Religion

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Vanguard
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Re: Religion

Postby Vanguard » Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:17 pm UTC

Agnostic Atheist. You can combine those two?

Then yea, I'm that.
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Re: Religion

Postby taylor_venable » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:08 pm UTC

One of the more elucidating explanations I've heard is atheism based on probability. You can say that you don't know for sure whether or not deities exist (agnosticism), but based on the laws of Nature already known you can say that there is a good probability that no deities exist (atheism). I would define agnosticism as saying, "I don't know for sure." Therefore:

agnostic atheism = I don't know for sure, but I believe there are no deities
agnostic theism = I don't know for sure, but I believe there is/are

Note that humanity lives entirely in agnosticism, to a greater or lesser degree. I don't know for sure whether it will rain today or not, but meteorological data indicates that it is very likely to be dry. Putting "agnostic" in front of your claim states the fact that you realise that your knowledge is limited.

To be sure, saying that you're either atheist or theist implies some leap of faith. I would say that only a person with no religious beliefs or speculation at all would be able to claim themselves otherwise, strictly speaking.

I'm an agnostic atheist, but I usually just shorten it to atheist, leaving it obvious (in my own manner of thinking) that human thought is inherently limited.
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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:20 pm UTC

Ah, but my point was that many people would deny that it is impossible to know, and therefore these people should not count as agnostic.
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Re: Religion

Postby Nath » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:50 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:Ah, but my point was that many people would deny that it is impossible to know, and therefore these people should not count as agnostic.

Like atheism, agnosticism comes in strong and weak flavours. There are agnostics who simply admit that they do not know, and agnostics who claim that it is impossible to know. In some sense, the weak agnostics are more agnostic than the strong agnostic, because they are agnostic about the claim that it's impossible to know.

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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:31 pm UTC

Indeed. I am a strong (or "positive") of agnostic, as I suspect are most other agnostics on the fora.
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Re: Religion

Postby aleflamedyud » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:50 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:I don't know about other people, but if someone wants something different from me and no moral compulsion exists (like helping a third party in need or they're doing something Really Evil I'm obligated to prevent) to force them into my way, I let them do what they want. Why make unnecessary strife?


If God has no feelings one way or the other you say "live and let live"? Then why would you be a douche bag without a divinely ordained morality?

You have seen this world, right? It's full of some OK people you can live with, some nice people you can enjoy your time with, and some douchebags.

If I have no morality to restrain me and I dislike someone, hell yeah I'm going to be a douchebag to them. This has been my point the entire time: that morality is there to govern your actions towards not the people you like but the people you despise.
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Re: Religion

Postby VannA » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:34 am UTC

*sigh*

I treat the people I dislike based on the fact they are people.

Not the fact I dislike them.
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Re: Religion

Postby aleflamedyud » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:45 am UTC

VannA wrote:*sigh*

I treat the people I dislike based on the fact they are people.

Not the fact I dislike them.

Isn't that some form of morality, however logically inconsistent or consistent it is?
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Re: Religion

Postby Puzzlemaker » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:59 am UTC

Ahhhhh, religion.

Okay, my two cents.

Somehow the universe came into being, and all this stuff happened, and now we are here wondering WHAT THE F*** just happened.

And we probably will never know.

Its like arguing about whats in an invisible box.
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Re: Religion

Postby zar » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:35 am UTC

A lot of very smart people are working very hard on that question, and they've figured out more than people like you would have ever imagined. The theory of evolution explained more than most people would have thought possible before Darwin. I wouldn't sell us short. Clearly you aren't going to be a help in humanity's quest for this knowledge, but at least stay out of the stay and don't shit over their work.

And though I would guess you intended to come across as on neither side, you actually have clearly come down on the side against religion, because it is religion, not science, that claims to know the unknown. Science doesn't know everything and doesn't claim to know everything. It works toward knowing as much as possible, but it doesn't claim to know the unknown. Your beef is with religion, not science, and not the people who argue against religion.

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Re: Religion

Postby Baalthazaq » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:01 am UTC

And though I would guess you intended to come across as on neither side, you actually have clearly come down on the side against religion, because it is religion, not science, that claims to know the unknown.


I'd say that's based entirely on your perception of religion/science, and nothing to do with what he said. "Know the unknown" is a universal paradox, and neither make this claim (or are capable of making the claim). Science and religion can be described as describing that which is not immediately apparent.

Furthermore as science is not entirely deductive (it's also inductive), it currently posits several "unknowns". Several religions describe internally a margin for error, where there is not a "known" but an estimate based on current knowns. Islam for example has several Holy Books ranked in order of accuracy (The Hadith Specifically, starting with Bukhari as the most accurate).

