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Plasmid
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(04-30-2012, 01:35 AM)
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He's right completely.

You can't know, you can't not know.
Basileus777
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(04-30-2012, 01:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by PhoenixDark

It's cowardice to say you do not have enough evidence to determine whether there is a god or not? It's the most logical position, I'm not surprised Tyson chose it

I'm fine with someone arguing that, I was referring to those avoiding the atheism label because of the social stigma.

Originally Posted by sangreal

People can call themselves whatever they want (although we are talking about the demand that others apply the label to themselves even if they don't want to). My point was made in the context of the actual meaning of the word, which is only dependent on what people think it means, not what people wish it meant or what its root words are.

Meanings aren't dependent entirely on root words, but neither do the masses define philosophical positions. People have had (and still do) some repugnant ideas of what certain groups of people are or believe, they don't get to define them.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by cutmeamango

-Theist
Theos ist
God + that who believes in
That who believes in god.

Doesn't become ->>

Atheist
A theos ist
Without/Absence of + god + that who believes in
->> Without/Absence of that who believes in god.

but

That who believes in absence of god.

You are stretching sooooo hard, and everyone on the planet disagrees with you (appeal ad populam!)

Etymology
From French athéiste (athée + -iste), from Latin atheos, from Ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos, “godless, without god”), from ἀ- (a-, “without”) + θεός (theos, “god”)

BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 01:36 AM)
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Originally Posted by ascii42

That's true. Words only mean what people think they mean. If a single person decides it has a meaning that differs from the common definition used by the person/people they are talking to, they are effectively ignoring the concept of communication. They might as well be speaking a different language.

Yes you are right. Words ultimately only mean what we think they mean.

But what connotation does agnosticism have in modern english?
That there is knowlege about god that we do not know yet, or can never know? (essentially denying revealed religions, incidentally)
That we haven't picked a side yet?
That we don't care to have that argument at all?

Every definition is mired in unintended connotations. Is atheism free-thinking or closed-minded? Is to be relgious a sign that one is highly moral, or highly susceptable to superstition? Every word has crazy baggage with contradictory meanings coming from all sides. All we can do with these kinds of discussions is to lay down the meaning of the word, as we argue it, and have a debate about which kinds of things do, or do not, fall under each meaning.
kehs
Member
(04-30-2012, 01:37 AM)
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If instagram sold for a billion dollars, Tyson could be sold for at least ten at this point.
-COOLIO-
The Everyman
(04-30-2012, 01:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by Plasmid

He's right completely.

You can't know, you can't not know.

true, i also enjoy his larger view of 'not wanting to be in any category at all'. just start a conversation from a fresh vantage point very time
msv
Member
(04-30-2012, 01:38 AM)
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Originally Posted by elrechazao

I'm not sure how you missed that the entire point of this thread and his statement in the video was that he doesn't like being dragged into things outside his field and be used by "groups" as some kind of symbol of their own beliefs.

Did you miss that he made a lot of other nonsensical arguments beside that? As I said, he can be a blowhard, while on the topic of his field, he can keep it somewhat interesting, but outside of that, in cases such as this, he makes terrible arguments.
Noirulus
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(04-30-2012, 01:39 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

I want to clarify a little bit here, I think you mean this, but I am trying so hard to nail this down with other people in the thread -

To the bolded, that would specifically be Agnostic Atheism - you can be atheist for a lot of reasons, but if you are Agnostic Atheist, it's because you feel as though the ability to know of the existence of God, currently and/or at any time, is impossible.

It feels to me like the meaning of "Atheism" has changed so much in such a short time that its definition has morphed into the "Agnostic Atheism" label. When I talk to others who define themselves as Atheist, they're really calling themselves "Agnostic Atheism" as you've said (which is the first time I heard of the word).

So the issue is, should Agnostic Atheism be separate from the dictionary definition of Atheism (whose definition society has distorted very much) or not?
KingK
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(04-30-2012, 01:40 AM)
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The problem I have with labeling myself as agnostic or just saying "I don't know," is that it seems to imply that I simply haven't given any thought or research into the topic, which isn't really true.

