Is this site hypocritical?

skiminal
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Is this site hypocritical?

I'm in fear that this site may be becoming like everything it's against. I found a picture of the things you're against (can't find it anymore) and it said things such as religion, the beliefe that the holocaust didn't happen, and agnosticism. When I read that I found it not very different from a Christian saying "You can't believe in anything but what I believe in."
I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of. I know you guys like to call yourselves Freethinkers, but how is trying to destroy every single different belief than your's freethinking? How is different than any other religion?
You may make the claim "Because we're right." But isn't that the exact claim a religious person would make? I mean, everyone thinks they're right. I'm just saying that from what I've seen of this site so far it really looks a lot like Christianity without God.

I do commend this "Killing them softly" forum though. Wish they had this on every forum.

I dunno, I'm just wanting you to be honest with yourself and consider what I'm saying. This is a smart community, I don't want to see it go corrupt.


AntiFaith
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Quote:skiminal: I found a

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skiminal:
I found a picture of the things you're against (can't find it anymore) and it said things such as religion, the beliefe that the holocaust didn't happen, and agnosticism. When I read that I found it not very different from a Christian saying "You can't believe in anything but what I believe in."

Does not compute. Please clarify. Smiling

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skininal:
I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of. I know you guys like to call yourselves Freethinkers, but how is trying to destroy every single different belief than your's freethinking? How is different than any other religion?
You may make the claim "Because we're right." But isn't that the exact claim a religious person would make? I mean, everyone thinks they're right. I'm just saying that from what I've seen of this site so far it really looks a lot like Christianity without God.

I thought that Free Thought was exchanging ideas and using reason and evidences the individual can determine for theirself what is true or useful. That Free Thought rejects the authority of religious authority.

Can you demonstrate for us how religion uses the same methods as the RRS does in exchande of info and ideas? You say that RRS does the same things as religion after all. Is it really the same thing Sir/Mam? I would like to see expamples from Christianity to compare to RRS.

Thank you. Smiling


Sapient
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skiminal wrote:I'm in fear

skiminal wrote:
I'm in fear that this site may be becoming like everything it's against.

The biggest thing we're against is belief without evidence. We have not yet become that. I'm open to the possibility that we have however, should you choose to attempt to prove we have.

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I found a picture of the things you're against (can't find it anymore) and it said things such as religion, the beliefe that the holocaust didn't happen, and agnosticism.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/hamurookis_irrational_precepts

Notice, we're not against agnosticism, we never said that, afterall we're all agnostic on the squad.

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When I read that I found it not very different from a Christian saying "You can't believe in anything but what I believe in."

We never said that either. It's the right of every human to hold irrational beliefs, and they do. It's also our right to ask humanity to think more critically and to ask them to abandon irrational beliefs. That is what we do.

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I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of.

So do you have a positive belief in a god?

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I know you guys like to call yourselves Freethinkers, but how is trying to destroy every single different belief than your's freethinking?

You're question is a poor one. That's not what we're doing. A good example... I'm an omnivore... I'd never try to destroy veganism.

Where did we say we wanted to destroy every single belief different than ours? Is your argument a projection? Are you maybe becoming like everything your against?

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How is different than any other religion?

We'd never ask you to believe in something without evidence, how's that for a start. (emphais on "a start")

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You may make the claim "Because we're right." But isn't that the exact claim a religious person would make?

Yes. And the difference is, we have falsifiable and valid evidence to back our claims, they don't.

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I mean, everyone thinks they're right. I'm just saying that from what I've seen of this site so far it really looks a lot like Christianity without God.

Tell me more about this "Christianity without God." I'm sure most Christians would argue that such a concept would be defined as:

A Christian without God: Someone who does good deeds and is a good person living a Christlike life, but doesn't believe in Christ.

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I do commend this "Killing them softly" forum though. Wish they had this on every forum.

Thanks, me too. Ever seen this on a Christian board? Ever see it on a Christian board with an atheist moderator helping them moderate it? We have a Christian moderator helping us. See how we are not like Christians in this sense?

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I dunno, I'm just wanting you to be honest with yourself and consider what I'm saying.

I am. Please be honest with us now, and prove some of your claims, and answer some of my questions.

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This is a smart community, I don't want to see it go corrupt.

Thanks, and I don't want to see it go corrupt either.

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skiminal wrote:I'm in fear

skiminal wrote:
I'm in fear that this site may be becoming like everything it's against.

That's a good fear to have.... while fighting an enemy you may well pick up his tactics. So it's good to stand on guard against such things. That is why a forum must be free, so that we can critically analyze our actions.

This is precisely why I am here... because Sapient and the other rational responders are willing to do just that - keep an open forum to discuss who we are and what we do. They don't silence criticism - they don't ban people for daring to question the site.

This is precisely why they are rational!

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I found a picture of the things you're against (can't find it anymore) and it said things such as religion, the belief that the holocaust didn't happen, and agnosticism. When I read that I found it not very different from a Christian saying "You can't believe in anything but what I believe in."

I don't think the rational responders are saying that you can't believe in those things, they are not forbidding such belief. That's what religions do.

What we are saying is that we believe that one's beliefs ought to be as rational as possible. And that some irrational beliefs are dangerous. We hope to outline precisely why this is so, and let you make the final decision!

But even rational thinking can become a 'dogma' if we were to insist that you should simply not think certain things.... so it's good to keep us on guard against doing that. Our role isn't to preach, or to command, what we are here to do is demonstrate why irrational thinking can lead to harm in many cases. We are not here to preach that you shouldn't believe something, instead, we are here to say "this belief is irrataional, and it can harm you in this way'

You're always free to analyze our reasons.

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I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of.

Which means you are a 'weak' atheist... you lack belief in a deity, at the present time. This might change.

That's all we mean when we say that calling 'agnosticism' a middle ground is irrational. There's no such thing as a middle ground.. you either actively hold a belief, or you don't....

Feel free to disagree.

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I know you guys like to call yourselves Freethinkers, but how is trying to destroy every single different belief than your's freethinking?

No one here is attempt to destroy every belief that differs from our own, what we want to see is more rational thinking.

If someone could give us a good set of rational reasons for any of the ideas we hold to be irrational, we'll change our minds.

This is about rationality... about questioning. Not about destroying.... the reality is - if I help a person see the irrationality in his argument, he himself will drop the idea... I don't need to destroy anything, in fact, our goal is to build up people's ability to critically examine beliefs.

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How is different than any other religion?

We are different from most religions I know of, because we don't inculcate our 'beliefs' into you from infanthood, we don't work by trying to frighten young children into believing.

We work by helping you think more rationally... then you make the final decision yourself.

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You may make the claim "Because we're right."

Not really. We don't assert we are right, we offer reasons for why we hold to our beliefs. What we really are about is critical thinking....

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I do commend this "Killing them softly" forum though. Wish they had this on every forum.

Agreed!

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I dunno, I'm just wanting you to be honest with yourself and consider what I'm saying. This is a smart community, I don't want to see it go corrupt.

Neither do I, which is why I value your post.... someone should post something like this every few months... to make sure we stick to our ideals.

Thanks for posting.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


skiminal
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Sapient wrote:skiminal

skiminal wrote:
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That's what I was talking about. I think todangst cleared it up for me though. I was interpreting it as saying agnosticism is irrational.

I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of.

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So do you have a positive belief in a god?

I don't really know. There are just so many things about religion that actually do make sense (don't ask for specific examples, I'm gonna be making a thread about this later and we can have a debate there.) But yeah, at this point in my life, my answer is "I don't know". And that's exactly why I'm on this site and other debate sites.

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How is different than any other religion?

We'd never ask you to believe in something without evidence, how's that for a start. (emphais on "a start")

Yes, but Christians don't expect you to believe anything outside of the Bible. That's kind of where I was going with this.

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"Christian without God" ?

I didn't mean that literally. I just used Christian without God for lack of a better term.

[mod note: I accidently lost the content of this post and this is the best I could do at recovering what was responded to.]


Sapient
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skiminal wrote:

skiminal wrote:

That's what I was talking about. I think todangst cleared it up for me though. I was interpreting it as saying agnosticism is irrational.

Right, we're saying that thinking one can be an agnostic without being an atheist or a theist is irrational (often times it's just lack of understanding of the definitions).

