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Weak Atheism vs. Agnostic Atheism
Posted: 17 October 2010 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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psikeyhackr - 16 October 2010 07:12 PM

Atheist_baby_motivational.jpg

Actually they are mostly agnostics.  Almost as cute.  LOL

The atheist is the one lying down on the right.

psik

I sure hope all those babies are baptised or it’s “ALL TO HELL THEY GO!”

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Posted: 17 October 2010 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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ExMachina - 17 October 2010 12:59 PM

I sure hope all those babies are baptised or it’s “ALL TO HELL THEY GO!”

Well since I am not baptized you can imagine how worried I am about it.

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Posted: 17 October 2010 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 17 October 2010 09:57 AM

The title of the thread is not an honest question based on innocent curiosity and a desire to learn, but instead it is cocked, loaded, and ready to fire!  Because it contains the word “weak”, a word that is neither quantifiable nor from any legitimate philosophical source, it is an attack.  This is typical of extremists when they want to attack the moderate middle, whether it is phrased “you’re either with us, or against us”, “its either us or them”, or a myriad of other bifurcated attacks, or loaded wordings like the title, these are not actually questions, and so there is no polite obligation to respond to them.  So I won’t.

What I don’t understand is why some people around here are so paranoid and considers my question as an attack. I found the terms “weak atheist” and “agnostic atheist” on wikipedia; on these pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

After reading about both of the terms, they seemed quite similar. I simply wanted to know whether I misunderstood the terms or whether they actually are very similar and what the differences are. I didn’t make up the term “weak atheist” as an attack against atheists. Just wanted to make that clear.

[ Edited: 17 October 2010 03:01 PM by murshid ]
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Posted: 17 October 2010 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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murshid - 17 October 2010 02:19 PM
jump_in_the_pit - 17 October 2010 09:57 AM

The title of the thread is not an honest question based on innocent curiosity and a desire to learn, but instead it is cocked, loaded, and ready to fire!  Because it contains the word “weak”, a word that is neither quantifiable nor from any legitimate philosophical source, it is an attack.  This is typical of extremists when they want to attack the moderate middle, whether it is phrased “you’re either with us, or against us”, “its either us or them”, or a myriad of other bifurcated attacks, or loaded wordings like the title, these are not actually questions, and so there is no polite obligation to respond to them.  So I won’t.

What I don’t understand is that why some people around here are so paranoid and considers my question as a an attack. I found the terms “weak atheist” and “agnostic atheist” on wikipedia; on these pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

After reading about both of the terms, they seemed quite similar. I simply wanted to know whether I misunderstood the terms or whether they actually are very similar and what the differences are. I didn’t make up the term “weak atheist” as an attack against atheists. Just wanted to make that clear.

Yeah, it’s kind of silly but these semantic questions tend to get people riled up. I agree with what was said by Psik earlier in the thread. Atheism is the belief that there is no God. (That is, no God of theology, no omnicompetent creator/sustainer of the universe). Agnosticism is the suspension of belief and disbelief; it’s not knowing whether or not there is a God. These are how the words are generally used in english speaking society. Though you will find many people here who disagree with those uses, I think it’s best just to pick a simple definition that’s more or less right and stick to it. That way you avoid vagueness.

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Posted: 17 October 2010 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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murshid - 17 October 2010 02:19 PM
jump_in_the_pit - 17 October 2010 09:57 AM

The title of the thread is not an honest question based on innocent curiosity and a desire to learn, but instead it is cocked, loaded, and ready to fire!  Because it contains the word “weak”, a word that is neither quantifiable nor from any legitimate philosophical source, it is an attack.  This is typical of extremists when they want to attack the moderate middle, whether it is phrased “you’re either with us, or against us”, “its either us or them”, or a myriad of other bifurcated attacks, or loaded wordings like the title, these are not actually questions, and so there is no polite obligation to respond to them.  So I won’t.

What I don’t understand is that why some people around here are so paranoid and considers my question as a an attack. I found the terms “weak atheist” and “agnostic atheist” on wikipedia; on these pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

After reading about both of the terms, they seemed quite similar. I simply wanted to know whether I misunderstood the terms or whether they actually are very similar and what the differences are. I didn’t make up the term “weak atheist” as an attack against atheists. Just wanted to make that clear.

I’ve heard the term weak Atheism also, so when I saw the OP I really didn’t think he was trying to be sarcastic. Admittedly, I really didn’t read up on what it meant.

[ Edited: 17 October 2010 03:32 PM by ExMachina ]
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Posted: 17 October 2010 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Murshid, you asked a question and a number of people had different answers and “answers”.  You seem to be focusing on responding to the “answers”.  Could you go back to post #6?  I tried to give a reasonable comment specifically to your question.  Could you respond to that?  Thanks.

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Posted: 17 October 2010 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Oh, Psikeyhackr, when I read your post #11, I glanced over at my bookshelf at my copy of Science and Sanity, long, long, unread.  I certainly agree about your views of his concepts and the complete lack of charisma his writing had.  I was much younger and had a much better attention span, but it took a great deal of effort to wade through it.  smile

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Posted: 17 October 2010 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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`
If asked what I would ‘label’ myself, I say ‘agnostic atheist’......simply because it’s the most clear description of my particular ‘stance’, imo. 

Do I believe in god(s)?  no.  Do I claim to know that god(s) don’t exist?  no.

