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Why The Anger?


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It does make me angry when I think people are being deliberately obtuse and unreasonable. I think you know perfectly well what the differences between Daffy Duck and God are, and are just trolling for attention. (And I suppose I am stupid enough to feed you.)

 

Don't wrestle the trolls severian, you both get dirty and the troll likes it....

 

The key point here, as I keep saying, is reliable evidence. I have evidence that Bugs Bunny is made up, but you have no evidence that Christianity was made up. You have still not managed, or even attempted, to contradict that.

 

I have no evidence that unicorns do not exist either but I see no reason to try and dig some up...

 

I don't know much about Mormonism, but presumably there is not hard evidence that it was made up. I may not believe in it myself, and I may even think it is a silly thing to believe, but I still have the intellectual honesty of admitting that their belief cannot be disproved and give them and their beliefs the respect they deserve.

 

So all i have to do is think up something that has no evidence it doesn't exist and it has to be believed? Or at least others have to allow for the existence of it so much they will teach it to children in schools as though it was the truth? That's a scary thought. No really, that is very scary...

 

 

 

Once again you use an appeal to ridicule to make your point. It is not reasonable that there would be a Church of Daffy Duck because he is a cartoon character. We all know he is a cartoon character and can't imagine him as anything other than a cartoon character. His elevation to godhood would be very peculiar since he has made not claims to the divine, said nothing spiritually deep and can't even exist in principle in the real world (ie. outside of cartoons). You try and transfer the ridiculousness of your position on to God.

 

Ok, you do have a point about Daffy Duck it hasn't been long enough since he was made up for his origins to be hidden.... so Thor the Thunder God has to be respected as real?

 

One could equally well suggest that there may be people, 2000 years in the future, who deny that Obama wasn't a real person. Maybe he was made up and inserted into the historical record? Maybe by then all hard evidence that he ever existed was gone. While I respect their right to believe that he didn't exist, I know they are wrong. A lack of evidence for something does not mean that it doesn't exist (otherwise we would all be forced to claim that no alien life exists).

 

There is circumstantial evidence that alien life exists, we know the laws of chemistry allow it, we know there are places where it could exist, there isn't even any circumstantial evidence for God, in fact his written word contains so many obvious lies it's enough for me to seriously doubt he has any basis in fact at all, more than equal to the positive evidence for alien life....

 

 

Isn't that what you are doing in this thread?

 

No not at all, we are discussing this among equals and providing our own thoughts on the subject to be believed or not as you or i will, no pressure at all from me or you as far as i see... I unless you are proselytizing God by being here...

 

 

Most Christians don't do any of that either.

 

I have never met a Christian that didn't participate in the whole deal, either collecting, asserting you should give, or giving, you and I both know this to be true, this is the first really dishonest thing you have said so far...

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Exactly and if ydoaPs continues with his infantile ravings on this point I shall go ballistic. Why the anger, the opening post asks. for me it is because I hate stupidity. Now back off ydoaPs. Put dow

I'm no bible thumper Mooey and pretty much don't give a rats behind one way or another as to who wins the race. But your paraphrasing above is exactly the anger of which I spoke. While you mask your f

You are absolutely right. As Larry the Cable guy says: "GET 'ER DONE"!

I must be missing something in Pioneer's idea that

"god is selective advantage. If you consider that the poorest people are often more religious"

unless you consider being poor to be an advantage.

 

Incidentally, I thought we knew when the Christian church was invented

Here

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

in 325 AD.

As opposed to Bugs bunny

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

1940

 

and

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

which dates from 2005

 

It really is just a matter of the dates that distinguishes them.

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Can you explain this? I don't quite follow. The way I see it, if I had incontrovertible proof of God, delivered by hand by God himself, I would also have to rationally accept that I am unqualified to evaluate that evidence, as it could just as easily be some multidimensional fratboy playing a prank on me, and with my limited 3D over t mental capacities I would be literally incapable of knowing the difference.

It's quite easy to formulate a god concept which inhabits our universe with us rather than some nebulous meta-universe. In fact, the concept of creation ex-nihilo didn't even exist in original Judaism. The concept of 'supernatural' merely meant things doing things against their nature(like men walking on water). Angels, demons, gods, etc were natural beings living cohabiting our universe. It's not unreasonable to be able to catch one such god in the act.

 

PS: What would be the right term for me? I am not an atheist because I don't not believe in God, I believe that knowledge of God is Unknowable. As such I refuse to say "I don't believe in God" because it doesn't describe my view. I also refuse to say "I believe in God" because it also doesn't describe my view.