I have spent a lot of time reading about religion, thinking about religion, and discussing religion, and have come to the conclusion that there is no compelling reason to believe in a god or gods. I lack the belief in a higher power, and that makes me an atheist. Obviously, if presented with compelling evidence which suggested the presence of a God, I would reevaluate my position. But since I have looked into it, and have failed to be convinced about the existence of god, I'm an atheist. It doesn't mean I tell religious people they're stupid, it doesn't mean I act like a jackass, and it doesn't mean I pretend to believe with a certainty that there is no god, it simply means that I lack a belief in a higher power.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 01:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by cutmeamango

-Theist
Theos ist
God + that who believes in
That who believes in god.

Doesn't become ->>

Atheist
A theos ist
Without/Absence of + god + that who believes in
->> Without/Absence of that who believes in god.

but

That who believes in absence of god.

I guess you are arguing that the word means "'lack of god' belief", whereas we are saying the word means "lacking the 'god belief'". Stalemate. Oh well :)
KHarvey16
hopelessly misguided
(04-30-2012, 01:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by Gaborn

That isn't what he's arguing though. NDT (shortened since I'm tired of typing his name) is saying that agnostic has it's roots in "gnosis" or, "knowledge"

according to Merriam-Webster:



By contrast:



What NDT said in the video is ENTIRELY more consistent with agnosticism than with atheism, at least as Merriam-Webster sees it.

Dictionaries describe common usage. The word atheist has a simple construction: theist means belief in god, the a prefix means without. Some atheists also believe there is no god.
Plasmid
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(04-30-2012, 01:41 AM)
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Originally Posted by -COOLIO-

true, i also enjoy his larger view of 'not wanting to be in any category at all'. just start a conversation from a fresh vantage point very time

It just makes the conversation so much better, there's no stopping point nor beginning.

this is a bit off topic from what you've said, but this is my main problem with Atheists.

Atheists have it so strong in their head, in their belief, that there are no gods, whatsoever, they base this off science, or fact, or philosophies or something else. Yet they barrade religious people for blindly following something without question, and some (read, not all) atheists are so in your face and so rude and on point about everything that they like to be just as bigoted, and hateful and angry and "IM RIGHT YOURE WRONG HOW CAN YOU BE SO DUMB" to people that they're just as bad as religious people.

There is no concrete evidence, nor will there probably ever real be (but one can hope) that a god exists, or doesn't exist. Even if all the religious texts in the world were shown to be false with 100% evidence that proves it, you cannot prove there isn't a god.

Nor can religious folks claim there is a god merely off text and faith alone.

When you open your mind to something such as "i'm willing to learn if there is a god, or if there isn't a god, and weigh each others points until something is concrete." you have the best possible way to look at a situation, and not come off as a bigoted, loud, rude uncaring asshole.


Originally Posted by KingK

The problem I have with labeling myself as agnostic or just saying "I don't know," is that it seems to imply that I simply haven't given any thought or research into the topic, which isn't really true.

I have spent a lot of time reading about religion, thinking about religion, and discussing religion, and have come to the conclusion that there is no compelling reason to believe in a god or gods. I lack the belief in a higher power, and that makes me an atheist. Obviously, if presented with compelling evidence which suggested the presence of a God, I would reevaluate my position. But since I have looked into it, and have failed to be convinced about the existence of god, I'm an atheist. It doesn't mean I tell religious people they're stupid, it doesn't mean I act like a jackass, and it doesn't mean I pretend to believe with a certainty that there is no god, it simply means that I lack a belief in a higher power.

I used to be atheist, but the stigma of "asshole atheists that don't care and want to yell at you" is so deteorating toward the progression of humanity that i feel the best thing is to be undecided, i've read plenty of books, at this point in my life, i don't believe in a god, i can definitely believe in the Buddha, and Muhammad, but i cannot believe in their supernatural stories. If that makes me an atheist, i'm sure that's what people will call me, but i am always open, that if there is evidence proving a god is real (that isn't faith or a 2000 year old book) i will listen and weigh the possiblities.
Last edited by Plasmid; 04-30-2012 at 01:44 AM.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:41 AM)
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Just because I think it will help in the thread, from the Wiktionary:

