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[research?] Agnostic Atheism??


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where do we draw the line? \\

Okay, I posted an entry about atheism (well, really just a question that I elongated into an entry) and someone told me that they were an "agnostic atheist." I found it rather peculiar because I was under the impression that the "rank" of belief to non-belief in descriptive terms, so to speak, went like this (simply put): believer (or theist), agnostic, then atheist. Apparently, that has changed or is just plain wrong. Either way, I'm going to take a look at each of these (and probably the 'gnostic' also, so to not leave it out). I am in no way trying to prove or disprove anything, just doing research. Now, you can't know undoubtedly that I haven't done this already and could think that I am piecing it together in a "clever" way, etc, but let's just say this: I am not clever enough with words or anything else to "pwn" anybody on anything, alright? That said, I do this for the first time...right now. I'm going to go look up "atheist" in the dictionary. If anybody knows a better place to look, inform me. I could try wikipedia..and I may, we shall see. OK.

First thing I notice (funny) is on the left side (using it says: "Commonly confused: agnostic" and then it says: "Synonyms: agnostic." I find that rather funny..but, am waiting for page to load (BB tethered modem internet is slooow)..

atheist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Mmk. It doesn't mention why they don't believe, just that they don't believe. Let's continue to "agnostic."

agnostic: (noun) a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. --(adj) asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge

gnostic: (adj) 1. pertaining to knowledge. 2. possessing knowledge, esp. esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters. (noun) 1. a member of any of certain sects among the early Christians who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead.

Okay, to understand that I need to look up esoteric.

esoteric: (adj) 1. understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest 2. belonging to the select few. 3. private; secret; confidential. 4. (of a philosophical doctrine or the like) intended to be revealed only to the initiates of a group.

Okay, since I doubt the term 'gnostic theist' is very widespread, we can assume the noun definition is most applicable since the adjective form doesn't really circulate much.

theist: 1. the belief in one god as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism)

Okay, now i'm going to see if there is a definition for agnostic atheist. Hopefully.

For the record, I find no mention of "agnostic atheist" or "agnostic atheism" at or even in google EXCEPT at wikipedia. You would think it would be more widespread (only based on the fact that I heard it twice in a day). But here is what wikipedia said:

"Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist."

Which basically tells me it's ballarky. They do not believe in a god, but have no reason behind it. They can still just as readily admit that there could be a god as plain old agnostics would (but they would probably say there isn't one, without any substantial claim to knowledge of their claim being true or accurate). They just choose not to believe in a god. Which is a very spaghetti-spine position to take, in my opinion. Basically they want a way to say "I don't believe in God, but don't try to show me the error of my ways because I'm going to disbelieve anyway, no matter what proof you can or can't show me - I'm going to claim uncertainty on all of it."

It's a way of getting out of having to make a decision. Which is fine for some people - I suppose. I thought I would find something rather intellectual or something..but I didn't. Good luck to all of you who are "agnostic atheists." I'll keep my God and His science anyday. :)

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I think if sufficient evidence of a god came to light, it wouldn't be simply rejected by most atheists/agnostics as you say it would. I also don't think being open to various possibilities when no firm evidence exists is the same as being "spaghetti-spined"

[xanderthebuttmonkey|0 likes] [|reply]

RYC: Yeah, I don't have the time to argue or try to convince anyone of anything, just was throwing that argument out as a possibility regarding the burden of proof. I dig the entry about agnostic atheisim and totally agree.

[powerofwhy|0 likes] [|reply]

interesting..... Reminds me of the 'New' Jewish movement, the group that is breaking off saying that they believe Jesus is the savior, but claim they are not Christians. Isn't that the defining difference between the two?

[LittleMighty|0 likes] [|reply]

I do believe that there was a man named Jesus that traveled around preaching and helping people, he may have even said he was the son of god. I'm not really sure what the general consensus is among other atheists/agnostics as to whether or not Jesus existed. To me, I think it's obvious that he did.

As for the labels, this is exactly the reason I try to avoid them. As soon as you attach a label to yourself, you've invited other people to make assumptions about you. To me, the term agnostic atheist is also a pretty foreign term, I've only heard it a few times and never really understood what it meant.

[xanderthebuttmonkey|0 likes] [|reply]

No, you see, you're missing the fact that the terms "belief" and "knowledge" are not interchangeable. There is not one credible person on Earth who has knowledge of the existence of a deity. The reason the term "agnostic atheist" isn't as widespread is because of the misconception that agnostic has the definition of being "on the fence" or simply lacking any knowledge. I'll break it down again:

There are two terms that pertain to knowledge: Gnostic or Agnostic. Gnostic pertains to knowledge. Agnostic pertains to lack of knowledge.

I assume you know the difference between Theist and Atheist.

Gnostic Atheist - Someone who lacks a belief in a god, and claims to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is no god.

Gnostic Theist - Someone who believes in a god, and claims to know for a fact that there is a god. As I've said before, there is not one credible source on Earth who claims to know for a fact that a God exists.

Agnostic Atheist - You'll find that most atheists fall into this group. This group lacks a belief in a god, but doesn't claim to have any knowledge of a god.

Gnostic Theist - This group essentially doesn't exist. This is a group that lacks a belief in a god because they claim to know, with 100% certainty, that a deity doesn't exist. While you'll have people who claim to know that a god does NOT exist, you'll find these people don't argue with any kind of logic. The same applies to Gnostic Theists.

[Anonymous SourceStar|0 likes] [|reply]

RYC: The problem with that argument is that you can't say "I believe..." and then expect to have some degree of proof. Belief is not knowledge. That's one thing you have to accept in order to have a productive discussion. If you or I were to start a sentence with, "I believe," then there's no logical way you can prove something. Which is why you can't say "I believe the sky is blue," or "I believe the grass is green." It would be, "The sky is blue," or, "The grass is green," and no one would be able to refute that argument.

Which is why there is a distinction between "Gnosticism" and "Theism."

When you call yourself a theist or an atheist, you're not making a logical argument which can be proven. But when you say, "There IS a God," or something to that effect, then you would be making a claim, and would have to either A) have a logical argument to back up that claim, or B) have evidence to back up your claim.

The problem was never anyone asking you to prove your system of beliefs. The problem was being able to prove a claim, such as, "There is a God." When you said, "There is evidence to Jesus' holiness and his resurrection," you need to be able to provide that evidence. Scientific, observable evidence.

Of course, the scientific argument is fluid, and always changing, because Science in itself is fluid and always changing. New discoveries are being made every day. Just because a reason for everything's existence hasn't been discovered doesn't mean there is no reason for it. That especially means that a deity shouldn't be the default position for it, particularly because that relies solely on belief, and not knowledge.

[Anonymous SourceStar|0 likes] [|reply]

Not ballarky. Watch this video to understand the difference.

[BeautifulBrownEyesStar|0 likes] [|reply] Sorry, that one.

[BeautifulBrownEyesStar|0 likes] [|reply]

I haven't finished anything major or had anything published by a professional publishing group, so I guess I'm not an author...yet. My Wife falls under that category. I'm working to be one, though.

Which reminds me... I have to finish something for my writer's group.

The book signing was for an author I read...

[The Venerable Pooh|0 likes] [|reply]

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