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I don't see why we have to be one type of atheist, all the time.

#1Faust_8Posted 7/27/2013 1:59:01 PM
You'll hear lots of us say we're agnostic atheists, or weak atheists, or even strong atheists, and so on. But...doesn't it depend on the religion you're talking about?

Deist, non-interfering god? I have to go with pure agnostic on that one, pretty much.
Zeus? Strong atheist. Zeus does not exist.
Xenu/Scientology? Lol strong atheist.
Yahweh? Eh, I think there's arguments for both weak and strong atheism on this one. I'm not a strong atheist about it...although I guess I almost am.

The point is I don't see why we have to take a broad stroke and describe ourselves as one kind. It obviously depends on the god in question. It's tempting to say you're a weak atheist in general because there could be gods that we don't know about or something like that, but with regards to some gods we're not always weak atheist about it, and there's no real need to define yourself this way.
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#2JonWood007Posted 7/27/2013 2:05:27 PM
I don't either. I'm more open to deistic versions of God than religious versions.
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#3Hustle KongPosted 7/27/2013 2:05:35 PM
While I see what you're getting at, I think it's perfectly okay to say one is a weak atheist in general, and that you think this or that specific god does not exist.

The term atheist already sometimes causes enough confusion, and so I tend to prefer using as broadly applicable a term as possible.
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#4hunter_gohanPosted 7/27/2013 2:08:48 PM
Faust_8 posted...
It's tempting to say you're a weak atheist in general because there could be gods that we don't know about or something like that, but with regards to some gods we're not always weak atheist about it, and there's no real need to define yourself this way.


Yeah that's kinda what I've always done. Agnostic atheist in general, but an honest creationist YHWH god? Nope doesn't exist.
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#5C_MatPosted 7/27/2013 2:11:23 PM(edited)
Atheism: The theory or belief that God does not exist.

So you're either an atheist, or you're not. It sounds stupid to say that you're an atheist to one religion and agnostic to another. I'm a Christian; just because I don't believe in Islam's Allah does not mean I'm an atheist by anyone's definition of the word.

For some reason, atheists like to play around with the definition of atheism or pretend they don't know what it means, when it's not a flexible definition.

Atheism is incompatible with agnosticism or theism. You cannot be an agnostic atheist; agnostics are unsure whether God exists, atheists believe that God does not exist. You cannot simultaneously say you don't know if God exists and also hold the position that God does not exist. That would be like saying "I don't believe that unicorns exist and I'm not sure if they do." Again, it sounds stupid.

/endrant
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#6hunter_gohanPosted 7/27/2013 2:15:03 PM
C_Mat posted...
For some reason, atheists like to play around with the definition of atheism or pretend they don't know what it means, when it's not a flexible definition.


2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism?show=0&t=1374959463

Disbelief in X is not the same as belief in ~X. Belief in ~X certainly falls under disbelief in X, but disbelief in X doesn't fall under belief in ~X. Like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

Atheism is incompatible with agnosticism or theism. You cannot be an agnostic atheist; agnostics are unsure whether God exists, atheists are sure God does not exist.


Theist/athetist deals with belief. Agnostic/gnostic deals with knowledge. You can quite easily not know that gods (or a certain god) doesn't exist while still not believing it does.
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#7C_MatPosted 7/27/2013 2:30:59 PM
hunter_gohan posted...
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism?show=0&t=1374959463

Disbelief in X is not the same as belief in ~X. Belief in ~X certainly falls under disbelief in X, but disbelief in X doesn't fall under belief in ~X. Like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.


I agree, but this is is not an issue of X and ~X. This is an issue of X, Y and Z and each of those definitions are mutually exclusive.

Theist/athetist deals with belief. Agnostic/gnostic deals with knowledge. You can quite easily not know that gods (or a certain god) doesn't exist while still not believing it does.


That's a load of crap. I develop a belief based on the knowledge available to me. The theist/atheist is using their knowledge to come to a position on God's existence. The atheist, theist and agnostic are all three using knowledge to some extent. But an atheist's conclusion on God's existence is incompatible with the agnostic's conclusion on God's existence.
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#8hunter_gohanPosted 7/27/2013 3:30:27 PM(edited)
C_Mat posted...
I agree, but this is is not an issue of X and ~X. This is an issue of X, Y and Z and each of those definitions are mutually exclusive.


