantial degree of uncertainty/doubt.  By that term Huxley seemed to advocate, it's a rejection of 'evidence' derived from gnosis, and instead of pursuit of pure scientific naturalism.

 

Free Radical wrote:
In fact this is the very position that Huxley himself took; Discussing Christian doctrine he says “Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them”.

This doesn't even remotely support your claim for Huxely's position- and even less so for the common definition of today which has little to do with Huxley despite his coinage of the term.

 

Free Radical wrote:
Furthermore, what if your belief system has nothing to do with god? A spiritualist, a mystic, a belief in the interconnectedness of the universe, Serendipity, Synchronicity. The word atheist is totally inadequate because as you rightly state the root derivation of the word theist is “God” and there is no room for those who reject this supreme entity outright.

 

You aren't even being coherent.  All of those people who do not believe in (at least to some degree) and worship a deity, or pantheon of deities, are atheists.

 

Free Radical wrote:
Agnosticism however is compatible because instead of using the archaic concept of God, it uses a broader terminology; “anything beyond and behind material phenomena” (OED).

 

Is there no end to the bull shit you can come up with to try to justify your illogical faith in some magical "third" belief?

 

Free Radical wrote:
By the way, I am more than happy to change my own terminology as it seems many members here have. 

 

We have not changed our terminology.  These are accepted common and historical definitions- which are growing more understood by the masses as the definition of "Satan worshiper" is wearing off.

 

By the way, hi froodley


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Let me break it down for

Let me break it down for you. There is NO god! There are way too many contradictions in cripture and in religions to ever prove otherwise. Now I'm not sure if you came to this site expecting to be the one that would change everyones mind with your infinite wisdom, but sorry you lost me right off the bat. I don't take kindly to people telling me I have mislabeled myself. Maybe you should have researched this site a little more before you made this post. Now take a step back and bite off a smaller piece. Start with something you want to debate. Please don't open up with the your all wrong and I am right shit!

Throughout human history as our species has faced the frighten terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are and where we are going; it has been the authority (the political, the religious, and the educational authorities) who have attempted to comfort us. By giving us order, rules, and regulation. Informing or forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question these authorities. THINK FOR YOURSELF…


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 I wish I could count up

 I wish I could count up how many different ways I have seen certain agnostic people avoid their atheism over the years.  I know what it's like, I myself did it for about 4 minutes, I'm just glad I had the strength to admit something that was (at the time) very difficult to admit.  I look at it today as a sign that my open mind is stronger than my pride, something (ironically) I can be very proud of.

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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Blake wrote:Free Radical

Blake wrote:

Free Radical wrote:

The definition of agnosticism by RationalResponse is a modern corruption used primarily in psychology to describe god claims as ultimately unknowable. The more accepted meaning, and the one defined originally by Thomas Huxley, is that in the absence of evidence you cannot claim to know.

 

Lets see you back that up with an actual quote from Huxley rather than stuffing words in his mouth ya dirty weasel.

 

 

Edit:  Sorry, I take that back; my words were very offensive to weasels, who aren't really half bad.  I can't think of substantially slimy and unbecoming creature to reference.  Leeches even have their uses... I'll have to ponder on this for a time.

How about Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, or Todd Friel?

- Brian Sapient


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Free Radical wrote:wow, I

Free Radical wrote:

wow, I think I've misjudged this site, sorry, no offense intended.

 

Your second try at starting this topic is definitely a bit better than your first as far as the insulting nature goes- I will give you that.  Or a reasonable "first try", in the small chance that you aren't froodley .  Even if you are- and everybody is likely to suspect it- by all means continue the charade.

The bottom line is that you didn't understand anything from the article, and you're making a straw man.

 

I suggest that you try reading it a fifth time, but this time, do so a bit differently:

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

 

Assume that it actually makes sense, and that we aren't all a bunch of drooling idiots who wouldn't notice or have pointed out such a fundamental flaw for years, and try to understand it as it was written.

 

I know you like the arguments of that moron 'Chris' from Evil bible, or other such button pushers, on the subject of atheism- but he's an idiot, he's an elitist, and most importantly he's dead wrong.

 

 

Let me help you, though, in understanding why your post is offensive (if you'd like to make a try for not being offensive- as you don't seem to understand why it's offensive):

 

1. It suggests that we're all drooling imbeciles who, despite study in the area, have all been ignorantly mislabeling ourselves for years. (that's going to be the big one)- and that's just the title.

 

2. You're even more arrogantly suggesting that we're all using special terminology, and that we've all gotten together to change our terminology to something aberrant when joining this site.

When you say shit like this:  "By the way, I am more than happy to change my own terminology as it seems many members here have."  What you are saying is: "Many members here have changed their terminology as a condition for using this site"

And you've even given us gems like this: "The definition of agnosticism by RationalResponse is a modern corruption"  Corruption?  Really?  Wow, thanks for the extra condescending education Mr. professor sir!

 

3. Putting words in dead people's mouths.  Particularly, Einstein and Darwin are popular, but you've chosen Huxley:

"the [meaning] defined originally by Thomas Huxley, is that in the absence of evidence you cannot claim to know."

That you assumed that this has anything to do with the common accepted meaning is just more stupid than insulting.

 

4. Calling us all irrational:

"To an agnostic person, an atheist is irrational"

Smooth...

 

 

As to the rest- the straw man argument, the miscarriages of logic, the flatly false definitions and complete misunderstandings... well, that's more stupidity than insult.  While stupidity is insulting, in a way, it's something that can't always be avoided.  The stupidity, however, is why we aren't inclined to put up with the insults.

 

Sorry to come down on you like this, but you really need to step up your game a little bit rather than regurgitating this nonsense.  The insults would actually be fine if you had anything new or useful to say!

In fact, bring on the insults!  Call us all whatever you want- just say something that we haven't heard before, and that won't bore us to tears.

If you could come up with a decent argument for any point, we'd be overjoyed to address it regardless of how much of a dick you want to be.

 

So by all means, be an asshole- just don't be an idiot at the same time.  Choose one or the other- not both.


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Blake wrote:Your second try

Blake wrote:

Your second try at starting this topic is definitely a bit better than your first as far as the insulting nature goes- I will give you that.  Or a reasonable "first try", in the small chance that you aren't froodley .  Even if you are- and everybody is likely to suspect it- by all means continue the charade.

My research doesn't lead me to believe they're the same person.  I can see why you'd suspect it, but I can assure you many people like froodley and free radical exist.  Many agnostic people have let society attach such a negative stigma to the word atheist that they will say just about anything to avoid the label for themselves.  This problem is rampant and by no means limited to two people per month.  Thanks for taking the lead here though, I don't want to even look in his direction.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Blake wrote: There are many

Blake wrote:

 

There are many atheists who believe that gods exist, but do not happen to worship them (I know several).

 

Blake,

Did I miss something?

Are you saying that a person who believes in god can be called an atheist?  Can you explain this please, with some references to definitions, if possible. 

Thanks.

100%

 

Edit:  Maybe you mean "many agnostics who believe that gods exist"?  So then you are talking about agnostic theists.


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Sapient wrote:How about

Sapient wrote:
How about Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, or Todd Friel?

Nah, Murdoch/Fox are fine by me- they're just capitalists.  Like politicians, they'll do anything for audience.  Not like the Fox News network itself believes that crap; they just hire those pundits to take advantage of a niche audience and gain lobby funding and advertising dollars.  Just business; really a very well oiled machine.

