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Athiests: Why not agnostic?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by SexyButIgnorant, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. treeman

    treeman Member

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    And we are clearly not going to agree on this. You think that the word "faith" is relevant only to a discussion of particular theologies, I disagree. Note in the definition of faith that three of the four definitions begin with the word "believe". Belief is also a synonym for faith.

    You are correct that there really isn't much to debate if you can't even agree on what words have what meanings.
     
  2. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    I am sure they were real people. That doesn't make them gods.

    You have faith that they are gods - no evidence that they were gods, you just think they were because someone told you based on a very old book.

    So hey, believe what you want. But for me, I don't operate on faith. I operate on my senses and what I experience, and find a commonality with others who also question and seek the truth.
     
  3. treeman

    treeman Member

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    IEh, I don't think that too many people are going to argue Thor's existence. Quite a few will argue God's, whether it be from the Christian, Jewish, or Muslim perspective. So no, you're not going to get that agreement and no, the word "know" obviously does not apply.
     
  4. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    Let's find something we do agree on, then.

    Do you accept that there is a distinction to be made here between believing something based on reason/evidence (without knowing it to be true) versus believing something to be true without reason/evidence?

    If someone believes Jesus to have performed all the miracles described in the Bible, that's a different type of belief then believing in, for example, Einstein's theory of relativity. Neither is firm "knowledge" (maybe Einstein's theory is flawed in some way we don't yet understand), but one has lots of evidence to support it and the other does not. It seems you want to describe both as "faith", but surely you'd agree there is a qualitative difference in having "faith" in something based on experiment/evidence versus having faith that's not based on experiment/evidence.
     
  5. treeman

    treeman Member

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    It doesn't preclude the possibility either. I don't know for certain either way, and neither do you.

    No, only one of them...

    [quote - no evidence that they were gods, you just think they were because someone told you based on a very old book. [/quote]

    And you have no evidence that they are NOT Gods. Do you realize that it is virtually impossible to prove that something does not exist? Actually, unless you have perfect, complete knowledge of every single aspect of existence, it IS impossible.

    You are in denial. You DO operate on faith - faith that there is no God. You are certain of it by your own admission - far more certain than I am of the God that I believe in. I recognize the possibility that I could be wrong in my belief and that this is all a big cosmic joke. You, on the other hand, fail to recognize the possibility that there actually *is* a deity simply because you have not personally observed or recognized evidence of its existence.

    Certainty in either belief or nonbelief either means that A) you know something the rest of humanity doesn't, or B) you are as much of a zealot as the most ardent Islamist or radical fundamentalist Christian.
     
  6. treeman

    treeman Member

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    No, not really. There are only degrees of certainty based upon available evidence.

    The only real difference is that we have accumulated more evidence for relativity than we have for Jesus' miracles. All we have is hearsay for the latter, and that is all that we will ever have. Of course, keep in mind that relativity is still a theory, and not a law, and that there is some question about even that well-established and supported theory. But we can agree on its utility because in most situations it seems to apply and work.

    It's all faith when you get right down to it. For all we know this is simply as gigantic computer simulation we are living, and somewhere some super-smart mouse is hysterically laughing and rolling on the ground mumbling "42, the answer is 42...". We literally "know" nothing, as I explained in an earlier post. You are simply mincing words when you try to haggle over what is faith and what is belief - they are synonymous, as I pointed out.
     
  7. treeman

    treeman Member

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  8. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

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    All gods have just as much evidence of existence. So, not sure why there would be different levels of agreement. We are being philosophical here, right? Otherwise, we could just say we know there is no god. But, just like we can't prove our own existence, we can't prove nor disprove something that has no evidence of existing.
     
  9. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    First of all, you need to calm down here.

    You know how I am so certain that your god Christ or any deity for that matter isn't real? Because it contradicts the truth I have uncovered in my life on many many levels. I am as certain as I am certain of anything. There are no absolutes, but it's as close to certain as I am certain that I am real.

    The god that is created in the bible doesn't fit with the universe. Whatever is out there...isn't concerned with reward and punishment. That construct is evidence of a human moral framework not a holy one. It shows a god created in man's image, not the other way around.

    Look you can say that's my faith or my reality. It doesn't matter. I honestly don't even care if Christ is a god or not to be honest. It's literally immaterial to me.
     
  10. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    In science, the degree to which one believes in something should be in proportion to how well it agrees with the evidence observable by us.

    When one knowingly chooses to believe strongly in something with little to no evidence (hearsay, thousands of years removed, is at best an extremely weak form of evidence, I hope you can agree), that's a different category of thinking than the scientific ideal of forming beliefs based on evidence and reason. "Faith" is the word I use for it, and I'd say it is the word most people use for it. You can choose a different word if you like -- I'm no more interested in semantic arguments than you. But that doesn't change the fact that it is a very different type of thinking that leads to such beliefs.

    Do you disagree with any of that?
     
  11. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Eh, one more quick post before work...

    I think we are talking about different things here. I think we will all agree that Thor doesn't exist because none of us actually believe that. We will not agree that God doesn't exist because a sizeable majority of the earth's population still believes that one does.

