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Will the real Atheists please stand up

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posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 06:25 PM
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Sherlock


So why would someone use as an ambiguous term ...?

Probably because the term they used was specific enough for them, based on what they thought you wanted to know, or what they wanted to say about themselves. If they guessed wrong, then that sometimes happens when people talk.

As to your remarks about not getting questions when I say I'm an agnostic. lol. Not on the planet I come from. Maybe your planet is different. Similarly,


In general conversation, or as a statement, ''I'm a Christian'' is suffice to broadly outline the Christian's beliefs.

On my planet, one "I'm a Christian" has killed another "I'm a Christian" over the differences in their two "outlines." Fundamentalist Protestant, Roman Catholic, Quaker... it would have to be a pretty general discussion if it didn't matter which kind of Christian among those.

Of course, maybe it's a discussion about Islam or atheism or something completely different from any version of Chrittianity. But if so, why would I care that they were Christian at all? If that isn't what we're talkling about?

I will say, though, that the only time, whether in real life or the web, that I talk about anybody's religion, including my own, is when I intend to have a real religious discussion. If you have different kinds of discussions from mine, then maybe that explains the differences in our concerns.


That's why I'm becoming increasingly fond of the term ''ignostic''.

You mean as a description of your own beliefs, or ... ?


I think that some atheists use the term to convey a dogmatic ''there is no God'' belief, while using the ''absence of belief'' definition if pushed further.

No disagreement there, if we're talking about the web, anyway.




posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It's because there is a lack of evidence and the claim for the existence of a God (as you have described) is an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It's not a decision, it's a belief (or actually the absence of one) . I don't decide what to believe. I either believe something or not. I can't change my mind by deciding to believe.


You've contradicted yourself here.

On one hand, you say that there's a lack of evidence for God, and on the other hand, you say that your disbelief is not based on a decision.

Presumably, upon hearing the positive claim for the existence of God, you've examined the evidence that may or not support this claim, and then formed your belief upon the evidence ( or lack of ) at your disposal.

You surely made a decision on whether you believed or disbelieved in God after you analysed the evidence ?
Or do you form your beliefs and disbeliefs on knee-jerk reactions ?




Originally posted by Joecroft
If you reject it, and because the word reject, means to put aside, send back or not comply, then doesn’t that equate to you being undecided?


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No. As I said, it's not about a decision on my part.


But you earlier said that your disbelief is based on, what you perceive as, a lack of evidence.

Logically, you must have made a decision, if your stance is evidence-based, as you implied earlier.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence.


Also, I've never been a fan of this Carl Sagan quotation.

To me, his comments appear to be based on the ''argument from incredulity'' fallacy.

Objectively speaking, there are no ''extraordinary'' or ''ordinary'' claims, there are just ''claims''. How ''ordinary'' or ''out-of-the-ordinary'' a claim may be, is entirely based upon subjective interpretation, rather than unbiased, clinical analysis.




edit on 21-12-2010 by Sherlock Holmes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by Joecroft
Agnosticism and Atheism are both related to knowledge,


No. Gnostic denotes knowledge and theism denotes belief.
You can be an agnostic believer.
"I don't know if there's a God or not, but I believe there is."


Originally posted by Joecroft
But if you are not sure, then how can you state you “don’t believe”, isn’t it better to remain undecided or to say you don’t know?


I don't know. I said I don't know. But you don't decide to know something.
Madness is right. Gnostic denotes knowledge. I'm agnostic (I don't know) and I'm also atheist (I don't believe).



There is also a lack of evidence for the universe happening/creating on it’s own, unaided, which I personally consider to be an extraordinary claim as well(not that scientist have made that claim yet of course)


And have I stated a position on that? No. You didn't ask about that.




But coming to a belief or a non-belief, is about making a decision.


I don't know about you, but I don't DECIDE to believe something or not to believe something.



But if you haven’t made a decision, then that either means you are unsure, or you are undecided.


It means I don't know (agnostic), but I believe there is no God (atheist). I don't know why you keep bringing "decision" into it. It's not like I'm trying to decide which ice cream flavor to get.

edit on 12/21/2010 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by eight bits
Probably because the term they used was specific enough for them, based on what they thought you wanted to know, or what they wanted to say about themselves. If they guessed wrong, then that sometimes happens when people talk.


