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Agnosticism = Atheism?

annhasle
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7/10/2010 6:12:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
It has been argued by some that agnostics can be called atheists, but atheists can not be called agnostics. Now, I believe that to be complete BS but it does bring up another question; are agnostics closer to atheists or theists?
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tvellalott
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7/10/2010 6:14:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Yes. Agnostics are worse than Theists though. Don't sit on the fence and tell me you aren't sure. GET SURE DAMN IT!
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tkubok
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7/10/2010 6:19:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Agnostics who claim that they are neither theist or atheist, are actually atheists.

Agnostics in general can be closer to either. Unless we take a general consensus, there is no way to determine if they are, on the whole, more closer to Atheists or Theists. You can, after all, be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist.
annhasle
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7/10/2010 6:43:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:19:06 PM, tkubok wrote:
Agnostics who claim that they are neither theist or atheist, are actually atheists.

Agnostics in general can be closer to either. Unless we take a general consensus, there is no way to determine if they are, on the whole, more closer to Atheists or Theists. You can, after all, be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist.

By definition alone, an agnostic believes there to be a chance of a God, right? Atheists do not believe there to be a God. So how can there be an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist?
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Puck
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7/10/2010 7:57:26 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:43:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
By definition alone, an agnostic believes there to be a chance of a God, right?

Eh - agnosticism is the position that such knowledge can not be gained.

http://dictionary.reference.com...
Yvette
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7/10/2010 8:03:13 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
You've got the definitions really wrong...Puck's on it though.

Gnostic means knowledge. Agnosticism as far as religion is concerned means you think you can't know anything about God. Atheism doesn't mean "I believe there is no god", it means "I don't believe in a god", which doesn't exclude the possibility.

You personally might feel certain there is no god and have that as a sure belief, but that's not what atheism is.
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Puck
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7/10/2010 8:16:19 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:12:27 PM, annhasle wrote:
It has been argued by some that agnostics can be called atheists, but atheists can not be called agnostics. Now, I believe that to be complete BS but it does bring up another question; are agnostics closer to atheists or theists?

And neither. Pure agnosticism is unsure of ones belief regarding god ("I don't know"), and stating knowledge of existence is basically out of bounds ("we can never know").

Weak atheism/weak theism is slightly different again. :)
RoyLatham
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7/10/2010 8:25:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
There are several definitions of "atheism." Back in Jefferson's day, anyone who was not a Christian was often called an atheist. Jefferson was a Deist, so the Philadelphia Library system would not stock copies of his works on the grounds he was an "atheist."

In recent times, "atheist" is used by philosophers to mean "having no belief in a god or gods." Ordinary atheists seem to have picked up that definition as the definition they prefer. Thus agnostics are "atheists" because their uncertainty means they do not believe. There is also the Buddhist stance that "it is not profitable to consider the question of whether or not God exists." which is another way not to believe.

Christians seem to commonly prefer terminology in which atheists definitely do not believe, agnostics are uncertain, and who is that Buddha guy anyway. My impression is that Christian theologians adhere to the philosophical belief/non-belief definition.

A further distinction is that "strong atheists" believe that the existence of God can be disproved, while "weak atheists" fail to believe because they think there is no compelling affirmative reason. Note that Christians are usually strong atheists with respect to all gods other than their own, thus being in 99.99% agreement with atheists on the list of Gods.
annhasle
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7/10/2010 8:32:10 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 7:57:26 PM, Puck wrote:
At 7/10/2010 6:43:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
By definition alone, an agnostic believes there to be a chance of a God, right?

Eh - agnosticism is the position that such knowledge can not be gained.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

Hmm... Here's what I have, just for comparison:

I've always agreed with Dawkin's idea of there being three "milestones" per say, in the certainty of belief for agnostics:

1. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism, "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

2. Completely impartial agnostic, "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."

3. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism, "I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

I've met people who fall in to all three categories, and each call themselves Agnostic. So, you're probably thinking of the 2nd definition of agnostic and I was thinking of the 1st... But for the rest of the thread, it would make sense to follow the 2nd. :D My mistake!
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GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I like Richard Dawkins categorization:

1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.
2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.
3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.
4. Pure Agnostic: God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.
5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.
7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.

