Atheism and Agnosticism

If this topic needs to be deleted I apologize for making it. I wasn't sure from the thread what the rules were exactly. The topic is meant for a calm debate on what makes up atheism and agnosticism and what has more logic centered around it. I'm also curious about theories on origin of Christianity. Again, this isn't meant to start arguements and can be deleted or locked if necessary.

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I do not believe in God, I believe in the possibility of God.
I do not believe that God doesn't exist, I believe it is possible he doesn't exist.

Does this make me Atheist, Agnostic, or both? Atheist Agnosticism is something else entirely though.

Also, are there any thoughts on what is more logical: atheism or agnosticism? Is it truly logical to discard the possibility of some sort of supreme being? What are the theories towards how Christianity and the history of religion started?
 
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To put it simply, if God is made up of particles/atoms, he is a slave of the system, and therefore he is only the highest possible being in the system/universe.
If he is not made up of atoms, but is entirely seperate and outside the universe, well, then we get to something completely different.

Who can possibly know what is outside our universe?
Both ideas of "the universe is too perfect to have a creator", and "well I say it's so perfect it HAS to have a creator or intellect of some sort" both apply.
So therefore, I believe being an agnostic is most logical.

However, I have discarded a biblical God, any type of God that people have created, I say we simply know NOTHING about any current creator or omiscient being in our universe. Nothing at all.
 
Do you believe we know nothing because we can prove nothing, and we cannot confirm any ideological beliefs of monotheistic religions; or, do you believe that monotheist religions were simply created in all senses?

I discard a biblical God because of the shaky information I have been presented with and because there is no proof at this time that I deem correct. I don't necessarily deny the possibility that some historical religious happenings did occur; however, they were likely improperly documented over time.
 

Kerrie

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Dooga, your thread will remain open so long as it stays philosophical, which I can see is your intent. Let's not get into the Christianity subject however.

I would say you are more agnostic with the beliefs you stated. Atheists tend to deny any sort of creative intelligence. Agnostics just don't acknowledge but would be open to change (from what I understand).
 
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If this topic needs to be deleted I apologize for making it. I wasn't sure from the thread what the rules were exactly.
-------------------------------------------------------------
the rules are clear my child
this world bans philosophy
i've been banned on several forums

Philosopher Philocrazy
PS when philosophy makes money they turn it into a religion!!!!!
 

Kerrie

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philocrazy said:
the rules are clear my child
this world bans philosophy
i've been banned on several forums

Philosopher Philocrazy
PS when philosophy makes money they turn it into a religion!!!!!
interesting quotation there, although untrue
are you giving me warning that i may ban you too?
yes, the rules are quite clear,
so please adhere to them, and i assure you won't be a fool!
 
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warning?
not at all sir
i was merely accounting some hard facts of life in civilisation: "WESTERN DEMOCRACY"
western democracy is giving Philosophy Warnings!!!!
you just gave me one

Is this forum free and Democratic?
i rest my case
 

Kerrie

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philocrazy said:
warning?
not at all sir
i was merely accounting some hard facts of life in civilisation: "WESTERN DEMOCRACY"
western democracy is giving Philosophy Warnings!!!!
you just gave me one

Is this forum free and Democratic?
i rest my case
interesting you would address me as a "sir"
ignorant you are that i am a "her"
keep up the blathering,
and a ban of your membership i do assure.
 

loseyourname

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You guys are cracking me up. You should date.
 

Kerrie

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for some reason, people like this give me a reason to feel poetic.
i can't date though, i have a nice diamond on my left ring finger now :biggrin:
 
There's are certain areas of our brains that make us feel spiritualy aware, these areas are a natural consequence of religion and evolution, religion makes our communities safer and better places to be for everyone - yeah I know not anymore, 3rd biggest killer in Europe religion and it's wars - therefore thoughts of religion will eventually lead to a positive imprinting on the brain. Does god exist? or did we make him up, chicken and egg, it's all pretty meaningless, one thing I will say though is that agnosticism is waiting for proof before making a decision, atheism is an absolute belief that god doesnt exist; in that case what's the difference between a christian and an atheist?
 

Doc Al

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Louis Cypher said:
..., atheism is an absolute belief that god doesnt exist...
Nope. An atheist simply lacks belief in god(s); nothing "absolute" about it.
 
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it is not all pretty meaningless if u believe that god is present in our everyday lives. :P

Dooga you are agnostic. agnostic is like ya he might exist, but like dude he might not?!?... athesist are like the is NO god, wut so ever!!! u are "if"-yish so u are agnostic.

now for your other questions. Christainity/Judism(sry4spelling) differed from the main the beliefs of the Romans and Greeks. they thought that u went to the underworld now matter wut and that unless u were some BIG hero like Odysseus then u went to some flat area, the plains of something.The plains were pretty boring too, nothing to do for all eternity, unless u got pluto pissed off : ). Christianity/Judism says that u went to Heaven if u were a good little boy/girl, hence the term Ethical-Monotheism. i dont know about u but if im picking a religion and one says that im going to be doing nothing for the rest of my unatrual life and one says that ill be happy after im dead...hmmm...tough decision!

now my thoughts on athesism vs "agnosticism"( can i even put the ism at the end of this word??? nvr seen it spelled that way... o well)
i think that saying that humans know everything and that there is NO possiblity of anything odd being out there that doesn't really fit our sense of reality, is arrogant. if u believe that there are wierd things that ppl don't experience in everyday life, in physics, such as TINY peices of matter, then who says that there can't be other wierd things too? No, im not saying that God is the size of a electron, or that he is even made of matter, but admiting that u are ignorant and then saying ur omniscient is just being stupid.
 
