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Old 10-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #3081
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I pick and choose parts of religion I agree with. I recognize many of my views conflict. However, most can talk their way out of contradictions if given enough time. I use optomism and pragmatism personally. And I don't worry about various conflicts with my beliefs, but recognize they are there. My job is not to convince a skeptic.

Not sure what label I could put with that idea beides pragmatism mixed with agnostic theism. Recognizing your views conflict but not caring that is.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #3082
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Originally Posted by TSmitty6
I pick and choose parts of religion I agree with. I recognize many of my views conflict. However, most can talk their way out of contradictions if given enough time. I use optomism and pragmatism personally. And I don't worry about various conflicts with my beliefs, but recognize they are there. My job is not to convince a skeptic.

Not sure what label I could put with that idea beides pragmatism mixed with agnostic theism. Recognizing your views conflict but not caring that is.

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #3083
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The technical term. If there is one. Just my personal way of dealing with stuff. As a phil major Im used to being a 24/7 skeptic, but when Im not in school, I recognize many of my views are logically flawed or conflicting. But I believe most of our personal philosophies and mantras are this way, its just it doesnt bug me that mine are.

I guess its a degree to which our own beliefs are irrational, more than a whether they are or not.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #3084
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Originally Posted by TSmitty6
The technical term. If there is one. Just my personal way of dealing with stuff. As a phil major Im used to being a 24/7 skeptic, but when Im not in school, I recognize many of my views are logically flawed or conflicting. But I believe most of our personal philosophies and mantras are this way, its just it doesnt bug me that mine are.

I guess its a degree to which our own beliefs are irrational, more than a whether they are or not.

It doesn't bother you, being wrong?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:31 PM   #3085
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Originally Posted by magnus_maximus
It doesn't bother you, being wrong?


Picking apart all of my beliefs and dispositions would be overwhelming. But its not like Im believing in astrology or something based in pseudoscience or something idiotic.

It would be like me believing in evolution and parts of religion. Not exactly sure how they are compatible, and they may or may not be, but rationalizing it to the point where I have no contradictions at all seems difficult.

Nope though it doesnt bother me percisely because I am constantly working to improve on and reconcile my beliefs and positions. Im not saying I dont care out of apathy, but more like, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:53 PM   #3086
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But they're not. Nonreligious could mean that you don't belong to a major religion, or you don't care/haven't given any thought to religions or higher powers or spirituality. both are very different from atheism.

If you're going to make a point like this then please define both terms.

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #3087
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1. Can you see it?
2. Can you hear it?
3. Can you touch it?
4. Can you smell it?
5. Can you taste it?
6. Can you observe it in any other fashion?

Marriage
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Originally Posted by AlexWerkmeister
If the answer is no to the above questions, that is normally enough for the normal person to classify something as nonexistent, but when it comes to a god, it's a whole different story. Why? Why can't all people question their god's existence?
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:46 AM   #3088
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Which is the best translation of the Qur'an? I was looking at getting this one but would like some input from others.

http://www.amazon.com/Quran-English...ywords=qur%27an
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:56 AM   #3089
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Originally Posted by AlexWerkmeister
Slacker, you bring up some good points, and I have no problem with the agnosticism label.

However, you say you can't prove a negative, which is correct. But in that case should we also be agnostic on the belief of unicorns? Because there is no substantial proof against such beings, does that mean they could possibly exist?

Strictly speaking, yes. Of course, it's not something that we generaly do in everyday life because it's not often that we meet someone who argues that unicorns exist. If we did meet such a person, the ensuing argument would eventualy come down to one person saying that you cannot prove that unicorns don't exist and the other saying that you cannot prove that they do exist, which in a debate naturaly leads to a stalemate. We may as well both just put our cards on the table at the beginning of the debate, say that neither of us can prove our opinions on that score and debate the existence of unicorns from a different angle.
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Originally Posted by AlexWerkmeister
I say no. I also say the same for god. Religiously thinking, you could say that ANYTHING could exist, but there just isn't any proof. However, people generally use the same guidelines to label something as nonexistent.

1. Can you see it?
2. Can you hear it?
3. Can you touch it?
4. Can you smell it?
5. Can you taste it?
6. Can you observe it in any other fashion?

If the answer is no to the above questions, that is normally enough for the normal person to classify something as nonexistent, but when it comes to a god, it's a whole different story. Why? Why can't all people question their god's existence?

