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Atheist or Agnostic? Why theists are confused

Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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4/18/2015 11:50:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It never ceases to amaze me how, despite clear definitions presented on just about any source, theists and non-believers who appear conditioned by society to avoid the atheist label go to such lengths to not understand what agnosticism is. I think Wikipedia demonstrates this quite nicely:

"Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims " especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist " are unknown and perhaps unknowable.[1][2][3] In the popular sense of the term, an "agnostic", according to the philosopher William L. Rowe, is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God"
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Notice how they need to present the actual definition, then present what has become a popular usage of the term. Webster's does the same. Why the disconnect? Is it that hard to understand the difference between saying "I believe X" and "I know X" that we needed to create a secondary definition which rather then clarifies the first definition actually changes it? Understanding the difference between believing something and knowing something is only difficult if one wants it to be. My take is that theists want it to be difficult because the more difficult they make it the easier it is to shark off their burden of proof.

No atheist has ever expressed non-belief in a God which a theist did not first assert. Thus theists are necessarily staring this discussion with their assertions, and with that comes the BoP. But what they are doing here is instead of defending it, they break up those who do not accept their claims into two categories: (1) those who believe the opposite of their claim is in fact true, and (2) those who have no belief at all. They do this so that they can attack each group separately...

1) Those who believe the opposite is true are "making an assertion" and therefore have a BoP as well. And if this group will not defend their BoP then theists have no reason to accept this obligation to them either.

2) Those who have no belief about anything demonstrate no intellectual thought, and therefore theists have no obligation to provide any to them either.

The problem here is quite obvious, theists by this point in their own minds have now placed their focus on the position of the opposition instead of their own. But why is this necessary? Why do you need to take the focus away from you and place it on other people? My take: because you believe in something that you know you cannot support and just don't want to deal with that fact.
debate_power
Posts: 726
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4/30/2015 4:08:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 11:50:48 AM, Double_R wrote:
It never ceases to amaze me how, despite clear definitions presented on just about any source, theists and non-believers who appear conditioned by society to avoid the atheist label go to such lengths to not understand what agnosticism is. I think Wikipedia demonstrates this quite nicely:

"Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claims " especially metaphysical and religious claims such as whether or not God, the divine or the supernatural exist " are unknown and perhaps unknowable.[1][2][3] In the popular sense of the term, an "agnostic", according to the philosopher William L. Rowe, is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God"
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Notice how they need to present the actual definition, then present what has become a popular usage of the term. Webster's does the same. Why the disconnect? Is it that hard to understand the difference between saying "I believe X" and "I know X" that we needed to create a secondary definition which rather then clarifies the first definition actually changes it? Understanding the difference between believing something and knowing something is only difficult if one wants it to be. My take is that theists want it to be difficult because the more difficult they make it the easier it is to shark off their burden of proof.

No atheist has ever expressed non-belief in a God which a theist did not first assert. Thus theists are necessarily staring this discussion with their assertions, and with that comes the BoP. But what they are doing here is instead of defending it, they break up those who do not accept their claims into two categories: (1) those who believe the opposite of their claim is in fact true, and (2) those who have no belief at all. They do this so that they can attack each group separately...

1) Those who believe the opposite is true are "making an assertion" and therefore have a BoP as well. And if this group will not defend their BoP then theists have no reason to accept this obligation to them either.

2) Those who have no belief about anything demonstrate no intellectual thought, and therefore theists have no obligation to provide any to them either.

The problem here is quite obvious, theists by this point in their own minds have now placed their focus on the position of the opposition instead of their own. But why is this necessary? Why do you need to take the focus away from you and place it on other people? My take: because you believe in something that you know you cannot support and just don't want to deal with that fact.

But Jesus died for your sins. How could you just reject that...? And look at the flowers outside your window... are you to really suggest that they came about by accident? They were clearly designed for us. Everything has a purpose. And you don't need logic to believe. God doesn't want you to believe with logic. Just give him your faith and you get your reward!
You can call me Mark if you like.
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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5/1/2015 9:07:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/30/2015 4:08:54 PM, debate_power wrote:
God doesn't want you to believe with logic. Just give him your faith and you get your reward!

Yea that logic stuff is really a pain in the a$$ isn't it? Unfortunately not everyone is equipped with an off switch.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/2/2015 12:32:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/18/2015 11:50:48 AM, Double_R wrote:
The problem here is quite obvious, theists by this point in their own minds have now placed their focus on the position of the opposition instead of their own.

A common religious response to agnostics is to assume that more 'witnessing' (i.e. social pressure and passionate, self-indulgent doctrinal testimonials) will somehow convert them.

A common response to atheism is to assume atheists secretly know God exists but somehow deny God, and thus seek to undermine their self-confidence and shame them into doubt.

Both positions are manipulative and disrespectful; each is generally mistaken. No amount of yelling the same inadequate testimony is likely to convince someone who thinks the evidence is lacking; while atheists could be full of metaphysical doubt, yet still reject a particular religion for numerous moral, social or philosophical reasons.

It seems very hard for people of evangelical bent to accept the idea that others may find their beliefs ignorant, fatuous, irrelevant or abhorrent.