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What do you call a person who believes in a god but...
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Dec 8, 2005, 01:31 AM
 
...doesn't claim to know any specifics about him/her/it. I have several friends like this and I feel this is a fairly reasonable position to take, yet no one I've talked to seems have any idea what this is called.
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Dec 8, 2005, 03:19 AM
 
Theists?

Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster M-W.com
the·ism
Pronunciation: 'thE-"i-z&m
Function: noun
: belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of man and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world
- the·ist /-ist/ noun or adjective
     
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Dec 8, 2005, 03:24 AM
 
Agnostic?
     
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Dec 8, 2005, 09:47 AM
 
Personally, I'd say it's a kind of agnosticism. It's not quite the traditional definition -in which one doesn't claim to be sure even of the existence of a higher power- but it's close enough for most purposes.
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Dec 8, 2005, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
...doesn't claim to know any specifics about him/her/it. I have several friends like this and I feel this is a fairly reasonable position to take, yet no one I've talked to seems have any idea what this is called.
Halfwaythereism.

Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Dec 8, 2005, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy
Halfwaythereism.

LOL


     
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Dec 8, 2005, 01:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
...doesn't claim to know any specifics about him/her/it. I have several friends like this and I feel this is a fairly reasonable position to take, yet no one I've talked to seems have any idea what this is called.
I always thought that was a theist - the acknowledgement that there is an almighty you created everything but not aceepting that said almighty has revealed him/her/it self through any revealtion to those of us here on Earth.

Some of the founding father's thought, to some extent, in this mold. Thomas Jefferson and his Jefferson Bible come to mind, though I am not sure if that is exactly it.

. . Thomas Jefferson believed that the ethical system of Jesus was the finest the world has ever seen. In compiling what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," he sought to separate those ethical teachings from the religious dogma and other supernatural elements that are intermixed in the account provided by the four Gospels. He presented these teachings, along with the essential events of the life of Jesus, in one continuous narrative.
http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/

Thomas Paine might be closer, if they feel militantly against religion:

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

But, lest it should be supposed that I believe many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe
http://www.infidels.org/library/hist...son/part1.html

I personally subscribe to a mix of Jefferson and Paine. I believe in an Almighty though I do not believe he has chosen to reveal himself to one religion or people over other religions and people. I beleive God's mysteries are answerable through reason and observation of our world. I guess in some essence I hold science to be a religion, I feel that the more we discover about ourselves and our world the closer we get to God.

But like Paine, I don't begrudge any person their relgious views, as long as they allow me the freedom to have mine and that their religious views do not discriminate against anyone else.
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Dec 8, 2005, 01:38 PM
 
It depends WHY they believe in a God and they would need to be more specific, one God, multiple?

If they believe merely because they were brought up that way, it is called something like traditional theisim.

Also there is Deism, which is a belief in God as revealed by nature and reason, not scripture and faith. The Deist sees an order and architecture to the universe that indicates an Intelligent Creator or First Cause. However, Deism itself makes no positive assertions about the nature of this designer and Deists disagree with any individual's claims to divine authority, including the individuals who wrote the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Bhagavad-gita, and other works of fiction
     
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Dec 8, 2005, 01:55 PM
 
That sounds similar to the most common religious views I heard from people in college: "I don't believe in organized religion, but I'm a spiritual person" [/valley girl voice].

I always said I'm just the opposite: Religious groups do a lot of good things, it's that supernatural crap I can't buy into.
     
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Dec 8, 2005, 02:30 PM
 
Zerostar's got a good point concerning Deism. As with agnosticism it doesn't sound like an exact match, but it does sound quite close.
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Dec 8, 2005, 02:33 PM
 
Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately I don't think any of the suggested terms are suitable.

Originally Posted by Railroader
Theists?
It is true that these people are theists, but this term fails to distinguish them from mainstream Christians, Muslims, Pagans, etc.

