God releases Satan ? Why God allow Evil to exist?

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  • #1
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The Revelation says, Satan will be jailed 1000 years, after that it will be released to confuse nations.

Why like that?
 

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  • #2
Phobos
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Also, why was the devil allowed to exist in the first place?
 
  • #3
hypnagogue
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I think the basic idea is that the devil was initially an angel with free will. This angel used its free will to disobey God and so was banished.
 
  • #4
IT IS A FAIRY TALE!!

Whew!!

See, in a fairy tale, you have to have the good guy and the bad guy. In the Bible, without a super-powerful bad guy, the 'God' character, being all powerful, would have to take the blame for evil as well as good, so a second characher was created. It still doesn't make sense to the nonbelievers, of course, because a critical look would show that an all-knowing, all powerful being would have to be psychotic to create its own enemies...unless it is, as I said, a fairy tale.
 
  • #5
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Saint
The Revelation says, Satan will be jailed 1000 years, after that it will be released to confuse nations.

Why like that?
Because without somebody to tempt us to do wrong (or bad), then it would not "expose" us to our weaknesses, and we would not inquire (of God) about how to grow beyond it, "spiritually."
 
  • #6
Saint
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According to bible, God wants everone to believe in Jesus and saved, but Satan wants people to disbelieve God and sin.
If without Satan's influence, there should be more people to believe in Jesus and do less sin. However, God seems do not know this fact and allow Satan to work freely on people.

Isn't this ridiculous ?
 
  • #7
Guybrush Threepwood
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Originally posted by Saint
The Revelation says, Satan will be jailed 1000 years, after that it will be released to confuse nations.

Why like that?

maybe after 1000 years he finally changed his lawyer....
 
  • #9
Originally posted by Saint
According to bible, God wants everone to believe in Jesus and saved, but Satan wants people to disbelieve God and sin.
If without Satan's influence, there should be more people to believe in Jesus and do less sin. However, God seems do not know this fact and allow Satan to work freely on people.

Isn't this ridiculous ?
Yes, it is. I'll make an atheist out of you yet!
 
  • #10
Wasper
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The Revelation says, Satan will be jailed 1000 years, after that it will be released to confuse nations.

Maybe it was done so the world wouldn't be so goody two-shoe and boring? Conflicts is what makes the world so lively and fun.

The question I ask is why are we punished for following the evil that god himself has created? If this is so, shouldn't we be punish for following the good that he created also?
 
  • #11
Phobos
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Originally posted by Zero
IT IS A FAIRY TALE!!

Probably a good answer...but it won't get people to think about their beliefs. :wink:
 
  • #12
Phobos
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Originally posted by hypnagogue
I think the basic idea is that the devil was initially an angel with free will. This angel used its free will to disobey God and so was banished.

Right. But since the Bible shows that God destroys things which displease Him, why not a fallen angel too?
 
  • #13
Phobos
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
Because without somebody to tempt us to do wrong (or bad), then it would not "expose" us to our weaknesses, and we would not inquire (of God) about how to grow beyond it, "spiritually."

Human nature is not enough? I don't think Judeo-Christian beliefs are such that all sin is due to a devil.
 
  • #15
Les Sleeth
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I continue to despair over seeing, on the one hand, diligence toward understanding science issues by members here, and on the other hand, such utter carelessness toward understanding the history of the God concept.

Tell me please . . .what possible excuse is there for sloppy scholarship in a science-oriented, public forum?

What I wouldn't give for some participation by members who've thoroughly studied the archeology, history, anthropology, literature, etc. of God belief, and who offer up for everyone actual, genuine, real informed opinions rather than the superficial knee-jerk opinionated crap prevalent here.
 
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  • #16
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Zero
Yes, it is. I'll make an atheist out of you yet!

This is a charming sentiment. Too bad the position of atheism is just as logically flawed as the position of theism; belief in the non-existence of God has no more justification than belief in God. I'm all for questioning beliefs in the spirit of open discussion, but what amounts to nothing more than simple meme machines on either side of the equation are generally not very conducive to open discussion.
 
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  • #17
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by LW Sleeth
I continue to despair over seeing, on the one hand, diligence toward understanding science issues by members here, and on the other hand, such utter carelessness toward understanding the history of the God concept.

Tell me please . . .what possible excuse is there for sloppy scholarship in a science-oriented, public forum?

