Any other Agnostics out there?

motomarco
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Any other Agnostics out there?

This is my first post in the "Atheism vs Theism" category, so i I have posted in the wrong place, please let me know/move the thread.  I am new to posting on RRS, although I have lurked for some time.

Recently I have come across a few threads making a distinction between Agnosticism and Atheism/Theism.  The primary thread I am referring to is this one.   The message I seem to be getting from these threads is that one cannot simply be "Agnostic", rather they must either be an "Agnostic Atheist" or an "Agnostic Theist".  I don't fall into either one of these categories.

Philosophically, like many of you I'd imagine, I consider myself an avowed Agnostic. I don't believe that humans have the knowledge or ability to determine whether or not "God" (or "Gods" ) exists.  Moreover, I am unsure whether I believe in a god or not. I may believe, I may not believe - I simply "don't know" at this point.   So to classify me as "without belief in God" is incorrect, as is to classify me "with a belief in God".  My position is "I don't know if I have a belief or not". 

This does not mean my position isn't subject to change - as a matter of fact Richard Dawkins refers to people like me as a Temporary Agnostic in Practice (TAP), which I think is pretty accurate.  I am searching for some answers that will most likely place me into either the atheist or theist category.

Looking forward to some spirited discussion on this topic.

 

 

Best,

MB


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 What god do you believe

 What god do you believe in?

 

When you realize you don't have an answer to that question you will understand why you are currently without a belief in a god and therefore atheist.

 

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motomarco wrote:My position

motomarco wrote:

My position is "I don't know if I have a belief or not".

So, you really don't know whether you believe in a God or not?  Do you sometimes think you do?  And other times think you don't?  I mean, it is possible to not know what you believe, but it's rather unusual...

 


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blacklight915

blacklight915 wrote:

motomarco wrote:

My position is "I don't know if I have a belief or not".

So, you really don't know whether you believe in a God or not?  Do you sometimes think you do?  And other times think you don't?  I mean, it is possible to not know what you believe, but it's rather unusual...

 

He's agnostic about atheism. Sticking out tongue

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As an agnostic I don't

As an agnostic I don't believe in the God of the Bible, or Zeus, or Thor, etc.  As for some unseen, unknowable, greater-power, the answer is "I don't know".  I guess what I am trying to say is there may be some force out there that could be defined as God.  I am not willing to say I 100% "don't believe" in this case.

Marc


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motomarco wrote:As an

motomarco wrote:

As an agnostic I don't believe in the God of the Bible, or Zeus, or Thor, etc.  As for some unseen, unknowable, greater-power, the answer is "I don't know".  I guess what I am trying to say is there may be some force out there that could be defined as God.  I am not willing to say I 100% "don't believe" in this case.

 

 

                   I am not totally atheists yet either.  Yet after 50 plus years of looking for some evidence of a god I now consider myself  99.99% atheist, the .01% I leave open just in case there is evidence and I challenge all comers to supply that evidence.

 

 

 

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Sapient wrote:He's agnostic

Sapient wrote:

He's agnostic about atheism. Sticking out tongue

LOL  Though, you may actually be right...

 

motomarco wrote:

As an agnostic I don't believe in the God of the Bible, or Zeus, or Thor, etc.  As for some unseen, unknowable, greater-power, the answer is "I don't know".  I guess what I am trying to say is there may be some force out there that could be defined as God.  I am not willing to say I 100% "don't believe" in this case.

If I remember correctly, 'atheism' literally means 'not-theism'--meaning there is no middle ground, and everything not covered by 'theism' would fall under 'atheism'. Following from this, unless one answers 'yes' to the question "Do you believe in a god?" he/she is an atheist.

However, it is possible the prefix 'a-' has an unusual meaning in the words 'atheist' and 'atheism'.

 


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motomarco wrote:As an

motomarco wrote:

As an agnostic I don't believe in the God of the Bible, or Zeus, or Thor, etc.  As for some unseen, unknowable, greater-power, the answer is "I don't know".  I guess what I am trying to say is there may be some force out there that could be defined as God.  I am not willing to say I 100% "don't believe" in this case.

That was my first step. The god of the bible is simply man-made. I am very confident that guy doesn't exist. Going from there to deism makes the target a whole lot smaller. That doesn't define a personality or add characteristics that could easily be discounted. That would be pretty hard to prove exists or doesn't exist. Jeffrick's .01% if you will.

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The claim that you are

The claim that you are either an Atheist Agnostic or a Theist Agnostic (that their is no middle ground) is bullshit.

I was an agnostic at one time because I didn't believe in any of the religions nor their gods, but I thought that if there was a god that we wouldn't know how to measure or detect it because our technology/knowledge was limited.

I agree with Dawkings as you are in a transitional period.

