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Am I An Atheist?


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#1 Buckaroo

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:12 PM

I've noticed that often when a person calls himself an atheist, it is challenged and many insist that, in fact, one might be an agnostic. So, I am curious how you would be inclined to categorize me? I've called myself an atheist since about 2007. Without telling you too much about myself, I'll let you ask me the questions that you feel are important in making this determination.

To me, the label is insignificant and the only thing that matters is what a person thinks and feels.

Anyway, if any of you are interested, ask away!

Have fun! :o)

#2 Buckaroo

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:13 PM

I didn't intend for that smiley to appear, LOL

#3 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:25 AM

Hi Buckaroo

Are you absolutely certain there is no god?

#4 Ron

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:07 AM

I've noticed that often when a person calls himself an atheist, it is challenged and many insist that, in fact, one might be an agnostic. So, I am curious how you would be inclined to categorize me? I've called myself an atheist since about 2007. Without telling you too much about myself, I'll let you ask me the questions that you feel are important in making this determination.

To me, the label is insignificant and the only thing that matters is what a person thinks and feels.

Anyway, if any of you are interested, ask away!

Have fun! :o)


The answer is quite simple really. All you have to do is answer these two questions honestly (i.e. no dithering, equivocating, or quibbling) with a yes or no:

1- I believe there is NO God (are NO gods etc...)------------------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Atheist is defined as "NO God"

2- I don't know IF there is a God (are gods etc...) or not----------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Agnostic is defined as "NO knowledge"

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#5 Ron

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:10 AM

As an aside, no one accuses an atheist of being an agnostic, UNLESS that atheist professes to be an atheist, but acts like an agnostic. So your initial premise is fallacious at its base.

#6 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:19 AM

The answer is quite simple really. All you have to do is answer these two questions honestly (i.e. no dithering, equivocating, or quibbling) with a yes or no:

1- I believe there is NO God (are NO gods etc...)------------------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Atheist is defined as "NO God"

2- I don't know IF there is a God (are gods etc...) or not----------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Agnostic is defined as "NO knowledge"


I would honestly answer 'yes' to both of those questions

#7 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:12 AM

I would honestly answer 'yes' to both of those questions


With all due respect, not seeing the clear distinction between the questions indicates a reading comprehension problem, or worse.

This seems to be systemic of unbelievers; not being able to comprehend absolutes. It's the way their brains are wired, in my opinion.

#8 Ron

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:27 AM



The answer is quite simple really. All you have to do is answer these two questions honestly (i.e. no dithering, equivocating, or quibbling) with a yes or no:

1- I believe there is NO God (are NO gods etc...)------------------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Atheist is defined as "NO God"

2- I don't know IF there is a God (are gods etc...) or not----------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Agnostic is defined as "NO knowledge"



I would honestly answer 'yes' to both of those questions



Then you would be dishonest in your equivocating, because you cannot logically answer 'yes' to both.

On one hand, you are saying that “there are NO God/gods; and on the other you are saying that you don’t know.

Nice try falcone. Are you sure you want to continue playing this game of yours?

#9 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

With all due respect, not seeing the clear distinction between the questions indicates a reading comprehension problem, or worse.

This seems to be systemic of unbelievers; not being able to comprehend absolutes. It's the way their brains are wired, in my opinion.

I see the distinction, but don't see that they are mutually exclusive.

I believe there are no gods, but I will readily admit that I don't actually know. Hence 'yes' and 'yes'.

Regarding absolutes, you're right. It is something in many cases which is more associated with a believer's wiring. I wouldn't be surprised if you were in general surer of your convictions than I.

BTW, I used to be an atheist on this forum but I changed to agnostic as I think that better defines me when there is no sliding scale in which to position myself. That said, this is supposed to be about Buckaroo, not me :)



#10 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:28 AM

I see the distinction, but don't see that they are mutually exclusive.

I believe there are no gods, but I will readily admit that I don't actually know. Hence 'yes' and 'yes'.

Regarding absolutes, you're right. It is something in many cases which is more associated with a believer's wiring. I wouldn't be surprised if you were in general surer of your convictions than I.

BTW, I used to be an atheist on this forum but I changed to agnostic as I think that better defines me when there is no sliding scale in which to position myself. That said, this is supposed to be about Buckaroo, not me :)


You made this about you when you chimed in with your equivocating.

One is either an atheist or an agnostic. The game you are playing is claiming to be both (at this point in time). Taking both questions together, in context, necessarily dictates different answers. The game you are playing is separating the questions, making them stand alone and not considering them jointly. While you win this silly game on a technical issue the bottom line is you're being intellectually dishonest.

#11 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:51 AM

On one hand, you are saying that "there are NO God/gods" and on the other you are saying that you don't know

I answered 'yes' to the question "I believe there is NO God" (my emphasis).

