layman
 
  -1  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 07:35 am
@layman,
Quote:
Likewise, someone "knowing that god doesn’t exist," as you put it, cannot be an agnostic. He doesn't claim a lack of knowledge. So, by your definition, he can be neither atheistic nor agnostic. Does that make him a "theist?"


To answer my own question, yes, it does, at least in a certain sense. That brand of atheist has a theistic position, i.e., there is, and can be, no god. That's his "theology."

Definitions aside, some atheists have made a virtual religion out of their creed. They can display every bit as much evangelical enthusiasm, unshakable faith, and dogmatic posturing as the most devoted, bible-thumping religious person. They seem to get a sense of identity, direction, and comfort out of their belief system, and are very proud of it. They seek out those who share their views, forming what might be called a "congregation" with whom they can celebrate their faith, etc.

Know what I'm sayin?
layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 08:29 am
@argome321,
Quote:
Past interpretations of agnosticism and atheism are irrelevant...


I acknowledge that to be the "standard" atheistic line these days, Arg, but what's the reason behind this newfound insistence that an "atheist" can only be what an atheist says it is? Why is the concept of an "agnostic," as a "middle ground," suddenly taboo?

I suspect that it may well be because many atheists want to ridicule, mock, disparage, and otherwise demean Christians. One way to do that is to say these "stupid Christians" believe in some unknown thing which they can't prove.

But then they realize that they are, in fact, doing the same thing, and they don't want to appear hypocritical. They certainly don't want to admit that they are just as "stupid' as the "stupid Christians'" in that regard. So what to do?

How about let's rewrite the language? Yeah, that's the ticket!

But the attempts at linguistic revision fail to achieve that end. Call it whatever you want, but belief is still belief, and knowing is still knowing. And, of course, "knowing" entails "belief."

The 3 basic stances on this issue are still:

1. I believe there is a god (theism)
2. I believe there is no god (atheism), and
3. I don't claim to know, and hence I have no belief either way (agnosticism).
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 08:52 am
@layman,
Quote:
Knowledge in and of itself is a subset of belief....Of course you have some on either side who claim to be Gnostic..to them knowing that god exist or knowing that god doesn’t exist.


Quote:
Those who claim to "know" that god doesn't exist, cannot, then, by your definition be "atheist." (You said: "Theism has to do with belief and (A) thesis is without belief.") They have a belief, not a lack of belief. You can't claim to "know" something without claiming to "believe" it.


You are still confusing belief with knowing.
belief and knowing are separate issues... but not mutual exclusive, but they are not the same.

If I say I know that god doesn't exist that for me would only strengthens my position and perception that I am with out belief of a god(s)

I can say I believe something and not be able to prove it's existence.
I cannot believe something because it might not make sense to me but that doesn't mean I can Prove it one way or the other.

I can stay that I believe something and claim that I know it exist for what ever reasons good or bad.

I can say I don't believe something and that I know it doesn't exist for what ever reason good or bad.

that is all that theism and atheism statements are. They are statement about and concerning belief not knowledge or truth for that matter.

Gnosticism and Agnosticism is about knowledge or lack there of and not about truth in and of itself

We have beliefs and they are usually strengthen or diminished when we gain some knowledge.

Quote:
Likewise, someone "knowing that god doesn’t exist," as you put it, cannot be an agnostic. He doesn't claim a lack of knowledge. So, by your definition, he can be neither atheistic nor agnostic.


Agnostic means without knowledge, that is the definition that I am using.
if a person claims that he knows he is a Gnostic. If I say I am an atheist Gnostic. I am saying not only am I without belief but I also know (god)s don't exist. If I say that I am an Atheist Agnostic I am only stating that I am without belief, but I don't know if there is god or not which leaves open the possibility that if there is evidence of (god)s existence I would be most inclined to believe.

Quote:
Does that make him a "theist?" You see the problem with the distinctions you're trying to make here? They cannot be consistently applied.


The only qualification to be a Theist is to be with belief nothing else. The only qualification to be an atheist is to be without belief nothing else.

Quote:
You say "Knowledge in and of itself is a subset of belief." So, you can believe without knowing, but you can't know without believing. But, that aside, "agnostic," not withstanding it literal meaning, has traditionally been associated with "doubters," i.e., those who lack a belief because they don't know. So the knowledge/belief distinction merges and the distinction is not applicable to those cases.


Again, I was talking about modern day atheism, to help develop a dialogue today. So for this conversation the above is moot. The conversation here for now isn't about determining truth it is about what are the rules by which we choose to play by. First we must define the terms before we can engage in constructive dialogue.

It's like asking someone do they believe in god and proceeding without establishing what do you mean by god? How are you defining god?

