Impossibillity?

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@L B
Atheism is definitively not a religion:
re·li·gion
/riˈlijən/
Noun

1. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.
2. Details of belief as taught or discussed.

Atheists don't believe in any "superhuman controlling power" and they definitely don't believe in any personal gods. Also, that self-aggrandising "agnostics know better" sentiment is really irritating. Sites like Reddit are a circlejerk of those sorts of self-congratulating pseudo-intellectual people (agnostic as well as atheist ones).

I have a question for you, and any other supposedly agnostic people: Do you believe in any gods? You don't? Then you're an atheist too.

I don't believe agnostics exist, except within the camps of atheists and theists (i.e., there are gnostic theists and atheists, and agnostic theists and atheists, but no-one is "just agnostic"). Also, agnosticism makes the statement that "it is not possible to know whether there are gods". I believe this statement requires faith; I believe it is not possible to know whether it is possible to know whether there are gods, so I'm an agnagnostic.
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1. I was being satirical
2. Atheism has "theism" in it, and I associate that with religion.
chrisname wrote:
I have a question for you, and any other supposedly agnostic people: Do you believe in any gods? You don't? Then you're an atheist too.
I'm not sure, there might be gods or a god or some creator, there might not be. But I'm not going to blindly believe that there definitely is or there definitely isn't.


Religion used to give us two things: an explanation of the natural world, and morals to live by. Today however, science gives us an explanation of the natural world, so I only see religion as giving morals to live by. I follow (some) Christian morals, but I go by "Agnostic".

You can label my beliefs whatever you want, I follow science and logical thinking. So far science hasn't proved there is or is not a god, so I don't believe there is or isn't.
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L B wrote:
But I'm not going to blindly believe that there definitely is or there definitely isn't.

Right, but atheists don't necessarily believe that there definitely aren't any gods, we just don't believe there are any. It's a sceptical position. That's why I don't think agnosticism is a position by itself. I think it's more useful as a qualifier to atheism or theism. As for morals, I don't believe any objective morals exist, so I follow my own.

So far science hasn't proved there is or is not a god, so I don't believe there is or isn't.

There are lots of statements that haven't been proven true or false. There are a lot of statements that can't be proven true or false. For example, the statement "no man lives forever" can only be proven false by observing a man living forever, which is impossible; while the statement "some men live forever" can only be proven true by observing a man living for ever, which, again, is impossible. But you don't believe in men who live forever, do you? Then there are things like unicorns, fairies, etc. - things which have never been reliably documented or proven to exist, that you (presumably) don't believe in. Why make an exception for gods? To me, it seems the only reason why people are so hesitant to say "I don't believe in gods" is because of the dogmatic, knee-jerk responses they get from other people who do believe in them. "Your [lack of] belief is offensive to me! Tolerate my intolerance!" and so forth. If you have to be agnostic about gods, then you have to be agnostic about all proposed, but not disproved, beings. But no-one is. And this is why I, and (in my opinion) all agnostics, are atheists.
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chrisname wrote:
But you don't believe in men who live forever, do you?
Actually, I entertain the theory that you will only experience the universes in which you live, so if there's any chance in any universe that you will live forever, you will.

You also have to consider a definition of observe that makes it possible to observe an infinite timespan.

We can keep discussing this if you want, I'm not currently in a state to try and argue any points you make, but it might be interesting to continue.
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@chris,
I think I recall you claiming to be agnostic at some point and it might be that I, being a dick, have accused someone of a sort of hypocrisy, when they said they were agnostic. It's silly how often these things change, but that's alright. In fact I am of the opinion that people tend to have fewer opinions than they think and just play along most of the time (speaking from personal experience). Anyway...

Do you believe in any gods?
"believe" and "god" are really vague. One could call the physical world a god (it is certainly omniscient and omnipotent, at least). That aside, faith is not a binary option. I enjoy thinking of it similarly to the axiom of choice* - both worldviews with and without it are of some interest and there is no measure by which one is right and the other is wrong.

agnagnostic
It is not possible to know whether there are gods because there is no consensus on what a god should be. If at year 3013, we all agree that a god must be a giant green leprechaun at some specific point of our universe, then agnostics will need to find an excuse. For now they're okay.

*a math thing. mathematical models both with it and without it are very commonly used. While it could be argued whether it is intuitively true, there is hardly such thing as believing or not believing in it. I suggest googling ZFC
Most of my stances/opinions are just a quick summary of my experiences based on logic, and I try to make them as broad and specific as needed, but yeah, they're not perfect stances. I side with hamsterman.

Atheism (the belief that God doesn't exist) is as irrational as believing that God does exist.


Really? Your honestly telling me that believing in an invisible, all powerful person in the sky, that somehow manages to influence society on a day to day basis, and notices and attends to your own personal problems out of the BILLIONS of people in the world, is as irrational as saying that it doesn't exist...

Religion is based on whimsy, and fear of death. It came about before people knew science, and wanted to explain things that were out of their understanding. So what do they say? "Magic!"