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I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of.

So do you have a positive belief in a god?

I don't really know. There are just so many things about religion that actually do make sense (don't ask for specific examples, I'm gonna be making a thread about this later and we can have a debate there.) But yeah, at this point in my life, my answer is "I don't know". And that's exactly why I'm on this site and other debate sites.

To me this is simply a dodge. How does one not know if they hold a positive belief of something? Maybe Todangst can weigh in here, but I lean to the side of thinking that the notion that one doesn't know if they have a belief in something seems like a logical impossibility to me.

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How is different than any other religion?

We'd never ask you to believe in something without evidence, how's that for a start. (emphais on "a start")

Yes, but Christians don't expect you to believe anything outside of the Bible. That's kind of where I was going with this.

So you're professing there is some book in which we are telling people they can only believe what is inside of it? If so, which book is it?

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I didn't mean that literally. I just used Christian without God for lack of a better term.

Well what did you mean?

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I do commend this "Killing them softly" forum though. Wish they had this on every forum.

Thanks, me too. Ever seen this on a Christian board? Ever see it on a Christian board with an atheist moderator helping them moderate it? We have a Christian moderator helping us. See how we are not like Christians in this sense?

You left these questions unanswered. I'd like to know your answers.

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skiminal
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Sorry bout the poor quoting

Sorry bout the poor quoting on the last post. Was in a hurry.

Sapient wrote:

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I consider myself to be agnostic in the sense that I'm undecided on my views of religion or the lack there of.

So do you have a positive belief in a god?

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To me this is simply a dodge. How does one not know if they hold a positive belief of something? Maybe Todangst can weigh in here, but I lean to the side of thinking that the notion that one doesn't know if they have a belief in something seems like a logical impossibility to me.

I can't give you a yes or no answer right now to that question. Right now all I can think to say is that there could be. I don't want to answer this question yet because it would be a premature response. I'm not dodging, I'm being honest and sincere.

[quoteSo you're professing there is some book in which we are telling people they can only believe what is inside of it? If so, which book is it?

Well, not one specific book, but your beliefs are based upon the findings of Scientists. Christians believe the Bible is their evidence, and whether or not it is legit evidence, it's still knida the same frame of mind as Athiests.

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Well what did you mean?

I was trying to sum up the things I said in my first post.

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Ever seen this on a Christian board?

Indirectly, yeah. Most Christian forums have a don't criticize rule on all their forums.

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Ever see it on a Christian board with an atheist moderator helping them moderate it?

No, not a Christian board. A lot of general debate forums have a mix of religious and athiest mods, though.

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We have a Christian moderator helping us. See how we are not like Christians in this sense?

It's a good idea. I think it's just an idea those forums haven't thought of yet. I bet, if suggested, that it would be seen as a smart thing and implemented. Hopefully.

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You left these questions unanswered. I'd like to know your answers.

Again, in a hurry. I was almost late to class the way it was.


elnathan
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Quote:To me this is simply a

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To me this is simply a dodge. How does one not know if they hold a positive belief of something?

This is an interesting position from my perspective.

I am new here and haven't read as many threads as I probably should have before making a comment, but, it seems your response doesn't allow for any 'middle of the road' or 'fence sitter' or non-committal postion.

From what little (50 posts) I have read, I have formed a very similar opinion regarding the purpose of this forum as skiminal. I also agree with a few of his/her comments regarding the views implied by those that appear to be prominent/preeimenent members of this forum.

While I realize the main emphasis here is rational, I don't think stating 'I don't know' implies one is committed to unbelief. Discounting agnostic belief as pre-athiest seems a bit persumptuous--though I do understand the rational that is used there--I don't belief it is accurate.

It sounds much like someone going to a baseball game and asking a person sitting next to them.
"So, do you think the Dodgers will win?"
answer. "I don't know!"
reply. "So, you think they are going to loose!"

(rational being if one doesn't believe the Dodgers are going to win, then obviously one must think the Dodgers will loose.)

That's not a logical assumption--in my opinion.
(fyi--I am not a Dodger fan--or even a baseball fan for that matter--that's just the first analogy I came up with Smiling )

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


Sapient
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elnathan wrote: While I

elnathan wrote:

While I realize the main emphasis here is rational, I don't think stating 'I don't know' implies one is committed to unbelief.

If I ask you do you believe in something and you say "I don't know" you've dodged the question. Agnosticism pertains to knowledge atheism pertains to belief. I personally "don't know" if there is a god, in that sense I am the fence sitter you speak of. Additionally I am honest enough to admit that while I am in my "not knowing" position, I haven't taken an affirmative and positive belief in god. Someone who takes an affirmative positive belief in god is a theist EVERYONE ELSE IS AN ATHEIST. You can be agnostic in addition to your atheism that's fine, but it's inescapable that there is NO middleroad in between atheist and theist, believing such is either ignorant, dishonest, or irrational. Sorry for the harsh words there, I'm simply calling a spade a spade. If it makes you feel better and same to skiminal, I was the "agnostic" who wasn't honest with himself 8 years ago.

Here is some knowledge for you:

If it doesn't load: Click here or go to asktheatheist.com

Supplemental reading:
Am I agnostic or atheist?
Agnosticism and it's many misconceptions by RRS co-founder Rook Hawkins
The definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary.

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Discounting agnostic belief as pre-athiest seems a bit persumptuous--though I do understand the rational that is used there--I don't belief it is accurate.

Notice you said "agnostic belief." You see you exhibit lack of understanding of what the terms means, so does skiminal. Again, don't misunderstand me I don't mean to sound rude or obnoxious, however agnostic pertains to knowledge, not belief.

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reason_passion
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presumptions

One issue that is being overlooked here in the rather tired discussion of defining terms is that theism and atheism dwell upon certain points concerning existence.

In your analogy concerning baseball, the answer "i don't know" is perfectly understandable given the lack of information the person has at his disposal. In line with sapient's point concerning the fact that agnosticism concerns knowledge, it could be said that the person is agnostic on the question of whether the dodgers will win.

Atheism has to do with belief, as rightly pointed out by sapient and others, so to continue with the analogy, if the person was asked whether they believed in the existence of the dodgers, the person could conceivably say that they were an a-dodgerist, i.e. they were withholding judgment.

Now, before I get letters concerning problems with this, let me finish. The problem with the above analogy is that the existence of the dodgers is actually open to verifiability, due to it being grounded in material reality and open to rational discourse, hence it would be rather odd for anyone to call themselves an a-dodgerist. Truly, the person has only two options; one, acquiescing to the belief in the existence of the dodgers, or two, saying they "don't know" because they don't have enough information but they acknowledge the ability to acquire the info given time.

Now we get to atheism. Atheism isn't about positing "I don't know" because the point in doubt has nothing to do with material reality and hence cannot be thought about. It would be like me asking if you believe in the existence of "fizzle wassit" and me saying that such a creature was incapable of being defined to you. You would rightly say that you don't know what I was talking about and so withhold a positive judgment concerning its exsitence. Notice that this is different than "i don't know" because while at the moment you don't know just what it is you're discussing yet so as to say "you don't know."

Here's the problem theists have and why atheists of the negative kind have the upper hand. Theists have simply been incapable of describing in any way understandable their concept of god or deity and in fact have to resort to the creation of another realm (dualism) to account for their belief. But of course this is incapable of being understood, so the whole issue can simply be dealt with by a shrug of the shoulders, for we have no idea what they're talking about as their concepts have nothing to do with extant reality.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


elnathan
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I had was I considered a

I had was I considered a good response to the previous comments, but for some reason, they seem to have been lost somewhere in this platform, but I will try again.

I am surprise that in this realm of reality, that the agnositc belief has been completely redefined as it is known in the rest of the...world (for lack of a better term.)

It has been my understanding--after much searching, discussing and opinion, that agnostics claim they are not commited to belief in the presence or absense of a God--or god-like being. They simply don't know!

While I believe this is an uncomfortable position for athiests, and sapient and others (Jake from the video) claim that there is no "middle of the road" it seems that is not the accepted truth by many others that have not been convinced either way. It seems that here (RRS) is one of the few place that denies an agnostic position. It seems the preference here--at least by those that have responded so far--that there is a completely different definition that should be used that is objectionable to what the rest of the population refers to agnostic. Now here is an interesting comment.

