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Will the real Atheists please stand up

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posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:42 PM
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wow ! two whole pages of posts made mostly by JoeCroft...

I guess there are not many 'real' Atheist then ? possibly they are afraid of being wrong...

"over 95% of the humans on this planet believe in God, does the small group of atheistic-satanist seriously believe that the rest of us suffer from some kind of delusion" ?

Anyone wishing to have this question for their signature be my guest.

God bless ya JC, you've done alot better than I could have to make this point...




posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
reply to post by Joecroft
 


I feel that to solely define oneself as an ''atheist'' is a flawed description, and most atheists would be better described as agnostic.


let the thievery begin !

guess which cup the ball is under... see you switch it around here, there goes the atheist right there... move it around.. movin' it round.. there it is right there, you shift it around here, shift it around there, don't take your eye off the ball... movin' it round here, movin' it round there...

where'd the atheist go ?


edit on 12/20/2010 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact
wow ! two whole pages of posts made mostly by JoeCroft...

I guess there are not many 'real' Atheist then ? possibly they are afraid of being wrong...


I'm here to reveal to ATS that your claims are full of fecal matter once again.

Post count in this thread. 41 (42 once I post)
Posts by JoeCroft in this thread: 14

Nothing out of the ordinary there.

Hell, I even posted in this thread. But it's not much of a discussion really.



"over 95% of the humans on this planet believe in God,


Wow, another piece of poo claim.
For one thing, about 8% of humanity is atheistic.



And to use a chart you posted yourself...

The rest of that 16% might not accept your 'God'
Another 14% of the world is Hindu, so they believe in Gods
Then there's the Chinese traditionalists, another 6%, which aren't monotheistic and some aren't even theistic.
Then there are the Buddhists, yet another 6%, some of which are atheistic individuals who follow a religion. Theravada Buddhism in particular is an atheistic religion.
And then there are the primal-indigenous individuals, yet another 6% that don't all qualify as theists and are definitely not monotheists.
I'll toss out "other" because it's non-indicative.

So that puts the world non-monotheist count at....about 40%.
And that's not factoring in that you might consider Allah a different deity and how there are unitarian Christians, protestants, etc. There's just as much division among individual religions as there is between them...
...so your claim is poo. Stinky poo. Like that really ugly green baby poo that smells like a dead body.

There isn't a monolithic "over 95%" of the population vs a tiny minority. Stop distorting reality to fit your ignorant worldview.



does the small group of atheistic-satanist seriously believe that the rest of us suffer from some kind of delusion" ?


Some of you. Some of you don't. The ones that call us satanic do.



God bless ya JC, you've done alot better than I could have to make this point...


You wouldn't recognize a point if you got one in your eye.

.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
reply to post by Joecroft
 


I feel that to solely define oneself as an ''atheist'' is a flawed description, and most atheists would be better described as agnostic.


Actually, agnostic and atheist are two separate claims. One is related to knowledge. I do not know, I am agnostic. The other is related to belief. I do not believe, I am an atheist.

So that makes me an agnostic atheist. There are also agnostic theists (I know a few).



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 07:40 PM
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dbl post
edit on 12/20/2010 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
So that makes me an agnostic atheist.


lose the atheist tag so maybe we could get along...

or you are always welcome to come back to America since you have dual citizenship then you can print you up a cardboard sign and stand out on the national mall picketing against Atheists discrimination.

Heck you might even win some money if you are smart and set someone up then hire a lawyer !



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Actually, agnostic and atheist are two separate claims. One is related to knowledge. I do not know, I am agnostic. The other is related to belief. I do not believe, I am an atheist.

So that makes me an agnostic atheist. There are also agnostic theists (I know a few).


What you say is true to an extent.

In reality, though, the atheist and agnostic claims often cross-over.

For most atheists, their absence of belief is based on an absence of knowledge. If there was definitive evidence that God or gods existed, then they would not have an absence of belief in God.

If someone's world-view is based on knowledge and empiricism, then the position of agnosticism would logically follow, as would atheism.


Describing oneself solely as ''atheist'' is an incomplete description of someone's stance on the position of the existence or not of God or gods.

It leaves a sense of ambiguity about whether the atheist holds an active disbelief or passive disbelief.

People who believe that God does not exist, describe themselves as atheist, as do people who hold a passive disbelief.

By referring to oneself as ''atheist'', the atheist does not make it clear which bracket he falls into.


