Agnostics and Atheists

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posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:12 AM
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On ATS I read many many people describing themselves or others as either 'agnostic' or 'atheist', and I'm here to to explain why describing yourself as purely 'agnostic' is completely useless.

People seem to think that to be an atheist is to claim to know that there is no god, and this is simply not true at all. An atheist is merely someone that isn't a theist, someone that doesn't have a belief in a god.

This isn't the same as claiming that there is no god, its simply not accepting the claims made by theists and this is the exact same position that agnostics claim to hold. It's not a claim of knowledge, its just not accepting the claims of a god.

So if you describe yourself as an agnostic or say things such as "I'm not an atheist, I'm agnostic", guess what? youre an atheist...time to stand up and be counted.
edit on 21-6-2014 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

While I agree completely, I think atheists don't THINK there's a god. While agnostics THINK there is a god.

Absolutely positively not a religion tho.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:33 AM
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a reply to: Prezbo369
It seems to me that many agnostics have a sense of moral superiority over atheists.
In the student days when I was an atheist, one of the longest arguments I ever had (until at least three o'clock in the morning) was with an agnostic room-mate who tried to insist that I couldn't be one because they didn't exist.
And an agnostic who starts a thread on ATS is more likely to be having a go at atheists than attacking religion.
I wonder why they think the difference matters so much.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: ArtemisE

But to THINK there's a god would leave you a theist. Not every theist is 100% certain, many profess doubts throughout their lives and it's the same for many atheists.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:37 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: Prezbo369
It seems to me that many agnostics have a sense of moral superiority over atheists.
In the student days when I was an atheist, one of the longest arguments I ever had (until at least three o'clock in the morning) was with an agnostic room-mate who tried to insist that I couldn't be one because they didn't exist.
And an agnostic who starts a thread on ATS is more likely to be having a go at atheists than attacking religion.
I wonder why they think the difference matters so much.



Well i'm sure you feel you have 'moral superiority' over atheists too, but that doesn't make it so.

But is that the only distinction you can make between them?



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369
Well i'm sure you feel you have 'moral superiority' over atheists too,

And vice-versa, but at least there is a massive difference between atheism and theism.
What I've never understood, whichever side of the fence I was on, was why agnostics would want to make a virtue out of not making up their minds.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

It's not that I reject Theism. It's not that I don't have a belief in God. I don't have a specific lack of belief. I just really don't know. It's a huge question mark in my head. Does that really make me an atheist? I always thought that to be an agnostic meant that you were undecided. That's me - undecided.

What about the people that do specifically claim there is no god? What are they?



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
What I've never understood, whichever side of the fence I was on, was why agnostics would want to make a virtue out of not making up their minds.


Agreed, but what i'm attempting to explain here is that by not saying 'Yes' when asked whether or not they believe in a god, they're not theists and therefore by default, atheists.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

People should be allowed to use whatever term they think best describes them. However broadly or narrowly you define the terms plays no role in this.

But if you wish to call agnostics atheists or vice versa, you can do that. But it's not going to make you a lot of friends.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

In large part that's because of the BS talking point that atheism is a religion. Some how they convinced people that atheists KNOW there isn't a God as much as the religiouso believe there is one.... If you only count people who refuse to even consider a god and would refuse to believe any evidence that surfaced for a god, then he's right. There arnt any Athiests.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:55 AM
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originally posted by: Prezbo369
a reply to: ArtemisE

But to THINK there's a god would leave you a theist. Not every theist is 100% certain, many profess doubts throughout their lives and it's the same for many atheists.


I would say theists believe there's a god. Where agnostics think there probubally is, while atheists think there's probubally not.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:55 AM
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This is a strange one.
What does it matter to anyone what someone describes themselves as.
Do we have to compartmentalise/dictate what people have to be to satisfy ourselves.

If someone states to me they are an agnostic, cool, an atheist, cool. You can decide what you want to be and how you want to define yourself.
I just dont get the point of this thread and the labels some body chooses to apply to others.

I am not sure the difference between agnostics and atheists is that fine, why dictate



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 08:57 AM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv
a reply to: Prezbo369

It's not that I reject Theism. It's not that I don't have a belief in God. I don't have a specific lack of belief. I just really don't know. It's a huge question mark in my head. Does that really make me an atheist? I always thought that to be an agnostic meant that you were undecided. That's me - undecided.


If you've not accepted the claims from theists, you're an atheist. By saying 'I don't know', you're an atheist. But if this changes day to day then the days you believe in a god you're theist, and they days you don't, you're an atheist.


What about the people that do specifically claim there is no god? What are they?


You could describe them as nostic atheists, but i'd go with 'insane'.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
What I've never understood, whichever side of the fence I was on, was why agnostics would want to make a virtue out of not making up their minds.


