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Old 01-15-2013, 18:42   #21
fowl intent
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Old 01-15-2013, 18:57   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
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.



Religious Issues




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.
Honestly, someone that had no clue that a question had ever been asked or heard any postulation on the subject would be simply ignorant of the question.

My answer would be no to all four, as there is not enough information to answer the question yet. If you find such a person, don't tell him anything, and then let me ask him if he believes a god exists or not. Then I can answer more accurately.

It would be like asking a person from the 1800's whether or not Zithromax is good to use for a cold or not.

You'd have to tell them about antibiotics, viruses, and how antibiotics can cure bacterial illnesses, but are not too effective at killing viruses. Of course, it's much more complicated than that, but that's another week long class.


I would label that person as simply ignorant, not in a bad way either. In order to have an opinion, one should at least consider the question first. If the person spontaneously asked themselves the question and came up with an answer they believed, we'd have to know the question they framed to themselves and the answer they arrived at to know for sure.

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 01-15-2013 at 19:24..
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Old 01-15-2013, 19:06   #23
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Old 01-15-2013, 19:18   #24
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Originally Posted by hooligan74 View Post
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?
Sorry for the late reply, but I've been running around a lot today. I had a post already done, but left it for a while and it disappeared when I tried to preview it. So, anyway, here's my take on the subject.

Theist: One who believes there is a deity
Atheist: One who believes that there is no deity
Agnostic: One who believes that they don't know whether there is, or even has been a deity or not.

There are some that like the two dimensional graph. with the ability to know perpendicular to the belief of whether there is or was a deity.

I see things in a linear fashion. Atheism and theism are two sides of the same coin, polar opposites along a gradient of belief in a deity or belief that there is no deity.

Atheist > Atheistic Agnostic > Agnostic < Theistic Agnostic < Theist.

That seems to answer a single question on a single plane much more logically to me. None of us know. If we do, we would have proof to show others that they too could reproduce the results of. It's not there. Whatever happened at the beginning of what now is the nature of the universe, none of us were there to witness it, unless a deity is has a handle on GlockTalk. If so, PM me, I gotta hear that story.

Anyway, this is a very touchy subject for some, because I also see Atheism as a religious belief. Many claim only a passive lack of belief in a deity, but them call all other beliefs a "scourge on the human race that must be eliminated if we are ever to be truly free." or otherwise claim that the elimination of theistic beliefs are one of their primary missions in life. That sure sounds religious to me.

Atheism and Theism are beliefs based on faith. It's very obvious from an agnostic point of view. But I do tend to take the 1st Amendment approach to religion.

Quote:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
So, no religion should be favored by our government, and all the people should feel free to believe and practice their religion the way they want to. Politics is a separate issue, and votes count, both ways.

We have a pretty good balance in the country in my opinion. Many things are legal that are opposed by the religious, many things aren't legal that are opposed by the majority of voters.

It's a representative republic, and that's what you get there. I certainly don't feel repressed. On rare occasions, mildly inconvenienced. After visiting very religiously restrictive countries like Saudi Arabia, where I watched a young boy whacked across the nose with a 1/2 inch cane for not moving fast enough to the mosque during the call to prayer. Yeah, I was a bit pissed, but when visiting in rome, leave the romans alone. Their house, their rules.

So that's it. To the rest that are uncomfortable with other people having other beliefs, get over it already. The day that all of humanity agrees on everything is the day that only one human is left alive. That's gonna be a sad day for a lot of people.
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Old 01-15-2013, 19:26   #25
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Originally Posted by Glock36shooter View Post
Guess that makes me an Agnostic Atheist.
More accurately, your claim of a passive lack of belief would land you in Atheistic Agnostic territory, but your feelings that you must combat other belief systems sure seems to be based on more than a passive lack of belief.

I know accuracy has eluded you lately, but do try.
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Old 01-15-2013, 19:31   #26
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
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?
Very good. You've stumbled on the problem I have with the perpendicular relationship between belief and knowledge.

At best, it is a very slightly oblique relationship, approaching a parallel relationship.

Religious Issues


More accurately, the fact is that none of us know, but we all have belief.
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Old 01-15-2013, 19:36   #27
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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.
The difference is that it is reasonably possible for a deity to have existed to me. I consider myself a middle of the road agnostic. I do believe that many people simply lack belief in a deity. But many truly believe that there is no deity. Talk with them long enough, and it becomes evident.

Eh? It's just my opinion. One that I am very comfortable with, much to the chagrin of many around here.

That's OK though. The one thing that we can all know, it is what it is. Very true. The interesting part is deciding what you believe it is.

Have a good one.
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Old 01-15-2013, 23:32   #28
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
Honestly, someone that had no clue that a question had ever been asked or heard any postulation on the subject would be simply ignorant of the question.

My answer would be no to all four, as there is not enough information to answer the question yet. If you find such a person, don't tell him anything, and then let me ask him if he believes a god exists or not. Then I can answer more accurately.

It would be like asking a person from the 1800's whether or not Zithromax is good to use for a cold or not.