Politicians are one of the only sort of people I won't criticize for being "Agnostic" without qualifying it.  They genuinely have a good reason to be noncommittal.  Lincoln was very lucky that he lived in an era without television and widespread voting.  Or maybe unlucky... since getting elected also got him killed.  Hmm...

Anyway, what I'm saying is that, if there's a strong reason (politics, massive amounts of cash), that's more of an understandable bend in intellectual honesty- if I had several billion dollars to gain, or a senate seat, I might even be hard pressed not to compromise.  I can only hope I wouldn't, but one can hardly get ahead without compromising those things, and sometimes it's for the better good (I'd hate for secular leaders not to be elected because they wouldn't lie about it- we'd be less the only sane people we have in office now).

 

Todd Friel is closer, perhaps, but still not really... it may or may not surprise you to hear that I actually tend to respect all out theists more than I do those arrogant "Agnostics".

 

Quote:
My research doesn't lead me to believe they're the same person.  I can see why you'd suspect it, but I can assure you many people like froodley and free radical exist.

 

Ah, I just thought so because of this:

"By the way, I am more than happy to change my own terminology as it seems many members here have."

 

That is, restating the ultimate conclusion of being willing to follow this site's "special" definition that was come to in the other thread.  Either this guy read that thread (which would seem unlikely, since it's in another forum section), he's the same guy, or it's a very strange coincidence that he would say that without any reason.

They all share the same bad logic, for the most part, so that wasn't a give-away.  The timing could just be coincidence.  But froodley did want to dissociate his display name with the argument, and have a fresh start, and in particular he wouldn't have wanted you to know that he was the same person.  Considering how froodley started his thread, I suspect he has been banned from other forums before and he probably knows enough about how forums work to change his IP by using a proxy.

 

Of course, it doesn't matter if he's the same guy or not.  Same old bullshit anyway.

 

Quote:

Thanks for taking the lead here though, I don't want to even look in his direction.

 

No problem; I'm happy to belittle and insult people for the greater good.


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Blake wrote:No problem; I'm

Blake wrote:

No problem; I'm happy to belittle and insult people for the greater good.

 

Sounds like Stalin. Smiling


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake wrote:

 

There are many atheists who believe that gods exist, but do not happen to worship them (I know several).

 

Blake,

Did I miss something?

Are you saying that a person who believes in god can be called an atheist?  Can you explain this please, with some references to definitions, if possible. 

Thanks.

100%

Edit:  Maybe you mean "many agnostics who believe that gods exist"?  So then you are talking about agnostic theists.

 

Sure thing, and yes, I'm talking about atheists who believe that some gods probably exist.

 

I know at least two who believe in non-Abrahamic gods:  One who believes in voodoo gods, and another who believes in certain nature gods- they do not say these are their gods (this is important).  Neither of them particularly like those gods or worship them- but neither are they keen to aggravate them either.

I also know a couple who believe that all gods exist, and that reality is a weird mishmash influenced by belief- so for Christians, their god exists, etc.  It doesn't particularly make sense, but they don't have any god(s) of their own.

And then there are the very few who believe that YHWH probably exists, but simply despise him and believe he is evil, and so refuse to worship him regardless of the consequences- they will, again, not accept YHWH as their god.

 

 

It's a misnomer than everybody who believes that gods exist is a theist- and most of that probably comes from the logic that "If you believe a god exists... why wouldn't you be a theist?"  If you went by that, you *would* be right 99.99% of the time, so it's a good approximation, but there are exceptions.

In the context of YHWH, in particular, if you believe that YHWH exists, and you accept much of the rest of the scripture that defines the being, then there is overwhelming motivation to worship said deity.  While an overwhelming number of people who believe YHWH exists worship him and accept him as their god as a consequence, and thus are theists, there is a very small subset of people who do not.  Devil worshipers, however, are also theists, since Satan does qualify as a deity as well.

 

See the definition of theist, to understand the full spectrum of what isn't one:

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theism wrote:

the·ism

 

[thee-iz-uhm]

 

–noun

 

1.

the belief in one god as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation ( distinguished from deism).

 

 

2.

belief in the existence of a god or gods ( opposed to atheism).

 

 

I could also bring in the definition of a deity, at which point things get even more complicated.

 

Basically, a supernatural being/ a being with supernatural powers that requires worship.  Ownership, however, is important.

 

A common theme you will find in old scripture is around the title of 'god' itself.  That is, you could believe a god existed, but say "that's not my god", or refuse to acknowledge that being as a god (while still not disbelieving in the being itself). 

In that sense, by merely calling YHWH "god", you could be a theist (if you believed it existed), because the very acknowledgment is a form of difference or worship.  However, you could just call YHWH 'YHWH' casually, and believe it existed, and refuse to agknowledge it with the title, saying, "YHWH exists and is *their* god, but not my god; I have no god"- in that context, you would be an atheist.

 

Most of this is historical usage, but it also passes muster with the majority of common usage I've seen, even today.  Believing in gods and yet rejecting them is even a more common definition among religious people, and historically, than the definition of doubt or disbelief in the existence of said beings.


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 Blake, The most general

 Blake,

 

The most general definition of theism is a belief in the existence of at least one god.  This definition does not require this is your god.  Also, the definition of deity does not require that it is you who worships the deity. 

Where did you get the necessity requirement that the object of belief must be your deity that you must worship?  I think that specific references to the worship requirement or creator requirement in existing definitions are rather examples and as a general rule we must follow the broadest possible definitions. 

 

100%


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&ldquo;growing common usage

“growing common usage across many fields”

i.e. modern usage used in specialist fields, and not used colloquially.

 

“More or less meaning "not sure" with a flavour of "don't care" in some cases”

 

That’s not in the OED, so that’s your definition, and certainly not mine.

 

“Thomas Huxley rejected gnosis- that is, magical spiritual revelation- as a source of knowledge.  That's why he was "a + gnostic", because he didn't accept gnosis as evidence.”

 

Agreed

 

“in truth, he was certainly an atheist whether he liked to admit it or not.”

 

And I was accused of putting words into Huxley’s mouth.? You presume to know what he was thinking better than himself. Is this the point where I throw a slur?

 

Doubt is uncertainty, and it represents a spectrum of degree”

 

Agreed? But you are wondering off the point I first made. This spectrum is a spectrum of belief without evidence.

 

To have doubts is to lack certainty- it is no claim placing a Christian closer to saying their god doesn't exist, they may just be less certain at times in their belief that such god does. To have doubts make somebody less certain, it does not slide the bar of their belief into the territory of rejection- it is not an assertion that something is more likely to be false, but simply that said person has doubts- doesn't know for sure.”

 

 

Ok, there are 2 possessions above to disentangle and it depends on the usage of the word ‘doubt’.

 

1st, a Christian with doubts is definitely a claim of knowledge. Suppose you’re recollecting a crime scene as a witness, or perhaps you’ve just been visited by Mary, you have doubts about the facts, but you are still putting forward a claim. This position is not atheist nor agnostic, you are a Christian with doubts.  

 

2nd, the statement “I doubt there is a God” does put you in the area of rejection. Clearly this is where we differ, only I don’t spit hatred about it. I’ll come to that point later.

 

“>If you lack evidence yet feel this doubt in your bones, then you are indeed an atheist.

 

Almost every person on Earth, no matter how faithful, feels a little doubt- so... they're all atheists!  No.”

 

This is out of context, my position is that those atheists, or strong atheists in your terms, are making a gnostic claim which is not provable. 