English


Wikipedia has an article on:
Atheist
Etymology
From French athéiste (athée + -iste), from Latin atheos, from Ancient Greek ἄθεος (atheos, “godless, without god”), from ἀ- (a-, “without”) + θεός (theos, “god”)..
Pronunciation
IPA: /ˈeɪθiɪst/
Audio (US)

(file)
Hyphenation: a‧the‧ist
Noun
atheist (plural atheists)
(narrowly) A person who believes that no deities exist (especially, one who has no other religious belief).  
(broadly) A person who rejects belief that any deities exist (whether or not they believe that no deities exist).
(loosely) A person who has no belief in any deities, including those with no concept of deities.
(loosely, rare) A person who does not believe in a particular deity (or any deity in a particular pantheon), notwithstanding that they may believe in another deity.  

I agree entirely with this.
Mango Positive
(04-30-2012, 01:42 AM)
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I don't know why I get annoyed when people bring up dictionary definitions in the midst of an "agnostic VS. atheist" discussion. It usually has no real bearing on the discussion, save to validate the arbitrary decision by random people as to what they think a word means. I thought we all agreed on this. Agnostic / gnostic has to do with knowledge, atheism / theism has to do with belief. Essentially, people who try to champion the "agnostic" flag are simply refusing to answer the question "do you believe there's a god?" I personally don't know any atheists that don't acknowledge that they don't know for sure. Thus, agnosticism is a moot point. None of us know. We can have an opinion on the matter though.
Raistlin
Post Count: 9999
(04-30-2012, 01:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by Noirulus

So the issue is, should Agnostic Atheism be separate from the dictionary definition of Atheism (whose definition society has distorted very much) or not?

Aren't they already though?

Gnosticism deals in knowledge, theism deals in belief.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 01:43 AM)
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Originally Posted by Plasmid

It just makes the conversation so much better, there's no stopping point nor beginning.

this is a bit off topic from what you've said, but this is my main problem with Atheists.

Atheists have it so strong in their head, in their belief, that there are no gods, whatsoever, they base this off science, or fact, or philosophies or something else. Yet they barrade religious people for blindly following something without question, and some (read, not all) atheists are so in your face and so rude and on point about everything that they like to be just as bigoted, and hateful and angry and "IM RIGHT YOURE WRONG HOW CAN YOU BE SO DUMB" to people that they're just as bad as religious people.

There is no concrete evidence, nor will there probably ever real be (but one can hope) that a god exists, or doesn't exist. Even if all the religious texts in the world were shown to be false with 100% evidence that proves it, you cannot prove there isn't a god.

Nor can religious folks claim there is a god merely off text and faith alone.

When you open your mind to something such as "i'm willing to learn if there is a god, or if there isn't a god, and weigh each others points until something is concrete." you have the best possible way to look at a situation, and not come off as a bigoted, loud, rude uncaring asshole.

There are a shit load of atheists around you every day, who aren't preaching, and aren't assholes. But because they aren't , you never register them in your mind as atheists.

A kind atheist is an invisible identity.
Kosmo
Banned
(04-30-2012, 01:44 AM)
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In this thread atheists rally together to collectively defend against being called people who rally together to collectively talk about not believing in something.

There are a shit load of atheists around you every day, who aren't preaching, and aren't assholes. But because they aren't , you never register them in your mind as atheists.

A kind atheist is an invisible identity.

The same could be said for religious types.
Plasmid
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(04-30-2012, 01:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kosmo

In this thread atheists rally together to collectively defend against being called people who rally together to collectively talk about not believing in something.

tag quote :lol?

Originally Posted by BocoDragon

There are a load of atheists around you every day, who aren't preaching, and aren't assholes. But because they aren't , you never register them in your mind as atheists.

A kind atheist is an invisible identity.

And in my mind, that's a good thing, just as a kind christian, if you are so sure in your belief, whether it be Atheist or Thiest, or anything else, that's great that you're compelled enough to not spread the word.

I'd rather have a million kind atheists, than a million loud angry atheists.
Last edited by Plasmid; 04-30-2012 at 01:47 AM.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 01:46 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kosmo

The same could be said for religious types.