I've had a thought on a possible source of misunderstanding (after I replied to Remnant). Is 'belief' necessarily an absolute to you? If someone says "I believe there are no God/gods", does that mean they are completely, 100% certain? if so, than scratch my answers and put me in the 'I don't know' camp.

To me, there is a huge difference between saying:
"There are no God/gods". This is an assertion with 100% conviction
and
"I believe there are no God/gods". This is a statement of one's level of conviction which may be up to, but not necessarily, 100%. In fact it is probaly less that 100%, otherwise one would have said "There are no God/gods"

Or to put it another way:
"My mother is visiting this weekend" leaves little room for doubt
"I believe my mother is visiting this weekend" expresses a level of uncertainty

I am not stating that my understanding of 'belief' is right, just noting that it might be different from yours.

Edit. Something else occurs to me. You often hear someone say, 'I firmly believe such and such'. This would suggest that one could believe something, but not necessarily 'firmly'. Ie with less than 100% conviction. Just a thought. Let me know if i'm off the mark

#12 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:04 AM

Regarding the accusations of game playing, dishonesty, and equivocation, I think these mostly stem from misunderstandings on both sides and are unnecessary, particularly whan I have made no attempt do do any of these. I'm sure conversations would be more fruitful and enjoyable without this sort of thing.

#13 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:41 AM

Regarding the accusations of game playing, dishonesty, and equivocation, I think these mostly stem from misunderstandings on both sides


Possibly.

and are unnecessary,


No, they are QUITE necessary. Honest communication is what is required here.

particularly whan I have made no attempt do do any of these.


You may have made no intentional attempt here, yet you have in fact succeeded in equivocating. As I mentioned earlier, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here as I'm not sure it's intentional. I'm of the opinion that unbelievers cannot help themselves in this regard as they are wired differently. But now that you are aware of this, you should avoid this kind of thing in the future as it relates to your atheist OR agnostic status. To continue to do so would in fact be "playing games" if it's intentional, intellectual dishonesty if it is not intentional.

I'm sure conversations would be more fruitful and enjoyable without this sort of thing.


I agree, yet as I've just stated, sometimes they are necessary.

#14 Athelas

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:08 AM

Gnostic or agnostic is your position on what we can know while atheist or theist is a position on what you believe.

A gnostic atheist for instance will say that Gods don't exist while an agnostic atheist will say that Gods probably don't exist.
A gnostic theist for instance will say that Gods do exist while an agnostic theist will say that Gods probably do exist.

However, some combinations are more common than others. Atheists and theists are mostly gnostic and agnostics are often not theists or atheists because it is difficult to believe or disbelieve in something you say we can have no knowledge about. While I labelled myself agnostic, I do believe that Gods can exist which would place me into the agnostic theist category but the agnostic part is more important in conversations.

This being said, I believe you would be classified as agnostic.
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#15 Buckaroo

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:17 AM

Hi Buckaroo

Are you absolutely certain there is no god?


No, I can't say that with absolute certainty.

#16 Buckaroo

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:24 AM

The answer is quite simple really. All you have to do is answer these two questions honestly (i.e. no dithering, equivocating, or quibbling) with a yes or no:

1- I believe there is NO God (are NO gods etc...)------------------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Atheist is defined as "NO God"

2- I don't know IF there is a God (are gods etc...) or not----------------YES___ NO___ (check one)
The word Agnostic is defined as "NO knowledge"


You're asking for no dithering, no equivocating yet you chose to use the word "Believe" which gives me a LOT of wiggle room.

example, my wife will tell you that she believes in ghosts, psychics etc. Yet she will readily admit that she could be wrong.

So, could you rephrase the question?

#17 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:32 AM

So, could you rephrase the question?


If the question is "I am sure there is no God (are NO gods etc...)" how would you answer? Yes or no choice only.

Definition of 'sure': confident in what one thinks or knows; having no doubt that one is right

#18 Buckaroo

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

I would answer it the same way I answered Falcone since it's really the same question.
No, I am not sure.

#19 Remnant of The Abyss

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:54 AM

I would answer it the same way I answered Falcone since it's really the same question.
No, I am not sure.


It's NOT the same question. This is where the game is.

The example you give here:

"example, my wife will tell you that she believes in ghosts, psychics etc. Yet she will readily admit that she could be wrong." necessitates doubt. Doubt negates certainty. Just because one tacks on "but I could be mistaken" doesn't excuse the fact that they are introducing DOUBT.

The operative word is CERTAINTY, thinking you are correct. That is the heart of the matter. Not knowing if you are correct is not the point nor the heart of the question.

#20 falcone

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:56 AM

I would answer it the same way I answered Falcone since it's really the same question.
No, I am not sure.

I'm with Athelas - given the choice between agnostic and atheist, I think you are an agnostic.




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