Showing posts with label agnosticism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agnosticism. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Conversation On Agnosticism vs Atheism

OU812 wrote:
It staggers the mind, if you think about it, that so, so many of our 'enlightened, intellectual' class pass by the label of Agnostic in order to proudly label themselves Atheists. Why not be content with being Agnostic if you, as an intellectual, cannot prove any conclusive position on this point? It seems calling yourself an Atheist is a cheap and easy way to secure an appreciation of your intellect - in certain circles, anyway. I am not using this as a means of starting a theological debate, but to me, the lack of consistency exemplifies, so blatantly, human failings. Would any Atheist 'intellectual' conclude that there is no life on other planets simply because there is no proof that there is?
Gnosticism deals merely with knowledge, not belief. That's where theism comes in. Everyone is agnostic, since NO ONE knows for sure. Saying you're 'agnostic' is a nonsense statement in a sense since it says nothing about what you believe. Even the most religious person on earth is agnostic, no matter what they say. So when someone asks if you believe in god(s) if you're one of those people who shrugs their shoulders and thinks "I dunno" that's not what they asked.

The right answer (and this is where people start getting annoyed and whatnot but it's just true) is that you don't currently hold a positive belief in god, aka you're an agnostic atheist. If you think 'I dunno' when someone asks if you believe in god you're definitely not a theist......which makes you an atheist. There's no third middle option. That middle option people think of is actually the answer to a separate question (do you KNOW a god exists).

Theism= belief in a god.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-theism= the lack of a belief in god.

Gnosticism= knowledge of god's existence.
Prefix 'a' denotes the lack of something.
A-gnosticism= the lack of knowledge of god's existence.

Two different things. It's not agnostic or atheist; those are two different answers to two different questions. I am an agnostic atheist.

OU812 wrote:
That may be accurate in a literal sense, but i don't think most people, particularly those in the public eye who voice their opinion on the matter, go any further into the definitions of atheist, agnostic and believer/theist than as I had originally argued. That would certainly make sense since I believe those in the forefront of politics and popular culture, the opinions I am hearing and evaluating, are the pseudo-intellectuals Sowell so elegantly swipes at in his books.
You, Sowell, and those like you are all making the same mistake. Let me quote you to show you what I am talking about:

OU812 wrote:
Now both believers and non-believers require the same level of proof to come to their conclusions -- none. It is the Atheist, however, who claims the intellectual high ground for his position, ridiculing those who disagree.
The problem with this is that the burden of proof is always on those making a claim. The axiomatically correct stance in any case of the asserted existence of some thing is the null hypothesis until proven otherwise. This position should only be changed to belief/acceptance of the claim when sufficient evidence is given to them by those making said claim. So, in the case of the existence of a god, the human who says "hey, a god exists" to a second human, or a group of humans, must then prove that this is true. Much like the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court case, the god believer must demonstrate to the people he is preaching that the god in question exists and he must do beyond all measure of reasonable doubt. If they fail to do this, the 'atheist' is holding the correct position- that of disbelief. He need not defend this disbelief nor is it correct to accuse him of holding a faith based position. It is in fact the philosophically correct one.

Sowell is wrong and imo, he just gets off on writing off the atheists as angsty pseudointellectuals. It's lazy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Atheism 101 (Resources for those New to the idea of Atheism)

Some of My Resources for People New to the Idea of Atheism

One of my very first posts here was entitled Atheism is a Religion? and The Burden of Proof.

I just went back made a few changes to that post. The new version can be seen here:

I have added a few things and fixed up a few trouble areas. I believe this post will be much more useful to anyone stubling across this blog who may be interested in atheism in any regard, but is new to the idea and quite unaware of the sort of Atheism 101 type concepts. I have added some things to this end, like an operational definition of atheism.

Also, for anyone who fits this description, you may also want to check out:

and perhaps:

Thanks, and science bless ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You're Not An 'Agnostic.'

We're all agnostic. If your answer to the question ''Do you believe in a god'' is yes, you are a theist. If it's anything but yes, then you are currently an atheist.

A-theism=Lack of said belief

Agnosticism=Not knowing.

We all either believe or not, but no one ''knows'' for sure. Hence, the agnosticism part. Whether or not you believe is a matter of being convinced by the evidence. ''What evidence?'' you may ask.

Well, pick a religion.

You know the ''holy'' books, the arguments, the stories, etc etc? That's the evidence. If you don't find any of them compelling enough that they have convinced you of their veracity, and none of the non specific arguments for a deity like the cosmological or teleological argumets have convinced you, then you're an atheist.

If they have convinced you, then you're a theist, and are either a deist (convinced by the nonspecific arguments, but not by a specific religion), or you were convinced by a specific religion and now are a Hindu, or a Christian, or whatever.

You cannot just simply be 'An Agnostic.'