Dawkins is a De-facto Atheist.
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annhasle
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7/10/2010 8:40:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I like Richard Dawkins categorization:

1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.
2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.
3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.
4. Pure Agnostic: God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.
5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.
7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.

Dawkins is a De-facto Atheist.

LOL That's what I just used, but wrote only the agnostic part... He said in the God Delusion that he was 6 but leaning towards 7.
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GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 8:43:54 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:40:04 PM, annhasle wrote:
LOL That's what I just used, but wrote only the agnostic part... He said in the God Delusion that he was 6 but leaning towards 7.

But you mentioned three levels of Agnoticism and labeled the Weak Theist and Weak Atheist as "Agnostic." But on Dawkins scale, there is only one level of Agnosticism.
"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
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7/10/2010 8:49:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:43:54 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 7/10/2010 8:40:04 PM, annhasle wrote:
LOL That's what I just used, but wrote only the agnostic part... He said in the God Delusion that he was 6 but leaning towards 7.

But you mentioned three levels of Agnoticism and labeled the Weak Theist and Weak Atheist as "Agnostic." But on Dawkins scale, there is only one level of Agnosticism.

Not in the God Delusion, which is where I found it.
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GeoLaureate8
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7/10/2010 8:52:15 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:49:18 PM, annhasle wrote:
Not in the God Delusion, which is where I found it.

Oh, you're right actually.
"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
INTJ
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7/11/2010 8:19:50 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
========================================================
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For me, I seem to find Agnostics primarily in two camps—a Camp of Principles and a Camp of Honest Dissonance. I'll explain…
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Agnostics like myself, are functionally no different on the issue of God, than Atheists who due to intellectual honesty, preface their Atheism with some other term that is short of "Strong Atheism" because they realize that they are short of proof. Both those Atheists and myself are applying a principle of staying within the bounds of what it is adequate to say and of what we can support when we make assertions.

Huxley, who coined the term Agnostic, called it the "vigorous application of a single principle…not to pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable." Well, he said it a little differently than I would have, because I wouldn't call it a "pretense" just because a person takes a harder stance as a Strong Atheist; it is simply a different scrupulous for that same principle of staying within the bounds of what it is adequate to say and of what you can support when making assertions.
========================================================
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But, then there are Agnostics, who are so because they think it is "equally likely" or they think "it can go either way." Their Agnosticism is due to dilemmas, or honest dissonance caused when considering Theism or Deism.

But, since you can't tell by the bare term, whether a person is an Agnostic due to principles or honest dissonance, it's best to just ask them.
========================================================
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I-am-a-panda
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7/11/2010 8:21:47 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

Me
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INTJ
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7/11/2010 9:04:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 8:21:47 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

Me
Right, Panda, it's like I said above there is functionally no difference between Atheist who preface their Atheism with another term, "weak," "de-facto," due to some measure of intellectual honesty, where they realize that they are short of proof, and Agnostics, who are Agnostic, for that same agreed principle—to stay within the bounds of what it is adequate to say and of what you can support when you make an assertion. I feel like we are saying the same thing in different ways, those Atheists and Agnostics.
annhasle
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7/11/2010 11:09:28 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:40:04 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.
7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.


I'm a 6 leaning towards 7... :P
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tkubok
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7/11/2010 11:50:05 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:43:00 PM, annhasle wrote:
By definition alone, an agnostic believes there to be a chance of a God, right? Atheists do not believe there to be a God. So how can there be an agnostic theist or agnostic atheist?

Agnosticism says nothing about what you believe, only what you know or claim to know. Whether or not there may be a chance that a God exists is separate from Agnosticism.

Its real simple.

I dont believe a God exists, but i cannot know that there is no God. <-- Agnostic Atheist

I believe a God exists, but i cannot know if a God exists. <-- Agnostic Theist
I-am-a-panda
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7/11/2010 11:51:23 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 9:04:33 AM, INTJ wrote:
At 7/11/2010 8:21:47 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.

