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Bidiot Bales

What's your religion and why?

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Used properly, "Agnostic" should probably be a modifier, rather than a noun. "Agnostic" literally should just refer to whether or not you believe the nature of God is knowable, while the noun would rely on belief. Eg:

Agnostic Atheist: Does not believe the nature of Gods is/are knowable, does not believe they exist

Gnostic Atheist: Believes the nature of God(s) is/are known, and that they do not exist.

People who don't care should probably use "Apatheist", if you want to be strictly accurate?

Also:

I was raised Mennonite. Lovely denomination. Never had any quarrel with it whatsover, it's part of my cultural heritage and ethical make-up, I'm glad to have been raised with it, but I'm an atheist.

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Used properly, "Agnostic" should probably be a modifier, rather than a noun. "Agnostic" literally should just refer to whether or not you believe the nature of God is knowable, while the noun would rely on belief. Eg:

Agnostic Atheist: Does not believe the nature of Gods is/are knowable, does not believe they exist

Gnostic Atheist: Believes the nature of God(s) is/are known, and that they do not exist.

Actually that is the true and technical use of the word.

.

Sexual = (to reproduce) "with sex"

Asexual = (to reproduce) "without sex"

Theist = "with (a) god"

Atheist = "without (a) god"

Gnostic = "with knowledge (of)"

Agnostic = "without knowledge (of)"

.

Both the word "atheist" and "agnostic" are positions that take DEFINITE stances on a particular question. ATHEISM takes a definite stance on whether there is or is not a deity (i.e. that there isn't). AGNOSTIC takes a definite stance on whether or not it is possible to have knowledge of a deity (i.e. that you can't).

But whether there is/isn't a deity is a different question from whether it is possible to have knowledge of a deity.

There are two stances on the god question (i.e. that there is or isn't one). There are two stances on the knowledge question (i.e. that you can or cannot have it). When you combine them together, you get FOUR stances.

GNOSTIC THEIST: There is a god. I know there is one because it's possible to have knowledge of one, and I have such knowledge.

AGNOSTIC THEIST: Sort of like a deist. The belief that there is some kind of god-like force in the universe, but it's impossible to truly have knowledge of it. It can only be speculated about.

GNOSTIC ATHEIST: It would be possible to have knowledge of a god if one existed. I/we have no such knowledge, so I know there isn't one. (Very few atheists are this kind.)

AGNOSTIC ATHEIST: It's not really possible to know for certain whether or not there is a god, but it seems very improbable that there IS one, so I tend to live my life under the assumption that there ISN'T one. (Most atheists are this kind.)

.

People usually have their own words for one of these things. For example, "atheists" and "secular humanists" and "non-theists" and "brights" are all basically the same thing with some slight coloring. But the last three are basically new terms that atheists invented when, to quote Sam Harris, they realized that "the word 'atheist' is the outline of a dead body they don't want to lie down in." (i.e. The word "atheist" has some pretty severe social stigma attached to it that some people understandably don't want to wear around. In the US at least.)

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Atheist. I was never really told to believe in anything, my parents assumed I would just choose my own religion.

Funny how that turned out for them :lol:

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I was skeptical of ever finding any fun in playing Bioshock Infinite, myself being a Christian, so I never bought it. But after reading this article it now intrigues me.

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Agnostic nonthiest & nonathiest. What do I know and why would my blind faith in anything or nothing change anything or nothing? I neither completely believe or disbelieve in either the lack of a creator or in a creator. I simply am reserving my judgement until I believe I have seen enough to make such a major choice. In other words, I choose not to make a definitive choice as of yet.

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I was skeptical of ever finding any fun in playing Bioshock Infinite, myself being a Christian, so I never bought it. But after reading this article it now intrigues me.

Bioshock Infinite is fun, regardless of your religious beliefs. Five seconds zooming on a skyhook is proof enough of that. The bad guys identify as Christian, sure, but they're not "real" Christians. They didn't come to Columbia because of religion (though that was clearly a factor) they came up to Columbia because they couldn't stand being near people who weren't like them in every way. They came to Columbia so they would have a place where they would be free to hate and not be judged for it, not so they could be free to practice their religion. I find there's a big difference to be found there.