Consider 'aliens' for a moment. We have no evidence for the existence of intelligent life from another planet, but science doesn't rule out their existence, infact, scientists often consider their existence to be plausable... possibly even 'quite likely', given the size of the universe and the amount of planets it contains, many of which will undoubtably have very similar conditions to our own life-baring planet. Remember, if it could happen here, it can happen elsewhere too. There's even a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations within our own galaxy called the 'Drake Equasion'.

Now, consider this, if God were to turn up tomorrow and reveal himself to mankind, the scientists would naturaly define him as an intelligent extraterrestrial life form because he's from somewhere other than our own planet. (which is what 'extraterrestrial' means)
Also consider that any alien life form that is beyond a certain level of technological (or possibly even biological) advancement would appear as 'god-like' to us, so we could consider them as 'gods'. Think of it this way, if someone managed to breed a horse that had a single horn growing out of it's head, what would you naturaly call it? A 'horned horse' or a 'unicorn'? I maintane that you'd naturaly call it a unicorn because it matches a unicorn's discription, a 'horse with a single horn growing out of it's head'. So similarly, if an alien turned up that had abilities that matched any one of the thousands of different deities that we have thought up throughout our history, (not just the monotheistic Abrahamic one ) then we could naturaly call that alien a 'god'.
We arrived relatively recently as a species, just 200,000 years ago, and in that short time we've achieved a hell of a lot technology-wise, but the universe is billions of years old, so hypotheticaly there could be aliens out there somewhere that are so much more advanced than us that we would naturaly regard them as 'god-like'.

That's just the possibility of a god-like alien in that exists in our own universe, but now consider this, there's a scientific hypothesis that says that our universe may just be one universe within a 'mulitverse' of universes, and if that's true, what's to stop that multiverse being a part of an even bigger 'multimultiverse'? If that's the case, who knows what sort of life exists out there? For all we know there could be an alien scientist out there somewhere that is responsible for the creation of our universe and therefore everything it contains, including us.

Remember, we still don't know what triggered the Big Bang event, but many scientists consider that one day we may develop the technology to trigger one for ourselves. Who's to say that that hasn't already happened? That an alien lifeform from elsewhere in the hypothetical multiverse is responsible for the existence of our universe and therefore for our own existence as well?

Of course, this is all pure speculation, nobody knows how to even begin to figure out the likelyhood of any of this, but it has a certain level of plausability because if science considers that it's plausable that we may one day create a universe, which may then go on to develop life within it, then it's plausable that we ourselves could be defined as 'gods' to any life that develops there, and if we could plausably be said to achieve 'godhood' in that way, then so could another more advanced life form.

Do I 'believe' gods exist? No, and that's why I'm an atheist, but can I rule them out completely as something that couldn't possibly exist? No, of course I couldn't, because in the larger scale of things, I really have no idea of what's 'possible' and what isn't.

That's why I'm an 'agnostic' atheist.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #3090
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Originally Posted by kalnoky7
I know what agnosticism is, it's just that it doesn't make any sense, unless you're a pure agnostic, in which case I'd just call you something like apatheist...

Theist agnostics pretty much just say that they "believe" in something they have absolutely no knowledge of, and then go to claim that it is "energy" or something like that, completely contradicting themselves. Its correct form is like saying
"Well, I believe in blargh"
"Oh? What do you mean, what's blargh?"
"Dunno"
So it's either a sea of contradiction or some kind of nonsense

Atheist agnosticism doesn't really mean anything, because if you accept that premise then you're an agnostic about anything you don't know, so why label it? You're basically just saying that you don't know because you don't know.
Of course that an atheist's stance could change if evidence for god came to light, and of course atheists are not (may not be) track horses who can't accept that they may be wrong, but if there is no evidence, why not call yourself an atheist and say "I don't believe it"?

It's a highly unnecessary, and I dare say even tautological label... Of course no one KNOWS if god exists, you don't have to make it an epistemological statement

You're not agnostic as to "there is a red space parrot somewhere off the pleiades"

The thing is, there are different degrees of belief.
A pure or 'strong' atheist will claim that God 'definately' doesn't exist.
An agnostic atheist will say that although he believes that there is no God, he reserves the claim that he cannot prove his belief and so cannot claim it as a 'definate'.
A pure 'agnostic' (which is a Greek word that means "without knowledge") sits squarely on the fence directly between atheism and theism, and simply states "I don't know." because he hasn't seen any evidence that he considers to support either argument.
An agnostic theist will say that although he believes that God exists, he reserves the claim that he cannot prove his belief and so cannot claim it as a 'definate'.
A pure or 'strong' theist will claim that God 'definately' exists.

