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For everybody: what does being an atheist mean to YOU?
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Posted 2/27/12

JustineKo2 wrote:

@ qweruiop (so as not to quote the whole thing), that actually put it in a better perspective for me. When someone tells me they are simply agnostic, I get frustrated because it tells me nothing whether they believe in god or not. But it kind of sets up a dilemma because an agnostic, who may also be logical, might still rely on belief since they admit to being unable to know whether God exists or not. In addition they assume an atheist is someone who believes god does not exist, rather than someone who lacks a belief in God.

On the knowledge scale I'd probably lean more towards being gnostic because I feel it is possible to know whether God exists or not. It's a logic based argument for oneself too; you seek evidence of his existence but find none, you weigh the chances of something so unlikely, unprobable, and fantastical existing and conclude it is extremely unlikely. All these lead to knowledge, since all knowledge comes out of our use of senses and reasoning. The reason many theists believe in God is because they are told to, and given an ultimatum to believe. These are not knowledge.


There is no dilemma. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.

Actually there are four major standpoints (ignoring the various subtleties of agnosticism).

1. Gnostic Theist - believes in God and claims knowledge of existence.
2. Agnostic Theist - believes in God, but claims no knowledge of existence.
3. Agnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, but claims no knowledge of non-existence.
4. Gnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, and claims knowledge of non-existence.


shuyi000 wrote:
Everybody is agnostic about everything...


You are misunderstanding. Agnosticism/ Gnosticism relates to an individual's outlook. It's about what they think. Whether they actually know or not is another story altogether.
Posted 2/27/12
Lacking theistic beliefs. To me, there is no lack (deficiency) of beliefs. Acknowledging the Universe and the scientific laws which explain it can also be considered a part of Atheism.
ispy12 
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Posted 2/28/12
like my profile say: believe what you want to believe stop fighting to convince others
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Posted 2/28/12

qweruiop wrote:


JustineKo2 wrote:

@ qweruiop (so as not to quote the whole thing), that actually put it in a better perspective for me. When someone tells me they are simply agnostic, I get frustrated because it tells me nothing whether they believe in god or not. But it kind of sets up a dilemma because an agnostic, who may also be logical, might still rely on belief since they admit to being unable to know whether God exists or not. In addition they assume an atheist is someone who believes god does not exist, rather than someone who lacks a belief in God.

On the knowledge scale I'd probably lean more towards being gnostic because I feel it is possible to know whether God exists or not. It's a logic based argument for oneself too; you seek evidence of his existence but find none, you weigh the chances of something so unlikely, unprobable, and fantastical existing and conclude it is extremely unlikely. All these lead to knowledge, since all knowledge comes out of our use of senses and reasoning. The reason many theists believe in God is because they are told to, and given an ultimatum to believe. These are not knowledge.


There is no dilemma. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.

Actually there are four major standpoints (ignoring the various subtleties of agnosticism).

1. Gnostic Theist - believes in God and claims knowledge of existence.
2. Agnostic Theist - believes in God, but claims no knowledge of existence.
3. Agnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, but claims no knowledge of non-existence.
4. Gnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, and claims knowledge of non-existence.


shuyi000 wrote:
Everybody is agnostic about everything...


You are misunderstanding. Agnosticism/ Gnosticism relates to an individual's outlook. It's about what they think. Whether they actually know or not is another story altogether.


And where in your neat little matrix does the person who just doesn't give a shit fit?

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Posted 2/28/12
To me as an individual I am simply someone who does not believe there is God of any sort.. Being an atheist as what most would call is just a standpoint to me. Atheist do not claim they simply say show the proof as to where religious people do claim there is a god and all mighty creator. For me being an atheist, I simply say show me the proof I do not believe you. I stand by and follow the facts, knowledge, and logic of the world.
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Posted 2/28/12

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


qweruiop wrote:


JustineKo2 wrote:

@ qweruiop (so as not to quote the whole thing), that actually put it in a better perspective for me. When someone tells me they are simply agnostic, I get frustrated because it tells me nothing whether they believe in god or not. But it kind of sets up a dilemma because an agnostic, who may also be logical, might still rely on belief since they admit to being unable to know whether God exists or not. In addition they assume an atheist is someone who believes god does not exist, rather than someone who lacks a belief in God.

On the knowledge scale I'd probably lean more towards being gnostic because I feel it is possible to know whether God exists or not. It's a logic based argument for oneself too; you seek evidence of his existence but find none, you weigh the chances of something so unlikely, unprobable, and fantastical existing and conclude it is extremely unlikely. All these lead to knowledge, since all knowledge comes out of our use of senses and reasoning. The reason many theists believe in God is because they are told to, and given an ultimatum to believe. These are not knowledge.


There is no dilemma. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.

Actually there are four major standpoints (ignoring the various subtleties of agnosticism).

1. Gnostic Theist - believes in God and claims knowledge of existence.
2. Agnostic Theist - believes in God, but claims no knowledge of existence.
3. Agnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, but claims no knowledge of non-existence.
4. Gnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, and claims knowledge of non-existence.


shuyi000 wrote:
Everybody is agnostic about everything...


