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Why The Anger?


rigney
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Why is there such venom and seemingly overt hatred displayed when a person denounces their belief in any religion, or a God in this forum? Can anyone be that wise, or is atheism the answer to 98% of the worlds problems? Being an agnostic, I don't want anyone destroying my last possible chance of escape, should things go wrong. Since I don't believe a more enlightened scientific view of our world is the cause of such a mind set, would someone kindly explain it to me.

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I think that religion, or at least Abrahamic religions, provide no middle ground. If you believe in evolution then evolution theory has no concept of a soul. Conventional theists consider that the soul is to be judged for his/her deeds. If you believe in a God that created the Universe and fine tuned it, then you have to accept evolution but also accept that the soul is a different concept from what theists would believe. Instead of Deus ex machina one would have to believe in a more complicated, inchoate version of the soul.

 

The hatred comes from people who suppress their doubts about God and then knock down anyone who even comes close to criticising religion. It is a way of coping with doubt IMHO. I have doubts about the existence of God, to be honest, however my reasoning is comfortable with living with doubt. In my view, I have hope of a hereafter which is far greater than the meagre life span of a human being. It is a hope that, tragically, no atheist can share.

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Why is there such venom and seemingly overt hatred displayed when a person denounces their belief in any religion, or a God in this forum? Can anyone be that wise, or is atheism the answer to 98% of the worlds problems? Being an agnostic, I don't want anyone destroying my last possible chance of escape, should things go wrong. Since I don't believe a more enlightened scientific view of our world is the cause of such a mind set, would someone kindly explain it to me.

I think you'll find that there is quite a bit on venom from all extremists regardless of religious persuasion. The fresh apostate, however, presents an interesting case, imo.

 

Someone who was deeply religious, but is de-converting or has recently de-converted may go through what looks an awful lot like the 5 stages of grieving. It really shouldn't be too surprising; just look at the situation from their view. Their closest friend-the only one to know their inner most thoughts and feeling and love them regardless-is now gone. It reminds me of the psychiatric hospital scene in A Beautiful Mind:

 

"Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?"-Dr.Rosen(A Beautiful Mind)

 

I think that religion, or at least Abrahamic religions, provide no middle ground. If you believe in evolution then evolution theory has no concept of a soul.

That's not necessarily true. 'Soul' is a rather vague concept. As such, depending upon how one define's said concept, there is room for a naturalistic 'soul'.

 

"Yes, we have a soul, but it's made of thousands of tiny robots"-Giulio Giorelli

 

Knowing how something works does not make it illusory. Removing the magic merely turns your skyhook into a crane.

Edited by ydoaPs
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A group of medics and their translators were killed recently in Afghanistan for their religious beliefs by another group of fanatical believers; and you think that it's the atheists who show hatred and venom?

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10900338

What does one group's extremists' actions have to do with whether or not another group's extremists are angry?

Edited by ydoaPs
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The point remains that it's not atheists who kill those who disagree with them so it's not realistic to say it's the atheists who display the hatred and venom.

That does not follow. Extremists on all sides may 'display hatred and venom.' It's not as though all theists are extremists, you know.

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I think you'll find that there is quite a bit on venom from all extremists regardless of religious persuasion. The fresh apostate, however, presents an interesting case, imo.

 

Someone who was deeply religious, but is de-converting or has recently de-converted may go through what looks an awful lot like the 5 stages of grieving. It really shouldn't be too surprising; just look at the situation from their view. Their closest friend-the only one to know their inner most thoughts and feeling and love them regardless-is now gone. It reminds me of the psychiatric hospital scene in A Beautiful Mind:

 

"Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?"-Dr.Rosen(A Beautiful Mind)

 

That's not necessarily true. 'Soul' is a rather vague concept. As such, depending upon how one define's said concept, there is room for a naturalistic 'soul'.

 

"Yes, we have a soul, but it's made of thousands of tiny robots"-Giulio Giorelli

 

Knowing how something works does not make it illusory. Removing the magic merely turns your skyhook into a crane.