Everyone decides what ‘descriptor’ best fits them ~ even if it results in people who have precisely the same ‘stance’ having different labels.  One of my closest friends’ ‘worldview’ is pretty much identical to mine, and yet, she labels herself a pantheist :)    And the world keeps on turning….......

I’ve seen some of these discussions get ridiculously ‘heated’;  why?  I’m not sure.  Is it because some people think that other people should label themselves as they would label them?  who knows…....

Bottom line:  if someone doesn’t ‘like’ the label you’ve given yourself, just go the extra mile and explain your stance/worldview so there’s no confusion :)

`

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Occam. - 17 October 2010 08:14 PM

Murshid, you asked a question and a number of people had different answers and “answers”.  You seem to be focusing on responding to the “answers”.  Could you go back to post #6?  I tried to give a reasonable comment specifically to your question.  Could you respond to that?  Thanks.

That was a good answer. Apart from “agnostic atheist” being an oxymoron, I agree with everything else you said there. I have explained why I don’t think it’s an oxymoron in post # 14. You are of course entitled to your opinion.

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Axegrrl - 17 October 2010 11:49 PM

`
If asked what I would ‘label’ myself, I say ‘agnostic atheist’......simply because it’s the most clear description of my particular ‘stance’, imo. 

Do I believe in god(s)?  no.  Do I claim to know that god(s) don’t exist?  no.

That’s exactly my stance, too (in case anyone was wondering). I also label myself as “agnostic atheist”. By my original post, I just wanted to know whether that’s the same as “weak atheist” or if there’s a difference, what it is.

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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murshid - 18 October 2010 12:06 AM
Axegrrl - 17 October 2010 11:49 PM

`
If asked what I would ‘label’ myself, I say ‘agnostic atheist’......simply because it’s the most clear description of my particular ‘stance’, imo. 

Do I believe in god(s)?  no.  Do I claim to know that god(s) don’t exist?  no.

That’s exactly my stance, too (in case anyone was wondering). I also label myself as “agnostic atheist”. By my original post, I just wanted to know whether that’s the same as “weak atheist” or if there’s a difference, what it was.

1

From my experience reading and participating in online discussions over the past 5yrs or so, I’d say that generally, there’s no difference between the two labels in terms of the basic position they describe.

They seem to be pretty much interchangeable these days, from what I’ve seen/read.


1

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‘we are so fundamentally constituted of desire that we go on hearing music…...even though we know the band is gone and the stage is silent’

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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psikeyhackr - 16 October 2010 05:36 PM

An atheist BELIEVES that there is no God.

`
The problem with the above, psik, is that it doesn’t represent an exhaustive definition of the term.  ‘Lack of belief’ and ‘disbelief’ (which do not imply active belief in the opposite) are also perfectly valid defining aspects of atheism.

`

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Posted: 18 October 2010 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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My mistake, Murshid.  I went back and read your post #14, and understand my confusion.  I was considering that Agnostic Atheist was a merging of the two noun stances.  However, you were using agnostic as an adjective to modify atheist.  In that case I would not say it was an oxymoron but that your usage is reasonable.  The C) description in post #6 probably describes that term to some degree.

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Posted: 18 October 2010 01:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Occam. - 18 October 2010 12:46 AM

I was considering that Agnostic Atheist was a merging of the two noun stances.  However, you were using agnostic as an adjective to modify atheist.

Exactly! “Agnostic” in “agnostic atheist” is used as a modifier just as in my previous example of “chilled beer” (post # 12), “chilled” is used as a modifier.
.

Occam. - 18 October 2010 12:46 AM

The C) description in post #6 probably describes that term to some degree.

I think so too.

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Posted: 18 October 2010 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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murshid - 17 October 2010 02:19 PM

What I don’t understand is why some people around here are so paranoid and considers my question as an attack. I found the terms “weak atheist” and “agnostic atheist” on wikipedia; on these pages:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism

After reading about both of the terms, they seemed quite similar. I simply wanted to know whether I misunderstood the terms or whether they actually are very similar and what the differences are. I didn’t make up the term “weak atheist” as an attack against atheists. Just wanted to make that clear.

The question is: “When do you decide that someone is giving you a STUPID definition and refure to incorporate it into your thinking?”

I encountered the terms ATHEIST and AGNOSTIC in science fiction books when I was in grade school.  No adults ever used the terms or explained them.  By then I was in the habit of researching stuff on my own and keeping my opinions to myself.

The dictionary I had said an agnostic was a person that

Believed that it was impossible to know whether or not there was a God.

I must have read that definition DOZENS of time and thought about it for months.

I had a problem with BELIEVED, IMPOSSIBLE and KNOW.  Saying something is impossible is like making a prediction for the rest of time.  Just because something isn’t known today doesn’t mean it won’t be know in 1000 or 10,000 years.  And then BELIEVING and KNOWING are two different things though many people use the words almost interchangeably.  So I decided that definition was STUPID and didn’t use it.

I decided I was an agnostic but all I meant was that I did not know AT THAT TIME whether or not there was a God.  I was not trying to predict what I would not know in the future or what other people did ot did not know.  Some people seem to use words to restrict their thinking and put themselves into a box.  Words are a means of communication and the objective is to do it accurately I don’t want to sabotage my brain with them.

Atheists do not “lack belief” they have belief IN A NEGATIVE.

Agnostics lack belief and probably don’t want it.  The objective is to know but that requires good evidence.

agnostic atheist just sounds like a stupid use of language to me.

psik

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