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Atheism or Agnosticism, which one is correct?

    outsmartthesystem posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 15:38:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

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    "Agnosticism is a woolly headed cop-out when it comes to god. Do you have a belief that god is real? You are a theist. Do you lack that positive belief? You are an atheist."

    This statement is completely incorrect. You are in essence deleting indecision from the equation.

    Isn't that a bit like saying "you believe it will rain today or you believe it will not rain today....which one is it?" Is "I really don't know because I haven't seen the forecast and I don't yet know how to predict the whether" not an acceptable answer?

    ziddina posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 22:39:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

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    "Agnostic when Thomas Huxley first coined it in 1869 meant according to him, that we cannot know anything beyond material phenomena as explained by Science, so far from a wooly-headed point of view , when it started it was a rationalistic view.
    In modern time many label themselves Agnostic without appreciating this original meaning, and if you question them their postion boils down to "it hurts my head to think about it, so I use the label as a cop out". ..." Phizzy

    Oooo, Phizzy, thank you for that comment!! It's a good one!!

    I do view agnostics - what one might term "pure" agnostics - as being very different from the bizarre beliefs mixture of a few members on this board - and you know who you are, but I'm a'gonna name names - or behavior patterns, at least...

    I'm referring, of course, to someone who picks and chooses which section or scriptures of the bible that they're going to accept. This is not an "agnostic", in my opinion.

    I guess it would be most accurate to call such a person a "cafeteria Christian"... But they're definitely NOT agnostics, though they might like to use that label for its perceived connection to "rationalism"...

    d0rkyd00d posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 23:29:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

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    Agnosticism and atheism pertain to two completely different subject matters, as was mentioned before. Atheism deal with belief, agnosticism with knowledge. One can be agnostic about the existence of aliens, but still believe they exist somewhere in the universe. They are not mutually exclusive, as many of the comments here would lead one to believe.

    I am an agnostic atheist. I don't know if God exists. I don't believe God exists, by most definitions. Define God, and I will tell you whether I believe that specific notion. I think folks who simply stop at agnosticism don't care to determine a set belief on the matter. No big deal.

    cyberjesus posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 23:31:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

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    whatever Bohm said...

    anyway

    This statement is completely incorrect.

    That statement is completely incorrect

    who is correct the one who doesnt have an opinion or the one who doesnt know why they dont have an opinion?

    F LouBelle posted Sun, 08 Apr 2012 23:35:00 GMT(4/8/2012)

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    I haven't read everyone's post. I feel there is a flaw right from the start, you said "To me an agnostic ........... Christianity in America" so that is according to you, so however one answers would be according to their point of view and not yours, so each response from there on out is really null and void because it won't be in line with how you view it.

    d posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 00:40:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    I am an atheist I put God in the same section of mythological creatures

    Scully posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 00:45:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    I'm more of an I-don't-give-a-crap-one-way-or-the-other-ist. I have no intention of wasting any more of my life on it, when there are so many more productive and positive things I could be doing.

    Joey Jo-Jo posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 05:11:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    bohm: Regarding logical fallacies:

    You wrote - Secondly I find myself doubting if you really believe what you are writing. For instance, are you truly agnostic with respect to the flying spaghetti monster, or do you as I, believe it is a mock-god made up by an atheist? Do you really believe we cannot know if we will live on the slopes of a beer volcano near the stripper factory when we die, or do you believe that is highly implausible?

    I wrote - My logical fallacy senses are tingling, proof to me that God does not exist so I can answer your questions :)

    I’m reply you wrote - What is the logical fallacy? I am simply asking you if you are an agnostic with respect to the flying spaghetti monster. Your previous statements would imply it since you directly said we could define God as the flying spaghetti monster and you believed agnosticism is the default position on the existence of God.

    First, you were not just asking me if I am an agnostic with respect to the flying spaghetti monster but also " Do you really believe we cannot know if we will live on the slopes of a beer volcano near the stripper factory when we die, or do you believe that is highly implausible? "

    Second, you quoted me out of context, this is what I wrote - From here I will refer deity as anything ranging Jehovah to a real spaghetti monster, it's not important because a) we don’t know b)for the purpose of this discussion it is not important to define what we believe god to be. To elaborate, I used the word deity as a universal not prove that all gods simultaneously exist or don't, but so the argument I proposed does not get dragged on to external factors such as the bible, which religion is true? Which god is true? Etc.