Originally Posted by Millennium
Personally, I'd say it's a kind of agnosticism. It's not quite the traditional definition -in which one doesn't claim to be sure even of the existence of a higher power- but it's close enough for most purposes.
I prefer to use "agnosticism" in the way in which Huxley intended when he coined the term. It is a philosophical position in which one admits that there may or may not be a god or gods and it is impossible (at least currently) to prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods.

I have read that some people use the term "Agnostic theism" to refer to the position in which someone believes in a god or gods but admits uncertainty due to lack of evidence. It seems to me that this is appropriate for many people with a nonspecific belief in god (such as the one I described in my first post) but not all of them. For example I have a very mathematically gifted friend who rejects every human religion but believes that mathematics (or evidence obtained from mathmatics, I'm not sure which) is proof of god's existence. She is at least as certain about this as most theists are about their particular brand of religion. I have another friend who has a Muslim father and a Christain mother. She doesn't believe in the details of either one religion but believe truth lies where the two overlap. Again her belief in God seems to be at least as strong as that of the typical mainstream theist. I don't think the term "agnosticism" can be rightly used here although I can see why it may be tempting to do so in the first instance. Interestingly the second friend was using the term "agnostic" to describe her position before I corrected her.

Originally Posted by zerostar
Also there is Deism
This is probably closer but I think it may be too specific. I'm looking for a term that is general enough to apply to both of my friends but one that wouldn't apply to a mainstream Christian, Muslim or Agnostic. Does anyone see a need for such a term or am I just being goofy?

Since the word doesn't seem to exist yet (at least not in the public conscious), I'll try and coin one. How about we call these people "paucignostics" or in honor of Doofy "semiviagnostics" or maybe "semignostics" or "semitheists"?
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Dec 8, 2005, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by RIRedinPA
I always thought that was a theist - the acknowledgement that there is an almighty you created everything but not aceepting that said almighty has revealed him/her/it self through any revealtion to those of us here on Earth.

Some of the founding father's thought, to some extent, in this mold. Thomas Jefferson and his Jefferson Bible come to mind, though I am not sure if that is exactly it.



http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/

Thomas Paine might be closer, if they feel militantly against religion:



http://www.infidels.org/library/hist...son/part1.html

I personally subscribe to a mix of Jefferson and Paine. I believe in an Almighty though I do not believe he has chosen to reveal himself to one religion or people over other religions and people. I beleive God's mysteries are answerable through reason and observation of our world. I guess in some essence I hold science to be a religion, I feel that the more we discover about ourselves and our world the closer we get to God.

But like Paine, I don't begrudge any person their relgious views, as long as they allow me the freedom to have mine and that their religious views do not discriminate against anyone else.
I don't know RIRedinPA and can't recall where he stands on anything else, but this is the best post ever on a religious viewpoint and should shut up once and for all the the differences of opinion between the Christians and "the Others" in these forums.



Of course it won't.
     
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Dec 8, 2005, 10:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Rolling Bones
I don't know RIRedinPA and can't recall where he stands on anything else, but this is the best post ever on a religious viewpoint and should shut up once and for all the the differences of opinion between the Christians and "the Others" in these forums.



Of course it won't.
Thankee RB. And hence lies the problem with religion IMO - they believe God chose to reveal his mysteries to them and therefore they cannot but be discriminatory to those with different belief systems. Regardless of how tolerant they are of others beliefs at some level they have to believe theirs is superior to the others or they would subscribe to the others system.

Oh well, the debate has raged for 4000 or so years, it'l just rage a little more. I'm gonna go and watch God reveal himself a bit to me by watching the snow fill my backyard. Cheers.
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Dec 14, 2005, 01:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
...doesn't claim to know any specifics about him/her/it. I have several friends like this and I feel this is a fairly reasonable position to take, yet no one I've talked to seems have any idea what this is called.
Wishful thinking, or perhaps the need to invent imaginary playmates?
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 11:31 AM
 
I know you are just trying to troll, but this doesn't work. The people I describe don't know if god is good or evil or neutral. If they don't know anything about god then he/she/it can't be described as a playmate.
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Dec 14, 2005, 12:23 PM
 
If they don't know anything about the god, why do they think one exists?