    None of us knows for sure either way (except for Sweet Lou 4 2, I suppose), which I think we can agree on.

    I'm pretty calm. Are you?

    This is EXACTLY what a radical Christian/Muslim/Jew would say about their own faith. Thanks much for proving my point. And my only point here is that your "certainty" is false, it is a construct of your own individual perceptions, and not a direct function of reality.

    That's between you and God. ;)

    I can agree with most of it, and that arguing the semantics of it gets us nowhere. I would just say that science is the art of enabling more certainty for the purpose of understanding our reality better, nothing more. And yes, I would agree that hearsay thousands of years removed is not strong evidence, but it all boils down to what level of certainty you are willing to accept. I suppose it is degrees of faith. Either way.

    OK, now really got to go to work.
     
  12. RedEyesKirby

    RedEyesKirby Member

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    I want to participate in on this a bit if you don't mind. There are different kinds of evidence the world operate on. One of the major one is scientific evidence as you say. But another evidence the world operates on is historic evidence. So it's really unfair to say that he operated his faith with little to no evidence because the bible is well known to match up with many historical evidence.
     
  13. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    No, because i don't make any leaps of faith - which is what any Christian, Muslim Jew all share whether radical or not.

    My certainty is based on reality - not my personal reality - but the shared reality based on empirical science. Science i.e. deductive factual reasoning. My certainty isn't based on faith, it isn't based on what someone told me, or what my personal perspective is. It is based on logical consistencies and deductive reasoning from the data that is available to all.

    And that information makes it very clear that these deities are invented by mankind. That's ok if you believe in them if it makes you happy and brings you peace. I applaud that. I think they can serve a useful function for people.

    Just because they are myths and fairy tales, should be an issue with you. But I don't think you should tell me that i have "faith" they don't exist. That's not for you to say. And comparing it to radicalism....

    I know what you are trying to do here. You are trying to say I am "extreme" and "absolutist" just like extremists. But that is not the case. I am simply someone who looks at the available evidence and data and that information is clear that there are no gods as described by religions. I am as certain of that as I am the sun will rise tomorrow.
     
  14. bongman

    bongman Member

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    There ya go. Believability is based on how many people subscribe to a particular claim? What logic. SMH. At one point in time, this was also true for Thor, Zeus, Posiedon and all the other greek gods. Where are they now?

    Based on this logic, when the time comes where there are more atheist than believers, will you then admit that god does not exist? I bet you the answer is NO. The number of non-believers is growing every year and it reasonable to think that one day, we will be the majority.
     
  15. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    The only difference between believing in Thor and believing in the Christian god is the time that has lapsed between both religions. We teach dead religions as mythology. Living religions are just waiting to join that club.

    Again, treeman, you seem to be unwilling to include actual evidence in your thought process. You just dismiss all real-world evidence that shapes our thought process as 'faith,' when it is actually EVIDENCE!

    There is exactly as much evidence that says that Thor exists as there is that the Christian god exists. You very easily dismiss one of them, for some reason. I dismiss both of them. Who has the more logical thought process...me or you?
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    Not at all. :)

    Historical evidence can help reconstruct events from the past, but we still should apply our modern understanding of the world in interpreting that evidence.

    If there is an historical document claiming a band of vampires rose from the dead and went on a rampage 500 years ago, we shouldn't just ignore our current understanding of the natural world and accept it as hard, valid evidence. Any claim, contemporary or historical, that goes against our understanding of how things work should be viewed with more skepticism and requires greater burden of proof.

    I have no trouble believing many stories about Jesus in the Bible, but I'd sooner believe claims of miracles to be embellishments by his followers to enhance his stature than something that actually happened.
     
  17. CrazyDave

    CrazyDave Contributing Member

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    These arguments get more and more boring. Those who are overly sure of what is or isn't going on are fine with me, as long as they don't use their perspective to insult, belittle, or oppress those of other perspectives. To do so shows a lack in character, in my opinion.

    The thread was a question about Atheism, and honestly it's been answered here many times before. I doubt those of opposing sides are going to come to an agreement on the existence of a God or lack of existence of a god, so someone give him the latest stock "Gnostic Agnostic Atheism Theism" answer again and move on.

    If people have this much trouble agreeing on terminology, coming to a consensus on the existence of a Supreme Being probably isn't going to happen before regular season tipoff this fall.
     
    #97 CrazyDave, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  18. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    This is the one thing that I always take away from this type of discussion. Whether they're athiest, thiest, or whatever... Some people are just assholes.
     
  19. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Definitely spot on. It's an arrogance inherent in religious belief to believe in the one God of your religion and dismiss every other God throughout human history. If the one is real, why aren't the rest real? And if they're all real then it's just a shop for your god type thing that makes it all pretty irrelevant.
     
  20. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    I understand what you were saying perfectly, my comments was referring to your first point:"It takes faith to not believing something".

    No it does not. Just like bald is not considered a hair color and not collecting stamps is not a hobby. Not believing something is not a belief, nor is it based on faith, it's the logical and rational position one should take when there's insufficient evidences for certain claims.
     

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