    So this argument does not get pushed aside, I will know refer this deity or deities as the one/s assuming that created this darkness we call space, and that created the cosmos and set them in motion, I will call my god/s that derived from an assumption as ? (Question mark).

    The logical fallacies are:

    Straw man - Misrepresenting my argument by taking it to extremes - Do you really believe we cannot know if we will live on the slopes of a beer volcano near the stripper factory when we die, or do you believe that is highly implausible? I would say most improbable but I wouldn't mind if it started to rain donuts, by my argument is in relevance of the unknown.

    Abusive analogy - Once again, you indirectly insult me by what you wrote giving the readers the false impression that you are discussing the same argument while character assassinating my intelligence.

    Analogical fallacy, secundrum quid and dicto simpliciter (they are all very similar) - Supposing that things similar in one respect must be similar in others, in this case not knowing if ? exists is the same as - Do you really believe we cannot know if we will live on the slopes of a beer vulcano near the stripper factory when we die, or do you believe that is highly implausible?

    Begging the question - your conclusion seeks to be established.

    Now on to null hypothesis, it's the first time that I have heard that a null hypothesis could also imply something which can be falsified. I don't follow, I know that null hypothesis is not only used in statistics I know that wiki at times are incorrect, but if you could quote me an academic book that says otherwise - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_hypothesis

    WTWizard: Usually in debates, like the youtube channel atheistexperience 9 out of 10 they will say that there is not proof to believe in god (depending who they are talking to they could be referring to some deity in a book like genesis), therefore there is no reason to believe in ?

    That's news to me, Satanists like Marilyn Mason don't believe in Satan, are spiritual Satanists different from Satanists?

    DT wrote There is no need for the term agnosticism to fill in a gap between theism and atheism. Theism is a definite state of belief and atheism merely refers to those who don't have that belief, regardless of whether they lack belief or believe the opposite.

    As I pointed out on my first post, there are many definitions for these words, here is 17 kinds of atheism - http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=6487 surprise surprise apparently agnosticism is also a form of atheism.

    Agnosticism refers to a lack of knowledge rather than lack of belief. Therefore, it includes some theists and atheists. Thank you for pointing that out, but I would also go as far to say that both atheism and theism are beliefs, the fact is there is a lack of knowledge.

    sabastious: as I wrote to the other person, prove to me that God does not exist, let's see who is the cop-out.

    d0rkyd00d: If you don't believe that God exists then you are an atheist. I defined God in the top part of this same post. I personally have strong reasons not to believe in the bible therefore any religion that claims their god comes and is written in a man-made book is false, but I cannot say the same about Eastern Orthodoxy because they don't believe in the bible (although if I seek hard enough I'm sure I can find enough evidence to at least debunk their religion)

    LouBelle: I cannot write Agnosticism is such and such because there many different understandings, and some agnostics might say that I am not even an agnostic, so I wrote To me an agnostic..., yes according to me this is what I think agnosticism should be, I don’t think I came of as arrogant, how else could I put it in words?

    cyberjesus posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 05:34:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    In effective communication we have to find out what the words we use mean to the other person. Unless we have the same definition we could be discussing for hours.

    if I start a thread to discuss what I think of an issue... do I really want to discuss to find out more understanding or do I just want to tell people my thoughts and when they state theirs I disregard them since I have my personal opinion?

    If you ask a question to find out which one is correct... are you really willing to listen their arguments? or you have defined already yours?

    F LouBelle posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:50:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    I'll have to read the all the comments to further answer you, becuase if you are discussing the point fare enough, if however, you are holding to your definition to be the acceptable one, well then, it would be like being in a kingdom hall again.

    cyberjesus posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 06:53:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    if however, you are holding to your definition to be the acceptable one

    i like that!