What I wouldn't give for some participation by members who've thoroughly studied the archeology, history, anthropology, literature, etc. of God belief, and who offer up for everyone actual, genuine, real informed opinions rather than the superficial knee-jerk opinionated crap prevalent here.
Actually there are people discussing these issues intelligently, although some of us would rather fight it out in the trenches I guess? And hey, don't forget to tell Brian I referred you. :wink:

http://www.comparative-religion.com [Broken]
 
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  • #18
Iacchus32
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Originally posted by Phobos
Human nature is not enough? I don't think Judeo-Christian beliefs are such that all sin is due to a devil.
If you understood the spiritual implications here, that all outcroppings of evil are due to man's ignorance, and that yes, the Devil is in fact man (gone to hell), then human nature would suffice.
 
  • #19
Originally posted by hypnagogue
This is a charming sentiment. Too bad the position of atheism is just as logically flawed as the position of theism; belief in the non-existence of God has no more justification than belief in God. I'm all for questioning beliefs in the spirit of open discussion, but what amounts to nothing more than simple meme machines on either side of the equation are generally not very conducive to open discussion.
Too bad you don't actually know what Atheism means, or you wouldn't have posted teh way you did.
 
  • #20
Originally posted by LW Sleeth
I continue to despair over seeing, on the one hand, diligence toward understanding science issues by members here, and on the other hand, such utter carelessness toward understanding the history of the God concept.

Tell me please . . .what possible excuse is there for sloppy scholarship in a science-oriented, public forum?

What I wouldn't give for some participation by members who've thoroughly studied the archeology, history, anthropology, literature, etc. of God belief, and who offer up for everyone actual, genuine, real informed opinions rather than the superficial knee-jerk opinionated crap prevalent here.
Uh huh...for instance, most respected Biblical scholars laugh at the idea of taking the Bible literally.
 
  • #21
Les Sleeth
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Originally posted by Zero
Uh huh...for instance, most respected Biblical scholars laugh at the idea of taking the Bible literally.

First of all, I have to apologize for my little fit, it had been a lonnnnng day.

However, you do make a point. It makes no sense for people today to relate to ancient myth as fact, especially myth developed by primitive, superstitious people, or the case of Christianity to accept any theology developed by popes, theologians, or even disciples.

When people sit around talking about God allowing evil, hell, heaven, sin, miracles, and the whole list of stuff people have made up or figured out, they don't even know if it is from the acknowledged masters like Jesus or Moses or the Buddha or whomever . . . or if it is myth or dogma or some pope's proclamation a thousand years ago, or Dante's Inferno . . .

For the most part, what started the major religions was an individual's personal experience. It is my opinion that that experience is the only thing worth investigating in religion, yet it is just about the last thing anybody, whether believer or athiest, is trying to understand or experience.

That is why I continue to complain about the quality of research and thought behind most of the comments in the religion forum.
 
  • #22
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by Zero
Too bad you don't actually know what Atheism means, or you wouldn't have posted teh way you did.

From dicionary.com:
atheism
1 a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
1 b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

disbelief
Refusal or reluctance to believe.

From Merriam-Webster:
atheism
1 archaic : UNGODLINESS, WICKEDNESS
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

disbelief
the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue

Atheism is the simply the philosophical stance of disbelief in God; in other words, it is the rejection of the existentence of God as untrue. There is a separate term for doubt or skepticism of the existence of God, without the distinct belief that God must not exist. It's called agnosticism.
 
  • #23
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by LW Sleeth
When people sit around talking about God allowing evil, hell, heaven, sin, miracles, and the whole list of stuff people have made up or figured out, they don't even know if it is from the acknowledged masters like Jesus or Moses or the Buddha or whomever . . . or if it is myth or dogma or some pope's proclamation a thousand years ago, or Dante's Inferno . . .

For the most part, what started the major religions was an individual's personal experience. It is my opinion that that experience is the only thing worth investigating in religion, yet it is just about the last thing anybody, whether believer or athiest, is trying to understand or experience.

That is why I continue to complain about the quality of research and thought behind most of the comments in the religion forum.

Exactly, Les. I am no fan of religious dogma myself. But I do have issues with people categorically denying the existence of God, not because I am a believer in God, but because it is a simple fact of our society that the concept of God is associated with spirituality. While it is fruitful to examine religious dogma and all the unnecessary suffering and ignorance it is undeniably associated with, outright and blind rejection of God amounts to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

It does not logically follow that if one does not believe in God, then one cannot be spiritual. However, if we seek to rid people of any meaningful conception of God, we also damage their potential for spiritual growth simply because of the pre-existing ties in popular thought between God and spirituality. One who rejects God outright and develops a jaded attitude to all things religious is probably disinclined to give the notion of spiritual value and growth any meaningful consideration, because without further critical thought the chances are that they will accept their conditioned tendency to equate religion and God with spirituality itself. Such blatant disregard for the relevance of spiritual value and growth indeed makes itself apparent time and again in the attitudes of many of those who believe they are 'fighting the good fight' by attempting to dispell the popular hold of dogmatic belief. Unfortunately, such people conceive of themselves as battling a cancer when in actuality they are killing an entire organism. In their zeal to counter the superfluous doctrines and dogmas of religion they are missing the truly relevant and meaningful essence of the religious message.