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Raised Jewish. Almost never met anyone else online or off who was. Was never really terribly religious. Lived in a town for almost ten years where everyone was the "Everyone who is not Christian is going to Hell" kind of Christian. Between those people informing me I personally murdered Jesus and that God hated me, people who refused to speak to me anymore upon finding out I was Jewish, and as seeing terrible things happen to good people, even people who had absolute faith in God and prayed often, it all made me question my faith.

I don't consider myself anything right now. I don't know if I could believe in anything after this, or if it even matters.

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Catholic, lock stock and barrel. I'd rather live my life for a God that may not be there than live my life like there isn't one, die, and find out there is. To add to that, it feels good going to confession. Like you start new every week.

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Catholic, lock stock and barrel. I'd rather live my life for a God that may not be there than live my life like there isn't one, die, and find out there is. To add to that, it feels good going to confession. Like you start new every week.

“This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, "We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts...”

― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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Always been about as religious as a rock on the ground.

I just never cared for religion really. I'm not bothered about the fact that there might be some fellow (or fellows) with a beard and lighting bolts/noodly appendages up there watching over us, just as long as he/she/it/they/thaarg leaves me alone to my business, that's fine.

Funny fact: I when I was a young kid, I used to go to a Church of England school, and I remember how bored I was listening to all the bible stories and hymns. I wasn't a particularily impressionable kid. I remember thinking the whole ritual was kind of silly really. I just wanted to get on with whatever I was doing that day. I always knew that one should be responsible for their own actions, and that nobody likes someone who acts like a dick all the time, so I just try to be a decent person. That's my code, what I stick to. Yeah, I could do better: I could donate to charity, help old ladies across the street, save babies from a burning building, but I could also do much much worse. I'm not currently burning villages, and/or murdering, pillaging, or raping anyone right now, so I don't think anyone can be particularily mad at me or anything.

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I'm strictly speaking an atheist (in that I do not accept the claim "there is a god or gods"). I am undecided whether I am an philosophical agnostic (in that I'm not sure what my position is with regards to if it's possible to have knowledge of god-claims one way or the other)

I came to this conclusion over time because of various reasons, really.

First of all I feel like looking at the history of many religions, it has the character of something that to me looks very much designed by people, in order to control people, rather than something inspired by some mysterious divine force. I've no issue with people believing the latter, but I think the former is sufficient to explain religion, and nothing has met my personal standards of evidence to make me believe otherwise.

I also don't believe because I don't feel like there is any hole in my understanding of the universe that could be satisfactorily filled by a god. To me, 'I don't know' is a pretty good answer to many of the mysteries of the universe, and furthermore the foundation of science which, so far, has been so successful as a method to form predictions about how things behave. That process itself gives me enough of a sense of wonder.

Finally, and probably least of all, the religions I have most exposure to me, appear to me to be largely immoral. They have moral parts, for sure - and I won't for a second say that nothing proscribed in any of those texts is worth anything morally, but I also think that they have served to perpetuate systems of prejudice and oppression that I find it hard to reconcile with the messages of love that many religious people emphasise. Simply put - even if the god of the Christian bible or other religions did exist, I haven't yet found one that I think I would want to worship. On a more basic level, I have trouble understanding the moral appeal of a being that requires or desires worship.

There was a time a while ago when I was quite hard-line on a lot of this stuff. I do still see religion as problematic in all kinds of ways, but I've mellowed on believers somewhat. It does concern me that faith is seen as a virtue, and basically "blessed are those who believe without seeing" is where Jesus and I part ways, but I accept there are people for whom this is an important part of their life and hope that it doesn't affect their judgement too much in other areas.

Edit: (for reference, my parents are nominally Christian, and I have heard them claim to believe, but they have never expressed any particular concern that I or my sister do not believe, and they are not church attenders or involved in religion in any way. Being in the UK, I went to schools where there were daily religious assemblies with hymns and readings in the morning, and periodic church visits, although I was never a strong believer in any of it even before I had given it more thought)

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I come from a society with no religion, really, and I was raised in a family with no religion. I have never been religious, but that doesn't mean that I've never thought about whether religion might be real.

I've always been annoyed by being categorised as an atheist or an agnostic, since those terms come from a religious point of view. I don't have a religion, and that, for me, is neither a basis of my views or personality. A belief in a higher power just doesn't exist.

