Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
onlookerofmayhem

Atheist vs. Agnostic Label

1,233 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

XenoFish

I really don't give any credit to the paranormal now. It's too much of a cash cow. People milk it for money or attention. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
22 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

I agree. People hold so many opposing viewpoints and I try to understand why they believe or disbelieve each one individually.

I do my best to explain my point of view.

I find that believers in the paranormal/supernatural simply have a much lower threshold to their beliefs in such. 

The worst is when the conversation boils down to, "Well, ya just gotta have faith."

To me, that means you don't have sufficient evidence or reason to back up your belief.

I find it absolutely insane that people believe Jesus rose from the dead. It's so far removed from everything I understand is possible. Without firsthand witnessing, I could never believe such a claim. But the crux of an entire religion depends on having the faith that it actually did happen.

I just read an article about a South African preacher claimed to bring a man back to life.

https://churchleaders.com/news/345138-south-african-pastor-claims-he-raised-a-man-from-the-dead.html

It's mind boggling to see how gullible people can be. It is good to see that he is now under investigation stemming from this incident. 

In another thread someone pointed out a man named Satya Sai Baba as being the main reason the believed in the supernatural. 

So, I looked this guy up and wasn't surprised to see he is shrouded in controversy. 

To me he was a simple magician doing sleight of hand parlor tricks. Coughing up eggs, pulling gold chains out of thin air, manifesting ash and sand out of nowhere. All basic and easily replicated magic tricks. Although the are plenty of other unverified claims to his name.

Yet somehow he has an estimated 100 million!!! followers. And left behind a 5.5 billion dollar fortune.

Does that change my mind about the possibility that he was truly God incarnate? Nope. 

To get it all back to the topic, I agree that agnosticism is a subset of atheism. It's just going deeper into saying that it's impossible to say yes or no.

As someone said earlier, it's about the specific definition. 

I can definitely say, no Thor is not real. There's no guy up there throwing lightning bolts around.

But there are definitions where I would have to say I don't know.

Jesus could have also simply been a 1st century stage magician/illusionist. Though I have doubts the story is based on any particular historical person. It seems more like a collection of different myths, using a fictional hero to place the stories in a historical setting.

Something I usually find with paranormal believers is that they often have an unusually strong emotional element or attachment to their belief. With bigfooters and alien proponents especially, far more so than religious believers, strangely enough. Though I can sympathise with people who feel they have seen a bigfoot for instance, the same as people who believe they have experienced god in some way. I think it is possible to have such experience for various reasons, or at least to believe you have. At least they base their belief on something.

I still find "agnosticism" a bit vague and not clearly or specifically indicative of belief. Though the way it is generally being used does make it seem like another term for atheist. Then again, I see pantheism as another term for atheist too. The only difference being that it uses the words god/universe interchangeably lol.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
49 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I really don't give any credit to the paranormal now. It's too much of a cash cow. People milk it for money or attention. 

I'm open to the possibility. I just don't see any good evidence of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish
6 minutes ago, Horta said:

I'm open to the possibility. I just don't see any good evidence of it.

Neither do I. Mostly due to how highly inconsistent it is. If it even exist at all. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Golden Duck
On 19/04/2019 at 4:35 PM, Horta said:

It is the only pov that is logical.

The other pov requires something that has never been observed in any physical system. That physical processes can result in something not caused by the process itself/preceding events. That is logically ridiculous.

Only two outcomes are observed in our universe. Causally determined outcomes, and causally indeterminate outcomes.  Both require preceding causes, neither of them can result in free will. Nor can any mixture of the two result in free will. That would be like claiming apples can fall from trees, but they don't have to, it's all irrespective of forces such as gravity.

ps. it's not so much that we are spectators, more that "we" are an illusion (as in something that is not what it seems to be).

Hasn't this been modelled in learning theory? The discussion seems to be comparing conscious competence and unconscious competence. 

You learn the steps and you learn the steps; and then, one day, you learn to dance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
3 minutes ago, Golden Duck said:

Hasn't this been modelled in learning theory? The discussion seems to be comparing conscious competence and unconscious competence. 

You learn the steps and you learn the steps; and then, one day, you learn to dance

No, what I'm saying isn't really relevant to that.

It's a causally determined physical system. It all follows the laws of physics underneath it all. There is no magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do
7 minutes ago, Horta said:

It's a causally determined physical system. It all follows the laws of physics underneath it all. 

 

Then if it isn't magic, what or who caused it? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem

@Crazy Horse

In order to not derail the other thread any further, I bring us here.

Words have usages, not meanings.

I am not claiming I know god doesn't exist or that it is impossible to know if it does.

I do not accept the claim, "God exists."

Maybe this website will help you understand :

https://www.learnreligions.com/atheist-vs-agnostic-whats-the-difference-248040

 

"What Is an Atheist?

