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Agnosticism, Theism, Atheism - What does it mean?

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posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: Ghost147

I understand you "lack a belief"...whatever that may mean.


Ah, so this is the main issue then. You don't really understand what "lacking a belief" really means.


originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: Ghost147
However, atheism can ALSO be a belief....which is the point I'm making...and which is a point you have also acknowledged....


Could you explain then how a 'disbelief', or 'lack of belief', or 'absence of belief' is synonymous with 'belief'?

I'm curious to understand why you included 'disbelief', 'lack of belief', and 'absence of belief' in the description of 'Atheism', if you don't actually accept that those are indeed defining attributes?


originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: Ghost147
Atheism is not EXCLUSIVELY one thing or the other...nowhere have I said such a thing....


Then why have you come to the conclusion that Atheism is a belief?

Is it or is it not, in your eyes?




posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: Prezbo369

Ghost only said one thing was incorrect...everything else was

100% correct!
so....yeah...

A2D


Ghost is stating that you've inadvertently posted the correct definition while attempting to claim your incorrect definition is accurate. He's done this many times and yet your blinkered view on the issue stops you from seeing this..



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147


Ah, so this is the main issue then. You don't really understand what "lacking a belief" really means.


I understand lacking a belief, or lacking a definitive statement as agnosticism...but it's apparent that you understand lacking a definitive statement as atheism....

This is a very general way of how I see it....BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE!
"There is no god." - atheist
"There is a god." - theist
*crickets* - agnostic



Could you explain then how a 'disbelief', or 'lack of belief', or 'absence of belief' is synonymous with 'belief'?

It's not.


I'm curious to understand why you included 'disbelief', 'lack of belief', and 'absence of belief' in the description of 'Atheism', if you don't actually accept that those are indeed defining attributes?

wtf? it's clear I included them in the descriptions because I DO ACCEPT THEM AS DEFINING ATTRIBUTES....




Then why have you come to the conclusion that Atheism is a belief?


Because there is gnostic atheism...which IS A BELIEF....but that does not entail all of atheism...

A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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I dont know nor care of those titles, i just know there is Creator and other things, then theres is us humans but we are not center of all that exists. We might be young as creation but we share common destiny that everything else in the universes but my honest estimate is that we are not going forward but backwards, like thousands of years already but its nothing in scale of things that matters, we already are producing something that gets some of us forward, as human race we are not quite there yet thou but that is the ultimate goal.. When we learn to observe our surroundings and see the similarities within our selfs, we will have to realize at some point our racial purpose, or we might even go into other way and end the human cycle by destroying our selfs, which seems like slowly coming a valid option...



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:28 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
I understand lacking a belief, or lacking a definitive statement as agnosticism...but it's apparent that you understand lacking a definitive statement as atheism....


I lack a belief in a god though, so that would make me an atheist, would it not?



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
This is a very general way of how I see it....BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE!
"There is no god." - atheist
"There is a god." - theist
*crickets* - agnostic


I know how you see it generally. I'm more interested in how you see it specifically.

What else can an atheist say that isn't exclusively "there is no god"?



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
wtf? it's clear I included them in the descriptions because I DO ACCEPT THEM AS DEFINING ATTRIBUTES....


Then why say later on in your OP:

Agree2Disagree
atheism deals with the belief

Agree2Disagree
Atheism and theism both deal with absolute beliefs

Agree2Disagree
Atheism is the position that no gods can or do exist.

Agree2Disagree
Every atheist will tell you they don't believe in a god.


You're being exceptionally misleading.

These are all the final conclusions on atheism that you've given. None of which state that Atheism is anything other than a specific stance that god does not exist.

If you truly do accept lack of belief (and so forth) as defining attributes, then why continuously drive your point that Atheism is a belief, and only a belief over and over again?



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
Because there is gnostic atheism...which IS A BELIEF....but that does not entail all of atheism...