Do you believe that one or more deities exist? If yes, then you're a theist. If anything other than yes, then you're an atheist. These words aren't terribly hard to understand. You would be an Agnostic Weak Atheist.

 

I could easily get incensed and thrown off the forum for my reaction to such ****ing nonsense.

Using words how they mean is bleeping nonsense? ....ok....

 

An atheist belives there is no God.

Nope. A STRONG ATHEIST believes that there are no gods. I suppose you believe that all theists are Mormons. It's the same thing; your trying to force a particular into a general. That doesn't work. Like theism, atheism comprises more than one group.

 

Theist: One who has a positive belief in the existence of one or more deities.

Atheist: One who is not a theist.

WEAK
Atheist:
One who lacks both a positive belief in the existence of any deities and a positive disbelief in the existence of deities("I do not believe God exists" vice "I believe that God does not exist")

STRONG
Atheist:
One who believes that no deities exist.

Agnostic: One who believes that it is impossible to know if any deities exist.

Ignostic: One who believes that the question of whether or not deities exist is meaningless until there is a coherent consensus definition of the concept of the deity.

 

I don't fucking know. I don't know either way. I am completely, utterly, undecided. My wave function of belief/disbelief has not yet collapsed. Now leave it there or I get violent.

As I said before, that makes you an atheist. Do you have a positive belief in one or more deities? Well, you just said you didn't. Ergo, you're an atheist. Now you know, and knowledge is power. Have a nice day. Edited by ydoaPs
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I think the main issue here is that the definitions are not as well defined as some posters make it seem. I, personally, define myself as an Agnostic Atheist, which is to say that since I know that 'Atheist' is, usually, accompanied with the assumption that I am a hard-atheist, I use this definition to say that I am not a "THERE IS NO GOD!" atheist like many from a very vocal group of Atheists that exist today, but rather a more scientific "I don't think there's enough evidence to consider a God, and I don't think, therefore, that the question is relevant" group.

 

Which might actually make me an Agnostic Ignostic Atheist, but ydoaPs definitions. Or maybe just an Atheist in the sense that I am not a theist. But I am also a Secular Humanist, which, in some circles, I find represents me much better, because it opens the discussion for issues of ethics and philosophy and not just issues of belief.

 

So, for me, I take all of these definitions with a grain of salt. Depending where I am and to which audience I speak, I choose what 'label' to use. When I'm with my skeptic-society friends, I usually use Secular Humanist or Agnostic Atheist, because most of them know what that means. When I'm with religious friends, I use Atheist, because it's pretty much, practically-speaking, and in my mind, not all that important the little subtleties in that particular context. When I have time to debate with religious folk, I usually add the "Agnostic" before the atheist so I can explain my views and how they may be different than the 'vocal atheist' a lot of people hear about lately.

 

I personally can't stand definitions in general, which is also why I never define myself as a Lesbian even though I prefer women, and I don't usually refer to myself as Caucasian unless I have no choice but to fill this option (I'm actually mixed, on my father's side, by a fraction, but choosing a definition flattens me up to a single part. I find this annoying).

 

Definitions are annoying because they're rarely well defined (ironically) specially when we talk about religion and faith, that are, very often, very personal issues. Inside each of those groups people tend to disagree and argue.

 

Why, then, is it so important to define ourselves by particular definitions? Why not group ourselves by our values? If people believe in freedom (from religion or of religion or of race, or of sexual orientation, or whatever) then who the hell cares if their personal label is "Atheist" or "Agnostic" or "Ignostic"? And if we argue particular belief systems, we explain our views ANYWAYS so what's the use in labeling ourselves?

 

Very few of us fit perfectly with a single definition. Maybe if we all understand that, we will stop getting so upset over those definitions, and stop forcing others into definitions we think are right for them.

 

~moo

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Indeed... I overlap in several areas, I eliminate the possibility of most supernatural variations of god by looking at the observed universe and applying rationalism, necessarily allowing for something like <1% provisional doubt. So for most supernatural gods I'm a critical strong/positive atheist.This stance isn't based on faith and is open to change provided evidence or new insights.

 

There are a few particular concepts of god-like beings I could comprehend as consistent with the observed universe, though I have no REASON to believe in them so I don't, although the circumstances of their nature leave them pretty much undetectable, so for them I'm rendered for all practical purposes a weakly atheistic apatheistic agnostic.

 

On the other hand, I'm also Ignostic, and happily consider anything someone considers worth worshiping their god. So, I consider the Egyptian pharaohs or the Japanese emperors gods, albeit not supernatural ones.

