The Religion of Theism, Atheism and Agnosticism.

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posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


And what do you believe about all of this? Is it all a fancy way of saying we don't know jack?




posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:33 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 
I think a lot of atheists fervently and even fanatically practice the Religion of Scientific-Materialism or Scientism given their idealistic belief systems based on somehow being able to assume at least a partial separation or dissociation of themselves from life - so scientific-materialist is a more appropriate label in their case.

edit on 24-4-2013 by bb23108 because: qq



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by Malcher
 


Agnosticism is not a mixture of the three.


Its more of a feeling, but that is why it is agnostic. I didnt mean theist or atheist in the strict sense though.



It basically can be visualized as a dude cocking his head at them and saying, "How can you be sure?" It's the fence rider.


I would not say fence sitter and anyone can ask "How can you be sure?"

In a way or at least in some part my beliefs were formed by watching the jetsons. Just seemed natural to me.

Not in a literal sense but in general.


edit on 24-4-2013 by Malcher because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



What do you have to say about an atheist who constantly argues against the concept of atheism? C'mon, Les. You're an atheist, you don't like categorizing yourself, so you don't "admit" it outright, and you want other atheists to join you in rejecting the label. I get it.


This isn't far from the truth. I do find labels and categories limiting. And I think any unjustified promotion of labels over the facts of reality is dangerous. Labels that signify opinion do nothing but spread intolerance. Opinions are personal, not banners and flags for people of like-opinion to fight beneath. But this too is opinion and irrelevant.

So my aim is to appeal to the rational minds of the atheists to show them the irrationality of the battles they wage by offering a convincing argument against the label itself. I am arguing that taking the label "atheist" is not only unnecessary (one doesn't need a label to be godless), but it forces one to be an atheist, to define oneself as atheist, and therefore defend and promote ones own atheism in order to persist what they've taken upon their identity.

If God is a concept, why not be without the concept of God? Why breathe life into a concept that should be withering to dust right now?

Atheism was once a death sentence. Even Christians were declared atheists. The label has too much baggage to be simply applied like sunscreen. There's thousands of years of meaning and blood behind the word. And if all it really is is only an adjective connoting someone without Gods, why make a principle out of it?

As to whether I'm an atheist, it would appear to be so. People will come to that conclusion. But I feel alienated by the growing politicization, dogmatism, authoritarianism, and irrationality found in striving to have an opinion placed above the opinions of others. Besides the evidence, these are the reasons I left religion in the first place. By not taking the label, I have no desire to defend it or promote it. And God, at least for me, dies as any concept without consideration does. But this is once again opinion, one I am attempting to justify to myself.

In the end, I'm merely satiating my desire to show that no ideal is infallible—that all, no matter what, deserve criticism—and not offering any sort of alternative.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



So my aim is to appeal to the rational minds of the atheists to show them the irrationality of the battles they wage by offering a convincing argument against the label itself. I am arguing that taking the label "atheist" is not only unnecessary (one doesn't need a label to be godless), but it forces one to be an atheist, to define oneself as atheist, and therefore defend and promote ones own atheism in order to persist what they've taken upon their identity.


Such a label, however, is required in order to identify a specific school of thought/opinion that everyone can recognize. To not label it is to render it unrecognizable, as it is therefore unable to be communicated except in such a manner as an eccentric ideal too incoherent to be defined under any particular category of thought or belief.

So is your battle against the label a battle against the definition of atheism, or against the recognition of the school of thought that characterizes atheism?


In the end, I'm merely satiating my desire to show that no ideal is infallible—that all, no matter what, deserve criticism—and not offering any sort of alternative.


In addition to my above question, I offer the following inquiry: are you encouraging a reexamination of the atheist school of thought, in order to polish and revise what was once a simple construct but is now apparently a fanfare of rebellious ideals?



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I hate being labeled, people label me one way there is a force to behave in the opposite. My personality is fluid and adaptable. Atheist is the only label I have ever accepted with pride, because to me the atheist label is the flag for individualism and always has been since I was a kid (I also hate flags). Individualism isn't just seeking to be different in my eyes, just don't want to be one of the crowd, which is why I dismiss notions of the need for atheist churchday or an established moral code.

