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  1. #61
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Both the agnostic and the atheist have an absence of belief in deities.
    Ahh, this is why it is important. You can be an agnostic theist. That is, agnostic does not mean you do not believe. It's a theory of knowledge. It's actually pretty common even though most don't realize it. Most of the times when "faith" is used as a foundation for belief, the person is an agnostic theist.

    (I made a joke earlier that when people ask if I am an agnostic or atheist, I ask them if they are a 'doubting Christian' - if so, I am an agnostic, otherwise I am an atheist.)

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    What about Buddhism?
    Depends on the form, as far as both atheist and agnostic goes. Foundational teachings are atheist and agnostic, IRC. But note that the two definitions work together - this is no gap between them. If you are not atheist, you are theist.

  2. #62
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopyPaste View Post
    Well, let's say atheists were right, Christians were wrong... no god; we all disappear when we die and that's it. Even if it were the case, what did Christians lose out on in life? Nothing.
    One thing I noticed in myself when I went from being a Christian in the first twelve years of my life, then an agnostic for three years, then finally an atheist, was the censorship of thought.

    I used to be worried that the things I was thinking about were bad, that passively churning through my own mind was something of which to be careful. But when I became an atheist I felt my brain was mine alone and now that feeling of privacy within myself is something very important to me.

    I would have lost out on this if I had continued to be a Christian.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  3. #63
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Speaking as an agnostic I can say that I do appreciate that some may find that they, at some point, find it reasonable to ascribe to a religion. I have either not reached that point or chose a different path at that point. I find no religion more worthy than another and none have grasped me to a degree where I would bow my own judgement to them. As such I'm quite happy working to my own internal definitions of write and wrong (which oddly so do almost all of the faithful, they just coincide (mostly) with their chosen religion) and defining myself as either good or evil. After all regardless of whether I have faith or not the choice of how to act is still mine. Ergo I see religion as mostly irrelevant to my own existence. If however you chose as an individual to belong to a religion or to have faith (I do regard those as essentially different) then more power to you. As long as you have respect for my choice I don't see a problem.

    Oh and I should point out that my understanding also permits me questioning just about everything. Other's are welcome to question my beliefs, I will most certainly not leave theirs unquestioned, though a simple "because I wanted to/ because it felt right" is always an adequate response.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #64
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Belfry View Post
    One thing I noticed in myself when I went from being a Christian in the first twelve years of my life, then an agnostic for three years, then finally an atheist, was the censorship of thought.

    I used to be worried that the things I was thinking about were bad, that passively churning through my own mind was something of which to be careful. But when I became an atheist I felt my brain was mine alone and now that feeling of privacy within myself is something very important to me.

    I would have lost out on this if I had continued to be a Christian.
    My time in the church did manage to lead me to uncover what seemed to be a minority, a group that went beyond the orthodoxy and wasn't using religion in their lives as the "thought police" or "moral conformance squad."

    The bulk, however, was intrusive, and I got screwed up nicely in SOME ways (usually involving how others viewed me).

    Author M. Scott Peck referred to one system of spiritual growth he had perceived:
    1. Unbeliever
    2. Conformer.
    3. Challenger
    4. Mystic

    While you'll probably bristle at it by having agnostics/atheists listed at Stage 3 (and you don't have to accept this framework, obviously -- it was Peck's idea or he got it from elsewhere), my point really is that Stage #2 is where many people end up and stay.

    Especially the ones who start at stage #1, so Stage #2 is actually beneficial for them. "Jesus turned my life around!" they will claim... and truthfully. Because religion DID shape them up and help them get over some big issues in their lives, it brought them some desperately needed structure and meaning that they were not finding (nor would have found) on their own. And many people leap right into Stage #2 and never really go through a Stage #1.

    But God at Stage #2 is still sort of a traffic cop figure, and that's where many religions people stick, and anyone who moves ahead to an agnostic/atheist or (ironically) a mystic position will be cast out as backsliding rather than being seen as advancing. Anyone in the faith I've found worth being vulnerable to has not really been in Stage #2, but it's just a small minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Ahh, this is why it is important. You can be an agnostic theist. That is, agnostic does not mean you do not believe. It's a theory of knowledge. It's actually pretty common even though most don't realize it. Most of the times when "faith" is used as a foundation for belief, the person is an agnostic theist.
    That's why I often call myself a Christian agnostic. I have inclinations that lead me to articulate life through a Christianized lens, but my foundational assumption is that I cannot know anything for certain, so anything I hold beyond the observable is pure faith. (Whereas many Christian-professing people actually don't operate on faith, they turn their unprovable religion into "fact" somehow and then try to believe it in as such and speak of it as if every detail is 100% true, which I find presumptuous and muddying down what can truly be known and shown versus merely believed in.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #65
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Author M. Scott Peck referred to one system of spiritual growth he had perceived:
    1. Unbeliever
    2. Conformer.
    3. Challenger
    4. Mystic
    1. Ignorance
    2. Knowledge
    3. Questions
    4. Understanding

    I think that system applies universally and could be applied to a solely theistic and atheistic progression.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #66
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    1. Ignorance
    2. Knowledge
    3. Questions
    4. Understanding

    I think that system applies universally and could be applied to a solely theistic and atheistic progression.
    I'd say it's rather:

    1. Questions
    2. Conformity
    3. Alienation
    4. Madness/Neurosis
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  7. #67
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    I wonder if religious people realise, that most of the claim they make are simply insane, even without considering how irrational, ethnocentred and plenly stupid those claims are. (read for references simulated's post, it's precisely my opinion because it's the only logical one.)

    So, I wonder, if they realise, that if it wasn't for the structural and historical efficiency of the strain of memes we call religions, their beliefs in a magical knowledge of unobservable metaphysical 'events' would be enough to get them interned or at least medicated

    Mentally 'sick' people just have a slightly different mental make up and or life experience. So that they are sensible to less frequently successful memes or have some natural behavior go into overdrive (and so on)
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    Richard Feynman's last recorded words

    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  8. #68
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    I wonder if religious people realise, that most of the claim they make, even without considering how irrational, ethnocentred and plenly stupid those claims are.
    And your claims are more rational, less enthocentric and stupid because?

  9. #69
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    Btw, notice that in psychology, 'sick' people never notice they are even when they can talk about similar situations and call it abnormal without ever linking it to their own faulty rational.

    funny, uh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    And your claims are more rational, less enthocentric and stupid because?
    Let me teach you something about logics and why unicorns probably don't exist.
    First you see facts, then you make a conclusion... not the other way around.

    don't thank me, I just love kids you know.
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
    Richard Feynman's last recorded words

    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
    Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

  10. #70
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I'd say it's rather:

    1. Questions
    2. Conformity
    3. Alienation
    4. Madness/Neurosis
    YAY! I'm 3/4 of the way home!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EcK View Post
    I wonder if religious people realise, that most of the claim they make are simply insane, even without considering how irrational, ethnocentred and plenly stupid those claims are. (read for references simulated's post, it's precisely my opinion because it's the only logical one.)
    One of the shocks when I finally got "outside the system" was noting how crazy some of the beliefs actually are. Inside the system, people really don't get how irrational some of their thoughts are; they use themselves as the standard, it's everyone else who is crazy.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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