It's like if I were categorised as a non-space snake, since I'm not a space snake.

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I come from a society with no religion, really, and I was raised in a family with no religion. I have never been religious, but that doesn't mean that I've never thought about whether religion might be real.

I've always been annoyed by being categorised as an atheist or an agnostic, since those terms come from a religious point of view. I don't have a religion, and that, for me, is neither a basis of my views or personality. A belief in a higher power just doesn't exist.

It's like if I were categorised as a non-space snake, since I'm not a space snake.

It's just a descriptions - and descriptions are applied wherever useful. If you lived in a world where space snakes were common, and anyone might be one, then non-space snake might in fact be a useful descriptor.

Similarly for the term 'atheist' (which describes just what you say, a lack of god-belief, rather than a specific belief that there is no god)

Agnostic is more of a knowledge claim, though it's frequently used as an 'unsure' box. So since you lack a god belief but you don't claim any specific knowledge about god beliefs, it could be pretty accurate to call you an "agnostic atheist"

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Well, that's somewhat a clash of cultures, I suppose. I don't think that I have any religious friends (and that's not because I couldn't have a religious friend, just that I very rarely mingle with religious people due to there being very few religious people around), so it feels strange being labeled as an atheist. I've had this issue before when I've met people with cultures that have a lot of religion in them, for instance the American culture. When I was studying in London, I met a lot of Americans, and the topic of religion often came up. They were very quick to label me as an atheist, but I have no personal connection to that label. I'm me, and that's it.

I'm only slightly annoyed by being labeled, but it feels a bit limiting and oppressive, in a way. It's difficult to explain.

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Well, that's somewhat a clash of cultures, I suppose. I don't think that I have any religious friends (and that's not because I couldn't have a religious friend, just that I very rarely mingle with religious people due to there being very few religious people around), so it feels strange being labeled as an atheist. I've had this issue before when I've met people with cultures that have a lot of religion in them, for instance the American culture. When I was studying in London, I met a lot of Americans, and the topic of religion often came up. They were very quick to label me as an atheist, but I have no personal connection to that label. I'm me, and that's it.

I'm only slightly annoyed by being labeled, but it feels a bit limiting and oppressive, in a way. It's difficult to explain.

Sure, there's no reason you should be forced to accept any label, especially if it's one which comes with connotations, as some people feel 'atheist' does. I guess I'm saying that purely as a descriptor, it sounds accurate to me based on what you said. Just like non-space snake is an accurate descriptor, despite you not really having any use for it as a label. :)

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Yes, I guess so. And I didn't mean to say that I'm irritated by people putting the atheist label on me, it's just the label itself.

Anyhow, religion is practically no part of my existence.

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Yes, I guess so. And I didn't mean to say that I'm irritated by people putting the atheist label on me, it's just the label itself.

Anyhow, religion is practically no part of my existence.

I'm kind of fascinated by the idea of of being in a place where no one thinks much about religion. I've heard that exists in many places in Europe, but it's so alien to my experience in America that I have a hard time wrapping my head around it.

I'm an atheist, I suppose gnostic atheist. Basically for the reasons KestrelPi stated. I think the simplest explanation for why we have a tendency for religious belief is evolutionary hard-wiring. I think an examination of the histories of most religions suggests that the modern belief systems are not based on divine revelation. I would think that knowledge of God would come from some form of sensory perception (i.e. burning bush, big booming voice) or some form of divine revelation that is outside our normal sensory experience. I don't trust the official histories enough to believe that there was ever plausible enough sensory evidence to believe in a god (I don't really think that Jesus walked on water, created wine from water, died and lived again, etc.; I'm not really sure why people believe these claims, except that they trust their pastor/priest/family/etc. who seems to believe it). I also don't really believe that people's experience of non-sensory divine revelation is best explained by a real metaphysical god who imparted those revelations, rather than some combination of psychological forces (not crazy, just not a window into another reality). And even though there's a lot we don't understand about the universe, none of those holes seem to scream out for a god as the best explanation for why things are the way they are. Maybe... but I don't see how that way of thinking leads to anything other than a general deism.