You'd have to tell them about antibiotics, viruses, and how antibiotics can cure bacterial illnesses, but are not too effective at killing viruses. Of course, it's much more complicated than that, but that's another week long class.


I would label that person as simply ignorant, not in a bad way either. In order to have an opinion, one should at least consider the question first. If the person spontaneously asked themselves the question and came up with an answer they believed, we'd have to know the question they framed to themselves and the answer they arrived at to know for sure.
I disagree, but appreciate the in depth response.

I know you've already read it, but for everyone else I figure I'll put my thoughts on the hypothetical person whose never heard of a god or religion here.

BTW, can you imagine trying to explain a god to an adult who has never heard of one? They would think you are nuts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
...
You've said that you've never met anyone that actually knows. So everyone you've ever met is ignorant on the existence of a god. Everyone you've ever met is agnostic because they are ignorant on the existence of a god.

Someone that has never heard of any god or religion is agnostic because they don't know and atheist because they don't believe.

Just like I am agnostic because I don't know and atheist because I don't believe.
...
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:44   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
I disagree, but appreciate the in depth response.

I know you've already read it, but for everyone else I figure I'll put my thoughts on the hypothetical person whose never heard of a god or religion here.

BTW, can you imagine trying to explain a god to an adult who has never heard of one? They would think you are nuts.
I'm not sure it's possible for some one to not question how they came to be. Humans are very inquisitive by nature. And I wouldn't assume how that hypothetical person would respond, humans are rather unpredictable too.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:05   #30
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
The difference is that it is reasonably possible for a deity to have existed to me. I consider myself a middle of the road agnostic. I do believe that many people simply lack belief in a deity. But many truly believe that there is no deity. Talk with them long enough, and it becomes evident.

Eh? It's just my opinion. One that I am very comfortable with, much to the chagrin of many around here.

That's OK though. The one thing that we can all know, it is what it is. Very true. The interesting part is deciding what you believe it is.

Have a good one.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, Doc! I find your posts in this thread to be reasonable and thoughtful.

The primary area where we disagree seem to be that you feel atheism is a belief there is no god/gods whereas I see it as a simple lack of belief. A narrow difference, to be sure, but I believe it's an important one.

So, you think it is reasonable for a god/gods to exist/have existed. I agree. That's makes us both agnostic. However, up to this point in my education and life experience I see no evidence to indicate that it is *likely* that god/gods exist/have existed. Thus, I lack a belief in god/gods, making me an agnostic atheist.

Atheism isn't a belief, it's a lack of a belief. You can't answer "I don't know" to a question on whether you believe something, unless you're stating that you are incapable of discerning your own thoughts on the subject.

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:21   #31
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Originally Posted by muscogee View Post
You can't know there is no God so the distinction is a matter of semantics. They're the same thing.

You mean to tell me you've never met anyone that claims to *know* there is/isn't a god? I wish I could make that claim...
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:22   #32
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Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
Does claiming to know, or thinking you know, count as being gnostic?

Thinking you know would absolutely make you gnostic.

Claiming you know, as long as the claim was sincere, would also make you gnostic, IMO.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:43   #33
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You mean to tell me you've never met anyone that claims to *know* there is/isn't a god? I wish I could make that claim...
No, he's saying the people that claim to know are wrong, that they don't actually know.

I think that is extremely likely to be the case.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:56   #34
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No, he's saying the people that claim to know are wrong, that they don't actually know.

I think that is extremely likely to be the case.
Whether they are right or wrong is beside the point. If they *think* they know, they are gnostic.

Agnostic means "I don't believe but I am open to the idea" or "I do believe but I'm open to the idea that I'm mistaken".

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:00   #35
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Whether they are right or wrong is beside the point. If they *think* they know, they are gnostic.

Agnostic means "I don't believe but I am open to the idea".
Pretty sure I'm an agnostic theist. I choose to believe. I work on my beliefs with the logic that I have. I can not prove that there is a god to anyone or myself. It is my chosen point of view.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:03   #36
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I can not prove that there is a god to anyone or myself.
.
The proof to me is the relationship that I believe I have.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:09   #37
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Sounds like you're an agnostic theist to me, too, NM. For whatever that's worth.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:27   #38
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Pretty sure I'm an agnostic theist. I choose to believe. I work on my beliefs with the logic that I have. I can not prove that there is a god to anyone or myself. It is my chosen point of view.

.
I think in truth everyone is Agnostic about their Theism or Atheism. The one's who claim to KNOW for sure are delusional I'd imagine.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29   #39
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You mean to tell me you've never met anyone that claims to *know* there is/isn't a god? I wish I could make that claim...
Non sequitur. That's not even remotely my argument.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:33   #40
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I think in truth everyone is Agnostic about their Theism or Atheism. The one's who claim to KNOW for sure are delusional I'd imagine.
Yes, I do believe that is a correct interpretation. If you plotted people's degree of a/gnosticism, I would think that you would find asymptotes forming at the extremes of the axis. There woulde be some people (like me) that would be 99.999% certain of their position, but if they were being honest with themselves then I don't see how anyone could claim 100% one way or the other.
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