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Atheism has to do with belief, as rightly pointed out by sapient and others, so to continue with the analogy, if the person was asked whether they believed in the existence of the dodgers, the person could conceivably say that they were an a-dodgerist, i.e. they were withholding judgment.

Not at all...way off base--no pun intended.

There was no question as to whether the "Dodgers" exist or not...of course they exist! They are a baseball team--or at least they were that day! The question posed was whether they would win or loose. period.

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Atheism isn't about positing "I don't know" because the point in doubt has nothing to do with material reality and hence cannot be thought about.

I wasn't talking about atheism, I was talking about agnosticism. What do you mean that it "cannot be thought about"? Of course it can be thought about! Many people think about it all the time; and they call themselves agnostic!

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Here's the problem theists have and why atheists of the negative kind have the upper hand.

No...they don't have the upper hand; you/them just think they do.
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Theists have simply been incapable of describing in any way understandable their concept of god or deity and in fact have to resort to the creation of another realm (dualism) to account for their belief.

The inability for you to understand that discription does not necessarily indicate an lacking on their part; it may be more implicative of a lack of perception, in regards to the belief system embraced by the opposition. (i.e., just because YOU don't understand it, doesn't mean there is not clear to others.) Which is supported by the following statement you made.

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so the whole issue can simply be dealt with by a shrug of the shoulders, for we have no idea what they're talking about as their concepts have nothing to do with extant reality.

I don't know what you mean by "extant reality", but I have a fair concept of what reality really is!

I was espeically intreged by the suggestion that sapient considered himself an agnostic for eight years before--sorry I don't have the post right here to refer to as accurately as I would like, but that really doesn't seem to be a major obstical in regards to the arguments that have been presented so far--which inferred that he was in denial for eight years before he realized he was actually an athiest, and became convinced that there was/were NO god(s).

SAPIENT: I was quite surprised by your inference that you were rude and obnoxious. I really didn't read that at all, untill you made the comment. Another point of interest is that you claimed you "didn't mean it." Which roused my curiosity as to whether it just came naturally and couldn't help yourself, or that it was not the implication you intended? Please clarify?

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


Sapient
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elnathan wrote:I am surprise

elnathan wrote:
I am surprise that in this realm of reality, that the agnositc belief has been completely redefined as it is known in the rest of the...world (for lack of a better term.)

It's a shame that Christians have bastardized the terms so far that we now get "agnostics" telling us we're the re-definers. Look around the world and you'll notice most of Europe agrees with the original etymology of the words:

gnostic: with knowledge
agnostic: without knowledge

theist: with god belief
atheist: without god belief

The root (a) is similar in both, meaning without or lacking. Atheist is simply the absence of theism.

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It has been my understanding--after much searching, discussing and opinion, that agnostics claim they are not commited to belief in the presence or absense of a God--or god-like being. They simply don't know!

And you're being presented with evidence that millions of people would agree with, yet seem to want to hold steadfast to what you came to the table with. Through research I could find out that the Earth was flat, that Allah is real, and that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created us, yet that doesn't make my claim anymore valid.

I agree agnostics admit to not knowing, in your definition. You seem to be incapable to admit that the same etymological rules that apply to agnostic, also apply to atheist.

theist: someone with a positive belief in a god
atheist: someone without the beliefs of a theist

Do you have the positive belief a theist has? No.

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While I believe this is an uncomfortable position for athiests...

I believe you're projecting.

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and sapient and others (Jake from the video) claim that there is no "middle of the road" it seems that is not the accepted truth by many others that have not been convinced either way.

It's also not the accepted truth by many that evolution is a fact. What's your point?

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It seems that here (RRS) is one of the few place that denies an agnostic position.

First, keep in mind EVERYONE associated with the Rational Response Squad at the upper levels is an agnostic, so please consider how you phrase that. Furthermore, virtually every community on the web that discusses atheism has at least a few people that hold our position, if not many more. InfidelGuy.com, AtheistNetwork.com, Atheists.com, Infidels.org are a few sites where our understanding of the definitions seems to be in the majority (the 4 largest atheist communities online: aside from us).

I'm not thrilled by your excessive usage of logical fallacies, and have now put me in a position where I am using them too. Seriously, appeals to popularity have no bearing on truth, for if they did, then you should be arguing that Christianity is true because it's the worlds largest religion.

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It seems the preference here--at least by those that have responded so far--that there is a completely different definition that should be used that is objectionable to what the rest of the population refers to agnostic.

"Rest of population?" Huh!? "completely different definition?" Wha?

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The question posed was whether they would win or loose.

If I ask you do you believe in God, that is a different question than if I ask "do you think god exists or that he doesn't exist?"

The proper dodgers analogy would've been, "do you think the dodgers will win?" (not win or lose) If I said I'd give $5 to everyone who believes they'll win, you wouldn't qualify if you said "I don't know," which would put you in the same boat as all the people who think they'll lose.

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I was espeically intreged by the suggestion that sapient considered himself an agnostic for eight years before--sorry I don't have the post right here to refer to as accurately as I would like, but that really doesn't seem to be a major obstical in regards to the arguments that have been presented so far--which inferred that he was in denial for eight years before he realized he was actually an athiest, and became convinced that there was/were NO god(s).

From the age of 14-20 I defined myself as a deist on some days and an agnostic on others. At the time I didn't realize it was possible to be an agnostic deist, which is what I was. At about 20 I went on the Internet to do more research. I came to realize that of the many lies that religion tells, one of them is the lie of what an atheist is. I myself was told by my Christian Church that atheists are devil worshippers who are so arrogant they claim to know that God doesn't exist. Online, I also came to realize that I was a deist out of ignorance. I wasn't able to explain a first cause, I didn't know what started the big bang, and was positing that a deity "did it." However as an open minded and honest individual I was forced to admit that I was explaining a concept that I lacked understanding on, with another that I also lacked understanding on. This I came to find out was known as "the argument from ignorance" and it's fallacious.

So, I dropped my deism, and I became an agnostic. However this presented a different problem. I now claimed "I don't know, there could be a god, there might not be." My new problem was, I still bought into a lie told to me by the religious right. I had managed to drop the lie that we know God exists, however I still held on to one... that lie of course was that the definition of atheist is someone who claims 100% a god doesn't exist.

It's rather simple when you look at the Oxford English Dictionary, a highly respected and trusted source. A source that hasn't had the hands of the American Religious right all over it (helpful to say the least). I posted that link for you, but apparently it was disregarded as not part of the "rest of the world." I'll post it again...

The definitions from the OED.

I'll BRIEFLY explain using the portions of the definition that apply only to remove confusion...

Atheism means: Disbelief in... the existence of a god.

So what is "Disbelief?" It's really more simple than the word sounds.

disbelieve: Not to believe or credit

Disbelieving is most simply defined as the absence of belief. The act of not believing something to be true. Do you believe a god exists? As we've seen, you don't hold a positive belief in God. You are not believing and crediting that a god is to be true. You are without that positive belief, you are a disbeliever, you are an atheist. And that spurious claim that the rest of the world defines the world as you do, is false, most of Europe, specifically England hasn't been brainwashed by fundamentalists who have twisted the words to fit their own agenda.

The religious right have marginalized and divided the secular community into two smaller groups, you let them get away with it willingly. Sad

Quote:
SAPIENT: I was quite surprised by your inference that you were rude and obnoxious. I really didn't read that at all, untill you made the comment.

Well I'm glad. I've come to find that often when someone is wrong, and I correct them, no matter how polite I am, they return fire with something like "you're so arrogant and obnoxious." So whenever I'm dealing with hot button issues I often try to sugarcoat to some extent so the reader knows my intentions are that of education, not some primordial release of rage or anger.

Quote:
Another point of interest is that you claimed you "didn't mean it." Which roused my curiosity as to whether it just came naturally and couldn't help yourself, or that it was not the implication you intended? Please clarify?

Seriously? Come on. Obviously it was the later. I meant no rude or obnoxious implications with what I was saying.

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am i not speaking english?

