44
   

Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?

 
 
igm
 
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 05:58 am
One thing atheists say is that it’s not logical to believe in God. Since it’s more logical to say that it’s impossible to know whether there is a God or not should atheists be agnostics (logically speaking)?

It’s more logical to be an agnostic because it takes into account that it’s impossible to know for certain that there isn’t a God and that is the definition of what it is to be an agnostic when it comes to believing in God? Does that make atheists less logical than agnostics?

Also I don't think it's more logical to say 'I'm 99% atheist and 1% agnostic than saying 'I'm an agnostic.


  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 44 • Views: 49,302 • Replies: 1,474

 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 06:10 am
It's impossible to know to a certainty if there are fairies, pixies and elves. Are you agnostic about fairies, pixies and elves? It's impossible to know if someone in cross-traffice will run a red light--do you stop at every green light, just in case? Agnosticism, carried to its logical extreme would paralyze the agnostic into hebetude and inaction.

We really didn't need this witless discussion to be resurrected.
igm
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 06:24 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

It's impossible to know...

I'd say that makes you (in my opinion and the opinion of many others) an agnostic. The subject is about logic and you as an atheist are contradicting the meaning of the word 'atheist' but supporting the meaning of the word 'agnostic'.
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 07:33 am
@igm,
Nice way to dodge the questions i asked you (not). Atheist means without god. I have no good reason to believe that there is a god, therefore i am without god. I don't give a rat's ass about the question of whether or not there is a god, therefore i am without god. What kind of logic is involved in preferentially selecting the question of whether or not there is a god, and crowing about your logical superiority over atheists, when you don't apply your agnosticism to all the questions of life?

Are you agnostic about fairies, pixies and elves? Are you sufficiently agnostic that you stop at green lights, just in case? Keep dancing . . .
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:04 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Atheist means without god. I have no good reason to believe that there is a god, therefore i am without god. I don't give a rat's ass about the question of whether or not there is a god, therefore i am without god…

The etymology of the word is not the philosophical meaning. If you want to be an atheist you must use it to refute theism which is a belief in God. You must therefore refute the belief in God to be an atheist you haven’t which means your belief that you are an atheist is false and illogical (given the normal philosophical definitions of atheism, theism and agnosticism all of which are standard philosophical terms). It would be more logical for you to say you were an agnostic unless you want to define your own term which you seem to have done to some extent already. You seem to be more illogical as an atheist on the subject of God’s existence than an agnostic would be which is the point of my topic: "Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?"

fresco
 
  4  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:28 am
@igm,
You are confusing "logicality" with "rationality". Atheists reject the rationality of theists. Agnostics merely sit on the fence.
InfraBlue
 
  4  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:50 am
You're not going to get very far trying to dictate how one should apply the word 'atheist,' and follow your doctrinaire approach to your question. For a word as nebulous as 'atheist' the definition "without god" is as good as any other, and isn't loaded with doctrinal baggage.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:53 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

You are confusing "logicality" with "rationality". Atheists reject the rationality of theists. Agnostics merely sit on the fence.


I disagree. What evidence do you have for your statements?

I’d say that atheists say there is no God and theists say there is while agnostics say you can’t say there is or is not a God. It is more logical to say that something that cannot be known is unknown therefore agnostics are (in this respect only i.e. I’m talking about this one single issue) more logical than atheists. I’d say your defence of atheism is illogical.
igm
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:02 am
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:

You're not going to get very far trying to dictate how one should apply the word 'atheist,' and follow your doctrinaire approach to your question. For a word as nebulous as 'atheist' the definition "without god" is as good as any other, and isn't loaded with doctrinal baggage.


I disagree and can't debate it with you unless you define what you believe atheism and agnosticism are. I define it, because it’s a philosophical question, as it is defined and examined by philosophers or those who are interested in understanding how philosophers define the terms. I believe the term 'without god' would be too ambiguous a term to use. You'd need to show it being used philosophically. Can you?
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:07 am
@igm,
No, one is not obliged to refute theism in order to be an atheist, which, regardless of your straw man insistence on a definition you are prepared to refute, means only without god. Being an atheist is not a belief system, it is the rejection of a belief system. I'm sure this seems more "illogical" to you as you have begged the question, and have set out with the assumption that being an atheist is illogical.

And you continue to dodge the very reasonable questions i have asked you. So let's update them. Can you refute the existence of fairies, pixies and elves? Can you refute the possibility of cross-traffice failing to stop at a red light?

Basically, you're tying to be an intellectually bully here. You've already decided that atheists are more "illogical" than atheists, so you've begged the titular question. I say you're an intellectual coward who won't defend his position.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:09 am
@igm,
igm wrote:
I disagree and can't debate it with you unless you define what you believe atheism and agnosticism are.


I lead off with a definition of atheist, and you rejected it. That's because you can't debate the question, period.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:19 am
@igm,
Logic starts from axioms. It cannot test the validity of those axioms i.e it cannot test "existence" per se, it can only test inferences from such axioms. Thus "God created the Earth in seven days" can be tested, whereas "God exists" cannot.

Rationality, is about "making sense", in terms of social functionality For example, Evans-Pritchard cited the Azande belief in "witchcraft causing criminal acts" as an alternative rationality to Western ideas of culpability. So when an Azande miscreant was tried by a Western court, the verdict was not accepted by any of the parties unless the entrails of a ritually slaughtered chicken had been examined. This "rationality" was socially functional in Azande society, just like different religious beliefs are socially functional in other societies.
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:20 am
Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?

as some wise men once stated, "i think we're all bozo's on this bus"
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:24 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
Atheist means without god. I have no good reason to believe that there is a god, therefore i am without god.


