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If 'theists' believe in a deity, and 'atheists' do not believe in a deity, there are people that are mid-way in between, that don't know if a deity exists at all (or don't care). What would you call those?

Agnostic atheists. Agnostic because they believe the truth of the existence of gods is unknowable and atheist because they lack an affirmative belief that one or more deities exist. I think most people are actually agnostic, even theists. Most tend to ignore the fact that theism has a very specific requirement of belief and if you don't meet it then you are not theist.

 

No, the problem is that you are telling me it is a problem to look up the word atheism if I want the definition of the word atheism.

 

It gives me the same uneasy feeling I get when the mechanic tells me my car won't start but doesn't want me to try turning the key.

Basically your reading of Wikipedia's article on the term atheist makes it appear that you are saying one can pick the meaning they want to determine if they are atheist or not because the meaning is so varied. I was simply pointing out that the question is not really that one is atheist or not but if they are theist or not. It is much easier to narrow down that way because theism is specifically defined to mean that one has an affirmative belief in one or more deities, period. Atheism encompasses everyone that does not fit that specific requirement of belief so it is confusing for many.

 

In My Memory actually stated this pretty well a while back:

 

 

Rebiu,

 

 

Not to derail the thread in semantic debate, but atheism and agnosticism have different academic and non-academic meanings (kinda like the way "theory" in science and "theory" in informal discussions with your friends have two totally different meanings). Academically speaking, certainty has nothing to do with being an atheist. Atheism and theism have to do with what you believe, whether the number of gods you believe in is greater than zero; agnosticism has to do with what you think you can know, such as whether you think the nature of God is fundamentally knowable through logic or science.

 

 

People can be agnostic atheists (those who dont believe in any gods, but also say that concepts of gods arent subject to rational discourse), or gnostic atheists (those who dont believe in any gods, and believe that gods existence can be examined by philosophical arguments or scientific evidence), or agnostic theists (usually deists who believe in a god who has no other definable attributes), or gnostic theists (which make up the majority of theists, those who believe God is knowable through philosophy, science, or revelation).

 

 

Talking about certainty is totally different, its a concept seperate from a/theism and a/gnosticism. A person can be a weakly agnostic atheist (apathetic to god questions), or a strongly gnostic theist (fundies), or any other mix. So there are 3 axes of belief:

 

1) atheism / theism axis

 

2) agnosticism / gnosticism axis

 

3) certainty / doubt

 

 

A lot of websites like to say "there are no such things as atheists, because they cant be absolutely certain without being god themselves, so they are agnostics", which is pretty absurd because even if it were true, all of those agnostics can count the number of gods they worship on no hands.

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Um, yes, there are lots of problems. God could of created the world. You cannot argue with that. So far, I'm still saying "Where did the lithium-7 go", so I can argue with the big bang.   Would you

How about you read this: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0220.htm and this: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0505.htm   Did you ever consider you might want to learn the original language prop

~ Bertrand Russell     ~ Richard Dawkins     More here: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Russell%27s_Teapot

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Agnostic atheists. Agnostic because they believe the truth of the existence of gods is unknowable and atheist because they lack an affirmative belief that one or more deities exist. I think most people are actually agnostic, even theists. Most tend to ignore the fact that theism has a very specific requirement of belief and if you don't meet it then you are not theist.

 

No, "I'm not sure" doesn't imply this --> "the truth of the existence of gods is unknowable". It doesn't logically follow, rigney has not made any positive assertion what so ever but saying that the truth of the existence of gods is unknowable is a positive assertion and hence rigney is not an agnostic atheist.

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He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.

Good grief. We're talking about a scientific genius here, not a blithering idiot.

 

I suppose someone who hasn't read him might believe this about him. Anyone else would have to conclude that the writer of this statement is an idiot with an axe to grind. READ HIM, for goodness sake, and you'll find that he was not a fool. I posted some reasoned argument from him a while back and there's plenty more. I don't understand why so many scientists believe Schroedinger was an idiot, and can only guess it is a defensive reaction. His essays 'What is Life' and 'What is Mind' are streets ahead of most scientific thinkers.

 

Anyway, this is second-hand tittle-tattle. If you have an objection to his view why don't you make it? This one is demonstrably so far wide of the mark it's not worth discussing.

 

 

 

 

I believe the question of a God never answers anything, so it's irrelevant.

To me this seems a much better objection than simply insisting He does not exist.