This is just a way of labeling the different degrees of belief. When I'm asked what belief I have, I usualy just say "atheist" as a general term, but if I'm pushed on the precise nature of my belief, I then define it more closely by using the term 'agnostic atheist'' simply for the sake of clarity. It's also useful when debating with a theist because he cannot now make the claim that I don't know for definate that God doesn't exist because I've already reserved that claim for myself.

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Originally Posted by Todd Hart
To my mind this is just a word game. Believing something doesn't exist because you haven't evidence for it is functionally the same as lack belief. That fact is the bedrock of skepticism. I don't believe that Russell's teapot exists because of the lack of evidence and improbability of its existence. That belief is not the same as the belief that a religious person is talking about; which is the affirmation of something for which there is no evidence.

Precisely, because they are two different belief systems, one is atheistic (or rather 'sceptical, as Russell's teapot isn't a deity) while the other is theistic.

The point is though is that they are still both 'beliefs' because they both essentially come to a conclusion without evidence. Remember, Russell said that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong.
The whole premise of Russell's argument was the condition that the existence of his teapot was 'unprovable'. If you regard something that cannot be proven as true, then that is by definition a 'belief'. Similarly, if you cannot 'prove' that God doesn't exist, then a stance that claims he doesn't exist is a 'belief'.

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Originally Posted by Todd Hart
Just because there isn't evidence for something's nonexistence doesn't make the chance of its existence 50/50, and so holding an ultimately negative view is an intelligent response.

Firstly, without any evidence for one side or the other it's impossible to to figure out what the likelyhood of anything's existence is, so you or anyone else cannot possibly say for certain what the chances are (or are not) of it existing because there's no data to base the likelyhood upon. I agree that an ultimately negative view is an intelligent response however, that is after all why I'm an atheist, because I regard it as the intelligent response to the question of God's existence, but I cannot ignore the fact that scientificaly speaking, if I cannot prove or provide evidence that God doesn't exist, that stance is still scientificaly just an unsupported 'hypothesis', which is defined as a 'proposition made as a basis for reasoning without any assumption of its truth', which in turn makes atheism a genuine, unconfirmed, 'belief'.
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Originally Posted by Todd Hart
The fact that the English language lacks a word for a belief that is reasoned and based on reality means that people can play this silly game where they say 'yeah well, you atheists are against belief and yet you believe that God doesn't exist'.

That's just a loaded argument that should be ignored. It makes the claim that atheists are against 'belief' in general, but that claim is untrue, atheism is only against one particular belief, the belief that God exists, which it replaces with a belief of it's own, the belief that God doesn't exist.
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Originally Posted by WhiskeyFace
They're the same thing, to me.

Again, the fact that you think something different to to the accepted terms doesn't change the accepted meaning of both terms, which are defined as different things.

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Originally Posted by captaincrunk
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexWerkmeister
1. Can you see it?
2. Can you hear it?
3. Can you touch it?
4. Can you smell it?
5. Can you taste it?
6. Can you observe it in any other fashion?
Marriage

I've been to a few marriages.
1. I've watched the ceremony happen.
2. I've heard the ceremony happen.
3. I've touched the bride and groom when I shook the groom's hand and kissed the bride to congratulate them.
4. I've smelled the flowers in the church and the food at the wedding banquet.
5. I've tasted the food at the wedding banquet.

So yeah, there are elements of a marriage that match up with all of those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbbgr
Which is the best translation of the Qur'an? I was looking at getting this one but would like some input from others.

http://www.amazon.com/Quran-English...ywords=qur%27an

There isn't one single 'reliable' translation of the Qur'an, because each translator would translate the Qur'an according to his own bias/interpretation of the Qur'an. This is due to the grammatical and semantics of the Arabic language, where one word can have several different meanings. The most popular translation used widely is that of the Indian Islamic scholar 'Abdullah Yusuf Ali' (14 April 1872 – 10 December 1953) but its not always considered as the best.

The best option is to have several translations of the Qur'an and compare them side-by-side to get the message of the verse that is being relayed.

Same goes for the various books of the Bible too, especialy the Old Testament books
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #3091
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Originally Posted by palm mute
Most agnostic theists I have met are those who embrace science but still hold a faith. They realize they cannot scientifically prove their beliefs but they still believe them for whatever personal reason. You can be an agnostic Christian/Jew/Muslim/whathaveyou. Keep in mind your personal beliefs don't have to make sense for you to believe them, especially when it comes to religion.

Agnostic atheism seems like superfluous labeling but it implies that you are not going to pretend you know everything there is to know about the universe to answer with absolute truth the question on whether or not there are any deities or creators. Whereas just the term atheism generally gets you lumped into a militant atheist stereotype in the minds of certain groups of people. Also I prefer to use the term because it usually grants me the opportunity to answer at least one question on what the hell I mean by that, I've had several theists realize they were actually agnostics after I explained to them what it actually meant.

