• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Atheism vs Agnosticism

William Rea

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
8,949
Reaction score
2,231
Location
UK
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
I know that there are a few threads where this has been discussed but, I was watching this and thought that Matt Dillahunty made some interesting points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7ohbrPQ7HU

Around 18:20 the interesting part starts and ends around 26:00.

Atheism and agnosticism are not in conflict except for an emerging form of agnosticism, that he discusses, that asserts that they have the most logical position. Are we really in conflict?
 

RabidAlpaca

Engineer
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
22,242
Reaction score
28,918
Location
American Refugee in Europe
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Atheism and agnosticism are statements about two completely different, non-mutually exclusive things.

The root theism has to do with BELIEF, while gnosticism has to do with KNOWLEDGE. As such, there can be:

TheismAtheism
GnosticismGnostic theismGnostic atheism
AgnosticismAgnostic theismAgnostic atheism

They're descriptors for two completely different questions. Personally I see the gnostic/agnostic question as less relevant. Regardless of the topic we all think our beliefs are true. On my journey from theism to atheism I had a brief phase where I called myself "agnostic", but eventually I realized that there's a burden of proof and the default position is to not believe something until there is some reason to believe it or evidence to back it up.

The most important thing to remember is that theism/atheism and gnosticism/agnosticism are binary statements and not religions in and of themselves. (Looking at you, Frank Apisa)
 

Paralogic

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
3,041
Reaction score
565
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Atheism and agnosticism are not in conflict ...

They definitely are.

Agnosticism is a soft version of theism -- agnostics accept the existence of a god if only they would be eventually convinced gods exist.

Atheism is the rejection of any claim of divinity --- no human was ever able, is ever able, or will ever be able to prove their claims of the supernatural. Therefore, there are no gods.

Pure and simple as that.
 

TheGoverness

Little Miss Sunshine
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
35,043
Reaction score
37,631
Location
Houston Area, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
They definitely are.

Agnosticism is a soft version of theism -- agnostics accept the existence of a god if only they would be eventually convinced gods exist.

Atheism is the rejection of any claim of divinity --- no human was ever able, is ever able, or will ever be able to prove their claims of the supernatural. Therefore, there are no gods.

Pure and simple as that.
No they aren't. Most atheists are atheist-agnositcs. We cannot no for sure that their is not God, nor can we disprove the possibility of a God 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a God we lack belief in one. So no, atheism and agnosticism are not opposed.
 

Paralogic

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
3,041
Reaction score
565
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
No they aren't. Most atheists are atheist-agnositcs. We cannot no for sure that their is not God, nor can we disprove the possibility of a God 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a God we lack belief in one. So no, atheism and agnosticism are not opposed.

Prove that three invisible yellow butterflies are flying around your head, telling you what to do and directing your actions.

You can't.

Does that mean that you are a three-yellow-butterfly-religion-god agnostic? Yes it does. Unless you realize you have to admit reality and reject any claim that is unsubstantiated.

That's why no gods exist --- it's because no claims of their existence were ever, are ever, or will ever be substantiated.

Wake up and smell reality.

In the meantime, agnostics are theists --- the would accept an unsubstantiated claim of a god if their personal ego-centric emotional needs were satisfied, which means that agnostics are theists.
 

TheGoverness

Little Miss Sunshine
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
35,043
Reaction score
37,631
Location
Houston Area, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
Prove that three invisible yellow butterflies are flying around your head, telling you what to do and directing your actions.

You can't.

Does that mean that you are a three-yellow-butterfly-religion-god agnostic? Yes it does. Unless you realize you have to admit reality and reject any claim that is unsubstantiated.

That's why no gods exist --- it's because no claims of their existence were ever, are ever, or will ever be substantiated.

Wake up and smell reality.

In the meantime, agnostics are theists --- the would accept an unsubstantiated claim of a god if their personal ego-centric emotional needs were satisfied, which means that agnostics are theists.

Maybe the Gods of the religions on Earth don't exist, but we don't know 100% whether or not their is a higher power. You and I cannot 100% prove that there is no God. But I don't see any credible evidence for once so I don't believe in one.
 

Paralogic

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
3,041
Reaction score
565
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Maybe the Gods of the religions on Earth don't exist...