I absolutely agree with you that the true spirituality must be actively practiced and experienced first-hand in order for the individual to have any meaningful grasp of its importance. This is why it is essential that we do not jade people to such an extent that they never give serious consideration to any spiritual practices, or worse, mindlessly reject them in knee-jerk fashion. It's no wonder why people concentrate on the fluff of religion without ever getting to the meat, and this is really the true cancer infecting contemporary religious thought.
 
  • #24
Originally posted by hypnagogue
From dicionary.com:
atheism
1 a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
1 b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

disbelief
Refusal or reluctance to believe.

From Merriam-Webster:
atheism
1 archaic : UNGODLINESS, WICKEDNESS
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

disbelief
the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue

Atheism is the simply the philosophical stance of disbelief in God; in other words, it is the rejection of the existentence of God as untrue. There is a separate term for doubt or skepticism of the existence of God, without the distinct belief that God must not exist. It's called agnosticism.
Atheism is much less than this, as reading a tad further down at the dictionary.com website goes on to explain;

atheism
n 1: the doctrine or belief that there is no God [syn: godlessness] [ant: theism] 2: a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Taken from: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=atheism

It is inaccurate to omit #2.

It turns out that the word atheism means much less than I had thought. It is merely the lack of theism......Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god -- both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter.
- Dan Barker
 
  • #25
hypnagogue
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Granted that that one definition implies that one does not have to disbelieve in God to be an atheist (I didn't intentionally omit it, rather I didn't scroll down all the way). But every other definition cited points to atheism as a distinct disbelief in God. Further compounding the issue is that we already have another word to indicate lack of belief in God without outright disbelief in God, which is agnosticism. Why, if one holds the agnostic view, would one insist on calling oneself an atheist? All the primary definitions for atheism cite a definite disbelief in God; using the secondary definition when there is a distinct word that describes the same thing without ambiguity only causes confusion and misunderstanding.
 
  • #27
Until around three-hundred years ago, the word atheist was applied to people as a smear. If someone didn’t share the same convictions they might be labeled an atheist. No doubt the meanings of words will continue to change over the course of time, but this in and of itself has no bearing to the views that I hold.
One view I hold is that theists seem to have a tough time actually being able to come to grips with someone who holds no theist beliefs. Defining atheism as a belief is a result of this sort of thinking, But, if theism is the belief in the existence of a god or gods (and I think it is), then A-theism is to me nothing but a lack of theism.

Furthermore, if an agnostic does not deny the existence of God but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not such a thing exists, then as an atheist I have to disagree because there are many people who seem to know for certain that such a thing exists, haha. In that case it might be construed that agnostics, not atheists, have a ‘belief’ after all.

Now, I have no magic crystal ball granting me power to view the future, but I do believe that sufficient subjective evidence can and does present itself to an individual such that he/she may become 100% convinced that god(s) exists. Therefore I prefer to say that evidence does exist, but this ‘evidence’ is valid only for that individual and not for me. Unfortunately, rarely does this satisfy the theists.

"*Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief.* One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist. Atheism is sometimes defined as "the belief that there is no God of any kind," or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism-- and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. *Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief.* An atheist is not primarily a person who *believes* that a god does *not* exist, rather he does *not believe* in the existence of a god."
-George Smith
 
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  • #28
hypnagogue
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Dictionary.com:
agnositicim
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

---

That doctrine which, professing ignorance, neither asserts nor denies. Specifically: (Theol.) The doctrine that the existence of a personal Deity, an unseen world, etc., can be neither proved nor disproved, because of the necessary limits of the human mind (as sometimes charged upon Hamilton and Mansel), or because of the insufficiency of the evidence furnished by physical and physical data, to warrant a positive conclusion (as taught by the school of Herbert Spencer); -- opposed alike dogmatic skepticism and to dogmatic theism.

---

1: a religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God; "agnosticism holds that you can neither prove nor disprove God's existence" 2: the disbelief in any claims of ultimate knowledge

-----

Merriam-Webster:
agnostic
a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

---

All I am saying is that 'agnosticism' better captures the views of those (on this forum at least) who present their arguments against theistic belief than 'atheism.' Atheism's primary definition is disbelief in God, whereas agnosticism's primary definition relates to both our inability to produce positive evidence of the existence of God and our inability to falsify it. Thus, atheism's primary definition is one of definite belief, whereas agnosticism is not a belief as to the definite existence or non-existence of God under any interpretation, but rather a mode of skeptic thought.