What does embracing science (whatever that means) have to do with religion?

So I have to use agnostic every time I want to hold an opinion? There are very few, if any certainties that I can think o, if we get a little more austere on our views.

And by the way, saying "I'm atheist" isn't the same as "I know everything there is to know about the universe", it's just disbelief in a god, and quite honestly it's people like you, who abide by the random meaningless trendy conceptions that create these utterly circular definitions.

What does atheist have to do with militant? I should call myself something senselessly tautological because YOU don't know or care for the proper definition? You basically just said agnosticism's just used so you don't get "lumped into a stereotype", so it's really just a social defense mechanism, and ultimately unnecessary

Quote:
They describe two different things, (a)gnosticism and (a)theism. It is like how a baseball can be both soft [(a)gnostic] and white [(a)theist]. One term describes your knowledge and the other describes your belief.

I fucking know what agnosticism is, didn't I just say that? Was this thread always this patronising?


Quote:
Yes I am, I've never been there

Just because a claim leaves me very little reason to start believing in it does not mean I can rule it out with absolute certainty without actual proof for or against it. That is just unscientific.

Well that's useful... Of course you don't KNOW that something isn't, it's dumb to expect people to make it into a philosophical stance. It's just from fear of being shunned by idiots or something
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #3092
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Originally Posted by SlackerBabbath
Precisely, because they are two different belief systems, one is atheistic (or rather 'sceptical, as Russell's teapot isn't a deity) while the other is theistic.

The point is though is that they are still both 'beliefs' because they both essentially come to a conclusion without evidence. Remember, Russell said that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong.
The whole premise of Russell's argument was the condition that the existence of his teapot was 'unprovable'. If you regard something that cannot be proven as true, then that is by definition a 'belief'. Similarly, if you cannot 'prove' that God doesn't exist, then a stance that claims he doesn't exist is a 'belief'.


Again, the fact that something cannot be disproved is not a reason to be agnostic towards its existence. To use Russell's teapot, I can't disprove it, but I wouldn't trust anyone who said that they were strictly agnostic towards its existence, because the existence of said teapot would go against almost everything we know about the accretion of matter, development of small solids etc. To be entirely skeptical of Russell's teapot is the only intelligent approach to it. You can say that's a belief if you like, but we both know that it isn't in any meaningful sense of the term; much like not believing in fairies or Cthulhu isn't a belief.

Quote:
Firstly, without any evidence for one side or the other it's impossible to to figure out what the likelyhood of anything's existence is, so you or anyone else cannot possibly say for certain what the chances are (or are not) of it existing because there's no data to base the likelyhood upon. I agree that an ultimately negative view is an intelligent response however, that is after all why I'm an atheist, because I regard it as the intelligent response to the question of God's existence, but I cannot ignore the fact that scientificaly speaking, if I cannot prove or provide evidence that God doesn't exist, that stance is still scientificaly just an unsupported 'hypothesis', which is defined as a 'proposition made as a basis for reasoning without any assumption of its truth', which in turn makes atheism a genuine, unconfirmed, 'belief'.


But, when you debate with a theist and they say 'Yeah, well atheists believe there isn't a God so ha!' they don't mean belief supported by rational thinking and skepticism - which really needs a different word to describe it.

I believe that the next time I go to pour a cup of tea gravity will still be working. I have no reason for this belief, I can't prove that gravity won't just be miraculously turned off just as I'm about to brew a cuppa, but I would still 100% affirm that gravity will still exist. Now, that's a belief in the crudest sense of the term, but it isn't anything like the belief that a deity created the entire universe solely for one little primate on a rather unimportant planet.

Further, the whole point of faith is that belief is the ultimate measure of existence - a fact which impedes science greatly. To take a cliche example; stem cell research is being ******ed because people believe in souls. Now, this is a belief founded on no evidence whatsoever. You could say that the proponents of stem cell research believe that stem cell research will be beneficial, a fact for which they have no current evidence for - but they're two different types of belief. One is belief in something for no reason, the other is belief based on reasoned extrapolation of known factors/phenomenon.

The reason theists turn to this 'atheism is a belief' nonsense is that they are intelligent, 21st century people who realise, at least subconsciously, that belief in something without evidence is illogical - which is why stating atheists 'believe' is meant to hold sway in the argument.