We know they don't.

No claim of a god was ever substantiated or proven. Therefore, no gods exist. It's that simple.
 

OrphanSlug

A sinister place...
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
24,489
Reaction score
21,443
Location
Atlanta
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I know that there are a few threads where this has been discussed but, I was watching this and thought that Matt Dillahunty made some interesting points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7ohbrPQ7HU

Around 18:20 the interesting part starts and ends around 26:00.

Atheism and agnosticism are not in conflict except for an emerging form of agnosticism, that he discusses, that asserts that they have the most logical position. Are we really in conflict?

For disclosure's sake, I did not nor will I watch all two hours of that clip.

But between those two points of the clip in talking about "conflict," the intentions of what we believe and what we know, and inherently various titles and definitions for Agnosticism and Atheism they do make some good points to discuss.

From my chair inherently Agnosticism and Atheism are adversarial. No matter the level of knowledge (as more than just a subset of belief but also weight granted to that knowledge) the whole idea of Atheism irregardless of the flavor is to make a determination. There are dozens of subset titles applied to Atheism but really we are talking about practical belief that there is no God or Gods. So by reason, that is adversarial to any flavor of Agnosticism as they conclude we cannot know that there is or is not God or Gods.

The play on words, and titles, to blend these conclusions basically means blending where someone is in relation to what they know (or think) against what they believe (from whatever motivation.)

Just as all Theists do not agree... at all... about the nature and disposition of God or Gods, neither do Atheists on "lack of belief." How the knowledge and thought process got an Atheist to the conclusion that there is not God or Gods does not require an exclusive one path only approach. For some it may be a thought process on what we think of humanity's knowledge base in the areas of science, for others it very well may be an emotional response to a terrible event (or chain of events,) for others it may be evaluation of what theology tells us against other academia. The motivations to end up Atheist are just as plentiful as how humanity originally conceptualized life and death, purpose, the "afterlife," and the notion of God or Gods in thousands of different religions over all of human history.

Agnostics on the other hand have a singular common theme that does not pit them against one another (in terms of level of knowledge or thought process against as a subset of various beliefs.) If Agnostics conclude that we cannot know if God or Gods exist or not, then ultimately all other considerations are based on whatever new information or discuss or thought process is presented. If you change in conclusion, odds are you are not Agnostic any longer.

If you conclude that the logical position puts Atheists and Agnostics closer to one another, especially as compared to Theism, then that is not necessarily bad. But the flip side to that is the argument from the point of view of Agnostics. Since Agnostics assume we cannot know these things with any certainty, then inherently Atheism and Theism are flip sides of the same coin. Atheism believes there are no God or Gods, while Theism believes there are God or Gods. Either way, it take belief to make those determinations outside of what we can possibly know in a mortal state. In terms of systems of belief or rejection of those systems of belief, there is no way to prove either one in terms of systems of process (science or other academia.)

So really, we are all speculating based on where we are in the areas of knowledge and thought from all of human history, as subsets of beliefs that have been crafted, changed, and arguably improved over all of the same human history. That is a good point, but does not remove the adversarial nature between Atheism and Agnosticism.
 
Last edited:

csbrown28

DP Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
3,102
Reaction score
1,603
Location
NW Virginia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I know that there are a few threads where this has been discussed but, I was watching this and thought that Matt Dillahunty made some interesting points.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7ohbrPQ7HU

Around 18:20 the interesting part starts and ends around 26:00.

Atheism and agnosticism are not in conflict except for an emerging form of agnosticism, that he discusses, that asserts that they have the most logical position. Are we really in conflict?

The real problem with this subject doesn't just lie in beleif or knowledge and the distinction between them, but that because that belief and non-beleif are binary positions people tend to portray the possibilities in those terms. If the only space that god can exist in is the space created when a person admits that they don't know that god doesn't exist, that is a small, small tiny space indeed. Let's be sure to acknowledge just how insignificant it is. Now when person or a group starts to define, properties, behaviors and desires for such an entity, that only decreases the area in which the possibility exists. So when the faithful start patting themselves on the head after getting me to admit that I can't entirely eradicate the possibility of a god, if they realized how many other things of infinitesimal possibility that I would believe in first......