Quote:
But, You say "Knowledge in and of itself is a subset of belief." So, you can believe without knowing, but you can't know without believing.


Yes this is not conversely true. So what of it? I don't understand your purpose here? belief is not a subset of knowledge.

So if I could prove that a god(s) exist then I would be a Gnostic Theist.
This statement doesn't go beyond his scope.


argome321
 
  1  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:10 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Past interpretations could be superior to present ones... The idea that agnosticism represents a middle ground between atheism and theism is an old and good idea. I see no reason to dispose of it, certainly none you provided. What purpose does it serve to muddle language? We need a word for that middle ground between belief and lack of, for people who won't commit to one side or the other.


Then I would say you missed my point

There can be no dialogue if we can't come to some consensus. If in discussion the terms of the games have not been established before hand then eventually the conversation deteriorates for the most part into chaos. Also I think there would less chance of misunderstanding.

There are so many meanings for theism and atheism depending on period and time, but is there a law where we ourselves can't define them so that we can come to some agreement about what these words mean and how we should use them to have a constructive dialogue?

My effort isn't to muddle language it is to clarify it so constructive debate is possible. Whether one is superior to the other is irrelevant. In fact I would say it is inferior if it stands in the way of possible progress.






layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:12 am
@argome321,
Quote:
You are still confusing belief with knowing. belief and knowing are separate issues... but not mutual exclusive, but they are not the same


I don't think I'm confusing them at all, Arg. I'm just analyzing the relationship between the two, that's all. I have already further addressed your point in a post I composed while you were composing this one. To elaborate a little, let me make two points:

1. Word play does not settle the issue. Your "reasoning" could just as easily be turned around. I could say, for example, that an atheist is one who believes there is, and can be no gods. That's a straight-up BELIEF. But, me, I have no such belief. That could be because I just have no belief whatsoever, or it could be because I have a different belief (i.e., I believe there IS a god). So now I say anyone who used to be called an "agnostic" is REALLY a theist, because they don't share the belief that there is no god. It's not the one-way street you portray it to be.

Quote:
belief and knowing are separate issues... but not mutual exclusive, but they are not the same


2. You say "knowledge is a subset of belief." I agree. And I've already addressed what that means. It means that all "knowledge" is necessarily belief, but not all belief is necessarily knowledge.

If you claim to "know," then you are also, by necessity claiming to "believe." Yes, there is (or at least can be) a difference between knowledge and belief. You can have belief, without knowledge, but you can't have "knowledge" without belief.

Someone who claims to "know" there is no god is saying, whether he admits it or not, that he "believes" there is no god. In that case there is no meaningful distinction between knowledge and belief.
0 Replies
 
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:16 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
There is no real need for labeling. If the words theist, atheist, agnostic, non-theist are not clear because of varying definitions...perhaps it is better to simply describe a position...and live with that.


Frank, I would agree with you save if I was trying to describe a position others would still find varying degrees in the language and would see something other then I might be saying. I don't think describing the position solves the problem.

I think by agreeing to what the terms will be will helps to solve that problem some what better.
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:17 am
@argome321,
Quote:
There can be no dialogue if we can't come to some consensus.


There is a longstanding "consensus" on these terms, Arg. Why deny it favor of something else?

Quote:
Whether one is superior to the other is irrelevant


I don't think its irrelevant at all. Some "definitions" amount to no more than an attempt to establish a false dichotomy, and thereby eliminate any kind of nuanced discussion. Other definitions are just wrong, and therefore bad, such as "dogs are cats." Why proceed with a "discussion" if that has to be the premise?
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:18 am
@Quehoniaomath,
Quote:
Only One thing here:

NEW WORLD RELIGION!!!


Only if I could be the god!
Frank Apisa
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:24 am
@argome321,
Quote:
The only qualification to be an atheist is to be without belief nothing else.


This seems to be an arbitrary description of what it means to be an atheist.

Could you flesh out why you assert it as so.
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:28 am
@layman,
Quote:
Not sure what you're getting at here, Arg. Are you saying the matter cannot be discussed unless one accepts a new "interpretation" which obliterates the traditional meaning of a term? Why should that be?


So If we go by one of the earliest definitions of atheism ,how it was one time used, and I said to you today that I am an Atheist, do you think that I am saying I am a christian? Because that is what the Romans referred to the Christian as?

The dialogue would most likely end there if you insisted on that definition.
0 Replies
 
Quehoniaomath
 
  -2  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:29 am
@argome321,
You probably never guess who the god is going to be!

It starts with an L.


