Agnosticism

  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    There are agnostics who are not atheists, though. Of course the majority are probably atheists, or more to the point they're probably just really against the idea of the monotheistic God/s of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. [I know that's a cynical stance, but that's often why people are/become atheists, because of those particular religions.]
    Well yes, there are some who are agnostic theists. Didn't mean to say there aren't any, just that I percieve most of them not to be.

    The point was that there are no "true agnostics", in a sense where refusing to answer isn't an answer in and of itself.

    @kafka:

    Technically, theism and atheism is belief/nonbelief in deity(s). Atheism became synonymous with non-religious or non-spiritual people, so I suppose the definition is a bit flawed. Although Buddha as a center figure of a religious movement could be compared to a sort of a deity.
    April 25th, 2012 at 01:21pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    @kafka 1. He went and ate with the woman and he caused a lot of people who knew her to believe in him. The fact was that he spoke with a Samaritan woman, that was a big thing. Jewish men did not speak to women. Nor did Jewish people speak to Samaritans or even associate with them because it would mean becoming unclean. It is very significant that Jesus did that.
    Yes, that's what one gospel tells us happened once - for the other 99% of the Gospels Jesus 'hangs out' with middle class Jewish men.
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    2. It makes perfect sense. After all God can't die. Therefore He emptied Himself of his divine qualities. But it didn't mean He stopped being God. As it is I think we're going too deep into it. pravda said "I would like to behave like Christ". Behaving like Christ has nothing to do with his God 'aspects'. That was where I was coming from really.
    God is omnipotent so He can do anything - that includes suffering / dying. If He would have wanted us to behave like Him - He would have said so, but He didn't. Everything He did had the purpose of bringing about salvation so we can't interpret His actions as the kind of behaviour we should have if we want to attain salvation.
    Xsoteria:
    @kafka:

    Technically, theism and atheism is belief/nonbelief in deity(s). Atheism became synonymous with non-religious or non-spiritual people, so I suppose the definition is a bit flawed. Although Buddha as a center figure of a religious movement could be compared to a sort of a deity.
    There is no such thing as nonbelief - there are different kinds of beliefs in different things. Buddhists are very clear about the fact that Buddha is not any sort of deity (and during his lifetime he was too). Recent polls show that even in the West there are many people who believe in supernatural phenomenons like souls without believing in a personal God - in some cases they outnumber both atheists and followers of Abrahamic religions. I doesn't make sense to me to continue to lump people into Christians/Jews/Muslims and atheists and pretend like there's nothing in between.
    April 25th, 2012 at 03:13pm
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    Honestly I think we're going too deep into the definition of Christ-like, we as Christians are taught that we should endeavour to be like Christ. Whatever that means, does it really matter?
    April 25th, 2012 at 03:15pm
  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    kafka.:
    There is no such thing as nonbelief - there are different kinds of beliefs in different things. Buddhists are very clear about the fact that Buddha is not any sort of deity (and during his lifetime he was too). Recent polls show that even in the West there are many people who believe in supernatural phenomenons like souls without believing in a personal God - in some cases they outnumber both atheists and followers of Abrahamic religions. I doesn't make sense to me to continue to lump people into Christians/Jews/Muslims and atheists and pretend like there's nothing in between.
    kafka.:
    There is no such thing as nonbelief - there are different kinds of beliefs in different things. Buddhists are very clear about the fact that Buddha is not any sort of deity (and during his lifetime he was too). Recent polls show that even in the West there are many people who believe in supernatural phenomenons like souls without believing in a personal God - in some cases they outnumber both atheists and followers of Abrahamic religions. I doesn't make sense to me to continue to lump people into Christians/Jews/Muslims and atheists and pretend like there's nothing in between.
    I have no idea what you're talking about, of course non-belief exists, it's lack of belief. Atheism specifically, is lack of belief in a deity.

    I've never ignored existence of infinite variable degrees of spirituality, I was simply addressing the fact that agnosticism isn't exactly an alternative to theism and atheism.
    April 25th, 2012 at 05:38pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    Xsoteria:
    I have no idea what you're talking about, of course non-belief exists, it's lack of belief. Atheism specifically, is lack of belief in a deity.

    I've never ignored existence of infinite variable degrees of spirituality, I was simply addressing the fact that agnosticism isn't exactly an alternative to theism and atheism.
    Atheism is not lack of belief in a deity, it's a strong belief that supernatural phenomenons / deities don't exist in our world (which is a belief because it's impossible to prove rationally) - agnosticism is the mere absence of belief.
    April 26th, 2012 at 08:59am
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    ^No, agnosticism is 'not knowing'. It's not the absence of belief. Agnostics can't believe, not that they don't want to. They can't without the knowledge at hand. Agnostic = without knowledge. You can have agnostic atheists, or agnostic theists. Strictly speaking all theists are also agnostic if they admit they don't 100% know that God is real.

    Same with atheists, no atheist can 100% say that there is no deity. They are agnostic by default.