Reminds me of this......

Believer asks: Can you say you know that my anthropomorphic god with behaviors X properties Y, and desires z, cannot exist?

Me: No I can't say I know that, but I'd say the chances are like 1:trillion, trillion

 

William Rea

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
8,949
Reaction score
2,231
Location
UK
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Socialist
If you are an atheist, should you pretend to be an agnostic in order to be socially accepted.
 

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,513
Reaction score
4,627
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Atheism and agnosticism are statements about two completely different, non-mutually exclusive things.

The root theism has to do with BELIEF, while gnosticism has to do with KNOWLEDGE. As such, there can be:

TheismAtheism
GnosticismGnostic theismGnostic atheism
AgnosticismAgnostic theismAgnostic atheism

They're descriptors for two completely different questions. Personally I see the gnostic/agnostic question as less relevant. Regardless of the topic we all think our beliefs are true. On my journey from theism to atheism I had a brief phase where I called myself "agnostic", but eventually I realized that there's a burden of proof and the default position is to not believe something until there is some reason to believe it or evidence to back it up.

The most important thing to remember is that theism/atheism and gnosticism/agnosticism are binary statements and not religions in and of themselves. (Looking at you, Frank Apisa)
There are more positions than that mine being one of them: ignostic atheist.
 

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,513
Reaction score
4,627
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
No they aren't. Most atheists are atheist-agnositcs. We cannot no for sure that their is not God, nor can we disprove the possibility of a God 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a God we lack belief in one. So no, atheism and agnosticism are not opposed.

How the **** do you know that we cannot prove there are no gods? Are you magic or something or a god yourself?
 

Ikari

Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
79,430
Reaction score
47,289
Location
Colorado
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
If you are an atheist, should you pretend to be an agnostic in order to be socially accepted.

The fact that an agnostic atheist can be "socially accepted" is, in and of itself, quite a lot of progress.
 

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,513
Reaction score
4,627
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Because God is a unfalsifiable hypothesis.

When people assert that no one can disprove the existence of gods, they are putting unwarranted value to the concept of gods. If we change the word god to Thor in your sentence it doesnt sound logical at all.

"We cannot no for sure that their is not Thor, nor can we disprove the possibility of a Thor 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a Thor we lack belief in one."

We do actually know that Thor is not and was not ever real. We know that many other gods were not ever real. Yet for some irrational reason when we talk about certain gods people assert that we cannot know for sure that they are not real. I smell a fallacious inconsistency that I cannot ignore. I mean on one hand we can know certain gods that we can know do not exist, but then on the other hand there are gods we cannot know that they do not exist?

Logic being only valid if it is applied universally dictates that you are wrong, that we can know that gods do not exist. And we do not need to traverse the universe to know such things. We didnt need to traverse the universe and look at every corner and aspect to learn that Thor does not exist. ANd whole slew of other gods have been proven to be false claims as well. There is no logical reason why all gods cannot be written off in the same exact manner.
 

Howler63

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2012
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
553
Location
Just this side of senility.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
No they aren't. Most atheists are atheist-agnositcs. We cannot no for sure that their is not God, nor can we disprove the possibility of a God 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a God we lack belief in one. So no, atheism and agnosticism are not opposed.

The issue is that you can't prove a negative. But in light of there being absolutely ZERO evidence for the existence of any god, you can say say he doesn't exist. Agnostics tend to leave themselves 'wiggle room' when it comes to their 'soft atheism'.
 

Howler63

DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2012
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
553
Location
Just this side of senility.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
When people assert that no one can disprove the existence of gods, they are putting unwarranted value to the concept of gods. If we change the word god to Thor in your sentence it doesnt sound logical at all.

"We cannot no for sure that their is not Thor, nor can we disprove the possibility of a Thor 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a Thor we lack belief in one."

We do actually know that Thor is not and was not ever real. We know that many other gods were not ever real. Yet for some irrational reason when we talk about certain gods people assert that we cannot know for sure that they are not real. I smell a fallacious inconsistency that I cannot ignore. I mean on one hand we can know certain gods that we can know do not exist, but then on the other hand there are gods we cannot know that they do not exist?