You say that you are an ''agnostic atheist'', but do you always refer to yourself as that ? Or do you often call yourself an ''atheist'' at the expense of the more accurate definition ?



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:19 PM
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let me put this here, I jumped the gun...

Agnostic-Atheist

defined: (without all the techno mumbo jumbo)

I don't know, but I don't believe it either, even if it is the truth, or a lie.

sounds about right...



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by Joecroft

I’m not sure what you mean by “left all of the other questions unanswered” but I’m not suggesting that science should give up looking for answers just because someone believes in God. What I am suggesting though, is that regarding the ultimate question, there may be only so much we can know to the extent that it is "un-knowable". The current scientific theories regarding pre Big Bang, can’t be knowable as a fact, even though they are based on some sound scientific principles and accurate mathematics.


- JC


There may well be things that turn out to be "un-knowable" but then we get down to the classic "God of the gaps argument"

1000's of years ago God was almost everywhere, people didn't understand how human reproduction worked, so it was put down to god, a storm wipes out a village, God, A plague of Locusts, God.
As we progressed we began to understand these things better the need for a supernatural explanation for them disappeared.

Hand in hand with these discoveries people discovered whole new things that they couldn't explain, and again these things were put down to God and again they were found to be natural processes with no need for any intervention by a supreme being and Gods presence was needed even less.

So the question then becomes will people ever fill in all of the gaps so that there is no place left for God to hide and my answer to that question obviously has to be "I don't know as I can't see into the future"
Be that as it may even if we came to the point where we somehow discovered that we couldn't ever make any more discoveries and we knew for certain that some things are un-knowable then it would still seem to me to be a strange thing to take that to mean that this un-knowable thing was a god (as one would describe a god in the traditional sense)

Again of course this also depends on how wide you cast your net in allowable descriptions of what is a god.

edit on 20-12-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-12-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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Joe


Atheists site the same above reason for being an Atheist. What separates your position as an Agnostic, from theirs?

I don't know. What separates my position from the person who believes in God because of faith alone? Maybe that person also says "I believe that the available evidence is insufficient for me to profess a belief about the question of gods." OK, they formed their belief on another basis, their experience of faith.

On the other side, as I said in my first post, I really only feel comfortable discussing the kind of atheists who are so easy to find in real life, the ones who do profess a belief, "I believe there is no god." Now, they might say the same thing about the evidence that I do, but go on to form a belief on some other basis. Not faith, of course, but maybe there is some argument that persuades them, or they see the religious question as analogous to some other problem they have solved, or maybe it is possible to have a purely personal experience, a sort of "irreligious experience," or...

So, what're the differences? From the person of faith alone, I haven't that faith. From the atheist who finds some other basis for forming a belief, I haven't found that other basis.


So you have decided, that it cannot be currently known, due to a lack of evidence that there is either, (A) a creator God or (B) that there is not a creator God.

Would that be a fair statement to describe your Agnosticism, in connection with the question in my OP?

Yes, that's fair.


Thanks, your eloquent descriptions and explanations, have helped me understand Agnosticism much better and not just on this thread, but on the other one as well.

Good talkin' with you, Joe. Merry Christmas.

Sherlock

Again, in real life, I don't run into atheists who argue from ignorance.

There's no reason why an atheist couldn't acknowledge a logical possibility of God, but believe that the possibility happens not to be realized. Belief needn't be certainty, and usually isn't, in many subject areas, not just about religious questions.

As I said to Joe, there are many bases upon which people can form beliefs in matters of opinion. If the evidence doesn't help, and it doesn't hinder, then that leaves the door open especially wide for other ways to arrive at beliefs.

And as to atheist or agnostic being incomplete descriptions of a person's religious opinions, so is theist. There's a limit to how much information you can hope to pack into one word. Learning whether they have an opinion about the question of gods, and if so, which way they lean is plenty for one word.

If you want to learn more, then you ask more questions. But at least you know which additional questions to ask. No point asking anybody but a theist which God they believe in, for example.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by davespanners
1000's of years ago God was almost everywhere, people didn't understand how human reproduction worked, so it was put down to god,


yes I have a great video on this somewhere if I could just find it now, something very special happens here during conception, it is a revelation in itself.

I will look it up, but we can not say we fully understand this process totally 100%



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by eight bits
Again, in real life, I don't run into atheists who argue from ignorance.