0 Replies
 
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:38 am
@layman,
Quote:
Definitions aside, some atheists have made a virtual religion out of their creed. They can display every bit as much evangelical enthusiasm, unshakable faith, and dogmatic posturing as the most devoted, bible-thumping religious person. They seem to get a sense of identity, direction, and comfort out of their belief system, and are very proud of it. They seek out those who share their views, forming what might be called a "congregation" with whom they can celebrate their faith, etc.

Know what I'm sayin?


That is exactly true and it was why I left those organizations. The reason maybe found that many atheist, at least the active ones, not all, are former believers. Thought they have given up on their belief it is very hard for them to change their rituals and orientations dogmatic behavior etc.

I know many atheist who attend church and practice their rituals, some merely because coming out is i'll advised and others simply because they miss the companionship and rituals and it is all they know.

There are some who want to start an atheist church.
0 Replies
 
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:52 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
This seems to be an arbitrary description of what it means to be an atheist.

Could you flesh out why you assert it as so.


you are missing the point, the conversation I started was to try and come to some unify uderstanding of terms, even if it is just here, so that a dialogue could preceed. But if we cannot come to some agreement them we are impeding the chance for dialogue.

Where is it that says we cannot do this?

Here's an example and it might be a poor one at best.

Hey, frank how are you doing?

Now we may have a clear understanding of what I mean

But suppose you bring up some archaic meaning? The conversation could all kinds of way and not the way I thought it would go.

this may not be the greatest example, but I think you understand what I"m trying to say.

argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 09:56 am
@layman,
Quote:
Quote:
There is a longstanding "consensus" on these terms, Arg. Why deny it favor of something else?


This isn't true given the ambiguity of the definitions... otherwise there wouldn't be this conversation.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:02 am
@argome321,
That actually did not address the concern I had, Agrome, but let's leave that if you prefer.

However, since there is so little agreement on what words like atheist and agnostic mean as a label, wouldn't it be better if we all define what we are labeling ourselves by actually stating it in "long hand" (as I did for my agnosticism)...and then use that as an explanation for what we consider the descriptor when we use the "short hand" form?

By the way, many people have done that here already.


ehBeth
 
  2  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:05 am
@littlek,
the opening post

littlek wrote:

I know there are other threads about atheism, but they tend to be focused somewhat specifically to some argument or subtopic. I'd like this thread to be open for constructive conversation, sharing of ideas and resources, etc.

One big issue that some friends and I feel is weird is that religious people seem to feel that we are persecuting them. I can't see how that could be given that we represent such a small minority of any population. If anything, it is we who are persecuted.


this thread was not created to debate definitions of atheism, but to be a place where self-defined atheists could have conversations about their experiences as atheists - to share information and resources (not that I've ever had any idea what resources these could be)

there are other threads where the definition of atheism has been/can be debated

it would be nice if atheists could have their thread back
layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:08 am
@argome321,
Quote:
This isn't true given the ambiguity of the definitions... otherwise there wouldn't be this conversation


Well, let's move on, then.

Unless you find the following definitions so unintelligible as to be meaningless, let me ask you a question:

1. I believe there is a god (theism)
2. I believe there is no god (atheism), and
3. I don't claim to know, and hence I have no belief either way (agnosticism).

Given those definitions, how would you classify yourself, Arg? I realize it's a personal question and you don't have to answer if you'd rather not.
argome321
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:10 am
@layman,
Quote:
. I believe there is a god (theism)
2. I believe there is no god (atheism), and
3. I don't claim to know, and hence I have no belief either way (agnosticism).


I'll probably hear from Fresco on th, but knowing something doesn' t guarantee believing.

I repeat believing and knowing has nothing to do with actual fact at times or what is true.

I could know something and still not believe it. Foolish? Perhaps s. but never the less a possibility and perhaps misguided.

But again I was not talking about what is true or what not is true. I was just talking about belief and knowledge not of it's validity. Many People believe that the bible is knowledge of full of knowledge.
layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:10 am
@ehBeth,
Quote:
it would be nice if atheists could have their thread back


You have something you want to say, Beth? Please say it. Is someone "preventing" you from saying it?
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Fri 20 Mar, 2015 10:15 am
@argome321,
Quote:
I'll probably hear from Fresco on th, but knowing something doesn' t guarantee believing.


Someone simply does not say "I know X, but I don't believe X." For centuries (since Plato) knowledge has been defined as having a "justified true belief." If you don't believe it, then you simply don't "know" it.

If you don't believe it, then virtually every person I have ever known would then either say (1) that it's false, or (2) that it's doubtful, or at least not "known."

Quote:
But again I was not talking about what is true or what not is true


No, but you were talking about what is known (or claimed to be known), gnosticism vs. agnosticism
 

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