I agree.
KingK
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(04-30-2012, 01:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mango Positive

I don't know why I get annoyed when people bring up dictionary definitions in the midst of an "agnostic VS. atheist" discussion. It usually has no real bearing on the discussion, save to validate the arbitrary decision by random people as to what they think a word means. I thought we all agreed on this. Agnostic / gnostic has to do with knowledge, atheism / theism has to do with belief. Essentially, people who try to champion the "agnostic" flag are simply refusing to answer the question "do you believe there's a god?" I personally don't know any atheists that don't acknowledge that they don't know for sure. Thus, agnosticism is a moot point. None of us know. We can have an opinion on the matter though.

yup, I agree with this.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kosmo

In this thread atheists rally together to collectively defend against being called people who rally together to collectively talk about not believing in something.

I don't defend myself, I defend other Atheists who feel the label is appropriate, but do not rally or whatever else you want to ascribe to Atheism.

Specifically, I fully support NDG's original point, and I am fighting for it - you can't make, or rather you shouldn't make superfluous assumptions about someone based off a label associated with them.

If someone is Christian, I can safely assume they are followers of christ - but to, for example, assume that they are homophobic would be superfluous, and unnecessary - exactly the sort of thing a lot of people in this thread are agreeing with, but are not actually considering when they speak.
DarkKyo
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(04-30-2012, 01:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by Korey

I'm agnostic about Santa Claus, unicorns, and leprechauns then I guess

Someone should ask him his opinion on those things. Because it's literally the same thing.

Eh. Not really a valid point. We can pretty much understand that Santa Claus(a magical human) does not and can not exist. However there is no way to know if a god exists, even if you don't believe it. I use the term god loosely... could mean lots of different things. It's much different than the idea of a magic human.

I used to identify myself as an atheist, but years ago I started seeing myself as an agnostic because there is just no way to know. Even if you really don't think a god exists, but admit that you do not actually know, you are still agnostic.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by DarkKyo

Eh. Not really a valid point. We can pretty much understand that Santa Claus(a magical human) does not and can not exist. However there is no way to know if a god exists, even if you don't believe it. I use the term god loosely... could mean lots of different things. It's much different than the idea of a magic human.

I used to identify myself as an atheist, but years ago I started seeing myself as an agnostic because there is just no way to know. Even if you really don't think a god exists, but admit that you do not actually know, you are still agnostic.

Yes - that means you are both Agnostic about the liklihood of a Deity and an Atheist - in fact that would make you an Agnostic Atheist.

Also, if Santa is magical, couldn't he magically make himself impossible to detect?
Noirulus
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(04-30-2012, 01:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Raistlin

Aren't they already though?

Gnosticism deals in knowledge, theism deals in belief.

I don't believe in a ... [God, higher being, etc] because there is no proof out there that he exists. - This is what a lot of people who are Atheist define themselves as (which is Agnostic Atheism, it seems)

What i'm asking is that is it a problem of correcting the name of their position (to Agnostic Atheist), or is it okay to change the meaning of Atheism to Agnostic Atheism seeing as how society seems to be moving in that direction yet still calling themselves Atheist?

Reading back, maybe i'm over-complicating this issue.
cutmeamango
Banned
(04-30-2012, 01:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

You are stretching sooooo hard, and everyone on the planet disagrees with you (appeal ad populam!)

Thank you for quoting the etymology online dictionary to further prove my point (non stretched point that is!). :P
And wikitionary!, which labels your definition as the "loosely" interpretation hehe.

Originally Posted by BocoDragon

I guess you are arguing that the word means "'lack of god' belief", whereas we are saying the word means "lacking the 'god belief'". Stalemate. Oh well :)

Well, one is the initial (and proper by greek language) morphological construction even ignoring its etymological function, the other is a new read on it, which linguistically I believe it is valid, but I'm not even close of language scholar enthusiast. :P
kehs
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(04-30-2012, 01:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Mango Positive

Essentially, people who try to champion the "agnostic" flag are simply refusing to answer the question "do you believe there's a god?"

Agnostic: I don't know.

Athiest: No.

The problem is that a lot of atheists are actually agnostic but don't realize it.