However that said labels are a way for most people to identify themselves and to organize information. Labels also help people communicate basic ideas. If it wasn't for labels and stereotypes I would have nothing to free myself of, which I'm sure would frustrate me.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Originally posted by AfterInfinity
And what do you believe about all of this? Is it all a fancy way of saying we don't know jack?


Yes!
None of us knows. We're ALL agnostic, but like Les, not everyone wants to "admit" that.


I agree with Wertdagf here:

Originally posted by Wertdagf
Theism is about what you believe
Gnosticism is about what you know.


A theist BELIEVES in the existence a deity.
An atheist DOES NOT BELIEVE in the existence of a deity.

As far as knowledge, I don't know, so I'm agnostic as well. I'm an agnostic atheist.
Gnosticism has to do with knowledge. So, believers are agnostic theists.

I just want to say to Les: I actually agree with you. I wish the labels weren't a part of our vernacular. I certainly don't need it and only use it to clarify my position in discussions such as this. Purposely avoiding the label seems a little bit like you're ashamed or embarrassed of your beliefs. I don't think that's the case, but that's what it looks like upon first glance.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Hmm. Good points. I'm interested in seeing what LesMis says in response to my questions, however. I'm getting the impression that s/he doesn't agree with what atheism has become - and maybe theism and agnosticism, as well.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Originally posted by AfterInfinity
So is your battle against the label a battle against the definition of atheism, or against the recognition of the school of thought that characterizes atheism?


Let me give it a try. The "battle" is about - why is it necessary to take a label that represents an opinion?

There's the flat-earth society who believe the earth is flat. People who believe the earth is round don't call themselves "aflat-earthers" or "rounders".

There are people who believe in aliens. Those who don't, don't take a label for themselves. They just state their opinion.

In fact, I can't think of ANY other belief/non-belief dichotomy that uses labels like theists and atheists do. Can you? It's the only situation where those who believe AND THOSE WHO DON'T, take on a label.

I certainly could be wrong.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Originally posted by AfterInfinity
So is your battle against the label a battle against the definition of atheism, or against the recognition of the school of thought that characterizes atheism?


Let me give it a try. The "battle" is about - why is it necessary to take a label that represents an opinion?

There's the flat-earth society who believe the earth is flat. People who believe the earth is round don't call themselves "aflat-earthers" or "rounders".

There are people who believe in aliens. Those who don't, don't take a label for themselves. They just state their opinion.

In fact, I can't think of ANY other belief/non-belief dichotomy that uses labels like theists and atheists do. Can you? It's the only situation where those who believe AND THOSE WHO DON'T, take on a label.

I certainly could be wrong.


There is a very small group of people who take on the anti-patriotism label, that is almost similarish.. Maybe not quite. Is anti-patriotism an off state or different state?



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Let me give it a try. The "battle" is about - why is it necessary to take a label that represents an opinion?

There's the flat-earth society who believe the earth is flat. People who believe the earth is round don't call themselves "aflat-earthers" or "rounders".

There are people who believe in aliens. Those who don't, don't take a label for themselves. They just state their opinion.

In fact, I can't think of ANY other belief/non-belief dichotomy that uses labels like theists and atheists do. Can you? It's the only situation where those who believe AND THOSE WHO DON'T, take on a label.


Just because it is uncommon, does not make it unnecessary.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
If God is a concept, why not be without the concept of God? Why breathe life into a concept that should be withering to dust right now?
Yes, perhaps if God is only a concept - but what I do not understand is how someone can say they have absolutely no doubt that this world is simply a material one, with no greater dimensions than the physical. I can certainly understand how someone can say they just do not know, but how someone can say for sure there is nothing greater than the material, is beyond me.

It is clear to me that atheists really just don't know or even care if there is an unconditional acausal Reality in which all worlds arise - but simply have their reasons and conditionings to believe otherwise or simply not care.

And such atheistic beliefs are no more grounded than people who blindly believe in some Creator-God. All such beliefs are idealistic, as well as those of scientism in which one somehow believes and even lives as if one can be inherently separate or mentally abstracted from life.