But why would someone who knows the ambiguity of this term define themselves in such a way ?

There is no conversational scenario where knowingly leaving out the fact that you actively disbelieve or passively disbelief in God, would be relevant. Unless you can think of one ?

I know that many atheists who actively disbelieve in God or gods, may honestly define themselves in this way, and I have no objection to the people that do so as they are expressing their stance on this subject truthfully.

As I've already said, these definitions are used by people to label oneself, and ''hoist their colours from the mast'', so to speak.

In a general theological or ''meaning of life'' chinwag, then it's reasonable to expect that more particular questions surrounding someone's position on these matters can - and will - be asked.


Originally posted by eight bits
As to your remarks about not getting questions when I say I'm an agnostic. lol. Not on the planet I come from. Maybe your planet is different.


If the conversation reverted towards a deeper philosophical discussion, then you no doubt would get probed on your agnosticism.

If you say ''I'm an agnostic'' in general conversation, to convey your position on this matter, then I doubt you'd get too many follow-up questions, unless you were in a general societal surrounding where these discussions may ensue.


Originally posted by eight bits
On my planet, one "I'm a Christian" has killed another "I'm a Christian" over the differences in their two "outlines." Fundamentalist Protestant, Roman Catholic, Quaker... it would have to be a pretty general discussion if it didn't matter which kind of Christian among those.


Are you saying that it's relevant that you may be talking to an adherent of Eastern Orthodoxism, because some Serbians of this denomination killed and raped Croation Catholics and Bosnian Muslims ?


Why would someone's Christian, Muslim, Hindu etc. denomination be relevant to any discussion pertaining to religion, considering that there's absolutely nothing to link the particular adherent that you may be talking to, to anybody else who purports to belong this particular faith ?

''Christian'' broadly denotes that the person believes in God, follows the Bible, and believes in Jesus.

''Muslim'' broadly denotes that the person believes in God, follows the Qur'an, and believes in the Prophet Mohammad.

etc.


Originally posted by eight bits
Of course, maybe it's a discussion about Islam or atheism or something completely different from any version of Chrittianity. But if so, why would I care that they were Christian at all? If that isn't what we're talkling about?


Because they may throw that into a conversation, if it was relevant to the general conversation, without the conversation being overwhelmingly about theological or philosophical matters.


Originally posted by eight bits
I will say, though, that the only time, whether in real life or the web, that I talk about anybody's religion, including my own, is when I intend to have a real religious discussion. If you have different kinds of discussions from mine, then maybe that explains the differences in our concerns.


That may explain some of the difference in our take in this issue.

But don't you get people remarking upon their religion or irreligiosity in general conversation ?

LOL. Maybe I have a strange circle of non-close acquaintances.



Originally posted by eight bits
You mean as a description of your own beliefs, or ... ?


Partly. Also, because these discussions inevitably turn into a ''God exists vs God doesn't exist'' borefest, where people just argue back and force with their dogmatic points, without even entertaining the possibility that some of the points raised on each side may be valid, and may lead to more understanding and compromise, even so the arguers haven't come to an agreement on what ''God'' actually is !

A lot of the spiritual, pantheistic beliefs of God are pretty much exactly the same as the beliefs of an atheistic corporealist.

It appears that many people believe in the same reality, but that people who are apparently diametrically opposed on these issues are just divided by their own subjective perspectives !


Originally posted by eight bits
No disagreement there, if we're talking about the web, anyway.


My comments apply to the web and to some people that I've met in ''real-life''.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 08:09 PM
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Sorry to butt in here, but I feel I need to correct you on one or two things:


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No. Gnostic denotes knowledge and theism denotes belief.
You can be an agnostic believer.
"I don't know if there's a God or not, but I believe there is."


What's the difference between ''knowledge'' and ''belief'' ?

Someone who believes that there's a God, is called a theist. What do you call someone who knows that there's a God ?



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't know. I said I don't know. But you don't decide to know something.
Madness is right. Gnostic denotes knowledge. I'm agnostic (I don't know) and I'm also atheist (I don't believe).


No. Madness is wrong.

You're talking about the route meaning of the words ''atheist'' and ''agnostic'', which come from the Greek ''God'' and ''knowledge'', respectively.

