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Question: Please choose the most arropriate option
Strong believer (There is The Only God)
Weak believer (agnostics, pagans)
Toydarian (and Atheists)

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Author Topic: Choose your faith  (Read 4387 times)
Drifter
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May 17, 2011, 08:11:07 PM
 #21

I'm a Gnu Atheist Skeptic... I don't believe, I weigh probabilities and calculate evidence.
There is no room for 'faith' here, only fact, evidence, and hypothesis.

Atheism implies a belief there is no god. Even if the big bang theory is correct, which I think it is, I still can't prove or disprove that a higher power did not set off the initial setting for it to happen, and there's no evidence for or against that conclusion, which leads to my decision of calling myself agnostic. I grew up atheist, I just feel the label can sometimes imply too much FAITH in there being no god whatsoever, the christian god or otherwise.

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Nesetalis
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May 17, 2011, 08:12:58 PM
 #22

Atheism means you do /not/ believe in a god. not that you believe their is no god. This might sound like a fine hair to split to you, but to me, and many others like me, it isnt.

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Drifter
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May 17, 2011, 08:16:14 PM
 #23

Ok, well you call it what you wish. As I said, I grew up atheist in a christian family, and know where you're coming from. My point in the first place was to simply say that I don't define agnostic as weak believers, or weak non-believers.

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May 17, 2011, 08:19:44 PM
 #24

I generally don't pay much attention to the agnostic belief/disbelief..

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gigabytecoin
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May 17, 2011, 08:29:13 PM
 #25

Lol @ OP trying to organize "faith" into 3 succinct categories. If only it were that simple.
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May 17, 2011, 08:34:50 PM
 #26

Lol @ OP trying to organize "faith" into 3 succinct categories.
Yep. Two categories ought to be enough:

1. Do you believe things for which you have sound evidence?
2. Do you believe things for which you do not have sound evidence?
Nesetalis
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May 17, 2011, 09:10:44 PM
 #27

psh, not enough for me.. i am offended at your imposition that I must fall in to a 'belief' category! :O

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NghtRppr
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May 18, 2011, 04:20:35 AM
 #28

Atheism means you do /not/ believe in a god. not that you believe their is no god. This might sound like a fine hair to split to you, but to me, and many others like me, it isnt.

Then babies, plants and rocks are atheists too. That's not a very informative definition. I think to be an atheist you have to at least believe, either probably or certainly, that there isn't a God.
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May 18, 2011, 04:30:01 AM
 #29

Atheism means you do /not/ believe in a god. not that you believe their is no god. This might sound like a fine hair to split to you, but to me, and many others like me, it isnt.

Then babies, plants and rocks are atheists too. That's not a very informative definition. I think to be an atheist you have to at least believe, either probably or certainly, that there isn't a God.


No, that's a totally informative definition.  Yes, babies, plants and rocks are atheists.  The point is, for me at least, that being an atheist means I don't even think about it that much.  The God/No God question is just not part of my thought process.  Maybe there is a god, sure I can't prove it.  But when it comes down to it, I just don't care.

NghtRppr
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May 18, 2011, 04:37:49 AM
 #30

Atheism means you do /not/ believe in a god. not that you believe their is no god. This might sound like a fine hair to split to you, but to me, and many others like me, it isnt.

Then babies, plants and rocks are atheists too. That's not a very informative definition. I think to be an atheist you have to at least believe, either probably or certainly, that there isn't a God.


No, that's a totally informative definition.  Yes, babies, plants and rocks are atheists.  The point is, for me at least, that being an atheist means I don't even think about it that much.  The God/No God question is just not part of my thought process.  Maybe there is a god, sure I can't prove it.  But when it comes down to it, I just don't care.



So you're saying that you're an atheist because you've never considered it, just like babies, plants and rocks have never considered it?
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May 18, 2011, 07:03:21 AM
 #31

The dictionary definition of "atheism" seems to be an active denial of any gods. That is to say, believing that there is no god. This is, IMO, how it should be, because then it makes sense to also have the word "agnostic", which encompasses the spectrum from "in the absence of proof, I do not believe in the supernatural" to "I don't know whether supernatural things exist", perhaps also including "There is no way to know".

The difference between atheism and the more atheist-leaning end of agnosticism, then, is that an agnostic acknowledges they can, in theory, be swayed by proof to believe in the supernatural, while the atheist never will.

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ribuck
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May 18, 2011, 10:18:06 AM
 #32

The difference between atheism and the more atheist-leaning end of agnosticism, then, is that an agnostic acknowledges they can, in theory, be swayed by proof to believe in the supernatural, while the atheist never will. [italics added]

If proof exists, then it's not supernatural anymore. So it makes no sense to say that one can be swayed by proof to believe in the supernatural.

Atheist: someone who believes in stuff that's true.
Theist: someone who believes in something supernatural based on their faith that it's true.