An atheist is anyone who doesn't believe in any gods. This is a very simple concept, but it's also widely misunderstood. For that reason, there are a variety of ways to state it.

 

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods; the absence of belief in gods; disbelief in gods; or not believing in gods.

 

The most precise definition may be that an atheist is anyone who does not affirm the proposition "at least one god exists." This is not a proposition made by atheists. Being an atheist requires nothing active or even conscious on the part of the atheist. All that is required is not "affirming" a proposition made by others.

 

What Is an Agnostic?

An agnostic is anyone who doesn't claim to know whether any gods exist or not. This is also an uncomplicated idea, but it may be as misunderstood as atheism.

 

One major problem is that atheism and agnosticism both deal with questions regarding the existence of gods. Whereas atheism involves what a person does or does not believe, agnosticism involves what a person does or does not know. Belief and knowledge are related but nevertheless separate issues."

Bold by me.

I consider myself an atheist because I lack belief there are any gods.

This IS NOT the same as saying I disbelieve in the existence of gods.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do

 

In the end, Froto hesitated to throw the Ring (lack of belief in God) into the volcano.

But the Ring was destroyed anyway. :D

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
3 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

In the end, Froto hesitated to throw the Ring (lack of belief in God) into the volcano.

But the Ring was destroyed anyway. :D

 

 

So what?

And it was Frodo.

Edited by onlookerofmayhem
FRODO
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do
11 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

So what?

And it was Frodo.

 

"And in the end, the last are first." :lol:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WanderingFool0
30 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

@Crazy Horse

In order to not derail the other thread any further, I bring us here.

Words have usages, not meanings.

I am not claiming I know god doesn't exist or that it is impossible to know if it does.

I do not accept the claim, "God exists."

Maybe this website will help you understand :

https://www.learnreligions.com/atheist-vs-agnostic-whats-the-difference-248040

 

"What Is an Atheist?

An atheist is anyone who doesn't believe in any gods. This is a very simple concept, but it's also widely misunderstood. For that reason, there are a variety of ways to state it.

 

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods; the absence of belief in gods; disbelief in gods; or not believing in gods.

 

The most precise definition may be that an atheist is anyone who does not affirm the proposition "at least one god exists." This is not a proposition made by atheists. Being an atheist requires nothing active or even conscious on the part of the atheist. All that is required is not "affirming" a proposition made by others.

 

What Is an Agnostic?

An agnostic is anyone who doesn't claim to know whether any gods exist or not. This is also an uncomplicated idea, but it may be as misunderstood as atheism.

 

One major problem is that atheism and agnosticism both deal with questions regarding the existence of gods. Whereas atheism involves what a person does or does not believe, agnosticism involves what a person does or does not know. Belief and knowledge are related but nevertheless separate issues."

Bold by me.

I consider myself an atheist because I lack belief there are any gods.

This IS NOT the same as saying I disbelieve in the existence of gods.

 

I personally use the term atheism only as an assertion that there is no God, because if one doesn't believe in Gods, but are not exhibiting disbelief in Gods, than, I don't see why they wouldn't just claim to be agnostic; one may not believe there are, but they are not saying there are not either.. If atheists can claim to have disbelief without asserting that God doesn't exist it seems to render agnosticism as a redundant and useless category. That is just my opinion though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
16 minutes ago, WanderingFool0 said:

I personally use the term atheism only as an assertion that there is no God, because if one doesn't believe in Gods, but are not exhibiting disbelief in Gods, than, I don't see why they wouldn't just claim to be agnostic; one may not believe there are, but they are not saying there are not either.. If atheists can claim to have disbelief without asserting that God doesn't exist it seems to render agnosticism as a redundant and useless category. That is just my opinion though.

Let me put it this way

A theist believes god exists.

An "a"theist, "a" simply connotating "without," is one who does not hold such a belief. 

A gnostic knows god exists. 

An agnostic is one without knowledge of god's existence. 

I don't know if god exists and I don't know if god doesn't exist. 

I'm not making a knowledge claim either way. 

I don't believe god exists, but I don't believe god doesn't exist.

Therefore I consider myself an atheist, simply because I lack the belief in gods.

Hope this clarifies my position. 

 

P.S. It may help understanding that knowledge is a subset of belief. 

https://medium.com/perspectivepublications/the-difference-between-belief-and-knowledge-cb909520a265

Edited by onlookerofmayhem
Grammar
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WanderingFool0

For instance, what would be the difference between these people;

Theist: Asserts a belief in God

Agnostic: Neither has a belief in God and yet does not assert that there is no God

Atheist Lite: Doesn't have a belief in God, but isn't asserting that there is no God

Atheist: Doesn't have a belief in God and asserts that there is no God

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WanderingFool0
2 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

Let me put it this way

A theist believes god exists.