I don't know anything about 800 lb hot pink rabbits orbiting Jupiter, whether it is good or evil or neutral.

People invent gods as explanations for things they don't understand or to comfort them when facing their own mortality, or sometimes because they need a companion.

The idea that there is no god should be the null hypothesis. Once you posit the existence of god, then you are faced with a whole host of problems, like the problem of evil (how is it that god permitted the Holocaust to happen, and so on).
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 12:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by wgscott
If they don't know anything about the god, why do they think one exists?
I tend to agree, if you believe in something you should have a understanding of what and why you believe, perhaps it changes with a God since one can not be proven to exist.
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by RIRedinPA
Thankee RB. And hence lies the problem with religion IMO - they believe God chose to reveal his mysteries to them and therefore they cannot but be discriminatory to those with different belief systems. Regardless of how tolerant they are of others beliefs at some level they have to believe theirs is superior to the others or they would subscribe to the others system.

Oh well, the debate has raged for 4000 or so years, it'l just rage a little more. I'm gonna go and watch God reveal himself a bit to me by watching the snow fill my backyard. Cheers.
You might possibly a nondualist, or monist (in western philosophical terms), a nondual philosophical or religious perspective or theory maintains that there is no fundamental distinction between mind and matter, and that all views are simply different aspects of one underlying truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monism

Also, I completely agree with your other assertion, today we're continuing to witness the friction caused by 1000s of years of exclusionism, controversy generated by sects that see followers of other beliefs as their inferiors. The fact is, most people want to be "right", and they'll go to great lengths to exert their spiritual "superiority"... and usually this comes at the expense of their own enrichment.
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Dec 14, 2005, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by zerostar
I tend to agree, if you believe in something you should have a understanding of what and why you believe, perhaps it changes with a God since one can not be proven to exist.
Have you spent decades trying to find "It", or simply going on your own "gut feeling"? To speak in absolute terms, such as the above, is not only unscientific, it's also exclusionary... which is part of the problem discussed above.
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Dec 15, 2005, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by wgscott
If they don't know anything about the god, why do they think one exists?
http://members.aol.com/plweiss1/veritas.htm

I can think of lots of reasons. Here are some simple explanations of some philosophical arguments. This is a Christian page, but notice how none of the arguments require a Christian god. Most arguments of this sort require little more from god than omnipotence and omniscience. It is perfectly reasonable for someone who accepts an argument of this type to admit that god may not have been revealed to humanity as the major monothesistic religions claim.

Originally Posted by wgscott
People invent gods as explanations for things they don't understand or to comfort them when facing their own mortality, or sometimes because they need a companion.
That's probably part of it. Meme theory seems particularly useful in explaining the existence of religion. The possibilities are many. I wouldn't be surprised if dominance relationships play a role. Religious behavior may also have evolved to play some role in the formation and maintenance of cultural unity and identity.

Originally Posted by wgscott
The idea that there is no god should be the null hypothesis. Once you posit the existence of god, then you are faced with a whole host of problems, like the problem of evil (how is it that god permitted the Holocaust to happen, and so on).
This is only a problem faced with certain conceptions of god.
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Dec 15, 2005, 08:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
I'm looking for a term that is general enough to apply to both of my friends but one that wouldn't apply to a mainstream Christian, Muslim or Agnostic. Does anyone see a need for such a term or am I just being goofy?
What's a "mainstream Agnostic"?
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Dec 15, 2005, 11:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Stradlater
What's a "mainstream Agnostic"?
Basically most people who call themselves atheists or agnostics.
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Dec 15, 2005, 11:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
Basically most people who call themselves atheists or agnostics.
I know; I just wouldn't call it "mainstream."
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Dec 16, 2005, 08:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
Basically most people who call themselves atheists or agnostics.