 

There are countless subtle variations on all the belief scales, little agreement on what any particular word or phrase means, and few or no people are any one thing.

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I think the main issue here is that the definitions are not as well defined as some posters make it seem.

Exactly and if ydoaPs continues with his infantile ravings on this point I shall go ballistic. Why the anger, the opening post asks. for me it is because I hate stupidity. Now back off ydoaPs. Put down the dictionary, move slowly away from the thesaurus.

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Why the anger, the opening post asks.
Hmm... point. For me, continued stupidity and/or denial in the face of repudiating evidence can be painfully frustrating, regardless of the subject of delusion, whether supernatural subjects, global warming, immunization, the historicity of the holocaust, whatever, ESPECIALLY when this denial is supplemented with blatant evasion and logical fallacies, and unearned condescension and smugness.
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I think the main issue here is that the definitions are not as well defined as some posters make it seem. I, personally, define myself as an Agnostic Atheist, which is to say that since I know that 'Atheist' is, usually, accompanied with the assumption that I am a hard-atheist, I use this definition to say that I am not a "THERE IS NO GOD!" atheist like many from a very vocal group of Atheists that exist today, but rather a more scientific "I don't think there's enough evidence to consider a God, and I don't think, therefore, that the question is relevant" group.

 

Which might actually make me an Agnostic Ignostic Atheist, but ydoaPs definitions. Or maybe just an Atheist in the sense that I am not a theist. But I am also a Secular Humanist, which, in some circles, I find represents me much better, because it opens the discussion for issues of ethics and philosophy and not just issues of belief.

 

So, for me, I take all of these definitions with a grain of salt. Depending where I am and to which audience I speak, I choose what 'label' to use. When I'm with my skeptic-society friends, I usually use Secular Humanist or Agnostic Atheist, because most of them know what that means. When I'm with religious friends, I use Atheist, because it's pretty much, practically-speaking, and in my mind, not all that important the little subtleties in that particular context. When I have time to debate with religious folk, I usually add the "Agnostic" before the atheist so I can explain my views and how they may be different than the 'vocal atheist' a lot of people hear about lately.

 

I personally can't stand definitions in general, which is also why I never define myself as a Lesbian even though I prefer women, and I don't usually refer to myself as Caucasian unless I have no choice but to fill this option (I'm actually mixed, on my father's side, by a fraction, but choosing a definition flattens me up to a single part. I find this annoying).

 

Definitions are annoying because they're rarely well defined (ironically) specially when we talk about religion and faith, that are, very often, very personal issues. Inside each of those groups people tend to disagree and argue.

 

Why, then, is it so important to define ourselves by particular definitions? Why not group ourselves by our values? If people believe in freedom (from religion or of religion or of race, or of sexual orientation, or whatever) then who the hell cares if their personal label is "Atheist" or "Agnostic" or "Ignostic"? And if we argue particular belief systems, we explain our views ANYWAYS so what's the use in labeling ourselves?

 

Very few of us fit perfectly with a single definition. Maybe if we all understand that, we will stop getting so upset over those definitions, and stop forcing others into definitions we think are right for them.

 

~moo

 

Gotta agree with you for the most part. Reading several commentaries posted in the religious part of this forum compelled me to ask the question: "Why the anger?" I can see where people might get upset when someone steps on their belief, especially if they are a positive yea or nay. But being in the middle, I thought being iffy would keep me safe." Naa! Thanks for the input.

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But being in the middle, I thought being iffy would keep me safe." Naa! Thanks for the input.

 

Just means both sides hate you ;)

 

Exactly and if ydoaPs continues with his infantile ravings on this point I shall go ballistic. Why the anger, the opening post asks. for me it is because I hate stupidity. Now back off ydoaPs. Put down the dictionary, move slowly away from the thesaurus.

 

Some people consider atheist and theist to be mutually exclusive. Some people use atheist, agnostic, and theist to be mutually exclusive, with the atheist part referring to strong atheists and agnostic the middle ground for those uncommitted. Methinks Ophiolite and ydoaPs are using different definitions.

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Why, then, is it so important to define ourselves by particular definitions? Why not group ourselves by our values? If people believe in freedom (from religion or of religion or of race, or of sexual orientation, or whatever) then who the hell cares if their personal label is "Atheist" or "Agnostic" or "Ignostic"? And if we argue particular belief systems, we explain our views ANYWAYS so what's the use in labeling ourselves?[/Quote]

 

moo; A persons values (beliefs) are subjective to the judgment of other persons, where a person can define them self with words. To use your own self defined likelihood "Ignostic-Agnostic-Atheist" in itself is unreasonable (counterintuitive) by combining three different meanings, for your single and personal definition of your religious understanding. Frankly, though I don't know you personally, I find it hard to believe with your affiliation with Israel, their people and/or problems, that you could possibly be Atheist.