 

 

Then comes your hate tirade. You’re smart, I’m ignorant etc. You have to scroll down for some time before you come back to something coherent.

 

Many, *many* people accept that they have no objective empirical evidence, but absolutely believe in their god on the grounds of faith.  Those people are not "agnostics", and some aren't agnostic in any way, but very much subjects of their own personal gnosis.  The absolute most they could be, if filled with many a doubt, is "agnostic theist"- and not by Huxley's use if they have any place for faith as even the most minute evidence.

 

You contradict yourself. Their own personal gnosis is the knowledge claim. The people you describe in your first sentence are agnostic theists.

 

“It is the admission of “no evidence” that makes you agnostic.

 

No, no it isn't.  By the common definition, it's a substantial degree of uncertainty/doubt.  By that term Huxley seemed to advocate, it's a rejection of 'evidence' derived from gnosis, and instead of pursuit of pure scientific naturalism.”

 

You haven’t said anything to disagree with my statement here?

 

 

“In fact this is the very position that Huxley himself took; Discussing Christian doctrine he says “Give me a scintilla of evidence, and I am ready to jump at them”.

 

This doesn't even remotely support your claim for Huxely's position- and even less so for the common definition of today which has little to do with Huxley despite his coinage of the term.”

 

It does support his claim, if not explain why not. You then go on to say that Huxley was wrong and your modern corruption is correct. Your clutching at straws, throwing everything but the kitchen sink. I’m wrong, Huxley’s wrong, that your definition is not a modern corruption of the term, but yet this is its modern usage. You clumsily side stepped my question regarding cereal & doubt . Your arguments are pretty random, and incoherent and best.

 

On the issue of my being insulting. Perhaps you should take a look at the wording at the bottom of the essay I was replying to. I was just maintaining the convention you started with. Yet you descended to another level all by yourself, of course you’re not going to agree with that, but I think we should just let unique visitors judge for themselves.

 

For the record, I was a unique visitor myself today but it’s seems that I’ve already got a name; Froodley, well it does sound kind of conveniently ubiquitous, like infidel. I did come here today not caring a whip about names and labels, and I have to say I did learn something; that you do care, that you are terrified that your precious labels that you have invested in for so many years are wrong. I understand now, that this website that’s built copyright and a brand recognition, and that prides itself on logic and rationalism is in fact a joke. And sadly, not a funny joke. 

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:The

100percentAtheist wrote:

The most general definition of theism is a belief in the existence of at least one god.  This definition does not require this is your god.  Also, the definition of deity does not require that it is you who worships the deity.

 

Yes, this is the most general definition of theism, and correlates to the most narrow definition of atheism.

 

Quote:
...as a general rule we must follow the broadest possible definitions.

 

And I was illuminating the broadest definition of atheism, which correlates to the most narrow definition of theism.

 

We have to choose one or the other, otherwise there's a bit of overlap, eh?  Can't follow the most broad definitions of each unless we recognize that overlap- and in those cases, I tend to defer to what the person calls his or herself, or common usage.

 

In common usage among Christians, an atheist is often referred to as a person who believes god exists, but denies it publicly because he or she chooses to side with the worldly offerings of Satan.  That in itself is absurd, but somebody who believes in, but rejects the divinity of a deity, or some nature of its rule or primacy, is a heretic and, crucially -where that deity is not supplanted by another- an atheist.

And, most importantly, this definition- one who believes in the existence of certain beings but refuses to worship them or regard them in a certain way- is the oldest historical usage, coming from atheists of the Greco-roman pantheon, and corresponding to heretics and anybody else who denies a god an element of its nature or the proper respect and difference.

Epicureans, for example, believed that the gods existed as beings, but that they were made of the same materials as all matter (in that case, largely aether), and that they were more indifferent to human events.  Epicureans were *widely* regarded as atheists, and even largely understood to be so today because they are materialists.

To disregard this definition of atheist is to shun thousands of years of common and historical usage in favor of the corollary to an overly-broadened definition of theism which has only come into its own very recently since the enlightenment and the emergence of science and deism (and a more relative understanding of history). 

Defining a theist as a person who merely believes a being exists that might be classified as a kind of god, but rejects it personally as one's god, and refuses it difference or worship, is not likely to fly in any theistic usage panel; or even a secular one.  Dictionary definitions are simplified sometimes, particularly where exceptions are rare.  I explained why belief in a being usually indicates theism- it does not always, however, do so.


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Free Radical wrote:i.e.

Free Radical wrote:
i.e. modern usage used in specialist fields, and not used colloquially.


No, not in other words usage in specialized fields- that is not what I said.  If you're going to make a habit of being an idiot, at least do a more amusing job of it- I'm talking about common, colloquial usage that is spreading across and into many and even unrelated fields; and it does so through the substance of common usage.

You can go blow the OED all night, it won't give you all common usage, and no matter how hard you ride it, it won't give you anything fully up-to-date.  You're completely ignorant of popular usage, and you demonstrate this proudly.

And... wait, what's this?  The online OED does in fact have something!

OED wrote:

Agnostic:

adjective

    * relating to agnostics or agnosticism
    * (in a non-religious context) having a doubtful or non-committal attitude towards something:until now I've been fairly agnostic about electoral reform


It's not quite on the ball yet, but it's significantly closer than your rabid ignorance.

What the OED misses is the colloquial drift, since the perception of religious agnosticism has followed that of general colloquial usage as of late (that is, it's coming to mean simply doubtful or non-committal in regards to religion as well).

All this drifting around- language is a bitch, huh?

Whether we go with Huxley's usage, though, or common usage, you're wrong.

In reality, only within some small circles within the field of philosophy will you find people espousing your special definition- and the people espousing it are the ones who are the "pure Agnostics"; consequentially, idiots.


Quote:
And I was accused of putting words into Huxley’s mouth.? You presume to know what he was thinking better than himself.


I don't presume to know what he was thinking more than what he has said.  He knew perfectly well that he did not believe in any god- we was never unclear on this point.  He was, by definition, an atheist- whether he liked the word or not.  His contradictions and cop-outs are irrelevant to the point at hand.


Quote:
Agreed? But you are wondering off the point I first made. This spectrum is a spectrum of belief without evidence.



No it isn't; and that's what I keep telling you but you refuse to comprehend.


By the colloquial definition, it is merely a matter of certainty and commitment- with or without evidence.  The point of evidence is *completely* irrelevant.


By Huxley's definition, it is merely a rejection of gnosis as evidence; and that's something you have thoroughly misunderstood.

I'll have to break it down for you in terms a small child can understand, apparently.




Do you know how we have five senses?

People can taste!  People can touch! People can see!  People can hear!  People can smell!

Well boys and girls, some people think there's a special extra sense called gnosis- a magical sense of knowledge that was granted to man kind when Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.

Well, big bad ol' Huxley, he didn't believe in the sense of gnosis! *shock, horror!*

So when the good ol' preachers would come around and cite direct spiritual revelation from gnosis as their source of evidence, big bad ol' Huxley wouldn't have it!  Oh noes!

Huxley called himself a (meaning not) + gnostic (from gnosis), or agnostic, because though we wasn't ready to commit on the question of a deity, we was ready to come out as disbelieving in gnosis as a valid source of knowledge.

In the tradition of Huxley, you could be a positive/strong Theist, or a positive/strong Atheist, and also be a Huxlean Agnostic.

How is this?

