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Old 12-18-2009, 03:09 AM #22
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Originally Posted by FuzzyFish View Post
Do atheists and agnostics even belong in the same sentence. When you think about it atheism is a FAITH. While agnostics are just uncertain/undecided...
Strong atheism requires faith. Weak atheism does not.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:35 AM #23
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Dawkins divides agnosticism into TAP (temporary agnosticism in practice) and PAP (permanent agnosticism in principle)
dawkins is also an incredibly overhyped douchebag.
quoting dawkins is literally just as relevant as quoting peter popoff.


agnosticism is correct.

tap and pap dont exist outside of something you get water out of and something involving a girl and a smear.


and for the record.... every human being in history has been an agnostic. unfortunately alot have convinced themselves they are not.
agnosticism is the one true religion. and if they disagree then **** em. they can all go to agnostic hell.

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Old 12-18-2009, 11:06 AM #24
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Originally Posted by nflvikings View Post
Strong atheism requires faith. Weak atheism does not.
meh I still don't agree with this. You can't really have faith that something doesn't exist, you just have a lack of faith that it does exist. It doesn't take a jump to say that you don't believe in something you've never seen empirical evidence of.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:13 AM #25
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meh I still don't agree with this. You can't really have faith that something doesn't exist, you just have a lack of faith that it does exist. It doesn't take a jump to say that you don't believe in something you've never seen empirical evidence of.
Agreed.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:16 PM #26
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meh I still don't agree with this. You can't really have faith that something doesn't exist, you just have a lack of faith that it does exist. It doesn't take a jump to say that you don't believe in something you've never seen empirical evidence of.
Exactly, that's the definition of weak atheism. Strong atheism is someone who actively believes that there is no God, not someone who just doesn't believe in God. Get it now?
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:51 PM #27
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Originally Posted by madgoat View Post
meh I still don't agree with this. You can't really have faith that something doesn't exist, you just have a lack of faith that it does exist. It doesn't take a jump to say that you don't believe in something you've never seen empirical evidence of.
Certainty requires faith because it is impossible to know anything with 100% confidence. Strong atheism asserts there is definitely no god while weak atheism says there is probably no god.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:08 PM #28
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Originally Posted by Dr.Phil.McGraw View Post
dawkins is also an incredibly overhyped douchebag.
quoting dawkins is literally just as relevant as quoting peter popoff.


agnosticism is correct.

tap and pap dont exist outside of something you get water out of and something involving a girl and a smear.


and for the record.... every human being in history has been an agnostic. unfortunately alot have convinced themselves they are not.
agnosticism is the one true religion. and if they disagree then **** em. they can all go to agnostic hell.
I agree.

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meh I still don't agree with this. You can't really have faith that something doesn't exist, you just have a lack of faith that it does exist. It doesn't take a jump to say that you don't believe in something you've never seen empirical evidence of.
You have reasons for either believing or a lack of belief in something. These reasons are based upon faith.
"Do you have faith in God?"
"No"
"Why?"
"Because..." <Here is where faith automatically comes in. You have REASONS for your lack of faith, no matter how abstract they may be.>
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:54 PM #29
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Well, it might sound dumb but.. I feel almost guilty by not saying there isn't a God. My entire life i've been pushed towards christianity and being a believer, yet recently my family took a huge twist and turned their beliefs more towards mesianic jewish? I believe. I just turned 16 so i've got alot to learn, and I try not to wrap my life around religion right now, so what I believe & say now will most likely change in the future.

By not saying there is a God, I feel as if i'll go to hell. Which could also allude to that I believe in heaven & hell. I honestly just don't know the "right" thing to practice. Therefore i'd define myself as Agnostic.
Gisgo gave pretty much the same advice I was going to.
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If you truly want to find out what beliefs suit you best, you will need to forget everything that you have been indoctrinated with in the past and start over. Then read and learn as much as you can about different sets of beliefs and frankly read up on astronomy and the scientific history of the universe. Once you have enough knowledge you can make a truly informed and honest decision.
This.

You won't be able to truly figure out what your beliefs are until you wipe the slate clean so that you can take a truly objective view of religion, god, etc, as you learn more about it.

I know many parents mean well when they raise their children according to a particular faith, but it unjustly robs their kids of any sort of objectivity regarding choosing their own beliefs when they are old enough to do so. To me, raising your kid in the church without giving them a choice in the matter is equivalent to arranged marriages, or forcing your kid to pursue a particular career, things like that.
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^You probably don't get that many who are willing to admit it due to the stigma Christians put on atheism, but you might be surprised by how many atheist/agnostics there are around you.
You're right. There are a surprising number of them and people just don't realize it.