 

Me thinks Ophiolite and ydoaPs are using different definitions. [/Quote]

 

Skeptic; No I don't think that's his point at all, rather playing "word games", is NO WAY to articulate in any discussion. I agree...For all I know, Ophie could be married to a Muslim or an Evangelical and not want to discard or impose his belief's on her or discard the possibility, respect or DESIRE for her belief's, he might just not know.

 

Gotta agree with you for the most part. Reading several commentaries posted in the religious part of this forum compelled me to ask the question: "Why the anger?" I can see where people might get upset when someone steps on their belief, especially if they are a positive yea or nay. But being in the middle, I thought being iffy would keep me safe." Naa! Thanks for the input. [/Quote]

 

rigney; Preface, your on a Science Forum that has an anti-religious bias sentiment, at best, not that most Public Science Forums are any different. You could visit most any Religion oriented Public Forum, getting a completely different response.

 

My conclusion and I mean this, literally (this thread)! IMO, your not getting any real answers to your questions, whether hidden in you post or not (anger). I have gone through this battle for too many posters with actual BELIEF'S in one religion or another and had been stomped on, humiliated, censored (threads deleted or locked) and in more than a few cases banned from a Forum, but have yet to personally see these things happen for any actual pro atheism thread ( I rarely even read post under Religion) "But being in the middle, I thought being iffy would keep me safe", is part of it, however you have established yourself as an 'interested in learning poster' and one that any forum appreciates. Good luck in your quest to understand and take a path in that "fork in the road", but it's still my belief, which ever path you take, the end result (either outcome), is NOT OUR CHOICE...

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err, anyway...

 

Exactly and if ydoaPs continues with his infantile ravings on this point I shall go ballistic.

 

A little bit rich considering your language and feet stamping. It's disappointing that even from seasoned members of these boards, a level of maturity is severely lacking when it comes to this subject. I cannot see anything wrong in trying to strictly define your beliefs, (I think ydoaPs has done a sterling job personally) and agnosticism is atheistic...there is no difference in taking the stance of 'not knowing', as there is in 'there is no available evidence.'

 

Further, Ignosticism is a statement on a set of all theistic beliefs, i.e it's an observation on subjectivity, not a belief in it's own right. So, just because you can't decide which belief is or is not correct, doesn't categorize you into theism or atheism, so you can't bolt it on, despite the subject it encompasses, happy to expand on that point if it's not clear.

 

Personally I find the idea of creation (which may or may not be ascribed to Godhood) not only absurd, but damaging. If you wish to further your knowledge and believe in creation, then it's a case of shifting the goal posts to accommodate new knowledge, which is logically fallacious. If God is conceived as completely overarching, i.e whatever you throw at the concept, it remains intact, then it's a meaningless concept. If we discover something that fits a preconceived notion of God, then that discovery is shifted into that notion, it's not shifted into a body of study. I find the idea stifling, and unnecessary personally, but perhaps that's me getting old and less tolerant.

 

EDIT: The above is a happy diversion from my cosmology coursework, which is driving me suitably insane ;)

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moo; A persons values (beliefs) are subjective to the judgment of other persons, where a person can define them self with words. To use your own self defined likelihood "Ignostic-Agnostic-Atheist" in itself is unreasonable (counterintuitive) by combining three different meanings, for your single and personal definition of your religious understanding. Frankly, though I don't know you personally, I find it hard to believe with your affiliation with Israel, their people and/or problems, that you could possibly be Atheist.

The vast majority of Israelis are completely secular, so there's not much hardness in believing atheism. My point, however, was that the definitions we use are not clear cut like many of us think they are, and therefore using a sigle word is usually not enough.

 

The word "Blue" is well defined. If I tell you that my pants are blue, the worse misunderstanding we could have is whether they're light blue or dark blue - that is, the subtleties - and those subtleties are usually in the contexts of blue color not so much relevant. When the subtleties become relevant (Say, when I ask you to buy me specific pants I like, that are light blue with a touch of grey) then the subtleties become important, and I can no longer be satisfied with the single definition.

 

When we talk about our beliefs, the subtleties usually matter a LOT. There's a difference - specially when we talk about philosophy and religion - between "hard" atheism and "soft" atheism and agnosticism and ignosticism. Also, there can be differences related to context. As Azure said, I can be an agnostic in a particular subject related to a deity and an utter atheist in other subjects.

