• Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    Pfhorrest
    1.1k
    EVERYONE is an agnostic.
    — Frank Apisa

    Now who's telling people what they really are?

    Someone who thinks they know that God does or doesn't exist is not an agnostic. Hard agnostics (who think knowledge about God is impossible) may think all such claims to knowledge are wrong, but nevertheless it's the claim to knowledge or lack thereof that makes someone agnostic or not.
    Pfhorrest

    EVERYONE IS AGNOSTIC.

    NOBODY KNOWS IF ANY GODS EXIST OR NOT.

    SOME PEOPLE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT...SOME PEOPLE DO NOT.

    BUT EVERYONE IS AGNOSTIC.
  • Artemis
    1.7k


    Uh-oh, all-caps, so you know he must be right. :joke:
  • DingoJones
    1.5k


    Thats one article, and maybe its on the cutting edge of philosophy and represents some shift in all of academia but I have my doubts. When you take philosophy at the university level (incidentally, one of my philosophy profs graduated from Stanford) they teach definitions and epistemology with a little more depth than what your reference does.
    At the very least, there would be contention about that way of defining terms that way.
  • Echarmion
    1k
    By the way, the notion that non-theist is the same as "atheist" is so self-serving and gratuitous to the atheistic perspective...I cringe at having to dispute it. I am, most assuredly, a non-theist. BUT I AM NOT AN ATHEIST.Frank Apisa

    What's the important difference?

    Positioning on the question is broad...running from "There is a God" to "There are no gods." There are nuances and subtleties that come into play.Frank Apisa

    "Atheist" and "theist" are categories. That they gloss over subtleties is kinda the point. Saying someone falls into a category is not the same as saying their position is the same as everyone else's.
  • god must be atheist
    1.8k
    If everyone is an agnost... (which I support... but then why create a word that only applies to humans but does not delineate any sub-group... a human condition that is pervasive across the whole species?)... then everyone is also an atheist.

    No Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. believe in the deity Zeus or Jupiter etc. Not believing in gods is atheism. Ergo, all Christians, Jews, Muslims, are atheists.

    Absolutely nobody believes in all the believed gods. We are all atheists.

    (I did not come up with this. It's common knowledge.)
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    Echarmion
    1k
    By the way, the notion that non-theist is the same as "atheist" is so self-serving and gratuitous to the atheistic perspective...I cringe at having to dispute it. I am, most assuredly, a non-theist. BUT I AM NOT AN ATHEIST.
    — Frank Apisa

    What's the important difference?
    Echarmion

    Non-theist describes anyone who does not have a "belief" that any gods exist.

    Atheist, no matter how much people who use the term as a descriptor, are people who also "'believe' that there are no gods" or who "'believe' it is more likely that there are no gods than that there is at least one."
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    Positioning on the question is broad...running from "There is a God" to "There are no gods." There are nuances and subtleties that come into play.
    — Frank Apisa

    "Atheist" and "theist" are categories. That they gloss over subtleties is kinda the point. Saying someone falls into a category is not the same as saying their position is the same as everyone else's.
    Echarmion

    I agree. But that does not contradict anything I wrote.
  • David Mo
    188

    It's not that I don't want to understand you, it's just that I don't get it. The only words you quote from Kenny are these:

    "I do not myself know of any argument for the existence of God which I find convincing; in all of them I think I can find flaws. Equally, I do not know of any argument against the existence of God which is totally convincing; in the arguments I know against the existence of God I can equally find flaws. So that my own position on the existence of God is agnostic."

    I fully subscribe to the meaning of agnostic here. Why do you think otherwise?
  • Pfhorrest
    1.2k
    I haven't been watching most of this thread until a page or so ago, so have anybody linked this yet? It pretty much covers all the bases:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

    Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2][3][4] Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the belief that any deities exist.[5][6] In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[1][2][7][8]

    220px-AtheismImplicitExplicit3.svg.png
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    god must be atheist
    1.7k
    If everyone is an agnost... (which I support... but then why create a word that only applies to humans but does not delineate any sub-group... a human condition that is pervasive across the whole species?)... then everyone is also an atheist.
    god must be atheist

    You'd have to as Thomas Huxley that.

    But for me...it allows a person who does not have a "belief" that any gods exist...to differentiate him/herself from others of that same sentiment, but who "believe" that no gods exist or who "believe" that it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one does.

    No Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc. believe in the deity Zeus or Jupiter etc. Not believing in gods is atheism. Ergo, all Christians, Jews, Muslims, are atheists.

    They are simply people who do not "believe" those gods exist. Atheist is a descriptor used by people who "believe" no gods exist...or who "believe" it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one does.

