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-   -   Atheism, Theism and Agnosticism (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1464805)

hooligan74 01-15-2013 11:50

Atheism, Theism and Agnosticism
 
It seems to me that there is a fairly pervasive misunderstanding of these terms within our society. Here they are as I understand them to be:

Theism: A belief in a god or gods.

Atheism: A lack of belief in a god or gods.

Agnosticism: A lack of certain knowledge regarding the existence of a god or gods - or, in some cases, the belief that knowledge of the existence of a god or gods is unattainable.

If the above definitions are accurate, then one cannot simply describe themselves at "agnostic", they are either agnostic theists or agnostic atheists.

What say you?

Syclone538 01-15-2013 12:08

First, anyone that hasn't seen it should look at
Why is it so hard to admit Atheism is a Religion?
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1282322

2300 posts and never agreed upon.



http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.48109...90025&pid=15.1





CD, someone that has never heard of any god and never heard of any religion, are they...
theist?
atheist?
gnostic?
agnostic?

I would very much apreciate a yes or no for each of the four.

Glock36shooter 01-15-2013 12:12

Guess that makes me an Agnostic Atheist.

dbcooper 01-15-2013 12:29

I don't believe in Athiests

Geko45 01-15-2013 12:56

Nope, not gonna do it...

:shame: :miff:

Bren 01-15-2013 13:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by dbcooper (Post 19867070)
I don't believe in Athiests


I have often said the same about theists.

Based on logic and observing alleged theists, I don't believe anybody really believes in god/gods. Among other reasons - First, they seem to have an unsually hard time following simple moral rules that an atheist like me has no problem with - making me very skeptical of how strong their belief in the threat/reward of religion is. Second, they are very, almost hysterically, afraid of letting in any knowledge that could shake their beliefs and are very strict about avoiding contact with evidence or argument that undermines their beliefs. Even those willing to argue, in this forum, are often angry about atheist input.

It's the conduct of people who want to believe, not people who do believe.

hooligan74 01-15-2013 13:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19867014)
Guess that makes me an Agnostic Atheist.


You and me both, Glock36. I lack a belief in any gods, but I don't claim to *know* that no gods exist. I don't ascribe to the belief that God/gods are not knowable, however.

hooligan74 01-15-2013 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Syclone538 (Post 19867005)
First, anyone that hasn't seen it should look at
Why is it so hard to admit Atheism is a Religion?
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1282322

2300 posts and never agreed upon...


Ah, thanks! I didn't know there was a genesis (sorry for the religious pun) for this debate - I picked up on it from some of CavDoc's posts in the political forum.

So, it would appear that CD has cemented the fact that he is agnostic, but seems reluctant to answer whether he is an agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.

He further appears to have the mistaken notion that atheism requires an absolute belief of the lack of gods, versus a lack of belief that gods exist. I'll admit it is a nuanced difference, but an important one, IMO.

dbcooper 01-15-2013 13:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bren (Post 19867194)
I have often said the same about theists.

Based on logic and observing alleged theists, I don't believe anybody really believes in god/gods. Among other reasons - First, they seem to have an unsually hard time following simple moral rules that an atheist like me has no problem with - making me very skeptical of how strong their belief in the threat/reward of religion is. Second, they are very, almost hysterically, afraid of letting in any knowledge that could shake their beliefs and are very strict about avoiding contact with evidence or argument that undermines their beliefs. Even those willing to argue, in this forum, are often angry about atheist input.

It's the conduct of people who want to believe, not people who do believe.

I's jus funnin

Geko45 01-15-2013 13:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by Syclone538 (Post 19867005)

In the hopes that some useful discussion can actually come out of this thread (unlikely), I do have a question/problem with the graph. I like the idea overall, but there is a coordinate on this chart that doesn't make sense. Imagine an individual that is 100% on the y-axis (completely gnostic), but also located at exactly zero on the x-axis (midway between theist and atheist). What would that person be 100% certain of exactly?

hooligan74 01-15-2013 14:58

I can't see the graph (blocked by USAF firewall), but it sounds like they would be 100% certain that they don't know if they believe in gods or not? :supergrin: :rofl:

muscogee 01-15-2013 15:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by hooligan74 (Post 19866917)
It seems to me that there is a fairly pervasive misunderstanding of these terms within our society. Here they are as I understand them to be:

Theism: A belief in a god or gods.

Atheism: A lack of belief in a god or gods.

Agnosticism: A lack of certain knowledge regarding the existence of a god or gods - or, in some cases, the belief that knowledge of the existence of a god or gods is unattainable.

If the above definitions are accurate, then one cannot simply describe themselves at "agnostic", they are either agnostic theists or agnostic atheists.

What say you?

You're right. Atheists and agnostics are different degrees of the same thing. Knowledgeable atheists don't say there is no God because that is a logically indefensible as saying there is a God. The only logical position for an atheist to take is there is probably no God. This is where the theists get tripped up. They can't say there probably is a God because that implies a lack of faith.

hooligan74 01-15-2013 15:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by muscogee (Post 19867768)
You're right. Atheists and agnostics are different degrees of the same thing. Knowledgeable atheists don't say there is no God because that is a logically indefensible as saying there is a God. The only logical position for an atheist to take is there is probably no God. This is where the theists get tripped up. They can't say there probably is a God because that implies a lack of faith.


Nope, you can be an agnostic theist. You *believe* there is a god/gods, but admit that you don't *know* there is a god/gods. Boom. Agnostic theist.

There are definitely theists and atheists that both claim they *know* that god/gods do/do not exist. Those would be gnostic theists or gnostic atheists.

hooligan74 01-15-2013 16:08

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geko45 (Post 19867458)
In the hopes that some useful discussion can actually come out of this thread (unlikely), I do have a question/problem with the graph. I like the idea overall, but there is a coordinate on this chart that doesn't make sense. Imagine an individual that is 100% on the y-axis (completely gnostic), but also located at exactly zero on the x-axis (midway between theist and atheist). What would that person be 100% certain of exactly?


On this topic, however, you have just illustrated how being gnostic or agnostic doesn't paint the whole picture (I assume that's what you were saying in the above post).

You have to be gnostic/agnostic about *something*. You can't simply say "I'm agnostic" as that means nothing without further context.

I'm looking at you Cavalry Doc....

muscogee 01-15-2013 17:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by hooligan74 (Post 19867889)
Nope, you can be an agnostic theist. You *believe* there is a god/gods, but admit that you don't *know* there is a god/gods. Boom. Agnostic theist.

There are definitely theists and atheists that both claim they *know* that god/gods do/do not exist. Those would be gnostic theists or gnostic atheists.

You can't know there is no God so the distinction is a matter of semantics. They're the same thing.

Syclone538 01-15-2013 17:11

Does claiming to know, or thinking you know, count as being gnostic?

Geko45 01-15-2013 17:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Syclone538 (Post 19868247)
Does claiming to know, or thinking you know, count as being gnostic?

I would think so. You don't have to be right in order to hold an opinion. Plus, the whole point of this sort of graph is that everything is a matter of degree. No one is perfectly gnostic on either side of the debate. The most devout theist would still have a small amount of doubt as they are still only human. I myself could arguably be the most gnostic atheist here as I think the non-existence of any deity can be known with as much certainty as anything can be known (ie 99.999% certain) allowing only for the same probability that I would assign to santa clause or the easter bunny.

ColdSteelNail 01-15-2013 18:14

If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

bear62 01-15-2013 18:27

There is a God.

muscogee 01-15-2013 18:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by bear62 (Post 19868541)
There is a God.

You're right. It's me. I'm God.


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