Is atheism a faith? Is agnostism naive/ignorant?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by galaxus, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    Atheism - a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity (atheism - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)


    Agnosticism - a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god (agnostic - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

    Some atheists say that agnostics are foolish to even open up to the idea that there are gods. They say Atheism is not a faith...... well don't atheist have faith that there is no god?

    Agnostics say it isn't wise to say that there is not god because it can't be proven that this is or isn't a god. They're like anything possible..... but is it wise to even consider the wackiest, most destructive religions may be true?

    To me, having one religion is like watching one news channel. They all have biases which will inevitably influence your thought process, behavior and actions..... but is it bad for me to just stick to one news channel (religion)?

    I sometimes think that I should give Fox News a try...... but I think..... its just..... so ..... CRAZY! lol...... but just because I think this was doesn't really make them wrong does it (AGNOSTIC)?....... Some people would argue that I would be crazy to even watch 5 min of Fox News (ATHEIST).
     
  2. _avg_

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    Atheism is a belief like bald is a hair color.
     
  3. D_Neeson Niceone

    D_Neeson Niceone New Member

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    It's a fashion statement.
     
  4. razors1990

    razors1990 Member

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    Faith isn't really an issue if you don't believe in any god.

    So I'd say no.
     
  5. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    Or is it like a style? People can change their hair color easily. You're not born with a permanent religion or news channel.
     
  6. Joll

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    I don't think agnosticism is naive or ignorant.

    If you've weighed up all the information at your disposal in terms of atheism/religion and decided that there isn't enough conclusive evidence to prove the argument either way, then it's fair enough to hold back and sit on the fence until more convincing proof comes along.
     
  7. B_bi_mmf

    B_bi_mmf New Member

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    I am agnostic about whether the god Neptune is sitting at the bottom of the sea. But I am highly, highly skeptical that he is.

    I feel the same about any and all gods.

    So, strictly speaking, I am an agnostic. But with not a shred of empirical evidence that I find in the least convincing about the existence of any diety whatsoever, you might as well call me an atheist.

    My views are not a matter of "faith". It is just that I see no credible support for a diety, but I do see many good explanations for why people find it to be in their interest to enter into shared preposterous delusions about such matters.
     
  8. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    For a long time now i have considered myself an agnostic and i believe this:-

    -that there is no proof to acknowledge the existence of a god as depicted by mainstream religions

    -that atheists are more free a people than those who bind themselves to an unproven deity and simply have less interest to know the truth like i do

    - that the concept of a god as an entity is highly plausible as there is still so much we cannot explain about the origins of the universe

    -that pagan traditions are the closest truth to understanding divinity as they incorporate the things which we know to be truth, i.e. nature and the stars etc

    and that i deny the plausibility that ANY theistic religions are true. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are variants of the same belief that a divine being is in control of our lives when clearly we control our own.
     
  9. _avg_

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    In the context of the question, No.

    Atheism is a faith like 'clear' is a color.
    That's a category error; you jump from describing a thing to how it's used.
     
  10. Phil Ayesho

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    Atheism and agnosticism are often compared like this, foolishly.

    Atheism is a philosophical position on the existence of God.
    Agnosticism is not a position relating specifically to God, but, rather, to the concept of what can and can not be known, and the proper approach to the unknowable. ( it only peripherally impacts the subject of religion )

    Because of imbecilic and incomplete dictionary references like the one cited, most folks think agnostics are "undecided" or "open minded" about the issue of God.

    That is incorrect. To understand agnosticism you must understand it as a school of philosophy not unlike stoicism, epicureanism or other rich and much deeper ideas that actually predate Christianity and Greek exposure to monotheism.
    Agnosticism is a specific position on the subject of epistemology. ( the philosophy of knowledge )

    For example, An agnostic understands that all current theories of physics are entirely imaginary and any congruence with reality most likely an artifact of intent... that is, we are creating formula to match our observations... which does not necessarily mean that our formulae have any actual relation to the nature or true function of reality.
    Therefore, an agnostic looks upon quantum physics as an amazingly useful invention of the human mind, but does not invest it with any "belief" that it portrays anything even remotely accurate about reality... i.e.- to an agnostic, theories about what can not be actually observed are always 'provisional' and most likely not "true" knowledge about reality.