 

 


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Quote: 'atheism' literally

Quote:

 'atheism' literally means 'not-theism'--meaning there is no middle ground, and everything not covered by 'theism' would fall under 'atheism'. Following from this, unless one answers 'yes' to the question "Do you believe in a god?" he/she is an atheist.

Exactly.  Marco is not a theist, therefore he is an atheist.  I fall into the same category.  What frustrates me most about people who make the argument that Marco is making now is that they don't realize how many "atheists" have the exact same position as they do.  I do not like the fact that Marco probably thinks I believe 100% there is no god.  I am just like him on the issue of god.  And we are both agnostic atheists.

 

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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

Quote:

 'atheism' literally means 'not-theism'--meaning there is no middle ground, and everything not covered by 'theism' would fall under 'atheism'. Following from this, unless one answers 'yes' to the question "Do you believe in a god?" he/she is an atheist.

Exactly.  Marco is not a theist, therefore he is an atheist.  I fall into the same category.  What frustrates me most about people who make the argument that Marco is making now is that they don't realize how many "atheists" have the exact same position as they do.  I do not like the fact that Marco probably thinks I believe 100% there is no god.  I am just like him on the issue of god.  And we are both agnostic atheists.

 

I disagree.

Saying that there might be a god, but we can't prove it because of our limited technology leaves doubt.

Disbelieving all current religions and saying, "their gods don't exist" but that "there still might be a creator or higher power" is neither theist or atheist.

The only thing left is to call a person an agnostic.


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Agnostic is undescriptive

Agnostic is undescriptive and insufficient. It literally means 'don't know'. It does not specify WHAT you don't know. If you say you're agnostic then you are effectively saying you are stupid and know absolutely nothing about anything.

Which hardly fits the description of an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist, which by definition are claims of lack of knowledge about a specific subject: theism.
In which there are 3 states of being; belief, disbelief, and unbelief.
If you fit in belief, you're an agnostic theist. If disbelief or unbelief, you're an agnostic atheist.
There's no outside the box in this scenario, by the laws of English through which we are communicating. Sorry.

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quote=digitalbeachbum]Quote:I

quote=digitalbeachbum]

Quote:

I disagree.

Saying that there might be a god, but we can't prove it because of our limited technology leaves doubt.

Disbelieving all current religions and saying, "their gods don't exist" but that "there still might be a creator or higher power" is neither theist or atheist.

The only thing left is to call a person an agnostic.

 

I agree with digitalbeachbum.  Vastet - You say that Agnostic literally means "don't know".  In this case, I am using Agnostic to refer to my position about the existence of some form of a higher power.  You further state that there are 3 states of being; belief, disbelief, and unbelief.  I disagree, because I don't fit into any of those three states.  Again, my position is  "I don't know" if I believe.  This would seem to me to fit the very definition of Agnosticism.

As I stated before - Agnostic Atheist is not an accurate label for me because it denotes disbelief or unbelief.  I am not ready to say that.  That's why I came here in the first place - hopefully to  move into either the Agnostic Atheist or Agnostic Theist camp.  Right now, I am not a member of either one.

I appreciate the thoughtful feedback this thread has received so far.

With respect.,

Marc


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There are

There are Positive Atheists and Negative Atheists.

Positive Atheists make the claim that there can not be a god.

Negative Atheists like myself simply state that in the absence of all evidence, the default position is non-belief.

Your stating that you do not know, but how much weight do you give to any god claim ? For instance, while you say that you can not discredit the possibility of a "force" I am sure that you would also be willing to say that there is no evidence that such a force exist. Therefore, until evidence of such a force existing is given any type of credibility, it would seem logical to me, that there would be no need to believe in the hypothetical force. After all, if such a force existed, there would be no way to determine if it was sentient or a deity or intelligent, without more proof.

For instance, if I said that an invisible fire breathing dragon was holding the universe together, would you say that there might be some possibility ? Or would you simply say, that without any proof or evidence that such a creature exists there is no need to give the claim any validity ?

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
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motomarco wrote:  That's

motomarco wrote:
  That's why I came here in the first place - hopefully to  move into either the Agnostic Atheist or Agnostic Theist camp.  Right now, I am not a member of either one.

What arguments, hesitations or doubts would you like to address to hopefully move into one camp or the other ? The only reason that I ask, is because you said that you were here to see which one that you might belong in.

I would have to say, what ideas would you like to address ?

BTW. You don't have to be in either camp if you do not want to be.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Yeah you know English about

@ motomarco

Yeah you know English about as well as he does. And if you don't know what you believe then you never examined your beliefs. You don't choose to believe anything. Your mind weighs evidence and if it is sufficient you'll believe. If not then you won't. There is no middle ground, as evidenced by the fact no word exists to describe one.

You're both wrong, period.

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Not sure the reason for the insult

I thought this was a place for intelligent discussion.  Saying "You're both wrong, period", and then insulting my English really isn't a way to encourage debate.  I take great pains to formulate my thoughts carefully.  I have also studied the English language, as well as Latin, and assure you I understand the meanings of the words I have chosen. 