I guess I'm a gnostic because I do think it's possible to know God. I'm open to the idea that if there's a God, it can and might directly intervene in our world in such a way that we would be convinced (for example, I might change my beliefs if everything in the Book of Revelations started to come true). I'm also open to the possibility that non-sensory divine revelation is something that can and does occur, and I just haven't trusted it so far because I've never personally experienced it.

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Let's see. I disagree with the definition of theist/atheist and the definitions of gnostic/agnostic earlier in this thread.

Theism is specifically the personal belief in an interventionist personal supernatural power/deity -"God".

Atheism is lack of such a belief, for any given part of it. Deism, which is the belief in an non-interventionist supernatural deity, is technically a form of atheism. Belief in non-personal supernatural power(s) is likewise a form of atheism. And the exact meaning of the words "interventionist", "supernatural", "personal", "belief" and "deity"are not sharply defined.

Gnosticism is a position about whether something is knowable or not. It would be technically possible to be gnostic in regards to god existing, but to be atheistic as in lacking the belief of that god that you know exists. You can also be gnostic in the nonexistence of god, which in combination with lack of belief in anything supernatural is where I fall in the theism-atheism spectrum. This because I consider the supernatural to be per definition nonexistent, and see no reason to move any idea of something that is today considered to be paranormal/supernatural into the realm of the natural.

And agnosticism is obviously the position that something is not knowable. Somebody can be a strong believer in god and still believe that the existence of god is unknowable - thus agnosticism has nothing to do with whether you're believing in god or not.

If you ask me, any definition of a god that isn't immediately dismissable must be internally consistent, well defined and not contradict observable reality. Thus, all major religions, as well as other supernatural/paranormal beliefs that I know of are in the bin.

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Mostly avoiding this thread because I don't want to irk anyone with my prickly opinions, but was curious about this one....

Let's see. I disagree with the definition of theist/atheist and the definitions of gnostic/agnostic earlier in this thread.

I'm assuming this is in response to my definitions, so might as well...

Theism is specifically the personal belief in an interventionist personal supernatural power/deity -"God".

You're adding qualifiers to the question that don't need to be there. Whether the god intervenes or not, whether the god is "personal" or not, are all secondary qualities having nothing to do with the simple yes/no matter of its existence. If you believe in a god that is impersonal and doesn't intervene, you are still a form of theist. That information is irrelevant to the specific "does or does not exist" question.

"Theism, in the field of comparative religion, is the belief that at least one deity exists."

See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism

See: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theism

From: "theos" meaning "god" + "ism" meaning a system, practice, philosophy, ideology, or movement.

Deism, which is the belief in an non-interventionist supernatural deity, is technically a form of atheism.

No it isn't. Deists believe in a god; therefore, they are theists. Specifically they are SORT of like agnostic theists, but in a very selective way. You can break down deism sort of like this:

Believe in a god? Yes, absolutely.

Believe that god is knowable through religious texts, prophets, or religious authority (e.g., the pope, clergy, etc)? Not at all. Deists believe this is just a bunch of meaningless words.

Believe that god is otherwise knowable? Yes. He is knowable by observing his beauty, power, wisdom, etc in the natural world.

So in a sense, for a deist, god is sort of like an all-powerful ghost. No one can tell you anything about him, and you can't speak to him (or him to you), or see him directly, or interact with him at all, but you can know about him indirectly by seeing the way he effects nature and the universe. Essentially, the deist god is sort of like "the force".

They are 100% absolutely theists and not atheists at all (although they do place value in human reason, whereas other forms of theism try to render human reason irrelevant).

Belief in non-personal supernatural power(s) is likewise a form of atheism.

I suppose that could technically be true, but I don't see what it has to do with anything. You could believe in ghosts, or witchcraft, or genies with the power to grant three wishes, and still technically be an atheists, because none of those things have anything to do with the question of a god's existence. So, yeah, technically true, but I don't see how that's relevant.

And the exact meaning of the words "interventionist", "supernatural", "personal", "belief" and "deity"are not sharply defined.

Still don't think "interventionist" or "personal" have anything to do with it.

As for "supernatural" and "deity", those are determined on case by case basis, but the onus is on the person making the claim about the existence of something to define what the thing is. If I told you that I think "wuggas" exist, you couldn't possibly agree or disagree with me until I gave you a definition of what I mean by "wuggas", right?