If you are agnostic, you aren't atheist.
     
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Dec 16, 2005, 09:14 AM
 
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Dec 16, 2005, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko
If you are agnostic, you aren't atheist.
Some agnostics leave all possibilities to the wind; others discount all formal religions, but leave open the chance of something more that we haven't yet detected. The latter is considered, by many, atheist rather than agnostic.

You're right, though, and it all boils down to semantics.
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Dec 16, 2005, 10:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by wgscott
If they don't know anything about the god, why do they think one exists?

I don't know anything about 800 lb hot pink rabbits orbiting Jupiter, whether it is good or evil or neutral.
FYI, it is good.
     
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Dec 18, 2005, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko
If you are agnostic, you aren't atheist.
I consider myself both.
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Dec 18, 2005, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
I consider myself both.
No offense, dude, but you're being inconsistent.

You create this thread in an attempt to get specific with concepts and words that could describe them, yet you can't be specific with the words that you DO use.
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Dec 18, 2005, 01:13 PM
 
I'm not being inconsistent. As you said, it all comes down to semantics. I am an agnostic because I accept that I cannot scientifically determine that god does not exist. I know nothing about the nature of existence or reality outside of my limited perspective on this little sphere we call earth. I am an atheist because I have no god and I see no evidence that one exists.
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Dec 19, 2005, 12:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
I'm not being inconsistent. As you said, it all comes down to semantics. I am an agnostic because I accept that I cannot scientifically determine that god does not exist. I know nothing about the nature of existence or reality outside of my limited perspective on this little sphere we call earth. I am an atheist because I have no god and I see no evidence that one exists.
An atheist claims there is no God. From m-w.com:
Main Entry: athe·ist
Pronunciation: 'A-thE-ist
Function: noun
: one who believes that there is no deity
And Agnostic says there is no way of knowing. From m-w.com:
Main Entry: ag·nos·tic
Pronunciation: ag-'näs-tik, &g-
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek agnOstos unknown, unknowable, from a- + gnOstos known, from gignOskein to know -- more at KNOW
: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and prob. unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
So, Stradlater is right. You are being inconsistent. Do you believe there is no God (atheist) or do you believe we don't know whether there is a God or not (agnostic)?
     
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Dec 19, 2005, 12:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
An atheist claims there is no God. From m-w.com:

And Agnostic says there is no way of knowing. From m-w.com:

So, Stradlater is right. You are being inconsistent. Do you believe there is no God (atheist) or do you believe we don't know whether there is a God or not (agnostic)?
There can be said to be two schools of atheism. Strong atheism makes the specific claim that God simply does not exist. Weak atheism is merely a lack of belief in a God, which is compatible with the idea that God's existence is unprovable (agnosticism).
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Dec 19, 2005, 03:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
There can be said to be two schools of atheism. Strong atheism makes the specific claim that God simply does not exist. Weak atheism is merely a lack of belief in a God, which is compatible with the idea that God's existence is unprovable (agnosticism).
OK, I would say that I'm an atheist according to that definition, but if one day we discover that some powerful advanced aliens created human life, I'm not about to start worshipping them.

Who needs a god when you can just be a secular humanist anyway?
     
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Dec 19, 2005, 05:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
There can be said to be two schools of atheism. Strong atheism makes the specific claim that God simply does not exist. Weak atheism is merely a lack of belief in a God, which is compatible with the idea that God's existence is unprovable (agnosticism).
Find me a dictionary or other refrence link that supports what you have to say and I will believe you. Until then, I'll go with the establish definitions.

Words have meaning. How can "weak" atheism, a lack of belief in God, be any different then "strong" atheism, which claims God doesn't exist? Are you saying because one is vocal and one is not that they are different beliefs?

If you don't believe God exists ("weak" atheism according to you), how is that any different then making the claim that God does not exist ("strong atheism" according to you).

