Definitions: Atheism and Agnosticsm.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Cris, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    574
    Katazia: Was it actually this date that you answered my comments from February?
    That is so funny. I have about forgottent he conversation, such as it was.

    In any case, I was not intending to say that you should try to figure anything out. I think my main thrust was that, no matter how often we hear, "now we know," we know nothing, and this includes scientists, because, "the beat goes on!" Just about the time we think we know how old something is, we may hear that perhaps that was off about so many thousand years, and that sort of thing. Look at the medical world. With all the new information, and all the specialists (folks "knowing more and more about less and less..." Durant), there are are trade offs even with "progress." Is it progress to "cut down the trees and put up a parking lot?" Is it progress to have so many specialists, who grossly fail in tying things together -regarding our bodies. Is it progress to build big beautiful churches with gyms, tennis courts and hot-to-trot preachers, or to build schools with big gymnasiums, for otherwise inactive kids who ride in those expensive school busses? We cannot believe anything anymore: This is bad for us; that is bad for us; we watch the ideas on diets change, and read the prevention magazine hoping to keep ahead of poor health. So, why would we believe in God? Nothing on this earth is dependable, or so it seems. That is the way all this agnosticism sounds to me. It sounds like a whole bunch of people got mad, disgusted, or hurt, and now they do not like the idea of God, or church or bible, but cling, oh my God do they cling to intellect. Ohhh. Maybe it will give us purpose. Well, I think there is nothing better than learning. You may not believe this, but I tell the truth, I am constantly asking God questions about different matters, because I care and because I like to know the skinny. I love science and do not see any reason why it should worry me, but I do not think science is all-knowing!

    One last thing, Kat, "sound logic" is just a little bit a matter of opinion. Logic can fail us; therefore it is only a tool, not a complete method. There is much beyond our rational minds. This is why we have intuition, faith, hope and touchy feely stuff.

    Cheers!

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  3. Katazia Black Mamba Registered Senior Member

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    PMT,

    My last post was also made on 2/17 the same as yours. I am not the one who has ressurected this thread. It looks like it is you who has delayed sending a response - now that is funny.

    Life is but an opportunity to learn and expereince and there is very little if anything in life worth taking seriously, except perhaps death but then that is hardly life.

    Science and logic are currently the best tools we have developed to help us understand the universe, everything else is redundant and that of course includes religious superstitions.

    Intuition, faith, and hope etc are simply less precise methods that we often use when we become tired or lazy of being disciplined. The favored choice of the weak minded (the emotional religionsist) since they are apparently unable to exercise disciplined thought.

    Kat
     
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  5. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    KAT wrote: My last post was also made on 2/17 the same as yours. I am not the one who has ressurected this thread. It looks like it is you who has delayed sending a response - now that is funny.

    ACTUALLY, WE ARE BOTH WRONG, IT WAS SILVERBACK. NOW WE CAN LAUGH AT OURSELVES, I GUESS.

    KAT: Life is but an opportunity to learn and expereince and there is very little if anything in life worth taking seriously, except perhaps death but then that is hardly life.

    THAT IS A SILLY STATEMENT.

    KAT: Science and logic are currently the best tools we have developed to help us understand the universe, everything else is redundant and that of course includes religious superstitions.

    THOSE ARE GOOD TOOLS; I DOUBT THAT ANYONE WOULD DISAGREE WITH THAT, BUT THE REST OF YOUR STATEMENT SHOWS PREJUDICE.

    Intuition, faith, and hope etc are simply less precise methods that we often use when we become tired or lazy of being disciplined. The favored choice of the weak minded (the emotional religionsist) since they are apparently unable to exercise disciplined thought.

