Total Posts:11|Showing Posts:1-11
Jump to topic:

Weak atheism and agnosticism

wiploc
Posts: 1,485
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/23/2012 8:28:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/23/2012 4:14:56 PM, Tnkissfan wrote:
What are the differences in weak atheism and agnosticism??

In once sense, they mean exactly the same thing:

- Old System:
- Theists believe gods exist.
- Atheists believe gods don't exist.
- Agnostics are everybody else.

- New System:
- Theists believe gods exist.
- Strong atheists believe gods don't exist.
- Weak atheists are everybody else.

So, as far as the above goes, the only difference between agnosticism and weak atheism is the name.

However, "agnosticism" also has another meaning:

- Gnostics know whether gods exist.
- Agnostics don't know whether gods exist.

This makes the old system confusing:

- Agnostics are everybody who is neither theist nor atheist. But also,
- Agnostics are those without knowledge of whether gods exist.

In the new system, all is clear:

- Weak atheists don't believe either that gods exist or don't exist.
- Agnostics don't know either that gods exist or don't exist.

So just remember that theism/atheism is about believe, and gnosticism/agnosticism is about knowledge.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/24/2012 1:00:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/23/2012 8:28:27 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 7/23/2012 4:14:56 PM, Tnkissfan wrote:
What are the differences in weak atheism and agnosticism??
In once sense, they mean exactly the same thing:
In no sense are they the same thing.

- Old System:
There's been no change; the system remains the same.

- Theists believe gods exist.
As it is still now.

- Atheists believe gods don't exist.
As it is still now.

- Agnostics are everybody else.
What do you mean everybody else; there's NO ONE LEFT!

As you can see, this is COMPLETELY wrong. Agnostic (ie about the existence of God/gods) is a person that doesn't KNOW or thinks it UNKNOWABLE that God/gods exist. I say "agnostic about the existence of God/gods" because one can be agnostic about anything. The opposite of Agnostic is Gnostic: people who KNOW that God/gods exist.

Ergo:

1) Atheist/theist is a declaration/position of BELIEF (ie belief or not in the existence of God/gods).

2) Agnostic/gnostic is a declaration of KNOWLEDGE (in this case about knowledge pertaining to the existence of God/gods.)

Belief and knowledge are 2 DIFFERENT and INDEPENDENT things and this is why one can be an agnostic-theist OR an agnostic-atheist! Additionally, one can be a gnostic-theist or a gnostic-atheist.

Let's look at some examples, flavor and color are 2 DIFFERENT and SEPARATE things. If you were asked "what color some thing is" you wouldn't respond salty, right? And so the same goes for atheist/theist vs agnostic/gnostic.

Another example would be the "state of a light bulb" and "the relative temperature". Let's say that the relative temperature can be either hot/cold corresponding to agnostic/gnostic; the state of a light bulb can be either on/off corresponding to atheist/theist. And so we have 4 possible combinations BUT the important point here is that the "state of a light bulb" (atheist/theist) has NOTHING to do with the "relative temperature" (agnostic/gnostic) because they are completely INDEPENDENT things.

- New System:
This so called "New System" is a modern (about 50 or 60 years old I think) attempt by certain atheists to "make a declaration/position that isn't a declaration/position" and in this way not have the burden of proof for their "non-declaration" declaration 9ie non-position position.)

- Theists believe gods exist.
As it is still now.

- Strong atheists believe gods don't exist.
ALL atheists believe gods don't exist.

- Weak atheists are everybody else.
There's no one left! ALL atheists believe gods don't exist; if you don't hold this belief then you are NOT an atheist!

So, as far as the above goes, the only difference between agnosticism and weak atheism is the name.
This is again TOTALLY incorrect as one can be an agnostic-theist! And if one IS an agnostic-theist then one CANNOT be an atheist!

However, "agnosticism" also has another meaning:
It has never changed!

- Gnostics know whether gods exist.
Yes; gnostics about the existence of God/gods.

- Agnostics don't know whether gods exist.
Yes; agnostics about the existence of God/gods. Don't know or think it unknowable.

This makes the old system confusing:
The system is NOT confusing once you learn it properly. It seems that you never have and so you have woeful misconceptions about these concepts.

- Agnostics are everybody who is neither theist nor atheist. But also,
- Agnostics are those without knowledge of whether gods exist.
Again, you have no idea what you are talking about.

In the new system, all is clear:
Yeah, clear as mud!

- Weak atheists don't believe either that gods exist or don't exist.
Sheer idiocy! That's NOT a belief that's NOT a position! Ergo you CANNOT be an atheist.

- Agnostics don't know either that gods exist or don't exist.

So just remember that theism/atheism is about believe, and gnosticism/agnosticism is about knowledge.
Yes this is correct and so by YOUR very own words "weak atheists" are NOT about belief and so are NOT atheists!