To me, that is the same thing. A belief that god does not exist. Atheism.

Actually, it sounds to me like you are calling agnosticism "weak atheism".
     
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Dec 19, 2005, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
An atheist claims there is no God. From m-w.com:

And Agnostic says there is no way of knowing. From m-w.com:

So, Stradlater is right. You are being inconsistent. Do you believe there is no God (atheist) or do you believe we don't know whether there is a God or not (agnostic)?
Here you go. It's a definition from Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary:

"atheist: one who denies or disbelieves in the existence of God."

And another from the full paper addition of Webster's:

"atheism: (from Greek atheos, "godless, not believing in the existence of gods) 1a: disbelief in the existence of God or any other deity b: the doctrine that there is neither God nor any other deity 2: godlessness esp. in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness."

I think very few atheists will deny that they have definitive knowledge that "God" does not exist, so far as the meaning of that word is even intelligible. Many atheists will deny that specific religious doctrines are true because of their contradictory or antiscientific worldviews. I hope that helps. :-)
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Dec 19, 2005, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell
I always said I'm just the opposite: Religious groups do a lot of good things, it's that supernatural crap I can't buy into.
Same here.

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Dec 19, 2005, 12:40 PM
 
Do they think they just don't know, or do they think that "god" CAN'T be known?
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Dec 19, 2005, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by RAILhead
Do they think they just don't know, or do they think that "god" CAN'T be known?
They probably wouldn't positively affirm that god definitely cannot be known because of some property inherent to god. This in itself would be the stuff of doctrine.

They are likely to think of God as a "first cause" or "supreme intelligence" or something along those lines. Other than that they profess ignorance and are highly skeptical of people who claim to know "the truth".
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Dec 19, 2005, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Find me a dictionary or other refrence link that supports what you have to say and I will believe you. Until then, I'll go with the establish definitions.

Words have meaning. How can "weak" atheism, a lack of belief in God, be any different then "strong" atheism, which claims God doesn't exist? Are you saying because one is vocal and one is not that they are different beliefs?

If you don't believe God exists ("weak" atheism according to you), how is that any different then making the claim that God does not exist ("strong atheism" according to you).

To me, that is the same thing. A belief that god does not exist. Atheism.

Actually, it sounds to me like you are calling agnosticism "weak atheism".
It sounds to me like you are agreeing that agnosticism and atheism are compatible, but don't want to admit it. "Weak atheism" and agnosticism do have a lot of overlap, which is why I say they're compatible. But since an atheist is defined as somebody who does not believe in a god, and it's possible for an agnostic not to believe in a god (as you just admitted by saying that sounds like agnosticism), an agnostic can be an atheist. That is deductively valid.
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Dec 20, 2005, 01:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
Here you go. It's a definition from Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary:

"atheist: one who denies or disbelieves in the existence of God."

And another from the full paper addition of Webster's:

"atheism: (from Greek atheos, "godless, not believing in the existence of gods) 1a: disbelief in the existence of God or any other deity b: the doctrine that there is neither God nor any other deity 2: godlessness esp. in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness."

I think very few atheists will deny that they have definitive knowledge that "God" does not exist, so far as the meaning of that word is even intelligible. Many atheists will deny that specific religious doctrines are true because of their contradictory or antiscientific worldviews. I hope that helps. :-)
Your definitions back up mine. Your post defends my point. Atheists claim there is not God. They deny existence of a God.

Where are your definitions for agnostics? Agnostics claim there might be a God.

Do you see the difference?
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
It sounds to me like you are agreeing that agnosticism and atheism are compatible, but don't want to admit it. "Weak atheism" and agnosticism do have a lot of overlap, which is why I say they're compatible. But since an atheist is defined as somebody who does not believe in a god, and it's possible for an agnostic not to believe in a god (as you just admitted by saying that sounds like agnosticism), an agnostic can be an atheist. That is deductively valid.
then you heard wrong. They are not compatible at all. I deny your claim here. there is nothing I don't want to admit.