    I am an agnostic theist. I believe in God but I can't 100% say I know that he's real.
    April 26th, 2012 at 03:16pm
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    ^No, agnosticism is 'not knowing'. It's not the absence of belief. Agnostics can't believe, not that they don't want to. They can't without the knowledge at hand. Agnostic = without knowledge. You can have agnostic atheists, or agnostic theists. Strictly speaking all theists are also agnostic if they admit they don't 100% know that God is real.

    Same with atheists, no atheist can 100% say that there is no deity. They are agnostic by default.

    I am an agnostic theist. I believe in God but I can't 100% say I know that he's real.
    So everybody's an agnostic?
    April 26th, 2012 at 05:05pm
  • charming.

    charming. (135)

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    Isn't it fun defining to suit one's stance/argument?

    That's not a personal criticism to any individual, but an analytical failure in religious studies. Definitions are contentious and I'm fairly sure that every scholarly article I have ever read has defined religion / religious belief differently, (for my taste) either too broadly too narrowly too optimistically or too harshly. There are cultural, colloquial, historical and etymological understandings of words like agnosticism and they don't say the same thing. So appealing to definitions, rather than expounding your understandings/beliefs, is not particularly helpful guys.
    April 26th, 2012 at 05:16pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    kafka.:
    So everybody's an agnostic?
    What a useful term it is. Mr. Green
    April 26th, 2012 at 05:23pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    I wonder if you can you be agnostic about being agnostic?
    April 26th, 2012 at 05:28pm
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    @kafka and @Kurtni I think we should just do away with the term. lol.

    And @The Master hmmmmmmmmm, we probably could be :).

    @pravda and that's the limitation of labels unfortunately, we try to give things labels to make more sense of them, but when it comes to beliefs I think it's a bit more difficult to pin a definition down.
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:04am
  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    kafka.:
    Atheism is not lack of belief in a deity, it's a strong belief that supernatural phenomenons / deities don't exist in our world (which is a belief because it's impossible to prove rationally) - agnosticism is the mere absence of belief.
    That's simply not true.

    Agnosticism

    Also, there is no "strong belief that deities don't exist". At least not when atheism is relevant. When you don't "strongly believe" that gods are not real, what are you? Whhere's the line between atheists and whatever you'd call this mysterious group of people with weak belief in non-existence of gods?

    Atheists are simply people who don't believe that God(s) exist.
    April 27th, 2012 at 05:40pm
  • Xsoteria

    Xsoteria (100)

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    kafka.:
    So everybody's an agnostic?
    There are a crapton of people who claim to have knowledge of god's existence, as well as those absolutely certain that there are absolutely no gods.
    April 27th, 2012 at 05:48pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    Same with atheists, no atheist can 100% say that there is no deity. They are agnostic by default.
    That makes no sense.

    Yes, they can absolutely 100% say that. They can't prove it's true anymore than a Christian can prove Jesus lived, but they can definitely say it and 100% mean it, like my mother.
    April 27th, 2012 at 05:51pm
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    dru runs this town.:
    That makes no sense.

    Yes, they can absolutely 100% say that. They can't prove it's true anymore than a Christian can prove Jesus lived, but they can definitely say it and 100% mean it, like my mother.
    They can 100% mean it. But they can't 100% say they know it. That's what I meant. As much as I say that I 100% believe God is real and that Jesus came and died for my sins. But I can't 100% say that I know that.
    April 27th, 2012 at 06:30pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    ^
    Actually, they can say they know it. They just wouldn't have any evidence to support it. Sorry, I know I'm picking this apart, but anyone can say ANYTHING. I can say that there's a green man on the moon named George who is God and he is going to turn us all into bananas when we die. It's not true, but I can say that. I can say I know this, I have proof, that I've spoken to him, and that anyone who doesn't believe it is going to burn in hell.

    People do it everyday, just now with George, the Banana King. More like with God or Jesus or Allah or whoever else there is.

    Unless doubt/disbelief is the largest part of your faith/beliefs/lack thereof, I don't believe you're agnostic.

    I admit that I could be wrong about God, but I don't believe I am. Therefore, I'm not agnostic. I don't have doubts/confusion and I know what I believe.
    April 27th, 2012 at 06:37pm
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    Well, obviously anyone can say anything. That's not what I was getting at. Just perhaps we should quit labelling people. Either people don't know, don't believe or do believe. That's enough I think to describe how people are when it comes to religion.

    Not that that's reality. We're human. We label everything.
    April 27th, 2012 at 06:44pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    ^
    I think that trying to unlabel faith at this point is like trying to a member of the Flat Earth Society. You can try, but it's not going to change anything.
    April 27th, 2012 at 07:11pm
  • ThePiesEndure

    ThePiesEndure (115)

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    Very true. Still, we can live in hope, eh? lol. But, as it stands, I think agnosticism is at least a step in the right way of thinking when it comes to the faith question.
    April 27th, 2012 at 07:51pm
  • Raitoningu

    Raitoningu (100)

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    I'm agnostic too.
    And I have all sorts of possible theories in my mind.

    I mean, there's just no way to know, right? It's not meant to be known.
    October 19th, 2012 at 08:16pm