    Absolutely nobody believes in all the believed gods. We are all atheists.

    One of those points that I would rather not speak for everyone, but it sounds correct. However, it does not change what I have said.

    (I did not come up with this. It's common knowledge.)

    It is a common assumption...and one that I make also.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.7k
    Yes…one characteristic that ALL atheists share in common…is A LACK OF “BELIEF” THAT ANY GODS EXIST. ALL atheists lack a “belief” (in) god…but not everyone lacking that “belief” is an atheist.Frank Apisa

    Why not?

    If lacking belief in gods is the only necessary and sufficient quality to be considered an atheist, how can someone lack belief in god(s) and NOT be an atheist?
  • Artemis
    1.7k
    The only words you quote from Kenny are these:David Mo

    Those are not the only words I quoted from the entry. I really really cannot chew your food for you. You're just going to have to figure it out on your own at this point.
  • 180 Proof
    715
    :up:

    :roll: If you have to disingenuously cherry-pick quotes, at least quote what the subjects themselves have actually said or wrote. Re: Not a bona fide "agnostic" in your trinity, if only, because each man has warrant - compelling reasons, circumstantial evidence - not "proof" (which applies only to theorems, not states of affairs) to dissent from, or reject, theism:

    Albert Einstein, d. 1955

    [ i ]
    I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

    He's an acosmist (colloquially a pantheist) because "the harmony of all that exists" - his, like Spinoza's,  conception of divinity - corresponds to the fundamental laws of nature, and not "agnostic" about any (e.g. JCI) theistic g/G.

    [ ii ]
    I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

    He rejects (a) JCI theistic deity: (weak) atheist.

    [ iii ]
    You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist ...

    He implicitly equivocates "agnostic" with weak atheist.

    [ iv ]
    I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

    Weak atheist.

    [ v ]
    About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. [...] As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking but by immutable laws.

    Weak atheist. Like Spinoza, an acosmist; and therefore not "agnostic" about any (e.g. JCI) g/G.


    i. cable to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929)
    ii. The World As I See It (1935)
    iii. letter to Guy Raner, Jr. (1949)
    iii. archives (1954)
    v. William Miller, Life Magazine (1954)


    Carl Sagan, d. 1996

    [ a ]
    The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

    Pantheist (at mininum); and not "agnostic" about any (e.g. JCI) theistic g/G.

    [ b ]
    The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

    Definitely a pantheist.

    a. U.S. News & World Report, vol. 111 (1991)
    b. Cosmos (1980)


    Stephen Hawking, d. 2018

    [ 6 ]
    We shouldn't be surprised that conditions in the universe are suitable for life, but this is not evidence that the universe was designed to allow for life. We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There's not much personal about the laws of physics.

    Pantheist. ("Impersonal God" =/= theistic g/G.)

    [ 7 ]
    We are each free to believe what we want and it is my view that the simplest explanation is there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization. There is probably no heaven, and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

    Definitely not "agnostic" about any (e.g. JCI) theistic g/G. A rhetorically pantheistic scientific materialist (or "positivist" as he claims elsewhere).

    6. Reason Magazine (2002)
    7. "Curiosity", The Discovery Channel (2011)
  • DingoJones
    1.5k


    Nicely fact checked sir.
  • Artemis
    1.7k


    I second Dingo. Bravo.
  • David Mo
    188

    It is not a question here of chewing concepts but of digesting them. I'm afraid you have a digestive problem with the concepts of metaphysical, psychological and epistemological. Why do you think I defend a psychological concept of agnosticism? Let's see if you can answer or avoid the answer.
  • David Mo
    188

    I don't think Wikipedia is a model of academic knowledge.
  • David Mo
    188

    The problem we are discussing is not whether Einstein or Sagan were pantheists but how they used the concepts of atheism and agnosticism.

    Frank gave a good sample of scientists who considered atheism as denial that God exists and agnosticism as abstaining from judgment. You have provided only a partial quote from Wiki. It is clear where the scales are tipped.
  • David Mo
    188

    The variety of philosophical positions is infinite. This is a problem for the inexperienced: they give all of them the same importance. A good encyclopedia article provides guidance: it points out the main trend and notes some secondary ones. The SEPh article at least marks the main one, but you don't seem to have noticed it.
  • NOS4A2
    2.5k
    The adjective ᾰ̓́θεος was the creation of sectarian fanatics, used as it was to marginalize, condemn and to murder those who deviated from religious orthodoxy. To me adopting the phrase and attributing to it any importance is to prove the fanatics right.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    VagabondSpectre
    1.7k
    Yes…one characteristic that ALL atheists share in common…is A LACK OF “BELIEF” THAT ANY GODS EXIST. ALL atheists lack a “belief” (in) god…but not everyone lacking that “belief” is an atheist.
    — Frank Apisa

    Why not?