Well, that is if you had or thought you had certain rational or empirical evidence for or against a deity that did not rely on gnosis.  And for a positive/strong atheist, it would be impossible to arrive at any evidence from gnosis anyway, because gnosis is from 'god'.



Quote:
This is out of context, my position is that those atheists, or strong atheists in your terms, are making a gnostic claim which is not provable.


Are you beginning to see why what you said is complete bullshit?

You're saying that atheists are making a claim from gnosis- meaning they're claiming to have evidence that was given to them by god?

Do you really have no idea of the context of what you're saying, or are you a complete moron?



An atheist generally can not make a claim from gnosis- atheists tend to disbelieve in gnosis (they tend to be, even the strong/positive atheists, Huxlian agnostics). 

A forum member called Luminon is a rare exception to this- he's technically an atheist (though on this forum he is listen as a theist due to supernatural belief), but believes in a kind of universal gnosis called 'the deep knowing' or something like this.  Regardless, it's a supernatural claim, and Luminon is not an agnostic in the tradition of Huxley.


I can't say that any atheist I have ever met has made a claim from gnosis as to the non-existence of any deity.  Now, a claim from logic?  I've seen plenty of those.  That's a very different, and provable, beast.  That's not gnosis, that's objective logical proof (which trumps even empirical evidence in the way of certainty).



Quote:
You contradict yourself. Their own personal gnosis is the knowledge claim. The people you describe in your first sentence are agnostic theists.


No, I do not.  Read what I said smart-ass:

Many, *many* people accept that they have no objective empirical evidence, but absolutely believe in their god on the grounds of faith.  Those people are not "agnostics", and some aren't agnostic in any way, but very much subjects of their own personal gnosis.  The absolute most they could be, if filled with many a doubt, is "agnostic theist"- and not by Huxley's use if they have any place for faith as even the most minute evidence.


"Objective empirical evidence" and "personal gnosis" are completely at odds.  The latter is incompatible with Huxlean agnosticism, but compatible with colloquial agnosticism (as long as it isn't 100% certain).



Here's a little hint:  If you read something I wrote, and it seems contradictory, you need to read more carefully and -for once- pay attention.


Quote:
You haven’t said anything to disagree with my statement here?


Yes, I did,  Read it again.


Quote:
You then go on to say that Huxley was wrong and your modern corruption is correct.



Stop putting words in my mouth dipshit.  It's not *my* modern corruption- it's common usage, corrupted only by linguistic drift.

I won't pretend to like linguistic drift.  The use of the term "agnostic" to mean simply uncertain does seem to be quite removed from its origins.  Does that make it right or wrong?  No.  However, it is common usage, and you'll have to get used to that if you want to speak English coherently.  It's also a very useful, and consequentially very popular adjective today.

Huxley coined the word, and got to define it insofar as it would stick- and it didn't stick well.

Huxley was only ever wrong in these matters to the extent that he claimed not to be an atheist, because he never created anything that was distinct from the scope of atheism (and had no power to).  He invented the word, unsuccessfully, as a bit of a cop-out; it was a strong effort, but doomed to failure on several levels because people would not understand the context (much like yourself).



Quote:
Your clutching at straws, throwing everything but the kitchen sink. I’m wrong, Huxley’s wrong, that your definition is not a modern corruption of the term, but yet this is its modern usage.


You're wrong.  That much is painfully obvious.

Huxley was an atheist, but he was also agnostic by his own coining- he wasn't, however, very agnostic by the modern colloquial definition (as he was very certain in his logical convictions that, for example, gnosis was invalid).  He was, all in all, a pretty damn good scientist and naturalist, for his small and understandable flaws.

It is not my definition, it is the growing colloquial one, and with regards to religion it is the one overwhelmingly in use by the secular community and within modern philosophy.  I have made it clear that the definition has drifted from Huxley's intention; this doesn't make it wrong, or his right, or the other way around.

In either case, you are thoroughly wrong.  How does it feel to consistently get everything wrong?


Quote:
You clumsily side stepped my question regarding cereal & doubt . Your arguments are pretty random, and incoherent and best.


Your failure to understand anything I have said speaks more to your ignorance than my expressing of the points sufficiently.  I will leave it to you to re-read, with more diligence this time around.



Quote:
On the issue of my being insulting...


Wa wa... cry me a river.

You were complaining about people taking offense, and I was gracious enough to explain it to you.

F*ck if I'll help you avoid being insulting again.

I'm not trying to avoid being insulting; you're the one who was pretending to be politically correct.


Quote:
and I have to say I did learn something; that you do care, that you are terrified that your precious labels that you have invested in for so many years are wrong.



Wow are you ever an idiot.

I don't give a shit what people want to call it; I'm just correcting your idiocy and explaining the common and historical definitions.  If language wants to drift another conceptual mile, fine by me.  Agnostic can come to mean MILF for all I care.

Maybe if you fight hard enough for a magical definition of "Agnostic" that's special just for you, and convince enough people to believe it, that will become a new definition.  Today, it just means you're non-committal and uncertain, and without specifying atheist or theist, most people will assume you're perfectly split on the issue and that you think there's a 50%-50% chance of their gods existing (in either case, whether you are functionally atheist or theist would depend on your actions and the way your beliefs affect your daily life)- anybody who knows better will see you for the spineless cop-out you likely are, though-- most people with sense know that it's a deliberate and political non-answer to the actual question.


But good luck with that.  GFY. (Good for you)

 

Let me know if you ever stop being an idiot; I'd be very curious to find out if you have the capacity to think and learn.


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So how does this poor

So how does this poor blow-in "Free Radical" get a troll badge and not Blake? I haven't been around for a while but something pretty insidious seems to have happened to moderation while I was gone. Blake is the only one flaming and bawling here and Mr Radical doesn't appear to have done any wrong at all.  Way to go scaring away prospective members, mod.

When is someone going to moderate Blake, honestly. He's a massive douche, I prefer Mattshizzle, actually I really never had any problems with Matt.

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 Eloise:1. noted2. The site

 Eloise:

1. noted

2. The site is better without this character, rather he be scared away.  This site is a joke to him, might as well it actually be a joke.

 

Feel free to send me a message when you think Blake makes an offense worth noting.

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Sapient wrote: Eloise:1.

Sapient wrote:

 Eloise:

1. noted

2. The site is better without this character, rather he be scared away.  This site is a joke to him, might as well it actually be a joke.

 

Feel free to send me a message when you think Blake makes an offense worth noting.

Hey Brian, Smiling

Can I still send messages without an atheist badge?

Did he say the site is a joke, somewhere? I must have missed it.

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Free Radical wrote:To say

Free Radical wrote:

To say you doubt the existence of god is a knowledge claim because you are stating your position on the spectrum between truth and false.  To cast doubt is to simply place yourself closer to the false position. So the question becomes, what evidence do you have to say god does not exist?

Russel's teapot serves as an example of the evidence: that is, if one claims that there is a teapot orbiting the sun between Mars and with a sufficiently powerful enough telescope, one should be able to see the teapot. Yet after feverishly searching for the teapot, no one finds the teapot. One cannot prove with 100% certainty that the teapot does not exist or did not exist, but because the efforts that have been made to locate it have failed, there is more reason to believe it does not exist than there is to believe it does exist.

On the same token, when one makes claims for the existence of a god and then, after feverishly trying to show that such a being exist fails to do so, there is more reason to believe that such a being does not exist than there is to believe that one does exist.