 

 

No, I don't believe these are visceral platitude(s) or those of a recently converted apostate grieving over some lost love or a friendship gone bad. It must be something more ingrained and deeper than that. When I hear it from some of the guys on the forum, I really wonder at their problems?

Edited by rigney
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There really is a difference between the extremist wing of atheism, who post intemperate comments on discussion boards and the extremist theists who kill people.

It really doesn't make sense to say that the former are the ones full of hatred.

 

Before you can discuss the question "Why the anger?" you need to ask "Is there much anger?" and, compared to the theists, the answer seems to be no.

Edited by John Cuthber
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No, I don't believe these are visceral platitude(s) or those of a recently converted apostate grieving over some lost love or a friendship gone bad. It must be something more ingrained and deeper than that. When I hear it from some of the guys on the forum, I really wonder at their problems?

Could you please provide some examples for discussion and analyzation?

 

There really is a difference between the extremist wing of atheism, who post intemperate comments on discussion boards and the extremist theists who kill people.

It really doesn't make sense to say that the former are the ones full of hatred.

So, does mass murder committed by group A nullify the child molestation committed by group B? If both groups are in the wrong, then both groups are in the wrong(tautology ftw).

 

However, selectively picking the data as to justify one's own position is a bit intellectually dishonest. In fact, it seems that you are both condemning and perpetrating such a thing. I could be wrong here, though. Feel free to point out any misunderstanding.

 

Also relevant:

atheists.png

Edited by ydoaPs
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Is there any significant amount of anger shown by the atheists?

My contention is that there is not and, therefore, that the whole thread isn't valid.

Some atheists get a bit worked up about this but then some people get worked up about politics or even music.

Would anyone start a thread about "Why do some fans of a different operating system get so angry when people support another operating system?"

 

Also the bit about the 2 groups misses the point. Trying to prevent people from joining the "mass murdering society" by almost any means possible is , to my mind, not a bad thing.

If one way to do that is by writing shirty replies to posts on discussion fora then that seems to me to be a sensible thing to do. It might not work very well, but at least you can say you tried.

Edited by John Cuthber
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Could you please provide some examples for discussion and analyzation?

 

 

So, does mass murder committed by group A nullify the child molestation committed by group B? If both groups are in the wrong, then both groups are in the wrong(tautology ftw).

 

However, selectively picking the data as to justify one's own position is a bit intellectually dishonest. In fact, it seems that you are both condemning and perpetrating such a thing. I could be wrong here, though. Feel free to point out any misunderstanding.

 

 

No!, maladaptive is something that is a part of anyone, whether it be pathological or psychopathic, both of which, all of us possess to some degree. As I said, I'm an agnostic and have friends in both camps, religious and non-religious. It's just that none of them have ever been so adamant in their convictions as some I've heard here on the forum. And no, atheists don't band together to kill people, it's usually maniaclal religious nut cases.

Edited by rigney
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As I said, I'm an agnostic and have friends in both camps, religious and non-religious.
You're an agnostic what? 'Agnostic' is a modifier for both theism AND atheism. You might mean 'weak atheist.'

 

It's just that none of them have ever been so adamant in their convictions as some I've heard here on the forum. And no, atheists don't band together to kill people, it's maniaclal religious nut cases.

Again, we cannot assess the issue without examples.

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The angry denunciations of theism seem to arise from the profound disgust most atheists feel with the problem of having to live in the same society with adults who refuse to grow up and who still hide in a child's fairy tale. By refusing to confront the most fundamental and challenging issues of meaning in human life -- what does my finite existence mean, how do I spend my limited time most meaningfully, how do I develop a meaningful ethics for myself, where do I find the courage to face a certain death which means my certain extinction -- religious people impoverish the intellectual level of society for everyone. This can be quite frustrating for people who have gotten beyond relying on some image or fantasy to provide a pseudo-answer to all these problems in the form of some mythological tale rather than dealing with them by rational reflection. For the atheist living in a predominantly religious society it is like being an adult in a world of kindergarteners: you feel deprived of intellectually valuable company in a culture which refuses to think seriously about the most serious existential issues, and which instead just pastes a gigantic 'happy face' over those questions in the form of a story made up by a tribe of Bronze Age nomads about invisible, mind-reading, world-creating, morality-enforcing, magical beings in the sky ensuring that everything comes out all right in the end.