So if any person says there exists a god, or a deity, then I can only agree or disagree with them to the extent that they have provided some sort of definition. But I think that's an academic point, since it is a rare person who has some obscure and unheard of definition of god that none of us have heard about.

Same thing with "supernatural". If a person wanted to be strictly academic, we could quibble over the precise meaning of this term, but it usually isn't the source of any confusion.

Gnosticism is a position about whether something is knowable or not.

Yes.

It would be technically possible to be gnostic in regards to god existing, but to be atheistic as in lacking the belief of that god that you know exists.

Maybe I don't understand you, but this statement is to me completely incoherent. If I know a thing exists, then I believe in it. I would challenge you to find me a single sane person who knows that a thing exists and yet does not believe in it. That would be like if I didn't believe in my pet dog, even though I observe him all the time and know he exists. That would be like if I didn't believe in heat or light, even though I can observe and know they are present. This statement makes no sense.

You can also be gnostic in the nonexistence of god,

Yes, but almost NO ONE takes an absolute position on a negative, because it's an impossible to argue position. You could also be gnostic about the nonexistence of aliens, but you could never argue with absolute certainty that you KNOW FOR A FACT or that you can DEMONSTRATE BEYOND DOUBT that there are no aliens.

Atheists don't tend to take this position in its absolute logical sense (on the broader question of a "god" with no specific definition), though they might take that position in regard to a particular and specifically defined god (e.g., the christian one).

which in combination with lack of belief in anything supernatural is where I fall in the theism-atheism spectrum. This because I consider the supernatural to be per definition nonexistent, and see no reason to move any idea of something that is today considered to be paranormal/supernatural into the realm of the natural.

You said before that "supernatural" is not clearly defined, but you have essentially given the definition for it here. It means something that is claimed to not belong to the realm of the natural, and like you, people who reject it tend to do so on the grounds that there is no rational reason to argue that a thing that is "outside nature" should exist or have any effect on what is natural.

After all, if X is BEYOND the laws of physics such that the laws of physics "do not apply" to X, then as soon as someone claims that X did anything that had implications within the realm of physical laws, then by definition that thing is no longer BEYOND physics, is it? It's special pleading, is what it is.

At any rate, I'm curious what other definition of "supernatural" a person might give.

And agnosticism is obviously the position that something is not knowable. Somebody can be a strong believer in god and still believe that the existence of god is unknowable

This is technically correct, but implies taking a position on a completely arbitrary basis. That's like saying, "We will never know whether another person exactly like me exists in an alternate dimension. That knowledge is impossible to obtain. But I insist on believing that person exists anyway."

Why? On what grounds? Just because you feel like it?

Technically possible, but I think the number of people who actually take this position would be quite small.

thus agnosticism has nothing to do with whether you're believing in god or not.

I agree!

If you ask me, any definition of a god that isn't immediately dismissable must be internally consistent, well defined and not contradict observable reality. Thus, all major religions, as well as other supernatural/paranormal beliefs that I know of are in the bin.

Agreed.

Well, not sure about how much "internally consistent" matters (since works of fiction tend to be "internally consistent" in at least some manner of speaking), but definitely would have trouble accepting a thing that disagreed with itself on its own qualities, to be sure.

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And agnosticism is obviously the position that something is not knowable. Somebody can be a strong believer in god and still believe that the existence of god is unknowable

This is technically correct, but implies taking a position on a completely arbitrary basis. That's like saying, "We will never know whether another person exactly like me exists in an alternate dimension. That knowledge is impossible to obtain. But I insist on believing that person exists anyway."

Why? On what grounds? Just because you feel like it?

Technically possible, but I think the number of people who actually take this position would be quite small.

I don't think that's the case. I think there are plenty of theists who would say that they have no way of knowing with absolute logical certainty that a god exists, but they choose to take it on faith - an act which is praised, for example, in the Christian bible.

I reject the notion, finding 'I don't know' more inherently satisfying than faith based answers, and other factors making me lean towards 'but probably not', but for someone who accepts the importance of faith, they could quite easily simultaneously understand that they cannot know God with certainty but choose to believe anyway. Some would argue that it is in fact their faith that allows them to know, where knowing would otherwise be inaccessible. To me, that last just seems like a sort of special-pleading, or perhaps question-begging sort of explaining away of the belief, nevertheless I think it's something that people do sincerely hold.