"- Weak atheists don't believe either that gods exist or don't exist."
I guess is the belief of not believing! Sheer idiocy!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/24/2012 1:19:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/23/2012 8:28:27 PM, wiploc wrote:
I wanted to add (using my earlier examples of light bulb and temperature):

- Weak atheists don't believe either that gods exist or don't exist.
Weak atheist don't believe either that the light bulb is on or off. So then, WHAT exactly IS it that they believe? Answer: NOTHING because it is an empty set and so there is no belief. And as you know "no belief" ISN'T a belief nor is it a declaration of such.

So just remember that theism/atheism is about believe, and gnosticism/agnosticism is about knowledge.
I do remember, but apparently you keep forgetting!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/25/2012 3:54:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Tnkissfan, Boone doesn't like me, and he doesn't like the new nomenclature. You can hear the hostility in his voice. Some of what he says is true, but much is pointlessly contrary.

There are many many different uses of the word "atheist." I've discussed the two most popular naming systems. What I call the old nomenclature ...

- Theists believe gods exist.
- Atheists believe gods don't exist.
- Agnostics are everybody else.

... is probably the most common usage. What I call the new nomenclature ...

- Theists believe gods exist.
- Strong atheists believe gods don't exist.
- Weak atheists are everybody else.

... is also very popular, is growing in popularity. The changeover has been very rapid, but I believe that, nowadays, what self-identified atheists mean by the word "atheist" is simply that they are not theists. (Weak atheists and strong atheists together include every non-theist, every atheist. But most theists still use "atheist" to refer to people who believe gods do not exist (strong atheists).

In a recent thread at freeratio.org, atheists were asked what we meant when they used the word "atheism"; not one of us gave the old meaning. Very different from just a few years ago.

Those are the two systems of nomenclature that can be considered standard. All others, like Boone's nonsensical system, are personal. That is, they mean what the person speaking means (because that's what he means by them) but they aren't likely to mean the same thing to the listener unless that listener is personally familiar with the speaker's eccentric use of the word.

Dawkins, unfortunately, has enough readers to enable him to confuse matters by promoting a third nomenclature. But it is a distant third, neither useful nor popular, and certainly not in the dictionaries like the main two usages.

At 7/24/2012 1:00:54 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
- Agnostics are everybody else.
What do you mean everybody else; there's NO ONE LEFT!

Boone likes to pretend that all non-theists are strong atheists. According to him, if you don't believe that god does exist, then you must believe that god doesn't exist.

There are a couple of others around here with this viewpoint. You can engage with them or not, but they aren't going to learn or change their tune. You may even get them to agree that, say, some people think Abba's music is good, some think it is bad, and some don't have an opinion either way. But they still won't admit that some people haven't made up their minds about god.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/25/2012 5:55:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/25/2012 3:54:48 PM, wiploc wrote:
Tnkissfan, Boone doesn't like me, and he doesn't like the new nomenclature.
That's not true: I never said I didn't like you, wiploc. It is true that I dislike the "new" nomenclature...which isn't really new actually. I always dislike it when people spread ignorance and falsehoods.

You can hear the hostility in his voice. Some of what he says is true, but much is pointlessly contrary.
All of what I said is true, otherwise please SHOW what is false. Whether it's pointless or not is another matter.

There are many many different uses of the word "atheist."
Yes, but there is only one correct use.

I've discussed the two most popular naming systems.
No. You've discussed YOUR opinion on what YOU think are the two most popular naming systems. That is the difference between the FACTS that I am stating vs your opinions.

What I call the old nomenclature ...

- Theists believe gods exist.
- Atheists believe gods don't exist.
These are correct definitions.

- Agnostics are everybody else.
This is INCORRECT and has NEVER been the case. Please site source.

Atheism/theism has to do with BELIEF but agnostic has NOTHING to do with belief ergo it cannot be "everybody else". This is typical of the uninitiated; however, what bothers me is that even after being educated on the proper definitions, wiploc still fails to understand. This is called wilful ignorance and it is funny to see how he sticks to it religiously!

So at this point, we have established that wiploc does NOT understand the proper usage of these terms in the classical sense. Now he goes on to "build" a new system based on a flawed understanding of the original! Of course, he is doomed to failure.

... is probably the most common usage. What I call the new nomenclature ...

- Theists believe gods exist.
This IS a belief and it is the belief that God/gods exist: Theist.

- Strong atheists believe gods don't exist.
This IS a belief and it is the belief that God/gods do not exist: Atheist.

- Weak atheists are everybody else.
This IS NOT a belief and so cannot be an Atheist. Fail.

Not to mention, that with respect to atheism (ie a belief) "everybody else" is an empty set! Ergo, no one can be a so called "weak atheist"!

