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Are you an atheistic or agnostic and are you sure?
Posted: 10 April 2012 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Like Dr. Tyson, I dislike labels, especially one word labels when it comes to “defining” an individual.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/43539

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Posted: 10 April 2012 05:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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deros - 10 April 2012 05:32 AM

http://bigthink.com/ideas/43539

That was pretty bad.  long face

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 05:41 AM
deros - 10 April 2012 05:32 AM

http://bigthink.com/ideas/43539

That was pretty bad.  long face

If that’s how he feels, it makes no sense to say it’s bad. I wish he came more strongly on the atheist side but I don’t have the right to tell anyone what to say. And if he can get more creationists to listen to science by being publicly agnostic, then that’s not so bad.

I went to hear him live at UB. A woman in the audience asked him about God. His reply was simply, “I don’t see a reason to believe that.”

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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deros - 10 April 2012 05:32 AM

Like Dr. Tyson, I dislike labels, especially one word labels when it comes to “defining” an individual.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/43539

Yeah, I’ve heard him make the same point on various occasions. IMO it’s a little sophistry to keep his public persona clean, which I can understand. He’s trying to appeal to a large audience, and seems to feel that the label “atheist” is too constraining, even though it accurately describes his position. (Sagan had the same issue, FWIW).

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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dougsmith - 10 April 2012 06:26 AM
deros - 10 April 2012 05:32 AM

Like Dr. Tyson, I dislike labels, especially one word labels when it comes to “defining” an individual.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/43539

Yeah, I’ve heard him make the same point on various occasions. IMO it’s a little sophistry to keep his public persona clean, which I can understand. He’s trying to appeal to a large audience, and seems to feel that the label “atheist” is too constraining, even though it accurately describes his position. (Sagan had the same issue, FWIW).

As did Einstein.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It almost felt if this was the first time he was asked that question. He spends the first half explaining how labels are not important to him, and the second half defending his label of agnostic.

And it makes sense to me to say it was bad, because I thought it was bad.  grin I judge people in the following way: If you do or say something better than me, it’s good (and if you’re taller than me, you are tall.) If you say it or do it worse than me, then it’s bad (and if you are shorter than me, then you are short.) I found Tyson’s monolog here to be a mere babble, so I see it as pretty bad.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 06:33 AM

It almost felt if this was the first time he was asked that question. He spends the first half explaining how labels are not important to him, and the second half defending his label of agnostic.

And it makes sense to me to say it was bad, because I thought it was bad.  grin I judge people in the following way: If you do or say something better than me, it’s good (and if you’re taller than me, you are tall.) If you say it or do it worse than me, then it’s bad (and if you are shorter than me, then you are short.) I found Tyson’s monolog here to be a mere babble, so I see it as pretty bad.

That’s fine. Although I believe you are really saying that you “feel” it was bad rather than “think” it was bad. Another diamond is ready!  LOL

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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traveler - 10 April 2012 06:45 AM

Another diamond is ready!

What does that mean?

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 06:47 AM
traveler - 10 April 2012 06:45 AM

Another diamond is ready!

What does that mean?

It’s just me mocking myself. I’m saying I’m rather anal retentive in that I differentiate between “feel” and “think.”

The old joke is roughly that someone starts with a toothpick up their butt, and later it becomes a diamond.  LOL

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Posted: 10 April 2012 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I understand what you are criticizing me for (and you are right to do so), but I didn’t get the joke. I still don’t get it: what is a toothpick doing in somebody’s butt and what does that have to do with what I said? (I told you I was slow…)

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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George - 10 April 2012 06:55 AM

I understand what you are criticizing me for (and you are right to do so), but I didn’t get the joke. I still don’t get it: what is a toothpick doing in somebody’s butt and what does that have to do with what I said? (I told you I was slow…)

It makes no sense, George. It’s just humor that I have been exposed to. I guess the idea is that a toothpick - being so skinny and all - implies that anyone who can hold one up his/her butt must really be anal retentive. For that wood to then be turned into diamond really says a lot about the person. It’s a joke and I’ll try not to use it again. Sometimes I make the mistake that we are all exposed to the same cultural humor. My bad.
red face

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I thought it was a joke, but I didn’t get it because, well, I didn’t know the joke. I am sure if I was a native speaker of English I would have gotten it. Don’t apologize, traveler, I like to learn new stuff.

