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Atheist or Agnostic?
Posted: 16 November 2011 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 226 ]
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Right, yeah. If you’re asking what the probability is that there are intelligent—even ultra-intelligent—aliens out there somewhere, I have no idea. I’d be agnostic about that. I suppose the semantic issue is what you mean by “theism” in the “a-theist” sense. What I mean is a personal God who is literally omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good. Either that or the God of the Old Testament who burned bushes and tricked Abraham into nearly murdering his own son.

About those ... nope. No more chance than that evolution is wrong.

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Posted: 17 November 2011 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 227 ]
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Agnostic, there is no scientific proof one way or the other.

Socially, you can call me an atheist.

-RC

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Posted: 26 November 2011 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 228 ]
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Doug I’m catching this post late and considering that it’s 4:32 am here I’m not really up for playing catch up on 15 pages, so my answer is based on your initial statement. From what I’ve read, you can be both Agnostic and Atheist at the same time, just as a person can be an Agnostic Theist. So I personally consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I never make the claim that I have some undeniable proof that a Deity does not exist, but that no evidence what-so-ever points to their being one.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 229 ]
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ExMachina - 26 November 2011 05:37 AM

Doug I’m catching this post late and considering that it’s 4:32 am here I’m not really up for playing catch up on 15 pages, so my answer is based on your initial statement. From what I’ve read, you can be both Agnostic and Atheist at the same time, just as a person can be an Agnostic Theist. So I personally consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I never make the claim that I have some undeniable proof that a Deity does not exist, but that no evidence what-so-ever points to their being one.

Yeah, unfortunately we discussed that to death a few years ago. As I was taught the terms, there is no such thing as an “agnostic atheist”, nor an “agnostic theist” for that matter. An agnostic is someone who says they don’t know whether God exists or not, an atheist is someone who says that God does not exist.

A lot of the problems in these discussions comes down to clarity in terminology.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 230 ]
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I agree with EM.  The problem with your use of the terms, Doug, is not specifying the conditions.  I am most assuredly a strong atheist, however, I’m that only by faith because we have no way of proving or disproving the existence of a god.  And that latter is why I’m also most assuredly an agnostic by reason.

I suppose one could argue that one shouldn’t use both reason and faith as the basis for one sentence, so I could say, “I’m an atheist.  Oh, by the way, I’m also an agnostic.”  smile

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Posted: 26 November 2011 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 231 ]
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Occam. - 26 November 2011 02:39 PM

I agree with EM.  The problem with your use of the terms, Doug, is not specifying the conditions.

Not sure what you mean. I specify the terms completely. What I mean by “God” is the person who is omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly good and created or sustains the universe.

Either that, or the God is the God of the Bible. Which, depending on your theological predilections is either the same God as the one I just mentioned, or a very different God. Whatever, my use of the term God covers either one, and I am an atheist, which is to say I do not believe God exists, and he has been proven not to exist as well as we prove anything else in daily life.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 232 ]
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I know that when most of use the word god we are thinking of the god of the Bible but that understandable considering where we live in this world.  Atheistic, Agnostic? We can argue all day about that but I definitely don’t believe in a god like in the bible or any god, being, entity, whatever that is personal and cares in the least about me.  The best I can come up in thinking about the possibility of any god is to say maybe, if you are referring to the god of Spinoza.  But even then, we can spin the god of Spinoza much like politicians spin their politics.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 233 ]
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I wasn’t trying to differentiate between various concepts or types of gods.  I believe there are two kinds of knowledge, one that can be proven and the other, things we take on faith because we have no way of proving or disproving them.

Quoting Doug:

he has been proven not to exist as well as we prove anything else in daily life.

  Well. . . .  I don’t feel comfortable accepting that statement.

1.  Gravity exists.  This can easily be demonstrated. 

2.  There are alternate universes as postulated by string theory.  This cannot be demonstrated, but many believe it is true.

Similarly, I have no way of proving or disproving the existence of any god so I have to say that I’m am an agnostic as far as the first kind of knowledge is concerned.  But I feel very strongly that no god exists, and I define this belief as by faith, so I’m an atheist by the second kind of knowledge. 

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Posted: 26 November 2011 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 234 ]
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Well, how do we prove there are no leprechauns? How do we prove that there is no teapot in orbit around Mars? We don’t do so on faith, which is blind belief without evidence. We do it based on a previous understanding of how nature works. That allows us to know to a very high degree of probability that there are no leprechauns and no teapots around Mars.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 235 ]
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dougsmith - 26 November 2011 06:24 PM

Well, how do we prove there are no leprechauns? How do we prove that there is no teapot in orbit around Mars? We don’t do so on faith, which is blind belief without evidence. We do it based on a previous understanding of how nature works. That allows us to know to a very high degree of probability that there are no leprechauns and no teapots around Mars.

This is exactly where I stand. For a while after I left Christianity, I claimed to be an agnostic. I was pretty adamant about it too. However, I just couldn’t get around the argument that Doug is using here. I eventually caved in and became an atheist.

The point is that you have to apply the same logic to this discussion that you apply everywhere else. Is there not enough information to conclude that the god that is being described here doesn’t exist? At least beyond a reasonable doubt? Otherwise, prove to me that invisible fairies don’t exist…

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Posted: 26 November 2011 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 236 ]
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Doug I don’t think that Atheism and Agnosticism is mutually exclusive. You can be an Atheist because you believe there is not God, and you can be an Agnostic because you know that you can’t prove it. I don’t think any rational Atheist could claim that they know that there is no God, so there would have to be a category that accepts both.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 237 ]
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ExMachina - 26 November 2011 08:05 PM

Doug I don’t think that Atheism and Agnosticism is mutually exclusive. You can be an Atheist because you believe there is not God, and you can be an Agnostic because you know that you can’t prove it. I don’t think any rational Atheist could claim that they know that there is no God, so there would have to be a category that accepts both.

See thats the problem. Most atheists are both. They believe there is no god, but they know that you can’t prove it. The thing is that there is enough reason to conclude that he most likely doesn’t exist, but no atheist is going to claim to be able to prove a negative. This is beside the point though, because it’s not the responsibility of the atheist to prove anything. Its the believer’s job.

By the way, do you apply such logic to things like unicorns, faeries, or the flying spaghetti monster?

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

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Posted: 26 November 2011 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 238 ]
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Cloak - 26 November 2011 08:24 PM

By the way, do you apply such logic to things like unicorns, faeries, or the flying spaghetti monster?

Are you asking me this question?

[ Edited: 26 November 2011 08:34 PM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 26 November 2011 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 239 ]
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ExMachina - 26 November 2011 08:30 PM
Cloak - 26 November 2011 08:24 PM

By the way, do you apply such logic to things like unicorns, faeries, or the flying spaghetti monster?

Are you asking me this question?

Yes, I am.

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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Posted: 26 November 2011 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 240 ]
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Cloak - 26 November 2011 08:35 PM
ExMachina - 26 November 2011 08:30 PM
Cloak - 26 November 2011 08:24 PM

By the way, do you apply such logic to things like unicorns, faeries, or the flying spaghetti monster?

Are you asking me this question?

Yes, I am.

Fascinating

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