    Joey Jo-Jo posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 08:49:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    Furthermore LouBelle here are some of the definitions available online.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/agnostic

    1 a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism. 2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnostic
    a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
    a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study. a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic: Socrates was an agnostic on the subject of immortality.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic
    1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or thenonexistence of God or a god 2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/agnostic a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
    As you can see there are some variences, my variance is one of the definitions, the fact that people can generalise agnostics is wrong, and also that one word can mean similar but different things is also wrong.
    This is what Carl Sagan said and what I consider agnosticism: "An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed". Source - Wakin, Edward (May 1981). [www.uscatholic.org "God and Carl Sagan: Is the Cosmos Big Enough for Both of Them?"]. U.S. Catholic : 19-24 . Retrieved 7 April 2012 .
    "I'm agnostic." Source - Head, Tom. "Conversations with Carl". Skeptic 13 (1): 32–38. Excerpted in Head, Tom, ed. (2006). University of Mississippi Press. ISBN 1-57806-736-7..

    ZeusRocks posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 10:08:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    If someone asks you if you believe in god or a god, and your answer is no, then you are atheist. You cannot answer this question with "I don't know". You weren't asked whether you know a god exists or not, the question is whether you believe a god exists.

    I guess in a nutshell

    Category 1: Theist or Atheist....someone cannot be both

    Category 2: Gnostic or Agnostic......someone cannot be both

    You can mix and match between Category 1 & 2 if you really feel the need, but if someone asks you if you believe in god, you cannot state that you are agnostic as that has nothing to do with the question being asked.

    Unless you believe in a god, you're atheist.

    bohm posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:20:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    Jo-Jo: Perhaps there is a language issue but i do not think i am guilty of the strawman fallacy, the fallacy of abusive analogy/ analogical fallacy,begging the question and secundrum quid and dicto simpliciter which i do not even know what is.

    My point is very simple: It does not make sence to have a discussion if X exist or not without having a common understanding of what X is. If i told you: "Jo-jo, do you think Animal live naturally in africa?" clearly your oppinion on the subject would be very different depending on what animal was implied.

    If I told you that you could define Animal any way you felt natural, from spaghetti monsters to lions, clearly that would not help you very much in giving a usefull answer to the question. That is my entire point: If we define God some ways i am a believer, if we define God in other ways i am an atheist. I think that goes for all of us.

    This is also the reason why any book about God i have ever read start out by making it clear to the reader what the term "God" covers, for instance: "intentional creator of universe, sentinent being, God of the bible, etc.".

    I tried to make the point clear by pointing out that we are both equally atheistic with respect to the flying spaghetti monster. Going back to your opening post you wrote:

    From here I will refer deity as anything ranging Jehovah to a real spaghetti monster, it's not important because a) we don’t know b)for the purpose of this discussion it is not important to define what we believe god to be.

    then:

    they [atheists] don't see the logical fallacy that disbelieving is as well and that atheists commit by saying this [the deity does not exist] (...) Wouldn't it be more logical to say I don't know.

    The way i read your argument you say two things: God include Jehovah, spaghetti monster, etc. and it is a logical fallacy to say God does not exist. I think its perfectly fair to form the question: Is it a logical fallacy to be disbelieving in the spaghetti monster? In that case, are you agnostic with respect to the spaghetti monster (and its related claims, for instance the beer vulcano) or not? In fact i think it follows from pure logic from what you wrote, but again there may be a language issue (I am not a native english speaker).

    BTW. if you destinguish between the real spaghetti monster and the flying spaghetti monster i misunderstood you.

    Now on to null hypothesis, it's the first time that I have heard that a null hypothesis could also imply something which can be falsified. I don't follow, I know that null hypothesis is not only used in statistics I know that wiki at times are incorrect, but if you could quote me an academic book that says otherwise

    It seem to me you are just trying to split hairs but anyway, let me quote Fisher:

    R. A. Fisher, The Design of Experiments ii. 19, "We may speak of this hypothesis as the 'null hypothesis', and it should be noted that the null hypothesis is never proved or established, but is possibly disproved, in the course of experimentation."

    A null hypothesis which cannot be falsified is not very interesting, how would the framework of hypothesis testing apply?. Anyway, my point was simply that I dont think it is a very good idea to call: " we cannot prove nor disprove that god exists" a null hypothesis because it has very little to do with how null hypothesis are usually phrased or used. Furthermore i am not at all certain it should be our default position but again, it depend (entirely!) on how we define God.