Most people who know me end up being very surprised when they find out I don't follow any religion and don't believe in god. This may be a generalization, but I've found that many Christians I know seem to have the idea that you can spot an atheist from a mile away because he carries a battleaxe and is covered in blood from killing babies. That's an exaggeration, but you get the point. When they meet someone who is normal and seems to be a decent, moral person, they tend to assume he is a Christian, and are surprised when they find out otherwise.
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:59 PM #30
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I read most of that, not all if it though


I suppose i'll just have to live & learn. It's something I generally don't work up a sweat up about though so as time goes on, everything will fall into place for me.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:16 PM #31
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Most people who know me end up being very surprised when they find out I don't follow any religion and don't believe in god. This may be a generalization, but I've found that many Christians I know seem to have the idea that you can spot an atheist from a mile away because he carries a battleaxe and is covered in blood from killing babies. That's an exaggeration, but you get the point. When they meet someone who is normal and seems to be a decent, moral person, they tend to assume he is a Christian, and are surprised when they find out otherwise.
This is very true.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:10 AM #32
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After having a conversation with my boss today about me and the whole agnosticism thing... she decided to invite me to church haha. Which is totally wierd because I had no clue whatsoever that she attended and she doesn't seem to be religious at all. I'm kinda excited since I haven't been to church in over two years, yet im somewhat nervous since its most likely an all black church. Im white.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:02 AM #33
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^She probably did that because she's worried you'll lose your faith altogether and she wants to "save" you. I'm sure she's a nice person, but that's really what it boils down to.

Anyway have fun. I've been to some black baptist churches and they can be a lot of fun, the services can be like 3 hours long though so that gets kind of tedious. I hope you get something good out of it.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:04 PM #34
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^She probably did that because she's worried you'll lose your faith altogether and she wants to "save" you. I'm sure she's a nice person, but that's really what it boils down to.

Anyway have fun. I've been to some black baptist churches and they can be a lot of fun, the services can be like 3 hours long though so that gets kind of tedious. I hope you get something good out of it.
Exactly what I was thinking. I can honestly say that i'm looking forward to see how its gonna turn out haha, might get a little crazy. She's an extremely nice person but I think she was just inviting me because I told her I was a little confused, and maybe going to church again might help me out a little or something? Who knows.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:45 PM #35
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Most people who know me end up being very surprised when they find out I don't follow any religion and don't believe in god. This may be a generalization, but I've found that many Christians I know seem to have the idea that you can spot an atheist from a mile away because he carries a battleaxe and is covered in blood from killing babies. That's an exaggeration, but you get the point. When they meet someone who is normal and seems to be a decent, moral person, they tend to assume he is a Christian, and are surprised when they find out otherwise.
2 days ago at work someone dragged me into a conversation about Christmas. I said that my family would be celebrating (tree, lights, presents) but not getting into the religious aspect. One coworker said, aghast, "Why?!" To which I calmly replied, because I'm an atheist, the religious component doesn't apply to me. And she was floored. "You're an ATHEIST??"

"Yes."

"But... you're NICE!?"

That's how deep the stereotype goes. Simply because I'm nice... and not exceptionally nice, just as nice as you need to be toward your coworkers... I must have believed in god.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:58 PM #36
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Oh man I would have pulled the "you've offended me" game with her and see where that led lol.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:06 PM #37
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2That's how deep the stereotype goes.
oh good lord.

yah.... atheists sure are hard done by.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:12 PM #38
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Oh man I would have pulled the "you've offended me" game with her and see where that led lol.
It was tempting, but I stopped myself for a few reasons:

1) She's nice. She's pleasant and polite to work with. She's fun to talk to (I'm a bookworm, she's finishing her Master's in Library Sciences).
2) It's work. I'm in the restaurant industry. Tips are my lifeblood. Good, conflict-free work relationships make the tips flow more easily.
3) I've more or less let go of that type of "poking the believers" banter. If someone is honestly intellectually curious or wants to have a real, reasoned debate, I'm in. Yelling at a deaf person about how deaf he is earns me nothing but a sore throat.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:14 PM #39
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oh good lord.