 

Matters of belief are not clear cut. That's why we usually group them up with philosophy.

 

 

It's specifically BECAUSE you find it hard to believe that I can be an atheist that I would, most likely, want to explain my belief system when arguing or debating with you, and I find the term 'atheist' insufficient to explain the subtleties -- that not only exist in my case, but are crucial and generally set me apart to other atheists in this forum.

 

If we respect people's rights to have these subtleties and not be grouped by what you THINK you know about a belief, but rather listen to what people ACTUALLY believe, we might actually have less condescension and less bad attitude in debates of faith from all parties.

 

~moo

 

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The vast majority of Israelis are completely secular, so there's not much hardness in believing atheism. My point, however, was that the definitions we use are not clear cut like many of us think they are, and therefore using a single word is usually not enough. [/Quote]

 

moo; Speaking of a person or Social Values, if what you say is true (I strongly question), then my long held opinions on Israel, Jerusalem, the history behind the DESIRE to be where they are included and I'll throw in Arabs and/or Muslims, are seriously being attacked. Those issues and all I've learned over years, tell me of any faith or faiths (Muslim) that area above any other on this planet, believe in A GOD.

 

As for a single word, I really don't disagree in general, but when I say or anyone on this forum say's "I am an agnostic" (w-w/o) a qualifier, I have enough of idea what they mean to reply, they DON"T KNOW enough to be either be a Theist or Atheist. Frankly it's a rational response, from and with in a community that insist on statistical proof, for most everything else.

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IIRC, this was the OP:

 

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.

 

This thread is getting quite venomous because:

 

a ) people are talking past each other, rather than communicating;

b ) and, as mooey said:

If we respect people's rights to have these subtleties and not be grouped by what you THINK you know about a belief, but rather listen to what people ACTUALLY believe, we might actually have less condescension and less bad attitude in debates of faith from all parties.

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Edited by jimmydasaint
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moo; Speaking of a person or Social Values, if what you say is true (I strongly question), then my long held opinions on Israel, Jerusalem, the history behind the DESIRE to be where they are included and I'll throw in Arabs and/or Muslims, are seriously being attacked. Those issues and all I've learned over years, tell me of any faith or faiths (Muslim) that area above any other on this planet, believe in A GOD.

 

As for a single word, I really don't disagree in general, but when I say or anyone on this forum say's "I am an agnostic" (w-w/o) a qualifier, I have enough of idea what they mean to reply, they DON"T KNOW enough to be either be a Theist or Atheist. Frankly it's a rational response, from and with in a community that insist on statistical proof, for most everything else.

Yeah, it seems the misconceptions of the media run deep. But let's get back on track here, if you want to discuss the validity of people's faith (or lack thereof) in places that some consider holy you can start a new thread.

 

And much like others that did it in an atheist-angle, you seem to be forcing me into what YOU want my belief to be. With due respect, I do't say "I don't know" on God just like I do't say "I don't know" on gravity. Both are premises (one the lacking of) that can change with proof. Saying "I don't know" is irrelevant, in my opinion, in both cases.

 

Can we agree, at the very least, that I am entitled to my own opinion in the matter, and hence my own choice of definition?

 

 

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err, anyway...

 

 

 

A little bit rich considering your language and feet stamping. It's disappointing that even from seasoned members of these boards, a level of maturity is severely lacking when it comes to this subject. I cannot see anything wrong in trying to strictly define your beliefs, (I think ydoaPs has done a sterling job personally) and agnosticism is atheistic...there is no difference in taking the stance of 'not knowing', as there is in 'there is no available evidence.'

 

Further, Ignosticism is a statement on a set of all theistic beliefs, i.e it's an observation on subjectivity, not a belief in it's own right. So, just because you can't decide which belief is or is not correct, doesn't categorize you into theism or atheism, so you can't bolt it on, despite the subject it encompasses, happy to expand on that point if it's not clear.

 

Personally I find the idea of creation (which may or may not be ascribed to Godhood) not only absurd, but damaging. If you wish to further your knowledge and believe in creation, then it's a case of shifting the goal posts to accommodate new knowledge, which is logically fallacious. If God is conceived as completely overarching, i.e whatever you throw at the concept, it remains intact, then it's a meaningless concept. If we discover something that fits a preconceived notion of God, then that discovery is shifted into that notion, it's not shifted into a body of study. I find the idea stifling, and unnecessary personally, but perhaps that's me getting old and less tolerant.

