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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You realise, of course, it doesn't matter how many times we repost this video, or how many times we try and explain the same thing in kindergarten language. This argument will carry on regardless as if nothing happened. No one reads, no one listens, no one stops to consider; everybody just knows that what they have to say is far more important anyway and their time is too precious to bother actually following the whole thread. Or more correctly, threads. This is becoming like abortion - and endless, groundhog day.
Atheism is a position of fact : that any god does not exist because there is no empirical evidence of it.

There is no definition of god. There is no observable, measurable, recordable phenomena of god . There is no repeatable experiment nor mathematical treatise nor scientific method to prove god.

Therefore there is no god and it cannot exist within our known measurable universe.

There are only anecdotes, emotional feelings and imaginary concepts within humans of a god or gods.

Now, should any empirical and incontrovertible evidence be produced of a god, then any atheist will change his/her position to accept the fact, and therefore become a theist because god has been proven beyond any doubt, to exist.

Thus atheism is not a 'belief' nor does it require any proof. It is a position of fact, until the facts as we know them, change due to new evidence. It is the scientific method of thinking and the scientific way to be.
I'm Atheist Agnostic, because I accept that I don't know the answers, but choose not to believe in God. Agnosticism makes sense to me, but while the message is suppose to be "I don't know", the message sent to the religious is "I'm undecided", and when you live in Mormon country, that's not an option.

And certainly you can have faith in something that exists. Furthermore, while anti-religion is easy enough while you're looking at priests who molest boys, fundamentalists who abuse their wives, and cult leaders who drive hundreds to death... a good amount of people are loosely religious, with little more than a vague belief in a deity. I don't see how that hurts me until they feed something that is harmful. Belief in God itself doesn't need to be harmful.
Lots of racist people are really smart in other areas, and one can respect and even learn from them in the other areas, but they can still call out their racism as stupid.

Its just calling the beliefs and ideas stupid, no one is advocating discrimination or violence against people of faith, but you arent doing them any favors by not criticizing their delusional belief system, calling it what it is.
I'm actually not all that concerned about the labels we use. Agnostics are on our side, regardless of whether they realise that or not: the side of the non-belief in God. They are our allies in just about anything: getting religion out of politics, building and maintaining secular states, etcetera... Most of the time agnostics are simply atheists who choose to use a different label in order to stress a different aspect of their belief (i.e. what they are trying to emphasize is that they don't know of sure).
Insisting that we all adhere to one label would be a bit like the Democrats telling their voters that they all need to adhere to the term "liberal". In practice, it just doesn't work that way: many different groups with many different political labels (liberal, social democrat, humanist, progressive,...) would all be voting for the Democratic party and working together, even though ostensibly their labels mean different things.
In that sense I cut them slack.

On the other hand, if they make stupid claims like how atheism requires as much as faith as theism, then I nail them, and that usually gets them to recognise that our position are similar (if not the same).
Here's my description of why "faith" might be considered a requirement for active atheism.

I've been an atheist all of my adult life, having declared myself as such at the age of 12, much to the consternation of my parents. However, my reasoning is faith based - well, sort of. . .

I accept as a matter of faith that the actions of the universe are determinant and that there is some subset of "absolute reality". By that I mean that there exists some reality that is independent of the observer. As a physicist, this is required, otherwise all would be subjective and it would not be possible to understand the functioning of anything. I consider these beliefs of mine; that there is an absolute reality, that the actions of the universe are statistically determinant, and that the methods by which these interactions occur are understandable given adequate knowledge, to be articles of faith - because I can not prove that they are true, yet have chosen to act as though they are.
In this sense, i.e. choosing to act under the assumption that unproven concepts are accurate, I suggest that thoughtful atheists can be said to be acting based on faith. If this definition trivializes the word and so makes it useless, I need a better way to acknowledge that only the Cartesian assertion "Cogito ergo Sum" is known to be true, all else except pure logic is surmise.

Faith is belief in something for which there is no evidence. Belief in something that is obviously false. "Faith can move mountains". No one can move a mountain, ergo faith is belief in something impossible, untrue, false.

To understand something based on knowledge and experience is not faith, it is reason. Faith is the opposite of reason, it is being convinced something exists in spite of all observable evidence to the contrary.

Being faithful and being delusional are identical.

Faith is the opposite of science, the opposite of reason, the opposite of knowledge.
Is there any sane person who believes in something that is obviously false?
Mark Twain's notable statement that "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." is certainly memorable and pithy, but it's not really true.
We all know someone who we consider to be smart, clever, successful, etc. yet who is quite religious. That person may well consider an atheist's lack of belief to be an obvious error, just as a brilliant atheist is likely to consider that person's belief in god to be an obvious error. The believer may feel that she has plenty of evidence of their god's existence.
Of course, sincere belief in any material thing in no way affects it's state of existence. However, allowing oneself to subscribe to such catchy but wrong definitions as in the Twain quote lead to mis-perceptions.
I propose then that the degree of "faithfulness" is inversely proportionate to the evidence supplied. To believe I can move a mountain by commanding it to do so requires a tremendous degree of faith, but to believe that my car wont spontaneously turn into an orange requires so little faith the idea of faith is considered to be irrelevant.

Evidence is another thing that needs to be defined. A delusional person might believe they have "evidence" that jumping out of a window is safe because they can fly, but most observers would consider their "evidence" a series of confused justifications possibly brought about by some kind of mental illness.

Of course a faithful person who wants to be taken seriously in a rational society will liberally apply terms and language similar sounding to rational thinking to justify their faith, but the fact remains. Faith is delusion, to deny that is to be delusional. You can be a little bit delusional (i'm not fat) or you can be significantly delusional (I am Michael Jackson)
Clarification "Religious faith" not "generic term faith" . I thought the context implied that, but I'm happy to clarify what I meant.
Gary, plenty of people who are otherwise considered sane believe the story of Noah's Ark to be literally true. But the story is factually impossible at almost every turn. It's not just that there is no evidence of a world-wide (or even Mideast-wide) flood--almost every detail in the story could not happen if you know anything about boat-building, genetic bottlenecking, the number of animal species in the world, the flood survivability of plants, the logistics of providing that many animals with food and with waste removal, etc, etc, etc.

Now it's possible you meant to imply that people who take the story of Noah's Ark as literally true on faith are not, in fact, sane, but then I think you'd be saying the same thing as Ryan. At this point in history, religious faith among the educated is delusion, willful ignorance, or a simple refusal to investigate factual claims honestly. In any of these modes, faith is the opposite of reason, the enemy of reason. Martin Luther freely admitted as much:

"Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but--more frequently than not --struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."
You are correct. I fear that I've drifted from the point I started trying to make; specifically that I, and probably all sane people, accept certain precepts on faith - meaning without logical or demonstrable proof. My "faith" involves believing that there is a reality that is understandable - that the functioning of the universe is orderly. I do not often seriously consider that it is not, but occasionally I do question my own foundational beliefs, asking how I can be certain of them. I was "splitting hairs" with Ryan's comments not to disagree with his intent, but rather to focus on this particular point.




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