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And agnosticism is obviously the position that something is not knowable. Somebody can be a strong believer in god and still believe that the existence of god is unknowable

This is technically correct, but implies taking a position on a completely arbitrary basis. That's like saying, "We will never know whether another person exactly like me exists in an alternate dimension. That knowledge is impossible to obtain. But I insist on believing that person exists anyway."

Why? On what grounds? Just because you feel like it?

Technically possible, but I think the number of people who actually take this position would be quite small.

I don't think that's the case. I think there are plenty of theists who would say that they have no way of knowing with absolute logical certainty that a god exists, but they choose to take it on faith - an act which is praised, for example, in the Christian bible.

I reject the notion, finding 'I don't know' more inherently satisfying than faith based answers, and other factors making me lean towards 'but probably not', but for someone who accepts the importance of faith, they could quite easily simultaneously understand that they cannot know God with certainty but choose to believe anyway. Some would argue that it is in fact their faith that allows them to know, where knowing would otherwise be inaccessible. To me, that last just seems like a sort of special-pleading, or perhaps question-begging sort of explaining away of the belief, nevertheless I think it's something that people do sincerely hold.

Oh I don't question at all that people have faith, but I find that people who claim to have faith also tend to be perfectly willing to provide you with testimonies of ways they believe that their god has had a positive impact in their life. Despite the fact that I think that in all of these cases they are guilty of non-sequitur or an attribution error, they personally still believe that the god has AFFECTED them, their life, the universe around them, in some way. And so their belief is somewhat based on THOSE grounds. So in making my previous post, I was taking that sort of "proof" into consideration.

So in other words, in stating I don't think many of those type of people exist, I was imagining a person who holds all of the following positions:

1. I honestly don't know whether or not god exists.

2. I have no reason to suppose one exists, because I can't think of any examples of how its existence has affected me or my life or the universe in any way. No scientifically demonstrable effects or even things that I perceive to be effects.

3. Despite my knowledge and observations in regard to this god being a total vacuum, I believe in it anyway, even though I don't exactly know what it is I'm believing in or what significance that would even have.

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You're adding qualifiers to the question that don't need to be there. Whether the god intervenes or not, whether the god is "personal" or not, are all secondary qualities having nothing to do with the simple yes/no matter of its existence. If you believe in a god that is impersonal and doesn't intervene, you are still a form of theist. That information is irrelevant to the specific "does or does not exist" question.

From the religion classes in gymnasial school, which admittedly aren't incredibly deep, we drew a strong line between belief in interventionist deities - theism - and non-interventionist deities - deism. Likewise, we drew a line between pantheism and theism - theism being personal, pantheism being existence-the universe itself-or a universal force of sorts-being the supernatural entity.

Deists believe in a god; therefore, they are theists. Specifically they are SORT of like agnostic theists, but in a very selective way. You can break down deism sort of like this:

Like I said, the deistic definition of a deity and the theistic definition of a deity differ - the god deists believe in is not a theistic god - it is not a god that is active in the world, thus they are not theists.
They are 100% absolutely theists and not atheists at all (although they do place value in human reason, whereas other forms of theism try to render human reason irrelevant).
Belief in non-personal supernatural power(s) is likewise a form of atheism.

I suppose that could technically be true, but I don't see what it has to do with anything. You could believe in ghosts, or witchcraft, or genies with the power to grant three wishes, and still technically be an atheists, because none of those things have anything to do with the question of a god's existence. So, yeah, technically true, but I don't see how that's relevant.

Pantheism also falls in this category.

And the exact meaning of the words "interventionist", "supernatural", "personal", "belief" and "deity"are not sharply defined.

Still don't think "interventionist" or "personal" have anything to do with it.

It's the difference between theism on one hand and deism and pantheism on two other hands.

As for "supernatural" and "deity", those are determined on case by case basis, but the onus is on the person making the claim about the existence of something to define what the thing is. If I told you that I think "wuggas" exist, you couldn't possibly agree or disagree with me until I gave you a definition of what I mean by "wuggas", right?

I'd argue about whether your "wuggas" fulfilled any particular definition of deity, but I'd say that definition is independent of your claims about the "wuggas".