 

EDIT: The above is a happy diversion from my cosmology coursework, which is driving me suitably insane ;)

 

I'm glad you find such a mundane and unscientific discourse to your liking. I suppose it can be amusing for a fellow with coursework elevating him far above the fray of those of lesser intellect. But some of us are actually caught up in our ignorance to where, "we just aren't sure". Now, with people of your caliber around to help us out and showing us the way;, perhaps we of lesser Gods can become outstanding atheist like you. Since I'm half way there, it should be no problem in convincing me that my wishy washy stance is a lost cause.

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I think the main issue here is that the definitions are not as well defined as some posters make it seem.

Actually, they are quite well defined and have been for quite some time.

From a book written in 1979, Atheism: The Case Against God(by George H Smith):

II

The Meaning of Atheism

 

 

"Theism" is defined as "The belief in a god or gods." The term "theism" is sometimes used to designate the belief in a particular kind of god-the personal god of monotheism-but in as used throughout this book, "theism" the belief in any god or number of gods. The prefix "a" means "without," so the term "a-theism" literally means "without theism," or without belief in a god or gods. Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an Atheist.

Atheism is sometimes defined as "the belief that there is no God of any kind," or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism-and they are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist; rather, he does not believe in the existence of a god.

 

Emphasis in the original. As you can see, Ophiolite's definition of atheism fails quite horribly as it doesn't cover a large chunk of the population of atheists. Those who are not theists are atheists; it's that easy.

 

From the same book:

III

Agnosticism

 

 

The term "agnostic" was coined by Thomas Huxley in 1896. "When I reached intellectual maturity," reports Huxley, "and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist....I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer." According to Huxley, exponents of these doctrines, despite their obvious differences, share a common assumption, an assumption with which he disagrees:

 

They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis,"-had, more

or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite

sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was

insoluble.

 

When Huxley joined the Metaphysical Society, he found that the various beliefs represented there had names: "most of my colleagues were -ists of one sort or another." Huxley, lacking a name for his uncertainty, was a fox without a tail- so he gave himself a tail by assigning the term "agnostic" to himself. It seems that Huxley originally meant this term as somewhat of a joke. He selected the early religious sect known as "Gnostics" as a prime example of men who claim knowledge of the supernatural without justification; and he distinguished himself as an "a-gnostic" by stipulating that the supernatural, even if it exists, lies beyond the scope of human knowledge. We cannot say if it does or does not exist, so we must suspend judgement.

 

He goes on at length about both, but I'm tired of transcribing, and you get the point. If you would like to continue reading, the book is hard to miss; it's big and purple.

 

These terms are technical terms and have had set definitions for longer than I have even been alive. Honestly, it's even a bit disrespectful to hijack Huxley's word and misrepresent it in such away to present yourself as on neutral objective ground.

 

As my favourite comic character said, "Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth." Words only offer the means to meaning if the meaning is shared. Without shared meaning, communication falls to cacophony.

 

When the subtleties become relevant (Say, when I ask you to buy me specific pants I like, that are light blue with a touch of grey) then the subtleties become important, and I can no longer be satisfied with the single definition.

 

When we talk about our beliefs, the subtleties usually matter a LOT. There's a difference - specially when we talk about philosophy and religion - between "hard" atheism and "soft" atheism and agnosticism and ignosticism. Also, there can be differences related to context. As Azure said, I can be an agnostic in a particular subject related to a deity and an utter atheist in other subjects.

That's why it's so important that we all use the words correctly.

 

Exactly and if ydoaPs continues with his infantile ravings on this point I shall go ballistic. Why the anger, the opening post asks. for me it is because I hate stupidity. Now back off ydoaPs. Put down the dictionary, move slowly away from the thesaurus.

I quite doubt you would find my posts to be 'infantile ravings' were I correcting a foaming-at-the-mouth YEC talking about how "evolution is just a 'theory'" rather than you misrepresenting the term Agnostic.

Edited by ydoaPs
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Actually, they are quite well defined and have been for quite some time.

From a book written in 1979, Atheism: The Case Against God(by George H Smith):

 

II

The Meaning of Atheism

 

 

"Theism" is defined as "The belief in a god or gods." The term "theism" is sometimes used to designate the belief in a particular kind of god-the personal god of monotheism-but in as used throughout this book, "theism" the belief in any god or number of gods. The prefix "a" means "without," so the term "a-theism" literally means "without theism," or without belief in a god or gods. Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an Atheist.

Atheism is sometimes defined as "the belief that there is no God of any kind," or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism-and they are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist; rather, he does not believe in the existence of a god.