 I have tried to make my position clear: I don't know if I believe in a higher power or notI am not willing to say "I don't believe, but I suspend judgment".  I am still undecided.  This is not a game or a trick - this is how I actually feel.  As far as "examining my beliefs", that's exactly what I am doing here!

Up until now, I enjoyed the participation in this discussion, as I knew the RRS was filled with people who challenge and question commonly held beliefs and ideas.  That's what I have been looking for.

You say there is "no middle ground".  Perhaps you are familiar with the writings of Richard Dawkins.  In his book "The God Delusion" he talks about Agnosticism being exactly that.  An Agnostic would believe that there is just as much chance that there is a God, as there is that there isn't a God.  Dawkins also discusses being a TAP (temporary agnostic in practice), which I consider myself (emphasis on the word temporary). 

Again, I am NOT here to start arguments.  If anything, I am here to determine a more permanent belief and feel I will eventually do so.  I am honored to be a part of the RRS.

 

Marc


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Epistemology Mepistemology

Hey there motomacro,

First of all, get a thicker skin, not everyone is here to engage in an intelligent discussion... just concentrate your energy in those posts that are bound to give you some food for thought.  

Secondly, I think myself and most everyone here would fit your definition of an agnostic.  Not one of us can claim, with intellectual honesty, that god in some unknown form doesn't exist.  The majority of us are pragmatists, however.  The way I look at it is like this.  There is a true dichotomy in the the theist/atheist position.  A-theist simply means that you are not a theist.  Now, a theist is describe as someone that believes in at least one deity.  So now, I ask you, do you believe in at least one deity?

If your answer is "I don't believe in an existing deity but I don't know if the possibility... blah blah" , you can stop right there.  The first part of your answer has satisfied the criteria for someone that is an atheist.  You can then say that you are an agnostic atheist, to add the distinction that you are intellectually honest.

Now if you don't know whether you believe or not.  Let's break that down shall we?  What can you possibly know about your own knowledge with absolute certainty?

Let's look at it from epistemology.  Let's start with Descartes' doubt.  "Cogito ergo sum".  That may be the only absolute thing you can know, everything else has varying degrees of certainty.  

In order to establish if you believe or not, you have firstly assign an arbitrary, and subjective value to what you consider reasonable belief.  It may be different for you and I, but there has to be a certain value before which you do not believe, and after which you are a believer.  There is no real middle ground in your assessment.  You can start believing in Santa, then you slowly become less sure of the certainty, after which, let's say 50% of information is contradictory (arbitrary value), you no longer believe in Santa.  

 

So, I ask you again, the fact that you don't know that you believe, what arbitrary value would you put on the current information you have regarding any existing deity (pick the one that is most plausible to you).  If this value puts you in the "believe" category, then you are a believer, and hence a theist, and therefore you are an agnostic theist.  Likewise for the opposite.  

 

I hope that helps.

 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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don't let vastet get to you

He is rather opinionated.  I don't mind, because I am, too.

As for agnosticism---

My husband of almost 28 years was an avowed agnostic for 25 of those years for much the same reason you have given.  And then he read 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by Guy P Harrison.  He finished reading it, put it down, and announced he was an atheist.

http://www.amazon.com/Reasons-People-Give-Believing-God/dp/1591025672/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356376964&sr=8-1&keywords=50+reasons...

The book examines each reason and then refutes it in a logical, respectful way.  It isn't very long, and is easy to read.  It is available from my local library, so I first read it after checking it out.  I now own a copy.  It isn't very expensive from Amazon.

Personally, I attended church regularly a few times in my life, but was never a true believer.  I always had doubts, always took it all with a grain of salt.  At the time, I was reasonably certain there must be something out there.  And then when I decided not, it was definite.  I do not recall any feelings of maybe yes, maybe no - my feelings crystallized into definitely no almost over night.

Maybe I'm full of shit and it didn't happen like that at all.  Now, I am in the definitely not camp - no god/s/dess.  No invisible friends.  No grand purpose - never has been, never will be.  Our purpose is our own to craft for our own satisfaction.  I may not know everything, human beings may not know everything, but that is not important.  We will learn what we learn.

Or, I could say --

My pink unicorn god is not only all powerful, all knowing, and perfectly benevolent, he is also perfectly handsome.  Therefore, he is better than any other god/s/dess.  And who can tell me different?

 

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

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"thought this was a place

"thought this was a place for intelligent discussion.  Saying "You're both wrong, period", and then insulting my English really isn't a way to encourage debate"

If you want to debate something, try a subject with room for debate. Not one where you're trying to argue against fact.

Also, it's hardly my fault you didn't pay attention in English class. Look up belief and knowledge. You're confusing the terms and their meanings.

Finally, Dawkins is as wrong as you are.

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motomarco wrote:I don't know

motomarco wrote:

I don't know if I believe in a higher power or notI am still undecided.