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Posted: 10 April 2012 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Are you an atheistic or agnostic and are you sure?

What is happening to language these days?  That should be:

Are you an atheist or an agnostic, and are you sure?

First of all we need to acknowledge that human thought process are more complex than language in that even if a definition is precise a growing learning human being can evolve in their though processes in the process of acquiring new knowledge.  So unless a person uses a definition to restrict his thinking don’t expect everyone to precisely fit into a word box.

I decided I was an agnostic when I was 12.  But I also thought the dictionary definition of agnostic was stupid.  By agnostic I simply meant, “I DON’T KNOW!”  I considered the idea of believing that something was impossible to know was stupid.  At the time I was pretty much of an Apathiest and just didn’t give a damn about religion.

By atheist I mean"someone who believed there was no God.”

But people claiming to be atheists have changed the definition since then.  Their new definition classifies agnostics as atheists.

I am a Born Again Heisenberg Heretic.  B.A.H.H. cannot be sheep.  LOL

That Heisenberg implies uncertainty which still indicates agnosticism.  I don’t KNOW and do not pretend to.  I do rather resent “atheists” changing the definition to put me in the atheist category.  It means we have to go through a lot of blather to clarify positions.  It is like the “new atheists” presume they get to tell everybody what to think.  And of course if you don’t think what they say then you are “irrational”.

psik

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Posted: 17 July 2012 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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  In fact, Huxley seems to have used the word agnostic in print only one time prior to 1883. That was in 1879 in his book Hume with Helps to the Study of Berkeley. where he identified Socrates as “the first agnostic”

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/reason/agnosticism/agnostic.html

  In 1883, when writing to Charles A. Watts, publisher of the Agnostic Annual , Huxley said, “Some twenty years ago, or thereabouts, I invented the word ‘Agnostic’ to denote people who, like myself, confess themselves to be hopelessly ignorant concerning a variety of matters, about which metaphysicians and theologians, both orthodox and heterodox, dogmatise with utmost confidence….”

So it looks like my conclusion that the dictionary definition I read at age 12 was illogical was correct.  Believing something is impossible to know while admitting that you don’t know it is ridiculous.

psik

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Posted: 17 July 2012 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The old joke is roughly that someone starts with a toothpick up their butt, and later it becomes a diamond.

Well, I am a native English speaker, and this version doesn’t make any sense to me either. grin

My recollection of the joke is somehing like, “You’re so uptight that if I shoved a lump of coal up your butt it would come out a diamond.” Based loosely on the literal fact that diamonds are produced by putting carbon under intense heat and pressure, and the metaphorical notion that being exceptionally picky or a stickler for rules is being a “tight ass” or “anal retentive” in the Freudian parlance.

Still, a joke explained is almost never funny, and both the cultural and liguistic referents that make up much humor are hard to translate.

All a bit far afield from the atheist/agnostic argument, but I’m really tired of that one. wink

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I call myself agnostic, though I think I might become fully fledged atheist at some point.

The show stopper for God is the problem of evil and the only way around it is to make the definition of God vague so he’s not perfectly good or all powerful. But really without those characteristics God just ain’t God.

I see people make apologies for God, trying to explain why he allows the bad stuff but it’s bullshit and as I get older I’m more and more skeptical about that. And I see people talk about good things that happen and crediting God for that but it makes no sense without blaming him for the bad stuff.

I’m intellectually an atheist, whilst holding back on an emotional level.

We’ll see what happens.

Stephen

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