I don't deny that there are some atheists that make a definitive claim. But you've said over and over again that your definition of atheism is that it is a belief and nothing else.

You go back and forth on your description of what atheism is as if you simply have no idea what it is at all, but then conclude "atheism is a belief".

Do you not see the paradoxes here?



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 02:40 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147


I lack a belief in a god though, so that would make me an atheist, would it not?

technically, yes it would....but from my understanding, if you leave it OPEN...meaning you make no affirmative statement "there is a god" or "there is not a god" then you are agnostic...if you left it to me to classify you, i'd call you an agnostic atheist....is that right?





What else can an atheist say that isn't exclusively "there is no god"?


An atheist can say whatever they want to say...I don't really care....I'm just trying to hash out the differences between agnosticism and atheism...





Then why say later on in your OP:

Agree2Disagree
atheism deals with the belief

maybe i should have said "atheism deals with the disbelief"....but what i really meant was not "belief" as in literal belief, but the concept of belief/disbelief....




These are all the final conclusions on atheism that you've given. None of which state that Atheism is anything other than a specific stance that god does not exist.

If you truly do accept lack of belief (and so forth) as defining attributes, then why continuously drive your point that Atheism is a belief, and only a belief over and over again?


if you read what I said...i said that GNOSTIC ATHEISM IS A BELIEF....BUT DOES NOT ENTAIL ALL OF ATHEISM....holy crap.....

You even said yourself...

I don't deny that there are some atheists that make a definitive claim.


so you've acknowledged that atheism IS IN FACT a belief system (for some people)


You go back and forth on your description of what atheism is as if you simply have no idea what it is at all, but then conclude "atheism is a belief".


Just as you go back and forth on how atheism is NOT a belief, but then you acknowledge that for some people it is....


Do you not see the paradoxes here?


A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:02 PM
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Atheism often gets broken into a hard and weak form.

One called weak simply doesn't hold any beliefs in God or gods. Doesn't care to waste time thinking about it they will wait for proof.

Another strong means they don't believe a God or gods exist. Meaning going further and claiming God does not and can not exist.

Agnostics are part of nearly every metaphysical cosmological claim. You can be an agnostic theist or Athesit. An agnostic Diest. Etc

Within Atheism, Theism, Deism, and Pantheism there is a scale I call the agnostic level. It goes from zealot to agnostic.

Some people don't feel the need to make any claims at all those are the pure bread agnostics. Also a rare breed in its completely neutral form.


edit on 29-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:05 PM
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a reply to: luthier

Great post.

The weak atheists are also called agnostic atheists, the strong atheists being gnostic atheists...and it is for the latter in which atheism becomes a belief system.

A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:05 PM
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a reply to: Agree2Disagree

As far as I can tell Theists and Atheists are two sides of the same coin - they believe in absolutes.

Theists believe in the existence of some sort of 'Supreme Being'.

Atheists believe in the absence of some sort of 'Supreme Being'.

Some Atheists are as entrenched in their beliefs as some Theists and stick to a strict non-Theist dogma.

Personally, I consider myself Agnostic.
I think it is impossible to determine the existence or non-existence of some sort of 'Supreme Being' until death or the advent of an ultimate 'Judgement Day' event.

As a result the question of 'Does God exist?' is completely irrelevant.

Why waste time over wondering on whether God exists?
Its a complete waste of time.

I live my life by a moral code that I set myself.
Some of these are products of the society I live in, some are standards that I set myself.
Yes, there maybe similarities between my personal code and the teachings of various religious beliefs - the belief that it is wrong to kill someone else being a prime example.
I don't believe that because some God figure told me its wrong, I simply believe that it is simply inherently wrong to kill someone else.
Of course that is a simplistic example but I'm sure you get the point I'm trying to make.

'God's' existence is totally irrelevant - its how one lives one life that is important.