    Joey Jo-Jo posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 11:53:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    But bohm, we don't know what X is, I thought I made it very clear even if I didn't make it before (which I believe I did) - I will know refer this deity or deities as the one/s assuming that created this darkness we call space, and that created the cosmos and set them in motion, I will call my god/s that derived from an assumption as ? (Question mark).

    X has never revelead itself, we don't even know if X exists, the only methods of identify X is through science and maths and yet there is a lot to uncover, remember that you are talking to an agnostic and not a theist, it is your claim that God does not exist, and I am not talking about the bible all I am showing is that your claim (atheists) can also be irrational.

    Assuming we dont know X therefore X does not exist is circular reasoning, another fallacy

    A null hypothesis is simple that, null, zero, nada, yes it can be disproven but then it's no longer null.

    bohm posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 12:32:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    Jo-Jo:

    But bohm, we don't know what X is, I thought I made it very clear even if I didn't make it before (which I believe I did) - I will know refer this deity or deities as the one/s assuming that created this darkness we call space, and that created the cosmos and set them in motion, I will call my god/s that derived from an assumption as ? (Question mark).

    X has never revelead itself, we don't even know if X exists, the only methods of identify X is through science and maths and yet there is a lot to uncover, remember that you are talking to an agnostic and not a theist, it is your claim that God does not exist, and I am not talking about the bible all I am showing is that your claim (atheists) can also be irrational.

    I dont think you have shown such a thing. You have defined God in an incredible vague fashion and being an agnostic, theist or atheist with respect to God the way you define it above is a very different type of statement than being agnostic, atheistic or theistic with respect to the God of the bible or the Quran; the later is (incidently) the type of Gods people tend to actually believe in and where i think it makes the most sence to define these words.

    Very well, lets define God from your minimal set of properties. I still do not believe such a God exist because i see no evidence the hypothesis is true and it is quite a formidable hypothesis. I call that being an "atheist" with respect to your X-God. In drawing that conclusion I dont think i am being irrational as you claim. Scientists has proposed a number of different (contradictory) possible explanations for the origin of the universe and all we know is that they are very unlikely to be true; your hypothesis of an creator is just another hypothesis without any evidence, and I think i am perfectly in line with what is common in science as such when i am highly sceptical.

    Assuming we dont know X therefore X does not exist is circular reasoning, another fallacy

    Is this the 6th fallacy you accuse me of in the span of a few hours? Ofcourse i do no such thing, stop putting words in my mouth.

    A null hypothesis is simple that, null, zero, nada, yes it can be disproven but then it's no longer null.

    well i suppose that settles it.

    d0rkyd00d posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 13:01:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    It is not a contradiction to say you are an agnostic atheist. I think most people view it as a sliding scale, where there's certainty of existence on one end, certainty of non-existence on the other, and agnosticism somewhere in between. What I'm suggesting is that atheism and agnosticism exist on two different scales. One can be certain in their belief that God doesn't exist, yet still admit they don't "know" in the same sense that I "know" other things empirically.

    ziddina posted Mon, 09 Apr 2012 20:44:00 GMT(4/9/2012)

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    "I guess in a nutshell
    Category 1: Theist or Atheist....someone cannot be both
    Category 2: Gnostic or Agnostic......someone cannot be both
    You can mix and match between Category 1 & 2 if you really feel the need, but if someone asks you if you believe in god, you cannot state that you are agnostic as that has nothing to do with the question being asked.
    Unless you believe in a god, you're atheist...." ZeusRocks, above...

    Zeus, your post ROCKS!!!

    Joey Jo-Jo posted Tue, 10 Apr 2012 07:57:00 GMT(4/10/2012)

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    hi bohn, i much prefer these topics done publicly than on forums as there could be misunderstandings.

    but i will try my best.

    my definition of a possible deity is vague because i dont know, this to you is evidence that deities do not exist, am i correct?

    you wrote on your last post how scientists failed hypothesis to prove that the universe was created by a god, would it be rational to conclude that these tests were done with what we humans currently know and understand? do you think these understanding could change in future changing our view on certain topics? do you see science as a set of laws or a form of free acquisition?

    cyberjesus posted Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:23:00 GMT(4/10/2012)

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    zeus you rock

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