So how do atheists really justify their position given that they cannot absolutely know such a Reality does not exist? Isn't it better to be open to such a possibility than to conclude that such a Reality is naught? Why decide when no one can actually prove otherwise, especially given that much more can be explained relative to many matters that materialists conveniently dismiss - e.g., consciousness - when it is considered that perhaps all conditions arise as modifications of non-separate, unconditional, acausal, Reality or conscious light-energy.

Not to mention that Reality can be recognized, even realized - but not if one stays fixed in one's close-minded beliefs for whatever reasons they are being conditioned by - whether those beliefs are theistic, atheistic, materialistic, etc.

edit on 24-4-2013 by bb23108 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by bb23108
 


There are closed minded atheists.
But theism has to do with BELIEF. If I don't BELIEVE there is a deity, that doesn't mean I KNOW there isn't one.
And I don't think anyone KNOWS. How could they possibly KNOW something for which there is no proof?



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by bb23108
 



Yes, perhaps if God is only a concept - but what I do not understand is how someone can say they have absolutely no doubt that this world is simply a material one, with no greater dimensions than the physical. I can certainly understand how someone can say they just do not know, but how someone can say for sure there is nothing greater than the material, is beyond me.

It is clear to me that atheists really just don't know or even care if there is an unconditional acausal Reality in which all worlds arise - but simply have their reasons and conditionings to believe otherwise or simply not care.


I believe Wandering Scribe phrased it quite well:


If God does not act upon physical reality—that is, the senses—then God is irrelevant. If something does not act in a way which is quantifiable it has no actual bearing on our existence.


Click the link in his/her name for the full post. Now, if you can make a convincing case for "God"s relevance to our reality - taking into consideration the above quote - I would implore that you do so.

edit on 24-4-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
There are closed minded atheists.

Yes, and perhaps these are the ones LesMan is addressing as being very similar to religious believers.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
But theism has to do with BELIEF.
Yes, generally speaking, and this is the problem with being only a blind believer. Such beliefs are actually an impediment to recognizing what is greater than matter - and this is true of any beliefs that fix us in some set notion of reality, whether that be theistic or materialistic.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
If I don't BELIEVE there is a deity, that doesn't mean I KNOW there isn't one.

Yes, that is a valid point - except I too don't believe in an unconditional Reality, but do recognize that such a Reality is always the case. No believing is necessary or even useful - in fact it hinders such recognition.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
And I don't think anyone KNOWS. How could they possibly KNOW something for which there is no proof?
It cannot be proven via scientific means - how can conditional science measure that which is unconditional? However, this does not mean it cannot be tacitly recognized, even realized to be truth.

Reality is not "known" in the usual sense because it transcends the subject-object model of conventional knowing. When recognized, it is self-evident, but not with the mind of belief, nor scientific method, nor via ANY experience whatsoever. It transcends the whole point-of-view making machine of body-mind and one can only discover this through their own process with Reality. However, this should not disallow considering such matters as some others seem to say, including Wandering Scribe.
edit on 24-4-2013 by bb23108 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Originally posted by AfterInfinity
I believe Wandering Scribe phrased it quite well:

Click the link in his/her name for the full post. Now, if you can make a convincing case for "God"s relevance to our reality - taking into consideration the above quote - I would implore that you do so.
That response by him was in response to my post. I then directly responded to him but have not heard back from him. Here:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 24-4-2013 by bb23108 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by bb23108
 


In response to the post you directed me to:


Originally posted by bb23108
reply to post by Wandering Scribe
 


Originally posted by Wandering Scribe
If God does not act upon physical reality—that is, the senses—then God is irrelevant. If something does not act in a way which is quantifiable it has no actual bearing on our existence.
You seem to be assuming that until our limited physical senses and/or science can quantify an Unconditional God, it has no relevance. That is like saying consciousness has no relevance because it hasn't been quantified - and yet it is self-evident that without it there is no perception, no discussion here, no enjoyment of life, nothing.