 

If He does exist then what follows? If He does not exist then what follows? Even if He exists it may still be true that Christian doctrine is incorrect. Maybe the Incas got it right. After all, if Christian doctrine as taught by the Roman Church is true then most of religion is utter nonsense.

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Good grief. We're talking about a scientific genius here, not a blithering idiot.

 

I suppose someone who hasn't read him might believe this about him. Anyone else would have to conclude that the writer of this statement is an idiot with an axe to grind. READ HIM, for goodness sake, and you'll find that he was not a fool.

 

He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.

 

Walter J. Moore in Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989) ISBN 0521437679

 

That statement was made by Walter J.Moore who wrote the biography of Schroedinger, so you think you know more about schroedinger than he did. You're calling Walter J.Moore an idiot.

 

I posted some reasoned argument from him a while back and there's plenty more. I don't understand why so many scientists believe Schroedinger was an idiot, and can only guess it is a defensive reaction. His essays 'What is Life' and 'What is Mind' are streets ahead of most scientific thinkers.

 

I'm not a scientist, i'm just a layman, yes he was genius in empirical science, no one is denying that, just because he was a genuis on one field doesn't mean that what ever he says about all other fields are right, we test his ideas. It has nothing do with how genius he was.

 

Anyway, this is second-hand tittle-tattle. If you have an objection to his view why don't you make it? This one is demonstrably so far wide of the mark it's not worth discussing.

 

Please care to read the last post of the previous page of this thread and then come back. I have made the objection already.

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Good grief. We're talking about a scientific genius here, not a blithering idiot.

 

I suppose someone who hasn't read him might believe this about him. Anyone else would have to conclude that the writer of this statement is an idiot with an axe to grind. READ HIM, for goodness sake, and you'll find that he was not a fool. I posted some reasoned argument from him a while back and there's plenty more. I don't understand why so many scientists believe Schroedinger was an idiot, and can only guess it is a defensive reaction. His essays 'What is Life' and 'What is Mind' are streets ahead of most scientific thinkers.

 

Anyway, this is second-hand tittle-tattle. If you have an objection to his view why don't you make it? This one is demonstrably so far wide of the mark it's not worth discussing.

 

 

 

 

 

To me this seems a much better objection than simply insisting He does not exist.

 

If He does exist then what follows? If He does not exist then what follows? Even if He exists it may still be true that Christian doctrine is incorrect. Maybe the Incas got it right. After all, if Christian doctrine as taught by the Roman Church is true then most of religion is utter nonsense.

 

 

That statement was made by Walter J.Moore who wrote the biography of Schroedinger, so you think you know more about schroedinger than he did. You're calling Walter J.Moore an idiot.

 

 

 

I'm not a scientist, i'm just a layman, yes he was genius in empirical science, no one is denying that, just because he was a genuis on one field doesn't mean that what ever he says about all other fields are right, we test his ideas. It has nothing do with how genius he was.

 

 

 

Please care to read the last post of the previous page of this thread and then come back. I have made the objection already.

 

 

Guys, while I really don't have a dog in this particular subset of this hunt aren't both of you just making an appeal to authority?

 

I don't want to get emboiled in a scientific and religious donnybrook; but it's things like this short video of a young prodigy that maintain my resolve as a waffling agnostic. That, rather than being a full blown atheist. Wanna watch, go to the very bottom. I believe it's her Mom speaking.

 

http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html

 

 

I genuinely don't understand what this has to do with the question of is there a god... christian or not... The little girl has inspiration from god or she has an intense imagination that she uses to interpret the stuff she is told by the people around her? Nothing she paints is outside the realm of her experiences, she paints the things she has heard about from other people, her talent is very impressive for sure, but she is not the only child prodigy to have existed.

 

Would anyone be willing to say if she grew up in China the images wouldn't have been of her ancestors and images associated with ancestor worship? Or if she was Hindu the images wouldn't have been of Vishnu and the details of that religion? Of if she had been raised atheist her visions wouldn't have been of the natural world?

 

I honestly don't see it as indicative of anything other than this little girl being very talented, other children are talented as well in this and in other areas some equate their talents or inspiration with god others do not. To say it is evidence of god is more wishful thinking than proof of anything but talent.... IMHO

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Basically your reading of Wikipedia's article on the term atheist makes it appear that you are saying one can pick the meaning they want to determine if they are atheist or not because the meaning is so varied. I was simply pointing out that the question is not really that one is atheist or not but if they are theist or not. It is much easier to narrow down that way because theism is specifically defined to mean that one has an affirmative belief in one or more deities, period. Atheism encompasses everyone that does not fit that specific requirement of belief so it is confusing for many.

