Agnostic or Atheist??

 
 
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QuakePhil
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09 January 2012 11:14
 

Ask someone this yes/no question:

Do you believe God exists?

If they say “Yes” - they are a theist.  If they say anything else (“No”, “Maybe”, “Don’t know”) then they are an atheist.

I think its that simple.

Ultimately, we are all agnostic about everything except consciousness.  And to keep bringing that up is to confuse people.  Matt Dillahunty first nailed this home for me - we don’t have 100% knowledge, and we don’t care to; good enough knowledge, 95% knowledge, whatever the percent - that is what we use in our daily conversations.

 
Mr. Irrelevant
 
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Mr. Irrelevant
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21 October 2016 11:13
 
tintin - 27 April 2011 10:09 AM

Now I don’t remember who made this point, Maybe Dan Barker,  but it’s stuck with me.

Agnosticism is “not knowing,”
Atheism is “not believing” 

They are very different.  One is simply an admission. The other is a position.

But this is frustrating to me. Nobody knows for certainty how humans got here - we can’t see what created the big bang yet. So nobody knows, and if they claim to know, they are misguided. So why is agnosticism heralded as the “noble” thing to believe in? Why is it smart to throw your hands up and say “yeah I don’t know”? Nobody knows! Try to think about what you think is most likely, and say that you are on that side. Saying you are an agnostic doesn’t further the conversation any IMO.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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21 October 2016 14:15
 
Mr. Irrelevant - 21 October 2016 11:13 AM
tintin - 27 April 2011 10:09 AM

Now I don’t remember who made this point, Maybe Dan Barker,  but it’s stuck with me.

Agnosticism is “not knowing,”
Atheism is “not believing” 

They are very different.  One is simply an admission. The other is a position.

But this is frustrating to me. Nobody knows for certainty how humans got here - we can’t see what created the big bang yet. So nobody knows, and if they claim to know, they are misguided. So why is agnosticism heralded as the “noble” thing to believe in? Why is it smart to throw your hands up and say “yeah I don’t know”? Nobody knows! Try to think about what you think is most likely, and say that you are on that side. Saying you are an agnostic doesn’t further the conversation any IMO.

I’m an atheist, as are most but not all here.  A position has to be take, decisions made, absent sure knowledge.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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21 October 2016 19:27
 

I identify as an atheist as a matter of politics. This is an older connotation of the term. Simply put, I decline any association with religious institutions or any affirmation of god as a social lubricant or lever over other people. I don’t want my beliefs to enjoy any kind of special privilege. I don’t want to be a part of any set that looks down on others because of their beliefs. Any god that I did believe in would not be carved on courthouses or printed on the money. No one would ever be obligated to swear or sing or march or recite any part of my creed.

As far as the other stuff goes I struggle a little bit. Pantheist maybe? I am a strict methodological naturalist/materialist when it comes to practical affairs. I endorse a rational, scientific approach to problem solving and ethical dilemmas. I’m all for spiritual musings and poetic inflection and wistful noodling about the nature of reality but I think this stuff belongs in some kind of private club. It’s not well formed enough to be the basis of policy.

I do think that strict, reductive naturalism as a theology is insufficient… not wrong exactly but it fails to cover some important bases. There is something about the intersection of aesthetics and ethics. Something about the plasticity of how we perceive time… other stuff I struggle to describe. Science is our best tool for gathering information but I don’t think it’s an actual lens on reality. Not yet anyway. It’s more like a snapshot. It allows us the critical insight of just how small and how brief and how fragile we are in the greater context.

Atheist though, I would answer atheist.

 
 
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jdrnd
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22 October 2016 06:07
 
Brick Bungalow - 21 October 2016 07:27 PM

I identify as an atheist as a matter of politics. This is an older connotation of the term. Simply put, I decline any association with religious institutions or any affirmation of god as a social lubricant or lever over other people. I don’t want my beliefs to enjoy any kind of special privilege. I don’t want to be a part of any set that looks down on others because of their beliefs. Any god that I did believe in would not be carved on courthouses or printed on the money. No one would ever be obligated to swear or sing or march or recite any part of my creed.

As far as the other stuff goes I struggle a little bit. Pantheist maybe? I am a strict methodological naturalist/materialist when it comes to practical affairs. I endorse a rational, scientific approach to problem solving and ethical dilemmas. I’m all for spiritual musings and poetic inflection and wistful noodling about the nature of reality but I think this stuff belongs in some kind of private club. It’s not well formed enough to be the basis of policy.