By its definition atheism denies theism.
Kosmo
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(04-30-2012, 01:51 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

I don't defend myself, I defend other Atheists who feel the label is appropriate, but do not rally or whatever else you want to ascribe to Atheism.

Specifically, I fully support NDG's original point, and I am fighting for it - you can't make, or rather you shouldn't make superfluous assumptions about someone based off a label associated with them.

If someone is Christian, I can safely assume they are followers of christ - but to, for example, assume that they are homophobic would be superfluous, and unnecessary - exactly the sort of thing a lot of people in this thread are agreeing with, but are not actually considering when they speak
.

Totally agree.
Mario
Sidhe / PikPok
(04-30-2012, 01:51 AM)
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Originally Posted by Snakeyes

Because the majority of people, regardless of their beliefs, just don't give enough of a shit about others' religious beliefs to waste their time learning them?

There is far more energy being expended in this thread alone trying to redefine things than would be required to just simply learn and use the terms properly.
zomaha
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(04-30-2012, 01:51 AM)
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I'm agnostic in that we can't know if there is some formless blob of energy that creates our reality called "god". But we know silly gods like the christian/greek/roman gods are not real.
gerg
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(04-30-2012, 01:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

I agree entirely with this.

This seems very pertinent, if people are trying to use a morphological or etymological argument but are confusing the root "theos" as meaning "belief in God" instead of simply "God" or "deity". [Edit: Actually, wait, it seems I misunderstood the purpose of your Wikipedia quote. I think I'd agree that it is fair to categorise atheists as those who lack belief in God (somewhat going against something I said in a similar thread), but I would say that they are such because they believe that God does not exist.]

More broadly, it seems to me that people try and remove the element of active belief from atheism because of some misconstrued understanding of belief itself - that is, supposedly the cause of atheism is more rational because it lacks belief. But this is self-defeating. Someone with deeper knowledge can correct me on this, but most/all philosophical accounts of knowledge retain belief as an integral part of it. (Even the most basic account holds that knowledge is true, justified belief.) The problem isn't with having belief, the problem is with having unjustified belief (and thus solely belief and not knowledge).
Last edited by gerg; 04-30-2012 at 01:55 AM.
elrechazado
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(04-30-2012, 01:53 AM)
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Originally Posted by msv

Did you miss that he made a lot of other nonsensical arguments beside that? As I said, he can be a blowhard, while on the topic of his field, he can keep it somewhat interesting, but outside of that, in cases such as this, he makes terrible arguments.

Funny, I found that he made the point that he was attempting to make, and did it quite clearly. You seem angry that he doesn't share your opinions more than anything. Carry on though.
entrement
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(04-30-2012, 01:53 AM)
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Originally Posted by SoulPlaya

I really don't get what is the obsession GAF has with this guy.

Same.
DarkKyo
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(04-30-2012, 01:54 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

Yes - that means you are both Agnostic about the liklihood of a Deity and an Atheist - in fact that would make you an Agnostic Atheist.

Also, if Santa is magical, couldn't he magically make himself impossible to detect?

Of course. But believing that would involve accepting the idea that magic exists in the universe instead of pure physical forces. God would act and exist on a completely different metaphysical level than magic. God would probably be either the universe itself or exist outside the universe, and that's something we can't know in comparison to seriously believing that magic doesn't/does exist within the universe.
msv
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(04-30-2012, 01:55 AM)
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Originally Posted by -COOLIO-

true, i also enjoy his larger view of 'not wanting to be in any category at all'. just start a conversation from a fresh vantage point very time

That's not a view, it's merely making a point where there is none to be made. Atheism, atheist, they're words that have a definition. Someone who has communicated to others that (s)he assumes the reasoning that fit that definition, will be referred to as holding that reasoning afterwards with the appropriate word. Not wanting to be 'labeled' as an 'active atheist' is something different than actually being an atheist. A white person might as well say they're not white, because they don't like the label. It's just obnoxious and beside the point.