But on insofar as definitions of atheism are concerned, if agnosticism is a type of lack of belief in a deity, then it is atheism.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


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His second post was

His second post was ridiculous, this is the bottom of his most recent post:

 

Free Radical wrote:


For the record, I was a unique visitor myself today but it’s seems that I’ve already got a name; Froodley, well it does sound kind of conveniently ubiquitous, like infidel. I did come here today not caring a whip about names and labels, and I have to say I did learn something; that you do care, that you are terrified that your precious labels that you have invested in for so many years are wrong. I understand now, that this website that’s built copyright and a brand recognition, and that prides itself on logic and rationalism is in fact a joke. And sadly, not a funny joke. 

 

1. He's acting like a little bitch.

2. He's generalizing "this website" which we could assume means all of the users... including you Eloise. 

 

With all his attempts at escaping atheism froodley never earned that troll badge.

 

You can send me that email at: S   A    P   I     E   N   T    at   rationalresponders..... (you know the rest)

 

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Sapient wrote: Eloise:1.

Sapient wrote:

 Eloise:

1. noted

2. The site is better without this character, rather he be scared away.  This site is a joke to him, might as well it actually be a joke.

 

Feel free to send me a message when you think Blake makes an offense worth noting.

 

Sorry to go off topic- She brings this up frequently...

Eloise is sour because I called her out on her vulgar perversions of science, and then refused to give her ideas the dignity of debate- that is, I take a position very much like that of Dawkins on giving such absurd ideas the benefit of discussion. 

I am actually arguing with this "agnostic", on the other hand, because he or she may be amicable to reason (I don't know), so I'm giving him or her the benefit of the doubt.  He or she is being an idiot now, but sometimes that's treatable. Smiling

 

I made it clear in my explanation to Eloise of why I wouldn't debate her that I thought she was an unintelligent and hysterical wacko incapable of being reasoned with.  I did appeal to other forum members for any evidence that she had been reasoned with in the past, and received response to confirm my suspicions- that is, I did not come to this conclusion in a vacuum.  Sure, I could have been more "polite" and just refused to debate her without telling her why, and then ignored her- that's not really my style, but if you think I should be doing that, I can give it a try the next time something like this comes up.

I also made clear that if any rational forum members didn't understand why Eloise was profoundly wrong, I would be happy to explain it for their benefit- just not for Eloise, because I don't like wasting time talking to a brick wall.  Nobody has taken me up on this, that I recall.

 

If ever she does recant her perversions of science and take on a rational perspective, I will be the first to publicly apologize for assuming that she was incapable of being educated.  I more highly anticipate flying pigs, however.

 

I argue with Rob frequently, because I think one of these days something might get through; e.g. how "pro life" is a political term and means "for abortion criminalization", and not "personally opposed to abortions but in favor of legal access to such health care including abortions"- that, and his very peculiar and magical/contradictory definitions of empathy.  He has, despite his pride, budged a few centimeters on some of those issues.  When Rob isn't saying something strange, though, he's usually rather rational and a pretty good guy.

Other than that, the only person I can remember having it out with is some super-patriotic Canadian who had the idea that Canada was a fully secular nation (see public funding of churches, the power of the monarchy which is also head of church, etc.).  I don't really get dogmatic patriotism... I don't remember who that was.

Oh, and I've called Luminon on his nonsense now and then, but he's not so bad either (why does he have a theist badge anyway?  He may be a nutty occultist, but he doesn't believe in or worship 'God'- maybe we need an 'Occultist' badge?).

 

Unlike all of those people, and these Agnostics, whom I have actually dignified with some discussion, I've persistently brushed Eloise off.  That, regardless of all of the insults we've exchanged (and she has definitely given a lion's share), is why she's pissy.

 

It would be nice if she didn't keep bringing it up in nearly every thread we both participate in (and in this case, pretty much only for that reason), but it only makes her look bad, in my opinion.

I'm happy to debunk her pseudoscientific contrivances (as expressed in her signature and her assorted statements of faith) for somebody else's benefit, but quite frankly I doubt anybody understands what she's on about long enough to be misled by her fraudulent notions (and that is not the fault of the audience; she's just incoherent), so there doesn't seem to be a point.

 

Again, sorry for going off topic, but it needed to be said.


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A labels a label, its

A labels a label, its unimportant, no matter what label you put on what I believe it doesn't change what I believe. Atheist? agnostic? Doesn't bother me.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Blake:Usually, I do not read

Blake:

Usually, I do not read posts longer than one page.  If you think that your flooding pages with text is winning a debate, fine, I don't want to be a flooder-rationalist-in-chief. Smiling  I still hold to my opinion that all those who believe in god(s) are theists, and those who do not believe in god(s) are atheists until someone give me a clear reason why it is not so in one-two paragraphs. 

 

Eloise:

Although I think I have about zero voice on this forum, but I'm with you on the moderation issue.  I found this website after I was banned on a theists website.  And anytime anyone is banned or labeled on this forum, I feel more and more sad.  Even for "meaning_of_life"...  

 

Sapient:

When you are saying publicly and discussing on this forum your findings that someone is or not some other person, or when you say you know the name and address of someone, this sounds intimidating.  Remember, life in SF or NYC as an atheist is VERY different from midwest and south.  I am really scared that you may in your investigations accidentally leak my personal information.

 

 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake:

Usually, I do not read posts longer than one page.  If you think that your flooding pages with text is winning a debate, fine, I don't want to be a flooder-rationalist-in-chief. Smiling  I still hold to my opinion that all those who believe in god(s) are theists, and those who do not believe in god(s) are atheists until someone give me a clear reason why it is not so in one-two paragraphs. 

 

I'm disappointed.  You asked me for an explanation, and out of respect for you I took time out of my day to explain it.  I gave you exactly what you asked for, and now you throw it back in my face.  If you had asked for only one or two paragraphs explicitly, then that is what I would have given you.

I'm offended that you didn't bother reading my response- which you asked for- and I have to say that I can't help but think less of you for it.  If you ever do choose to follow through with your implied promise to read precisely what you asked for, I'd be happy to give you shorter summaries in the future if you will remind me to do so.  As it stands, you seem no different than a jerk who goes to a restaurant and skips out on the bill.  You ordered, I gave you what you asked for, and you completely failed to follow through with your end.  I thought you were better than that 100percent- as I've said, I'm disappointed.  I used to like you...


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Eloise wrote:So how does

Eloise wrote:

So how does this poor blow-in "Free Radical" get a troll badge and not Blake? I haven't been around for a while but something pretty insidious seems to have happened to moderation while I was gone. Blake is the only one flaming and bawling here and Mr Radical doesn't appear to have done any wrong at all.  Way to go scaring away prospective members, mod.

When is someone going to moderate Blake, honestly. He's a massive douche, I prefer Mattshizzle, actually I really never had any problems with Matt.

Eloise, I haven't seen too many thiests around here.  I was just wondering which specific theistic faith are you a fan of if you don't mind saying?

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Blake

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake:

Usually, I do not read posts longer than one page.  If you think that your flooding pages with text is winning a debate, fine, I don't want to be a flooder-rationalist-in-chief. Smiling  I still hold to my opinion that all those who believe in god(s) are theists, and those who do not believe in god(s) are atheists until someone give me a clear reason why it is not so in one-two paragraphs. 

 

I'm disappointed.  You asked me for an explanation, and out of respect for you I took time out of my day to explain it.  I gave you exactly what you asked for, and now you throw it back in my face.  If you had asked for only one or two paragraphs explicitly, then that is what I would have given you.