It seems to me that you haven't fully considered the entirety of what Scribe posted. I believe s/he made direct mention of the senses. If we are unable to conclusively identify the actual existence of a deity with the aid of our five senses, then it bears no relevance to our reality.


Making a statement that consciousness is irrelevant is just the materialistic argument that disallows consciousness or God or anything not currently quantifiable in the external world by the senses or science, its obvious existence - and yet it is self-evidently the case that consciousness exists.


Obviously, I am seeing, hearing, feeling, etc. Even if it is false stimuli, it is real to me, and therefore acts as a form of consciousness. Whether it be reality or illusion, I am aware. My senses tell me this.

My senses do not conclusively inform me of the presence of any deity. Hence, it is irrelevant to my reality. Furthermore, if you want to argue in favor of the existence of a deity, said deity must be subject to the laws of this reality. Such is not the case, as per historical "record". This implies a lack of logic to the existence of said deity, which undermines the validity of its existence.


I understand this is the discipline of scientific-materialism, and that is fine for that discipline - but as scientific-materialism is adopted more and more as a world view, that we are only the material body-minds, we see the destructive force this separative, materialistic, egoic, idealistic philosophy is causing.


No more so than the idealism that religious fanatics are pushing in their incessant pursuit of perfection and atonement.



Originally posted by Wandering Scribe
So, you can keep your Unconditional Reality behind closed doors, where it belongs, just like I do. Or, you can find a way to make your God manifest in a quantifiable way. One or the other. God simply cannot play in a world of science, unless He comes down off His high horse and joins us in the physical universe.

You are assuming that even the Unconditional God is some "Great Other" or "Elsewhere" - a common misconception by almost everyone when thinking about God. If God is Unconditional, that does not imply separation from conditions nor causality in the conditional world.


Could you define "Great Other" and "Elsewhere" according to the context in which you've used those terms? And you phrased "even the Unconditional God" as though you believe in the existence of multiple gods or multiple forms of a god. Please explain this.
edit on 24-4-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 
You have to actually go beyond the physical senses to recognize Reality. The senses are limited, point-of-view making processes that are physical processes limited to physical events.

No one has yet to answer how one can actually justify only trusting their senses for basing their whole reality on - when they cannot even know what the simplest room they are sitting in actually and exactly looks like in Reality. (This consideration is detailed further in the prior post I linked to.)

Saying that if you cannot sense something means it is not real, is close-minded believing in my view - a self-enclosed materialistic argument.



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by AllIsOne
 



but for Atheists the concept of a god(s) is non-existent


That isn't true at all. Atheists love the concept God. They argue it constantly, use it as the prime subjet of their arguments, and peddle their opinions and reasonings on the very concept of God. And since God is a concept, and they utilize this concept in almost every fashion save for praying to it, they are not "without God" in the slightest. In fact, they need the concept to consider themselves atheist.


As usual ...
Just because you say so your definition is the right one ... lol. You start to remind me of the philosopher Zeno. He dealt in creating complex, yet senseless paradoxes. (It is self-evident that Achilles will always win the race). You seem to enjoy semantics games. Have fun!



posted on Apr, 24 2013 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by bb23108
 



You have to actually go beyond the physical senses to recognize Reality. The senses are limited, point-of-view making processes that are physical processes limited to physical events.


I'm not just talking about the senses, I'm talking about science in general. Surely I don't need to explain the interaction of science and the five senses? We can create better versions of our senses and abilities using science. I'm not going any further than that because I'm hoping you graduated high school and know this stuff already.


No one has yet to answer how one can actually justify only trusting their senses for basing their whole reality on - when they cannot even know what the simplest room they are sitting in actually and exactly looks like in Reality. (This consideration is detailed further in the prior post I linked to.)


And yet science has not given us any reason to conclude that a god is the only possible explanation for this reality. The existence of gods precludes the existence of science, just like the existence of emotion precludes the existence of logical discourse. And really, religion is primarily a device for emotional stability.



Saying that if you cannot sense something means it is not real, is close-minded believing in my view - a self-enclosed materialistic argument.


Likewise, insisting that something can exist even if all indications oppose the possibility is simply ridiculous. Hence, the irrelevance of said something.

edit on 24-4-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)





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