His argument of not caring enough to be in the discussion can be shortened to him being apathetic to the issue. If he really meant what he was saying, he would only mention that he doesn't care, i.e. he's apathetic. Instead, he uses an argument that's commonly used from an atheist POV in debates (false dichotomy in a debate, where atheism is put on the same level as theism or a 50/50 either way scenario), against 'active atheists'. He definitely has an anti 'active' atheist position/opinion, and he's certainly not apathetic to the entire issue of belief/worship in deities and religions. All in all, his arguments end up being a wash of things, not making any actual point along the way.
Air
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(04-30-2012, 01:55 AM)
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Originally Posted by gerg

This seems very pertinent, if people are trying to use a morphological or etymological argument but are confusing the root "theos" as meaning "belief in God" instead of simply "God" or "deity".

More broadly, it seems to me that people try and remove the element of active belief from atheism because of some misconstrued understanding of belief itself - that is, supposedly the cause of atheism is more rational because it lacks belief. But this is self-defeating. Someone with deeper knowledge can correct me on this, but most/all philosophical accounts of knowledge retain belief as an integral part of it. (Even the most basic account holds that knowledge is true, justified belief.) The problem isn't with having belief, the problem is with having unjustified belief.

This is a very interesting point. I'd like to read more about this actually.
Apeopleman
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(04-30-2012, 01:55 AM)
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Originally Posted by Alfarif

I'm too busy actually living and trying to be a good human being.

Me too, yo
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by cutmeamango

Thank you for quoting the etymology online dictionary to further prove my point (non stretched point that is!). :P
And wikitionary!, which labels your definition as the "loosely" interpretation hehe.

Come back at me when you have a rebuttal! Or you want to concede that Atheism is not defined strictly as a rejection of belief in god, or what I would label as "Gnostic Atheism".
Angry Fork
Spelling is Hard
(04-30-2012, 01:56 AM)
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I love Neil but I feel he's dead wrong here. He's not being honest about what atheism is and seems to avoid it simply because of "in your face" atheists. Agnostics are atheists. There is no need to separate them or for the term agnosticism because atheists would become theists if the evidence was there. I get the feeling agnostics choose that title just to avoid battles/debates and try to seem more warm towards theists so they can better assimilate into society.

Neil's right on atheism being a pointless term generally speaking though, since nobody says they're a non-sportist just because they don't watch sports. Incidentally this is one of the arguments for atheism being the default way of life and everyone being born atheists, then taught theism as they grow up. However the reason atheism is used is because most of the world is theist. It's just a way to set yourself apart from those who live their life based on ghosts and mythology.

Originally Posted by Copernicus

Agnostic: I don't know.

Athiest: No.

The problem is that a lot of atheists are actually agnostic but don't realize it.

By its definition atheism denies theism.

You have it the other way around. Agnostics live their life as if it's no. If they didn't then they would be theists wouldn't they?

All proper atheists who look at the world scientifically will say they cannot prove god doesn't exist, but they simply say there is no convincing argument or evidence for his existence, period. And agnostics go by the same rule. There are atheists that reject god on moral grounds (because of it's totalitarian nature), but they wouldn't say they reject evidence if there was real evidence for god.
Last edited by Angry Fork; 04-30-2012 at 01:59 AM.
BocoDragon
or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
(04-30-2012, 01:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by Copernicus

Agnostic: I don't know.

Athiest: No.

I would say...

Agnostic: I don't know.

Athiest: I don't say a god exists.

They're actually categories which overlap, and mostly describe the same individuals.

Agnostic is like the answer to the question "is there a god?" (I don't know), and atheist is like the answer to the question "do you assert that there is a god?" (I don't assert that there is).
Raistlin
Post Count: 9999
(04-30-2012, 01:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by Noirulus

I don't believe in a ... [God, higher being, etc] because there is no proof out there that he exists. - This is what a lot of people who are Atheist define themselves as (which is Agnostic Atheism, it seems)

What i'm asking is that is it a problem of correcting the name of their position (to Agnostic Atheist), or is it okay to change the meaning of Atheism to Agnostic Atheism seeing as how society seems to be moving in that direction yet still calling themselves Atheist?

Reading back, maybe i'm over-complicating this issue.

Since changing the meaning to the conflation of both ideas would mean no longer having a way to discuss the ideas separately ... that would be a horrible move.