I'm offended that you didn't bother reading my response- which you asked for- and I have to say that I can't help but think less of you for it.  If you ever do choose to follow through with your implied promise to read precisely what you asked for, I'd be happy to give you shorter summaries in the future if you will remind me to do so.  As it stands, you seem no different than a jerk who goes to a restaurant and skips out on the bill.  You ordered, I gave you what you asked for, and you completely failed to follow through with your end.  I thought you were better than that 100percent- as I've said, I'm disappointed.  I used to like you...

 

Sorry to disappoint you.  You easily switch between semantics of words in one post and a common misuse by Christians in another to justify your point of view.  I am not so "flexible" in my logic.  By your standard if needed ALL people who say they believe in god and not go to church are atheists.  I am not interested in sophistics, sorry I did not tell you this right from the beginning. 

100%


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JesusNEVERexisted

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Eloise wrote:

So how does this poor blow-in "Free Radical" get a troll badge and not Blake? I haven't been around for a while but something pretty insidious seems to have happened to moderation while I was gone. Blake is the only one flaming and bawling here and Mr Radical doesn't appear to have done any wrong at all.  Way to go scaring away prospective members, mod.

When is someone going to moderate Blake, honestly. He's a massive douche, I prefer Mattshizzle, actually I really never had any problems with Matt.

Eloise, I haven't seen too many thiests around here.  I was just wondering which specific theistic faith are you a fan of if you don't mind saying?

 

Oh, my... Smiling


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Sorry to disappoint you.  You easily switch between semantics of words in one post and a common misuse by Christians in another to justify your point of view.  I am not so "flexible" in my logic.  By your standard if needed ALL people who say they believe in god and not go to church are atheists.  I am not interested in sophistics, sorry I did not tell you this right from the beginning. 

I said nothing of the sort; since you didn't bother to read my post, you don't really even know what I said, do you?


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Blake

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Sorry to disappoint you.  You easily switch between semantics of words in one post and a common misuse by Christians in another to justify your point of view.  I am not so "flexible" in my logic.  By your standard if needed ALL people who say they believe in god and not go to church are atheists.  I am not interested in sophistics, sorry I did not tell you this right from the beginning. 

I said nothing of the sort; since you didn't bother to read my post, you don't really even know what I said, do you?

 

I often don't need to watch an entire movie to conclude where or not I like to watch it to the end.

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:I

100percentAtheist wrote:

I often don't need to watch an entire movie to conclude where or not I like to watch it to the end.

 

Well congratulations, you missed my entire point and will remain electively ignorant indefinitely.  You may technically be an atheist, but you aren't a very good one, and you certainly aren't a free thinker.


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Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

I often don't need to watch an entire movie to conclude where or not I like to watch it to the end.

 

Well congratulations, you missed my entire point and will remain electively ignorant indefinitely.  You may technically be an atheist, but you aren't a very good one, and you certainly aren't a free thinker.

 

Oh, dear.  Atheists cannot be good atheists or bad atheists. If you believe in your fairy tales, fine, I'm not questioning them, just don't imply everyone should be exactly like you.  I do not know how you define a free thinker, but if your free thinker is the one who must not get annoyed by your lengthy contradictory sophisms, then I am definitely not that kind of free thinkers.  Labels, labels, ... 


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Hey FR,Do you claim to be an

Hey FR,

Do you claim to be an agnostic because:

You're still a little afraid of what you were taught to think God was/is. 

Taking a stand on not believing in his existence scares you?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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100percentAtheist wrote:Oh,

100percentAtheist wrote:

Oh, dear.  Atheists cannot be good atheists or bad atheists. If you believe in your fairy tales, fine, I'm not questioning them, just don't imply everyone should be exactly like you.  I do not know how you define a free thinker, but if your free thinker is the one who must not get annoyed by your lengthy contradictory sophisms, then I am definitely not that kind of free thinkers.  Labels, labels, ... 

 

Anybody can be good or bad; it's a matter of opinion, and I was expressing mine.  I don't believe in any fairy tales, but some atheists do- the fact that you do not wish to question is precisely what makes you *not* a free thinker.  If you want to be closed minded and intellectually lazy, that's up to you.

I expressed no contradiction nor sophistry, and you don't have any clue either way because you're too much of a ditz to read anything longer than a cereal box quote.


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Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Oh, dear.  Atheists cannot be good atheists or bad atheists. If you believe in your fairy tales, fine, I'm not questioning them, just don't imply everyone should be exactly like you.  I do not know how you define a free thinker, but if your free thinker is the one who must not get annoyed by your lengthy contradictory sophisms, then I am definitely not that kind of free thinkers.  Labels, labels, ... 

 

Anybody can be good or bad; it's a matter of opinion, and I was expressing mine.  I don't believe in any fairy tales, but some atheists do- the fact that you do not wish to question is precisely what makes you *not* a free thinker.  If you want to be closed minded and intellectually lazy, that's up to you.

I expressed no contradiction nor sophistry, and you don't have any clue either way because you're too much of a ditz to read anything longer than a cereal box quote.

 

Blake,

1.  Please do not change one term by another one.  In you previous post you said that atheists can be bad or good.  It is NOT the same as saying that anybody can be good or bad.

2.  You re-define the term atheism based on an opinion expressed by some ignorant Christians and on some people living long time ago who you claim could be called atheists.   At the same time, discussing agnosticism, you stick to the modern definition of the term.  You either incoherent in your logic, or you are using sophistry to justify your claims.  And I've read your response of course.  

 

100%


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake,

1.  Please do not change one term by another one.  In you previous post you said that atheists can be bad or good.  It is NOT the same as saying that anybody can be good or bad.

 

In any group I belong to, there are naturally people I consider to be "good" examples or representatives of that group, and "bad" ones I would rather not be associated.  I'm not claiming that they are any more or less atheist- that wouldn't make sense.  A said, simply, that you are an atheist and as such we do technically share that title, but I don't consider you to be a representative I'd like associated with the title- I wouldn't say that you're one of the 'good' ones.

Christians will say the same about their own- those they will admit are Christians, but may or may not be good people they'd like as representatives.  It's all a subjective evaluation of values and character.

 

Quote:
And I've read your response of course.

 

Evidently not very well.  You need to re-read my arguments regarding the term "agnostic", and then re-read my post.  You may, then, see where you are in error.  If I dare type any more here to recap, you obviously won't read it.


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Blake

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake,

1.  Please do not change one term by another one.  In you previous post you said that atheists can be bad or good.  It is NOT the same as saying that anybody can be good or bad.

 

In any group I belong to, there are naturally people I consider to be "good" examples or representatives of that group, and "bad" ones I would rather not be associated.  I'm not claiming that they are any more or less atheist- that wouldn't make sense.  A said, simply, that you are an atheist and as such we do technically share that title, but I don't consider you to be a representative I'd like associated with the title- I wouldn't say that you're one of the 'good' ones.

Christians will say the same about their own- those they will admit are Christians, but may or may not be good people they'd like as representatives.  It's all a subjective evaluation of values and character.

 

Quote:
And I've read your response of course.

 

Evidently not very well.  You need to re-read my arguments regarding the term "agnostic", and then re-read my post.  You may, then, see where you are in error.  If I dare type any more here to recap, you obviously won't read it.

 

Smiling  So, please say that I am an atheist and a bad person, not that I am a not good atheist, as you said.