... is also very popular, is growing in popularity.
It is indeed quite popular...as are reality tv shows and a myriad of other stupid things.

The changeover has been very rapid, but I believe that, nowadays, what self-identified atheists mean by the word "atheist" is simply that they are not theists.
In order NOT to be a theist, then you MUST be an atheist. In order to be an atheist you MUST have a belief. However, weak atheists do NOT have a belief ERGO they are NOT atheists!

(Weak atheists and strong atheists together include every non-theist, every atheist.)
Sure, {all strong atheists + 0} = all atheists!

But most theists still use "atheist" to refer to people who believe gods do not exist (strong atheists).
1) Obviously, that's what an atheist IS!
2) All educated people use "atheist" to refer to people who believe God/gods do not exist.

In a recent thread at freeratio.org, atheists were asked what we meant when they used the word "atheism"; not one of us gave the old meaning. Very different from just a few years ago.
That's because atheism is one of the most rapidly growing "religions"! Nice argumentum ad populum, by the way! But it's not surprise for a person that is willing to accept flawed concepts.

Those are the two systems of nomenclature that can be considered standard.
I will not speak to the so called new system, but as far as the classical sense, you are clearly incorrect.

All others, like Boone's nonsensical system, are personal.
You can ask anyone on this forum if my explanation of atheism/theism and agnosticism/gnosticism is correct or not and you will clearly find it affirmed. It is not my definition as I had to learn this myself. I too thought that it was a 3-way thing between atheism-theism-agnosticism, but I learned that this "common" understanding is incorrect. But don't take my word for it:

Agnosticism: "the view that the truth values of certain claims ... are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable." -Wiki

Gnostic: "pertaining to knowledge." -Dictionary.com

That is, they mean what the person speaking means (because that's what he means by them) but they aren't likely to mean the same thing to the listener unless that listener is personally familiar with the speaker's eccentric use of the word.
Yawn.

Dawkins, unfortunately, has enough readers to enable him to confuse matters by promoting a third nomenclature. But it is a distant third, neither useful nor popular, and certainly not in the dictionaries like the main two usages.
Too bad for him!

At 7/24/2012 1:00:54 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
- Agnostics are everybody else.
What do you mean everybody else; there's NO ONE LEFT!
Boone likes to pretend that all non-theists are strong atheists. According to him, if you don't believe that god does exist, then you must believe that god doesn't exist.
OBVIOUSLY, otherwise YOU ARE NOT EXPRESSING A BELIEF! Atheism IS an expression of belief!

There are a couple of others around here with this viewpoint.
Yes, it's also known commonly as coherent reasoning.

You can engage with them or not, but they aren't going to learn or change their tune.
I love it! Accuse others of what you do yourself! At best you can claim that I refuse to accept your convoluted MODERN nonsense but you have NO IDEA what you are talking about when it comes to what these terms actually mean.

You may even get them to agree that, say, some people think Abba's music is good, some think it is bad, and some don't have an opinion either way.
Yes, EXPLITIVE, but "no opinion on Abba's music" isn't an opinion on Abba's music! Thank you for showing that I am correct!

But they still won't admit that some people haven't made up their minds about god.
That's absurd! Of course there are people that haven't made up there minds about God, but they aren't atheists! Atheists HAVE made up their mind about God!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/25/2012 6:48:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/25/2012 6:19:07 PM, wiploc wrote:
Tnkissfan, I'm not going to argue with Boone, but I'll answer any questions you have.

But...he's right.

"Agnosticism" and "gnosticism" are descriptions of HOW you believe/don't believe in God not WHETHER you believe in God.

You can be an agnostic atheist, agnostic theist, gnostic atheist, and gnostic theist.

An agnostic theist would say "knowledge of whether god exists is unattainable, but I believe in God on grounds of assumption/faith alone" while a gnostic atheist would say "No god exists, and knowledge of this is attainable."

A "weak atheist" as would be defined by, say, Michael Martin, as something that IS ENTAILED by agnostic atheism, but agnosticism does not entail weak atheism.

Dawkins,a biologist, and his ilk have the philosophically retarded method of classifying agnosticism as mutually exclusive from theism or atheism as a half-way point in the probability of god existing. This is why Dawkins is a biologist.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/25/2012 7:06:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Seeing as words are defined by how we start using them, agnosticism can mean "I don't know". However, in a philosophical discussion, it's twenty times easier to define it as meaning "one cannot know with certainty".

If you know of free will debate, then imagine it being the terms "Libertarianism/Compatibilism/Determinism" (representing "Theism/Agnosticism/Atheism) changing to "Libertarianism/SoftDeterminism/HardDeterminism" (i.e. "Theism/WeakAtheism/StrongAtheism")
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
wiploc
Posts: 1,485
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/25/2012 11:16:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/25/2012 6:48:29 PM, Wnope wrote:
"Agnosticism" and "gnosticism" are descriptions of HOW you believe/don't believe in God not WHETHER you believe in God.