You can compare science to a specific religion, but not to "religion" as a noun. "Religion says" is meaningless, and religion doesn't even have concrete description.
Out of all the definitions in the dictionary, at least 1 can be applied to Atheism, at least 2 to Bhuddism, at least 4 to Christianity/Islam, and so on. Doesn't even take much of a stretch to include Science.
Definitions

Edited to Add:
The only difference I see between science and religion, is that Science is BFS, and Religion is DFS, with each religion being a different "thread" in DFS.

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Re: Religion

Postby Vanguard » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:24 pm UTC

taylor_venable wrote:I'm an agnostic atheist, but I usually just shorten it to atheist, leaving it obvious (in my own manner of thinking) that human thought is inherently limited.


That's the summerized version of why I say I'm atheist now and not agnostic.
Apparently we think alike.
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Re: Religion

Postby Maurog » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:46 pm UTC

I always thought atheist means you think God doesn't exist, and agnostic means you don't care whether He exists or not, on the account of it not changing anything.
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Re: Religion

Postby Vanguard » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:18 pm UTC

Multiple interpretations.
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Re: Religion

Postby ExistentialRoot » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:41 pm UTC

Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)

Agnosticism means that you are unsure of the existence of god.

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Re: Religion

Postby The_Fozz » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:13 pm UTC

ExistentialRoot wrote:Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)

Agnosticism means that you are unsure of the existence of god.


You can, however, be an atheistic-leaning agnostic. Just like you can be a monotheistic-leaning agnostic, or a polytheistic-leaning agnostic.

I myself lean to the atheistic side of agnosticism, for numerous reasons. One being that many current scientific theories make perfect sense to me, they've been proven time and time again (evolution isn't a theory, it's a law) but in the back of my head, there's some unexplainable stuff that makes me wonder, but it boils down to me not knowing, if I don't know something, I'm not going to go spouting out a bunch of garbage thinking it's real. Agnosticism is a good way to get people to stop talking about religion too, cause frankly, I've not given it enough thought, as it's not an integral part of my life. Religion is not required for me to live.
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Re: Religion

Postby Belial » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:17 pm UTC

ExistentialRoot wrote:Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)


I swear to any and all gods that may or may not exist: if we get into the "no, atheism means this!" argument one more time, I'm turning these fora around and driving us straight home.

But to clarify, since you're new and weren't privy to the first eight or so times: The definitions of both "atheist" and "agnostic" are imprecise and much debated. Just because you're using them in one way doesn't mean someone else isn't using them in another. Don't presume to dictate. That is all.
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Re: Religion

Postby zar » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:43 pm UTC

Baalthazaq wrote:
And though I would guess you intended to come across as on neither side, you actually have clearly come down on the side against religion, because it is religion, not science, that claims to know the unknown.


I'd say that's based entirely on your perception of religion/science, and nothing to do with what he said. "Know the unknown" is a universal paradox, and neither make this claim (or are capable of making the claim). Science and religion can be described as describing that which is not immediately apparent.

Furthermore as science is not entirely deductive (it's also inductive), it currently posits several "unknowns". Several religions describe internally a margin for error, where there is not a "known" but an estimate based on current knowns. Islam for example has several Holy Books ranked in order of accuracy (The Hadith Specifically, starting with Bukhari as the most accurate).

You can compare science to a specific religion, but not to "religion" as a noun. "Religion says" is meaningless, and religion doesn't even have concrete description.

He was talking specifically about the question of why anything exists at all, or what stated the universe (presumably before the big bang). Most religion claims to know, but science is actually working to figure it out. Those religions are claiming to something that they do not know and have no way of knowing. And before you pull up some religion that doesn't, all religions, by definition, make some supernatural claim, and such claims are, without exception, make without real evidence.

And yes, science is mostly inductive, and it also uses abduction too. What the hell is your point? Is that supposed to undermine it? I'm not sure what you meant by "it currently posits several 'unknowns'".

Religion uses faith, not evidence, not reason (or if reason, only based on the absurd assumptions that they have already made.) I don't care about some "margin of error" that some religions may admit, even if it's 100%. They still make baseless, ridiculous claims without evidence. That's not comparable to science, unless you point to it and say "this is everything that science is not".

The only difference I see between science and religion, is that Science is BFS, and Religion is DFS, with each religion being a different "thread" in DFS.

Ah, so you go to the witch doctor or faith healer rather than a trained medical doctor when you get sick? You occasionally sacrifice a goat in hopes of getting good weather? You see the claim that Hurricane Katrina hit because of "sinfulness" on equal footing to the meteorological explanation?

