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I'm ignorant, hence I'm an atheist!!!

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by lewisnotmiller, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    To ignore....is ignorance.
    and it is profound...as it comes from a willful intent.
     
  2. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I don't understand why you think I "skipped" something. I skipped nothing. It's an obvious matter-of-fact that there are various aspects of our world that people and cultures deem worthy of worship, and that the word "god(s)" is used to describe that.
     
  3. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    You probably need to look a little beyond the surface of my comments. As mentioned, I was tackling a serious topic in a light-hearted manner to try and break some of the communication barriers that regularly occur here. I'll try and extrapolate my meaning, as it relates to your response.

    1) In terms of the origin of life, and in terms of how it has evolved, I look to science. But science has no part in my atheism or lack thereof. As my analogy about the lost keys indicates, science's current best guesses (as if science is a single entity, but anyway...) about life's genesis and how it has evolved can be 100% correct, or 100% wrong, it really doesn't factor into my atheism. I'm ignorant of life's genesis in a slightly more profound way than science is, since I am not knowledgeable, or interested enough to understand and keep up with the latest cutting edge advances on a daily basis. I daresay that applies to every single person reading this thread as well. It's also entirely possible that science is wrong, and entirely likely that science will further develop it's knowledge in this area moving forwards.

    2) In terms of WHO created life (nice way to superimpose your belief into the question posed) and for WHAT PURPOSE life was created, we're all ignorant. Some admit it, some don't. I'm not expecting you to come forth and admit your ignorance on the internet. If you like, as an alternative to admitting your own ignorance in the way I have, you could simply make me a list of the 'truthful religions'. No need for any details, I can do my own research. Just a short list of the truthful ones so I can prioritize future study.
     
  4. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Yup.
    You're odd though, and I mean that (sincerely) with the greatest of respect.
    I was going with a pretty light hand, and dealing with some more mainstream considerations, but I'll happily look more specifically at your points.

    Let's see...

    First off, kudos on admitting your ignorance re: how life began. I am also pretty much uncaring, at this point.
    We are commonly grounded in our ignorance, but ignorance isn't in any sense a negative, despite how some muppets would try and portray it.

    By not tying yourself to any specific creation myth, you very much cast yourself into the more unusual type of theist. I know generalizations which don't account for your style of theism annoy you, and I completely get why (since I find inaccurate generalizations of atheists as damn frustrating). But I was kinda pitching a message to the masses.

    In truth I am an atheist because I am without theism. Consider the following, in the same order as you mentioned them;
    1) I don't worship anything.
    2) I wouldn't define worship as respect and gratitude. For example, I don't worship my mother. Sacred would be closer to my thoughts. And I can't think of anything I hold sacred.
    3) Fair enough. Not me.
    4) Fair enough. Not me.

    If we blurred the lines enough on point 2 (ie. exactly what constitutes worship) then by definition all people would become theists. I just don't see it as a useful definition, personally.
    But if we leave it as sacred, I can see completely how you can worship things without tying yourself to supernatural causes. I can (equally) see how you can worship these things without rejecting supernatural causes as well.

    So in short, I'd say your brand of theism doesn't make unsupportable claims, and therefore doesn't appear any more at odds with ignorance than my atheism.

    *shrugs*

    I dunno if that makes us equally brilliant, equally doomed, or I'm missing your point...lol
     
  5. serp777

    serp777 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry lewis, everyone is just as ignorant in these regards, even if they deny it. No one has a hotline to God or gets special knowledge from him/her about the facts of reality.

    The one thing about atheism is that I think it is categorized as the belief that God does not exist. Therefore, I would call you the same thing I call myself: an undetermined agnostic. It means you don't have a clue whether God exists and you don't claim to know the probabilities including whether God is likely or unlikely. Its not a stance saying its a 50-50 probability either. Quite frankly its the only reasonable position possible in the entire forum because nobody has the answers and therefore nobody can claim to have knowledge that I don't have access do, at least not reasonably.
     
  6. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    Yes, the prefix a- negates, so for example "atypical" means "not typical". So "atheist" means "not theist", ie not having a belief in God.
     
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  7. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    "To ignore ... is ignorance."

    - This is incorrect, due to the fact that ignoring information means that you have that information and are, thus, not ignorant or "without" said information. Just because the words have the same root, doesn't mean that they have the same meaning.
     
  8. Marisa

    Marisa Well-Known Member

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    In my book, those are the stupid people. But I'm guessing that Thief and I would classify what constitutes stupidity differently. :D
     
  9. Marisa

    Marisa Well-Known Member

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    It's also no reason to be a theist.

    With you so far.

    Still hanging with you . . .

    And that's where you lose me and go full "god of the gaps". It's not proper to say "science cannot answer this question, therefore god". The fact that science has not answered a question yet does not mean that gods exists. If science never answers that question it still will not mean gods exist.

    Given the history of religion, neither does religion. Therefore, I have no need of it. I am comfortable with "I don't know". You should try it.

    Adios
     
  10. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    Well-put. This thread was in response to one of my discussions with the OP. He erroneously thought that I was associating the prefix "a" with belief, but, in actuality, I was merely showing the necessary relationship between "theism" and "belief".
     
  11. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    You are making a huge asssuption there. Currently, the questions you associate with religion can't be satisfactorily answered via scientific means, but that is certainly not to say that things won't change in the future in regards to the extent of scientific inquiry. We don't know whether science will one day be able to answer those questions. Further, I don't think jumping to religious beliefs, settling an an answer that may or may not be true but is, nevertheless, not falsifiable is in the interest of intellectual progress.
     