 

You certainly dismiss the possibility that you might be the one who are in error, don't you?  I re-read your arguments several times, but if you bend them in the same way as "bad atheist" then sorry, I can't read your mind. Smiling

 

 

 


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100percentAtheist wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Smiling  So, please say that I am an atheist and a bad person, not that I am a not good atheist, as you said.

 

"Bad person" would be a bit of an over-statement, because you probably aren't a bad representative of human kind in general, considering the average- I couldn't really say from what I know.  I just think you aren't a good representative for atheism.

Given classification group X, particularly one that I belong to, I'm going to have opinions of good and poor representatives, with regards to whether I would like to be related to them or not, in that sense.  Just because I disagree with the natures of their conducts or practices as members of the group doesn't make them not members of said group. 

Some Christians like to pretend that "bad Christians" just aren't Christians at all- that is an error in reasoning, a kind I am not inclined to make.

To me, a good atheist is somebody informed on the subject, who thinks freely, is curious, and has some pride in intellectual honesty.  A bad atheist would be one who is ignorant, superstitious, intellectually lazy, doesn't think about it much, doesn't care...  Those with different opinions about the paragon of a group, as a whole, may differ.


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Blake wrote: A bad atheist

Blake wrote:

 A bad atheist would be one who is ignorant, superstitious, intellectually lazy, doesn't think about it much, doesn't care...  Those with different opinions about the paragon of a group, as a whole, may differ.

 

Ignorant                check.

Superstitious         maybe

Intellectually lazy   check

Does not think       check

Does not care        check

 

I am a BadAtheist! 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Ignorant                check.

Superstitious         maybe

Intellectually lazy   check

Does not think       check

Does not care        check

 

I am a BadAtheist! 

 

I'm glad we agree on something.  If you ever stop being lazy, you can research the history of atheism and theism, as well as modern application- and if you get out from under whatever rock you've been living under, you might actually be able to meet some real atheists who do believe in the probable existence of certain "gods". 

I used to think atheists were exclusively people who did not believe in the existence of any deities, and have in the past charged people with not being atheists for believing in god-like beings, souls, etc.  It turned out, upon further research, that I was using a very restrictive definition, when a more general one (a more historically accurate and practically applicable one) would be inclusive of those people (many self-defining as atheists).


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Blake

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

Ignorant                check.

Superstitious         maybe

Intellectually lazy   check

Does not think       check

Does not care        check

 

I am a BadAtheist! 

 

I'm glad we agree on something.  If you ever stop being lazy, you can research the history of atheism and theism, as well as modern application- and if you get out from under whatever rock you've been living under, you might actually be able to meet some real atheists who do believe in the probable existence of certain "gods". 

I used to think atheists were exclusively people who did not believe in the existence of any deities, and have in the past charged people with not being atheists for believing in god-like beings, souls, etc.  It turned out, upon further research, that I was using a very restrictive definition, when a more general one (a more historically accurate and practically applicable one) would be inclusive of those people (many self-defining as atheists).

 

No, do not imply we agree on something.  We are not.  You used a label for me and of course, no surprise, I fit in your definition.  Fine, call me an IgnorantFcuknigJerkWhoAreDumbAndStupid and it will be your definition for me, I can't do anything about it cuz it originates in YOUR logic rules, I'm sure you'll change them if you need to justify your claims. 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

Sapient:

When you are saying publicly and discussing on this forum your findings that someone is or not some other person, or when you say you know the name and address of someone, this sounds intimidating.  Remember, life in SF or NYC as an atheist is VERY different from midwest and south.  I am really scared that you may in your investigations accidentally leak my personal information.

That will never happen.  This site exists precisely for that reason.  I once had my life threatened in a very real way because Jason Gastrich (owner of a Christian message board) gave my personal info to a Christian member of the site.  I take great care to protect the personal data of everyone here, including those who I dislike.  In the case of froodley vs free radical, I was able to tell that they were posting from locations that are thousands of miles apart, I didn't investigate any further.  Just a basic inquiry.

 

 


 

Blake, I was completely prepared to tell you that you remind me of myself (3 years ago) based on your response to the Eloise post.  After I saw the following though I could see what Eloise was talking about.

 

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

I often don't need to watch an entire movie to conclude where or not I like to watch it to the end.

Well congratulations, you missed my entire point and will remain electively ignorant indefinitely.  You may technically be an atheist, but you aren't a very good one, and you certainly aren't a free thinker.

This post here was sort of dickish.  I also don't think the comment excludes 100percentatheist from falling into a free thinker category, you stated so in an absolute manner.  It might be a novel idea but I'd like to see atheists on this site attempting to find common ground with other atheists.  We both have bigger fish to fry, it doesn't serve us much good to measure our freethinker penis.  

Are you breaking the rules?  Meh.  Your skirting a line, so do many other people here.  Are you a troll?  Not really.  There is a difference between the intent of a troll and your intent, the willingness of a troll to debate an issue and your willingness to debate an issue.  Thanks for taking the time to tell me where you stood in response to Eloise.  If it matters to you at all, you should know that I respect Eloise as a person, even if we don't agree on everything.  I can't say that about all theists, so when one comes around that uses his/her brain "better" than the rest, I try cutting them a little more slack.

 


 

100percentAtheist wrote:

Blake wrote:

 A bad atheist would be one who is ignorant, superstitious, intellectually lazy, doesn't think about it much, doesn't care...  Those with different opinions about the paragon of a group, as a whole, may differ.

 

Ignorant                check.

Superstitious         maybe

Intellectually lazy   check

Does not think       check

Does not care        check

 

I am a BadAtheist! 

 

Sounds like I need to make a new badge.  :P

 

Can you two go find a Christian who believes that a talking snake is the reason you will burn for an eternity?  That's a slightly more pressing issue than how good of an atheist 100percentatheist is.  

 

 

 

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Sapient wrote: Sounds like

Sapient wrote:

 

Sounds like I need to make a new badge.  :P

 

Can you two go find a Christian who believes that a talking snake is the reason you will burn for an eternity?  That's a slightly more pressing issue than how good of an atheist 100percentatheist is.  

 

 

BadAtheist (me, Kapkao); AtheistAngel (Brian, cj?); AtheistGod (you)

Well, as I see it becomes harder to find a good alive not-banned theist on this website. Sad  


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Sapient wrote: Are you

Sapient wrote:

 

Are you breaking the rules?  Meh.  Your skirting a line, so do many other people here.  Are you a troll?  Not really.

To add clarity to my point here, I never meant to imply that I thought Blake was trolling, he's just an irrational, quack and an arse who doesn't give the RRS a very good public face, IMO. About trolling, I only thought that free_radical hadn't really done anything to deserve the label after only two posts and the worst of them nothing more than a measured rebuttal to a five post long manic rant. Blake's the one who looks bad in this, was all I was saying.

Regarding the troll badge, as you know, if I think its used inappropriately I have a tendency to blurt that out. I did so with Gavagai and with Paisley, before. I'm sorry for my big mouth when it comes to percieved injustice, Brian, the truth is I think this site is testament to the fact that you're a fairminded judge of things you see and this occassion is pretty rare considering the controversial nature of the discussion here. So don't get me wrong, I question these actions also out of curiosity, not just contrariness and definitely not because of mistrust.

 

 

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100percentAtheist wrote:

Sapient wrote:

Sounds like I need to make a new badge.  :P

 

Can you two go find a Christian who believes that a talking snake is the reason you will burn for an eternity?  That's a slightly more pressing issue than how good of an atheist 100percentatheist is.  