Well, if you really don't know what you believe, I think Sapient's "agnostic about atheism" phrase is an accurate description of your position.

 


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motomarco wrote: I have

motomarco wrote:

 I have tried to make my position clear: I don't know if I believe in a higher power or notI am not willing to say "I don't believe, but I suspend judgment".  I am still undecided.  This is not a game or a trick - this is how I actually feel.  As far as "examining my beliefs", that's exactly what I am doing here!

There is a negative stigma attached to the word atheist.  You are not the first person to attempt to form an argument that allows one the ability to avoid the word.  Vastet and I would be in the camp of folks that believe you are making an argument simply to avoid the term.  

Everyone is either atheist or theist.  

 

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blacklight915

blacklight915 wrote:

motomarco wrote:

I don't know if I believe in a higher power or notI am still undecided.

Well, if you really don't know what you believe, I think Sapient's "agnostic about atheism" phrase is an accurate description of your position.

 

 

I was joking.

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Vastet wrote:"thought this

Vastet wrote:
"thought this was a place for intelligent discussion.  Saying "You're both wrong, period", and then insulting my English really isn't a way to encourage debate" If you want to debate something, try a subject with room for debate. Not one where you're trying to argue against fact. Also, it's hardly my fault you didn't pay attention in English class. Look up belief and knowledge. You're confusing the terms and their meanings. Finally, Dawkins is as wrong as you are.

 

The term disbelieve is tough on people too.  And when I say people I'm referring to atheists who don't want to use the term to describe themselves.

 

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Sapient wrote:I was joking.I

Sapient wrote:

I was joking.

I know, but it may still be accurate. For example, let's say we have a person who frequently switches between believing and not believing in a god...wait...it wouldn't actually apply in that situation, nevermind.

 


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I think of myself

 

as an agnostic atheist. I see no proof of a greater power but like you, I cannot be absolutely certain that on the other side of the hubble constant there does not exist a huge cloud of 'mind with force' statefully connected to every particle in the universe by some as yet unknown quantum coupling.

Observations of the universe suggest, however, that god concepts are human creations. I've certainly never heard a coherent definition of anything that could be called a god. I've never seen convincing proof of anything that was supernatural. Nor have I read a definition of supernatural. In your position I'd be asking myself what it was I wasn't sure I didn't believe in. Personally, I don't know what a god is and given the absence of a definition my opinion is that coherent discussion is impossible. 

So far as I can tell god is an abstract noun. Unhappily, other abstract nouns include small things like certainty, truth, reality, knowledge, honesty, wisdom. Given this, I think we ought to agree with Ktu's observations about the nebulous nature of truth. I think in the absence of context, doubt should be the default position, which given your first post, certainly applies in your case.

All this said, I do think you can make an argument that the 3.7 billion year evolution of biochemical life proves sense data does give us the ability to know something true about reality. If sense data did not supply us with a usable version of reality, our constituent molecular systems could not survive. In comparison, when it comes to the immaterial we are well out into the precincts of raw human imagination. 

Welcome to the forum, BTW. Never stop questioning. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Thank you everyone, for your thought-provoking responses

 

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their participation in this thread.  This is why I came to the RRS in the first place!  Even Vastet has given me food for thought.  My whole intention in posting was to try to find some truths, and I feel like I am making progress.  Let me make something clear:  I am not afraid of labels, and I certainly don't care about a social stigma that might be attached to calling myself an Agnostic, Atheist, or Theist. 

As I read through all the responses to this thread, there is one conclusion that becomes very evident.  That conclusion is that everyone falls into one of three categories:

1.) You believe in a God or Gods, (theist)

2.) You are unsure/don't know if you believe (agnostic).  This may be a temporary category for some.

3.) You are without belief in a God or Gods, (atheist)

That's it!  There are no other categories!

Something that has struck me during this discussion is the tendency to over-categorize beliefs.  If you peruse these boards, you will find strong atheists, weak atheists, strong agnostics, weak agnostics, etc, etc.  Just in this short discussion, I have found that these categories are really sub-categories that could very well lead to confusion. 

If there are only three categories that humans fall into, and one of the categories is (possibly) temporary, then the next question becomes how do you make that jump from agnosticism to theism/atheism.  This is where evidence and logic become so important.  Because right now, there are individuals like me, who are not Atheist, nor are are they Theist.  The question I pose to the rest of you is: How did you make that leap?  And how does someone who is neither Theist nor Atheist make that same leap?  It's possible to go through your entire life as an Agnostic - that means you are not a Theist, nor an Atheist.  While intellectually honest, and also a valid position, Dawkins writes about how long term Agnosticism is also cowardly, because it means you are a habitual fence-sitter. 

One last note, I am grateful that I am able to discuss these topics with the rest of you on Christmas Eve.  The forums in here are far much better for the "soul" than any midnight mass.