I do see your point and believe it to be valid. The problem I see is that while you may very well be using the 'correct' definition of the word, that does not buy you much if the masses are using it differently. Common usage drives the definitions of words. Clearly not everyone is using it the way you are. When I was a kid, being gay only meant you were happy.

 

"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little bit stitious." -Steve Carell

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You asked me why do I reject the view of Schroedinger and its because of this above reason. I was not really aware of his view of the world nor I had read his works before, I opposed his view straight away because one doesn't need to read the entire work of a man, one can easily figure out his worldview from the few little words or claims that he makes and this above link proves what I had earlier said about Schroedinger, he rejected traditional religious models. A mistake which all scholars in the field make and only write gibberish in their books. They start with unity and say this is unity, that is unity and after reading the whole book you'll realize that the knowledge you gained from it is absolutely zero. Go get a book from a true philosopher.

Yes. I thought this was how you formed your views. By dismissing everyone else's as not as well informed as yours before reading what they have to say. I have no time for this sort of approach. Read him or stop misleading people about him. You have not made an objection to his view yet, just said that you don't agree with him for reasons not given, other than some self-avowedly uninformed speculations about his knowledge.

 

Your insistence that we must believe you about all this when you provide no argunment or evidence makes these discussions nearly impossible. if I were a religious sceptic your posts would make my view even more entrenched. I'd be asking for the thread to be closed. You oppose other views by assuming that other people have no real understanding, but just recite passages from books they've read. Unless, that is, they happen to agree with you. Maybe Schroedinger actually understood the issues better than you. I think so.

 

Forty years Schoedinger studied these issues and you arrogantly write him off as a fool without reading him. Enough said.

Edited by PeterJ
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Guys, while I really don't have a dog in this particular subset of this hunt aren't both of you just making an appeal to authority?

 

 

 

 

I genuinely don't understand what this has to do with the question of is there a god... christian or not... The little girl has inspiration from god or she has an intense imagination that she uses to interpret the stuff she is told by the people around her? Nothing she paints is outside the realm of her experiences, she paints the things she has heard about from other people, her talent is very impressive for sure, but she is not the only child prodigy to have existed.

 

Would anyone be willing to say if she grew up in China the images wouldn't have been of her ancestors and images associated with ancestor worship? Or if she was Hindu the images wouldn't have been of Vishnu and the details of that religion? Of if she had been raised atheist her visions wouldn't have been of the natural world?

 

I honestly don't see it as indicative of anything other than this little girl being very talented, other children are talented as well in this and in other areas some equate their talents or inspiration with god others do not. To say it is evidence of god is more wishful thinking than proof of anything but talent.... IMHO

I agree with Moon. To make the assumption that a thing is black or white without knowing the absolute truth, takes some big cohunes. I merely stated that the directional talent of this girl at age of 4, and having an atheistic Mom, sort of blew me away. Maybe her Dad was in some way responsible for her brain development? Call me an unsophisticated idiot, but I can only guess, and as of now still not sure??? Edited by rigney
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I agree with Moon. To make the assumption that a thing is black or white without knowing the absolute truth, takes some big kahoones. I merely stated that the directional talent of this girl at age of 4, and having an atheistic Mom, sort of blew me away. Maybe her Dad was in some way responsible for her brain development? Call me an unsophisticated idiot, but I can still only guess, and as of now, not sure???

 

 

She is immersed in a religious culture, like all of us, this has a profound influence on children, i thought Santa Claus was real until i was 4 or 5, i remember watching the moon expecting to see his sleigh pass in front if it Christmas eve night and listening in rapture as the radio described jets flying along side Santa and NORAD supposedly giving reports of his progress. I also question the mom as an atheist, i hear this crap all the time from theists who are trying to prove their religion. It's quite common to assert "I used to be an atheist but now I see the light" a great many Religious apologists do this even though it's quite easy to show most of them are bald faced liars. Kirk Cameron is a huge example of this as is Ray Comfort, it's a common theme among these fundamentalists.

 

Of course I can't prove that but accepting her mom's word on this is just naive...