Words and meanings evolve in the languages where the words are transplanted to ( especially when words' initial meanings may be derived centuries ago ).


So, how would you define yourself if you did know that God didn't exist ?

Bearing in mind that your definition would have to reflect your knowledge rather than belief...


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't know about you, but I don't DECIDE to believe something or not to believe something.


I don't about you ( well, I do, I think ! ), but I most certainly do decide what I believe in and what I don't believe in.

Otherwise, I'd just be someone who walked around forming unconsidered knee-jerk opinions on anything and everything.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It means I don't know (agnostic), but I believe there is no God (atheist). I don't know why you keep bringing "decision" into it. It's not like I'm trying to decide which ice cream flavor to get.


You've contradicted yourself again.

You've said: ''but I believe there is no God ( atheist )'', even so you earlier said that ''theism denotes belief''.

''Atheism'', in it's purest sense, does not mean that someone doesn't believe in God, it just means: ''an absence of belief in God'', and in your earlier post, you said that you're ''not sure''.

That contradiction doesn't sound like anything other than someone who is confused about their own position.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
However, I have my suspicions that some of these people who define themselves as atheists do hold an active disbelief in the existence of God, and use the term ''atheist'' to hide their illogical belief, while exploiting and paying lip-service to the fact that this same term can also imply to the more logical stance of not ruling out the existence of God or gods.


ok now that is just totally illogical but I do agree with you because it makes absolutely no sense, and they wonder why theist perceive them a certain way.

logic is flawed in that camp... but I totally understand where you are coming from Holmes.

my right-hemisphere just can't put it down into words, but I know something is funny about it.




posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 





Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
No. Gnostic denotes knowledge and theism denotes belief.
You can be an agnostic believer. "I don't know if there's a God or not, but I believe there is."


The point I am making and have made in other posts, is that being either atheists, agnostic or a theist, all require knowledge in order to help form that particular belief or position; so belief and knowledge are not separate entities, they are both interrelated with each other in order to form your position.
You can’t say your knowledge about it, has led you to being Agnostic, while at the same time, say that your knowledge tells you that you don’t believe, that God created the universe.

Knowledge leads to a belief or a non-belief.
Knowledge also leads to being Agnostic as well.

IMO you can’t just separate the two, i.e. knowledge and belief, and hold both positions of Agnosticism and Atheism, at the same time.



Originally posted by Joecroft
But if you are not sure, then how can you state you “don’t believe”, isn’t it better to remain undecided or to say you don’t know?



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't know. I said I don't know. But you don't decide to know something. Madness is right. Gnostic denotes knowledge. I'm agnostic (I don't know) and I'm also atheist (I don't believe).


Well, you don’t just decide something out of the blue, if that’s what you meant, but generally speaking, people gather as much knowledge\evidence as they possibly can, and then try to come to a decision about it.
That’s what I do anyway, although of course, in some practical ways, it’s not always possible to gather all data before making a decision. People make practical decisions everyday, sometimes without even being aware of it.



Originally posted by Joecroft
There is also a lack of evidence for the universe happening/creating on it’s own, unaided, which I personally consider to be an extraordinary claim as well(not that scientist have made that claim yet of course



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And have I stated a position on that? No. You didn't ask about that.


I know I didn’t ask about it but it’s closely connected to what we are discussing. Remember we are discussing if you believe God is the creator of the universe, so you need to also rule in, or out, or be Agnostic about, my above post.

There are really only three options…

(1) You believe God created the universe

(2) You believe the universe wasn’t created by God.

(3) Or, you are Agnostic about it, which would mean you are either one of the following…

(A) Don’t know
(B) Unsure
(C) Undecided
(D) You have decided that it cannot be known either way.


- JC



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
What's the difference between ''knowledge'' and ''belief'' ?


Seriously?

Knowledge is the condition of knowing something to be true. No faith, trust or confidence required.
Belief is the condition of thinking something to be true, out of faith, trust or confidence.



Someone who believes that there's a God, is called a theist. What do you call someone who knows that there's a God ?


A Gnostic Theist. (One who KNOWS God DOES exist)

Have you looked these words up? Have you studied this? Because it sounds like you're doing a lot of assuming about these words. Check it out (Better yet, check out the video at the end. It's a really good one)



So, how would you define yourself if you did know that God didn't exist ?


