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Atheism in Politics: the Last Taboo

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Old
12-17-2013, 02:39 AM
  #26
SashaSemin28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordski View Post
I called being of Jewish descent a qualifier to ethnicity, not an ethnicity itself.
It was more replying to Fish on the Sand.

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Old
12-17-2013, 03:12 PM
  #27
Big Phil
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There may well be agnostic politicians who get elected, but how many of them make their religious position clearly public? Agnostics and atheists don't really have the freedom to openly declare that and at the same time hope to get elected to political office; if a couple have then they are certainly the exceptions.
I'd rather see an honest politician. Better that than the one who throws religion around when it is convenient and could care less about it behind closed doors. Then again, I am expecting an honest politician here.

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That's not what agnostic means.
Either way, the same point. An agnostic does not have a strong opinion on that issue. An atheist does.

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Old
12-17-2013, 03:51 PM
  #28
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The last taboo ... right since truth and sense are the first taboos, I get it.

Religious freedom ... yeah. But what if religions in themselves are fascist and/or means to impose fascist strucktures?

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Old
12-17-2013, 04:26 PM
  #29
Free Torts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Either way, the same point. An agnostic does not have a strong opinion on that issue. An atheist does.
It's not the same thing at all. It's the opposite of the same thing. An atheist has an opinion and an agnostic doesn't.

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Old
12-17-2013, 04:45 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
It's not the same thing at all. It's the opposite of the same thing. An atheist has an opinion and an agnostic doesn't.
Neither you nor Big Phil know what an agnostic is. A true agnostic believes that it cannot be known whether there is a god or not, that is our opinion on the matter. And to add my little part, some of us think that it is either foolish or arrogant for anyone to think that they can know. That should put it a little bit stronger, and perhaps make people stand up and actually recognize agnosticism for what it means.

Of course, there are what could be called "weak agnostics" who just don't have an opinion or idea on the god-question. But those aren't real agnostics, those are just people who don't have an opinion.

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12-17-2013, 04:50 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Neither you nor Big Phil know what an agnostic is. A true agnostic believes that it cannot be known whether there is a god or not, that is our opinion on the matter. And to add my little part, some of us think that it is either foolish or arrogant for anyone to think that they can know. That should put it a little bit stronger, and perhaps make people stand up and actually recognize agnosticism for what it means.
Go back a page. I posted a dictionary definition. I know exactly what an agnostic is.

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via LET ME GOOGLE THAT FOR YOU
ag·nos·tic
agˈnästik
noun
1. a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

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Old
12-17-2013, 04:55 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
Go back a page. I posted a dictionary definition. I know exactly what an agnostic is.
Here we go again. Had this debate, though more focused on atheism, with glovesave a while back.

"Atheist, Gnostic, Theist, Agnostic"
http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/

Quote:
Agnostic: Thinks we cannot know whether God exists or not.
Quote:
It is impossible to gain absolute knowledge of God,...

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:02 PM
  #33
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I have less than zero interest in getting into a pages-long debate with you. Again, dictionary definition. One post above yours.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:05 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
I have less than zero interest in getting into a pages-long debate with you. Again, dictionary definition. One post above yours.
The only point of difference we seem to have is that you stated that "an agnostic doesn't" have an opinion on the topic of God; and in fact agnostics do have an opinion on it.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:08 PM
  #35
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Oy vey.

'Nothing can be known.'

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:10 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'm not sure about atheist so much. That is a strong word with more of a statement behind it that is stronger than the word "agnostic". I can think of many politicians that I believe are agnostic. In other words they really don't care if there is a God. There would be a laundry list of politicians who would think this way that I would classify as agnostic. They get voted in, so............
Not if you're an agnostic atheists, which in my anecdotal experience is what most atheists are.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:11 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
Oy vey.

'Nothing can be known.'
Sense some sarcasm. Hey, I'm sure you're the exception and everything can be known by you; it's just that I'll never know it.

You know, we're the great human species, if we can't know all then nothing can.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:28 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Either way, the same point. An agnostic does not have a strong opinion on that issue. An atheist does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
It's not the same thing at all. It's the opposite of the same thing. An atheist has an opinion and an agnostic doesn't.