 

Also there is the possibility that the little girl influenced her mom instead of the other way around. A 4 yo is quite easy to influence and no doubt she was influenced by adults around here for reasons we cannot know, the main thing is that her visions of heaven are no different than what we are all taught in church, no revelations have come from this, her pictures of Jesus look just like every other picture of Jesus I have ever seen and he looks western not middle eastern. While i won't call the child a liar, i can see the same influences in her work that everyone else has seen...

Edited by Moontanman
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I agree with Moon. To make the assumption that a thing is black or white without knowing the absolute truth, takes some big cohunes.

So tell us then, do you have an affirmative 'belief' that there are one or more gods? Do you 'believe' the truth is knowable or not? What do you believe?

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Yes. I thought this was how you formed your views. By dismissing everyone else's as not as well informed as yours before reading what they have to say. I have no time for this sort of approach. Read him or stop misleading people about him. You have not made an objection to his view yet, just said that you don't agree with him for reasons not given, other than some self-avowedly uninformed speculations about his knowledge.

 

Your insistence that we must believe you about all this when you provide no argunment or evidence makes these discussions nearly impossible. if I were a religious sceptic your posts would make my view even more entrenched. I'd be asking for the thread to be closed. You oppose other views by assuming that other people have no real understanding, but just recite passages from books they've read. Unless, that is, they happen to agree with you. Maybe Schroedinger actually understood the issues better than you. I think so.

 

Forty years Schoedinger studied these issues and you arrogantly write him off as a fool without reading him. Enough said.

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/58097-reality-theory-god/page__st__160

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/58097-reality-theory-god/page__st__140

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/62250-free-will-vs-determinism/page__pid__659441__st__20#entry659441

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/63765-feynman-and-gaps/page__pid__657569#entry657569

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/57295-metaphysics-and-science/page__pid__657112#entry657112

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/57295-metaphysics-and-science/page__pid__657112#entry657112

 

I have objected to your view in six threads with countless number of posts and with a huge number of insightful arguments and yet you ignore all those arguments and you never ever made a rebuttal to my arguments, if you are an absolutist and when you've decided that you're not going to change your misconceptions, what can I do, I cannot help it, I have made my point very clear in those threads.

 

I never objected the view of Schroedinger because my view doesn't make his views to be incorrect, it doesn't contradict, the problem is with people like him and other scholars who blur the distinctions of those schools of philosophical thought without giving importance to traditional pantheon of gods and their religious models.

 

More importantly my view of Christianity is falsifiable, if one demonstrates the existence of an external physical world by walking on water then it would prove the existence of god and the traditional religious anthropomorphic view of the world where everything was made of anthropomorphic gods. I'm not saying the view of schroedinger was incorrect but he only knew half the truth, he didn't realized the distinctions that were there in those school of philosophical thought and you make the same mistake too.

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So tell us then, do you have an affirmative 'belief' that there are one or more gods? Do you 'believe' the truth is knowable or not? What do you believe?

Absolutely! I believe without equivocation that: "I DON'T KNOW!", one way or the other. And to make the statement that you "unequivocally do know", is deceitful, untruthful and in your heart of hearts; a lie.
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Absolutely! I believe without equivocation that: "I DON'T KNOW!", one way or the other. And to make the statement that you "unequivocally do know", is deceitful, untruthful and in your heart of hearts; a lie.

OK, now we know that you believe you don't know but you weren't asked about what you know. The questions are simple. Can you not answer them. Is the truth knowable? Do you believe there are any gods, even if you don't know if there are or not?

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More importantly my view of Christianity is falsifiable, if one demonstrates the existence of an external physical world by walking on water then it would prove the existence of god and the traditional religious anthropomorphic view of the world where everything was made of anthropomorphic gods.

 

I think this is a bit of a stretch, if something impossible happens it would falsify something else that is not possible to test? If a fossil bunny rabbit was found in Cambrian strata evolution would fail big time but I wouldn't try to justify Creationism by asserting that possibility... Yes a miracle would indicate something new was going on, maybe even supernatural, but specifically proving the God of Abraham?

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I think this is a bit of a stretch, if something impossible happens it would falsify something else that is not possible to test? If a fossil bunny rabbit was found in Cambrian strata evolution would fail big time but I wouldn't try to justify Creationism by asserting that possibility... Yes a miracle would indicate something new was going on, maybe even supernatural, but specifically proving the God of Abraham?