Or perhaps there are more differences than you would like to admit.

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Re: Religion

Postby Nexus_1101 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:54 pm UTC

*pop*

"hello!"

Self-employed :)

*pop*
HOSTING -> Heroquest
:idea: CHAOS BONUS :idea:

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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:27 pm UTC

zar wrote:And yes, science is mostly inductive, and it also uses abduction too.
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Re: Religion

Postby Snoof » Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

Well, I guess I can chime in. I'm an atheist, because as of yet I've observed no reasonable evidence [1] for the existance of god or gods, and as of yet no religion has convinced me of the logical necessity for the existence of god or gods using axioms I'm willing to accept as valid [2]. I'm afraid, lacking a personal revelatory experience or any amount of personal 'faith', an appeal to something other than logic or the scientific method isn't going to cut it for me.

I'd also like to point out that if the gods espoused by several holy books and/or religious leaders existed, I'd find myself morally (or ethically, perhaps, I'm a little uncertain on definitions) required to oppose them. Seriously. The god of the Old Testament [3] is a _complete wanker_, and I'm not taking any crap from a god that I wouldn't accept from an acquaintance.

On a side note, I came across the term "ignostic" recently, which I quite like, though I'm uncertain as to its usefulness.
Link.

[1] Defined as the kind of evidence which would, for example, stand up in court.
[2] Although, not having studied cosmology in any detail, the origins of the universe still have room (in my opinion) for a 'god of the gaps'. I can't see why it's any more likely an explanation than 'it just happened', though.
[3] Who may also be the god of Fred Phelps.
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Re: Religion

Postby superglucose » Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:59 am UTC

Well, I'm just going to toss in my two cents worth, and yall can flame me all you want:

Even if God or Buddah or whoever doesn't exist... these religious texts have many truths that should be examined and taken. For example,

Matthew 6:27: "And who of you by worrying can add a day to your life?"

I think if everyone read these religious books and tried to model their life by the message (for Christianity at least it's be excellent to each other and rock on) that's ACTUALLY there, the world would be a much better place.

That said, organized religion has many flaws.
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Re: Religion

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:52 am UTC

You don't need religion to tell you that being a douchebag is kind of, well, douchebaggy.
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Re: Religion

Postby wst » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:56 am UTC

Quite a lot of stuff that religion is is common sense. Apart from the believing in a omnipresent, omnipotent, invisible person who has all this power and still can't be bothered to answer anything you say to him/her.
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Re: Religion

Postby Morphing Ball » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:59 am UTC

Religion has also advocated some terrible things and forbidden some things that are OK. So, it's in some ways a good thing that most religious people like to pick and choose, but it's still terribly hypocritical.

I personally just think society needs to strive for secularism, but I suppose some people have difficulty making good decisions without a religious text to guide them.

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Re: Religion

Postby wst » Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:01 pm UTC

Or they need the religion as a cushion of comfort. I mean, atheism doesn't really give you the impression that when you die you go to heaven, does it?
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Re: Religion

Postby Morphing Ball » Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:24 pm UTC

There is also that.

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Re: Religion

Postby Angstrom » Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:44 pm UTC

Agnostic Atheist

But really just my own brand of Apathy, science is infinitely more useful/interesting.

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Re: Religion

Postby Morphing Ball » Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:00 pm UTC

Really? I think of atheism and agnosticism as being mutually exclusive, yet you're the second person to claim that stance.

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Re: Religion

Postby Angstrom » Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:27 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
ExistentialRoot wrote:Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)


I swear to any and all gods that may or may not exist: if we get into the "no, atheism means this!" argument one more time, I'm turning these fora around and driving us straight home.

But to clarify, since you're new and weren't privy to the first eight or so times: The definitions of both "atheist" and "agnostic" are imprecise and much debated. Just because you're using them in one way doesn't mean someone else isn't using them in another. Don't presume to dictate. That is all.


People need to read this again, apparently.

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Re: Religion

Postby necroforest » Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:56 pm UTC

ExistentialRoot wrote:Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)

Agnosticism means that you are unsure of the existence of god.


Honestly, how can we know about the non-existance of the tooth fairy or the flying spaghetti monster or animal spirits or whatever else? Should we claim to be "agnostic" about them, or the pantheon of things that we could dream up? The only reason that people feel that way about god is because the "god idea" is so ubiquitous in most cultures.
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Re: Religion

Postby redwards » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
ExistentialRoot wrote:Actually, atheism means that you don't believe in God, it's an absolute disbelief. (Which honestly, how can we know that...)