yah.... atheists sure are hard done by.
You're denying that a great deal of people actually think like that? K bud.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:14 PM #40
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You're denying that a great deal of people actually think like that? K bud.
i am denying that prejudice against atheists is somehow comparable to any other prejudice.

prejudice against atheists is only a little bit worse than prejudice against left handers.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:39 PM #41
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Exactly what I was thinking. I can honestly say that i'm looking forward to see how its gonna turn out haha, might get a little crazy. She's an extremely nice person but I think she was just inviting me because I told her I was a little confused, and maybe going to church again might help me out a little or something? Who knows.
Yep, I think your head is in the right place concerning this situation. If it was me I might've agreed to go too, just for the experience. Even if you disagree with the church's beliefs, it's still an opportunity to learn and try out something new.
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2 days ago at work someone dragged me into a conversation about Christmas. I said that my family would be celebrating (tree, lights, presents) but not getting into the religious aspect. One coworker said, aghast, "Why?!" To which I calmly replied, because I'm an atheist, the religious component doesn't apply to me. And she was floored. "You're an ATHEIST??"

"Yes."

"But... you're NICE!?"

That's how deep the stereotype goes. Simply because I'm nice... and not exceptionally nice, just as nice as you need to be toward your coworkers... I must have believed in god.
Yep, that's the reaction I tend to get. The first time someone reacted that way towards me I was really surprised by it. I don't think it's a conscious reaction, it's just the result of people being sheltered and never having truly tried to put themselves in the shoes of others. When they grow up in a Christian community, and are indoctrinated in a certain way, they tend to assume certain things without even realizing it. While I don't seek out these kinds of situations, I don't mind getting into them. It's a chance to expose someone to something new, and hopefully they'll learn from it (although whether or not they learn is their choice).

Concerning Christmas, it's really just a holiday Christians made up so they could party it up at the same time that all their pagan friends were celebrating the winter solstice. So it's really not that odd for an atheist to celebrate Christmas simply for the sake of partying with friends and family, in fact I think it's perfectly in line with the spirit of Christmas. From a historical standpoint, it's perfectly natural that someone would ditch the religious meaning behind it and still celebrate it anyway.
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Old 12-20-2009, 10:21 PM #42
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i am denying that prejudice against atheists is somehow comparable to any other prejudice.

prejudice against atheists is only a little bit worse than prejudice against left handers.
I think I liked you better when you were a troll.

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Originally Posted by Edgell, P., Gerteis, J.,& Hartmann, J. (2006). Atheists as "other": Moral boundaries and cultural membership in American society. American Sociological Review, Vol. 71, pp. 211-234
Despite the declining salience of divisions among religious groups, the boundary between believers and nonbelievers in America remains strong. This article examines the limits of Americans’ acceptance of atheists. Using new national survey data, it shows atheists are less likely to be accepted, publicly and privately, than any others from a long list of ethnic, religious, and other minority groups. This distrust of atheists is driven by religious predictors, social location, and broader value orientations. It is rooted in moral and symbolic, rather than ethnic or material, grounds. We demonstrate that increasing acceptance of religious diversity does not extend to the nonreligious, and present a theoretical framework for understanding the role of religious belief in providing a moral basis for cultural membership and solidarity in an otherwise highly diverse society.

In a 1999 Gallup poll, only 49 percent of Americans say that they would be willing to vote for a presidential candidate who is an atheist— compared to 59 percent willing to vote for a homosexual candidate and over 90 percent professing willingness to vote for a female, Jewish, or black candidate.

[W]idespread political rejection of atheists and others who profess no religion provides a “glaring exception” to the general rule of increasing social tolerance over the last thirty years of the twentieth century.

We find that out of a long list of ethnic and cultural minorities, Americans are less willing to accept intermarriage with atheists than with any other group, and less likely to imagine that atheists share their vision of American society.
http://www.soc.umn.edu/assets/pdf/atheistAsOther.pdf

Prejudice against atheists in America is under the radar for two obvious reasons:

1) There aren't many of us. Polls differ, but it seems that around 1% of the population identifies as "atheist." Thus, the topic doesn't come up much.
2) Atheists are more or less under the radar. In America especially, it is very rare for atheists to push a cause or proselytize. Aside from occasional ads and PSAs (like the American Humanist Association's "No God, No Problem" holiday campaign), atheism really isn't an issue.

The point is that prejudice does not require the victim to be constantly present or a common topic. No one says, "Hey Judy, this pot roast is fantastic! Can I have the recipe? Also, I hate atheists."
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