Ive noticed quite a few agnostics becoming quite vocal and opinionated recently with statements like "I dont know...and neither do you!". To me, agnosticism is exactly like any religion, twisting and rationalizing excuses for religion to be a viable alternative to reason, albeit with agnosticism a "live and let live" seems to more be the idea. What really gets me, though is that insipid argument in which they state that atheism requires as much faith as religion, and that Agnosticism is the only non-faith movement. Its BULLSHIT, of course. We are all atheists about the flying spaghetti monster and a celestial teapot, and yet we do not have "Faith" those things do not exist. Faith is a positive action where you believe in something that clearly does not exist. (the more clear it is that something exists, the less faith is required)

Anyway, I am as passionately anti agnostic as I am anti theist, because I see agnosticism as a gateway drug to religious delusion, and it only aids religion by turning a blind eye to it.

Thoughts? Am I alone in this? Should we ridicule agnostics on A/N until they leave or change their minds?

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What can be truly known?

The mathematical models of cosmology are still only models. They seem to be "true" but are they truly reality? Ugh. I am getting in way over my head here.

Faith is the snotty waitress at The Friendly Cooker who makes it clear that she prefers to wait on men rather than women, despite my having demonstrated a willingness to tip generously for good service.

And if I can't find anything useful to say, I'll make up some silly BS. ;) What bugs me is when people say, "Science can't explain everything," as rationale for believing woo. Perhaps agnosticism ties in with that.
I cant truly "know" that the light was red, or my blood alcohol limit was really too high, but none of that holds up in practical reality. Ultimate "knowology" only matters (or doesnt) in ivory towers of academia, for the vast majority of us, knowing is defined as what we "know" based on what we can observe and react to. Sure, we could all be some giant simulation, but that possibility is, I would consider for all intents and purposes, irrelevant to any action we take or decision we make.

Show me a person thinks that knowing in the ultimate, philosophical sense is required for all decisions in life, and I will show you an insane person who has no business teaching, guiding, influencing, or educating anyone, and should be held up to ridicule in society.
Show me a person thinks that knowing in the ultimate, philosophical sense is required for all decisions in life, and I will show you an insane person who has no business teaching, guiding, influencing, or educating anyone, and should be held up to ridicule in society.

Have you ever met such a person? If such a person exists, then surely they live in a state of catatonia?

should be held up to ridicule in society.

Who is the judge of whom should be singled out for ridicule? Again, just interested, curious, and playing devil's advocate. Why is it important to offer ridicule? In what manner should the ridicule be performed? Which "society?" Will "society" tolerate said ridicule, or will "society" opt for mercy? How much ridicule is enough? What is the goal of the ridicule? Does the performance of ridicule have the desired effect? What is the desired effect of performing ridicule? Is it to make the performer appear superior? Is it to shame the recipient? What is the recidivism rate of reformed ridicule recipients?
Agnosticism is an epistemological position, not religious. You can be agnostic about anything.

Atheism is not being a theist. If your answer to "Do you worship a god?" is "no", then you are an atheist; have a nice day. What you do about it, or how strongly you hold that position, is another topic.

I think a lot of it might be fence-sitting. But people are complex, and their mislabeling themselves is nothing unusual and can have a variety of causes.

How many people are gay and don't think they are? Are there racists who would never consider calling themselves as such?

Many reasons for this, from psychological denial, to social stigma, to misunderstanding of the terms.
I agree, and I like to think of it as the difference between atheism and anti-theism. An atheist is a non theist, and sees god as irrelevant, like everything that does not exist. Existence is key to being relevant.

An anti-theist actively hates or opposes god, that is, acknowledges or possibility of existence but is opposed to god. I think theists see atheists as anti-theists in their "heart of hearts" but atheists definitely do not see themselves that way.

Of course, to state that things of a spiritual nature are "unknowable" is as positive a stance as theism, so there isnt really any 'high ground' for the agnostic to stand on philosophically either. In short : theism says "there is a god", agnosticism says "no one can know if there is a god or not" and atheism says "god, flying monkeys, santa clause...irrelevant - move on".
This discussion reminds me of a situation where I told a friend about being an atheist and she was concerned about me not being "spiritual"...for some reason that was an important aspect of being human and a 'good' person in her way of thinking. Not so much religion, as spirituality. A belief in some higher power. But I'm not spiritual and see no need for spirituality nor a need to worship anything/anybody. This is often difficult to explain to people.
Of course, to state that things of a spiritual nature are "unknowable" is as positive a stance as theism, so there isnt really any 'high ground' for the agnostic to stand on philosophically either.

But this doesn't correctly describe the philosophical stance of agnostics - or of most of them at least. Today we know we can send people to the moon, but it seems reasonable for ancient Greeks to be agnostic about interplanetary travel. Or even for Galileo.
I see nothing in the quoted Smith passage that implies that atheism is a lack. Nor have I ever seen that definition in a dictionary.
Good and important point largely lost to theists. I always point out to god-woshippers of all forms that they are the 'believers'. Atheists HAVE NO SUCH BELIEFS. There is no empirical evidence of any god and until such evidence is produced it is a blind belief , and god is imaginary.

Religions are masters in brainwashing their followers that if you do not 'believe' in their god you are a wretched, cursed, soulless non-human and condemned to a myriad of 'punishments'.
Ugh. Have we now got people who don't believe in "God" arguing with people who don't believe in "God". Seems like some of us don't not believe in "God" enough, (parse that one).

And now it occurs to me - we have people who like to tell us what other people think. I prefer to hear from these agnostics what they think and why, not hear it from some third party.
Atheism: lack of belief in all gods. (Or some atheists actually believe that god/s do not exist)
Theism: belief in god/s.
Agnosticism: the existence of god/s is unknown and/or unknowable.
Gnosticism: the existence of god/s is known and/or knowable.
Ignosticism: other theological positions assume too much in terms of knowledge of god/s, a coherent definition of god/s must be present for a discussion about god to be meaningful.

I run into a lot of people calling themselves agnostics who don't really know what it means. Agnosticism is not fence sitting; rather it deals with knowledge where atheism and theism deal with belief/faith. It is certainly possible and many people are both atheists and agnostics; they are not mutually exclusive positions.
Ugh...that is so wrong. Atheism does not require any more faith than you require to believe your utensils wont spontaneously leap up from your table and do the can-can.

Atheism is not a lack of anything. Not believing in something is not a deficit position, the burden of proof is on the positive.

To state that god is unknown or unknowable requires faith because one must believe in the possibility that god's existence warrants at least enough merit that one should be careful not to dismiss it out of hand. It is effectively "fire insurance". When you use the word "know" its OK to use it in the finite sense, because we are finite. Obviously we have a limited understanding of the universe and its workings and could ultimately be nothing but a dream or a massive simulation running on some huge computer. None of that is relevant beyond the most esoteric of philosophy classrooms, because we all must decide how to live our lives and face our reality - and be accountable for our decisions in this world as we perceive it, so bandying about the term only serves to create confusion and feed fuel to religious delusion.

Again, and I cant make this point strongly enough, we all are atheist about Zeus, leprechauns, fairies, invisible talking floss planets named "Moe", sentient spoons, and planet sized toothpicks made of orange juice. No one contemplates the possibility of those kinds of things being "real" unless they are insane.

God is simply another concept entirely without proof or merit that is on the same exact level of anything else fanciful and ridiculous IE worthy of ridicule.


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