An agnostic is by definition an atheist.

If you believe in the existence of a higher power/deity you are a theist. If you arent a theist you are by definition an atheist.


Last edited by cyris: 12-17-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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Old
12-17-2013, 05:33 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyris View Post
An agnostic is by definition an atheist.
By theistic definition, perhaps.

Oh, and @ KirkP again, if I may be permitted here...
I'm not arguing the point in this instance just for the sake of my disagreeing with comment; I'm actually defending my position, my stance, and my opinion as an agnostic.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:37 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
By theistic definition, perhaps.
Like I believe you are saying you are, I consider myself agnostic.
But purely by definition that makes us atheists. Don't like the grouping but that is the definition.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:49 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Cyris View Post
Like I believe you are saying you are, I consider myself agnostic.
But purely by definition that makes us atheists. Don't like the grouping but that is the definition.
Again, I would respond to that by saying: Don't allow theists, who are obviously the dominant group, to define what you are!

For a theist, if one doesn't actually believe in a god then that probably means to many of them that we are atheist. But as agnostics, we understand the difference. A true atheist believes that there is no god; and agnostics consider that to be equally foolhardy.

So, to theists, I say: Don't label me! Your definitions are too limiting.

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:53 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Again, I would respond to that by saying: Don't allow theists, who are obviously the dominant group, to define what you are!

For a theist, if one doesn't actually believe in a god then that probably means to many of them that we are atheist. But as agnostics, we understand the difference. A true atheist believes that there is no god; and agnostics consider that to be equally foolhardy.

So, to theists, I say: Don't label me! Your definitions are too limiting.
Aren't all labels placed on people from the outside too limiting?

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Old
12-17-2013, 05:59 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Cyris View Post
An agnostic is by definition an atheist.

If you believe in the existence of a higher power/deity you are a theist. If you arent a theist you are by definition an atheist.
Right, what I said earlier, it is the same thing, and it isn't at the same time. Neither believes in a God. One pretty much closes the door on it, the other does not know but does not practice anything either. Neither are theists. But this can go on, so that's why I simplified it. Neither believe in God.

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Old
12-18-2013, 05:25 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Right, what I said earlier, it is the same thing, and it isn't at the same time. Neither believes in a God. One pretty much closes the door on it, the other does not know but does not practice anything either. Neither are theists. But this can go on, so that's why I simplified it. Neither believe in God.
I don't know if God exists but I often do spiritual practices. I am going through Buddhist teaching and meditations. I can now use the power of the collective conscience/divine matrix of the Universe to control my body temperature.

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Old
12-18-2013, 09:10 AM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyris View Post
Like I believe you are saying you are, I consider myself agnostic.
But purely by definition that makes us atheists. Don't like the grouping but that is the definition.
Agreed. I generally have poor experiences with people who prefer to label themselves as atheists, plus I'm more interested in one's level of certainty of their beliefs than what the beliefs themselves are, so I prefer to consider myself agnostic, too. I still know I'm an atheist.

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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Again, I would respond to that by saying: Don't allow theists, who are obviously the dominant group, to define what you are!

For a theist, if one doesn't actually believe in a god then that probably means to many of them that we are atheist. But as agnostics, we understand the difference. A true atheist believes that there is no god; and agnostics consider that to be equally foolhardy.

So, to theists, I say: Don't label me! Your definitions are too limiting.
As per the other thread, the bolded is patently false. Atheism is broadly defined as the position that a god exists is false. An antitheist believes there is no god. It is more than possible to be a "true" atheist (your claim here is almost a reverse no true Scotsman ) and still not believe there is no god.

Agnosticism answers an entirely different question.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Right, what I said earlier, it is the same thing, and it isn't at the same time. Neither believes in a God. One pretty much closes the door on it, the other does not know but does not practice anything either. Neither are theists. But this can go on, so that's why I simplified it. Neither believe in God.


There's no difference except a label. You could take two people with exactly the same position on God and one could say they're atheist and one could say they're agnostic, and neither would be wrong. Neither necessarily "pretty much closes the door on it", nor does the other necessarily simply just "not know".