 

Even worse, the presence of a majority of religious believers in society also harms atheists by imposing on them laws democratically generated by religious notions which atheists reject. Restrictions on abortion, the illegality of the right to die and assisted suicide, the supposed sacredness of corpses which restricts the number of life-saving organs for transplant, tax exemptions for churches increasing the tax rates for private residences, etc., all force atheists to suffer for beliefs they do not share.

 

Atheists are also militant because they are correctly unwilling to let people assume the middle ground of agnosticism, which makes no sense at all. I am only agnostic about matters which I know could reasonably be true on the basis of logic or experience, but not about phantasmogoric tales of preposterous proportions. I freely admit that I am not sure at the moment whether it is raining in India, since I don't live anywhere near there and I haven't checked the world weather reports today, but I do not seriously entertain any doubt that Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny are now conspiring in a dingy hotel room in New Jersey to take over the United States government in a military coup. Before I could be agnostic about that, I would need some good reasons to open a space in my mind for seriously wondering whether it could be true or not, and of course no one has ever provided any. The same is true of the God hypothesis.

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Atheists are also militant because they are correctly unwilling to let people assume the middle ground of agnosticism, which makes no sense at all.

How many times do I have to say this? Agnosticism is not a middle ground. It is a modifier of both theism and atheism; there are agnostic theists and there are agnostic atheists.

 

It is a true dichotomy. You are either a theist or your are that which is not a theist; it is that simple.

 

Atheism is an umbrella term that encompasses a gradient of positions. Atheism is just a response to theism. Theists say "One or more deities exist". And atheism is just people saying "I don't believe you." This can take on varying degrees of forcefulness(ranging from Weak Atheism: "I don't believe deities exist" to Strong Atheism:"I believe that no deities exist.") Weak Atheism(the core of atheism) obviously requires no faith and as such is often blatantly ignored by theists. Strong Atheism, on the other hand, requires just as much faith as theism. All that defines an atheist is that they do not answer "yes" when asked "Do you believe in the existence of one or more deities?".

 

"Agnostic" is a term that is misused as nausium. I suspect that it is mostly due to the social stigma(which is thankfully somewhat receding) of the term Atheist. Agnostic is a modifier of the terms Theist and Atheist, and as such cannot stand on it's own. You either believe in the existence of one or more deities, or you don't; there is no middle ground. Atheism and Theism are the only options. Agnosticism is just one flavour of the choices. "Agnostic" means that one believes that one cannot know whether or not deities exist. Thus, one can be an Agnostic Theist(believe one or more deities exist, but it is impossible to know for a fact that this is the truth) or one can be an Agnostic Atheist(lack a belief in deities, but also believe it is impossible to know whether or not deities exist), but one cannot JUST be an Agnostic. There is no middle ground between belief and disbelief; you either believe or you lack belief.

 

As for myself, I am an Ignostic Agnostic Weak Atheist.

Edited by ydoaPs
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No!, maladaptive is something that is a part of anyone, whether it be pathological or psychopathic, both of which, all of us possess to some degree. As I said, I'm an agnostic and have friends in both camps, religious and non-religious. It's just that none of them have ever been so adamant in their convictions as some I've heard here on the forum. And no, atheists don't band together to kill people, it's usually maniaclal religious nut cases.