Quote:
That's just a loaded argument that should be ignored. It makes the claim that atheists are against 'belief' in general, but that claim is untrue, atheism is only against one particular belief, the belief that God exists, which it replaces with a belief of it's own, the belief that God doesn't exist.


The vast majority of atheists I know are skeptics rather than anything else. One is only an atheist with regard to the question of the existence of God.

However, this whole argument doesn't really work, as atheists only affirm the nonexistence of an intervening God - a fact which is actually testable and provable by examining claims of intervention and disproving divine aspect: something which has been done for countless miracle claims and the like. An atheist could never disprove the existence of a deistic god - though the need for such a being/thing is diminishing given our understanding of the universe - but an intervening God can, to within the minutest fraction of certainty, be shown to be not vindicated.

Typically atheists are against belief in something on bad or no evidence, it's simply that when applied to the question of god - one of the most important and endemic questions we have - this produces a negative view.

Edit: Oh, and to disprove this 'atheists believe god doesn't exist' nonsense:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OED
atheist
n. a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods: he is a committed atheist.
< DERIVATIVES > atheistic adj. atheistical adj.


Does not believe X exists =/= believes X does not exist.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #3093
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Originally Posted by SlackerBabbath
I've been to a few marriages.
1. I've watched the ceremony happen.
2. I've heard the ceremony happen.
3. I've touched the bride and groom when I shook the groom's hand and kissed the bride to congratulate them.
4. I've smelled the flowers in the church and the food at the wedding banquet.
5. I've tasted the food at the wedding banquet.

So yeah, there are elements of a marriage that match up with all of those.

I've seen a married couple that didn't have a ceremony.
Saying the bride and groom are detectably married makes no sense, there's no marriage odor or anything like that.
Flowers are flowers, not marriage. Same with food
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:26 PM   #3094
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Originally Posted by WhiskeyFace
The accepted meaning is trite.

No it's not, the accepted meaning is just as important as any other definition. The only issue is that many people confuse the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" which can make communication difficult.

Rejecting a valid definition because it doesn't fit in with your ideals is just ridiculous.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #3095
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
No it's not, the accepted meaning is just as important as any other definition. The only issue is that many people confuse the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" which can make communication difficult.

Rejecting a valid definition because it doesn't fit in with your ideals is just ridiculous.

**** em, they don't know shit about atheism
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:39 PM   #3096
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
No it's not, the accepted meaning is just as important as any other definition. The only issue is that many people confuse the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" which can make communication difficult.

Rejecting a valid definition because it doesn't fit in with your ideals is just ridiculous.


Atheist - someone who doesn't believe in God.

Agnostic - someone who thinks that mankind is incapable of knowing whether or not a God exists.

Yeah, I don't think I've ever known anyone who confuses these two.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:42 PM   #3097
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
No it's not, the accepted meaning is just as important as any other definition. The only issue is that many people confuse the terms "atheist" and "agnostic" which can make communication difficult.

Rejecting a valid definition because it doesn't fit in with your ideals is just ridiculous.

Probably because everyone accepts so blatantly a definition where an atheist that does not instantly and apologetically label himself agnostic is an angry, loudmouth ignorant militant.

Other's peoples ignorance shouldn't factor in on how you define yourself
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Last edited by kalnoky7 : 10-07-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #3098
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Hart
Yeah, I don't think I've ever known anyone who confuses these two.

Well whatever the case, they are still necessary descriptions for distinguishing between different kinds of "non-believers", which was the point I was trying to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalnoky7
Probably because everyone accepts so blatantly a definition where an atheist that does not instantly and apologetically label himself agnostic is an angry, loudmouth ignorant militant.

Other's peoples ignorance shouldn't factor in on how you define yourself

True. However, I feel the best stance when arguing with a Christian is one of agnosticism. It seems to be more difficult for them to redirect the debate toward the logical fallacies of atheism. That's why I believe a differentiation between atheism and agnosticism is important in a religious debate.

Last edited by W4RP1G : 10-07-2012 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:12 PM   #3099
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Hart
Atheist - someone who doesn't believe in God.

Agnostic - someone who thinks that mankind is incapable of knowing whether or not a God exists.

Yeah, I don't think I've ever known anyone who confuses these two.

You should try r/atheism. I've had a few people on there tell me that agnostics don't exist and that all agnostics are just atheists who don't know it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #3100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Hart
Atheist - someone who doesn't believe in God.

Agnostic - someone who thinks that mankind is incapable of knowing whether or not a God exists.

Yeah, I don't think I've ever known anyone who confuses these two.


Of course, but they aren't mutually exclusive are they? One may satisfy both definitions.
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