Gnosticism is a position about whether something is knowable or not.

Yes.

It would be technically possible to be gnostic in regards to god existing, but to be atheistic as in lacking the belief of that god that you know exists.

Maybe I don't understand you, but this statement is to me completely incoherent. If I know a thing exists, then I believe in it. I would challenge you to find me a single sane person who knows that a thing exists and yet does not believe in it. That would be like if I didn't believe in my pet dog, even though I observe him all the time and know he exists. That would be like if I didn't believe in heat or light, even though I can observe and know they are present. This statement makes no sense.

This again hearkens back to the trouble with the definition of "belief" being muddy. First of all, theism isn't about belief in the existence of a deity, but belief in the deity. Let me give you a few examples: In Norse mythology, there are some gods that were worshipped more than others in different areas - inland areas almost exclusively held belief in the gods of harvest and those that have weather and fertility as their purview, and less gods like Odin which held greater belief along the coastal areas. Sure, they believed in their existence, but they didn't put their faith in them, didn't pray to them, didn't worship them.

Another example: The devil, obviously - many Christians believe in the existence of the devil, but they turn their belief to God and shun the devil.

You can also be gnostic in the nonexistence of god,

Yes, but almost NO ONE takes an absolute position on a negative, because it's an impossible to argue position. You could also be gnostic about the nonexistence of aliens, but you could never argue with absolute certainty that you KNOW FOR A FACT or that you can DEMONSTRATE BEYOND DOUBT that there are no aliens.

And I argue that the position that you cannot know is faulty logic. There's known knowns, known unknowns, unknown knowns and unknown unknowns. In particle physics we have an area of energy levels where we know there are no interactions, no forces, beyond those we have described. Any unknown has be be at energy levels far below that of gravity. Which means that any deific interaction with the real world is so weak as to have no way to effect any larger changes on a personal level. It's just the unknown unknowns that makes the proof impossible.

Atheists don't tend to take this position in its absolute logical sense (on the broader question of a "god" with no specific definition), though they might take that position in regard to a particular and specifically defined god (e.g., the christian one).

Yes, but proof is the realm of mathematics, not the physical world. Physical science deals with statistics, not proof. We cannot prove even things like the theory of electricity, and our entire society relies on it. (Though we could give it a fantastically good statistical likelyhood.)

After all, if X is BEYOND the laws of physics such that the laws of physics "do not apply" to X, then as soon as someone claims that X did anything that had implications within the realm of physical laws, then by definition that thing is no longer BEYOND physics, is it? It's special pleading, is what it is.

At any rate, I'm curious what other definition of "supernatural" a person might give.

Maybe the alternative is supernatural as anything that we cannot explain with current theories.

And agnosticism is obviously the position that something is not knowable. Somebody can be a strong believer in god and still believe that the existence of god is unknowable

This is technically correct, but implies taking a position on a completely arbitrary basis. That's like saying, "We will never know whether another person exactly like me exists in an alternate dimension. That knowledge is impossible to obtain. But I insist on believing that person exists anyway."

*Many* Christians argue that faith is the core of their religion, that god giving proof of his existence would negate the point of putting faith in him, which the bible capitalises on in many places. This is a very frequent argument from theists.
Well, not sure about how much "internally consistent" matters (since works of fiction tend to be "internally consistent" in at least some manner of speaking), but definitely would have trouble accepting a thing that disagreed with itself on its own qualities, to be sure.
There's so many of these in all religious texts that anybody finding them believable is amazing to me.

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Catholic, lock stock and barrel. I'd rather live my life for a God that may not be there than live my life like there isn't one, die, and find out there is. To add to that, it feels good going to confession. Like you start new every week.

But what if you die and God is a giant turtle and is all like, "Why didn't you devote your life to helping turtles?"

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I've had this issue before when I've met people with cultures that have a lot of religion in them

In Europe, we call them muslims. If you come across a group of them on the street. Don't react to them. Don't make eye contact

Mostly avoiding this thread because I don't want to irk anyone with my prickly opinions, but was curious about this one....

Oh I don't mind provoking people with my opinion. I think every person on this planet who believes in a religion or deity whatever is a fucking retard. Just an opinion, I don't really care what anyone blieves

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From the religion classes in gymnasial school, which admittedly aren't incredibly deep, we drew a strong line between belief in interventionist deities - theism - and non-interventionist deities - deism. Likewise, we drew a line between pantheism and theism - theism being personal, pantheism being existence-the universe itself-or a universal force of sorts-being the supernatural entity.