 

'Athiests don't band together to kill people?' Sorry, but I think both religious and atheistic people have their fair share of extremists or lunatics. If I may offer a few examples:

 

Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge regime, suppressed Cambodia’s Buddhist religion: monks were defrocked; temples and artifacts, including statues of Buddha, were destroyed; and people praying or expressing other religious sentiments were often killed. The Christian and Muslim communities were among the most persecuted, as well. The Roman Catholic cathedral of Phnom Penh was completely razed. The Khmer Rouge forced Muslims to eat pork, which they regard as an abomination. Many of those who refused were killed. Christian clergy and Muslim imams were executed.[12][13]

Link

 

Religion in Communist Afghanistan

Once it came to power in Afghanistan, from the period it ruled for, 1978 to 1992, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan aggressively implemented state atheism.[15][16] They also imprisoned, tortured or murdered thousands of members of the traditional elite, the religious establishment, and the intelligentsia,[17] and prohibited usury.[18]

Link

 

The leader of the Hitler Youth stated, "the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement" from the start, but "considerations of expedience made it impossible" publicly to express this extreme position.[294] In Mexico, the Red Shirts were vehemently atheist, renounced religion, killed priests, and on one occasion gunned down Catholics as they left Mass.[298][299][300][301][302]

Link

 

I really hate quote-mining but I had to show that there is equal blame on religious extremists and atheists.

 

Moreover, I have given my opinion that people who have chosen a religion purely on the basis of faith, without reasoning as a filter, suppress their doubts by militant or angry behaviour manifested in angry posts in this Forum. I can only give the rather poor example of a man attracted to homosexuality who ardently proclaims his manliness by his anti-gay words.

Edited by jimmydasaint
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A group of medics and their translators were killed recently in Afghanistan for their religious beliefs by another group of fanatical believers; and you think that it's the atheists who show hatred and venom? [/Quote]

 

John C., as far as I know there are no Muslim Extremist on "this forum", but there does seem to be a sort bias or maybe hatred for anything religious. I've just accepted it as a Science Oriented mentality, but then there are plenty that have absolutely no idea what Science is, IMO.

 

 

Why is there such venom and seemingly overt hatred displayed when a person denounces their belief in any religion, or a God in this forum? Can anyone be that wise, or is atheism the answer to 98% of the worlds problems? Being an agnostic, I don't want anyone destroying my last possible chance of escape, should things go wrong. Since I don't believe a more enlightened scientific view of our world is the cause of such a mind set, would someone kindly explain it to me. [/Quote]

 

rigney; On another thread, well actually several others, I've sensed a desire to be convinced that you have a desire to feel the many that have preceded you in death have had their professed belief's honored, passed on to something. In that position myself and also claiming to be agnostic (hard to understand religion as preached or practiced) and I will have "something go wrong" (as will you), am convinced if there is an after life or anything else after death, whatever had made that possible could not possibly be interested in anything that happened on this planet.

 

Having said this, those that are or have studied Science, Evolution, Biology or any number of field have in the beginning or over time learned the differences between Science and or Religion are different, possible to a fault on these public (anybody) Science forums. The basic premises alone (faith vs. statistical proof), should tell you this, but don't kid yourself, as these folks grow older or face the realism of mortality, each in their own way will question their life long belief's, hoping in some manner they are wrong, even if not for themselves.

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John C., as far as I know there are no Muslim Extremist on "this forum", but there does seem to be a sort bias or maybe hatred for anything religious. I've just accepted it as a Science Oriented mentality, but then there are plenty that have absolutely no idea what Science is, IMO.

I don't think this is true. There are several religious members. We just keep religion where it belongs.

 

 

The basic premises alone (faith vs. statistical proof), should tell you this, but don't kid yourself, as these folks grow older or face the realism of mortality, each in their own way will question their life long belief's, hoping in some manner they are wrong, even if not for themselves.

I have over a dozen billion years of experience not existing, and I have no reason to think my next go at it will be any different than the last.

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There really is a difference between the extremist wing of atheism, who post intemperate comments on discussion boards and the extremist theists who kill people.

It really doesn't make sense to say that the former are the ones full of hatred.

 

Before you can discuss the question "Why the anger?" you need to ask "Is there much anger?" and, compared to the theists, the answer seems to be no.

 

Don't atheists also know how to band together and kill people who disagree with them?

