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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?

So are you hurt that I had the temerity to question your proclamation on atheism? Let me know next time you are speaking ex cathedra so I know which statements of yours are infallible.

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

It doesn't need to equal "not existing", it needs to equal existing to meet the minimum requirement for theism. One doesn't need to believe there are no gods to be atheist but one does need to believe in one or more gods to be theist. I do not see how "I'm not sure" or "I don't know" can be construed in any way to indicate an affirmative belief in one or more gods and I can find no definition of theist that allows anything less.

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It doesn't need to equal "not existing", it needs to equal existing to meet the minimum requirement for theism. One doesn't need to believe there are no gods to be atheist but one does need to believe in one or more gods to be theist. I do not see how "I'm not sure" or "I don't know" can be construed in any way to indicate an affirmative belief in one or more gods and I can find no definition of theist that allows anything less.

 

But it's possible that there are more options than just "theism" and "atheism", isn't it?

 

Also, I do want to make the point that we should probably consider the "pop definition" of atheism versus what "atheism" is supposed to mean. I agree with you that it is, technically, "non theism". Hence, it's an either-or definition. There's "theism" and if you don't have that, you're an "atheist". That's all well and nice, but that's no longer the way society views this term, which is partially why groups like "Secular humanism" were born, and partially why philosophical definitions like "agnostic atheist" were made.

 

I know we all want to go by dictionary, and that's perfectly fine, but society changes definitions.

 

For instance, the word "Faggot" used to mean "archaic unit of measurement for bundles of sticks". No one insists that word should be used widely nowadays, though, since it took a different meaning.

 

So does the word Atheist. It used to be "just" "non theist", but I think it doesn't quite say that anymore. Nowadays it's more "anti theist". Should it be? Probably not, but it does raise this connotation, which explains why many people stay away from it nowadays even if they *are* non-theists, and why groups are created with different terminology ("Secularists" , "Humanists" , "Agnostic Atheists", etc) to set the definition to a more "precise" meaning rather than the one society seems to make it.

 

I personally don't like calling myself an Atheist even if I am, because when I do, people misunderstand what I *actually do* see myself as. Should this be this way? No. Do I wish everyone would read the dictionary? Yes. Do they? No.

 

So I am a cultural jew, or an agnostic atheist, and I am a secular humanist. That describes my own personal belief system and moral cultural grounding a lot better than Atheist.

 

 

My point is that I agree with your abstract concept, but I disagree on practicalities. Belief is personal, and if someone claims that "I don't know" doesn't fit atheism, and doesn't fit theism, we should consider it might be something in between, instead of insisting to recruit them to our way of viewing that term.

 

~mooey

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For instance, the word "Faggot" used to mean "archaic unit of measurement for bundles of sticks". No one insists that word should be used widely nowadays, though, since it took a different meaning.

 

I use the word faggot from time to time. They are delicious with mashed potato and peas. See here.

 

Would I get a strange response in America if I said I like to eat faggots?

Edited by ajb
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I use the word faggot from time to time. They are delicious with mashed potato and peas. See here.

 

Would I get a strange response in America if I said I like to eat faggots?

 

 

They are delicious.

 

Similarly, I would get strange responses in America if I said "I'm going to smoke a fag"

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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?

Well, there is much in science that makes a believer of me. Especially in the medecal field. But then, I don't believe everything coming down that pipe either. There is so much "across the counter" garbage, (snake oil) that department stores like Wal-Mart, Sears, K-Mart and even Home Improvement Stores make a good profit from their built in drug stores. On the other hand, a surgeon of any ilk is worth his weight in gold, as is a good MD. Yet, Charlatans pervade every facet of our lives and come from both sides of the aisle, both believer and non-believer. Perhaps I should have presented myself as a skeptic? Is there a difference between "I don't know", I'm not sure, and skepticism?

Was on the tube just now, thinking I may have misspelled skepticism. Saw this brief profile of related words for skepticism: disbelief, incredulity, mental rejection, agnosticism, scepticism.

 

I use the word faggot from time to time. They are delicious with mashed potato and peas. See here.

 

Would I get a strange response in America if I said I like to eat faggots?

Thought something like that was called a haggas? And yes, be very careful to whom you make that statement. Some of my more sophisticated and genteel friends would have you by the ears or a-- in a heart beat. Edited by rigney
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I use the word faggot from time to time. They are delicious with mashed potato and peas. See here.

 

Would I get a strange response in America if I said I like to eat faggots?

 

I'll just have to take you to tour of special NYC clubs. You'll be very popular.

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I'll just have to take you to tour of special NYC clubs. You'll be very popular.

Heck, the trip wouldn't cost you near as much if you took him into the woods just north of Aintree, Ga. Some of them there good old boys who helped make the movie: Deliverance, still hang around down there.

 

Edited by rigney
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I don't think we can say there is any Christian evidence that holds more weight than any other religion, no concrete evidence for sure. I have never understood why theists come to a science forum to justify their beliefs. They are like moths drawn to flames.