Best

 

 

 

Marc


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I may be a dick a lot of the

I may be a dick a lot of the time, but it is not my strategy to go posting just to insult people. I just happen to have little tolerance for wilful ignorance.

I don't have any issue with you, I take issue with your misguided views on accepted definitions of English words.

My argument stands unchallenged. If you do or don't have an active belief, your knowledge or lack thereof is irrelevant to the fact that you are in one of those states of belief. If you don't know, then you can't believe, and you're an atheist whether you like it or not, by definition.

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motomarco wrote:If there are

motomarco wrote:

If there are only three categories that humans fall into, and one of the categories is (possibly) temporary, then the next question becomes how do you make that jump from agnosticism to theism/atheism.  This is where evidence and logic become so important.  Because right now, there are individuals like me, who are not Atheist, nor are are they Theist.  The question I pose to the rest of you is: How did you make that leap?  And how does someone who is neither Theist nor Atheist make that same leap?  It's possible to go through your entire life as an Agnostic - that means you are not a Theist, nor an Atheist.  While intellectually honest, and also a valid position, Dawkins writes about how long term Agnosticism is also cowardly, because it means you are a habitual fence-sitter. 

One last note, I am grateful that I am able to discuss these topics with the rest of you on Christmas Eve.  The forums in here are far much better for the "soul" than any midnight mass.

Best

 

I always hesitate to pigeon hole people.  And yes, we can and do change our attitudes and beliefs.  So if you are some label today, you may be another label tomorrow.  Or not.

I - like it says in my tag line - finally gave up trying to believe.  I just couldn't make it all work.  And yes, I really wanted to believe in some sort of a god long ago.  Between just not buying the fantasies, not seeing any evidence that some god/s/dess was working in ways mysterious or otherwise, and finally, losing my temper with the whole "benevolent" deity who allowed small children to suffer, I just tossed the whole works.  The evil argument really struck home for me.

We all make our journey in our own way and in our own time.

 

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

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I'm not sure I'm OK with

I'm not sure I'm OK with your answer motomacro.  I don't think that there are three stages like you are describing.  You describe theist, atheist and agnostic.  Let's list the three basic laws of logic.  Identity, Contradiction, and Excluded Third.  A is A.  A is not, not A.  The proposition A is either true of false.  Now, you cannot argue against those laws, or argue them away.  It is obvious that I'm referring to the the true dichotomy law.  You may make a case that atheist/theist is a false dichotomy.  This is what you are trying to do, I presume.

Let's look at your presented third option.  You simply say, I don't know.  I'm not sure that's a valid answer because my next question is, "what is the information that would allow you to know?".  If you make a case from solipsism, I find that irrational and we no longer have anything to talk about.  If you hold of some information outside yourself, then kindly let me know the criteria that you consider worthy, and we can work from there.

 

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Vastet wrote:Agnostic is

Vastet wrote:
Agnostic is undescriptive and insufficient. It literally means 'don't know'. It does not specify WHAT you don't know. If you say you're agnostic then you are effectively saying you are stupid and know absolutely nothing about anything. Which hardly fits the description of an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist, which by definition are claims of lack of knowledge about a specific subject: theism. In which there are 3 states of being; belief, disbelief, and unbelief. If you fit in belief, you're an agnostic theist. If disbelief or unbelief, you're an agnostic atheist. There's no outside the box in this scenario, by the laws of English through which we are communicating. Sorry.

I agree the issue is semantics. The choice of words to describe our viewpoints can be at times, misunderstood.

I view an agnostic as a person who attempts to stay in the middle. They don't follow any one religion because they see them each as being flawed. They also don't discount that there could be a god, but they don't see any evidence at this point and time. They are neither an atheist nor a theist because they think there "might be a god" and "no religion has proven their god".

Calling them a agnostic atheist puts a label on them they probably do not want because you are putting them inside a classification which they do not agree with, they never said "there is no god".

 

 


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motomarco wrote: First of

motomarco wrote:

 

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their participation in this thread.  This is why I came to the RRS in the first place!  Even Vastet has given me food for thought.  My whole intention in posting was to try to find some truths, and I feel like I am making progress.  Let me make something clear:  I am not afraid of labels, and I certainly don't care about a social stigma that might be attached to calling myself an Agnostic, Atheist, or Theist. 

As I read through all the responses to this thread, there is one conclusion that becomes very evident.  That conclusion is that everyone falls into one of three categories:

1.) You believe in a God or Gods, (theist)

2.) You are unsure/don't know if you believe (agnostic).  This may be a temporary category for some.

3.) You are without belief in a God or Gods, (atheist)

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.  I thought our page on Agnostic vs Atheist was fairly conclusive on the reasons why agnostic is merely a qualifier pertaining to knowledge and it always accompanies atheism or theism.

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harleysportster wrote:There

harleysportster wrote:

There are Positive Atheists and Negative Atheists.