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

The Agrarian Reform Law of August 1945 nationalized most property of religious institutions, including the estates of monasteries, orders, and dioceses. Many clergy and believers were tried, tortured, and executed.

 

Though the constitution of Democratic Kampuchea guaranteed the right to worship according to any religion and the right not to worship according to any religion, it also provided that "Reactionary religions which are detrimental to Democratic Kampuchea and Kampuchean people are absolutely forbidden."[57] Religious people were killed in the killing fields, as the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, suppressed Cambodia’s Buddhists: monks were defrocked; temples and artifacts, including statues of Buddha, were destroyed; and people praying or expressing other religious sentiments were often killed. The Christian and Muslim communities were among the most persecuted, as well. The Roman Catholic cathedral of Phnom Penh was completely razed. The Khmer Rouge forced Muslims to eat pork, which they regard as an abomination. Many of those who refused were killed. Christian clergy and Muslim imams were executed.[58][59] Forty-eight percent of Cambodia's Christians were killed because of their religion.
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Having said this, those that are or have studied Science, Evolution, Biology or any number of field have in the beginning or over time learned the differences between Science and or Religion are different, possible to a fault on these public (anybody) Science forums. The basic premises alone (faith vs. statistical proof), should tell you this, but don't kid yourself, as these folks grow older or face the realism of mortality, each in their own way will question their life long belief's, hoping in some manner they are wrong, even if not for themselves.

 

 

Jackson I can hardly believe the hubris of even you saying something like that, do you really think that atheists suddenly start begging god for forgiveness on their death beds? For me eternity is divided quite neatly into three parts, before my existence, during my existence and after my existence, the idea of death is no problem but i can't imagine the horror of believing in God but never quite knowing for sure what he wants or if you have failed and will therefor spend eternity in horrific agony, the constant reading and studying something with no real evidence and trying to understand what you need to do to avoid hell. The idea that anyone will spend an eternity in hell is in of it's self a horror I prefer not to think about. I seriously prefer simple death to that scenario any day....

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Having said this, those that are or have studied Science, Evolution, Biology or any number of field have in the beginning or over time learned the differences between Science and or Religion are different, possible to a fault on these public (anybody) Science forums. The basic premises alone (faith vs. statistical proof), should tell you this, but don't kid yourself, as these folks grow older or face the realism of mortality, each in their own way will question their life long belief's, hoping in some manner they are wrong, even if not for themselves.

 

I can assure you that while there are certainly atheists who don't wish for their experience of consciousness to be continued after death (I've met and spoken with many and I can certainly appreciate the reasoning behind their conviction), I and a good deal many others would very much like to continue on in some conscious form or another after we die (though, for me at least, certainly not in eternal worship of a celestial despot as some would have us believe). However, I can't help but think you naive to think that the fact that we would wish for an extension of our existence, equates to most of us eventually calling into question our belief that we won't get one. For me, and I daresay most of us, our atheism is defined by our skepticism. Just because we would like for something like an afterlife to be true in no way means we would believe it in the face of such a gaping lack of evidence for its existence. Our comfort in the face of death comes from knowing that we unabashedly faced what we best know to be the truth, no matter how apparently grim; that we did our best with what we know we had, as opposed to deluding ourselves with false hopes of receiving something more grand.

 

 

There really is a difference between the extremist wing of atheism, who post intemperate comments on discussion boards and the extremist theists who kill people.

It really doesn't make sense to say that the former are the ones full of hatred.

 

Before you can discuss the question "Why the anger?" you need to ask "Is there much anger?" and, compared to the theists, the answer seems to be no.

 

Don't atheists also know how to band together and kill people who disagree with them?

 

http://en.wikipedia....i/State_atheism

 

The Agrarian Reform Law of August 1945 nationalized most property of religious institutions, including the estates of monasteries, orders, and dioceses. Many clergy and believers were tried, tortured, and executed.