I find myself in the precarious situation of wondering if the words I'm typing are in fact english. Because the utter lack of understanding in elnathan's response leads me to believe that either one, I'm incapable of conveying thoughts or two, you're incapable of following an argument. Considering the two facts that I've been told repeatedly by others that I write very well and sapient pointing out your continued deliberate misunderstanding of the definition of atheism, I can only conclude the latter hypothesis, you can't follow what's being said.

But since I'm a good sport, I'll go ahead and reiterate a couple of points.

elnathan wrote:
There was no question as to whether the "Dodgers" exist or not...of course they exist! They are a baseball team--or at least they were that day! The question posed was whether they would win or loose. period.

Seriously. Even in the quote you had of me, I qualified my continued usage of your dodgers analogy by saying "if the person was asked whether they believed in the existence of the dodgers." To then say that I missed your point about winning or losing is absurd as I clearly delineated where I was going.

To reiterate, my usage of the existence of the dodgers was to point out that in the discussion, denying their existence is patently absurd since it can so readily be established by physical fact. This was done so as to juxtapose it with the claims of religion, which are not based on physical reality.

elnathan wrote:
I wasn't talking about atheism, I was talking about agnosticism. What do you mean that it "cannot be thought about"? Of course it can be thought about! Many people think about it all the time; and they call themselves agnostic!

See above. I had made it eminently clear that I was discussing the points or claims of religion, not the existence of agnosticism.

elnathan wrote:
The inability for you to understand that discription does not necessarily indicate an lacking on their part; it may be more implicative of a lack of perception, in regards to the belief system embraced by the opposition. (i.e., just because YOU don't understand it, doesn't mean there is not clear to others)

Here's where a lack in philosophical and/or critical thinking shows it's devestating results. I am perfectly capable of "understanding" the mental report that a beleiver is telling me, even to the point of understanding their definition, in so far as it is an imaginative construct. But see, here's the problem, words are indexical, i.e. they point TO something. The question is what they are pointing to. The believer would have us believe that in their usage of the term "god" it is pointing to a real being though that being has no relation to physical reality. Here is where understanding breaks down, because while I understand that the term "god" points to their cognitive construct in their own heads, I do not believe it points to anything in reality and indeed, even by their own definition, god doesn't exist in this reality, he exists in the spirit realm.

elnathan wrote:
I don't know what you mean by "extant reality", but I have a fair concept of what reality really is!

First, if you don't know a word or its concept, perhaps refraining from making comments would be a good idea. Second, from your statements, I actually wonder just what your definition of reality is. What metaphysic do you hold? Are you monist or a dualist? And if dualist, what type of dualist; cartesian or liebnizian?

I hazard to guess, though correct me if I'm wrong, from your statement "just because YOU don't understand it, doesn't mean there is not clear to others" that you hold to at the very least, a dualist epistemology. Though this might, like I wrote before, simply be indicative of your over-generalized usage of the term "understanding."

When I say "I don't know what they're talkign about" it is in reference to the believers' claim that their terms refer to something in reality. "God", "faith" have nothing to do (in the context of their definition) with reality, as they require components that have nothing to do with materialism and hence are incapable of being discussed outside of the context of cognitive reporting (thank you George Smith).

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Sapient wrote: Seriously?

Sapient wrote:

Seriously? Come on. Obviously it was the later. I meant no rude or obnoxious implications with what I was saying.

Yet it came across so clearly in this round of responses.Sad

I realize you see yourself as the authority on this, and see things differently than I do, but that does not imply that I am wrong or in need of correction. You are arguing minor points of definition, while completely ignoring those people who are neither athiest nor thiests. I realize you are probably just trying to pull them to your side, but that isn't really working here.

What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)?? And don't give me atheist, because the are not anti-theist they are just unsure. The OED definition of agnostic is a cop-out btw! But I can see why you would choose that one but there are many others that are highly respected as well...such as webster's which defines it as

Quote:

1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

So I was NOT wrong, and there was no need for your correction! Whether you choose to believe it or not.

This has been an excellent example of beating around the bush, and attacking issues that have little or nothing to do with the real point trying to be discussed. All this time and energy spent arguing over the definition of the terms being used, while totally ignoring the fact that there are thousands if not millions of people who have not made up their minds as to whether there is a god(s) or not. They--unlike you--have not declared "There is no God!."

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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reason_passion wrote: To

reason_passion wrote:

To reiterate, my usage of the existence of the dodgers was to point out that in the discussion, denying their existence is patently absurd since it can so readily be established by physical fact. This was done so as to juxtapose it with the claims of religion, which are not based on physical reality.

This may come as quite a shock to you, but I did realize this. The point I was trying to make is that there was no need for the juxtoposition, or further deliniation of the analogy. It wasn't meant to be that complex. Had I meant to lead to that, I would have done so.
Quote:

See above. I had made it eminently clear that I was discussing the points or claims of religion, not the existence of agnosticism.

Okay...so, cool! But I was talking about the existence of agnostics! You said your piece, I was just trying to get another point across and hopefully open up some intermediate area, but obviously, that can't be done here.
Quote:

Here's where a lack in philosophical and/or critical thinking shows it's devestating results.

Here's my philosophical view taken from a vintage poster.

"I know you think you understand what I just said, but I am not sure you realize, what I said is not what I meant."

It appears to be strange that it is okay for YOU to say "I don't know what you are talking about." But if I say I don't know what you are talking about, you respond by implying I shouldn't say anything; in other words I should just shut up....cool!

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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Quote:What term do you use

Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)?? And don't give me atheist, because the are not anti-theist they are just unsure.

I would excuse the behavior of a new member.
I would also call that person irrational.
I would say that person needs to find a starting point for themselves rather than letting something else define them.
I would ask that person to logically examine themselves before questioning the labels that define others.
I would ask that person to read the other areas and other posters to look for an answer that might have been posted by someone else.

The position of anti-theisT has already been addressed as irrational. Why? Because the general concensus is that the atheists here are anti-theisM.

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elnathan wrote:I realize you

elnathan wrote:
I realize you see yourself as the authority on this, and see things differently than I do, but that does not imply that I am wrong or in need of correction.

Agreed. It's my arguments that imply you're in need of correction, not the fact that I am or am not an authority on this.

Quote:
You are arguing minor points of definition, while completely ignoring those people who are neither athiest nor thiests.

There is no such thing. People who are theist hold a positive belief in a god, everyone else is (a) without that belief and is therefore atheist.

Quote:
I realize you are probably just trying to pull them to your side, but that isn't really working here.

Keep in mind my "side" is reality, not atheism. I'd much prefer to call myself agnostic in this world, it's soooo much easier. However embracing reality I recognize that when it comes to BELIEF, I am an atheist.

Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)??

I call that person either not existent, or a borderline moron.

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE DEFINITIONS. You have just asserted a logical impossibility. If one "doesn't believe" the only thing they can be is a "disbeliever." A disbeliever is someone who doesn't have the belief!

Quote:
And don't give me atheist, because the are not anti-theist they are just unsure.

Strawman here, asserted after the logical impossibility question.

A double header! (dodger reference)

Quote:
The OED definition of agnostic is a cop-out btw! But I can see why you would choose that one but there are many others that are highly respected as well...such as webster's which defines it as

How is it a cop out?

Quote:

1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

That definition has been changed to recognize the common usage propagated by ignorance in American society, this is why you need a MORE RESPECTED dictionary, the OED. Furthermore, notice the first half of the definition speaks only to knowledge. And one last caveat... the second half of the agnostic definition incorporates all weak atheists as well!! Proving one could be both an agnostic and an atheist at the same time.

Quote:
So I was NOT wrong, and there was no need for your correction! Whether you choose to believe it or not.

Yeah, you were. You keep pulling sources that have been affected by the religious right, claiming victory all the way. What next? Flat Earth?

Quote:
This has been an excellent example of beating around the bush, and attacking issues that have little or nothing to do with the real point trying to be discussed. All this time and energy spent arguing over the definition of the terms being used, while totally ignoring the fact that there are thousands if not millions of people who have not made up their minds as to whether there is a god(s) or not. They--unlike you--have not declared "There is no God!."

Dishonesty is not appreciated in this forum. This thread is being moved to a more appropriate forum as you were incapable of "killing with kindness." And I'm not thrilled with my demeanor either. Look, you've even put quotes around me saying "There is no god!" I defy you to point me to where I've said that, either here, or recently!

