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Weak and Strong Atheism?

annhasle
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6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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6/22/2010 3:38:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM, annhasle wrote:
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?

I thought a strong atheist was someone who actually had faith that there was no God. I thought I was a weak atheist, I do not believe in God but if someone presented me with alternate evidence I'd take a look.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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6/22/2010 3:40:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Weak Atheist: Its possible that God exists, but no evidence yet.

Strong Atheist: God cannot exist. Impossible.

I'm proud to be a Strong Atheist!
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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6/22/2010 3:41:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You cannot say that there 'should' or 'should not' be 'sects' of atheism. Atheism is not an organized belief in and itself. However, there are different levels of atheism/theism. I am a strong theist, but some are weak. Some atheists are strong, others are weak. There is nothing strange about an atheist being 'weak' in his belief. He simply may not see total disproof of God, but neither total evidence.
I-am-a-panda
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6/22/2010 3:42:43 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Weak Atheist is not Agnostic. It's Agnostic Atheist. I fit into this catego.

Essentially, I, and other 'weak' Atheists, feel God cannot, at the current moment, be verifiable proved or disproved beyond a shadow of a doubt, however, feell all evidence we have points towards one not existing.

So, essentially, while we don't know if God exists, our opinion is that one doesn't exist.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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6/22/2010 3:43:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Groovy, I am a weak or moderate atheist then.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 3:44:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:38:52 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM, annhasle wrote:
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?

I thought a strong atheist was someone who actually had faith that there was no God. I thought I was a weak atheist, I do not believe in God but if someone presented me with alternate evidence I'd take a look.

Hmm...I think that's what I have a problem with. I became an atheist because of uncertainty, and like the idea that "we're here because we are; why over complicate it?" I mean, I might take a look at why they believe it, but I know that part of me would be going "Yeah right" the whole time... '-_-

Ok, here's this. To be an atheist, you usually believe there is no god. So why categorize yourself as an atheist if you think there could be one. Doesn't that alone seperate you from atheist belief?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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6/22/2010 3:45:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:44:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
Ok, here's this. To be an atheist, you usually believe there is no god. So why categorize yourself as an atheist if you think there could be one. Doesn't that alone seperate you from atheist belief?
Does that make you a theist? No. It is called Atheist-agnosticism.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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6/22/2010 3:46:07 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:44:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:38:52 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM, annhasle wrote:
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?

I thought a strong atheist was someone who actually had faith that there was no God. I thought I was a weak atheist, I do not believe in God but if someone presented me with alternate evidence I'd take a look.

Hmm...I think that's what I have a problem with. I became an atheist because of uncertainty, and like the idea that "we're here because we are; why over complicate it?" I mean, I might take a look at why they believe it, but I know that part of me would be going "Yeah right" the whole time... '-_-

Ok, here's this. To be an atheist, you usually believe there is no god. So why categorize yourself as an atheist if you think there could be one. Doesn't that alone seperate you from atheist belief?

I don't think there could be one, but at the same if someone says... hey I have proof of God I will take a peek. If my best friend said he was being chased by demons I would not believe him, but I'd still take a peek.
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 3:46:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:41:28 PM, Mirza wrote:
You cannot say that there 'should' or 'should not' be 'sects' of atheism. Atheism is not an organized belief in and itself. However, there are different levels of atheism/theism. I am a strong theist, but some are weak. Some atheists are strong, others are weak. There is nothing strange about an atheist being 'weak' in his belief. He simply may not see total disproof of God, but neither total evidence.

Ok, at the risk of totally sounding like a dumba**, I ask this: How can there be different sects of a belief? It isn't a religion.... It's either you believe it or not. Well, to me that's how I see it.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Mirza
Posts: 16,992
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6/22/2010 3:48:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:46:48 PM, annhasle wrote:
Ok, at the risk of totally sounding like a dumba**, I ask this: How can there be different sects of a belief? It isn't a religion.... It's either you believe it or not. Well, to me that's how I see it.
Take it like this.

Religion X = A & B

Followers A believe in Religion X, but only the A part. Followers B believe in Religion X, but only the B part.

When it comes to atheism, it is not 'sect', but more of 'level of disbelief'. Even if we say that you are either an atheist or not, how can a person then be theist if he does not believe too much in God either? He is standing in between. What is that called? Agnosticism.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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6/22/2010 3:50:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:46:07 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:44:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:38:52 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM, annhasle wrote:
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?