There's no reason why an atheist couldn't acknowledge a logical possibility of God, but believe that the possibility happens not to be realized. Belief needn't be certainty, and usually isn't, in many subject areas, not just about religious questions.


I know a few people who actively disbelieve in the existence of God.

No, there isn't a reason why an atheist can't acknowledge the possibility of a God; in fact, any logical atheist would be unwise not to.

But that's the point; defining oneself as ''atheist'' does not separate the logical atheist who doesn't rule out the possibility of God, from the illogical atheist who actively disbelieves in God.

Why would teh logical person define themselves by a term that can equally apply to an illogical person who partially holds the same position ?


Originally posted by eight bits
And as to atheist or agnostic being incomplete descriptions of a person's religious opinions, so is theist. There's a limit to how much information you can hope to pack into one word. Learning whether they have an opinion about the question of gods, and if so, which way they lean is plenty for one word.


''Agnostic'' is a pretty complete description, as it tells most people what the agnostic's full position on the matter is.

''Atheist'' is an incomplete description, and while in its simplest sense it means ''an absence of belief in God or gods'', when you even get the Merriam-Webster defining ''atheist'' as ''one who believes that there is no deity'', then it is clear how much ambiguity can imply in referring to one's position in this incomplete manner.

How many people refer to themselves as a ''theist'', though ? If someone believes in a religion, they tend to define themselves by their religion. How many Christian's say ''I'm a theist'', rather than ''I'm a Christian'' ?

If someone believes in a God, but does not follow a religion, then they usually describe themselves in a way that would describe the kind of God that they believe in, such as a deist or pantheist.


Originally posted by eight bits
If you want to learn more, then you ask more questions. But at least you know which additional questions to ask. No point asking anybody but a theist which God they believe in, for example.


But why should it necessary to ask more questions, when an atheist knowingly describes themselves in an intentionally ambiguous way ?

This is the point here; it is my opinion that many ( not all ) atheists actively disbelieve in the existence of God or gods, and dishonestly refer to themselves as ''atheist'' to convey a dogmatic stance, knowing that the definition is ambiguous.

But if pressed fully on their stance, they can pay lip-service to the ''absence of belief'' tag to maintain a logical stance on the issue, while really holding the illogical position that the term can also apply.


Bear in mind, that I'm not bothered what beliefs and disbeliefs people hold, and I'm not passing a positive or negative comment on any position. I am more interested in the philosophical use of the terminology, and only find the use of ''atheist'' to be a bit naughty in many cases, as I believe that many people define themselves in this way, in an intellectually dishonest manner.



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
and dishonestly refer to themselves as ''atheist'' to convey a dogmatic stance, knowing that the definition is ambiguous.

But if pressed fully on their stance, they can pay lip-service to the ''absence of belief'' tag to maintain a logical stance on the issue, while really holding the illogical position that the term can also apply.


Bear in mind, that I'm not bothered what beliefs and disbeliefs people hold, and I'm not passing a positive or negative comment on any position. I am more interested in the philosophical use of the terminology, and only find the use of ''atheist'' to be a bit naughty in many cases, as I believe that many people define themselves in this way, in an intellectually dishonest manner.



Bravo !


so the Agnostics, who are quite rational do not really like Atheists tagging themselves onto and making Agnosticism look arrogant (dogmatic) ?

sorry to jump in and dirty up your topic here, we have some Atheists around bludgeoning others...



edit on 12/20/2010 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Joecroft
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 

Hilarious…

But you’ve answered the question “why have you have rejected religion?” and not the question in my OP, which is “why are you an Atheist”, based on whether there is a God who created everything, with no religion being brought into play.



...your "based on" whatever pigeon-hole is irrelative, sweetie - and - and i most certainly did answer "why i am an atheist" when i stated i was born this way and that i'm not genetically predisposed to believe that fantasy is reality...



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
 





Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
I feel that to solely define oneself as an ''atheist'' is a flawed description, and most atheists would be better described as agnostic.

Atheism is ''an absence of belief in God or gods'', which also describes half of the position that is held by agnostics.

The flaw I feel with defining oneself as ''atheist'', is that it doesn't explain the other half of the atheist's position, which is whether they hold an active disbelief or passive disbelief in the existence of God or gods.


Yes, I agree. I feel Atheism should be solely used for those who hold the position of “active disbelief” instead of combining it’s meaning and definition, with that of “passive disbelief”, which essentially puts it into the realm of Agnosticism.