An "a"theist, "a" simply connotating "without," is one who does not hold such a belief. 

A gnostic knows god exists. 

An agnostic is one without knowledge of god's existence. 

I don't know if god exists and I don't know if god doesn't exist. 

I'm not making a knowledge claim either way. 

I don't believe god exists, but I don't believe god doesn't exists.

Therefore I consider myself an atheist, simply because I lack the belief in gods.

Hope this clarifies my position. 

 

P.S. It may help understanding that knowledge is a subset of belief. 

https://medium.com/perspectivepublications/the-difference-between-belief-and-knowledge-cb909520a265

I can see your position and I know many people classify it that way, but what distinguishes you from an agnostic specifically; ie what part of agnosticism keeps you from categorizing yourself as such?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
1 minute ago, WanderingFool0 said:

I can see your position and I know many people classify it that way, but what distinguishes you from an agnostic specifically; ie what part of agnosticism keeps you from categorizing yourself as such?

I'm not claiming to know either way.

If you have the time, the video in the first post of this thread explains pretty much what I agree with and how I use the terms.

The labels can be troublesome because of how we (in general) are using the words.

Some people consider themselves agnostic atheists or agnostic theists.

It's rare to find people claiming to know for a fact that it is impossible for any type of god to exist.

I have no burden of proof because I am not making either of the claims :

"God exists."

"God does not exist."

I don't accept either claim.

My position is that people that make the first claim have not met the burden of proof to substantiate such a claim.

I am open to any evidence that may be presented. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do
12 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

An "a"theist, "a" simply connotating "without," is one who does not hold such a belief. 

 

No it doesn't. 

The "a" stands for "against".

The oft reputed "atheism is the lack of belief" is just an excuse for being antagonistically, against God.

Which betrays yourself.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
9 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

No it doesn't. 

The "a" stands for "against".

The oft reputed "atheism is the lack of belief" is just an excuse for being antagonistically, against God.

Which betrays yourself.

 

 

No it does not will.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/a-#science-section

"A prefix meaning without or not when forming an adjective (such as amorphous, without form, or atypical, not typical), and absence of when forming a noun (such as arrhythmia, absence of rhythm). Before a vowel or h it becomes an- (as in anhydrous, anoxia)."

 

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do
9 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

No it does not will.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/a-#science-section

"A prefix meaning without or not when forming an adjective (such as amorphous, without form, or atypical, not typical), and absence of when forming a noun (such as arrhythmia, absence of rhythm). Before a vowel or h it becomes an- (as in anhydrous, anoxia)."

 

 

Alright then.

So by that definition you are without belief in God. 

Are you certain that you're not just against God antagonistically?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
7 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

Alright then.

So by that definition you are without belief in God. 

Are you certain that you're not just against God antagonistically?

 

 

Yes.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WanderingFool0
48 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

I'm not claiming to know either way.

If you have the time, the video in the first post of this thread explains pretty much what I agree with and how I use the terms.

The labels can be troublesome because of how we (in general) are using the words.

Some people consider themselves agnostic atheists or agnostic theists.

It's rare to find people claiming to know for a fact that it is impossible for any type of god to exist.

I have no burden of proof because I am not making either of the claims :

"God exists."

"God does not exist."

I don't accept either claim.

My position is that people that make the first claim have not met the burden of proof to substantiate such a claim.

I am open to any evidence that may be presented. 

Thank you for the reply.

I must admit maybe I am not smart enough or wise enough to see the subtle difference yet; both you and the agnostics seem to be in the same boat to me, but you have given me much food for thought and I will continue to ponder it for my understanding. Thanks for that and the discussion.

Edited by WanderingFool0
correction
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will do
38 minutes ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

Yes.

 

There's no reason for me to not believe you. I understand very well that atheism isn't necessarily the taking of a position against God antagonistically.

It's the taking of a position of having a lack of belief in what established traditional religion says a person is supposed to believe about God.

And in that sense, although my faith in God is intense and unrelenting, I am an atheist.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sherapy
2 hours ago, WanderingFool0 said:

For instance, what would be the difference between these people;

Theist: Asserts a belief in God

Agnostic: Neither has a belief in God and yet does not assert that there is no God

Atheist Lite: Doesn't have a belief in God, but isn't asserting that there is no God

Atheist: Doesn't have a belief in God and asserts that there is no God

Then there is the Huxlean Agnostic, 
 

“Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man [woman] shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.”  Thomas Huxley 

Not to be confused with being undecided or position-less or a fence sitter, We are stating that we have no way to test for a god at this time. 
 The only valid way to conclude for a god is via faith. 

 

Edited by Sherapy
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
onlookerofmayhem
1 hour ago, Will Due said:

And in that sense, although my faith in God is intense and unrelenting, I am an atheist

Do you believe gods or a god exists?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish

I'm growing more apatheistic each day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.