And as a slight aside - I think if there is some sort of omniscient, omnipotent being that is responsible for everything within this universe etc I don't think for one minute he'd be bothered if I didn't go to church on Sunday, or pray to Mecca five times a day etc.
Surely if there is some sort of final Judgement Day where he deems those worthy to enter his after-life, Private Members Club 'he'd' judge people on how they lived their lives and not on the adherence to dogmatic creed?

If there is a 'God' and by and large I've lived by the standards and moral code I've set myself then perhaps I'd be granted admission to the club......if 'he' doesn't exist well where's the harm done? I've still tried to live a good life and not intentionally harmed anyone else who hasn't harmed me.

If we spent less time on defining 'God', his existence and judging others on their lack of belief, either way, maybe we'd be able to spend more time just living our own lives to the best of our abilities without causing undue harm to others then perhaps the world would be just a slightly better place.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
Some people don't feel the need to make any claims at all those are the pure bread agnostics. Also a rare breed in its completely neutral form.


'Atheism' is not accepting the claims made by theists for the existence of gods. How strongly someone might feel (or not) about that claim does not change the fact that they're still atheists.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: Agree2Disagree

My favorite way to explain what an atheist is, is a person who does not accept the claims, or any of the proposed evidence, that any of the many proposed gods exist.


Our position does not deal with any positive claims. It is the dismissal of unfounded claims. If you feel like changing the wording to make it seem otherwise, then that seems a like you are the one who does not understand what we are saying, even though we keep correcting you when you tell us what we think.

This could not be made any simpler. Religious people claim that there is a god. They claim to know what this god likes, dislikes, what he will and will not do.

We do not believe those claims.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: Freeborn


'God's' existence is totally irrelevant - its how one lives one life that is important.


Truth.


As far as I can tell Theists and Atheists are two sides of the same coin - they believe in absolutes.


...might get in some trouble with that statement....but I know what you mean


A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Woodcarver

That's precisely how I defined atheism....


The most precise definition I can bear forth, is: one who does not affirm the proposition "at least one god exists". This is NOT an affirmation made by atheists, but is an affirmation denied.


However, the entire point is to what degree of certainty you do not believe those claims. If you believe that theists are in fact 100% incorrect, then you are an absolute atheist...if you do not believe their claims, yet leave it open for any new evidence...then you are agnostic(IMO)

A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:27 PM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

Nor was that an arguement I made.

The position of claiming God can not possibly exist is different enough from holding no belief and merits some explanation.

A true agnostic would not make the claim even over a theistic diety.


Some people consider deism as an Athesit position some don't.

Another large factor in classification is the belief of the person doing the classifying.

To an ancient Greek Diagoras was an atheist for not believing in the Greek gods. A Christian also does not believe in Greek gods but they are not atheist.

It's easier to debate actual positions on cosmological metaphysics.


edit on 29-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:39 PM
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originally posted by: luthier
a reply to: Prezbo369

Nor was that an arguement I made.

The position of claiming God can not possibly exist is different enough from holding no belief merits some explanation.

An true agnostic would not make the claim even over a theistic diety.


And yet as both positions have have not accepted the claims for gods making them both atheist positions.


Some people consider deism as an Athesit position some don't.


Deism is a form of theism...


Another large factor in classification is the belief of the person doing the classifying.

To an ancient Greek Diagoras was an atheist for not believing in the Greek gods. A Christian also does not believe in Greek gods but they are not atheist.


Christians are atheists in regards to all the gods that have ever been created, with one exception.
edit on 29-2-2016 by Prezbo369 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
technically, yes it would


Precisely.


originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
....but from my understanding, if you leave it OPEN...meaning you make no affirmative statement "there is a god" or "there is not a god" then you are agnostic...


I'm not so sure this is accurate. At least not exclusively Agnostic.

You see, my conclusion as to if a god does or doesn't exist is 'likely not'. And that 'likely' part isn't equally for and against, but almost exclusively for the notion that god likely does not exist.

