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What's your religion?

simulatedworld

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Excuse me, not too long ago you referred to me as a soft porn peddler.

My favorite thing about typologycentral rules: You can be as brutally insulting as you like, as long as you don't use any bad words!
 

Evan

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I have no religion except...happiness maximization. Everything reduces to that.
 

norepinephrine

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Agnostic.

And I'm continually surprised by the number of athiests who seem to find it necessary to harangue me with with hopes they can convert me to the "dark side."

Were I to chose my own religion, I would select Shinto.

Certain places do have an aura.
 

simulatedworld

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Agnostic.

And I'm continually surprised by the number of athiests who seem to find it necessary to harangue me with with hopes they can convert me to the "dark side."

Were I to chose my own religion, I would select Shinto.

Certain places do have an aura.

They probably just want you admit that you must have a guess one way or another (which may or may not be true for you.) Most atheists are actually also agnostics; this just means they aren't certain but guess that God as described by mainstream religion probably doesn't exist. I've met a number of self-described "agnostics" who are really essentially agnostic atheists, but refuse to make the leap to atheism because of some kind of stigma attached to that word. Atheism doesn't require faith or absolute certainty, nor does it require one to dismiss all possible imaginable conceptions of God (most of us are perfectly ok with abstract/metaphorical gods.)

If you are so uncertain about God that you have absolutely no guess whatsoever as to whether or not he exists, then yes, you are agnostic, but that term is not reserved especially for people who agree with you on that--remember that "agnostic" just means "without knowledge."
 

lowtech redneck

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They probably just want you admit that you must have a guess one way or another (which may or may not be true for you.) Most atheists are actually also agnostics; this just means they aren't certain but guess that God as described by mainstream religion probably doesn't exist. I've met a number of self-described "agnostics" who are really essentially agnostic atheists, but refuse to make the leap to atheism because of some kind of stigma attached to that word. Atheism doesn't require faith or absolute certainty, nor does it require one to dismiss all possible imaginable conceptions of God (most of us are perfectly ok with abstract/metaphorical gods.)

If you are so uncertain about God that you have absolutely no guess whatsoever as to whether or not he exists, then yes, you are agnostic, but that term is not reserved especially for people who agree with you on that--remember that "agnostic" just means "without knowledge."

Strictly speaking, most people who believe in the supernatural are also agnostic; people who self-identify as "agnostic" or "atheist" generally have the common usage of the terms in mind. Agnostics generally either hope or would prefer that some sort of benevolent supernatural system exists, or else the entire issue is just not something that is important to them personally, and not worth the hassle of taking a stand either way. Atheist (again, in common usage) tend to view the absence of the supernatural (and belief in the same) as a positive (as opposed to nuetral) thing in their own lives, and (for the militants) the lives of other people.

Personally, I think that most people are better off believing in the supernatural if they are capable, while a distinct (but not insignificant) minority are better off as "atheists". The rest of us fall somewhere in between, and are somewhat weary of repeated conversion attempts by either side.
 

simulatedworld

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Strictly speaking, most people who believe in the supernatural are also agnostic; people who self-identify as "agnostic" or "atheist" generally have the common usage of the terms in mind. Agnostics generally either hope or would prefer that some sort of benevolent supernatural system exists, or else the entire issue is just not something that is important to them personally, and not worth the hassle of taking a stand either way. Atheist (again, in common usage) tend to view the absence of the supernatural (and belief in the same) as a positive (as opposed to nuetral) thing in their own lives, and (for the militants) the lives of other people.

Personally, I think that most people are better off believing in the supernatural if they are capable, while a distinct (but not insignificant) minority are better off as "atheists". The rest of us fall somewhere in between, and are somewhat weary of repeated conversion attempts by either side.

That's probably true, and it's the main reason I'm not an anti-theist. If it makes people happy, go for it...just know where to draw the line when interacting with others.

My mother, for instance, is agnostic. She's also a Christian. She follows most general Christian ideals and attends a Christian church, but acknowledges that being human precludes her from having absolute certainty about this belief. She's what you'd call an agnostic theist. I don't agree with her position, but I do grant that it's more rational than any sort of gnostic belief.