Lying to me about my position, while refusing to accept my position that has been stated to you several times is not going to win you any fans here.

Don't be a dick, while preaching the importance of not being one, or I'll be forced to call you out on your hypocrisy. How extremely ironic.

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elnathan wrote: It appears

elnathan wrote:

It appears to be strange that it is okay for YOU to say "I don't know what you are talking about." But if I say I don't know what you are talking about, you respond by implying I shouldn't say anything; in other words I should just shut up....cool!

No, what you should stop doing, is being dishonest. Again, point us to where this all happened.

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elnathan wrote:

elnathan wrote:

"The OED definition of agnostic is a cop-out btw!"

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

Generally regarded as the most comprehensive, accurate, and scholarly dictionary of the English language

elnathan wrote:

WEBSTER:
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

Fuck Webster...

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

Generally regarded as the most comprehensive, accurate, and scholarly dictionary of the English language

OED
agnostic A. sb. One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.

Nothing about belief, and nothing about being in between atheist and theist. If you don't buy all the lies that Christianity has to offer, I suggest you stop buying this one!

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darth_josh wrote:Quote:What

darth_josh wrote:
Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)?? And don't give me atheist, because the are not anti-theist they are just unsure.

.
I would excuse the behavior of a new member.
I would also call that person irrational.
I would say that person needs to find a starting point for themselves rather than letting something else define them.
I would ask that person to logically examine themselves before questioning the labels that define others.
I would ask that person to read the other areas and other posters to look for an answer that might have been posted by someone else.
.
The position of anti-theisT has already been addressed as irrational. Why? Because the general concensus is that the atheists here are anti-theisM.

I asked for a term, not responses. Perhaps that's why the question "Is this site hypocritical?" was posed? However, it seems more hyper-critical in my view sofar. While I appreciate being excused because I am a new member, I am surprised by the negative vibe I seem to be getting.
.
I was simply trying to find a common term to use when referring to that large group of people who aren't yet willing to deny the possibility of a supreme being(s) commonly referred to as god(s) but don't really have enough evidense to say one way or another what their opinion is at this point. I am beginning to get the feeling you may be among a group, of members here, that don't think/believe/deny-all-knowledge of, such a group even exists in the real world.
.
Is that a false understanding on my part?

Quote:

Keep in mind my "side" is reality, not atheism. I'd much prefer to call myself agnostic in this world, it's soooo much easier. However embracing reality I recognize that when it comes to BELIEF, I am an atheist.

I guess I was/am confused. (I think I heard someone say "DUH! Smiling )

Perhaps the term I am really looking for is the one that descibes those would are anti-thiest? I am looking for a single word to describe those who support the belief they know there is no god and never could have been a god, and have distain for those who think there is a god(s).

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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elnathan wrote:darth_josh

elnathan wrote:
darth_josh wrote:
Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)?? And don't give me atheist, because the are not anti-theist they are just unsure.

.
I would excuse the behavior of a new member.
I would also call that person irrational.
I would say that person needs to find a starting point for themselves rather than letting something else define them.
I would ask that person to logically examine themselves before questioning the labels that define others.
I would ask that person to read the other areas and other posters to look for an answer that might have been posted by someone else.
.
The position of anti-theisT has already been addressed as irrational. Why? Because the general concensus is that the atheists here are anti-theisM.

I asked for a term, not responses.

You got the term from me. The person is either non-existent or a borderline moron. I say bordeline to give the person the benefit of the doubt, in many cases it's brainwashing, however I'm sure some cases are simply, the person is a moron.

Darth also gave you the term: IRRATIONAL.

Quote:
Perhaps the term I am really looking for is the one that descibes those would are anti-thiest? I am looking for a single word to describe those who support the belief they know there is no god and never could have been a god, and have distain for those who think there is a god(s).

Not all anti-theists are strong atheists. There is no term for what you just described.

Antitheists as defined in the OED are: "One opposed to belief in the existence of a God."

I am an anti-theist yet at the same time don't commit to the position that "there is no god and never could have been a god."

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elnathan wrote:The point I

elnathan wrote:
The point I was trying to make is that there was no need for the juxtoposition, or further deliniation of the analogy. It wasn't meant to be that complex. Had I meant to lead to that, I would have done so.

The only reason I continued the analogy was to show continuity. Whether you had intended the analogy to be complex or not is simply not at all an indication of whether the way in which i used it was valid. The reason I took the analogy to the extent I did was to show where you going wrong in your thinking, creating the argument that what religious believes adhere to is not open to discussion because it is, by definition, outside of the purview of rational discourse being it is not of material reality.

elnathan wrote:
Okay...so, cool! But I was talking about the existence of agnostics!

Uh, I'm pretty sure that the existence of people who adhere to agnosticism isn't in question. What is in question is the definition being used, wrongly, of atheism by yourself.

elnathan wrote:
It appears to be strange that it is okay for YOU to say "I don't know what you are talking about." But if I say I don't know what you are talking about, you respond by implying I shouldn't say anything;

In point of fact, when I used the phrase "I don't know what you're tlaking about" it was in relation to the theists claim of the existence of god and even then I clearly stipulated that what I referred to was its existence in material reality, not the words themselves. Hence, when I used the phrase it had nothing to do with one's ability to speak on this forum. For you to use this as some kind of "victimization" or "martyr thought is unwarranted.

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Quote: You got the term from

Quote:

You got the term from me. The person is either non-existent or a borderline moron.

Those appear to be more discriptions and not terms. Or at the least, they are terms that already have other definitions and don't define the what we are talking about. The person believes so therefore he is, and therefore, must existent. Bordering on being a moron, isn't really a single term that discribes it either! Sometimes it seems you aren't even trying here?

What appears to be the situation here is that you seem to hold that people are either one one side or the other (Either they believe there is a god, or the believe there is not a god). It seems all black or white, left or right. right or wrong.

If that were the case, then you would have a very skewed perception of what some people are really thinking. Hopefully, you don't believe everyone must think like you, or they're thinking is wrong?

As for the OED, Websters is a much more commonly used dictionary in the US by Americans. Brits say their words considerably different, and have a different perception of what those words mean. If you proport that is a better reference, then that certainly explains why this place could easily be perceived as hypocritical. We may be arguing about two considerably different things. If that's the case, how could there every be concensus?

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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When the terms are

When the terms are understood instead of rejected upon 'belief' of their definitions, then we move into actual discussion.

The consensus prior to your arrival on the site is agnosticism alone is irrational.

Here is why:
http://www.rationalresponders.com/agnosticism_and_its_many_misconceptions

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elnathan wrote:Quote: You

elnathan wrote:
Quote:

You got the term from me. The person is either non-existent or a borderline moron.

Those appear to be more discriptions and not terms. Or at the least, they are terms that already have other definitions and don't define the what we are talking about. The person believes so therefore he is, and therefore, must existent.

Fine by me... go with moron then. Would you prefer, ignorant? How about clueless? All of these terms would describe someone who can't grasp the concept that anyone who is not a believer is a disbeliever. There is no in between if you read the definitions of the words.

Quote:
Bordering on being a moron, isn't really a single term that discribes it either!

Agreed... I was trying to be polite, let's just go with moron.

Definitions for moron I am using:
person of subnormal intelligence
A person having the mental age of 8 to 12 years

Quote:
Sometimes it seems you aren't even trying here?

Someone with the mental age of an 8-12 year old would ask that question in this instance.

Quote:
What appears to be the situation here is that you seem to hold that people are either one one side or the other (Either they believe there is a god, or the believe there is not a god).

Right because I said that how many times in this thread.... OH NEVER... I didn't say it once. Ok... got ya.

Quote:
It seems all black or white, left or right. right or wrong.

No it seems all 100% black, or non-100% black. All left or non 100% left.

Quote:
If that were the case, then you would have a very skewed perception of what some people are really thinking. Hopefully, you don't believe everyone must think like you, or they're thinking is wrong?

Nope not at all. It's always nice to meet people who think differently than me.

Quote:
As for the OED, Websters is a much more commonly used dictionary in the US by Americans.

And the most common belief in the areas we're discussing amongst Americans is Christianity. Does that mean that Christianity is true?