I’m not sure of the exact time frame of events, but it is Atheists themselves, who have re-defined the definition of Atheism. In fact, because of recent changes, there is no current agreed upon definition between Atheists and Theists, regarding Atheism. I guess it’s up to the non-biased Agnostics, to help define it for both camps.



Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Most atheists don't rule out the possibility that a God may exist, and this passive disbelief is actually agnosticism.

While some atheists actively believe that a God or gods do not exist, this is an illogical position to hold, as it is an example of the ''argument from ignorance'' logical fallacy.


I absolutely agree…



Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
So, why would anybody use the term ''atheist'' to define their position, when that doesn't inform people whether they hold a passive disbelief ( logical ) or active disbelief ( illogical ) ?

And why, if the ''atheist'' holds a passive disbelief, don't they more accurately describe themselves as ''agnostic'' ?


Again, I agree with your point, because IMO from an accurate defining perspective, it only helps to confuse the issue. I wouldn’t say that people are deliberately being dishonest though, because they may not be aware of it, but one thing for sure, is that the definition issue is certainly not helping.


- JC



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 





Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact
wow ! two whole pages of posts made mostly by JoeCroft...

I guess there are not many 'real' Atheist then ? possibly they are afraid of being wrong...

"over 95% of the humans on this planet believe in God, does the small group of atheistic-satanist seriously believe that the rest of us suffer from some kind of delusion" ?

Anyone wishing to have this question for their signature be my guest.

God bless ya JC, you've done alot better than I could have to make this point...



Thanks…

I’m just trying to clear up a few loose definitions…




- JC



posted on Dec, 20 2010 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 



Here’s your original reply…


Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...i was born this way...

...does the one line thangy apply to BTS?... o'well, just to be on the safe side - i'll expand my response...

...why havent i been converted to theism?... well, it sure wasnt because bible thumpers, child beaters and spineless twits didnt try - but - apparently, i lack the genetic predisposition required for mental retardation (at least in that area)...


You do rightly state “i was born this way” but then you go on to say “i'll expand my response”, which I assume means you will help clarify your “i was born this way” statement.

You then go on to expand on it, by explaining how you have rejected religion.



Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...your "based on" whatever pigeon-hole is irrelative, sweetie - and - and i most certainly did answer "why i am an atheist" when i stated i was born this way and that i'm not genetically predisposed to believe that fantasy is reality...


My OP is not “irrelative”, it is the basis for which I am asking the question.
I was in a round about way, asking people why they didn’t believe in a higher power/God/creator, without religion being brought into it. Check my OP again, incase you missed it.

PS- Cloning was once science fiction, and was used in fantasy books, today though, as you may well know, it is a scientific fact. There were a number of times throughout history, in which things were considered to be fantasy, like the earth being round and men walking on the moon etc etc. So be careful what you call fantasy, because one day the wind may change and it may be heading in your direction…

Were the people who once thought cloning was fantasy, genetically predisposed? Were they born that way?

I don’t think so…sweetie!



- JC



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 12:14 AM
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reply to post by Joecroft
 




If you do not believe, while at the same time, hold the position of saying it’s not untrue either, then doesn’t that equate to you being undecided?


In a sense yes. I'm an agnostic-atheist which means that while I lack belief in deities I do not deny the possibility that a god or god(s) exist. So there could very well be a god.

The reason I am an atheist is primarily the lack of evidence. It is the same reason I do not believe in ghosts, goblins, fairies, Santa Claus, etc. Because these things lack solid evidence supporting them it requires Faith to believe in them (faith in this case being a belief without evidence) and I reject that sort of faith when it comes to claims of the supernatural or fantastic.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 



Here is your post again, just for clarity.



Originally posted by eight bits
I believe that the available evidence is insufficient for me to profess a belief about the question of gods.


Here’s my question again…



Originally posted by Joecroft
Atheists site the same above reason for being an Atheist. What separates your position as an Agnostic, from theirs?


I appreciated your answer but allow me to slightly rephrase it…
What separates the Agnostic position you hold, from an Agnostic-Atheist one, as in the “passive disbelief” stance?



Originally posted by eight bits
On the other side, as I said in my first post, I really only feel comfortable discussing the kind of atheists who are so easy to find in real life, the ones who do profess a belief, "I believe there is no god." Now, they might say the same thing about the evidence that I do, but go on to form a belief on some other basis. Not faith, of course, but maybe there is some argument that persuades them, or they see the religious question as analogous to some other problem they have solved, or maybe it is possible to have a purely personal experience, a sort of "irreligious experience," or...