A Gnostic Atheist. (One who KNOWS God DOESN'T exist)



Otherwise, I'd just be someone who walked around forming unconsidered knee-jerk opinions on anything and everything.


I think you're getting caught up in semantics. There's nothing knee-jerk about coming to the beliefs I have or don't have in life. My beliefs come from my education and experiences... what I discover through my life. If I found evidence that my husband was cheating on me, I couldn't DECIDE not to believe it.
I may decide to deny it or ignore it, but my belief would be based on the evidence. Likewise, if I have no evidence of him cheating, I couldn't decide to believe that he was cheating. That would be a suspicion, not a decision.

But if it makes you feel better to think that I made a decision about my beliefs, then think that. It doesn't bother me.




You've contradicted yourself again.


No I haven't. You just don't understand. Here:

Gnostic = knowledge
Agnostic = lack of knowledge
Theistic = belief in God
Atheistic = Lack of belief in a God

gnostic theist = knows there IS a God
agnostic theist = Doesn't know, but believes there is a God.
gnostic atheist = knows there ISN'T a God
agnostic atheist = Doesn't know, but doesn't hold a belief in a God



That contradiction doesn't sound like anything other than someone who is confused about their own position.


Actually, I'm not confused at all. It is you who are unfamiliar with the meanings of these words and how they work together. Maybe instead of worrying about how others believe or what they know, you should do some reading and educate yourself on these words.
I know that sounds snarky and I don't mean it to be, but you are missing the point because you clearly don't understand the concept of theism and gnosticism.

I PROMISE you, this video will clear it up for you.



edit on 12/22/2010 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Presumably, upon hearing the positive claim for the existence of God, you've examined the evidence that may or not support this claim, and then formed your belief upon the evidence ( or lack of ) at your disposal.

You surely made a decision on whether you believed or disbelieved in God after you analysed the evidence ?


After reflection and discussion with my husband, I'm going to refine this and state that my lack of belief in a god is not based on a conscious decision. I still think it's semantics.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

I think you're getting caught up in semantics. There's nothing knee-jerk about coming to the beliefs I have or don't have in life. My beliefs come from my education and experiences... what I discover through my life. If I found evidence that my husband was cheating on me, I couldn't DECIDE not to believe it.


Do you believe we do not have free will?


I may decide to deny it or ignore it, but my belief would be based on the evidence. Likewise, if I have no evidence of him cheating, I couldn't decide to believe that he was cheating. That would be a suspicion, not a decision.

But if it makes you feel better to think that I made a decision about my beliefs, then think that. It doesn't bother me.


how much control over our own minds and actions do you think we have? This is some interesting stuff



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by sinohptik
Do you believe we do not have free will?


Yes, of course we have free will. But if I look at my desk and see a keyboard there, I'm going to believe that there's a keyboard there. I don't decide to believe that there's a keyboard there. I just believe it without a decision.

By the same token, if I look at my desk and don't see a telephone there, I'm not going to believe that there's a telephone there. I don't decide not to have this belief, I just don't have it.


how much control over our own minds and actions do you think we have?


I think we have a great deal of control over our minds and actions. There are some things that happen instinctively, like breathing and a heartbeat, but most other things, I think, are pretty much up to us.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 02:50 PM
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Thank you for the response



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by sinohptik
Do you believe we do not have free will?


Yes, of course we have free will. But if I look at my desk and see a keyboard there, I'm going to believe that there's a keyboard there. I don't decide to believe that there's a keyboard there. I just believe it without a decision.

By the same token, if I look at my desk and don't see a telephone there, I'm not going to believe that there's a telephone there. I don't decide not to have this belief, I just don't have it.


Thats really interesting! i decide to believe that it is there, but probably not exactly as i see it to be. i feel that what i see does not constitute the totality of what is taking place, and that even if i see something right before my eyes, it could still be an outright illusion at worst, or at best, a construct of my individual perception to make sense of things. What do you think about that perspective?