I do think that strict, reductive naturalism as a theology is insufficient… not wrong exactly but it fails to cover some important bases. There is something about the intersection of aesthetics and ethics. Something about the plasticity of how we perceive time… other stuff I struggle to describe. Science is our best tool for gathering information but I don’t think it’s an actual lens on reality. Not yet anyway. It’s more like a snapshot. It allows us the critical insight of just how small and how brief and how fragile we are in the greater context.

Atheist though, I would answer atheist.

I like this post.

Some of your points have given me something to think about..

Thank You
Jeff

 
 
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jdrnd
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22 October 2016 06:09
 
Brick Bungalow - 21 October 2016 07:27 PM

...I’m all for ... wistful noodling about the nature of reality…

Ah yes, “Wistful noodling”.
I can’t get enough of that.

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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22 October 2016 06:18
 
jdrnd - 22 October 2016 06:09 AM
Brick Bungalow - 21 October 2016 07:27 PM

...I’m all for ... wistful noodling about the nature of reality…

Ah yes, “Wistful noodling”.
I can’t get enough of that.

Seen a lot of that recently. Not very filling.

 
 
 
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Throwdare
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22 October 2016 14:29
 
Dennis Campbell - 22 October 2016 06:18 AM
jdrnd - 22 October 2016 06:09 AM
Brick Bungalow - 21 October 2016 07:27 PM

...I’m all for ... wistful noodling about the nature of reality…

Ah yes, “Wistful noodling”.
I can’t get enough of that.

Seen a lot of that recently. Not very filling.

Nobody “noodles” like Frank Zappa! Just my non-humble opinion (MNHO), of course.

................

FRANK ZAPPA - Guitar Solo [The Torture Never Stops]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oy5792Fc5o

 
 
 
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Jb8989
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22 October 2016 16:52
 

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

 
 
 
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Throwdare
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22 October 2016 16:58
 
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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22 October 2016 17:08
 
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 04:58 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

Dare,

You have nothing to say.  Say it somewhere else.  You’re just cluttering up the screen.

 
 
 
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Throwdare
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22 October 2016 17:17
 
Dennis Campbell - 22 October 2016 05:08 PM
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 04:58 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

Dare,

You have nothing to say.  Say it somewhere else.  You’re just cluttering up the screen.

I appreciate your opinion, Denny. I really do. Thanks for expressing it.

 

 
 
 
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Jb8989
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22 October 2016 17:20
 
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 04:58 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

I try not to commit to believing in things that I don’t know anything about.

 
 
 
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Throwdare
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22 October 2016 17:27
 
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 05:20 PM
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 04:58 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

I try not to commit to believing in things that I don’t know anything about.

Me too. I think that’s reaonable.

I, personally, know nothing about, for example, dental medicine, but I trust my dentist, although I have a dentist-phobie, because he and his assistent, as I told them, both said, “no problem. You’re not the only one.”

 

 
 
 
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Jb8989
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22 October 2016 17:35
 
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 05:27 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 05:20 PM
Throwdare - 22 October 2016 04:58 PM
Jb8989 - 22 October 2016 04:52 PM

The concepts of gods are a product of the extent of our imaginations. Try to imagine something more than something that’s all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere. Not better, just more. You’ll likely run into a creative block. The god concept was thought up and reiterated over time to elude reason and rationality. Because if behind this door or that door the actual logical debunking of god existed, well then what the hell happened to our imaginations? And while I love being creative, musing and imagining, I can’t quite get on board with something so obviously made up. Yep, atheist. Also, If there’s some sort of creator out there I’m pretty sure that I speak for all of us when I say that it’s my penis.

My definition of the term “god”: I don’t know. That’s why I call it god.

Next….

I try not to commit to believing in things that I don’t know anything about.

Me too. I think that’s reaonable.

I, personally, know nothing about, for example, dental medicine, but I trust my dentist, although I have a dentist-phobie, because he and his assistent, as I told them, both said, “no problem. You’re not the only one.”

 

The obvious follow up question is what’s the difference between trust and hope? I’m sure there’s a psychological impact spectrum of things that we can talk about. For one, I don’t think that thoughts and feelings about your dentist influence your life as much as a believer’s belief in god does. Do you think that there’s as meaningful of a distance between agnostics and atheists? I don’t. But I do a little. Something about how you write makes me think that you’re a rube. What’s your deal weirdo?