Like I said, the deistic definition of a deity and the theistic definition of a deity differ - the god deists believe in is not a theistic god - it is not a god that is active in the world, thus they are not theists.

Pantheism also falls in this category.

It's the difference between theism on one hand and deism and pantheism on two other hands.

I think the distinctions you (or your school) are drawing---while valid as categories---are secondary and irrelevant in pure logical terms. It is a yes/no question. Qualities do not enter into it.

If the question is whether some type, any type of X exists, it's pointless to draw a distinction between red Xs and blue Xs, or big Xs and small Xs, or interventionist Xs and non-interventionist Xs. We're talking about an X and whether it exists. What qualities or nature it may or may not possess is a completely different and separate question.

This again hearkens back to the trouble with the definition of "belief" being muddy. First of all, theism isn't about belief in the existence of a deity, but belief in the deity. Let me give you a few examples: In Norse mythology, there are some gods that were worshipped more than others in different areas - inland areas almost exclusively held belief in the gods of harvest and those that have weather and fertility as their purview, and less gods like Odin which held greater belief along the coastal areas. Sure, they believed in their existence, but they didn't put their faith in them, didn't pray to them, didn't worship them.

It sounds like we are in fact using different definitions of "belief". I feel like mine is pretty clear. I am using "belief" in the sense that if you "believe in" a god, you believe that the god exists, and that it is a true part of this universe we live in.

It sounds like you are using "belief" in the sense that if you "believe in" a god, then you are "having trust in" that god or "devoting yourself to" that god. In other words, it sounds like you are using it as a synonym for faith. It sounds to me like it is your definition of belief that is muddy. As if to prove my point, you then said....

Another example: The devil, obviously - many Christians believe in the existence of the devil, but they turn their belief to God and shun the devil.

So what you are saying is that while Christians believe in the devil, they don't BELIEVE in the devil?

Whose definition of belief is muddy again?

And I argue that the position that you cannot know is faulty logic.

It's a good thing I'm not making any arguments like that then.

In particle physics we have an area of energy levels where we know there are no interactions, no forces, beyond those we have described. Any unknown has be be at energy levels far below that of gravity. Which means that any deific interaction with the real world is so weak as to have no way to effect any larger changes on a personal level. It's just the unknown unknowns that makes the proof impossible.

I'm not going to comment on your particle physics example, because I'm not brushed up on my particle physics. But what I do know is the scientific method upon which all science---including particle physics---is built. And according to that scientific method, there are very, very, very few things we can ever say in absolute terms. Even something as elementary as "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". This is something we have observed to be so consistently true, that it has determined that the chances of finding a situation where it is NOT true are very very unlikely. But that doesn't strictly mean that it is impossible.

Along similar lines, the scientific mode of thought would never state in absolute terms that there definitely is or is not a god. It certainly would never say that it is impossible to know. All that can be said is what has been observed, and what seems the most likely conclusion based on what has been observed. Conclusions may be revised as future evidence arises.

Atheists don't tend to take this position in its absolute logical sense (on the broader question of a "god" with no specific definition), though they might take that position in regard to a particular and specifically defined god (e.g., the christian one).

Yes, but proof is the realm of mathematics, not the physical world. Physical science deals with statistics, not proof. We cannot prove even things like the theory of electricity, and our entire society relies on it. (Though we could give it a fantastically good statistical likelyhood.)

I think by trying to argue with me here, you actually just agreed with me.

Yes, exactly. Atheists generally look at god, and also scientific theories, probabilistically.

Maybe the alternative is supernatural as anything that we cannot explain with current theories.

That just means its unknown, not supernatural. There are still things about gravity we don't fully understand. Is gravity supernatural?

*Many* Christians argue that faith is the core of their religion, that god giving proof of his existence would negate the point of putting faith in him, which the bible capitalises on in many places. This is a very frequent argument from theists.

I addressed this one in my reply to KestrilPi, so I'll spare the recap.

There's so many of these in all religious texts that anybody finding them believable is amazing to me.

You said it, brotha.

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