I understand the meanings of the words. You are twisting the definitions.

An agnostic is not an atheist.

Agnostic: There might be a God. "I don't know."
Atheist: There is not God. "I know."

See the difference?
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 02:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Your definitions back up mine. Your post defends my point. Atheists claim there is not God. They deny existence of a God.

Where are your definitions for agnostics? Agnostics claim there might be a God.

Do you see the difference?
Read the definitions I posted again. Notice the use of the word "disbelieve". Here's the definition from Webster's:

"disbelieve: vt to hold not to be true or real; reject or withhold belief in. ti to withhold or reject belief."

Now do you see? An atheist can be an agnostic. Many are, including myself. Agnosticism is a position regarding the knowability of the existence of god. Atheism is a position regarding belief in the existence of a god. The difference is a little subtle, but important.

Edit: Here's a definition of Agnosticism from Webster's:

"agnosticism: 1a: the doctrine that the existence or nature of any ultimate reality is unknown and probably unknowable or that any knowledge about matters of ultimate concern is impossible or improbable; specif: the doctrine that God or any first cause is unknown and probably unknowable. b: a doctrine affirming that the existence of a god is possible but denying that there are any sufficient reasons for holding either that he does or does not exist."
Is it not reasonable to anticipate that our understanding of the human mind would be aided greatly by knowing the purpose for which it was designed?
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Dec 20, 2005, 03:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
Read the definitions I posted again. Notice the use of the word "disbelieve". Here's the definition from Webster's:

"disbelieve: vt to hold not to be true or real; reject or withhold belief in. ti to withhold or reject belief."

Now do you see? An atheist can be an agnostic. Many are, including myself. Agnosticism is a position regarding the knowability of the existence of god. Atheism is a position regarding belief in the existence of a god. The difference is a little subtle, but important.

Edit: Here's a definition of Agnosticism from Webster's:

"agnosticism: 1a: the doctrine that the existence or nature of any ultimate reality is unknown and probably unknowable or that any knowledge about matters of ultimate concern is impossible or improbable; specif: the doctrine that God or any first cause is unknown and probably unknowable. b: a doctrine affirming that the existence of a god is possible but denying that there are any sufficient reasons for holding either that he does or does not exist."
Again, you are supporting what I am saying.

Atheists disbelieve in the existence of God. They say (from your definitions): I hold it "not to be true" the existence of God. or I "reject" belief in the existence of God.

Agnostics say (again, from your definitions): I neither believe nor disblieve in the existence of God because we cannot know for sure, and it is unknowable but it is possible, God exists.

Do you see the difference? It is HUGE!!!
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 03:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Again, you are supporting what I am saying.

Atheists disbelieve in the existence of God. They say (from your definitions): I hold it "not to be true" the existence of God. or I "reject" belief in the existence of God.

Agnostics say (again, from your definitions): I neither believe nor disblieve in the existence of God because we cannot know for sure, and it is unknowable but it is possible, God exists.

Do you see the difference? It is HUGE!!!
My definition of Agnostic doesn't even have the word "believe" in it! It isn't belief agnosticism refers to but knowledge.

"Did you even read my definition of "disbelieve"? Notice that "disbelieve" can also mean to "withhold belief".

Here's Oxford's definition:

"disbelieve: 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the reality of. (With simple object or object clause). b. a person making a statement. 2. absol. or intr. Whatley Commonpl. Bk. (1864) It is very evident that the opposite to credulity is scepticism, and that to disbelieve is to believe. 3. intr. with in.: Not to believe in; to have no faith in."

And the F&W Definition:

"disbelief: Lack of belief"

People who withhold belief in god are rightly considered atheists. Most don't go as far to believe positively that no god exists. Those that do, of course, are still considered atheists but not agnostics.
Is it not reasonable to anticipate that our understanding of the human mind would be aided greatly by knowing the purpose for which it was designed?
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Dec 20, 2005, 03:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
then you heard wrong. They are not compatible at all. I deny your claim here. there is nothing I don't want to admit.