Logic being only valid if it is applied universally dictates that you are wrong, that we can know that gods do not exist. And we do not need to traverse the universe to know such things. We didnt need to traverse the universe and look at every corner and aspect to learn that Thor does not exist. ANd whole slew of other gods have been proven to be false claims as well. There is no logical reason why all gods cannot be written off in the same exact manner.

I disbelieve in the same number of gods as the average Christian....plus One.
 

TheGoverness

Little Miss Sunshine
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
35,043
Reaction score
37,631
Location
Houston Area, TX
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
When people assert that no one can disprove the existence of gods, they are putting unwarranted value to the concept of gods. If we change the word god to Thor in your sentence it doesnt sound logical at all.

"We cannot no for sure that their is not Thor, nor can we disprove the possibility of a Thor 100%, but since we have not been provided with credible evidence to support a existence of a Thor we lack belief in one."

We do actually know that Thor is not and was not ever real. We know that many other gods were not ever real. Yet for some irrational reason when we talk about certain gods people assert that we cannot know for sure that they are not real. I smell a fallacious inconsistency that I cannot ignore. I mean on one hand we can know certain gods that we can know do not exist, but then on the other hand there are gods we cannot know that they do not exist?

Logic being only valid if it is applied universally dictates that you are wrong, that we can know that gods do not exist. And we do not need to traverse the universe to know such things. We didnt need to traverse the universe and look at every corner and aspect to learn that Thor does not exist. ANd whole slew of other gods have been proven to be false claims as well. There is no logical reason why all gods cannot be written off in the same exact manner.

Here's soemthing I found on Quora that explains what I'm trying to say better than I could:

https://www.quora.com/Can-atheists-disprove-God
 

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,513
Reaction score
4,627
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Here's soemthing I found on Quora that explains what I'm trying to say better than I could:

https://www.quora.com/Can-atheists-disprove-God

To answer the Superman question is simple. The idiotic notion that we cant is silly. ANd the author in your link way over simplified his answer with obvious confirmation bias. He wants it to be impossible to know if gods exist or not. So in his world we cannot know if superman is real or not.

Here is the simple answer to the question if superman exists: Superman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933.

It would be absolutely insane to look for a fictional character. Not only insane but completely a waste of time and unfathomably stupid. It would be a duh moment.

He even goes as far as asserting: "Myth CANNOT be disproved." He then lists his reasoning: "It offers no methodological process for how the positive claim was reached.
If there is no process to examine, it can't be criticized.
It is the opposite of Scientific method."

Confirmation bias is a phenomenon wherein decision makers have been shown to actively seek out and assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweigh evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.

In this case the hypothesis is: "Myth CANNOT be disproved." There was no methodological process for how the positive claim was reached. It was his opinion. I dont live by some guys opinion. He is ignoring important knowledge; It is a ****ing myth. Does the guy even know what a myth is? I would tell him that a myth is a bunch of BS fiction. At best a myth can be a half truth. Indeed a myth is the opposite of scientific method. Hell myths are why scientific method was developed to weed out the myths. I dont think that the author actually understands how science actually works.
 

Frank Apisa

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
11,492
Reaction score
2,718
Location
New Jersey
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
If you are an atheist, should you pretend to be an agnostic in order to be socially accepted.

If you are an atheist...you should be true to your atheism...and call yourself an atheist.

What makes you think agnostics are more socially acceptable than atheists?
 

Frank Apisa

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
11,492
Reaction score
2,718
Location
New Jersey
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Here is my agnosticism.

I do think it much superior as a personal philosophy on the question than any of the various forms of theism or atheism.



I do not know if there is a GOD or if there are gods;
I do not know if there are no gods;
I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST;
I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST...that they are needed to explain existence;
I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction...

...so I don't.
 

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,513
Reaction score
4,627
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
Here is my agnosticism.

I do think it much superior as a personal philosophy on the question than any of the various forms of theism or atheism.



I do not know if there is a GOD or if there are gods;
I do not know if there are no gods;
I see no reason to suspect gods CANNOT EXIST;
I see no reason to suspect that gods MUST EXIST...that they are needed to explain existence;
I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess in either direction...

...so I don't.
Really? You see no reason why gods cannot exist? All of them?
 
Top Bottom