Positive Atheists make the claim that there can not be a god.

Negative Atheists like myself simply state that in the absence of all evidence, the default position is non-belief.

For instance, if I said that an invisible fire breathing dragon was holding the universe together, would you say that there might be some possibility ? Or would you simply say, that without any proof or evidence that such a creature exists there is no need to give the claim any validity ?

I was waiting for some one to bring up the Pos and Neg viewpoint.

I agree with you on this, but he isn't say that either. What he is saying is that "while there is no evidence to prove this or that god, their still might be a god which is undiscovered".

You left out the possibility that "their might be a fire breathing dragon even though you didn't present any evidence".

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I agree with you on this, but he isn't say that either. What he is saying is that "while there is no evidence to prove this or that god, their still might be a god which is undiscovered".

... otherwise known as weak atheism and agnostic atheism.  You just described me and every founding atheist of this website.

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Vastet wrote:@ motomarco

Vastet wrote:
@ motomarco Yeah you know English about as well as he does. And if you don't know what you believe then you never examined your beliefs. You don't choose to believe anything. Your mind weighs evidence and if it is sufficient you'll believe. If not then you won't. There is no middle ground, as evidenced by the fact no word exists to describe one. You're both wrong, period.

LMAO

You say there is no middle ground but there it is... you can't see the 'middle ground' because you have your head too far up your ass.

@motomarco - Vastet is a really intelligent person but he can be a conceited asshole. Don't let his "black or white" opinion fool you. I know where you stand with your view. I was there once. I believed that there was no evidence to prove any god or any religion. Yet, I thought that there still might be a possibility of a "creator" and that we had yet to meet it.

 

 


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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I agree with you on this, but he isn't say that either. What he is saying is that "while there is no evidence to prove this or that god, their still might be a god which is undiscovered".

... otherwise known as weak atheism and agnostic atheism.  You just described me and every founding atheist of this website.

Sure, weak, strong, etc etc. The list of labels is long and complicated.

What every one seems to be missing is that he doesn't want to be called an atheist. He doesn't want to be grouped as an atheist because he views that word as having a specific meaning in society.

Forcing him to accept your view points is wrong. Yeah, I understand the semantics of the words, but he's more comfortable being an agnostic so let him be agnostic.

It works for him and that is what matters.

 


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Vastet wrote:Finally,

Vastet wrote:
Finally, Dawkins is as wrong as you are.

 

From Wikipedia:

Criticism

Agnosticism is criticized from a variety of standpoints. Some religious thinkers see agnosticism as a limitation of the mind's capacity to know reality other than materialism. Some atheists criticize the use of the term agnosticism as functionally indistinguishable from atheism. This line of criticism results in frequent criticisms of those who adopt the term as a means of atheism label avoidance.[36]

 

You people are such thick headed douchebags; you are just as bad as the fucking theists.


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digitalbeachbum wrote:What

digitalbeachbum wrote:

What every one seems to be missing is that he doesn't want to be called an atheist. He doesn't want to be grouped as an atheist because he views that word as having a specific meaning in society.

Read up, I suggested this already and he denied this to be the case.  Of course, I still believe it to be the case as you do.

 

Quote:
Forcing him to accept your view points is wrong. Yeah, I understand the semantics of the words, but he's more comfortable being an agnostic so let him be agnostic.

It works for him and that is what matters. 

15 years ago when I left theism I too was more comfortable with the word agnostic.  In fact the term atheist had an extremely negative stigma attached to it, I was sure I wasn't an atheist.  Jake explained the definitions to me and after about 30 minutes of internal suffering I was forced to accept the term for myself because I choose to live in as real of a world as possible.  I want to be right, and be true to myself as often as I can be.  I am not forcing him to accept my view, reality is.  If he chooses to avoid it, that's ok by me.  But let's call it for what it is.  

I mean if we're ok with people just believing what they want because it makes them comfortable, what are we all doing here?

 

 

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It is not as simple as "A or

It is not as simple as "A or Not A". This is not a binary decision simply because of its complexity. There are many reasons people believe in a god (50 ? - lol). So it takes time to work from one position to the other, years in my case. There was no instant conversion in either direction. In a court of law you are to hold judgement til the evidence is presented. IOW I haven't made up my mind-don't know-til then. Nothing wrong with a 3rd or in between state. The cool thing is its all happening in MY mind and I don't have to make such a decision til I am ready.

However gods eyes are pretty close together and he has a very low forehead, so I say he is guilty. Eye-wink

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Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

What every one seems to be missing is that he doesn't want to be called an atheist. He doesn't want to be grouped as an atheist because he views that word as having a specific meaning in society.

Read up, I suggested this already and he denied this to be the case.  Of course, I still believe it to be the case as you do.

 

Quote:
Forcing him to accept your view points is wrong. Yeah, I understand the semantics of the words, but he's more comfortable being an agnostic so let him be agnostic.