Agnosticism either has no position for or against the existence of a god what so ever (which technically also makes that an atheistic position, as this position has no belief in god), or directly claims that there is no possible way for us to know if there is or isn't a god (which also, technically, is an atheistic position, as this position too has no belief in god).

My conclusion derives from the fact that everything we have witnessed thus far has a natural origin and functions without the need of a supernatural mechanism. There simply is no need for god at all, therefore a lack of belief in one.

The same concept can be applied to unicorns on Pluto. You have no reason to believe there are unicorns on Pluto, however, you have every reason to lack belief there are unicorns on Pluto. You don't simply say "well we cannot possibly know" or that "I consider it equally possible and impossible" because you do in fact have reason to conclude "there are likely no unicorns on Pluto". Making you an "APlutoUnicornist".



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
if you left it to me to classify you, i'd call you an agnostic atheist....is that right?


There are spectrum for Theism, Agnosticism, and Atheism. Not just Agnosticism.

There are still "hard theists" and "soft theists" depending on the level in which they believe in their claims.

There are Agnostic Theists, Agnostics, and Agnostic Atheists as well, depend on the level in which they place their surety on what constitutes evidence/knowledge and how to achieve that evidence/knowledge according to a deity.

There are still "hard atheists" and 'soft atheists" depending on the strength in which they state "there is no god" as well as their conclusion that lead them to lack a belief in one.

I would say that I'm somewhere between a soft atheist and a hard atheist.



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
An atheist can say whatever they want to say...I don't really care....I'm just trying to hash out the differences between agnosticism and atheism...


I understand that, but you're misunderstanding that there is a spectrum that applies to atheism and theism, as well as agnosticism.



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
maybe i should have said "atheism deals with the disbelief"....but what i really meant was not "belief" as in literal belief, but the concept of belief/disbelief....


That's extremely misleading.



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
if you read what I said...i said that GNOSTIC ATHEISM IS A BELIEF....BUT DOES NOT ENTAIL ALL OF ATHEISM....holy crap.....


I did read that also. But you also stated that "Atheism is a belief" several times in your OP. are you denying that? I can post the quotes again.


originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
You even said yourself...
I don't deny that there are some atheists that make a definitive claim.

so you've acknowledged that atheism IS IN FACT a belief system (for some people)


No, atheism is not a belief system, and it can never be one. I never said it was. I did state that some atheists do make a definitive claim, and those individuals would be presenting a belief. However, A belief system and a single belief are two totally separate concepts.

Some people within atheism do in fact make a definitive claim based on nothing but belief. However, you stated, multiple times that atheism is exclusively a belief.

You ignored the initial definition you gave to atheism at the beginning of your OP.

Your OP goes back and forth between whether you define it exclusively as a belief or your define it as a lack of belief. You state multiple times that Atheism is a position and an absolute belief, speaking for atheism as a whole.

If you do not actually mean to say that, then I suggest editing your OP because that is in fact what you're claiming most of the time within it.



originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
Just as you go back and forth on how atheism is NOT a belief, but then you acknowledge that for some people it is....


You severely misread my posts.

I have always acknowledged that some atheists make a definitive claim, based on a belief. That does not mean that Atheism at a whole is a belief.

Just because an apple grows on a tree does not mean the tree is an apple.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:44 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: luthier

Great post.

The weak atheists are also called agnostic atheists, the strong atheists being gnostic atheists...and it is for the latter in which atheism becomes a belief system.


No, they're not. There are weak/soft Atheist positions and there are Agnostic Atheists. two different concepts



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: Prezbo369


And yet as both positions have have not accepted the claims for gods making them both atheist positions.



Agnostics are not necessarily atheists....even though they have not accepted the claims of theists...


A2D



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

How is deism a form of theism?



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 03:46 PM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
a reply to: Freeborn
...might get in some trouble with that statement....but I know what you mean


Of course you know what he means. Both of you seem to have the same misunderstanding of what it means to be an atheist and what atheism actually is defined as.



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