You don't have to look too closely to see that agnosticism's specific mode of skepticism is precisely a scientific skepticism, ie it posits that "only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge," and thus that we have insufficient objective physical evidence to either falsify the existence of God or warrant a positive conclusion. This is precisely the argument used by just about every self-proclaimed atheist in this forum who argues against theism (makes sense; this is a forum based on scientific thought after all). Thus, while it may not be strictly incorrect to call these people atheists, it does not agree with the primary definition of the word and furthermore these beliefs are much better captured by the term 'agnostic.' Insisting on the use of the word 'atheism' as opposed to 'agnosticism' when you are skeptical of God's existence on scientific grounds, but when you simultaneously don't have a definite disbelief in God, only confuses the issue by making your stance unnecessarily ambiguous.

Furthermore, if an agnostic does not deny the existence of God but holds that one cannot know for certain whether or not such a thing exists, then as an atheist I have to disagree because there are many people who seem to know for certain that such a thing exists, haha. In that case it might be construed that agnostics, not atheists, have a ‘belief’ after all.

Theism necessarily contradicts agnosticism, but it also contradicts atheism too. This has no bearing on the validity of agnosticism or atheism for the agnostic or atheist, respectively.

Now, I have no magic crystal ball granting me power to view the future, but I do believe that sufficient subjective evidence can and does present itself to an individual such that he/she may become 100% convinced that god(s) exists. Therefore I prefer to say that evidence does exist, but this ‘evidence’ is valid only for that individual and not for me. Unfortunately, rarely does this doesn’t satisfy the theists.

In other words, you hold that there is no objective, physical evidence for the existence of God. You furthermore characterize whatever subjective evidence that may exist as that which is sufficient to convince an individual that God exists, while refraining from granting this subjective evidence any real objective truth value-- you say that it convinces the individual, not that the individual really knows the truth of the matter (ie, has 'ultimate knowledge'). This is a very agnostic position.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm just haggling over definitions here, but I think I have a valid point. Why use an ambiguous word that inevitably causes confusion and misinterpretation of your beliefs when you can use a more precise one that better captures the essence of your stance on the matter?

edit: Just to clarify my own stance in case I have been ambiguous, I myself am an agnostic. I say this because I caught something in a previous post that could be interpretted as implying that I'm a theist and I'm not sure, BH, if you were referring to me specifically as one of these theists or if you were just making claims about theists in general.
 
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  • #29
Iacchus32
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So whatever happened to the Devil? Unless of course you're implying it has something to do with Atheism here? :wink:

But then again I suppose that's what so-called Christians would have you believe. Which, dare I say it, due to their nature of being so hasty about such things, could be construed as an evil in and of itself.

In fact, from what I understand, this is the very thing the book of Revelation refers to when Gods releases Satan, the Christian Church as we know it (more so The Reformation).
 
  • #30
Dictionary.com:
agnositicim
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

---

That doctrine which, professing ignorance, neither asserts nor denies.
Read the second half of 2 again and you can see that agnostics can indeed assert a believe that God does not exist.
[Oop,s]
Sorry, the belief above is that there can be no proof, not that god doesn't exist.

All I am saying is that 'agnosticism' better captures the views of those (on this forum at least) who present their arguments against theistic belief than 'atheism.'
And I simply do not agree for the reasons already stated.
Insisting on the use of the word 'atheism' as opposed
to 'agnosticism' when you are skeptical of God's existence on scientific grounds, but when you simultaneously don't have a definite disbelief in God, only confuses the issue by making your stance unnecessarily ambiguous.
I didn’t say I was skeptical on merely scientific grounds. I have other grounds too.
In other words, you hold that there is no objective, physical evidence for the existence of God. You furthermore characterize whatever subjective evidence that may exist as that which is sufficient to convince an individual that God exists, while refraining from granting this subjective evidence any real objective truth value-- you say that it convinces the individual, not that the individual really knows the truth of the matter (ie, has 'ultimate knowledge'). This is a very agnostic position.
The bold text is what you say, the normal text is what I would say providing we have an agreement on the definition of the word ‘objective’. Language is a tricky thing and it can be difficult to get your meaning across.