I swear to any and all gods that may or may not exist: if we get into the "no, atheism means this!" argument one more time, I'm turning these fora around and driving us straight home.

But to clarify, since you're new and weren't privy to the first eight or so times: The definitions of both "atheist" and "agnostic" are imprecise and much debated. Just because you're using them in one way doesn't mean someone else isn't using them in another. Don't presume to dictate. That is all.


This post should automatically be added as a header to any thread containing either of those words.

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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:50 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:You don't need religion to tell you that being a douchebag is kind of, well, douchebaggy.
We might not, but it seems that some people might.
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Re: Religion

Postby Puzzlemaker » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:33 pm UTC

RELIGION.

*Bombs go off, thousands die*
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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:08 pm UTC

The same could be said for beliefs and opinions in general. Yet these are a part of human nature, of which religion is just one example.
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Re: Religion

Postby Aluminus » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:54 am UTC

Has anyone here used the term Euphraxsophy?


Eupraxsophy (previously "eupraxophy" but updated) [1] is a nonreligious life stance or worldview emphasizing the importance of living an ethical and exuberant life, and relying on rational methods such as logic, observation and science (rather than faith, mysticism or revelation) toward that end. The word "eupraxsophy" was coined by Paul Kurtz, and comes from the Greek words for "good practice and wisdom." Eupraxsophies, like religions, are cosmic in their outlook, but eschew the supernatural component of religion, avoiding the "transcendental temptation," as Kurtz puts it.
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Re: Religion

Postby Redem » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:37 am UTC

Snoof wrote:Well, I guess I can chime in. I'm an atheist, because as of yet I've observed no reasonable evidence [1] for the existance of god or gods, and as of yet no religion has convinced me of the logical necessity for the existence of god or gods using axioms I'm willing to accept as valid [2]. I'm afraid, lacking a personal revelatory experience or any amount of personal 'faith', an appeal to something other than logic or the scientific method isn't going to cut it for me.

I'd also like to point out that if the gods espoused by several holy books and/or religious leaders existed, I'd find myself morally (or ethically, perhaps, I'm a little uncertain on definitions) required to oppose them. Seriously. The god of the Old Testament [3] is a _complete wanker_, and I'm not taking any crap from a god that I wouldn't accept from an acquaintance.



This about covers my opinion on these matters.
I would usually define myself as an atheist, or an agnostic atheist if pressed. Any more and I would go into a 3 hour explanation of my thought processes... which tends to confuse people more >_>

Well anyway, the lack of a convincing argument from the religious is the main reason I'm an atheist. They have simply failed to make their case, despite years of attempts.

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Re: Religion

Postby Robin S » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:02 am UTC

Aluminus wrote:Has anyone here used the term Euphraxsophy?


Eupraxsophy (previously "eupraxophy" but updated) [1] is a nonreligious life stance or worldview emphasizing the importance of living an ethical and exuberant life, and relying on rational methods such as logic, observation and science (rather than faith, mysticism or revelation) toward that end. The word "eupraxsophy" was coined by Paul Kurtz, and comes from the Greek words for "good practice and wisdom." Eupraxsophies, like religions, are cosmic in their outlook, but eschew the supernatural component of religion, avoiding the "transcendental temptation," as Kurtz puts it.
That sounds a lot like humanism.
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Re: Religion

Postby N.K. » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:26 am UTC

I'm an agnostic.

I personally think that by definition, a divine being would have ways and ethics too complicated and above our heads for a human mind to comprehend. I also don't really think it's possible to know if he/she/it/them exist. I also get extremely pissed off when people impose their religion on others, and say, "GOD WANTS IT/GOD TOLD ME TO/WELL YOU'RE GOING TO HELL AND I'M SPECIAL." I also believe very firmly in separation of church and state.

On another note, am I the only one here who winces when I hear, "One nation, under God," in the pledge of allegiance?

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Re: Religion

Postby Tchebu » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:40 am UTC

I personally think that by definition, a divine being would have ways and ethics too complicated and above our heads for a human mind to comprehend. I also don't really think it's possible to know if he/she/it/them exist.


Couple of questions there...

First... why would something be outside our range of "knowing" it... I mean, ok sure, we may not know now... and it's just completely impossible to prove the non-existance of anything. But suppose God exists... why would it be impossible to know about it?

Second, if he/she/it/them has ethics too complicated for us to understand, doesnt that imply that religious belief is a crappy way to gain insight into morality and ethics?... Or at the very least imposes dogmatism as the only way to ever get any "true cosmic" ethical values beyond our "petty human" ones?
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