However, what about the person that decides it (the keyboard) is not there? I would venture to say they would be "wrong" however, they have still made a decision to not believe it is there. How do you view this persons process of perception, regardless of whether they are "correct" or not?
edit on 22-12-2010 by sinohptik because: grizzled grobblegruk



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 05:28 PM
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Originally posted by sinohptik
What do you think about that perspective?


I think it's a fine perspective.
Really, I don't much go for imposing my way of thinking or my perception on others. We all have our own way of thinking. Where keyboards are concerned, I pretty much think what you see is what you get, but where people are concerned, I think there's more to them than meets the eye.



However, what about the person that decides it (the keyboard) is not there?


Well, when you break it down to the very basics, we don't really know anything for sure. I mean, am I really sitting here typing? Or is this just my perception? Is it a dream? Some other kind of perception? I don't know. But when I'm speaking of things like this, I usually depend on what my 5 senses can tell me. I see the keyboard, I feel it. I hear the keys clattering away... I'm pretty darn sure it's real.

But if someone were to tell me that it's not really there, it doesn't bother me. It's what they think and they're certainly free to take that position.



I would venture to say they would be "wrong" however, they have still made a decision to not believe it is there.


I guess they have made a decision. Only they would know. I would be interested in how they came to that decision when all evidence points to the contrary. Either that, or they're denying it's there (while believing it IS there), even though they can see it. I don't know how they'd come to that conclusion, but I don't think I'd trust their judgment too much, know what I mean?

I think my belief process is more a conclusion than a decision! Although the words are very similar, I think I concluded that there is no God MUCH more than decided that there is no God. I came to my position as a result of logical reasoning and evidence. It wasn't so much a selection or choice I made. I hope that makes sense.


Conclude


a : to reach as a logically necessary end by reasoning : infer on the basis of evidence


Decide


a : to make a final choice or judgment about b : to select as a course of action



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 06:09 PM
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I'm adding my reply to your post here so you don't have to reply in Cosmic's thread.

Whether or not theists and atheists agree upon the definition, that doesn't change the root words of the term atheist.

The Greek etymology of the word atheist itself is atheos, from a- 'without' + theos 'god'. And the modern word atheist is derived from the 16th century French term athéisme, which was derived from the Greek atheos, which simply means without god. Atheism = without god. Being "without god" doesn't mean you are without any belief whatsoever, and it also doesn't mean you deny god.

So the main meaning of the original word was just without god, lacking god, not believing in god, plain and simple. It has to get complicated by those who explicitly deny god, giving atheism a 2nd definition. But those people's beliefs or claims of knowledge shouldn't change the definition of atheism for everyone. The word means what it means, without god.

I think the resolution here is that until further clarification from the individual, you should just take an atheist first for only disbelieving. I'm not saying you personally jump to conclusions, I'm saying people in general when labeling atheists could benefit from first assuming they simply disbelieve, rather than off the bat assuming they deny god. Because the essence of the word means to not believe, not to deny. I think the possibilities should be regarded in that order.

How are atheists trying to change the definition of atheism? I don't think agnostic atheism is any "new" form of atheism. It's more or less the original form of atheism, and denying god is the knew form, if anything. Because again, the etymology of the word is without god, not denying god. Just my opinion, based on the history of the word itself.

Now as for agnosticism and gnosticism, they are not beliefs. They are not a state of being undecided or decided, because it is not a descriptor of a belief. It is only a gauging of knowledge. Agnostic means that you feel something is unknown or unknowable. Gnostic means something is known or knowable. The etymology of the word is literally "without knowledge" (Greek: ἀ- a-, without + γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge).

You either believe or disbelieve something, and know or don't know something. It's either or, there is no middle. If you "don't know if you believe in god" then you don't believe in god. But you probably don't claim to know why or why not you don't believe.

For the About website, this article actually explains atheism extremely accurately, to my surprise.
link to excerpt

Logically speaking, mere disbelief in the truth of a proposition cannot be treated as equivalent to the belief that the proposition is false and that the opposite is true. If you make a claim and I disbelieve it, I am not necessarily saying that your claim is false. I may not understand it well enough to say one way or the other. Or I may lack enough information to test your claim. Or I may simply not care enough to think about it.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by Joecroft
reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 

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.


...my second line was does the one line thangy apply to BTS?... o'well, just to be on the safe side - i'll expand my response... that CLEARLY states the reason why i expanded my response - but - you chose to MAKE UP a reason and believe it has validity...