You are misunderstanding. Agnosticism/ Gnosticism relates to an individual's outlook. It's about what they think. Whether they actually know or not is another story altogether.


And where in your neat little matrix does the person who just doesn't give a shit fit?



Hmmm....why so condescending? As I said before this is just my way of categorizing confusing and often misused terminology.

A person who doesn't care would not be agnostic or gnostic. Nor would they be atheist or theist. As such they would fall right at the intersection of both axes. A combination of an Apatheist and an Apathetic Agnostic.

There are several other possible positions that I have not mentioned, but those four positions are the most common since they make up the four corners of the graph.
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Posted 2/28/12
Well, from what I know, Atheism is just someone who doesn't believe in a god or anything. Most of the time their angry for no reason, or at least, until they ask me what belief I am. Then they just go apecrap. Example of a actual experience of mine:

Me and guy start off in normal conversation. Ya know, just talking about stuff.

Me: Yeah I like to play games and stuff and anime.

Guy: Oh cool.

Thhheeeen he ask the question, mine you up until now, there was not a single peep of religion of any sort.

Guy: So what are you?

Me: A Christain. You?

Guy: -insert random cussing and blabblering here along with childish remarks-

Me: o_o;; Uhhh oookay, gonna go now. kbai.

But that is about it, I'm sure it goes deeper though.
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Posted 2/28/12

qweruiop wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:


qweruiop wrote:


JustineKo2 wrote:

@ qweruiop (so as not to quote the whole thing), that actually put it in a better perspective for me. When someone tells me they are simply agnostic, I get frustrated because it tells me nothing whether they believe in god or not. But it kind of sets up a dilemma because an agnostic, who may also be logical, might still rely on belief since they admit to being unable to know whether God exists or not. In addition they assume an atheist is someone who believes god does not exist, rather than someone who lacks a belief in God.

On the knowledge scale I'd probably lean more towards being gnostic because I feel it is possible to know whether God exists or not. It's a logic based argument for oneself too; you seek evidence of his existence but find none, you weigh the chances of something so unlikely, unprobable, and fantastical existing and conclude it is extremely unlikely. All these lead to knowledge, since all knowledge comes out of our use of senses and reasoning. The reason many theists believe in God is because they are told to, and given an ultimatum to believe. These are not knowledge.


There is no dilemma. Agnosticism and theism are not mutually exclusive.

Actually there are four major standpoints (ignoring the various subtleties of agnosticism).

1. Gnostic Theist - believes in God and claims knowledge of existence.
2. Agnostic Theist - believes in God, but claims no knowledge of existence.
3. Agnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, but claims no knowledge of non-existence.
4. Gnostic Atheist - does not believe in God, and claims knowledge of non-existence.


shuyi000 wrote:
Everybody is agnostic about everything...


You are misunderstanding. Agnosticism/ Gnosticism relates to an individual's outlook. It's about what they think. Whether they actually know or not is another story altogether.


And where in your neat little matrix does the person who just doesn't give a shit fit?



Hmmm....why so condescending? As I said before this is just my way of categorizing confusing and often misused terminology.

A person who doesn't care would not be agnostic or gnostic. Nor would they be atheist or theist. As such they would fall right at the intersection of both axes. A combination of an Apatheist and an Apathetic Agnostic.

There are several other possible positions that I have not mentioned, but those four positions are the most common since they make up the four corners of the graph.


It was a smart remark. but as i self-identified before. I really don't consider the question even relevant. I'm honestly curious about the label I should be adopting. Apathetic Agnostic and secular humanist have worked for me so far.
Posted 2/29/12
I'm atheist and it means freedom for me 'cause there's no prohibitions in my life as like there would be if I were a believer. Well, of course I have to obey the law as like everyone else. I've been atheist all of my life and I'm really happy of that 'cause there's many things I have not had to do as like others, for example studying religious, joining in a confirmation school etc...
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Posted 3/1/12 , edited 3/3/12

xXGintamaXx wrote:

Well, from what I know, Atheism is just someone who doesn't believe in a god or anything. Most of the time their angry for no reason,


'...an Atheist is just someone who..."

No one can be an 'Atheism', just as no one can be a 'Christianity' or a 'Buddhism'.

'...most of the time, they're angry for no reason...'

Their is a possesive pronoun, as in 'By God their grammar is horrible, they can't even distinguish between the word "they're", that is, the contraction of "they are", and the possesive pronoun "their".'.


xXGintamaXx wrote:

or at least, until they ask me what belief I am.


'...or at least until they ask about my beliefs.'

You are not a belief. You are a person who has a belief.


xXGintamaXx wrote:

Then they just go apecrap. Example of a actual experience of mine:


'...crazy.'

Apecrap is not a word.

'...Example of an actual experience of mine...'