I happen to agree with you, but I think, in common parlance, that there is a problem with the word, "atheist". To many people, the word atheist means that the person believes that there is no god.

I too, am without god, and for many years, considered myself an atheist. In the last few years, I have come to describe myself as an "apatheist". In other words, I don't know whether there is a god, and I don't care. To me, it is a non issue. The only reason that I even think about it at all is because in our society, I am constantly interacting with people who do believe in a god.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:33 am
@Phoenix32890,
But what others believe about it isn't relevant to my situation, which is that i have rejected a belief, i haven't constructed an alternative one. I do like your "apathist" term, though. I just don't care.

This is like the long, bitter thread from years ago when Frank was trying to assert his moral superiority as an agnostic. Just as in that case, this thread requires that one accept this joker's definitions, and, of course, he intends that all the defintions ultimately define himself as right, and anyone who dissents as wrong.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:37 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

No, one is not obliged to refute theism in order to be an atheist…

Being an atheist is not a belief system,…

Atheism is the belief there is no God. To hold this belief you must have at least one logical reason for holding that belief therefore refutation is implied in the belief because to hold the belief for no logical reason would be illogical.

Setanta wrote:

(igm) …set out with the assumption that being an atheist is illogical.

I haven’t. I have asked the question ‘is being an atheist more illogical than being an agnostic?’ that is not the same thing as you’ve implied.

Setanta wrote:

questions i have asked you…Can you refute the existence of fairies, pixies and elves? Can you refute the possibility of cross-traffice failing to stop at a red light?

Question one: no because whether there are or are not is impossible to know so I’d be agnostic on that subject. Question two: I’d don’t need to I just take the risk that statistically it’s very unlikely and cross even though I couldn’t know for sure.

Setanta wrote:

You've already decided that atheists are more "illogical" than atheists,…

I think I understand what you meant to say and as I’ve not said this anywhere in my posts you are believing in something for which there is no evidence which is illogical.
igm
 
  0  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:45 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

igm wrote:
I disagree and can't debate it with you unless you define what you believe atheism and agnosticism are.


I lead off with a definition of atheist, and you rejected it. That's because you can't debate the question, period.


This wasn't a reply to you but @infrablue. I disagree. See my replies below (or above) to your posts. I am debating all questions directed towards me by you and others.
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:49 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

Logic starts from axioms. It cannot test the validity of those axioms i.e it cannot test "existence" per se, it can only test inferences from such axioms. Thus "God created the Earth in seven days" can be tested, whereas "God exists" cannot.

Rationality, is about "making sense", in terms of social functionality For example, Evans-Pritchard cited the Azande belief in "witchcraft causing criminal acts" as an alternative rationality to Western ideas of culpability. So when an Azande miscreant was tried by a Western court, the verdict was not accepted by any of the parties unless the entrails of a ritually slaughtered chicken had been examined. This "rationality" was socially functional in Azande society, just like different religious beliefs are socially functional in other societies.

Do you have a question? Thanks for your definitions.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 11:59 am
@igm,
You're just indulging your now familiar exercise of defining terms to suit your thesis--you're begging the question once again.

You don't understand what i "meant" to say. I said what i meant to say. You've begged the question from the outset, and done it by insisting on definitions you can twist to support your thesis.

This is from the Wikipedia article on atheism:

Quote:
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.

The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god", which was applied with a negative connotation to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves as "atheist" appeared in the 18th century.


From the Urban dictionary definition of atheist[/b ]:

Quote:
There are two in-use definitions of the word 'atheist':

1.) A person who lacks belief in a god or gods. People who use this definition categorize atheists as either negative (or implicit or weak) atheists or positive (or explicit or strong) atheists. Negative atheists, while they don't believe in a god, do not positively assert that no gods exist. Positive atheists, however, do.

2.) A person who believes that no god or gods exist.

Those who consider themselves atheists (who are usually positive atheists) tend to define 'atheist' using the former definition, and those who believe in a god or gods tend to define 'atheist' using the latter. In both cases, this seems to be a demagogic practice intended to classify either as many or as few people as atheists as possible. Negative atheists are usually referred to as agnostics.


The Dictionary-dot-com definition of atheist; note the use of the conjunction "or":

Quote:
noun -- a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.


Thomas Huxley, who coined the word agnostic in 1869, wrote:

Quote:
Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in vigorous application of a single principle. Positively the principle may be expressed as: in matters of intellect, follow your reason as far as it can carry you without other considerations. And negatively, in matters of the intellect, do not pretend the conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable. It is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. That is what Agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to Agnosticism. ... The application of the principle results in the denial of, or the suspension of judgment concerning, a number of propositions respecting which our contemporary ecclesiastical "gnostics" profess entire certainty.


By Huxley's definition of the word which he invented, atheists and theists both can be agnostics, to the extent that they claim to be able or unable to demonstrate the proposition of the existence of god. It is useful to consider that Huxley did not coin the term with reference soley to the narrow and controversial proposition that there is or isn't a god.

You're just playing with defintions in order to stack the deck in your favor. I reject your definitional bullying.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 12:01 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Are you agnostic about fairies, pixies and elves?


Shame on you Setanta. Haven't you seen Peter Pan? Everytime someone says they're agnostic about fairies, a fairy gets the shits.
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/26/2017 at 02:50:45