 

Emphasis in the original. As you can see, Ophiolite's definition of atheism fails quite horribly as it doesn't cover a large chunk of the population of atheists. Those who are not theists are atheists; it's that easy.

 

So a deist would be an atheist by some definitions :)

 

And "apathetic" is someone who is not "pathetic". :P

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Can we agree, at the very least, that I am entitled to my own opinion in the matter, and hence my own choice of definition? [/Quote]

 

Of course moo, everyone is entitled to define themselves anyway they wish. I'd already sang my 'swan song' on posting in this thread, but knowing your personal compassion for the plight of the Israel People, which I happen to agree with, I found your comments interestingly difficult to understand. An agnostic myself (the definition of, IMO), I'd think if an Atheist, I'd have no choice than suggest the Jewish Folks, buy themselves enough land in a much more agreeable environment and do their thing, IN PEACE. Said another way, if I had no doubts about any God having ever existed (Atheist), it would be difficult for me to justify (I think) they (Israeli) of the Jewish Faith (I know not all are) should have any rights over basically a conflicting culture and religion.

 

ydoaPs; Your tangling up word meanings, to the point none of what we're talking about would even have a meaning. Answer just this one question; If I claim to be an Atheist, Agnostic or Atheist in a conversational text (as this is), do you question my basic potition on Religion?

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Of course moo, everyone is entitled to define themselves anyway they wish. I'd already sang my 'swan song' on posting in this thread, but knowing your personal compassion for the plight of the Israel People, which I happen to agree with, I found your comments interestingly difficult to understand. An agnostic myself (the definition of, IMO), I'd think if an Atheist, I'd have no choice than suggest the Jewish Folks, buy themselves enough land in a much more agreeable environment and do their thing, IN PEACE. Said another way, if I had no doubts about any God having ever existed (Atheist), it would be difficult for me to justify (I think) they (Israeli) of the Jewish Faith (I know not all are) should have any rights over basically a conflicting culture and religion.

If you want to discus this, I have lots to say, but let's not go off topic in this thread. Start a new one, and we can discuss the plight of the jewish people and whether atheist jews - who, throughout history, were treated AS badly AS the religious jews - have the same rights to have a plight for land as religious jews. We can discuss, if you wish, on another thread. Send me a note with the link and I'll join it gladly.

 

Let's keep this current thread on topic, though.

 

 

~moo

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I have never met a Christian that didn't participate in the whole deal, either collecting, asserting you should give, or giving, you and I both know this to be true, this is the first really dishonest thing you have said so far...

 

You have a quite staggering misconception about the lives of Christians. I have never held a service for God (I have been to one, but not held one), I have never raised or collected money for missionary work (though I have given money), and I have never gone door to door trying to evangelise. And most of my Christian friends have never done this either. (Some have, but certainly not most.)

 

But anyway, what would be wrong with doing these things? Why are they so abhorrent in your eyes, deserving of so much hatred? Why shouldn't I hold a service for God, where like minded people can come together and share their faith? Why shouldn't I collect money for missionary work, as long as I am clear about what it is going to be used for? Why shouldn't I be allowed to express my religious beliefs to others in the hopes of persuading them of the truth, as long as I am not unpleasant or confrontational about it?

 

I guarantee that I have had considerably more aggressive proselytizing from atheists, trying to persuade me to adopt their faith, than I have ever given out as a Christian.

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You have a quite staggering misconception about the lives of Christians. I have never held a service for God (I have been to one, but not held one), I have never raised or collected money for missionary work (though I have given money), and I have never gone door to door trying to evangelise. And most of my Christian friends have never done this either. (Some have, but certainly not most.)

 

Ok, my typo here I meant to say one of the three things not all of them... my apologies

 

But anyway, what would be wrong with doing these things? Why are they so abhorrent in your eyes, deserving of so much hatred? Why shouldn't I hold a service for God, where like minded people can come together and share their faith? Why shouldn't I collect money for missionary work, as long as I am clear about what it is going to be used for? Why shouldn't I be allowed to express my religious beliefs to others in the hopes of persuading them of the truth, as long as I am not unpleasant or confrontational about it?

 

i object due to the big lie that the money collected by religion goes to help people, the vast majority of it goes to religion, not helping anyone. As far as missionary work while you obviously think it's a good thing to go and try to change a culture to fit what you think is right and wrong I think it's a bad thing, destroying someone else's culture in the name of a non existent god cannot be good... Why should you be able to annoy the shit out of me in public? Why shouldn't your crass disrespect for me and every one who doesn't agree with you be all over the radio, TV, magazines, bill boards, and knocking on my front door every Friday morning? If you have to ask that question i see no chance you would understand the answer.

