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1 Boondocksaint  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 2:34:54am

some good points made.

2 dragonfire1981  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 5:26:59am

I have often wondered how many Christian heads would explode if someone started an Atheist “church” , that is to say a place where atheists would go and celebrate the fact they do not believe in God.

3 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 5:33:54am

Atheism is not a religion since it has no religious tradition, no rituals, no dogma, no teachings. It’s simply a lack of belief in god. Well-founded lack, I might add.

4 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 6:43:34am

As an agnostic (the church of I Don’t Know) atheism and religion share a similar characteristic. The “members” are “sure” of something. Religion is SURE there is a “god” and atheists are SURE there isn’t a “god”.

Since neither one can be proven (currently) it seems you’d have to use some sort of “faith” in order to have that kind of certainty. Yea I know we fence sitting agnostics are weird but I think it’s the lack of any certainty in this area which binds us as a common thread.

5 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 6:56:17am

re: #4 Locker

As an agnostic (the church of I Don’t Know) atheism and religion share a similar characteristic. The “members” are “sure” of something. Religion is SURE there is a “god” and atheists are SURE there isn’t a “god”.

That’s not true, though.

I’m an atheist. I”m not sure there’s no god. But there is no reason for me to believe in a god, and I never have to resort to god or magic of any sort to explain the world.

I’m also not sure that the universe isn’t a hologram. But I don’t have any reason to believe it is.

6 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 6:56:44am

re: #4 Locker

The most general def of atheism is lack of belief in god’s existence. That means that atheists are not necessarily “sure” that god doesn’t exist, so you’re simply wrong, LOL.

As for what can and cannot be proven, you can’t disprove numerous things, like Santa Claus, or Invisible Pink Unicorn. I mean, you can’t even disprove a claim that 9/11 was a deed by very powerful aliens who just made it seem (with their great powers) that it was Al Qaeda. Yes, you can’t disprove such a claim, yet you would dismiss it in a second, wouldn’t you? That makes you religious by your own definition - you have faith in non-alien origin of 9/11! I could go on.

Further reading: “There is no god, and yes I can say that”. Enjoy.

7 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:01:03am

If you aren’t sure then why should you say “there is no god”? From my perspective and understanding of the definitions if you aren’t sure, then you are agnostic, not atheist.

I know opinions vary.. it’s all good.

8 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:02:29am

re: #6 Sergey Romanov

As for what can and cannot be proven, you can’t disprove numerous things, like Santa Claus, or Invisible Pink Unicorn. I mean, you can’t even disprove a claim that 9/11 was a deed by very powerful aliens who just made it seem (with their great powers) that it was Al Qaeda. Yes, you can’t disprove such a claim, yet you would dismiss it in a second, wouldn’t you? That makes you religious by your own definition - you have faith in non-alien origin of 9/11! I could go on.

Actually, I work by probability and I try not to dismiss anything. Quantum physics style… there is no 0 or 100pct probability.. only approaching…

9 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:05:14am

> If you aren’t sure then why should you say “there is no god”?

I usually don’t say that, although I might, to piss off the fence-sitters ;)

> From my perspective and understanding of the definitions if you aren’t sure, then you are agnostic, not atheist.

One can be both. The point is, “there is no god” involves no more faith than “9/11 was not done by aliens”, so your logic in comparing atheists (by your def) and theists is poor. It is semantically possible to say “there is no god” and have no religious faith.

10 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:06:32am

re: #8 Locker

True, same here. However, you never say “with all probability this or that event is not of alien making”. Semantics of everyday language allow us to say things without mentioning probabilities. Read the article, it’s all explained there.

11 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:09:32am

I try to say “with all probablity” by using works and phrases like “in my opinion” or “it seems” or “probably” instead of “impossible” or “definitely” etc, etc. Due to this I disagree that people say things with or without mentioning probability.. they say it… just using layman’s terms.

12 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:11:40am

re: #9 Sergey Romanov

> If you aren’t sure then why should you say “there is no god”?

I usually don’t say that, although I might, to piss off the fence-sitters ;)

> From my perspective and understanding of the definitions if you aren’t sure, then you are agnostic, not atheist.

One can be both. The point is, “there is no god” involves no more faith than “9/11 was not done by aliens”, so your logic in comparing atheists (by your def) and theists is poor. It is semantically possible to say “there is no god” and have no religious faith.

My point is that I don’t know there is no god and I don’t know that aliens didn’t pull off 9/11. I may suspect, want to believe or think there is a low/high probability but I don’t know a damn thing. Embracing that concept is the core of agnosticism, in my opinion.