    I WOULD GUESS THAT YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO STATE WHO IS WEAK MINDED.

    pmt

    Kat
     
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  7. skeptic Registered Senior Member

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    30
    Hello-
    After viewing some of the previous posts, it seems that the concensus is that a weak atheist is someone who lacks belief in god(s), whereas a strong atheist is someone who knows that god(s) do not exist. I agree, however i feel that there could be some middle ground here. My philosophy involves more than just a lack of belief: I am fairly certain (based on logic, reason, science [astronomy, evolutionary biology, physics], psychology, and religious history) that there is no god. However, I do not claim to "know" for sure that their is no God. I have no concrete evidence that god does not exist, nor can anybody. That position is illogical. However, it is not illogical to say that the chances that a god exists are extremely small.
    So, i'm stronger than a weak atheist, but weaker than a strong atheist (if a strong atheist is defined as someone who claims to have KNOWLEDGE regarding the non-existence of god). I guess you would say i'm a Rational Atheist...at least thats the best term i've heard so far...

    Greg
     
  8. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

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    3,710
    Hello Greg!

    Would the label agnostic not suit you better?

    Dave
     
  9. skeptic Registered Senior Member

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    i dont think so, Dave. Only because the most popular meaning of agnostic in my experience seem to be one who not only claims that we can not KNOW about the existence or non-existence of God, but also that we should not make any assumptions about his existence. Many agnostics i know claim to have no opinion about a god(s) existence. I feel this is somewhat illogical. I have a very strong opinion regarding his non-existence. I'm just not irrational enough to claim that i have concrete evidence for this assertion.

    Greg
     
  10. skeptic Registered Senior Member

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    30
    after reading numerous threads and a few books on this subject, i have come to the conclusion that the terms agnostic, weak atheism, and strong atheism mean slightly different things to different people, and that this is theh source of many arguments.
    If it were up to me, i would do away with the terms weak and strong atheism, and use the following set up:
    Agnostic: one who claims direct knowledge regarding a god can not be gained AND states that any decision regarding his existence can not be made.
    Rational Atheist: one who admits direct knowledge regarding a god can not be gained, BUT "rationalizes" that a god is extremely unlikely to exist based on logic, religious history, psychology and science (astronomy, evolutionary biology, etc)
    Dogmatic Atheist: someone who claims that they can KNOW or have concrete evidence that no gods exist.
    I feel dogmatic atheism is as illogical as theism.

    greg
     
  11. P. M. Thorne Registered Senior Member

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    574
    We are so cute when we try to analyze things in such a way that we are the most logical of all, don't you think? pmt
     
  12. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    skeptic, I'd say you're an agnostic. I'm an agnostic that believes in a God, there's just no way to know to prove it or not, and you're an agnostic that feels the same in not being able to prove it but just doesn't believe in a God. If there were a belief chart, it'd be something like this:

    Code:
    fanatical atheist ---- weak/regular athiest --- non-believing agnostic --- completely unknown agnostic -- believing agnostic -- weak/regular religious believer -- fanatical religious believer
    (if that all fits on one line, lol)

    Lol, yeah.

    BTW, nice to see ya again PMT.

    - N
     
  13. skeptic Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    30
    Neildo-
    by your definition of agnostic, i do fit the bill, yes. However, I think the majority of people view the agnostic as more of an "on the fence" position, which i am not. If we call everyone who admits that we can not prove or disprove the existence of a god an agnostic, then about 80 percent of the world would be agnostic with only fundamentalist theists and dogmatic atheists being non-agnostics. I dont think that most people who call themselves atheists would argue that they can PROVE their position with evidence. (some fanatics do, but not most atheists). Therefore, i think i'm better classified as an atheist.

    Greg
     
  14. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    5,306
    Eh, go ahead and make your own definitions, it's more fun.

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    Even better. Go Agnosticism!

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    - N
     
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    This prompted me to think about the "lost my keys" scenario.

    Some where in the house is a lost set of door lock keys. You tear the place apart you put everythinng through a filter. The keys can't be found any where.....you approach it systematically, room by room square meter by square meter, and eventually at the end of this extensive and seemingly absolute search for the keys you come to the conclusion that the keys mustn't be in the house. ( and then you check your back pocket......!!!!

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    )

    The keys (God ) doesn't exist simply because he can't be found.

    So he can't be found because 1) he doesn't exist or 2) because you don't know where to look......but his non-existence is determinable only from a lack of evidence, but maybe we are looking for the wrong evidence.
     

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