It works for him and that is what matters. 

15 years ago when I left theism I too was more comfortable with the word agnostic.  In fact the term atheist had an extremely negative stigma attached to it, I was sure I wasn't an atheist.  Jake explained the definitions to me and after about 30 minutes of internal suffering I was forced to accept the term for myself because I choose to live in as real of a world as possible.  I want to be right, and be true to myself as often as I can be.  I am not forcing him to accept my view, reality is.  If he chooses to avoid it, that's ok by me.  But let's call it for what it is.  

I mean if we're ok with people just believing what they want because it makes them comfortable, what are we all doing here?

 

But it is a natural progression. You and I, along with thousands of other atheists all went through these growing pains. I didn't call myself an atheist just once, I flipped back and forth twice during my youth while trying to rationalize the years of brain washing.

I understand your viewpoint and I actually agree with it.

 


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ex-minister wrote:However

ex-minister wrote:
However god's eyes are pretty close together and he has a very low forehead, so I say he is guilty. Eye-wink

LOL


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digitalbeachbum wrote:You

digitalbeachbum wrote:
You say there is no middle ground but there it is... you can't see the 'middle ground' because you have your head too far up your ass.

You say there's a middle ground but prove there isn't by failing to describe or quantify what it might be. You're the one with his head up his ass.

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An clarify a couple items

First of all, I continue to be impressed by the contributions to this thread.  I should have been posting here long ago.  Even the people I disagree with are at least challenging my previously held views, which is why I came here.

Second, and this is very important, I am not trying to avoid the Atheist label because of social stigma or due to the perceived negative connotation of the word by some.  In all honesty, I never really thought Atheist had a negative connotation in the first place.

The reason I am avoiding the Atheist label, is because based on everything I have read here, I do not fall into the category of either Atheist or Theist. 

I am definitely an Agnostic Atheist when it comes to the God of the Bible, no question about it.  I am 99.9% sure this god does not exist, but of course there is no way for me to disprove his existence.

On the other hand, when it comes to the idea of a greater power, some unkown force that may indeed be more intelligent than humans, or that may exist on a different "plane" than humans, this is another matter entirely.

I believe there may (important word) be something out there that is greater than us, if you want to define it as "God", so be it.  In this case I am most decidedly not an unbeliever/atheist.  Nor am I willing go all-in as a theist.  I guess thats the situation I find myself if in.

P.S. - Is "Atheist" supposed to be capitalized?  What about "Agnostic"?  Also, what about "God"?  I have noticed some capitalize, some don't.  What is the correct way to capitlaize these words

 

 

Marc


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atheist, Atheist, Agnostic,

 

(double post and the lower one is actually completed)


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atheist, Atheist, Agnostic,

atheist, Atheist, Agnostic, agnostic, god or God or Gd or g_d etc, etc etc, some put it as a capitical because of perceived notions of title I assume, for me atheist or Atheist is the same, it is a postion. As for god I always put it lower case, others (theists usually) put it in upper case. In the end it doesn't really matter i don't think to most on this board.

As for the other part of your post about that there MAY be, sure there maybe something we could define as a god (if we could agree on a definition of god first) second there could be something in this Universe that could be defined as a god it would be of this universe and would have arisen within the universe, as such why would it require any form of worship and how would it be any different that any other life form within in this universe (currently only known by us on this planet of ours)? as well speaking of a being that is outside of time and space is irrelevant, as it has to interact within our universe and is therefore as well restricted to the physical laws of this universe. I could not believe in a being in which the laws of physics have to be suspended for it to exist. So really it comes down to the definition of god that you are trying to believe in or trying to accept that may could possibly exist.


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I don't think there's

I don't think there's anything between belief and disbelief and if there were I don't think it would be uncertainty for a few reasons. One being that god believers aren't necessarily more certain than you are.

 When people express uncertainty about their beliefs they don't typically mean they might have beliefs they are unaware of. Since beliefs are internal people tend to know what they believe.

Maybe some people believe in god without being fully aware of it and it affects their actions but it doesn't seem helpful to describe that as something between believing and not. It wouldn't be particularly constructive here because it's not a question about your personal behavior, it's about a conclusion you've drawn from available information.

From my experience people who claim agnosticism are usually expressing for whatever reason they have doubts strong enough to have left them completely noncommittal. If you're unable commit to the idea that gods exist even in the smallest way then you shouldn't be surprised if people call you atheist, keeping in mind for many people it's not a matter of certitude.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
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motomarco wrote:This is my

motomarco wrote:

This is my first post in the "Atheism vs Theism" category, so i I have posted in the wrong place, please let me know/move the thread.  I am new to posting on RRS, although I have lurked for some time.

Recently I have come across a few threads making a distinction between Agnosticism and Atheism/Theism.  The primary thread I am referring to is this one.   The message I seem to be getting from these threads is that one cannot simply be "Agnostic", rather they must either be an "Agnostic Atheist" or an "Agnostic Theist".  I don't fall into either one of these categories.