Their position needs to simply be named accurately.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(04-30-2012, 01:57 AM)
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Originally Posted by DarkKyo

Of course. But believing that would involve accepting the idea that magic exists in the universe instead of pure physical forces. God would act and exist on a completely different metaphysical level than magic. God would probably be either the universe itself or exist outside the universe, and that's something we can't know in comparison to seriously believing that magic doesn't/does exist within the universe.

Or, that we can't know if magic exists in the universe, thus we can't know if magical beings exist in the universe, thus we can't know if Santa Clause (a magic being) exists in the universe.

Ie, Santa Clause Agnostic.
MattKeil
BIGTIME TV MOGUL #2
(04-30-2012, 01:57 AM)
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Someone who is as prominent and who moves in the political circles he does doesn't really have a choice, of course. Also it is a lot easier for the average American to stomach scientific insight from someone who doesn't claim to be an atheist, which is a very loaded term in this country.

Basically it's the safe answer, and is disappointing from Tyson. Then again, if I had my own version of Cosmos coming out next year, I would probably be laying the groundwork like this, too. One thing Sagan didn't have to overcome at the time he made Cosmos was an America that was actively hostile toward science and empirical knowledge.
GrizzNKev
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(04-30-2012, 01:58 AM)
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Originally Posted by SirChained

So in other words he is an atheist but doesn't want to be called an atheist out of fear of being stereotyped. Cool.

Correct. He is an agnostic atheist, as are the vast majority of atheists. He's just a popular guy who doesn't want to face the negativity associated with the common misunderstanding of what being an atheist actually means.

Originally Posted by Kurdel

This needs to be on the front page of every single one of these threads.

Yes. Yes it does. There is no in between, as each state is binary as explained by the prefix "a" yet so many people seem to ignore that.
Last edited by GrizzNKev; 04-30-2012 at 02:01 AM.
Kurdel
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(04-30-2012, 01:59 AM)
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This needs to be on the front page of every single one of these threads.

Napoleonthechimp
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(04-30-2012, 02:00 AM)
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Originally Posted by Agnostic

Great minds think alike.

and fools seldom differ.
Air
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(04-30-2012, 02:02 AM)
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Originally Posted by MattKeil


Basically it's the safe answer, and is disappointing from Tyson. Then again, if I had my own version of Cosmos coming out next year, I would probably be laying the groundwork like this, too. One thing Sagan didn't have to overcome at the time he made Cosmos was an America that was actively hostile toward science and empirical knowledge.

I'm pretty sure Sagan identified as an agnostic (not agnostic atheist or whatever). I recall him saying "I'm an agnostic, an atheist would have to know a lot more than I" or something to that effect.
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(04-30-2012, 02:02 AM)
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After reading this thread I can only ask, who's on first?
ascii42
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(04-30-2012, 02:03 AM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

Or, that we can't know if magic exists in the universe, thus we can't know if magical beings exist in the universe, thus we can't know if Santa Clause (a magic being) exists in the universe.

Ie, Santa Clause Agnostic.

Well, Santa's a bit different. For starters, there was an actual Saint Nicholas. There's no real debate there. The general Santa Claus belief involves him delivering toys to children around the world. It is provably false that he does not do this, since you could show that parents/friends/other family were responsible for buying the gifts. If the belief were more along the lines of the spirt of Saint Nicholas filling people with the "Christmas spirit" and made them want to buy other people gifts, then we'd having something unprovable either way.
gerg
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(04-30-2012, 02:04 AM)
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Originally Posted by Air

This is a very interesting point. I'd like to read more about this actually.

Unfortunately it's been a while since I studied philosophy at school, so I can't remember any texts on the matter. The only thing I could suggest is browsing the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for the various entries they have on the matter. (This is their entry for "belief", which is very broad.) The definition of "true, justified belief" is Plato's tripartite account of knowledge. IIRC, a lot of theories discuss what it is for belief to be justified, and there is a lot of discussion regarding Gettier problems, whereby our intuition would hold that knowledge does not arise only out of true, justified, belief.

However (and, again, I'm open to being corrected on this), I don't think that any account of knowledge would ever seek to remove the element of belief from it.
ProXimity
Banned
(04-30-2012, 02:05 AM)
He's spot on.

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