I believe that could be due to the extremely flimsy verifiable historical proof (OUTSIDE of The Holy Book that many hold in high regard) that would enable them to make a choice based on facts that can be proven. Your mileage may obviously, vary. A few anecdotal references from historians will simply not do. Josephus is not considered 100% accurate....

Personally I think the Chrisitan faith is a wolf in sheep's clothing, pretending to be something it is not, whether original or something of virtue. It might have worked in superstitious medieval times, but as we progress again towards a world of science, the story just sounds more fantastical with every year that goes by, and every scandal that comes to light with regards to the operations and machinations of the "roman catholic church". Not to mention the bigotry and extremely questionable behaviour of many of it's proponents, including popes, bishops, priests, jesuits and all the rest.

Just my 2 cents.

ETA History gets written by one group of people. The "winners".
edit on 21/6/14 by LightSpeedDriver because: ETA


ETA2 Disregard post. Wrong forum. I should not partake in religious threads because..well, I'm not religious!
edit on 21/6/14 by LightSpeedDriver because: ETA2



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:03 AM
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originally posted by: Moresby
a reply to: Prezbo369

People should be allowed to use whatever term they think best describes them. However broadly or narrowly you define the terms plays no role in this.


Sure you could describe yourself as a teapot rather than a human being, you'd be wrong of course, but you can do that...


But if you wish to call agnostics atheists or vice versa, you can do that. But it's not going to make you a lot of friends.


I understand that thanks to thousands of years of propaganda the term atheist isn't always appealing, but to hide under the term agnostic helps no-one and is completely useless as they bother refer to the same position.

If someone doesn't like this, then that's their problem and i'll have to get by without the friends i was probably never going to make anyway.....somehow....



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:11 AM
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originally posted by: borntowatch
This is a strange one.
What does it matter to anyone what someone describes themselves as.
Do we have to compartmentalise/dictate what people have to be to satisfy ourselves.

If someone states to me they are an agnostic, cool, an atheist, cool. You can decide what you want to be and how you want to define yourself.
I just dont get the point of this thread and the labels some body chooses to apply to others.

I am not sure the difference between agnostics and atheists is that fine, why dictate


Religious people often bring out the numbers game, telling people not of their religion just how outnumbered they are e.g. "the US is 96% christian" and this is often close to the truth because all christians, despite belonging to very different churches and belief systems, will congeal under the label 'christian'. If people describe themselves as either agnostic or atheist then we have two separate minorities and so a lot less to bring to the table.

Point is the two terms are used to describe the same position, yet people like to drop one in favour of the other for absolutely no reason other than a misconception.



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:12 AM
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If a person doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian God, but they do believe in Zeus, does that make them an atheist? They believe in a god, so....

Most days I feel like there may have been a "creator" at one time, but I think he may have moved on to other things, and is no longer "with us". I guess that makes me a "pre-theist", and/or a "post-atheist".



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv
If a person doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian God, but they do believe in Zeus, does that make them an atheist? They believe in a god, so....


Nope, they have a belief in a god....I know Zeus isn't a fashionable god atm, but it's still a god.


Most days I feel like there may have been a "creator" at one time, but I think he may have moved on to other things, and is no longer "with us". I guess that makes me a "pre-theist", and/or a "post-atheist".


No just a theist on the days you believe, and an atheist on the days you don't.
edit on 21-6-2014 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:19 AM
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originally posted by: ArtemisE
a reply to: Prezbo369

While I agree completely, I think atheists don't THINK there's a god. While agnostics THINK there is a god.

Absolutely positively not a religion tho.

There are other words for all these things such as Deist and various other positions.

Agnosticism, generally speaking, translates to 'without knowledge' which refers to the answers being not knowable. Everyone is at least 1% agnostic, or they are 100% full of poop.

The thing is, there isn't much point to this discussion. There are Christians out there that don't know they are protestant. There are Muslims who don't realize their new realizations or ideas about their faith fall under an already extant faction. There are millions of people that believe utter nonsense about Atheists. Atheism started its life as an insult and something to be feared.

When anyone of any belief system uses a term to describe themselves you really have to ask what they mean. Just yesterday I was talking to a Roman Catholic who said they didn't believe in organized religion. Yes, it was kind of funny but what is really important is that you ask the question before trying to box someone up.

Too many times persons quarrel about words and terms - arguments that could have been avoided by asking, 'so what does that mean to you?'



posted on Jun, 21 2014 @ 09:20 AM
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originally posted by: ArtemisE

originally posted by: Prezbo369
a reply to: ArtemisE

But to THINK there's a god would leave you a theist. Not every theist is 100% certain, many profess doubts throughout their lives and it's the same for many atheists.


I would say theists believe there's a god. Where agnostics think there probubally is, while atheists think there's probubally not.


Certainty has nothing to do with it. Besides if agnostics think (probably or not) there's a god, they're theists.





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