 

Though the constitution of Democratic Kampuchea guaranteed the right to worship according to any religion and the right not to worship according to any religion, it also provided that "Reactionary religions which are detrimental to Democratic Kampuchea and Kampuchean people are absolutely forbidden."[57] Religious people were killed in the killing fields, as the leader of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot, suppressed Cambodia’s Buddhists: monks were defrocked; temples and artifacts, including statues of Buddha, were destroyed; and people praying or expressing other religious sentiments were often killed. The Christian and Muslim communities were among the most persecuted, as well. The Roman Catholic cathedral of Phnom Penh was completely razed. The Khmer Rouge forced Muslims to eat pork, which they regard as an abomination. Many of those who refused were killed. Christian clergy and Muslim imams were executed.[58][59] Forty-eight percent of Cambodia's Christians were killed because of their religion.

 

Absolutely, there is no doubt that especially in the first half of the last century there have been horrible atrocities committed by some of the world's most prominent atheists at the time. And certainly, without a truly clairvoyant knowledge of the inner thoughts of Stalin, Pot, and their ilk, one can speculate that their true motivations were founded in an underlying atheistic hatred of all religion and a desire to extinguish it from their territories.

 

It is also true that, with respect to the many instances of religious genocide and oppression over the millenia, such as the christian persecution by the Romans, the crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials, the Islamic conquest and recent resurgence in Islamic extremism, one can speculate on the true intentions of the leadership presiding over those atrocities, and come to the conclusion that for them, it wasn't a religious motivation at all, but rather a desire for political influence and/or more vassals to fill their coffers. Indeed, this is my own personal belief.

 

This of course, begs the question: How can anyone make the claim that religion is responsible for far more deaths and atrocities committed throughout history than atheism without knowing the true motivations of the evil men in power who initiated these movements?

 

The answer, I postulate, lies in the simple fact that the personal motivations of these men really didn't matter. It takes a large base of support from the populace to commit atrocities on such a scale, and, because most humans don't readily relish the idea of taking another life for no apparent reason, the people must be sold. They must be given motivation which is strong enough to overcome their natural resistance to slay others in cold blood. Without a doubt, in every instance mentioned attributed to religion, this motivating factor was the will of a deity. The leadership may have had ulterior motivations, but in the minds of the people they were acting under the mandate of God.

 

It is much more difficult I think, in the case of the genocides under Stalin, Pot, et al., to make the case that the people were motivated by mere atheism in their support for their leaders. No, indeed it was the worship of the state, and the perceived threat to its superiority that religion posed, that they marshaled under. Your own quote regarding Pot's exterminations in Cambodia attests to this: His supporters believed in earnest that the people they killed were members of "reactionary religions" which were "detrimental to Democratic Kampuchea and Kampuchean people".

 

Christopher Hitchens is somewhat famous for promoting the saying "Good people do good things and evil people do evil things; but to make a good person do evil, that takes religion". While I'm not sure I'm in complete agreement (I think there are other things that have the potential to make good people do evil things, perhaps even, in rare cases, atheism), it seems to me that if the worship of the state which was so heavily promoted in the communist ideology of the 20th century was not religion, it was certainly something very much like it. And it seems that a comprehensive view of history shows that when it comes to genocide, oppression, and other implementations of crimes against humanity, there is no easier or more effective banner to rally the people under than religion.

Edited by jcarlson
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You're an agnostic what? 'Agnostic' is a modifier for both theism AND atheism. You might mean 'weak atheist.'

 

 

Again, we cannot assess the issue without examples.

 

My question was simple: Why the anger? I'm an agnostic, plain and simple and don't have an axe to grind with either the religious believers or nonbelievers since I'm somewhere in the middle. Does taking that stand make it a loaded question? Am I some sort of a passive wishy washey, almost theist or atheist as you indicate? Not on your life. I merely asked a question to which I saw several responses making sense. At this time my stand on the issue has no significant meaning what so ever. But, if you would like to ask me questions about my initial question, fire away and I'll try answering them as best I can. But if you can't assess the issue as stated, then leave it be. I'm happy with the answers I've seen so far and may even get something beneficial from them.

Edited by rigney
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