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm just haggling over definitions here, but I think I have a valid point. Why use an ambiguous word that inevitably causes confusion and misinterpretation of your beliefs when you can use a more precise one that better captures the essence of your stance on the matter?
Because I do not hold the same definition as you.

edit: Just to clarify my own stance in case I have been ambiguous, I myself am an agnostic. I say this because I caught something in a previous post that could be interpretted as implying that I'm a theist and I'm not sure, BH, if you were referring to me specifically as one of these theists or if you were just making claims about theists in general.
See what I mean about language being tricky? I was not thinking about your religious views at all, merely stating what my own non-religious views are. In other words it was a general statement.

I think I have explained my views well enough, but let’s see about the origin of the word ‘agnostic’ and note especially the text I chose to put a bold face on;

Perhaps the most misunderstood word (and the reasoning behind its formation) is 'agnostic'. Before the 20th Century, the word 'atheist' was a very 'dirty' word. (It still is today in the minds of many believers.) Rather than be a description of someone who lacked a belief in god, which is clearly what Huxley did--he claimed that '99 out of 100 of my fellows would call me Atheist', an atheist in those days generally described a person who rebelled against current society, was a socialist, and sought revolutionary reform (similar to Napoleonic France). Non-believing, non-socialistic, respectable people who, although wanting reform, weren't nearly as radical or violent in their views needed a word to describe their beliefs or outlook on life. To use the word 'atheist' in Huxley's day, even though it only means non-theist would have lumped him, and others like him, in with the socialists, Huxley created the word in response to this environment. Other freethinkers quickly adopted the word, and it has remained a part of English vocabulary to this day.

Taken from; http://www.2think.org/huxley.shtml

[edited for clarification]
 
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  • #31
hypnagogue
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
The bold text is what you say, the normal text is what I would say providing we have an agreement on the definition of the word ‘objective’. Language is a tricky thing and it can be difficult to get your meaning across.

Well, the trickiness of language can be the only explanation, since the bold text was just an explication of what you directly implied with the language that you used. If the bold text doesn't agree with your philosophy then you should have worded your statement more carefully.

The information on the history of the usages of the words is insightful but not really relevant. All that matters is how the words are defined nowadays.

You still haven't explained yourself well enough to convince me that 'agnosticism' does not better capture your beliefs than 'atheism,' but I suppose this is a moot point. I'm not going to tell you what to call yourself, I was just calling for a more precise and accurate use of language. Apparently this is a problem no matter what label we decide to use, since the brunt of your argument on how your beliefs are really better described as atheistic rather than agnostic is still not getting across to me. I still stand by what I have said, but rather than carry on this conversation ad infinitum, I will just respectfully recognize that the labels 'agnostic' and 'atheist' in common usage do not hold as much meaning as their formal definitions might imply and that there are gray areas in any case.
 
  • #32
Originally posted by hypnagogue
Well, the trickiness of language can be the only explanation, since the bold text was just an explication of what you directly implied with the language that you used. If the bold text doesn't agree with your philosophy then you should have worded your statement more carefully.
I agree that the author has a responsibility to put their thoughts across as clearly as possible.

The information on the history of the usages of the words is insightful but not really relevant. All that matters is how the words are defined nowadays.
Really, I wonder why there is so much haggling over definitions of words in the philosophy forum, in that case, haha.
At any rate, what I took from that quoted material was that were it not for negative connotations, the word atheist would have sufficed and the word agnostic would not need to have been invented.

You still haven't explained yourself well enough to convince me that 'agnosticism' does not better capture your beliefs than 'atheism,' but I suppose this is a moot point.
I though I had, but I’ll try again;

a-1 or an-
pref:
Without

theism
n :
the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods.

Therefore;
Atheism: Without the doctrine or belief in the existence of a God or gods.

…I will just respectfully recognize that the labels 'agnostic' and 'atheist' in common usage do not hold as much meaning as their formal definitions might imply and that there are gray areas in any case.
That is precisely the case.
 
  • #33
Guybrush Threepwood
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OK, just to clear things up and get back to the subject which is the Evil ("the room door creeks..." )

The set of agnostics is included in, equals or includes the set of atheists?
 
  • #35
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
See, in a fairy tale, you have to have the good guy and the bad guy.
In real life they always come in pairs as well (good/bad, strong/weak, etc). I won't argue that the Bible is real, its not relevant to the general point: EVERY coin has another side created just out of opposition from the front side. Someone will always argue the other side and a leader of that other side will emerge.

For example, the French are leading what some have called the "Coalition of the Unwilling" (a twist on Bush's "Coalition of the Willing"). The point is simply to be a leader of SOMETHING (doesn't matter what - there is always power in being a leader) by leading the opposition to the US. Oh wait, religion? Politics? Eh, same diff.
 
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