 

BadAtheist (me, Kapkao); AtheistAngel (Brian, cj?); AtheistGod (you)

Well, as I see it becomes harder to find a good alive not-banned theist on this website. Sad  

 

Maybe if I can be a dark angel, well, maybe then. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Eloise wrote:

So how does this poor blow-in "Free Radical" get a troll badge and not Blake? I haven't been around for a while but something pretty insidious seems to have happened to moderation while I was gone. Blake is the only one flaming and bawling here and Mr Radical doesn't appear to have done any wrong at all.  Way to go scaring away prospective members, mod.

When is someone going to moderate Blake, honestly. He's a massive douche, I prefer Mattshizzle, actually I really never had any problems with Matt.

Eloise, I haven't seen too many thiests around here.  I was just wondering which specific theistic faith are you a fan of if you don't mind saying?

I know you probably didn't mean it literally but I'm not really a fan, per se, of theistic faiths at all. My beliefs are constituted by knowledge of a likely panentheistic ultimate reality, as indicated by my signature. That is, the likelihood that existence is characterised by a oneness of everything present in all individual things, an analogue of which would be, for example, like DNA in a living organism, the entire expression of that organism exists within each individual cell.

Support for my belief comes from the feasibiity of such theoretical constructs as the "One-electron-universe", which basically says given that every material thing in the universe is in essence a set of states which can be taken by any one electron, and the ostensible possibility of electrons moving backward in time, one electron can, feasibly, constitute the entire universe on its own.

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Sapient wrote:This post here

Sapient wrote:

This post here was sort of dickish.  I also don't think the comment excludes 100percentatheist from falling into a free thinker category, you stated so in an absolute manner.

 

It was a little dickish, but please bear in mind the context:  he did *ask* me to explain, and then ignored my explanation because it would have taken him 30 seconds too long to read.

 

Let me ask you this:  How can somebody be a free thinker if they constrain their willingness to think to the bounds of things which can be explained in two paragraphs, or, say, thirty seconds of attention?  Not everything likely can be.  That's a pretty strict denial of thought on *many* concepts.

I'm sure he's quite the free thinker with regards to anything that would fit on a postage stamp, but with that kind of explicit constraint on his willingness to think and consider new ideas, I don't see how you could call him a free thinker in general.  A notion that "I will only think about or consider ideas that can be expressed in two paragraphs"-- that's free thinking?

 

His response struck me as very prohibitive.

I'm not saying somebody has to be willing to read something the size of war and peace to evaluate an idea- and to his credit he apparently did finally read what I wrote and may even have half-considered it- but when one asks for an explanation and then shirks the rest of the conversation because it was a few words too long, how is that not a strict constraint on free thought?

 

I don't think I was wrong, but if I was, I'll gladly recant it.  Even, seeing as he did finally cave and break his own rule by reading my post, you could say I was wrong, but just not within the context of his stated limits (which turned out to be a bluff, I suppose?).

 

That said...

 

Quote:
It might be a novel idea but I'd like to see atheists on this site attempting to find common ground with other atheists.  We both have bigger fish to fry, it doesn't serve us much good to measure our freethinker penis.  ...

Can you two go find a Christian who believes that a talking snake is the reason you will burn for an eternity?  That's a slightly more pressing issue than how good of an atheist 100percentatheist is. 

 

Point taken, but I don't think it's counter productive to hold each-other accountable for the mistakes we make- quite the contrary. 

It's much more likely that I'm going to be able to convince 100percentatheist to not be quite so lazy about what he will and will not read/consider, and with substantially less effort, than to convince said Christian of anything at all. (Case in point, I finally did prod him into reading my post, which was exactly what I was trying to do).

In the same sense, I'm much more open to arguing with "agnostics", because I believe them more capable of learning.  The same with deists, wiccans, and others who have already expressed a grain of open mindedness.

 

 

 

Quote:
If it matters to you at all, you should know that I respect Eloise as a person, even if we don't agree on everything.  I can't say that about all theists, so when one comes around that uses his/her brain "better" than the rest, I try cutting them a little more slack.

 

It matters, and thanks for telling me, but I should say what bothers me more about Eloise than about the completely ignorant theists is that she tries to use science to justify her claims. 

I tend to have more respect for the ones who admit they, "don't know anything about science, don't believe in it, have no interest in it, and don't think it's compatible with religion", than the ones who try to twist it to serve their ends.  Sure, with regards to her theism she's using her brain more, but not for anything honest, and everything she says is an insult to legitimate science.

In my perspective, she's worse than the likes of Deepak Chopra- because at least he's naively ignorant- she has had formal education, and has no excuse for holding the views she does beyond a deep seated dishonesty.  I would argue amicably with Deepak Chopra, because I do believe that he's intelligent and probably trying to be honest, and that if I could sit him down for long enough, I could explain legitimate science to him and change his mind just a little bit (maybe).

I understand your position, but I disagree that she's using her brain "better"- she may be using it more, but for far less excusable and more abusive contortions of reason and fact than anybody I've encountered.

I see it as merely incidental that she happens to be aligned with our opposition to the scriptural fideists, but in my opinion she's peddling a far more foul and pervasive poison than they. 

The scriptural fideists are dying off in the Western world- the majority think they're crazy, and the more their opinions come to light, the more people realize that- science and reason has nearly won that battle, and the momentum we have will carry us to the end of their kind's influence.

On the contrary, this insidious new pantheism which corrupts scientific knowledge to its ends is growing with powerful momentum (in my opinion, this is our true foe).  With the scriptural fideists, people know what they're selling, and they're obviously wackos- with this type, though, the perversions of science are below the radar of most people's education (even most people here, and this is an educated crowd), and the public has no real defense against it.

I can't see a good reason to get in bed with pit vipers to spite a few mice in the walls.


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

 BadAtheist (me, Kapkao); AtheistAngel (Brian, cj?); AtheistGod (you)

Well, as I see it becomes harder to find a good alive not-banned theist on this website. Sad  

 

At most, I'd say Kapkao only fits the "doesn't care" qualifier- and sometimes I think it's an act; he's clearly annoyed by theism sometimes, and does care about being annoyed.  He's a pretty good atheist, from what I've seen.

cj can be an atheist dark angel.

Thanks for the deification, but I'll pass.  I'd rather go with militant atheist asshole Eye-wink

 

 

I don't think very many theists have been banned?  Most of them just flake off after a couple posts.


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Blake

Blake wrote:

100percentAtheist wrote:

 BadAtheist (me, Kapkao); AtheistAngel (Brian, cj?); AtheistGod (you)

Well, as I see it becomes harder to find a good alive not-banned theist on this website. Sad  

 

At most, I'd say Kapkao only fits the "doesn't care" qualifier- and sometimes I think it's an act; he's clearly annoyed by theism sometimes, and does care about being annoyed.  He's a pretty good atheist, from what I've seen.

cj can be an atheist dark angel.

Thanks for the deification, but I'll pass.  I'd rather go with militant atheist asshole Eye-wink

 

 

I don't think very many theists have been banned?  Most of them just flake off after a couple posts.

Playing on how I'm reading this thread, the deification might have been for Sapient.

I don't want to dress you in borrowed robes.

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jcgadfly wrote:Playing on

jcgadfly wrote:

Playing on how I'm reading this thread, the deification might have been for Sapient.

I don't want to dress you in borrowed robes.

 

Oh, you're right!  It could be read either way.  I thought it was sarcasm directed at me because he named "Brian", but that could easily be another (the other) Brian.  I didn't notice who he quoted there.

In that context, it reads very differently.