I thought a strong atheist was someone who actually had faith that there was no God. I thought I was a weak atheist, I do not believe in God but if someone presented me with alternate evidence I'd take a look.

Hmm...I think that's what I have a problem with. I became an atheist because of uncertainty, and like the idea that "we're here because we are; why over complicate it?" I mean, I might take a look at why they believe it, but I know that part of me would be going "Yeah right" the whole time... '-_-

Ok, here's this. To be an atheist, you usually believe there is no god. So why categorize yourself as an atheist if you think there could be one. Doesn't that alone seperate you from atheist belief?

I don't think there could be one, but at the same if someone says... hey I have proof of God I will take a peek. If my best friend said he was being chased by demons I would not believe him, but I'd still take a peek.

Then you are a strong Atheist if you think it's impossible for God to exist.

And indicated by your post, you'll look at the evidence for giggles, but won't take it seriously.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 3:50:24 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:46:07 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:44:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:38:52 PM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:37:12 PM, annhasle wrote:
I recently was talking to a family friend of mine who said he was a "weak atheist." I asked him to elaborate on that, since I had not heard of that term before. He said that it was the belief - "We cannot say a god can or cannot exist.". I asked if he meant he was Agnostic but apparently Agnostics are characterized as "weak atheists".

The other category is "Strong atheist", which is the belief that "no god exists". Non-negotiable in my mind. I find myself in this category and maybe that's why I'm so annoyed.

It seems to be pretty straight forward, you either;
a) Believe in a God
or
b) You don't believe there is a god.

What do you think; should there be different "sects" of Atheism?

I thought a strong atheist was someone who actually had faith that there was no God. I thought I was a weak atheist, I do not believe in God but if someone presented me with alternate evidence I'd take a look.

Hmm...I think that's what I have a problem with. I became an atheist because of uncertainty, and like the idea that "we're here because we are; why over complicate it?" I mean, I might take a look at why they believe it, but I know that part of me would be going "Yeah right" the whole time... '-_-

Ok, here's this. To be an atheist, you usually believe there is no god. So why categorize yourself as an atheist if you think there could be one. Doesn't that alone seperate you from atheist belief?

I don't think there could be one, but at the same if someone says... hey I have proof of God I will take a peek. If my best friend said he was being chased by demons I would not believe him, but I'd still take a peek.

I'd definitely take a peek if someone offered new evidence that a god existed. But that alone doesn't make you a "weak atheist". That makes you inquisitive. But if you were to take a peek in hopes of believing in a god, that's different...
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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6/22/2010 3:53:17 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
annhasle, atheism is at its base non belief in gods. That's seperate from claims regarding existence. You may hold that the possibility of any god existing is 0 (hard atheism) or hold the position that the possibility of a god (normally undefined) existing is unknown (weak atheism).

Weak atheism does not necessarily entail accepting that all gods may possibly exist. Nor does it preclude a weak atheist from accepting any disproof of any one concept of god invalid. The weak vs. strong atheist dichotomy is about agnostic vs. gnostic claims to knowledge in regards to 'non belief in god and ...'
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 3:55:31 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:48:59 PM, Mirza wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:46:48 PM, annhasle wrote:
Ok, at the risk of totally sounding like a dumba**, I ask this: How can there be different sects of a belief? It isn't a religion.... It's either you believe it or not. Well, to me that's how I see it.
Take it like this.

Religion X = A & B

Followers A believe in Religion X, but only the A part. Followers B believe in Religion X, but only the B part.

When it comes to atheism, it is not 'sect', but more of 'level of disbelief'. Even if we say that you are either an atheist or not, how can a person then be theist if he does not believe too much in God either? He is standing in between. What is that called? Agnosticism.

Hmm...that's interesting. I guess that's ok... just different since I'm a strong atheist. But it's true. Thanks! :)
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 3:56:53 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:53:17 PM, Puck wrote:
annhasle, atheism is at its base non belief in gods. That's seperate from claims regarding existence. You may hold that the possibility of any god existing is 0 (hard atheism) or hold the position that the possibility of a god (normally undefined) existing is unknown (weak atheism).

Weak atheism does not necessarily entail accepting that all gods may possibly exist. Nor does it preclude a weak atheist from accepting any disproof of any one concept of god invalid. The weak vs. strong atheist dichotomy is about agnostic vs. gnostic claims to knowledge in regards to 'non belief in god and ...'