Yes this is something I was meaning to touch upon, this "irreligious experience," as you put it.
Theists may have made a leap of faith or had some kind of experience, which helps their belief in some way, but what is the inverted equivalent of that, for an Atheist, of the “active disbelief” variety? (rhetorical question)



Originally posted by eight bits
So, what're the differences? From the person of faith alone, I haven't that faith. From the atheist who finds some other basis for forming a belief, I haven't found that other basis


That’s interesting, so I presume you see an atheist as someone having a belief and I take it that you’re referring only to atheists, who are of the “active disbelief” variety, and not “passive disbelief”?



Originally posted by eight bits
Good talkin' with you, Joe. Merry Christmas.


Thanks, it’s been great talking to you too.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.


- JC



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 06:14 AM
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Sherlock


But that's the point; defining oneself as ''atheist'' does not separate the logical atheist who doesn't rule out the possibility of God, from the illogical atheist who actively disbelieves in God.

While I agree that that can be an interesting distinction, I am content with learning one thing at a time. Lots of single words describe diverse groups of people with some beliefs in common, but also with differences within the community. Look at the thousands of denominations of Christians, for example.


Why would teh logical person define themselves by a term that can equally apply to an illogical person who partially holds the same position ?

They both describe themselves as "person," and seem OK with that. Why? Because person doesn't make a distinction between logical and illogical examples, and nobody expects it to make the distinction. If the distinction is important to somebody, then the person could say "I am a logical person," or indeed, "I am a logical atheist."

They will probably then be asked to amplify their remark, though, because the term isn't standard. Not everybody cares about the distinction, or not in every conversation.


''Agnostic'' is a pretty complete description, as it tells most people what the agnostic's full position on the matter is.

No, like atheist and theist, it only describes the answer I would give to one religious question. It doesn't tell the theist, for example, whether or not I might have dismissed her god. It doesn't tell another agnostic whether I believe that it is possible that someday evidence may yet emerge to decide the question of gods, or instead, that the question is in principle beyond evidence.

Even in this thread, Joe needed to ask what I thought a god was. That's a pretty fundamental religious question. So, all of the "big three" terms are incomplete, IMO.


How many people refer to themselves as a ''theist'', though ? If someone believes in a religion, they tend to define themselves by their religion. How many Christian's say ''I'm a theist'', rather than ''I'm a Christian'' ?

Sure. But there are also plenty of people who say "I believe in some higher power," but nothing more specific than that, or belong to a non-credal faith (Unitarian Universalist, for instance), or ...

And while "I'm a Christian" is more informative than "I'm a theist," sometimes I want to talk about what Christians have in common with Neoplatonic pagans, for example.


But why should it necessary to ask more questions, when an atheist knowingly describes themselves in an intentionally ambiguous way ?

Lol, because that's how conversation works! You ask me a question, and I answer as best I can. We give and take, and then, if all goes well, we manage to communicate the information which you were seeking.

You ask somebody "What's your opinion about religion?" That is one hell of a question. Are you asking my religious affiliation, if any, or were you looking for a two-semester university course? Well, let's start small and see where it goes from there. "I'm an agnostic," I answer. And we're off.

I share some of the concerns you raise in your final few paragraphs. I just don't know what to do about that. I believe that people can pretty much call themselves whatever they like. That doesn't mean I always understand what they are saying, or that I would describe them that same way. But if that's how they think of themselves, what can I do?


Joe


What separates the Agnostic position you hold, from an Agnostic-Atheist one, as in the “passive disbelief” stance?

I don't know. Agnostic atheist is an oxymoron, like Roman Catholic Protestant. So, it's fine if somebody wants to propose some definition for the string of letters, but whatever meaning they choose will have nothing specific to do with the words involved, because the words contradict each other. Sherlock will definitely have to ask more questions
.

(I actually saw somebody use the term Christian atheist yesterday in a post. The web truly is a place of wonders.)

And if you look at the tail end of Sherlock's post... it is entirely possible that nothing separates the two positions, but that some people simply prefer to affiliate with atheism, while other people use a different term for the same actual belief.


"irreligious experience,"

Maybe something like this?

www.youtube.com...

And even if that isn't quite an "irreligious experience," doesn't Tyson sound like somebody who genuinely believes something, and that this is a big part of why he beleives it?



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