    Similarly regarding God... an agnostic does not form a belief system about God. He relies upon actual evidence, and there isn't any on which to form any belief.
    That does not mean an agnostic can not form SOME conclusions... experiment proves that Prayer has no effect on outcomes in regards to health.
    So while an agnostic can not state there is no God, he CAN state that any purported God DOES NOT ANSWER PRAYERS.

    As an agnostic, I can not make any claims about the nature or existence of God, except to point out that the God most people describe is impossible and does not do the things he is characterized as doing.

    So... is there such a thing as God?... the agnostic's answer is that there is no evidence of such a thing. But there IS ample evidence that God CANNOT be what is described in the Bible.

    And the default position for things for which we have no evidence is to NOT invest any belief in them.

    i.e. I do not accept as even PROVISIONALLY likely anything for which evidence is lacking.
    That means I can state that I severely doubt the existence of God, just as I severely doubt the existence of BigFoot.



    Atheism, however, crosses an epistemological line, by taking the position that a complete dearth of evidence is sufficient evidence in itself to form a solid conclusion that there is no God.

    To an agnostic, such a position qualifies as an article of faith. you "believe" there is no god.... you can not prove it... but, thus far, no one can offer evidence in refutation, so your hypothesis is sound.


    The quibble is academic. atheism is similar to most people's understanding of scientific theory... a theory is valid if it agrees with observation and has not been refuted thru evidence to the contrary.

    Agnosticism is the more pure form of scientific mindset, that stops short of claiming absolute knowledge and understands all conclusions as provisional.

    The Study of agnosticism leads one to the provisional conclusion that there is no God as human beings describe or imagine God.

    And that the only kind of things that might qualify as God are, by their very nature, entirely inaccessible thru observation or reason.

    Why?

    Because EVERYTHING that IS Knowable, IS Evident.

    God is not evident, ergo God is unknowable.
     
    #10 Phil Ayesho, Aug 23, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  11. lucky8

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    Wrong. The majority of people who practice religion do so because when they were a child, their parents made them go to church or practice a certain religion, thus instilling that particular religion in that child usually for the rest of their life. Most people who have experienced this usually don't question their religion or faith, viewing it as a permanent part of them, many times, because they were 'born into it.'
     
  12. lvsxy808

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    I suppose I would be considered an Atheist, since I have no religious or spiritual component to my life at all.

    But I've also taken to using the word Apatheist - to wit, I don't care if there's a god or not, because it has no effect on how I'll live my life one way or the other.
     
  13. Dave NoCal

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    Great post, Phil. I think you have settled it.
    Dave
     
  14. Daisy

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    I agree 100% with Joll
     
  15. Daisy

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    and I want to add that another belief close to Atheism that we rarely hear about is:

    Pantheism = God, literally "God is all" -ism) is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent God. In pantheism, the Universe (Nature) and God are considered equivalent and synonymous. More detailed definitions tend to emphasize the idea that God is better understood as an abstract principle representing natural law, existence, and the Universe (the sum total of all that was, is and shall be), rather than as an anthropomorphic entity.

    I think the "religion" I most closely associate with is Pantheism.

    Like Mitch said" - that the concept of a god as an entity is highly plausible as there is still so much we cannot explain about the origins of the universe
    -that pagan traditions are the closest truth to understanding divinity as they incorporate the things which we know to be truth, i.e. nature and the stars etc"


    So in a way Pantheism works for those who believe in the "awe" of nature, and the universe but do not believe in any one God or deity.
     
    #15 Daisy, Aug 23, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  16. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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  17. B_bi_mmf

    B_bi_mmf New Member

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    It sounds as if you and Joll think that both sides have comparable merit. But based on the evidence (more of which you await), there is a complete absence of empirical support for the existence of a diety.
     
    #17 B_bi_mmf, Aug 23, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  18. Principessa

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    No, of course not. Atheism pretty much defines the absence of faith.


    Again, the answer to this is no. Why would agnostics be naive or ignorant?


    I don't find atheists or agnostics to be naive or ignorant. Perhaps somewhat misguided, and untested, but not ignorant. :cool:
     
  19. B_mitchymo

    B_mitchymo New Member

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    How misguided? I see believing in a religion as misguided.
     
  20. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    Thanks Phill, seaside, and everyone else for all the replies, but I wish people would comment on my original post than the title of my thread.
     
    #20 galaxus, Aug 23, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
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