X is belief in god(s). ~X is no belief in god(s).(Or for it to line up exactly with how I was saying it before, there's belief in god(s) and belief in no god(s). You can reject both of those positions. Rejecting the former makes you an atheist.) What exactly is the third option here? Belief in no gods fall under no belief in gods.

Here, I'll demonstrate. Take the situation where you're trapped in a burning building and attempting to escape. You come upon a door. There are only one of two possibilities.

X: There is a fire behind the door.
~X: There is no fire behind the door.

Now everyone should probably know the actions that must be taken in either of those situations. If there is a fire, then you don't want to open the door. You want to find an alternate escape route. If there is no fire, then you want to open the door and continue your escape.

I come upon the door and reject both X and ~X. I have no knowledge about the existence or lackthereof of any fire behind it, and I'm not just going to blindly pick one and risk losing my escape route or getting some nice big flames in my face. I have disbelief that there is a fire behind the door (err afireist), but that doesn't mean I must believe there is no fire behind it. Instead I'll look for evidence to support one of those conclusion. I.E smoke coming from under the door or a warm door handle. The problem is we're stuck at the gathering evidence phase with gods in general. We don't have any conclusive evidence that says they exist or that they don't.

This is how the vast majority of atheists view atheism. We've had polls on this before. The majority of the "Atheists must believe no gods exists" comes from non-atheists.

That's a load of crap. I develop a belief based on the knowledge available to me.


So do I. The problem is that, in general, there is no evidence for or against gods. Therefore I don't believe they exist or believe they don't exist(again, in general, this thread was started about the problem with that :p).

But an atheist's conclusion on God's existence is incompatible with the agnostic's conclusion on God's existence.


This is only true if you take the false stance that there is a third option between believing in something and not believing in something. This is an actual dichotomy. If you don't believe in something, then you don't believe in it. You can't not believe in something and not not believe in something. The latter is a double negative and means you do believe in that something.

Theist: Believes in one or more gods.
Atheist: literally not-theist. Does not believe in one or more gods. Ever since people first started self-identifying as atheist non belief, not belief in ~X, is what this has meant. Though originally it was solely applied to the Abrahamic God.

Moorish_Idol posted...
It's been a while since we had a "define atheist" debate. I bet ARS will be happy to see this.


Bah, honestly I'll just drop out. I've been through this with him before :/ Still though, that is how atheists view atheism by and large.
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The food that stands on his [Odin's] table he gives to two wolves of his called Geri and Freki. He himself needs no food; wine is for him both drink and meat.
#9Moorish_IdolPosted 7/27/2013 3:20:55 PM
It's been a while since we had a "define atheist" debate. I bet ARS will be happy to see this.
#10Faust_8(Topic Creator)Posted 7/27/2013 3:30:31 PM
Agnostic doesn't mean "I'm not sure" it has to do with if you think it can even be known. Agnostic more accurately means "I can never know if this god exists or not." Hence why gnostic and agnostic can be applied to either theism or atheism.

Gnostic theist--The existence of a god is knowable and I believe in it.
Agnostic theist--The existence of a god is unknowable but I still believe.
Gnostic atheist--The existence of a god is knowable and I don't think it exists.
Agnostic atheist--The existence of a god is unknowable and I don't think it exists.

It has nothing to do with how much you believe in something. Have you even looked it up before?

Not to mention your definition of atheism ONLY makes sense as a duality--as in, capital-G "God" or nothing. Polytheism? A different monotheism? Pantheism? Panentheism? Deism? You don't account for any of these. And that's not even considering that there are other definitions of atheism out there. Ones that aren't geared towards simply one single monotheistic religion.

Hell, by your definition, any person who isn't a Christian or Jew or possibly Muslim is an atheist--because they don't believe in capital-G God of Christianity. Or, you're a Hindu and you believe in those gods? Atheist!

Start broadening your horizons and using words correctly or else you can't really make a valid point.
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In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.