13 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:13:27am

re: #11 Locker

Uh, no you don’t. You don’t say “with all probability, the President of the United States is Barack Obama”, even though there is an infinite number of scenarios where it’s not Obama (e.g. alien hypnotizing rays changing your brain waves at this moment, making you think it’s Obama; or “Obama” being a hologram; or …). No claim is 100% certain, yet we still state simple facts without using qualifiers. Like, I’m writing this message to you right now. It’s a fact. Yet it could be my hallucination (or your hallucination). But I won’t write anything stupid like “It seems probable that I’m writing a message right now”.

14 laZardo  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:14:36am

re: #12 Locker

My point is that I don’t know there is no god and I don’t know that aliens didn’t pull off 9/11.

For the record, I’m still sorry I let my galactic frat bro from Zebulon Beta Gnork borrow my spaceship for the day. I didn’t know he was still high as fuck off that nebula dust.

/

15 Lidane  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:14:49am

re: #5 Obdicut

That’s not true, though.

I’m an atheist. I”m not sure there’s no god. But there is no reason for me to believe in a god, and I never have to resort to god or magic of any sort to explain the world.

I’m also not sure that the universe isn’t a hologram. But I don’t have any reason to believe it is.

Exactly.

For me, my atheism isn’t some sort of capslock certainty that THERE IS NO GOD or anything. It’s more of a lack of a reason to believe in a god. Most things can be explained without magical thinking and through science, and those that can’t, we just haven’t figured out the answer yet.

I don’t see a point to subscribing to a religion or following a deity. It makes no sense to me. I can understand things like meditation to center your mind or whatever, but belief in God is just foreign to me. I gave up on it after high school. Haven’t felt a deep need for it since.

16 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:15:51am

re: #7 Locker

If you aren’t sure then why should you say “there is no god”?

I’ve never said “There is no god”.

Why would I?

I’ve said “There’s no reason to believe in god”.

God doesn’t even come up as something that can be considered, really. There’s not even a definition of what ‘god’ means.

17 FemNaziBitch  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:17:54am

re: #5 Obdicut

That’s not true, though.

I’m an atheist. I”m not sure there’s no god. But there is no reason for me to believe in a god, and I never have to resort to god or magic of any sort to explain the world.

I’m also not sure that the universe isn’t a hologram. But I don’t have any reason to believe it is.

Actually, I think they recently proved the world is NOT a hologram… .

18 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:19:49am

re: #12 Locker

My point is that I don’t know there is no god and I don’t know that aliens didn’t pull off 9/11. I may suspect, want to believe or think there is a low/high probability but I don’t know a damn thing. Embracing that concept is the core of agnosticism, in my opinion.

But why the double standard then? You won’t be accusing people saying Al Qaeda did 9/11 of having religious faith in this claim just because they fail to acknowledge all possible scenarios, like aliens. You won’t get all twisted because of someone saying “Israel exists” or “Christopher Columbus is a historical figure”, without qualifying these statements with “it seems to me” and “probably”.

Yet for some reason you will point out the alleged faith of someone who writes that “there is no god”. Seems like a big inconsistency to me. Sure, “there is no god” cannot be proven absolutely, but then so cannot be any other factual claim.

19 laZardo  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:22:03am

re: #17 ggt

Actually, I think they recently proved the world is NOT a hologram… .

ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

20 Locker  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:26:17am

Hey ya’ll I am THOROUGHLY enjoying this conversation however my boss is here and she’s on the warpath. Just gonna leave this for conversations sake.. I know it’s just wikipedia but here is the first paragraph from the Agnosticism article..

Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deities or Gods, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable.[1][2][3] Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the similarities or differences between belief and knowledge,[clarification needed] rather than about any specific claim or belief.

That sure seems pretty similar to a lot of what’s being said in this thread. I’ll try to jump back in around lunch or break time. Thanks ya’ll I really enjoy this type of dialog.

21 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 7:41:36am

re: #20 Locker

Agnosticism is traditionally very ill-defined. By one definition, nobody is not an agnostic other than insane people.

I’m saying that an agnostic who says “It’s unknown whether there is a god” is missing the point, in which question one should be “Define ‘god’”.

To me, god is a subset of the supernatural, which literally means believing that things exist in a non-physical way, in a system not governed by physics. To me, that’s literally saying “I believe in impossible things”.

To me, very few believers claim they can actually explain what god is, what attributes this entity has. What their actual claim seems to be is “This thing exists that we can’t describe or understand or have any actual evidence of its existence ever shown.” Being asked to consider the existence of something that has no definition is kind of meaningless.

22 Jim D  Mon, Jul 18, 2011 8:20:51am
‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.
‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’
Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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