Your reasoning for using Webster is not only unproven it's an appeal to popularity which is a logical fallacy. The OED is still regarded as the best dictionary of the English language. Fuck Webster.

Quote:
Brits say their words considerably different, and have a different perception of what those words mean. If you proport that is a better reference, then that certainly explains why this place could easily be perceived as hypocritical.

What the fuck are you talking about? Non Sequitur much?

Accepting that the OED is the most respected dictionary on the english language, has nothing to do with us being hypocritical, in fact if anything it proves exactly the opposite... that we hold to be true things that are true.

Quote:
We may be arguing about two considerably different things.

It doesn't appear so.

Quote:
If that's the case, how could there every be concensus?

On this particular issue we'll have concensus when you admit to the facts instead of running away from them. And no... the lies that Christians have told are NOT facts.

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elnathan wrote:As for the

elnathan wrote:

As for the OED, Websters is a much more commonly used dictionary in the US by Americans. Brits say their words considerably different, and have a different perception of what those words mean. If you proport that is a better reference, then that certainly explains why this place could easily be perceived as hypocritical. We may be arguing about two considerably different things. If that's the case, how could there every be concensus?

Dictionaries exist to capture commonly used definitions. They do not exist to provide rigorous philosophical defenses of the various defintions.

Hence, the proper way to achieve consensus is to first identify the context within which the term is to be used, and then rely on the definition used within that context, particularly if there is a rigorous philosophical defense available for its usage

When it comes to the term 'agnostic' we already have such a definition, from the creator of the word himself,

The term agnostic was coined by the 19th-century British positivist scientist Thomas H. Huxley He made up the word from the prefix a-, meaning "without, not," as in the word "amoral", and the noun "Gnostic". Gnostic is related to the Greek word gnosis, "knowledge," which was used by early Christian writers to mean "higher, esoteric knowledge of spiritual things"; hence, Gnostic referred to those with such knowledge. In coining the term agnostic, Huxley was considering as "Gnostics" a group of his fellow intellectuals-"ists," as he called them-who had eagerly embraced various doctrines or theories that explained the world to their satisfaction. (See aesthetics) Rejecting this Wordsworthian idealism, Huxley coined the term agnostic for himself, its first published use being in 1870.

Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)??

Insane.

Look at what you are saying.

A person who doesn't believe and doesn't DISBELIEVE.

Double negative.

Let's remove the double negative and restate your claim.

What do we end up with:

A person who believes and doesn't believe.

Your words here are internally contradictory.

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"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Sapient wrote:elnathan

Sapient wrote:

All of these terms would describe someone who can't grasp the concept that anyone who is not a believer is a disbeliever. There is no in between if you read the definitions of the words.

Given the definition you refer to, I can see that, and have to agree with your response. According to that definition, there is no in between. But that definition is a denial of the fact that there are people who neither believe there *is* a god, nor believe there *is not* a god.

You perception is parralell to what many Christians believe. One either believes or does not believe there is a God. Such belief systems do not allow for a person, who has not commited to either decision; of which there are many.

I am not sure why this was put at the bottom when I tried to fix the quote problem, and won't let me edit the other improper quote, but, then I can't explain why it wouldnt' find the pages so I could fix them before....but.....

I can see that this discussion is going nowhere but in circles and either I am unable to write what I mean, or you are simply ignoring the assumptions.

As for the popular belief....I have no comment.

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todangst wrote:elnathan

todangst wrote:
elnathan wrote:

Look at what you are saying.

A person who doesn't believe and doesn't DISBELIEVE.

Double negative.

Let's remove the double negative and restate your claim.

What do we end up with:

A person who believes and doesn't believe.

Your words here are internally contradictory.


I meant a person who doesn't ascribe to the belief there is NOT a god or gods.

Which is why the "common" terms are "generally" accepted, whether you and others here choose to acknoweldge them or not.

thiest=believes in god(s)
athiests=believe there is/are no god(s)
agnostics=have no commitment to either belief.

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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elnathan wrote: Which is why

elnathan wrote:

Which is why the "common" terms are "generally" accepted

It's also generally accepted that evolution is false and Jesus Christ son of god, walked on water.

Stop appealing to popularity. Just because something is believed by a large group of people doesn't make it more true.

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elnathon

elnathon wrote:

Quote:
thiest=believes in god(s)
athiests=believe there is/are no god(s)
agnostics=have no commitment to either belief.

I'll overlook the mispelling of "theist" and atheist"

I'll try this as clearly as I can;

If a "theist" is someone who believes,

and if the prefix "a-" simply means to lack, or be without,

Then would "atheist" simply mean "without belief in God"?

Notice the distinction between "lack of belief in God" and "belief in no God" (or "belief that God does not exist").

This is the source of the confusion. Atheists don't say that they believe God does not exist, they simply lack such belief.

Now, admittedly, you will find many an atheist who will also declare that they believe God does not exist, but this is strictly and technically in addition to their atheism. Often, the distinction is made between a hard atheist and a weak atheist, but IMO someone who makes the stronger claim is claiming something more than their lack of belief, for which we don't have an adequate term. Someone who says "I believe there is no God" is probably an atheist, but that doesn't mean that the statement defines the term "atheist"

Shaun

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I tried to respond to this

I tried to respond to this yesterday, but for some reason (though I changed to firefox from IE) I was had a great deal of trouble getting the reply to sapient to posted--I waited and waited, but the post just seemed to be in limbo and didn't post. I didn't have time to go through all that again in order to respond to your post, because I had to go to work, so I thought I would try again this morning.

ShaunPhilly wrote:

I'll overlook the mispelling of "theist" and "atheist"

I changed the spelling thinking, perhaps I wasn't spelling it correctly and therefore my questions weren't being understood clearly. However, It now seems apparent, clarity is not the problem. (surprisingly, "theist" is actually misspelled quite a bit on the internet--don't take my word for it, do an internet search for "thiest" yourself.)

Quote:

Notice the distinction between "lack of belief in God" and "belief in no God" (or "belief that God does not exist").

That's the distinction for which I would like to find the proper terminology. Prior to coming on this forum, I thought I understood those terms (actually, I think I still do understand them). Now, I am now trying to find what distinct term(s) are to be used when referring to those who do not hold to either belief (1. There is a God or gods, or 2. There is not a God or gods.). Unfortunately, I am beginning to get the idea it is a futile effort, because many people here seem to believe that person does not exist.

Quote:

This is the source of the confusion. Atheists don't say that they believe God does not exist, they simply lack such belief.

Ahh...but they DO say "God does not exist"--or at least a large number of them. That seems to be the conception the RRS would like to portray. It seems the goal of the RRS is to erraticate any other belief from society. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to find anyone here that doesn't believe GDNE, and why there is such a strong denial of an agnostic form of belief.
Quote:

Someone who says "I believe there is no God" is probably an atheist, but that doesn't mean that the statement defines the term "atheist"

Shaun


Then what distinct term would you use to define that person? Besides atheist of course--and please refrain from using those non-distinct terms such as, "rational," "informed," and the like. Smiling Thank you in advance.

------------------------------------
If find it very interesting that the RRS would fight so strongly against something they themselves don't believe in. It seems they have distain for anyone who doesn't believe the same way they believe. It is especially interesting, that the RRS battles under the flag, "There is No God" and yet claims to fight within the context of "free thinking." If one is truely free to think, then why are they chastised because they choose to think differently than the RRS?

It seems hypocritical that RRS fights against those who think freely (because they have chosen to think differently), so strongly.

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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elnathan wrote: Given the

elnathan wrote:

Given the definition you refer to, I can see that, and have to agree with your response. According to that definition, there is no in between. But that definition is a denial of the fact that there are people who neither believe there *is* a god, nor believe there *is not* a god.

No it isn't. Those people are called "disbelievers." They are mentioned in the beginning of the definition. Sad

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people and ideas

elnathan wrote:
Ahh...but they DO say "God does not exist"--or at least a large number of them. That seems to be the conception the RRS would like to portray. It seems the goal of the RRS is to erraticate any other belief from society.

Like mentioned earlier by someone else, simply because someone calls themselves something doesn't mean what they believe is actually what the term designates. This is often shown even within christian circles where you have the ignorant masses of american catholics say it's ok to disagree on doctrinal stances which the pope endorses or protestants who say that all religions say the same thing and jesus is simply one way to heaven. These people call themselves catholics and christians, but neither of those two positions are at all in line with their respective traditional theology. Hence, saying they aren't a christian is perfectly justifiable. What they might be is simply a "mystic" or perhaps just confused.