 

I knew you would ask this question to me and you might consider that I am bit naive to think like that. Just because we prove that a pantheon of gods exist doesn't mean that we have falsified other pantheon of gods. What if, a Jew comes along and walks on water and say that "hey I got this knowledge from the God of abraham", a christian comes and walks on water and says "hey I got this knowledge from the Father of Jesus" and a Hindu comes along and say "hey I got this knowledge from the hindu pantheon of Gods".

 

Yes anyone who demonstrates such knowledge or miracle had to get that knowledge from Gods and that's how that specific god will be proved to exist.

 

To PeterJ--

 

I hold the view that God and I are one and also the view of the existence of anthropomorphic gods independent of the mind as very much plausible but you think that if we somehow wipe out the existence of gods we can merge all religions into one reality and that's what I am showing you that its not that easy as you might think, you cannot keep the gods aside from reality.

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So tell us then, do you have an affirmative 'belief' that there are one or more gods? Do you 'believe' the truth is knowable or not? What do you believe?

Don't be a total ass! I've told you several times what I do and don't believe. Leave it at that.
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Don't be a total ass! I've told you several times what I do and don't believe. Leave it at that.

 

So, you do not in fact believe that at least one deity exists. Congratulations, you're an atheist.

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I knew you would ask this question to me and you might consider that I am bit naive to think like that. Just because we prove that a pantheon of gods exist doesn't mean that we have falsified other pantheon of gods. What if, a Jew comes along and walks on water and say that "hey I got this knowledge from the God of abraham", a christian comes and walks on water and says "hey I got this knowledge from the Father of Jesus" and a Hindu comes along and say "hey I got this knowledge from the hindu pantheon of Gods".

 

Yes anyone who demonstrates such knowledge or miracle had to get that knowledge from Gods and that's how that specific god will be proved to exist.

 

I don't know dude, The Native Americans believed in a trickster God that enjoyed fooling people, the Norse had such a God as well, Loki, Christianity has the Devil, Most belief systems allow for some sort of supernatural evil or rogue God. I think this is a reasonable question....

Edited by Moontanman
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So, you do not in fact believe that at least one deity exists. Congratulations, you're an atheist.

Watch out ydoaPs. I drew the same conclusion and it was explained to me that it was unfair for me to do so.....by others that were too impatient to let rigney speak for himself. That's why I asked those questions.

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Watch out ydoaPs. I drew the same conclusion and it was explained to me that it was unfair for me to do so.....by others that were too impatient to let rigney speak for himself. That's why I asked those questions.

I can only say, Thank you doG. We can only assume that which we can't possibly perceive. Edited by rigney
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Watch out ydoaPs. I drew the same conclusion and it was explained to me that it was unfair for me to do so.....by others that were too impatient to let rigney speak for himself. That's why I asked those questions.

My apologies for commenting on a public forum. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to speak unless spoken to. <_<

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Watch out ydoaPs. I drew the same conclusion and it was explained to me that it was unfair for me to do so.....by others that were too impatient to let rigney speak for himself. That's why I asked those questions.

 

It wasn't "explained to you", it was raised as a point. We're all still allowed to raise points in a debate, aren't we?

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We're all still allowed to raise points in a debate, aren't we?

Sure. Funny though how I'm the only one that even bothered to answer rigney's question and none of the one's that wanted to argue about that answer bothered to answer his question. Anyone else care to try this time?

 

Can I say that I'm not sure?

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Sure. Funny though how I'm the only one that even bothered to answer rigney's question and none of the one's that wanted to argue about that answer bothered to answer his question. Anyone else care to try this time?

 

 

 

doG, get off it, we're having a discussion, and you may not have liked the other people's points, but we did raise them. Answering an answer is still making a point. I'm not going to rewrite my point aiming it at rigney just to satisfy good organizational discussion.

 

Also, lack of answer is not admission of defeat. It's just a lack of answer.

 

 

"I don't know" doesn't equal "not existing". It just equals "I don'tknow."

 

That said, I think the honest thing to do is to try and consider such claim within oneself to see if you REALLY don't know, or if you have a hint of something you suspect, or a direction. I think most people do have that, and can make some conclusions on their own even if they believe the answer is "unknowable" or "unknown".

 

However, you can't force someone to be an "either or" when they're telling you that they're not.

 

</answered>

 

 

Do I get a cookie?

 

~mooey

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