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Old
12-18-2013, 10:28 AM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Again, I would respond to that by saying: Don't allow theists, who are obviously the dominant group, to define what you are!

For a theist, if one doesn't actually believe in a god then that probably means to many of them that we are atheist. But as agnostics, we understand the difference. A true atheist believes that there is no god; and agnostics consider that to be equally foolhardy.

So, to theists, I say: Don't label me! Your definitions are too limiting.
In every thread on this forum regarding religion in which I have participated, people who don't share the same belief system as me have labeled and limited me based on my belief system - or at least made the attempt.

That said, I agree with your sentiment. Do not allow yourself to be defined be someone who does not truly understand what you are about.

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Old
12-18-2013, 11:19 AM
  #47
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This thread needs a Venn diagram:


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Old
12-18-2013, 11:52 AM
  #48
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I call myself Secular Jewish. Judaism is more than just a religion in my opinion. It even qualifies one's ethnicity. I can't just say I'm of Belorussian descent, because Jewish Belorussians have an entirely different story and cultural background (and facial characteristics, I'll admit) than normal Belorussians.

People who call Judaism "Just a religion" are bastardizing the memory of all those secular individuals who were killed in the Shoah. If anti-semites are allowed to define secular people as "Jewish" we should be able to do so as well.
Beyond this, the idea that someone can't identify as whatever they want is beyond me. How does anyone's identification hurt anyone else? As you say, there's a general cultural narrative, and a label for it. It's hardly only Jews who do this, as anyone with secular-Hindu friends or secular-Buddhist friends know. It's a way of self-identifying that people from minority cultures tend to employ.

The idea that this has to do with ethnicity is ridiculous. It's cultural, and religion is one part of culture. Religion doesn't only have to do with God or the supernatural either. Many (cultural) Jews are atheists, but handle life-cycle events (birth, marriage, coming of age, death and mourning) Jewishly. Ditto for my secular Hindu and Buddhist friends. There's nothing at all extraordinary about this. There is comfort in tradition.

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Old
12-18-2013, 02:01 PM
  #49
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Agreed. I generally have poor experiences with people who prefer to label themselves as atheists, plus I'm more interested in one's level of certainty of their beliefs than what the beliefs themselves are, so I prefer to consider myself agnostic, too. I still know I'm an atheist.



As per the other thread, the bolded is patently false. Atheism is broadly defined as the position that a god exists is false. An antitheist believes there is no god. It is more than possible to be a "true" atheist (your claim here is almost a reverse no true Scotsman ) and still not believe there is no god.

Agnosticism answers an entirely different question.





There's no difference except a label. You could take two people with exactly the same position on God and one could say they're atheist and one could say they're agnostic, and neither would be wrong. Neither necessarily "pretty much closes the door on it", nor does the other necessarily simply just "not know".
Aww come on, Leafsdude... "Anti-theism" isn't a belief that there is no god. Atheism is a belief that there is no god. An anti-theist is against the organization of theism, that theism is a bad or harmful thing, but might not actually believe that there is no god. Anti-theism is essentially direct opposition to theism, whereas atheism isn't opposition to theism but rather just the belief or opinion that there is no god.

Of course, some people who simply don't have an opinion about there being a god are also often referred to as atheists, but again, as in the point made earlier, that's primarily a theist label, simply being an atheist because your not a theist. However, such people who haven't formed any opinion one way or another are actually "apatheists".


Just adding this in... In fact, I think there could actually be a lot "anti-theists" in modern society today; there seems to be a lot of people who don't want to totally give up their belief that there is a god, but they are the same time very anti-organized religion and many of them have turned to the idea that a belief in god should be a personal thing without all the theistic packaging. Of course though, a more typical anti-theist wouldn't venture into the god debate at all because again they think it carries too much negative baggage; and the whole "belief system" is primitive.


Last edited by MoreOrr: 12-18-2013 at 02:23 PM.
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Old
12-18-2013, 02:35 PM
  #50
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This thread needs a Venn diagram:

Needs a flow chart like this one for Christians- makes things much simpler.


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