Same goes for atheists. There is a specific defintion already clearly delineated by sapient and others that has a specific philosophical history behind it. Calling yourself an atheist means something specific, else words lose all meaning. Those people out there who claim to "not believe one way or the other", as you put it, can be classified as simply confused and ignorant. There is no philosophical position they are holding because said position is, within its own wording, incoherent, as has already been shown repeatedly.

I can only think that you're continued refusal to see what is patently obvious is a reflection of your actual beliefs concerning the existence of god and your continued attempts to define atheists in such a way as to paint them into a corner and thus gain the upper-hand in any conversation. Unfortunately for you, we know better.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Ok here we go again, with

Ok here we go again, with your inability to understand our position, and your choosing to define our position over and over while not comprehending it. I'll make this short...

Quote:

Quote:

Notice the distinction between "lack of belief in God" and "belief in no God" (or "belief that God does not exist").

Now, I am now trying to find what distinct term(s) are to be used when referring to those who do not hold to either belief.

The person who doesn't lack belief in a god or "believe that there is no god" is a theist.... everyone else is an atheist.

(a)=without
(theist)=someone believing in a god

atheists are without belief in a god.

Which god do you believe in? If you don't have a positive affirmative, I believe in XYZ god... you too are an atheist.

Quote:
Quote:

This is the source of the confusion. Atheists don't say that they believe God does not exist, they simply lack such belief.

Ahh...but they DO say "God does not exist"--or at least a large number of them.

Did you not notice his next sentence was.... "Now, admittedly, you will find many an atheist who will also declare that they believe God does not exist, but this is strictly and technically in addition to their atheism."

In other words... even the atheist who believes that no god exists, is still "without a belief in a god." The easiest way to encompass all atheists which is a broad definition is to recognize that ALL atheists "lack or are without positive belief in a god."

Easiest definition that applies to all atheists:
atheist: someone without a positive belief in a god.

Quote:
That seems to be the conception the RRS would like to portray. It seems the goal of the RRS is to erraticate any other belief from society. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult to find anyone here that doesn't believe GDNE

We want to erradicate irrational beliefs, not all beliefs.

What is GDNE?

Quote:
and why there is such a strong denial of an agnostic form of belief.

I think we're up to about the fourth time you've been told this. We don't deny agnosticism, WE'RE ALL AGNOSTICS!!!

We deny that agnostic is a middle position between atheism and theism. Anyone who hasn't been brainwashed to believe otherwise can easily grasp the concept. Holding that agnostic is between atheism and theism, is irrational and or ignorant.

Quote:
Quote:

Someone who says "I believe there is no God" is probably an atheist, but that doesn't mean that the statement defines the term "atheist"
Shaun

Then what distinct term would you use to define that person? Besides atheist of course--and please refrain from using those non-distinct terms such as, "rational," "informed," and the like. Smiling

If you really need to, if you absolutely must...

strong atheist: someone that believes there is no god
weak atheist: someone lacking a belief in a god (all babies are born as weak atheists)

Quote:
If find it very interesting that the RRS would fight so strongly against something they themselves don't believe in.

WTF are you talking about? This statement is bullshit.

We believe people should be honest with themselves and rational. We see that people aren't (you included), and "fight so strongly" to break humanity free of it's addiction to irrationality.

Quote:
It seems they have distain for anyone who doesn't believe the same way they believe.

And it seems you have no fucking clue what we're about. There are tons of conflicting opinions on this board. A great example, (didn't I already bring it up in this thread?) is the fact that we're all omnivores, yet there are some people on this forum who are vegetarian. You don't see us fighting them on it.

Please stop repeating the same lies over and over.

Quote:
It is especially interesting, that the RRS battles under the flag, "There is No God" and yet claims to fight within the context of "free thinking."

The phrase is unconstitutional, as a freethinker, one not bound to believe things within the constrains of a holy text, it's very easy to see that.

Quote:
If one is truely free to think, then why are they chastised because they choose to think differently than the RRS?

Because some peoples beliefs don't deserve to be respected. Be careful not to confuse the issue with the fact that the person deserves respect, not the irrational belief. Since we respect the person we take time from our life and dedicate time to helping people see why their beliefs don't deserve respect.

Quote:
It seems hypocritical that RRS fights against those who think freely (because they have chosen to think differently), so strongly.

Seriously, it's the same story over and over with you. Get a clue on the reading comprehension.

Point out our hypocrisy without misrepresenting our position... you can't do it... but feel free to try again, floor is yours.

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reason_passion wrote:

reason_passion wrote:

I can only think that you're continued refusal to see what is patently obvious is a reflection of your actual beliefs concerning the existence of god and your continued attempts to define atheists in such a way as to paint them into a corner and thus gain the upper-hand in any conversation. Unfortunately for you, we know better.

Actually, I think he's probably a brainwashed agnostic atheist.

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eh

sapient wrote:
Actually, I think he's probably a brainwashed agnostic atheist.

You may be right. In either case, his refusal to acknowledge what is being said and continued ranting about things that simply aren't true is indicative of the mentality that the religious typically have, the inability to admit to their being wrong.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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I was ready to drop the

I was ready to drop the hammer when I noticed that Sapient had already dropped it. I guess I can thank him for trying to further clarify my position.

I feel like I was clear. I was also annoyed that elnathan seemed to completely ignore the essential part of my post that already answered his question.

Anyway, now that my thunder has been stolen, I'll have to go to Zeus and borrow some of his lightning. But I much prefer Dionysus/Bacchus; he's my god of choice.

Shaun

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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elnathan wrote:todangst

elnathan wrote:
todangst wrote:

Look at what you are saying.

A person who doesn't believe and doesn't DISBELIEVE.

Double negative.

Let's remove the double negative and restate your claim.

What do we end up with:

A person who believes and doesn't believe.

Your words here are internally contradictory.


I meant a person who doesn't ascribe to the belief there is NOT a god or gods.

That's strong atheism.

Atheism is a disbelief in gods.

You actually said this:

Quote:
What term do you use when referring to a person that doesn't believe or disbelieve in god(s)??

This would require that the person, believe, and not believe, at the same time.

To not not believe is to believe.

Quote:

Which is why the "common" terms are "generally" accepted, whether you and others here choose to acknoweldge them or not.

We're not disagreeing that the term 'agnostic' is commonly misued. No one denies that the meanings ascribed to words change over time. A word's meaning may be overgeneralized. This has happened to the word 'agnostic' The word is now used to describe uncertainty regarding ANY choice at all.

Do you prefer coffee or tea? Yankees or Mets?

I'm agnostic on that one. Not sure.

So yes, people use the term to express doubt.

So we are not saying every person, everywhere, is in error for using it that way. What we are saying is that it is an error to transport this new meaning back to the original context. Theologically speaking, agnosticism has to do with knowledge claims.

Quote:

thiest=believes in god(s)
athiests=believe there is/are no god(s)
agnostics=have no commitment to either belief.

This would mean that they don't believe. Atheism.

Strong atheism: disavowel of the possibilty of gods
theism: belief in a god

Weak atheism: disbelief.

Saying that agnosticism involves believing and not believing at the same time implies that agnosticism is doublethink. An agnostic would be at home in Oceania, and the neighbor of Winston Smith.

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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truth of elnathan

For anybody looking at this discussion and wondering why elnathan refuses to see a point clearly articulated, here is the answer. The guy is a believer. In email communication he told me he is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (ironically a college I almost went to), a college with standing only in the religious community and quite conservative in their theological stances. Also, in a recent discussion concerning the historicity of jesus, he used the tired apologetic made famous by Lewis that the real question concerning jesus is whether he was a "liar, lunatic or real." There is simply no way he is going to concede on the definition of atheism, he is ideologically incapable of seeing his way out of it.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Why do theists feel the need

Why do theists feel the need to lie and pretend to be atheist or agnostic (or to once have been?)


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You know I don't think it is

You know I don't think it is really a lie in that at some point they didn't believe, however they may have not come to the realization.


