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Shaikoten

Atheist, Agnostic, or Religious?

Your stand on theism?  

88 members have voted

  1. 1. Your stand on theism?

    • Atheist
      50
    • Agnostic
      26
    • Religious
      12


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As a spinoff of the thread about religion; from my years in the Doom community it's not exactly hard to see that the majority of the Doom community is non-religious, or at least the most vocal portion of it. For curiosity's sake, though, I wonder where everyone falls in their views, and who is altogether opposed to the notion of higher powers (atheist) or who is open to the concept (agnostic.) I've often wanted to make a poll like this, but feared retarded flamewars, which don't seem to be happening in the other thread.

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I'm an atheist. I'm just too worried of myself to have the time to imagine and selfsuggest a God. Church is good for some rest, but that's it for me, time to wake up and get to work.

EDIT: while being an Atheist, I still believe in luck and will of survival. So the argument "hey you're an atheist you won't be able to pray you'll be psychically helpless" fails against me. I still believe... in my own body.

NO FLAMEWARS PLEASE, AS RELIGION TOPICS ARE USUALLY FATED AS SUCH.

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I don't mind other people believing in what they want (as long as they keep their views to themselves dammit), but personally I don't believe in anything that I don't "know" to be true. And I guess if I "knew" that some higher power exists that wouldn't be "believing" anymore, but that's just semantics...

...so, yeah, agnostic.

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Agnostic. I'm not sure if the universe was or wasn't created by some higher power(s), if there is or isn't an afterlife, or anything like that. I'm open to finding these things out, and finding a religion that adequately explains it. One that isn't so full of contradictions and holes that it would embarrass a high schooler on a debate team, which crosses out any Abrahamic religion for sure.

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Pro tip: you can be agnostic and atheist or agnostic and religious. I happen to be an agnostic atheist, but since your poll only allows one choice, I selected atheist. You should also have a choice for spiritual but not religious.

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Im no "Fire-And-Brimstone" religious kinda guy, but I do believe in something else beyond this plane of existance, whether it be spiritual (heaven, hell, and the like) or even quantum like some things suggest (Macrophilosophy, Law of Attraction, etc).

Spiritual Agnostic for me.

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I'd say I'm none of them and all of them. Agnostic because I don't really know in a concrete way, atheist because I can tell religious experience and practice is always skewed, and religious in the sense that I understand that religiousness is part of being sentient as a means of seeing the world and developing in it as humans. Perhaps you could say I'm an "empathic skeptic", but other answers could be "I don't play that game", "the inquiry is arbitrary", "my belief is circumstantial so the question is silly", or "I am no authority about myself".

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i choose the religious one, but i hold separate beliefs than the "regular" religions. i was born and raised christian, but i dont like a lot of the stuff forced in my mind. i believe in a spiritual existence beyond the physical universe, and an omnipotent power.

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My viewpoint:

Theism implies three axioms:
-There is a number of entities (possibly just one) that are outside the natural world and responsible for creating it.
-We are ourselves partly outside the natural world and the supernatural part of us lives on after death.
-For some reason, the entities from the first axiom care about the supernatural remains from the second.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, each of these hypotheses is so highly improbable that the combination of all three is just ludicrous. So this would make me a strong atheist I suppose.

But some definitions of "strong atheism" involve going out and annoying people by telling them God doesn't exist and that you know it. And these behaviors (pretending to know something which is impossible to know, and trying to convert other people to your "knowledge") are, the way I see it, religious behaviors.

To me, atheism is an absence of faith. But for some it's a faith in the absence...

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Gez said:
To me, atheism is an absence of faith.

Is that even possible? I can understand a critical or wary attitude toward faith, but what's its absence? Other than death, I mean.

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To me, an absence of faith (and let's be more specific) in a supreme being (or beings) is not as strong as atheism. Absence of faith is a bit of a passive way to describe it. To me, atheism is more active than that - I see it as a denial of a god or gods.

Absence of faith could be "I dunno, I wait to be convinced" which is leaning more towards an agnostic POV, although no properly agnostic. Atheism is more like "nope, there is no god".

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myk said:

Is that even possible? I can understand a critical or wary attitude toward faith, but what's its absence? Other than death, I mean.

What's faith? A strong conviction, a feeling deep down in your psyche. Sometimes it falters, sometimes it grow stronger or weaker. But it's always there. Something emotional, deep down at a primal level. A feeling like love or hate. That is at least how it was described to me.

Well, not for me. I don't have any such feeling on this matter. I just think the postulate that God (or some variant thereof) exists is absurd; but that's as far as it goes. It's about as emotionally charged as thinking "bubbles" is a funny word.

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Well, I'm pretty sure faith goes well beyond cliché things like gods or the spirit. It's common in relationships between people or in respect to things we take for granted or manipulate intellectually during any planning or investigation.

So I may be less faith-driven in a reiterative and planned way than someone who prays half the time in a mosque, but that doesn't mean I don't have faith. It's not like either of us had a brain modification making us substantially different.

By the way, "atheist" seems like a disparaging term. At least it's kind of meant to sound like an anomaly, since it's the negation of something. Like there's something there in the first place and someone says No to that. Agnostic is similar, but since it's not clear in which way one does not know (you may believe it's impossible to know or may be saying you simply don't know) it's less controversial.

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As far as I recall, atheism is supposed to be a faith of believing that there is no god. For an atheist to say that "I know there is no god" is the same as for a Christian to say "I know there is God"; they don't really "know" but rather "believe."

And I agree that "absence of faith" leans more towards agnostic, since an agnostic person doesn't believe a way or an other but rather needs the knowledge to form an opinion. Therefor he doesn't have a faith.