  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    The connotation of "ignorance" is overwhelmingly negative in our culture, and I think we should bear that in mind. Other than that, I think it's worth thinking about what creation mythology is really about. On the superficial level, a level that a fair number of people never move past thinking about, origin stories are about explaining the reasons for something. This is the manner of thinking about mythos that literalism originates from, but it is also the manner of thinking that ends up considering mythos as if it is some sort of proto-science. On the deeper level, what these stories are really about is conveying lessons about our relationship with the world around us, or how different parts of the world relate to each other. That manner of thinking is non-literal, and instead more aesthetic, symbolic, or ethical. Ideally, all who hold to creation mythos should move on to this way of understanding the stories, because it's that level that produces the deeper meaningfulness that is characteristic of a useful religion, or way-of-life/seeing.



    Oh, I understand. You know I can't resist throwing a spanner into the works, though. :D

    I think it would be worth investigating how "unusual" flexible approaches really are, though. Within my peer group, it's the norm. It's normal in contemporary Paganism, and it is normal in Unitarian Universalism, and it was even normal with respect to how my parents (both of whom hold to one of the Abrahamic religions) approached mythology. I know that for one of my parents, God represents the numinous qualities of existence, and that would stand regardless of creation mythos (this parent holds more to evolutionary science as "creation mythos" than the Bible in any case). Maybe that brings up another important point - how evolution fits into this. For the theists who accept evolution, it seems necessary that their acceptance of a god-concept into their lives would be less connected to their acceptance of mythic creation stories. Which again, may not be as uncommon as we sometimes think?



    Both? :D

    Really, the main point is to understand that there are many reasons why someone may or may not accept a god-concept into their lives. The more and more I've looked at it, the more and more it seems purely semantic, as shaped by the overculture. Beneath all the words and the language, it seems to me that the fundamental stuff we all do holds a common grounding. It expresses itself in all sorts of wild and wondrous ways, which are frequently not held in common, though. I think we fuss far too much over words sometimes, and I feel this urge to physically facepalm every time I see another one of those threads around here arguing about how theism-atheism are defined. Blargity blarg blarg blah...
     
  13. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    No, because "theism" doesn't mean "God". It is a combination of "theos", meaning "God"; and the suffix "ism", meaning "belief". Theism therefore means "God-belief". As you say, adding a prefix of "a" means "without-", and so the full translated word means "without god-belief".
     
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  14. 1robin

    1robin Christian/Baptist

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    I think you would be an agnostic. Atheism is the positive case that God does not exist. Agnosticism is the neutral case that you do not have enough evidence to be persuaded there is a God. If Atheism is not a positive claim then it is a redundant word and either it or Agnostic should be done away with. Ant-theism implies your resentful of the concept of God. I do no think that you are that one. Then of course to make a position seem less embarrassing or more emphatic people invent soft atheism, and hard atheism labels but I think that's overkill.
     
  15. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    Why do you think that terms such as these should not have overlapping meanings? Agnostics are atheists, by definition, because all that is required to be classified as an atheist is a "lack of belief in the existence of God", which agnostics surely do. There are many terms in the english language with overlapping meanings, and there is no requirement that atheism and agnosticism be mutually exclusive.

    Agnostics make up a subcategory of Atheism just as Deists make up a subcategory of Theism. Agnosticism really does not battle atheism in any way due to the fact that agnosticism is based on a lack of or impossibility of knowledge, whereas atheism is based on a lack of belief.
     
  16. Marisa

    Marisa Well-Known Member

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    Oh lawsy . . .that tired old tripe again? Theism = the BELIEF that a god or gods exist. Atheism = the LACK OF A BELIEF that any god or gods exist. It is no more a positive statement than merely stating what you believe is.

    Gnostic means what you know. Most agnostics (as pertains to religion) are so because they say that "god" has not been defined such that we can know what we are talking about.

    You may be interested to know that many atheists call themselves "agnostic atheists", meaning that have no knowledge that gods do not exist, but they do not believe that gods exist.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. ImmortalFlame

    ImmortalFlame Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why this should be the case. Just because something is not a positive claim doesn't mean it isn't a position - lacking a belief and not making a claim are still positions with regards to a particular issue, just as finding a defendant in a case "not guilty" rather than a positive assertion of "innocent" is a perfectly viable conclusion to reach.

    Actually, ant-theism is the belief in the almighty ant-god Pincerus Maximus, who rules the Universe from his cosmic hive.

    I kid, of course.

    To be honest, I've never really come across a particularly consistent definition of anti-theism. I'd define it as an opposition to theism (i.e: being against the idea of BELIEVING in God), while others seem to define it as the positive negation of theism (i.e: the BELIEF that there is no God). Unfortunately, it's yet another one of those terms in this debate that needs to be more accurately defined before it can be meaningfully debated as a concept. As if we didn't have enough of those already...
     
  18. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    I feel like this has already been explained to this contributer several times.
     
  19. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    I quite like Dawkin's scale because it represents belief and disbelief as a continuum. I'm not sure about the validity of positions 1 and 7 though, since I don't understand how there can be that kind of certainty about God either way.
     
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  20. leibowde84

    leibowde84 Veteran Member

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    I agree. Anyone who claims to "know" that God exists is, in actuality, saying that they have a strong belief that God exists. "Knowing" that God exists is merely an illusion brought about by overconfidence.
     
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