I understand the meanings of the words. You are twisting the definitions.

An agnostic is not an atheist.

Agnostic: There might be a God. "I don't know."
Atheist: There is not God. "I know."

See the difference?
Yes, you are putting words into the mouths of atheists. Even by

An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a god. He doesn't have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no god. You can pull a definition out of some dictionary that "supports" your argument by not phrasing it the exact same way I do, but "someone who does not believe in a god" is a valid definition of "atheist." Even the definition you gave doesn't say the person claims knowledge of god's nonexistence — just that he doesn't believe it to be fact. He may in fact not believe in God, but also believe that his position is unprovable. If you simply take it as given that the word cannot possibly mean that, then we have no common ground on which to discuss things and there is no point in continuing the discussion.
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Dec 20, 2005, 04:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
If you simply take it as given that the word cannot possibly mean that, then we have no common ground on which to discuss things and there is no point in continuing the discussion.
I thought that was clear from the begining.

My point of biew: I don't know why you want a definition to mean something it doesn't. You are complicating definitions. It's VERY simple.

Atheists are sure God does not exist. Very simple. Easy to understand. Do you disagree?

Agnostics are not sure God does not exist. Again, very simple. Easy to understand. Do you disagree?
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 04:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scientist
My definition of Agnostic doesn't even have the word "believe" in it! It isn't belief agnosticism refers to but knowledge.

"Did you even read my definition of "disbelieve"? Notice that "disbelieve" can also mean to "withhold belief".

Here's Oxford's definition:

"disbelieve: 1. trans. Not to believe or credit; to refuse credence to: a. a statement or (alleged) fact: To reject the reality of. (With simple object or object clause). b. a person making a statement. 2. absol. or intr. Whatley Commonpl. Bk. (1864) It is very evident that the opposite to credulity is scepticism, and that to disbelieve is to believe. 3. intr. with in.: Not to believe in; to have no faith in."

And the F&W Definition:

"disbelief: Lack of belief"

People who withhold belief in god are rightly considered atheists. Most don't go as far to believe positively that no god exists. Those that do, of course, are still considered atheists but not agnostics.
Am I going to have to explain to you the definition of every word I use to you?!?

http://www.answers.com/belief&r=67

be·lief (bĭ-lēf')
n.
1 The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another: My belief in you is as strong as ever.
2 Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief.
3 Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons.

I am begining to think you simply hate having your mistakes pointed out to you.
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 04:05 AM
 
http://www.answers.com/believe

be·lieve (bĭ-lēv')

v., -lieved, -liev·ing, -lieves.

v.tr.
1 To accept as true or real: Do you believe the news stories?
2 To credit with veracity: I believe you.
3 To expect or suppose; think: I believe they will arrive shortly.
v.intr.
1 To have firm faith, especially religious faith.
2 To have faith, confidence, or trust: I believe in your ability to solve the problem.
3 To have confidence in the truth or value of something: We believe in free speech.
4 To have an opinion; think: They have already left, I believe.
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 04:10 AM
 
http://www.answers.com/agnostic
ag·nos·tic (ăg-nŏs'tĭk)
n.
1a One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
b One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism
.
2 One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

http://www.answers.com/atheism
a·the·ism (ā'thē-ĭz'əm)
n.
1 a Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
b The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

2 Godlessness; immorality.

Do you disagree with these definitions?
     
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Dec 20, 2005, 05:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader
Atheists are sure God does not exist. Very simple. Easy to understand. Do you disagree?

Agnostics are not sure God does not exist. Again, very simple. Easy to understand. Do you disagree?
I would agree with the second statement, but not the first. One may be sure about atheism, but atheism is just a belief that can be held with varying degrees of surety. (And more to the point, it can be held for different reasons. Agnosticism is not so much a belief about God's existence as it is about God's knowability.)
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