I don't know if the guy I responded to there is actually an agnostic atheist, but his wording ("the dark side") sounded as if he buys into the anti-atheist stigma and may just be avoiding that label for that reason. In my experience, true "agnostics" as used in common terminology (those who are completely on the fence, neither agnostic theist nor agnostic atheist) are actually pretty rare--most people have a guess, but many agnostics don't want to call themselves atheists, out of a misunderstanding of what the term "atheist" actually implies. They think that all atheism is gnostic atheism (i.e., "I am absolutely certain that all possible forms of God are completely false"), and that's simply untrue.
 

Halla74

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My religion?

Officially I guess "Catholic in Remission"

But at heart I guess I believe that the creator if all, wise as they were to make chlorophyll and hemoglobin almost identical molecules (except for the iron core of hemoglobin vs. the magnesium core of chlorophyll), but disallow us from recreating the process of forming more of such in our self image, knows better than to let us do his work, and so turns us free to live among our own until we return home to tell him an interesting story.

No thank you, I already put some money in the basket...

;)
 

Valhallahereicome

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Atheist, or at least that's what I say to anyone who asks. In reality I just have no clue as to whether or not a God exists and find it hard to believe in something without proof. And it doesn't seem that relevant.
 

Tiltyred

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I'm a Christian, but what I mean by that is not what anyone else might think I mean by it. What I mean by it is that I believe there is an energy that made/makes the universe because it delights in creating (Creator), and there are ways to be more or less in harmony with that. The avatar that speaks to me personally of ways to be in harmony with it is Christ (maybe for you it is Lao Tsu or Krishamurti or Dog), as he is personally revealed to me in scripture, through talks with other Christians, and through my own struggles in my daily life. For me, it is not at all something to measure other people by or to impose on anyone else in any way.

ETA: But you're gonna have to come to Jesus with this Coke v Pepsi talk. Pepsi is just heathen. Come on, now.
 

Feops

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Most atheists are actually also agnostics; this just means they aren't certain but guess that God as described by mainstream religion probably doesn't exist. I've met a number of self-described "agnostics" who are really essentially agnostic atheists, but refuse to make the leap to atheism because of some kind of stigma attached to that word. Atheism doesn't require faith or absolute certainty, nor does it require one to dismiss all possible imaginable conceptions of God (most of us are perfectly ok with abstract/metaphorical gods.)

Isn't it really just semantics at that point?

A rational person cannot assert that something doesn't exist just because they cannot perceive it. A rational mind can however, assert that something is so unlikely or irrelevant as to not even merit serious consideration (a negative proof). So either atheism is irrational or it falls along a point on the agnosticism scale anyway.

Considering that those who don't follow a defined religion get lumped into the atheist category and aren't allowed to split hairs on their exact philosophical viewpoint, does it not seem reasonable that the terms are essentially interchangeable?
 

simulatedworld

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Isn't it really just semantics at that point?

A rational person cannot assert that something doesn't exist just because they cannot perceive it. A rational mind can however, assert that something is so unlikely or irrelevant as to not even merit serious consideration (a negative proof). So either atheism is irrational or it falls along a point on the agnosticism scale anyway.

Considering that those who don't follow a defined religion get lumped into the atheist category and aren't allowed to split hairs on their exact philosophical viewpoint, does it not seem reasonable that the terms are essentially interchangeable?

Strictly speaking, all belief falls somewhere on the agnostic scale because we can't know anything with absolute certainty.

In practice, though, the distinction comes from whether or not the person acknowledges this lack of absolute certainty. (So yes, gnostic atheism and gnostic theism are both irrational.)

I'll grant that it is kind of a question of semantics. I just felt I should differentiate because the person I responded to sounded as if he believed that atheism must necessarily be accompanied by absolute certainty, which is silly.


I'm a Christian, but what I mean by that is not what anyone else might think I mean by it. What I mean by it is that I believe there is an energy that made/makes the universe because it delights in creating (Creator), and there are ways to be more or less in harmony with that. The avatar that speaks to me personally of ways to be in harmony with it is Christ (maybe for you it is Lao Tsu or Krishamurti or Dog), as he is personally revealed to me in scripture, through talks with other Christians, and through my own struggles in my daily life. For me, it is not at all something to measure other people by or to impose on anyone else in any way.

I'm a great admirer of Christ's teachings and believe that much of his message is a great guide for living. Am I therefore a Christian?
 
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