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  1. #81
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    So, why don't you just claim to be an agnostic? Atheist is an assertion of disbelief, not lack of belief.

    I am, for the record, agnostic.
    Mostly because of connotations. Agnostic has the connotation that I'm sitting on the fence, which I'm not. And I am stating my lack of belief in god(s), because it's relevant socially. Unfortunately, it causes the same misunderstandings that you had, but nothins' ever perfect, eh?

    Also, agnostic atheist is a mouthful, and people wouldn't get it anyway. :P
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
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  2. #82
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    Synarch is right about the definition of atheism. It's been bastardized to accommodate other beliefs, but etymologically speaking, it is a belief in the non-exsitence of god. It really depends on how we arrange our affixes but the original definition was intended to mean a belief (-ism) in the non-existence (a- + -theos-) of a god.

    a?the?ism
    ? ?/?e??i??z?m/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ey-thee-iz-uhm] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
    2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

  3. #83
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Synarch is right about the definition of atheism. It's been bastardized to accommodate other beliefs, but etymologically speaking, it is a belief in the non-exsitence of god. It really depends on how we arrange our affixes but the original definition was intended to mean a belief (-ism) in the non-existence (a- + -theos-) of a god.

    a?the?ism
    ? ?/?e??i??z?m/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ey-thee-iz-uhm] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
    2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
    pffft.

    A - non.
    theism - belief in a deity.
    atheism - nonbelief in a deity.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  4. #84
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    how does one maintain a non-belief? Wouldn't that be theos + a + ism or theaism? A non-belief, if such a thing were to exist, would require us to pair up the [a- with the -ism] to be morphologically accurate.

  5. #85
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    It's as much a leap of faith to believe in no God. They just can't see that.
    Do you think it's a "leap fo faith" not to believe in Pink Unicorns?

    Although I believe in the existence of a Pink Piranha, somewhere, and she's not that invisible, thank God!...


    Why?

    ---

    What is claimed without proof, can be disclaimed without proof.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  6. #86
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    The only logical position on such subjects is to have no position.
    No.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  7. #87
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    It's been bastardized to accommodate other beliefs, but etymologically speaking, it is a belief in the non-exsitence of god.
    Heh, the farthest origins of the word were for the people didn't believe in approved gods. Christians were atheists, if you go far enough back. It's actually been unbastardized when it was turned into a more modern word, if you go by its etymology.

    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    how does one maintain a non-belief?
    By not having a belief in that particular thing...?

    Wouldn't that be theos + a + ism or theaism? A non-belief, if such a thing were to exist, would require us to pair up the [a- with the -ism] to be morphologically accurate.
    Think of it this way... there are two groups - theists and atheists... true by definition. What theistic belief do the atheists you think of have to not make them atheist?

  8. #88
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    how does one maintain a non-belief?
    I just explained that...

    Wouldn't that be theos + a + ism or theaism? A non-belief, if such a thing were to exist, would require us to pair up the [a- with the -ism] to be morphologically accurate.
    I dunno, you tell me.
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  9. #89
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinlan View Post
    I'm an Atheist in the sense that I don't believe in the Christian/Muslim(etc.) god in the same way that I don't believe in Zeus, Thor or Ra. I don't discount the possibility of their existence but I don't let that possibility influence how I live my life in any way.

    I'm not sure why that should bother anyone.
    That's very similar to what Bertrand Russel once said:

    "Here there comes a practical question which has often troubled me. Whenever I go into a foreign country or a prison or any similar place they always ask me what is my religion.

    I never know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God.

    On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.

    None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of Homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof.

    Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.

    There is exactly the same degree of possibility and likelihood of the existence of the Christian God as there is of the existence of the Homeric God. I cannot prove that either the Christian God or the Homeric gods do not exist, but I do not think that their existence is an alternative that is sufficiently probable to be worth serious consideration.

    Therefore, I suppose that that on these documents that they submit to me on these occasions I ought to say "Atheist", although it has been a very difficult problem, and sometimes I have said one and sometimes the other without any clear principle by which to go. When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others.

    It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would, of course, be totally barren and completely useless."


    Bertrand Russel, "Am I an Atheist or an Agnostic?", 1947 (London)
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  10. #90
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Do you think it's a "leap fo faith" not to believe in Pink Unicorns?

    Although I believe in the existence of a Pink Piranha, somewhere...


    Why?

    ---

    What is claimed without proof, can be disclaimed without proof.
    It's a leap of faith to believe there definitely are no pink unicorns anywhere.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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