 

If you want or need to believe then you should, as long as you don't dive into fundamentalism and decide your particular cult is the only way and that everyone else must follow and do your best to change society to favor your world view i will support your right to believe.

 

The sad thing is that most religions, for some reason especially the mono theistic ones, have to convince others to follow their way or the religion dies. The religion often requires you to convince others to believe, and make others conform to your beliefs, this is where I start having problems with it.

 

I also have problem with people who claims their religion deserves some amount of respect that no one else gets. I see no reason to respect anyone's beliefs past not caring what they believe. Or to the extent it makes me have to modify my behavior.

 

If theists could just keep it to themselves and stop bothering me i would be good to go with it.

 

One real world example of this is the billboards that proselytize a particular religion. These billboards are everywhere, in my small town there has to be dozens of them, people knock at your door to tell you the good news, some of them come in cars others come on bicycles but the message is the same, i need to believe their way or i am going to burn in hell and if i don't believe their way i am somehow morally corrupt.

 

But allow one billboard to go up that even suggests that there are people who don't believe and that they are not alone is reason for people to go nuts! They bitch and moan like they are being skinned alive because someone doesn't have belief and wants to show that they are not alone. Such a billboard here makes the news, people are interviewed so they can say how evil it is to have that billboard up for the "kids" to see... How the people who put it up are evil, immoral, criminals... It's simply crazy, even non fundamentalist theists go nuts over that stuff, they want respect for themselves and no one else gets anything but derision...

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...people knock at your door to tell you the good news...

 

I once had aguy know my door, who after a heated debate, tried to punch me in the face.

 

I deftly avoided his rather inept attemp at violence and told him that he had proved my point with his actions and shut the door.

 

Oh how I laughed that day :D

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I once had aguy know my door, who after a heated debate, tried to punch me in the face.

 

I deftly avoided his rather inept attemp at violence and told him that he had proved my point with his actions and shut the door.

 

Oh how I laughed that day :D

 

 

I wish I could say it only happened once, I generally tell them no thank you and shut the door, if they are persistent I tell them I don't believe in fairy tales and shut the door but if they become aggressive, and they do sometimes, it can result in me insisting they get off my property or I'll seek my demon on them...

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But it's possible that there are more options than just "theism" and "atheism", isn't it?

IMO, no. If you're not theist then you're not-theist. Yes, there are shades of theism and atheism but in the end all of the definitions I can find for theism require that one MUST believe in one or more gods to be theist so anyone that doesn't meet that is, IMO, not theist.

 

Is there a difference between "I don't know", I'm not sure, and skepticism?

Sure. I don't know how gravity does it but I'm sure it will hold me down and I'm not skeptical of that at all.

 

I don't know if there is a god and I believe it to be unknowable so I'm agnostic. I'm not sure there is or is not any gods and I lack any affirmative belief that their existence is a fact so I'm atheist. Since I've seen no evidence to support any position conclusively I am also a skeptic.

 

youtube clip

Thanks, that's one of my favorite banjo pieces.

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IMO, no. If you're not theist then you're not-theist. Yes, there are shades of theism and atheism but in the end all of the definitions I can find for theism require that one MUST believe in one or more gods to be theist so anyone that doesn't meet that is, IMO, not theist.

 

 

Sure. I don't know how gravity does it but I'm sure it will hold me down and I'm not skeptical of that at all.

 

I don't know if there is a god and I believe it to be unknowable so I'm agnostic. I'm not sure there is or is not any gods and I lack any affirmative belief that their existence is a fact so I'm atheist. Since I've seen no evidence to support any position conclusively I am also a skeptic.

 

 

Thanks, that's one of my favorite banjo pieces.

 

Your quote:Sure. I don't know how gravity does it but I'm sure it will hold me down and I'm not skeptical of that at all.

 

Not to insult your intelligence, but isn't it silly to hold that engendered religious, or agnostic reasoning and belief? Scientists have for generations tried to solve the enigma of gravity, but it still hangs out there as nothing more than some BS we are supposed to swallow and abide by. As one little old lady said: Where's the Beef?

Edited by rigney
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I once had aguy know my door, who after a heated debate, tried to punch me in the face.

 

I deftly avoided his rather inept attemp at violence and told him that he had proved my point with his actions and shut the door.

 

Oh how I laughed that day :D

 

What happened to my ability to spell and use words in this post?!

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What happened to my ability to spell and use words in this post?!

You had the chance to tell a very cool story and wasn't going to let spelling and punctuation hold you back! Excitement got the better of you...As it would me if I had been the one who had dodged the blow of the god-botherer

Edited by imatfaal
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What happened to my ability to spell and use words in this post?!

Nothing! Personally, I spend half my time proofing; just hoping words in my sentences are spelled correctly. Doesn't really matter if they make sense or not. Ok, Let me check this out again. Edited by rigney
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Your quote:Sure. I don't know how gravity does it but I'm sure it will hold me down and I'm not skeptical of that at all.