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


...bible thumpers indicates religion - yep... child beaters and spineless twits do NOT indicate religion - but - that you believe they do indicate religion says a lot about you...


Originally posted by Joecroft
My OP is not “irrelative”, it is the basis for which I am asking the question.


...my exact words were - your "based on" whatever pigeon-hole is irrelative...

...that does NOT say your op was irrelative...

...your basis / conditions / rules for how you want people to respond = pigeon hole...


Originally posted by Joecroft
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.


...didnt miss it and there was nothing "round about" about it... i answered the way i wanted to... that you take issue with my choice of how to respond is very telling, yep...


Originally posted by Joecroft
be careful what you call fantasy, because one day the wind may change and it may be heading in your direction…


...calling theism a fantasy is NOT something i'll ever be concerned about...


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

I don’t think so…sweetie!



...cloning was a poor choice for your analogy because its fairly new... theism has been around for thousands upon thousands of years, which means that enough time could have elasped for the mentality to become a genetic predisposition...



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 



Here’s your first reply on this thread…



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)...




Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...my second line was does the one line thangy apply to BTS?... o'well, just to be on the safe side - i'll expand my response... that CLEARLY states the reason why i expanded my response - but - you chose to MAKE UP a reason and believe it has validity...


You were still expanding on your initial one line response, and if not, then what were you expanding on? lol

What else was I supposed to think?

Plus “I was born this way” doesn’t really tell me much.


Just to help clarify…here’s what I said in my response to your first post.



Originally posted by Joecroft
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.


I wasn’t assuming the reason why you expanded on your response i.e. “my second line was does the one line thangy apply to BTS etc etc ” – it had nothing to do with the reason, I was talking about the thing which you expanded your response on i.e. your one line response…



Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...bible thumpers indicates religion - yep... child beaters and spineless twits do NOT indicate religion - but - that you believe they do indicate religion says a lot about you...


Here’s exactly what you wrote…
why havent i been converted to theism?... well, it sure wasnt because bible thumpers, child beaters and spineless twits didnt try

You incorporated bible thumpers, child beaters and spineless twits, into those that had tried to convert you into theism. So you must have been grouping them all together.



Originally posted by Wyn Hawks
...didnt miss it and there was nothing "round about" about it... i answered the way i wanted to... that you take issue with my choice of how to respond is very telling, yep...


I don’t take a major issue with your initial response, I don’t like bible thumpers either. You’re quite entitled to respond how you want to, but I was merely pointing out, that I stated in my OP, that I wasn’t looking for people to respond about religion, but only about a belief in a higher power.


- JC

edit on 22-12-2010 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)

edit on 22-12-2010 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:00 PM
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Originally posted by Joecroft

Why are you an Atheist?

If it’s because you believe there is no God, then how can you be so sure?



I believe there is no God because there is no evidence that one exists.




If it’s because there is a lack of evidence for you to believe it and/or because there is a lack of evidence to the contrary, then doesn’t that equate to you being undecided?



I am not undecided because the hypothesis of God and religion is not needed. There is no question which can not be answered without religion / God. Science does and will have all answer needed eventually, I will spend my faith and time in the real world, the place where everything we have, can, and will experience is linked to verifiable evidence.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 02:54 AM
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reply to post by SpaceJ
 




Originally posted by SpaceJ
I think the resolution here is that until further clarification from the individual, you should just take an atheist first for only disbelieving. I'm not saying you personally jump to conclusions, I'm saying people in general when labeling atheists could benefit from first assuming they simply disbelieve, rather than off the bat assuming they deny god. Because the essence of the word means to not believe, not to deny. I think the possibilities should be regarded in that order.


Yes, but historically it seems to be the other way around…i.e. “deny” came first and “not believe”, in the “passive” sense, was arrived at second.



In early ancient Greek, the adjective atheos (ἄθεος, from the privative ἀ- + θεός "god") meant "godless". It was first used as a term of censure roughly meaning "ungodly" or "impious". In the 5th century BCE, the word began to indicate more-intentional, active godlessness in the sense of "severing relations with the gods" or "denying the gods", instead of the earlier meaning of "impious".