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Voiderest wrote:You know I

Voiderest wrote:
You know I don't think it is really a lie in that at some point they didn't believe, however they may have not come to the realization.

Yep.

People can stop believing for emotional reasons and then become theists again.

Others can stop believing for emotional reasons and then start debating atheists about God....because they are not really strong believers. Does this sound unlikey? It isn't...

Not everyone becomes atheist due to purley intellect. Emotions play a part at first for some folks.


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reason_passion wrote:For

reason_passion wrote:
For anybody looking at this discussion and wondering why elnathan refuses to see a point clearly articulated, here is the answer. The guy is a believer. In email communication he told me he is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute (ironically a college I almost went to), a college with standing only in the religious community and quite conservative in their theological stances.

I thought lieing was not tolerated here. I have received no email from you, nor have I sent you one. Hopefully, you were just trying to be funny, but it's very acool!

--------------------------
This has been interesting and enlightening...thanks!

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion. --Oswald Chambers


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The easiest way to handle

The easiest way to handle this is for Reason_Passion to post a print screen. Send it to my email Reason, if you're unable to host it yourself.

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very sorry

While it is true that Moody Bible Institute is a conservative school even by some christian standards and that I almost attended there, it is not true that elnathan told me he attended. It was in fact a completley different person and I got confused with the threads when I posted. I deeply and sincerely apologize for the confusion caused by my error.

Every one of your relationships to man and to nature must be a definite expression of your real, individual life corresponding to the object of your will. -Erich Fromm


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Thanks Reason for clearing

Thanks Reason for clearing that up.

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Thank you Reason!

Thank you Reason!


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I'm no expert on this...not

I'm no expert on this...not even close, so maybe Todangst or someone can explain this to me.

Atheism is defined as: a lack of a belief in god or absence of belief in god . How is that possible? If you have any sort of opinion on the matter (whether it be positive, neutral or negative), that's a belief, correct? You have to have certain beliefs to arrive at your lack of belief....right?

I'm sure it's going to come up, so I'm going to bring up the "all babies are atheists argument". They have no belief either way, so they truly would lack a belief in god or anything else. But how does that argument apply to adults (atheist or theist) who formulate their opinions based on knowledge, faith or beliefs?

Definition of belief:
-something believed; an opinion or conviction
-confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
-confidence; faith; trust

Oh, and I think the site is awesome. The beautiful thing about offensive or "hypocritical" material is that you don't have to look. No one is forcing anyone to visit this site.


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Quote:Atheism is defined as:

Quote:
Atheism is defined as: a lack of a belief in god or absence of belief in god . How is that possible?

Just look at the etymology of the word, and then imagine the religious beliefs of a baby. What god does the baby believe in? Does the baby have beliefs that lead him to his disbelief?

Did you manage to read through the whole thread?

Quote:
If you have any sort of opinion on the matter (whether it be positive, neutral or negative), that's a belief, correct? You have to have certain beliefs to arrive at your lack of belief....right?

Did you pick up this argument up from Kevin the Pragmatacist? He argues the same. One can have certain beliefs that lead them to a disbelief, but their disbelief is still just that... disbelief.

Quote:
I'm sure it's going to come up, so I'm going to bring up the "all babies are atheists argument". They have no belief either way, so they truly would lack a belief in god or anything else. But how does that argument apply to adults (atheist or theist) who formulate their opinions based on knowledge, faith or beliefs?

Agreed, there is a difference between my lack of belief and a babies. I'm curious though, are you unable to accept that babies are born atheist?

My lack of belief in a god is based off of many beliefs I have, I can agree to that. However... I don't believe not believe in a god. I am without a positive belief in a god... I am not with a belief that no god exists, although that seems most probable. It's an impossible thing to prove, and so therefore I can't believe it. I am without a positive belief in invisible star pixies... but those little fuckers might exist, so I am abstaining from claiming certainty that they don't exist. I am an astarpixiest and an atheist.

Quote:
Oh, and I think the site is awesome. The beautiful thing about offensive or "hypocritical" material is that you don't have to look. No one is forcing anyone to visit this site.

I know, and thanks so much for your support in the past. Eye-wink I'm surprised you haven't heard us discuss this before, or at least don't let on, that you have.

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Sapient wrote:Just look at

Sapient wrote:
Just look at the etymology of the word, and then imagine the religious beliefs of a baby. What god does the baby believe in? Does the baby have beliefs that lead him to his disbelief?

Did you manage to read through the whole thread?

Yes, I read through the whole thread, but didn't see anyone really answer this very thoroughly. Babies do not believe in any gods, no. But babies have absolutely no knowledge on any subject, so don't you think that sort of disqualifies them?

Quote:
Did you pick up this argument up from Kevin the Pragmatacist? He argues the same. One can have certain beliefs that lead them to a disbelief, but their disbelief is still just that... disbelief.

But, even you admit that beliefs lead to disbelief. You must have some sort of beliefs to have disbelief. It makes sense to me, but that doesn't mean much. Smiling Ugh, no I did not 'pick up' this argument from anyone. I've always wondered why so many atheists freak out whenever this topic is brought up. My husband goes nuts whenever we talk about it...personally, it doesn't really bother me.

Quote:
Agreed, there is a difference between my lack of belief and a babies. I'm curious though, are you unable to accept that babies are born atheist?

No, the opposite. I was saying that babies are atheists, absolutely.

Quote:
My lack of belief in a god is based off of many beliefs I have, I can agree to that. However... I don't believe not believe in a god. I am without a positive belief in a god... I am not with a belief that no god exists, although that seems most probable. It's an impossible thing to prove, and so therefore I can't believe it. I am without a positive belief in invisible star pixies... but those little fuckers might exist, so I am abstaining from claiming certainty that they don't exist. I am an astarpixiest and an atheist.

But wouldn't your many beliefs add up to a positive belief...the results (theist or atheist) of those beliefs would seem to be irrelevant. I don't know, I am just of the opinion that everything (besides fact) is a belief. I don't believe god exists and I can't prove that he doesn't or he does, so either way...wouldn't it be a belief?

Quote:
I know, and thanks so much for your support in the past. Eye-wink I'm surprised you haven't heard us discuss this before, or at least don't let on, that you have.

I've actually just recently starting to post more on this site, so sorry if there was already a thread on this, but I haven't seen it.

Sorry I haven't donated or purchased shows in a while. I need to. I had a huge issue with PayPal and have not used them in months. Somehow, someone got access to my PayPal account information and completely drained my bank account, since it was linked directly. The traced it to London and refunded my money 3 weeks after the fact. It really left a bad taste in my mouth with them. Do you guys have another way of accepting payments?


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Christen wrote: But, even

Christen wrote:

But, even you admit that beliefs lead to disbelief. You must have some sort of beliefs to have disbelief. It makes sense to me, but that doesn't mean much. Smiling Ugh, no I did not 'pick up' this argument from anyone. I've always wondered why so many atheists freak out whenever this topic is brought up. My husband goes nuts whenever we talk about it...personally, it doesn't really bother me.

How do you define agnostic?

The notion that I have beliefs that add up to me choosing not to believe doesn't bother me, fwiw.

Quote:

But wouldn't your many beliefs add up to a positive belief...the results (theist or atheist) of those beliefs would seem to be irrelevant.

So how would you phrase that? I have a positive belief in not believing? If so... I still "don't hold theistic beliefs." So why even bring it up (if that's the case)?

Why fly directly in the face of the most respected dictionary of the english language and in the face of the etymology of the word?

Quote:
I don't know, I am just of the opinion that everything (besides fact) is a belief.

Interesting, as I think we could state that the fact is, I am without a positive god belief.

Quote:
I don't believe god exists and I can't prove that he doesn't or he does, so either way...wouldn't it be a belief?

Your past argument made more sense, this one sound more like "I don't have a belief, so isn't that a belief?"

Quote:

Sorry I haven't donated or purchased shows in a while. I need to. I had a huge issue with PayPal and have not used them in months. Somehow, someone got access to my PayPal account information and completely drained my bank account, since it was linked directly. The traced it to London and refunded my money 3 weeks after the fact. It really left a bad taste in my mouth with them. Do you guys have another way of accepting payments?

Wow that sucks, glad you got your money back. I can give you an address to send payment to whenever you want it (in pm).

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