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Jodwin said:
For an atheist to say that "I know there is no god" is the same as for a Christian to say "I know there is God"; they don't really "know" but rather "believe."

So you say with agnostic faith in the inevitability of not knowing.

In this age where dogma is seen as retrograde saying something is "faith" tends to be demeaning.

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Jodwin said:

As far as I recall, atheism is supposed to be a faith of believing that there is no god.


Nonsensical crap. Not believing in something is the default.

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Jodwin said:

As far as I recall, atheism is supposed to be a faith of believing that there is no god. For an atheist to say that "I know there is no god" is the same as for a Christian to say "I know there is God"; they don't really "know" but rather "believe."

The article on Agnostic atheism that exp(x) linked to has a good quote that summarises this issue:

"I am an agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden."
—Richard Dawkins

It's also worth saying: if you ask some christians whether they "know" or merely "believe" that a god exists, I'm pretty sure that in all likelihood you'll find a large number who claim the former, rather than the latter.

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I've always been a fan of the Greek concept of atheism, myself. You see, the ancient Greeks had their pantheon of gods who did all sorts of really important things. Obviously, because of their limited understanding of the world, they could never reach a point where they could come out and say "You know what, there are no gods." However, as time wore on, something became apparent to them, something that's pretty darn obvious to anyone who's studied Greek mythology - the Greek gods are a bunch of dicks. Thus, the Greeks came up with an interesting solution - they did not stop believing in the gods, because they had no other theories with which to explain the world around them, but they simply stopped worshiping them. They basically said "Sure, there may be gods out there, but they clearly don't give a damn about us, so why should we worry about them?"

I've always thought that was very forward-thinking, not to mention ballsy. If I say "I refuse to worship God," I have no fear of retribution, because I do not believe God exists. However, these people basically gave the finger to a bunch of gods that they were fairly certain existed and were apparently a bunch of dicks, on top of that. That took courage - though then again, I suppose their logic was, life sucks enough as it is, it's not as if there's anything the gods could possibly do to make things worse.

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Agnostic and Atheist is really just the same thing. Semantics are what keeps them apart. No Atheist will deny new evidence if they are presented to them.

Self announced agnostics to me sounds like people who are afraid to be proven wrong. They can always respond to new evidence with. -Well I never denied this and that. I just said there was no proof to support it.

While an Atheist would simply say. -Looks like I was wrong.

Yes, I realize this is a sweeping statement.

Then there's the Naturalists of course, which are pretty much the same as Atheists and Agnostics. Just that they pay some special homage to nature. Which really doesn't mean anything.

@geekmarine: Yeah, it's a pity that the current religious followers don't come to the same realization about our contemporary religious beliefs. Where God is like a wife beater. They come crawling back to him after a beating with excuses like. "-He works in mysterious ways, he loves me really. Just that sometimes I am bad and then he has to punish me."

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I picked agnostic, but I lean a bit towards atheism and satanism (not any of that magic stuff, just a little bit of the self indulgence :p.) I don't believe that a divine entity exists, but I don't deny that it's a possibility, either. I'd rather be ignorant than pray to the wrong one.

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As something of a Buddhist (I personally call myself a Buddhist Catholic), I think I can safely say that all three apply to me at any given time. Though when in doubt I try to approach a question scientifically first.

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DJ_Haruko said:

(I personally call myself a Buddhist Catholic)

So you're basically fucked as a Catholic.

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geekmarine said:
However, as time wore on, something became apparent to them, something that's pretty darn obvious to anyone who's studied Greek mythology - the Greek gods are a bunch of dicks. Thus, the Greeks came up with an interesting solution - they did not stop believing in the gods, because they had no other theories with which to explain the world around them, but they simply stopped worshiping them. They basically said "Sure, there may be gods out there, but they clearly don't give a damn about us, so why should we worry about them?"

The Greeks had during their time various thinkers that took atheistic stances in different ways, and what you're describing wasn't a common idea or consensus of any sort. You seem to be paraphrasing Epicurus and his epigones, in fact.

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Sorry, didn't mean to imply that ALL Greeks thought that way - but though not widely accepted, it was a view held by some Greeks, and I always thought it was interesting because I am not aware of any other culture developing similar views.

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Richo Rosai said:

Nonsensical crap. Not believing in something is the default.

Which is why I would say that agnosticism is also the default. You seem to be thinking that atheism is somehow supposed to be the default. If after the clean slate (or "the default") you end up with an opinion or belief that there can not be any gods, you end up being atheist. But instead if you stick to that clean slate you'll stick to being an agnostic.

fraggle said:

It's also worth saying: if you ask some christians whether they "know" or merely "believe" that a god exists, I'm pretty sure that in all likelihood you'll find a large number who claim the former, rather than the latter.

Of course, obviously they would say that they know that a god exists. By "know" I mean to scientifically or in some other logical way to be proven absolutely true, not that you personally think it's true (it's in quotes for a reason). So even though that they would say they know a god to exist, in truth chances are* they only believe for it to be true.

kristus said:

Self announced agnostics to me sounds like people who are afraid to be proven wrong. They can always respond to new evidence with. -Well I never denied this and that. I just said there was no proof to support it.

While an Atheist would simply say. -Looks like I was wrong.

The same way as a die hard Christian would argue that there is no way their god could not exist even if provided real scientific evidence, a die hard atheist would argue that there is no way a god could exist, even with provided evidence.




*Unless suddenly the god would have proven its existence only to those few Christians who truly know-know the god to exist, which would be kind of silly.

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