 

Not to insult your intelligence, but isn't it silly to hold that engendered religious, or agnostic reasoning and belief? Scientists have for generations tried to solve the enigma of gravity, but it still hangs out there as nothing more than some BS we are supposed to swallow and abide by. As one little old lady said: Where's the Beef?

Not really. By using the scientific method we can test the theory of gravity. Without understanding exactly what it is or how it works we can still drop a million objects and watch them fall to the ground. Never in the history of my own existence have I unexpectedly floated off the ground. I have good reason to believe that there is some reason for this.

 

A belief in one or more deities is different. There is zero evidence for any deities. They are born completely from man's imagination. There is nothing to support their existence as a cause for anything. I do not profess to have a belief that the existence of deities is not possible but I equally have no reason to believe with affirmation that they do.

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Not really. By using the scientific method we can test the theory of gravity. Without understanding exactly what it is or how it works we can still drop a million objects and watch them fall to the ground. Never in the history of my own existence have I unexpectedly floated off the ground. I have good reason to believe that there is some reason for this.

 

A belief in one or more deities is different. There is zero evidence for any deities. They are born completely from man's imagination. There is nothing to support their existence as a cause for anything. I do not profess to have a belief that the existence of deities is not possible but I equally have no reason to believe with affirmation that they do.

Then, can we rightfully say that we are agnostic; rather than atheist? Edited by rigney
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I am as agnostic about god as I am about tree fairies. No evidence for them to exist, and according to the people who believe in them they're invisible, intangible, and have powers to do what would happen anyway.

There's no proof they exist or don't exist, however proving a negative is fairly difficult.

 

Now, I'm an agnostic, but I'm also an atheist. I don't believe these things exist, and I see no reason t carry out my day to day life as if they do.

So far the evidence on this thread hasn't convinced me.

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Then, can we rightfully say that we are agnostic; rather than atheist?

 

rigney, you can say whatever you want about your own believe, and call it whatever makes you comfortable.

 

Your explanations, though, don't quite fit "I don't know", though.

 

Case in point:

Your quote:Sure. I don't know how gravity does it but I'm sure it will hold me down and I'm not skeptical of that at all.

 

That's not agnosticism, that's fallacy of incredulity. You might not know a mechanism, but you know for close-to-a-fact that it exists, not just by personal belief and philosophy, but with repetitive observational evidence.

 

That's not being agnostic at gravity. That's just not understanding how it works (which is perfectly fine, because we have evidence it exists, unlike deities) and as an extension, how science works.

 

Your continued comparison is also a bit contradictory

 

Not to insult your intelligence, but isn't it silly to hold that engendered religious, or agnostic reasoning and belief? Scientists have for generations tried to solve the enigma of gravity, but it still hangs out there as nothing more than some BS we are supposed to swallow and abide by. As one little old lady said: Where's the Beef?

 

One of the reasons that I've been arguing that you hold the right to call yourself whatever you want in terms of belief is because belief is personal.

 

Science isn't.

 

You insist on making these comparisons, as if science requires the same sort of belief -- but it doesn't not because of the conclusions but because of the methodology.

 

Here's the crux of the difference between belief and science:

Science is aspiring for the objective and uses empiricism to reach it. Evidence are scrutinized on purpose. Ideas are only being accepted after they have been brutally criticized.

 

Belief is exactly the other way arond.

It's personal, it is "taboo" to criticize, it doesn't require evidence, and scrutiny is rejected.

 

The difference is methodology, rigney, not conclusion.

 

 

 

That said, there's another problem with your "I don't know" assertion: You seem you actually DO know, or at least have an idea. From your text, you seem to only "not know" about the final conclusion, but you START with the assumption that there likely ARE deities (or is one), and then say "but I don't know".

 

That's not "just" agnosticism. That, as doG pointed out, is Theism. It can be Agnostic Theism, that's just fine, but you do have theistic flavour to your text here. You are not starting on a completely neutral footing and deciding you don't know.

 

You start with an assumption there probably is a god and end with not knowing.

 

 

Agnosticism exists. You don't quite seem to hold that particular stance, though, according to how you phrase your posts and your counter claims to others.

 

~mooey

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rigney, you can say whatever you want about your own believe, and call it whatever makes you comfortable.

 

Hi. I'm an Evangelical Christian.

Edited by ydoaPs
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Hi. I'm an Evangelical Christian.

 

May the flying spaghetti monster help you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark, please, that i said you can call it whatever makes you comfortable, but then continued to show how rigney's definition didn't FIT what he was saying.

 

You can call yourself whatever you want, but don't expect people let you get away with it without scrutiny. This is, after all, a science forum. Scrutiny is expected and encouraged. (as long as it's according to etiquette rules)

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Then, can we rightfully say that we are agnostic; rather than atheist?

Sure but understand, agnostic is not a shade of theism. Regarding theism you are theist or you're not. Agnostic simply means you believe the truth is unknowable and has nothing to do with your belief that there are god(s) or not. It is not a position between theist and not-theist.

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