What about this Example of your actual experience? How does it relate to the topic at hand? Do you mean that you wish to give us a sampling of your life, and therefore want to give us an experience from it, as a sort of vignette? Or do you mean to show us the despicable character of an atheist using an actual experience from your life?


xXGintamaXx wrote:

Me and guy start off in normal conversation. Ya know, just talking about stuff.


This guy and I start off in a noramal conversation.

'Ya' is not a word.

'...just talking about stuff.' This is redundant and is already implied in the word 'conversation'.



xXGintamaXx wrote:


Me: Yeah I like to play games and stuff and anime.

Guy: Oh cool.


':P' is not a word.


xXGintamaXx wrote:

Thhheeeen he ask the question, mine you up until now, there was not a single peep of religion of any sort.

Guy: So what are you?

Me: A Christain. You?


'Thhheeeen' is also not a word.


Then, the rest of the post gets nightmarish.
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Posted 3/1/12 , edited 3/2/12
Grammar Nazi FTW!

Oh this just occurred to me, there seems to be a disconnect (ie a telling of two different stories) in the type of interactions about God atheists describe having with Christians, and the type of interactions about God Christians describe having with atheists.

Christians will always point out the vitriolic, argumentative, 100% they know they're right atheists that they've come across. But I bet that seldom happens. Christians may assume everyone they meet believes in one god or another, so I'd imagine the only time it matters is when they meet that one jerk who happens to be an atheist. Otherwise with the other atheists they meet, the subject doesn't even come up, so those people don't register in their minds as reasonable. fair, nice atheists, they register in their mind as fellow Christians.

See what I'm saying? A Christian, when thinking of atheists will only recall the ones that have been rude and argumentative, therefore it registers in their mind that all atheists are like that.

As for us atheists we are the minority among a huge majority of theists, so we have lots of experience dealing with people on matters of belief in deities. I think almost any atheist can cite a list of Christians that they know that are nice and accepting, Christians that are friends, people of other faiths and people with all sorts of varying degrees of acceptance about their atheism, and then also the complete dicks out there (even ones that are fellow atheists).
Posted 3/2/12
Any objections?

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Posted 3/2/12

longfenglim wrote:


xXGintamaXx wrote:

or at least, until they ask me what belief I am.


'...or at least until they ask my what what my beliefs are.'

You are not a belief. You are a person, who has a beliefs.


When you point one finger at someone, remember that three fingers are pointing right back at you.



longfenglim wrote:


xXGintamaXx wrote:

Then they just go apecrap. Example of a actual experience of mine:


'...crazy.'

Apecrap is not a word.

'...Example of an actual experience of mine...'


What about this Example of your actual experience? How does it relate to the topic at hand? Do you mean that you wish to give us a sampling of your life, and therefore want to give us an experience from it, as a sort of vignette? Or do you mean to show us the dispicable character of an atheist using an actual experience from your life?



*despicable

Sorry to do that to you, but I couldn't resist.
Posted 3/3/12 , edited 3/3/12

DeusExMachine wrote:

Any objections?

No, just a clarification. Where does science as in the belief of scientific rigours fits into? Or is skepticism not a religion, but a healthy philosophical disposition to base all our knowledge upon? You know, the "don't believe in anything, question everything", that kinda stuff.

And personally that's what being an atheist means to me. When the monotheistic and polytheistic religious dogmas can't withstand the process of experimental science, I'll just move onto the next subject of interest: superstitions masking as pseudoscience...

Oh wait, that's still the same thing, isn't it? I'm sorry, but they'll just kept resurfacing under a different label or brand. Intelligent Designer, Creationism, and Free Market Capitalism/Calvinism come to mind.

And for everything else, there's always "Mr. Deity and the Skeptic". And if you don't like it, I still have something else in mind.

Finally, just to keep our meme theme party going...
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Posted 3/3/12
I'll try to answer this great question from my own (atheistic) point of view.

For me, I see atheism as an instrument for finding the objective truth.
Atheism always inspires me to think through many actions, when ether they are actions from nature or my fellow human beings.
It also pushes me to do good, to get the most out of this life, to make sure all of humanity can enjoy the single life they have.
Not only that but i consider it my duty and other atheists duty to always aim for these goals of discovery, truth and happiness.
I am honestly convinced that only atheist/atheism, have/has the ability to reach that all for the entirety of humanity. (even though our species is capable of doing terrible things)

For me, being an atheist simply fills me with joy, I can see the beauty of nature, the universe and other humans.
Of course the bad part about atheism is that I cannot see eternal life, or some other fairy tale like that, and death frightens me an aw full lot, but why should I waste the single life I have being afraid of death?

So yeah, I'm glad I can see the beauty of life, nature and the universe, I'm glad I don't see my fellow human beings as sinners and evil doers, I'm glad that I do not live in a world where I'm constantly supervised and judged by a celestial dictatorship that shrinks the likes of North Korea (where you at least can die in order to escape), and I'm glad that after I die I don't have to either praise the celestial dictator for eternity or get tortured for eternity.

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