Yeah, I get that. I guess it's more about accepting it now than understanding it... But thanks! I must look really dumb but it was something that annoyed me a little...
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/22/2010 3:59:12 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:40:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Weak Atheist: Its possible that God exists, but no evidence yet.

Strong Atheist: God cannot exist. Impossible.

I'm proud to be a Strong Atheist!

No...

Weak atheism is any position that is not theism, whereas strong atheism rejects the statement "there exists at least one God" -- however, they NEED NOT reject it on logical grounds, as this would be an enormous philosophical task.
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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6/22/2010 4:00:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:58:37 PM, Puck wrote:
Asking questions isn't stupid.

What happens if I put my socks on the wrong way round?
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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6/22/2010 4:00:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Puck basically summed it up.

Weak: Its possible. Probably doesn't exist.
Strong: Impossible. Can't exist.

@ann

It doesn't matter whether you hope for God to exist. It matters about what degree of possibility or probability.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
TheSkeptic
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6/22/2010 4:01:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 3:59:12 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:40:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Weak Atheist: Its possible that God exists, but no evidence yet.

Strong Atheist: God cannot exist. Impossible.

I'm proud to be a Strong Atheist!

No...

Weak atheism is any position that is not theism, whereas strong atheism rejects the statement "there exists at least one God" -- however, they NEED NOT reject it on logical grounds, as this would be an enormous philosophical task.

Huh, as I read on even I'm not too sure. Is strong/hard theism really referring to those who reject the possibility of god's existing? This would seem absurd, and local only to the philosophically naive (or those who decide to base the majority of their definition of atheism on one or two religions :P).
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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6/22/2010 4:05:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 4:01:55 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:59:12 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:40:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Weak Atheist: Its possible that God exists, but no evidence yet.

Strong Atheist: God cannot exist. Impossible.

I'm proud to be a Strong Atheist!

No...

Weak atheism is any position that is not theism, whereas strong atheism rejects the statement "there exists at least one God" -- however, they NEED NOT reject it on logical grounds, as this would be an enormous philosophical task.

Huh, as I read on even I'm not too sure. Is strong/hard theism really referring to those who reject the possibility of god's existing? This would seem absurd, and local only to the philosophically naive (or those who decide to base the majority of their definition of atheism on one or two religions :P).

How does me believing that there is no possibility God exists suddenly make me naive?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Puck
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6/22/2010 4:06:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 4:01:55 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:59:12 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2010 3:40:47 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Weak Atheist: Its possible that God exists, but no evidence yet.

Strong Atheist: God cannot exist. Impossible.

I'm proud to be a Strong Atheist!

No...

Weak atheism is any position that is not theism, whereas strong atheism rejects the statement "there exists at least one God" -- however, they NEED NOT reject it on logical grounds, as this would be an enormous philosophical task.

Huh, as I read on even I'm not too sure. Is strong/hard theism really referring to those who reject the possibility of god's existing? This would seem absurd, and local only to the philosophically naive (or those who decide to base the majority of their definition of atheism on one or two religions :P).

Gnostic is generally considered absurd, yes. :P People who call themselves hard atheists generally refer to popular monotheism™.
Puck
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6/22/2010 4:08:45 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 4:05:28 PM, annhasle wrote:

How does me believing that there is no possibility God exists suddenly make me naive?

Requires you to have knowledge of all possible formulations of 'a god existing' and then adequate disproof for them all to be considered justified. At it's largest it's a type of claim to omniscience. :P You may believe in no god, that's separate form the claim 'no god can possibly exist'.
annhasle
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6/22/2010 4:11:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 6/22/2010 4:08:45 PM, Puck wrote:
At 6/22/2010 4:05:28 PM, annhasle wrote:

How does me believing that there is no possibility God exists suddenly make me naive?

Requires you to have knowledge of all possible formulations of 'a god existing' and then adequate disproof for them all to be considered justified. At it's largest it's a type of claim to omniscience. :P You may believe in no god, that's separate form the claim 'no god can possibly exist'.

I don't know. To me, I don't think it's plausible that a God could exist. Do I know every religion? Of course not. But if there was a religion that had it all figured out with proof, I have a feeling I'd hear about it. I don't think this is naivety but more... stubbornness. I don't think there is a god, I see no reason why there should be one so I won't look for one. Maybe that makes me naive to you, but it's just part of me I accept.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Puck
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6/22/2010 4:13:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Go beyond even that, annhasle. What of the god for which there is no religion for? Deism is notoriously harder to disprove.