And you're really putting that on the same level as Atheism?
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hellfire1 wrote:
Your honestly telling me that believing in an invisible, all powerful person in the sky, that somehow manages to influence society on a day to day basis, and notices and attends to your own personal problems out of the BILLIONS of people in the world, is as irrational as saying that it doesn't exist...


who said that--you really made hellfire1 mad.
Clearly there are differing opinions about the difference between agnosticism and atheism, and my understanding may very well be flawed.
Also, this is obviously a hot button topic, so "peace".

When I say I'm an agnostic I mean simply "I don't know".

I would actually prefer to believe in God, and I hope that I can find that someday.
The big problem for me comes when I read the news. The pain, destruction and death which occurs each and every day makes it very hard to believe there's any God that cares about what's going on down here.
It's the love I feel for my children that helps me keep an open mind about it.

I suspect that the only hope for me to acquire a belief in God will be through experience with doing charitable work (so I should get busy with that).
Hopefully It would allow me to see that my expectations are childish.

@Cubbi. I'm sorry but your post was a bit too cryptic for me to catch solidly.
Did hamsterman interpret correctly?

@Hellfire1. It's a difficult position, and I used to feel differently about it. I used to think that Atheism is the more rational position. I guess I look at both the same way because it helps me to maintain a neutral position on the issue.
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@hellfire1 believing that a god exists doesn't imply that the god believed in has all the characteristics you described. Some people believe there is a creator of the universe we're in, but they don't expect him to influence our world and attend to everyone - there are many different beliefs.
fun2code wrote:
@Cubbi. I'm sorry but your post was a bit too cryptic for me to catch solidly.

My remark was just to point out the absurdity of calling the opposite of T a kind of T.

It's a common problem with theists: many of them can imagine people worshiping other gods (it's the 1st commandment after all, for the judeo-christians), but can't comprehend having no gods at all, exemplified by the saying about foxholes.

Whether the person is atheist because they never heard of any gods, or because they understand them as recurring mythological characters or because they blame religious conflict for wars and acts of genocide, or because they know too much about biology or physics to leave any room for magic or intelligence in natural design or because they simply couldn't care less, there are plenty of ways one can have no religious beliefs.
Careful, religious beliefs != theistic beliefs. It also depends on what you consider a religious belief to be.

Basically, religion is a touchy and ambiguous subject and I prefer to state my stance without even mentioning it; that way people can interpret it any way they want.

The most dangerous thing you can do is compare religion to cults.

Whether the person is atheist ... because they know too much about biology or physics to leave any room for magic or intelligence in natural design


Did you really just say that? Magic? Really... magic?

I was under the impression that we were far enough out of the dark ages to realize that there is no such thing as "magic".

*Though I guess there's still Wicca, isn't there.

If you insert the word magic into intelligent arguements, it's time to stop playing D&D or the like.
Anything known to work without the knowledge of how it works is magic.

Wi-Fi is magic to me.

Code formatting on these forums should be automagic.

In other words, magic is contextual. Saying there is no such thing is saying you know how everything works.
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@hellfire1
He was calling religious belief magic as hyperbole, calm down.

@L B
To be fair, I have never heard of a deist religion, only theist ones. It's pretty reasonable to equate the two.
I never said it had to be possible to prove the existence or inexistance of one or more gods. Just that I don't know and will not be purely one way or the other. I guess you could call me open-minded, but that's for others to decide, not me.
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Anything known to work without the knowledge of how it works is magic.

Wi-Fi is magic to me.

Code formatting on these forums should be automagic.

In other words, magic is contextual. Saying there is no such thing is saying you know how everything works.


Except now we cycle back around once again to the very reason why religion popped up in the first place. I'm pretty sure if I were an indigenous population a long time ago, I wouldn't know how volcanoes worked either, and be pretty certain that some spirit was really pissed off at me.

Nowadays though, no one attributes volcanoes to angry gods. That's because of science. Religion says things just happen, science finds out why, and then that bit of religion goes away.

Religion just fills in the gaps that ignorance creates.

The only thing religion is still holding onto is the whole "How did it all start" arguement, and that's because science just can't answer it yet. But when it does, it'll be the best "I told you so" moment in history.
Also consider that religion may be a survival instinct. Like many survival instincts, it may be hindering society and we may not need it anymore.
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Also consider that religion may be a survival instinct.


People threw themselves at swords in the name of religion during the crusades.

Nowadays some extremists blow themselves up for religion.

While I understand the point of what you're trying to say, I hardly think religion can be called a "survival instinct".
I would think religion was just early science if it wasn't also used to control the masses in the same way world wide.

I find religious people although 'religious' not very spiritual people at all, very shallow and 'matter of fact' in-fact.

and science doesn't claim to be found like religion does

I actually think religion will completely be replaced with science in the next century or two, the people who can't question a lot of things that are happening around them due to their religion seem to be in crisis, they are also losing the moral high ground arguments which is something they always thought they deserved an unquestioning right to.

Im not saying this is good though, It wont change anything, you will still get bigoted right wing nut-jobs, there will still be odd 'legitimate rape' dissonance from crazy minister types.
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