 

As for what you do in church, i could not possibly care less, blow Sunshine up each others skirt and tell your selves what wonderful people you are because god loves you? Beat each other with sticks, pretend to speak in tongues , roll on the floor in a spastic fit for the greater glory of god? drink poison? (go for it) Kill rattle snakes slowly by keeping them cold and denying them water and food? (this i do think is wrong, snakes are living creatures and should not be tortured to death) Hold orgies of self fulfilling prophecy, I really don't care but keep it out of my face!

 

 

I guarantee that I have had considerably more aggressive proselytizing from atheists, trying to persuade me to adopt their faith, than I have ever given out as a Christian.

 

So atheists regularly preach from street corners where you live? TV and radio is swamped with adds begging you for money to help the atheist cause? Bill boards proselytize from every intersection? Atheists knock on your door Friday morning to ask you to reject god? bullshit.....

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i object due to the big lie that the money collected by religion goes to help people, the vast majority of it goes to religion, not helping anyone. As far as missionary work while you obviously think it's a good thing to go and try to change a culture to fit what you think is right and wrong I think it's a bad thing, destroying someone else's culture in the name of a non existent god cannot be good...

 

You have the right to your opinion. But no-one is twisting their arms - they only give if they think it is a good cause, and what right to you have to tell them to stop? If you wake up tomorrow thinking gay sex is wrong, will you try to stop charities raising money to help gay aids sufferers?

 

Why should you be able to annoy the shit out of me in public? Why shouldn't your crass disrespect for me and every one who doesn't agree with you be all over the radio, TV, magazines, bill boards, and knocking on my front door every Friday morning? If you have to ask that question i see no chance you would understand the answer.

 

It is part of being in a liberal democracy with free speech. I get annoyed with atheist bigots all the time, but I don't try and curb their right to free speech.

 

As for what you do in church, i could not possibly care less, blow Sunshine up each others skirt and tell your selves what wonderful people you are because god loves you? Beat each other with sticks, pretend to speak in tongues , roll on the floor in a spastic fit for the greater glory of god? drink poison? (go for it) Kill rattle snakes slowly by keeping them cold and denying them water and food? (this i do think is wrong, snakes are living creatures and should not be tortured to death) Hold orgies of self fulfilling prophecy, I really don't care but keep it out of my face!

 

So why was this on your list of things that you "get angry" about?

 

So atheists regularly preach from street corners where you live? TV and radio is swamped with adds begging you for money to help the atheist cause? Bill boards proselytize from every intersection? Atheists knock on your door Friday morning to ask you to reject god? bullshit.....

 

I have never done any of those things. Have you?

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You have the right to your opinion. But no-one is twisting their arms - they only give if they think it is a good cause, and what right to you have to tell them to stop? If you wake up tomorrow thinking gay sex is wrong, will you try to stop charities raising money to help gay aids sufferers?

While your particular church might not do this, many churches use emotional blackmail to get money off of paritioners and use it for other things than charity. Some cases of the evangelical churches do that, and you can see it by some (not all) incredibly wealthy buildings AND incredibly wealthy pastors.

 

That said, there's also cases where the church acts AGAINST causes (speaking of gay HIV sufferers specifically) - one very familiar instance is some churches that send their pastors to Africa to convince the people that condoms are the source of HIV and quite actively (the issue of 'purposefully' is unproven, though debatable) increase the number of HIV infections.

 

It's hard to talk of "The Church" as a single entity when there are many churches, many denominations, and many not-too-innocent-practicioners out there that give many of these churches some seriously bad names.

 

 

~moo

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In order to make it a more appropriate analogy we need to take away our preconceptions about the perpetrators. Let's pretend their names have been removed for security reasons: "[deleted] and [deleted] met in a New Jersey hotel many decades ago to plan the overthrow of the U.S. government and thoroughly destroyed all evidence that they ever met". Do you know think that this is something it would be stupid to believe?

 

Let's remove the preconceptions further, since it is understood by most that deleted = person.

 

"Two aliens met in a New Jersey hotel many decades ago to plan the overthrow of the U.S. No evidence has survived, except a few eyewitnesses, who are now dead. The security of our country is at stake. We must prepare for their return or risk certain death."

 

I think this might be a better analogy. Can someone believe this? If they want. Should we budget any money to fight the aliens or teach about them in school? Hope not.

Should we consider people who don't believe this as unpatriotic and only vote for representatives who hold this belief? Well, that would just piss me off.

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