Source

Now the word “Godless” don’t really help us much, in defining early atheism accurately, but by the 5th century it is being termed as "denying the gods"



The terms weak and strong are relatively recent, while the terms negative and positive atheism are of older origin, having been used (in slightly different ways) in the philosophical literature[36] and in Catholic apologetics[38] since at least 1813.[39][40] Under this demarcation of atheism, most agnostics qualify as negative atheists.

Source

It is only in the latter 2 centuries that Atheism, has been regarded as a form Agnosticism. This has to some extent been brought more to light in the 20th century, by “philosophical skepticism” and the famous author Richard Dawkins.



Originally posted by SpaceJ
How are atheists trying to change the definition of atheism?

I don't think agnostic atheism is any "new" form of atheism.

It's more or less the original form of atheism, and denying god is the knew form, if anything.

Because again, the etymology of the word is without god, not denying god. Just my opinion, based on the history of the word itself.


See above…



Originally posted by SpaceJ
Now as for agnosticism and gnosticism, they are not beliefs.
They are not a state of being undecided or decided, because it is not a descriptor of a belief. It is only a gauging of knowledge. Agnostic means that you feel something is unknown or unknowable. Gnostic means something is known or knowable. The etymology of the word is literally "without knowledge" (Greek: ἀ- a-, without + γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge).


Yes, I am aware that agnosticism is not a belief but there are people who hold the position of Agnostic, who don’t see themselves as Agnostic-Atheist. All Agnostic positions are using some degree of knowledge to form their position.

Some Agnostics have made a decision/conclusion (which ever way is best to term it), that it cannot be known either way. Of course there are also Agnostics, who are just unsure, undecided (as in, haven’t made up their mind yet) and those who say they just “don’t know”.



Originally posted by SpaceJ
You either believe or disbelieve something, and know or don't know something. It's either or, there is no middle.


Yes but this is the thing, it is knowledge or lack of knowledge, which allows us to form, all of the other three positions i.e. Atheism, Agnosticism and Theism.




Originally posted by SpaceJ
If you "don't know if you believe in god" then you don't believe in god.


You see, this is where the logic breaks down for me. If you "don't know if you believe in god", then you can neither say you believe nor disbelieve, based on the fact you don’t know (knowledge) Your most logical position would therefore be to just say, you “don’t know”

If your knowledge or a lack of knowledge leads you to say “I don’t know”, then you cant also say, that the exact same knowledge leads you to say “I don’t believe”, because it is our knowledge, which helps us to form our beliefs and the positions we hold. Just because Agnosticism is not termed as a belief, doesn’t mean that it isn’t based on knowledge.

An important point here to bear in mind, is that a disbelief of something in the Atheist, “passive” sense, is not actually a belief in itself.

Disbelieve = unable to believe

When an Agnostic-Atheist states the following…

“I do not know, I am agnostic.”, The other is related to belief, “I do not believe, I am an atheist.”

The last part of the above statement isn’t actually a belief, in the sense that they hold a belief.



Originally posted by SpaceJ
But you probably don't claim to know why or why not you don't believe.


But if you don’t claim to know why, then that would seem to suggest, that you haven’t come to a decision or a conclusion on it.



- JC



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I hope that makes sense.


It absolutely does! thank you for taking the time to explain your perspective, it is appreciated.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I think my belief process is more a conclusion than a decision! Although the words are very similar, I think I concluded that there is no God MUCH more than decided that there is no God. I came to my position as a result of logical reasoning and evidence. It wasn't so much a selection or choice I made. I hope that makes sense.


Conclude


a : to reach as a logically necessary end by reasoning : infer on the basis of evidence


Decide


a : to make a final choice or judgment about b : to select as a course of action


Thanks for explaining your perspective on things but…

Conclude


To bring to an end; close: concluded the rally with the national anthem. See Synonyms at complete.
2. To bring about (a final agreement or settlement): conclude a peace treaty.
3. To reach a decision or form an opinion about.


The word “conclude”, encompasses the word “decision”. The only difference with the word “decision”, is that it can be used to describe the middle process, of making a decision, but it can also be used to describe reaching a decision.

Reaching a conclusion and reaching a decision, are both the same thing.


- JC

edit on 23-12-2010 by Joecroft because: (no reason given)



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