All the atheists I know would believe in any god for which proof existed. They've just never seen any proof, nor do they have any reason to suppose that such proof exists.
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May 18, 2011, 11:59:04 AM
 #33


If proof exists, then it's not supernatural anymore. So it makes no sense to say that one can be swayed by proof to believe in the supernatural.

Atheist: someone who believes in stuff that's true.
Theist: someone who believes in something supernatural based on their faith that it's true.

I tend to agree. I didn't say all forms of agnosticism are logical positions. Personally I don't see how anything that can affect the universe could exist without being subject to the laws of nature.

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Nesetalis
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May 18, 2011, 01:51:43 PM
 #34

atheist in its breakdown is just 'not theist' it says nothing about belief, nothing about denial. So the dictionary definition is flawed in my opinion.

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May 18, 2011, 02:04:08 PM
 #35

I am open-minded, though a strong believer in the importance of the scientific method

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May 18, 2011, 02:09:42 PM
 #36

I refuse to consider agnostic "weak believers". If anything, I consider agnosticism the true non-belief of faith in general. Atheists and theists are both believers in different faiths and sometimes they both can be just as radical. It's easier, and more true, to admit that I just don't know, however that doesn't mean that I agree with any notion of religion or how it's used to manipulate the people.

This is non-sense. Strong agnosticism means that you cannot know if god exist. If you cannot know that god exists, it means that god doesn't have *any* influence at all in your universe. Then, by the definition of a god, it means that god doesn't exist.

Agnosticism is an irrationnal position which is simply a form of politically correct and less aggressive atheism.

If agnosticism was meant to be a real position, then you could also be agnostic for the invisible pink unicorn or for everything that could be imagined.

Anyway, the term "believer" sums it up. The fact that people believe in something doesn't make it true. People believe in god? Fine, that doesn't make a god.

Unlike what you are saying, atheists are not believers at all. Atheism is not a faith. I know that religious people like to point to atheists as "Believers in the non-existence of god". This is not true. I, and I think most atheists will agree, simply consider that something doesn't exist unless there's enough evidence of it. So far, the concept of a god violates nearly every natural rules I experienced in my life and the only evidence people have regarding the existence of a god is that "they have faith and lot of people have faith". This is not enough to convince me but if anybody could design an experiment demonstrating the existence of a god, I would be very happy to change my mind. At the same time, it is completely impossible to demonstrate that something doesn't exist. If I tell you that there's an Invisible Pink Unicorn above your head but you can't see it, you can't feel it, there's absolutely no way for you to proove that there's no Unicorn.

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Drifter
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May 18, 2011, 02:31:28 PM
 #37

I have no problem if that's how you feel, however I'm inclined to say that I strongly disagree with your view of agnosticism as an "irrational position", and my definitions on faith are not linear to yours.

As to your unicorns, a phrase that I've been using for years that I believe was first thrown around by Dawkins in his writing, is toothfairy agnostic.

Quote from: Richard Dawkins
A friend, an intelligent lapsed Jew who observes the Sabbath for reasons of cultural solidarity, describes himself as a Tooth Fairy Agnostic. He will not call himself an atheist because it is in principle impossible to prove a negative. But "agnostic" on its own might suggest that he though God's existence or non-existence equally likely. In fact, though strictly agnostic about God, he considers God's existence no more probable than the Tooth Fairy's.
     Bertrand Russell used a hypothetical teapot in orbit about Mars for the same didactic purpose. You have to be agnostic about the teapot, but that doesn't mean you treat the likelihood of its existence as being on all fours with its non-existence.
     The list of things about which we strictly have to be agnostic doesn't stop at tooth fairies and celestial teapots. It is infinite. If you want to believe in a particular one of them -- teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh -- the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't have to bother saying so.
http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm

If you don't agree with that view, fine, we just define our atheism and agnosticism differently.

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May 18, 2011, 02:39:59 PM
 #38

I wonder how long until an excentric billionaire finally launches an actual teapot into the infamous orbit ( slashme secretly hopes it's gonna be an 3D printed Utah teapot )

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May 18, 2011, 02:49:48 PM
 #39

I have no problem if that's how you feel, however I'm inclined to say that I strongly disagree with your view of agnosticism as an "irrational position", and my definitions on faith are not linear to yours.

[…]

If you don't agree with that view, fine, we just define our atheism and agnosticism differently.

Nice try to escape ;-)

But you cannot just choose how you define stuffs and say "I simply don't agree, I believe differently". You gave yourself arguments from Dawkins. If you don't agree, you must explain why your position is different and why is Dawkins wrong.

Opinions don't matter. We are not discussing wheter blue is a nice color or not. We are discussing: is the sky blue?

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May 18, 2011, 02:54:05 PM
 #40

we arnt discussing the color of the sky here... were discussing the opinion of whether we think a god exists.. or whether we even care..
that pretty much is opinion right there...

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