Me
Right, Panda, it's like I said above there is functionally no difference between Atheist who preface their Atheism with another term, "weak," "de-facto," due to some measure of intellectual honesty, where they realize that they are short of proof, and Agnostics, who are Agnostic, for that same agreed principle—to stay within the bounds of what it is adequate to say and of what you can support when you make an assertion. I feel like we are saying the same thing in different ways, those Atheists and Agnostics.

If you put Agnostics on the spot and say "Do you believe a God exists", the majority tend to say no.
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popculturepooka
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7/11/2010 3:53:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:

2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.

Me.
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Atheism
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7/11/2010 7:00:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
No one can be a pure agnostic unless isolated completely from society and opinions of others, which is nigh-impossible.
I am 6 leaning heavily towards 7.
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InsertNameHere
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7/11/2010 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 8:34:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
I like Richard Dawkins categorization:

1. Strong Theist: I do not question the existence of God, I KNOW he exists.
2. De-facto Theist: I cannot know for certain but I strongly believe in God and I live my life on the assumption that he is there.
3. Weak Theist: I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.
4. Pure Agnostic: God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.
5. Weak Atheist: I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.
6. De-facto Atheist: I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.
7. Strong Atheist: I am 100% sure that there is no God.

Dawkins is a De-facto Atheist.

Hmm...I seem to be somewhere between De-facto theist and weak theist.
Anarcho
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7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.
InsertNameHere wrote: "If we evolved from apes then why are apes still around?

This is semi-serious btw. It's something that seems strange to me. You'd think that entire species would cease to exist if other ones evolved from them."

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annhasle
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7/11/2010 7:27:35 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM, Anarcho wrote:
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.

So you believe in a god but not the Christian God? Or do you believe in God and Jesus Christ but ignore their teachings?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Anarcho
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7/11/2010 7:44:51 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 7:27:35 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM, Anarcho wrote:
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.

So you believe in a god but not the Christian God? Or do you believe in God and Jesus Christ but ignore their teachings?

I believe in God and Jesus and for that matter Muhammad and Moses. But do I ignore their teachings? Well I try to be a good person and will helpothers soon enough, what else is there that I would have had to learn from their teachings that I wouldn't do myself?
InsertNameHere wrote: "If we evolved from apes then why are apes still around?

This is semi-serious btw. It's something that seems strange to me. You'd think that entire species would cease to exist if other ones evolved from them."

Anarcho wrote: *facepalm*
InsertNameHere
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7/11/2010 7:46:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 7:44:51 PM, Anarcho wrote:
At 7/11/2010 7:27:35 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM, Anarcho wrote:
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.

So you believe in a god but not the Christian God? Or do you believe in God and Jesus Christ but ignore their teachings?

I believe in God and Jesus and for that matter Muhammad and Moses. But do I ignore their teachings? Well I try to be a good person and will helpothers soon enough, what else is there that I would have had to learn from their teachings that I wouldn't do myself?

Muslim? :P
annhasle
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7/11/2010 7:48:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 7:44:51 PM, Anarcho wrote:
At 7/11/2010 7:27:35 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM, Anarcho wrote:
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.

So you believe in a god but not the Christian God? Or do you believe in God and Jesus Christ but ignore their teachings?

I believe in God and Jesus and for that matter Muhammad and Moses. But do I ignore their teachings? Well I try to be a good person and will helpothers soon enough, what else is there that I would have had to learn from their teachings that I wouldn't do myself?

That's true. So, why believe in a God, if all their "teachings" of morals and such, could be self taught?
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Rusty
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7/11/2010 7:50:58 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/11/2010 7:07:08 PM, Anarcho wrote:
I just believe God exists and that's about as far as it goes. I try to be a good person and help others but am not going to regulate myself to any standards like a Christian.

If you just acknowledge God's mere existence and nothing else, how do you even know that God wants you to be a good person?
Guaranteed
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7/11/2010 7:53:00 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 7/10/2010 6:12:27 PM, annhasle wrote:
It has been argued by some that agnostics can be called atheists, but atheists can not be called agnostics. Now, I believe that to be complete BS but it does bring up another question; are agnostics closer to atheists or theists?

I am having a debate in the comments about atheists and agnostic, so I appreciate your comments.
Although I am not perfect, I believe in perfection and had a conversation with him.