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this is a seperate question from my other post so im not editing.

then wut do atheist believe in besides that there is no god(s)?
 

russ_watters

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Doc Al said:
Nope. An atheist simply lacks belief in god(s); nothing "absolute" about it.
That's agnostic. Athiesm is a positive belief that god doesn't exist.
 
Is that the accepted definition now? Dictionary.com states:

Atheism: Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
Disbelief: Refusal or reluctance to believe.
Belief: Something believed or accepted as true.

Under those definitions you could say that Agnosticism is a type of Atheism.
 

russ_watters

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Well, I guess its a little unclear what "disbelief" means (it may go either way), but "denial of" is a pretty clear positive belief. And since we have another word for describing the lack of belief (agnostic), it makes sense to differentiate.
 

BoulderHead

People have, in times past, been labeled ‘atheist’ for having belief in certain god(s) instead of others and I think in this day and age such thinking can be seen absurd. My preference involves examination of the words;

Theism: belief in a deity
A-Theism: without theism.

Atheism quite properly describes lack of belief and this in an of itself outlines no other view which may be held by the subject. When I describe myself as atheist there is nothing beyond what is outlined above I am attempting to convey. To ascribe anything beyond this is to force words and preconceptions into an unwilling mouth.
 

russ_watters

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However, the dictonary implies there is a difference between athiesm and agnosticism (sp?):
agnostic:
-One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
-One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
-One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.
If an athiest is an agnostic, then what do you call someone who believes that there is no god?
 

BoulderHead

Does the agnostic have a belief in a deity?

A-Gnosis: without knowledge

Without knowledge of what?
If it is knowledge of a deity a further question might involve asking just how much knowledge is being spoken of. If it is meant to be absolute is it not then impossible to have belief in something for which one lacks any knowledge whatsoever? Personally, I do not care much for that word and believe it was invented to distance the originator from negative connotations associated with certain atheist people.

Atheist is short, simple, and speaks directly to the point. Going beyond lacking belief in a deity it is altogether possible to hold many other viewpoints. The same is of course true for theists who may have many different beliefs and yet still may properly be described as theists.

[edited for clarity (and removed the word 'scope')]
 
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BoulderHead

russ_watters said:
If an athiest is an agnostic, then…
I am not making such a claim.
…what do you call someone who believes that there is no god?
A believer.
 

selfAdjoint

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I used to be an agnostic long ago; I honestly didn't know (agnosis), :rofl: or really much care, whether there was a god or not. Then I had a conversion experience and became a Catholic for many years. I believed in God and a lot of other stuff too. Sometimes I still kinda beleieve some of it. Now I mostly call myself an atheist; I don't believe in a personal go at all, and I see no reason to add even such human details as a Deist god might posess to my interest and respect for the entirely non-personal iniverse.

So from personal experience (yay Chalmers) there is something there is like to be an agnostic, and it's different from what there is like to be an atheist. :rofl:
 
On Atheism

The following website has lots of great information about atheism -
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/atheism/index.shtml [Broken]

This page, from that site, is specific about two "kinds" of atheism, and
also briefly discusses agnosticism, so I will include those statements -
http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/intro.html#atheisms

"What is atheism?"

Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism".

Regarding people who have never been exposed to the concept of 'god': Whether they are 'atheists' or not is a matter of debate. Since you're unlikely to meet anyone who has never encountered religion, it's not a very important debate...

It is important, however, to note the difference between the strong and weak atheist positions. "Weak atheism" is simple scepticism; disbelief in the existence of God. "Strong atheism" is an explicitly held belief that God does not exist. Please do not fall into the trap of assuming that all atheists are "strong atheists". There is a qualitative difference in the "strong" and "weak" positions; it's not just a matter of degree.

Some atheists believe in the non-existence of all Gods; others limit their atheism to specific Gods, such as the Christian God, rather than making flat-out denials.

"But isn't disbelieving in God the same thing as believing he doesn't exist?"

Definitely not. Disbelief in a proposition means that one does not believe it to be true. Not believing that something is true is not equivalent to believing that it is false; one may simply have no idea whether it is true or not. Which brings us to agnosticism.

"What is agnosticism then?"

The term 'agnosticism' was coined by Professor T.H. Huxley at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society in 1876. He defined an agnostic as someone who disclaimed both ("strong") atheism and theism, and who believed that the question of whether a higher power existed was unsolved and insoluble. Another way of putting it is that an agnostic is someone who believes that we do not know for sure whether God exists. Some agnostics believe that we can never know.

In recent years, however, the term agnostic has also been used to describe those who simply believe that the evidence for or against God is inconclusive, and therefore are undecided about the issue.

To reduce the amount of confusion over the use of term agnosticism, it is recommended that usage based on a belief that we cannot know whether God exists be qualified as "strict agnosticism" and usage based on the belief that we merely do not know yet be qualified as "empirical agnosticism".

Words are slippery things, and language is inexact. Beware of assuming that you can work out someone's philosophical point of view simply from the fact that she calls herself an atheist or an agnostic. For example, many people use agnosticism to mean what is referred to here as "weak atheism", and use the word "atheism" only when referring to "strong atheism".

Beware also that because the word "atheist" has so many shades of meaning, it is very difficult to generalize about atheists. About all you can say for sure is that atheists don't believe in God. For example, it certainly isn't the case that all atheists believe that science is the best way to find out about the universe.
For the record, I'm a strong atheist. I strongly believe gods cannot exist.
 
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I'm an atheist in the sense that I don't have a belief in a god or gods. My gut feeling is that they don't exist. This gut feeling is based on my education and my experience of the world and thinking about it. But it's only a gut feeling, and as such, I allow for the possibility of a god or gods existing. Same as I do for unicorns and elves. And women who are attracted to me. :redface:
 

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