Philosophically, like many of you I'd imagine, I consider myself an avowed Agnostic. I don't believe that humans have the knowledge or ability to determine whether or not "God" (or "Gods" ) exists.  Moreover, I am unsure whether I believe in a god or not. I may believe, I may not believe - I simply "don't know" at this point.   So to classify me as "without belief in God" is incorrect, as is to classify me "with a belief in God".  My position is "I don't know if I have a belief or not". 

This does not mean my position isn't subject to change - as a matter of fact Richard Dawkins refers to people like me as a Temporary Agnostic in Practice (TAP), which I think is pretty accurate.  I am searching for some answers that will most likely place me into either the atheist or theist category.

Looking forward to some spirited discussion on this topic.

 

 

Best,

MB

In order for agnostic to work this way and for it to be exclusive from both theism and atheism, it has to assume they are opperating from a position of knowledge. This would be a neccesity in order for it to be categorically excluded. Atheism and theism are based on belief, so unless you have conflated all belief with knowledge, you might want to re-evalutate this position or provide an argument for why belief and knowledge are the same.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


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motomarco wrote:I am

motomarco wrote:
I am definitely an Agnostic Atheist when it comes to the God of the Bible, no question about it.  I am 99.9% sure this god does not exist, but of course there is no way for me to disprove his existence.

On the other hand, when it comes to the idea of a greater power, some unkown force that may indeed be more intelligent than humans, or that may exist on a different "plane" than humans, this is another matter entirely.

I believe there may (important word) be something out there that is greater than us, if you want to define it as "God", so be it.  In this case I am most decidedly not an unbeliever/atheist.  Nor am I willing go all-in as a theist.  I guess thats the situation I find myself if in.

P.S. - Is "Atheist" supposed to be capitalized?  What about "Agnostic"?  Also, what about "God"?  I have noticed some capitalize, some don't.  What is the correct way to capitlaize these words

This is why I support your agnostic point of view, but in the same sentence I support their point of view on "no in between".

You don't have to put a capital A on it unless you are starting it with a sentence or unless you really feel like it. I use lower case most of the time unless I'm talking about an organization. You might notice, I don't capitalize buddism or christianity for the same reasons.

 


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motomarco wrote:I believe

motomarco wrote:

I believe there may (important word) be something out there that is greater than us, if you want to define it as "God", so be it.  In this case I am most decidedly not an unbeliever/atheist.  Nor am I willing go all-in as a theist.  I guess thats the situation I find myself if in.

You're not understanding the definition of unbeliever and therefore atheist.  By virtue of you not being a believer, you aren't "all in" as a theist you are therefore an unbeliever/disebeliever.  This makes you an atheist.

 

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digitalbeachbum wrote:

motomarco wrote:
I am definitely an Agnostic Atheist when it comes to the God of the Bible, no question about it.  I am 99.9% sure this god does not exist, but of course there is no way for me to disprove his existence.

On the other hand, when it comes to the idea of a greater power, some unkown force that may indeed be more intelligent than humans, or that may exist on a different "plane" than humans, this is another matter entirely.

I believe there may (important word) be something out there that is greater than us, if you want to define it as "God", so be it.  In this case I am most decidedly not an unbeliever/atheist.  Nor am I willing go all-in as a theist.  I guess thats the situation I find myself if in.

P.S. - Is "Atheist" supposed to be capitalized?  What about "Agnostic"?  Also, what about "God"?  I have noticed some capitalize, some don't.  What is the correct way to capitlaize these words

This is why I support your agnostic point of view, but in the same sentence I support their point of view on "no in between".

You don't have to put a capital A on it unless you are starting it with a sentence or unless you really feel like it. I use lower case most of the time unless I'm talking about an organization. You might notice, I don't capitalize buddism or christianity for the same reasons.

Agnosticism is a claim about knowledge.  Atheism/Theism answers an entirely different question... belief.

There are people who believe in god, they are theist.  Everyone else is lacking of belief in god, they are disbelievers, unbelievers, non-believers, people abstaining from belief, people who don't know what they believe, people who aren't sure if they believe, people who don't know what beliefs are, and every other variation of someone who isn't a theist.

 

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Sapient wrote:Agnosticism is

Sapient wrote:
Agnosticism is a claim about knowledge.  Atheism/Theism answers an entirely different question... belief.


There are people who believe in god, they are theist.  Everyone else is lacking of belief in god, they are disbelievers, unbelievers, non-believers, people abstaining from belief, people who don't know what they believe, people who aren't sure if they believe, people who don't know what beliefs are, and every other variation of someone who isn't a theist.

 

See what he is saying though?

He doesn't believe in their god, but he thinks that there might be a creator or higher power. The only problem is that we do not have the technology or knowledge to lay claim of its existence.