They are about whether you know or not.

You can be an agnostic atheist, agnostic theist, gnostic atheist, and gnostic theist.

Correct

An agnostic theist would say "knowledge of whether god exists is unattainable, but I believe in God on grounds of assumption/faith alone" while a gnostic atheist would say "No god exists, and knowledge of this is attainable."

I'll not quibble.

A "weak atheist" as would be defined by, say, Michael Martin, as something that IS ENTAILED by agnostic atheism, but agnosticism does not entail weak atheism.

Anybody can make up a definition for "weak atheism." Mr. Martin is perfectly entitled to do so. He confuses the issue for other people, but he's entitled. The term was clear and simple before Martin and Dawkins started promoting additional conflicting meanings for it.

Dawkins,a biologist, and his ilk have the philosophically retarded method of classifying agnosticism as mutually exclusive from theism or atheism as a half-way point in the probability of god existing. This is why Dawkins is a biologist.

I like it!

At 7/25/2012 7:06:51 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Seeing as words are defined by how we start using them, agnosticism can mean "I don't know". However, in a philosophical discussion, it's twenty times easier to define it as meaning "one cannot know with certainty".

What are you going to do with the people who just don't know? Create a new category of "near agnostics"?

You want a "normalized database": everybody in a category, and nobody in more than one category.

The way I do it, if you aren't a gnostic, then you're an agnostic. But your way creates at least one other mysterious and undefined category.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/27/2012 12:55:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/25/2012 6:48:29 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/25/2012 6:19:07 PM, wiploc wrote:
Tnkissfan, I'm not going to argue with Boone, but I'll answer any questions you have.
But...he's right.
Well, being wrong never stopped wiploc before...why start now!

At 7/25/2012 11:16:59 PM, wiploc wrote:
At 7/25/2012 6:48:29 PM, Wnope wrote:
"Agnosticism" and "gnosticism" are descriptions of HOW you believe/don't believe in God not WHETHER you believe in God.
They are about whether you know or not.
And atheism/theism is about belief.

You can be an agnostic atheist, agnostic theist, gnostic atheist, and gnostic theist.
Correct
Which PROVES that your definition of agnostics as "everything else" is false!

A "weak atheist" as would be defined by, say, Michael Martin, as something that IS ENTAILED by agnostic atheism, but agnosticism does not entail weak atheism.
Anybody can make up a definition for "weak atheism."
Tell me about it!

Mr. Martin is perfectly entitled to do so. He confuses the issue for other people, but he's entitled. The term was clear and simple before Martin and Dawkins started promoting additional conflicting meanings for it.
Simple, yes. Clear, hell no! As far as beliefs go, it is mute; as far as logic goes, it is meaningless.

If one "neither believes nor disbelieves" in something, they are NOT relaying ANY information on belief because this is NOT an expression of belief. Not only is it NOT an expression of belief, but it's not an expression of ANYTHING at all! It's as if I ask you "is the light on or off" and you respond "it is neither on nor off".

By contrast, atheism and theism ARE answers to the question of belief.

Dawkins,a biologist, and his ilk have the philosophically retarded method of classifying agnosticism as mutually exclusive from theism or atheism as a half-way point in the probability of god existing. This is why Dawkins is a biologist.
I like it!
It doesn't surprise me that a shortcut to thinking would be likable to you.

At 7/25/2012 7:06:51 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
Seeing as words are defined by how we start using them, agnosticism can mean "I don't know". However, in a philosophical discussion, it's twenty times easier to define it as meaning "one cannot know with certainty".
What are you going to do with the people who just don't know? Create a new category of "near agnostics"?
Who just don't know what? You are confusing 2 different things:

1) What are you going to do with the people who just don't know (if God/gods exist)? It's simple, they're called agnostics.

2) What are you going to do with the people who just don't know (if they believe that God/gods exist)? You can call them many things: uninformed, confused, uncooperative, afraid, etc.

I think that what you are labeling "weak atheism" is 2. Which makes one ask: how does one not know what they believe? I mean who else but yourself would know what you believe? I can understand someone who is unaware of the concept of God/gods will not have a position on belief; how could they, they're not even aware of Gog/gods! However, someone that IS aware of the concept, is simply refusing to answer the question.

You want a "normalized database": everybody in a category, and nobody in more than one category.
There will ALWAYS be people in multiple categories, it all depends how you define your categories. In a 4-category database (agnostic-atheist, agnostic-theist, gnostic-atheist, gnostic-theist), everyone would be in ONLY one of the 4. Database normalized!
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.