    If lacking belief in gods is the only necessary and sufficient quality to be considered an atheist, how can someone lack belief in god(s) and NOT be an atheist?
    VagabondSpectre

    Very easy.

    All one has to do is to tell the truth...as I am doing...by just saying, "I am NOT an atheist."

    Yeah...just ignore the gratuitous usage based definition that atheists have contrived...and refuse to be labelled that way.

    There is no reason in the world why "a lack of 'belief' in gods"should be considered "the only necessary and sufficient quality" to be considered an atheist. In fact, it isn't!

    Two other "qualities" come easily to my mind; two "qualities" that EVERY person I have ever known or know of...appears to possess:

    One...EVERY person I have ever known or know of who chooses to use the descriptor "atheist" uses it because that person WANTS TO. They choose to uses it. It is their choice to use it.

    Two, EVERY person I have ever known or know of chooses to do so because he/she either "believes" there are no gods or "believes" that it is more likely that no gods exist than that at least one god does.

    I do not meet either of those other necessities. I do NOT choose to use it or have it used of me...and I do NOT "believe" there are no gods nor that "it is more likely that there are no gods than that there is at least one."

    I am not an atheist.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    All three WERE agnostics...and two of the three were livid when called atheists.
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    David Mo
    162
    ↪180 Proof ↪DingoJones ↪Artemis
    The problem we are discussing is not whether Einstein or Sagan were pantheists but how they used the concepts of atheism and agnosticism.

    Frank gave a good sample of scientists who considered atheism as denial that God exists and agnosticism as abstaining from judgment. You have provided only a partial quote from Wiki. It is clear where the scales are tipped.
    David Mo

    Thank you, David.

    It is easy for people like Dingo to suggest I am stupid because of my position on this issue. I suspect it is much more difficult to argue that people like Einstein and Sagan were stupid because they viewed the descriptors "atheist" and "agnostic" the way I am arguing here...rather than the way people like Dingo and Artemis are.
  • Artemis
    1.7k
    It is not a question here of chewing concepts but of digesting them. I'm afraid you have a digestive problem with the concepts of metaphysical, psychological and epistemological. Why do you think I defend a psychological concept of agnosticism? Let's see if you can answer or avoid the answer.David Mo

    Like I said, I'm not arguing about your particular position, but about your statement that: "In the academic world it is understood that an atheist is one who denies that god exists and an agnostic is one who neither denies nor affirms. The theist asserts that god exists."

    But keep fighting the windmills, Don Quixote.
  • DingoJones
    1.5k


    Im telling you whats taught in the institutions of learning dedicated to the subject matter, the result of long history of academics debate and study. You are welcome to reject that as definitive of the subject matter, and embrace whatever other source you like but you are factually incorrect about whats actually consensus in academia. This is a problem of the uneducated, they lack the knowledge of what's important in academics.
    As has been pointed out to you, you can have a valid opinion that ISNT based on academia, Im not making an appeal to academic authority here. You are wrong about whats being taught in academia though, unless you are referencing specifically theist academia. (Which you didnt).
  • David Mo
    188
    "Like I said, I'm not arguing about your particular position"...

    You accused me of giving support to a psychologist definition. Now you don't seem willing to maintain that. I don't understand your game. Maybe you're not clear what the author calls "psychologism."
  • Frank Apisa
    1.1k
    Yeah, David...

    ...why can't you realize that people like Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Hawking were just ignorant people who just did not understand what is important in academics.

    Here in the forum you have got world-class geniuses informing you of what those ignorant pissants were not able to grasp.
  • David Mo
    188

    I don't think it's very serious to start a discussion about our respective academic grades. I think the sources that have been cited on both sides are expressive enough.
  • David Mo
    188

    There are many people on the Internet who feel threatened if they are called agnostic rather than atheist. As if names have power over ideas. I don't mind being called by a name or another as long as they respect what I say.
  • DingoJones
    1.5k


    Thats not what Im doing. Im not saying im right because Im more educated than you, I dont know what education you might have, or from where. If you have actual experience in philosophical academia, you should reference that instead of the article.
    You made a claim about consensus in academia, and referenced that article. I made a counter claim to that view, and referenced actual academic consensus. Yes, Im basing that off of my own experience but Im not trying to cite credentials or make an appeal to authority.
    On one hand we have actual experience of philosophical academia, and in the other we have the results of a google search. Can you make a case as to why the latter should hold more weight?
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