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Tags agnosticism , agnosticism definitions , atheism , atheism definitions

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Old 7th July 2017, 07:02 AM   #41
Chanakya

 
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
If a theist presents woo, It does not fall under the atheist umbrella because Atheism only deals with one specific claim.

For example, a pastor might say he was abducted by aliens and you may find an Atheist who agrees aliens abduct people and believes the guy.
(...)

Sure, agreed. Although my original question was not so much about wholly tangential claims, but religious claims that do not directly involve god/s. The jhanas, samadhi states, karma, past-life regression (and, by extension, reincarnation/rebirth), siddhis, all of that. And yes, though within scope of the skeptic's net (as you say), they have nothing to do with Atheism per se : that is now obvious to me.


Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
(...)

As for your second question, it's a really good one. I have heard it explained to me that theists may create a special blind spot in their minds for religion in which skeptical inquiry is never allowed to permeate.

The whole faith thing, in other words.

But I've never actually spoken with someone who's wholly skeptical (or so they believe) and yet theistic. Probably because I don't go around talking much about this sort of thing, in real life I mean, for obvious reasons. This forum seemed the perfect place to pose a question like this. Except, are there any actual theists at all in here, who also see themselves as skeptical? If there are, it might be interesting, and instructive, to talk to them about their faith from the perspective of their skepticism.
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Old 7th July 2017, 07:14 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Right. So there never was a time when you were generally skeptical, yet religious.

That's the reasonable position, I'd say. Either this or that. Yet there are those who claim to be skeptical, and nevertheless remain theistic. I was wondering how exactly they pull it off.
It's a matter of questions and how they are asked and answered. Some 40 years ago, I lost my faith around the same time as I learned the truth about Santa.

It wasn't a matter of disillusionment. I simply applied the same things to God rationale as I did to Santa.

Can be pretty much everywhere at once? Check.

Knows if you have been good or bad? Check.

Watches you ALL the time? Check.

Has any physical evidence for his existence? Well, oddly, on that one Santa wins and god loses. I should know having personally faked the darned evidence for my kids.

So at the time all those years ago I simply applied the same reasoning to god.

Guess my conclusion?
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Old 9th July 2017, 05:34 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And what more rational reason can there be to claim anything, atheism included, than to hang out with the chicks?

Because hanging out with chicks isn't rational. When you do, your brain is not exactly in skeptic mode, nor is it doing most of the thinking.

What's rational is a divorced man saying "no thanks" to the thought of having another wife.
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Old 9th July 2017, 07:22 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
What's rational is a divorced man saying "no thanks" to the thought of having another wife.
You Sir, win the internets.

I could not agree more.
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Old 10th July 2017, 02:05 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Right. So there never was a time when you were generally skeptical, yet religious.
That depends on what is meant by generally skeptical. From my school time and onwards, I was skeptical about all claims of the paranormal, except, obviously, the religious claims. However, at a very early stage I also rejected the idea that guardian angels looked after people, and every other religious paranormal aspect in our present day. To me, all the supernatural stuff that God did, happened in Biblical times, and most recently at the time of Jesus.

So the first stage on the road to atheism was limiting godly acts to happening long time ago. This was a convenient way of combing weakening religion with growing skepticism.

Quote:
That's the reasonable position, I'd say. Either this or that. Yet there are those who claim to be skeptical, and nevertheless remain theistic. I was wondering how exactly they pull it off.
We sometimes hear of real scientists who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, and yet do their normal research that shows something completely different. How they manage that without a split personality would be really interesting to know.
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Old 10th July 2017, 02:27 AM   #46
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Mmm, I think that there is no such thing as a pure rationalist. (If there is, they must be really boring and in dire need of a life). Likewise, there is probably no such thing as a pure theist, in the sense that all have a level of hypocrisy, something they do that they shouldn't.

This means that we are really looking at a continuous scale of beliefs, from full-fledged religious fanatics to rationalists who still has to remind themselves that they are not superstitious when a black cat crosses the road in front of them.

People can certainly be atheists in the sense of being non-theists while still catering to various beliefs. In fact, as believers are often fond of pointing out in discussions with atheists, we all have beliefs. That is, we all have things we assume to be true even if we have not had it proven to us. (Mind that such things do qualify as beliefs, even if they happen to be true).

Hans

This post was intended to run up my posting count.
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Old 10th July 2017, 06:56 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
It's a matter of questions and how they are asked and answered. Some 40 years ago, I lost my faith around the same time as I learned the truth about Santa.

It wasn't a matter of disillusionment. I simply applied the same things to God rationale as I did to Santa.

Can be pretty much everywhere at once? Check.

Knows if you have been good or bad? Check.

Watches you ALL the time? Check.

Has any physical evidence for his existence? Well, oddly, on that one Santa wins and god loses. I should know having personally faked the darned evidence for my kids.

So at the time all those years ago I simply applied the same reasoning to god.

Guess my conclusion?

So again, basically, a case of skepticism naturally getting rid of irrational superstitions.

And that’s what one would expect, in the normal course. (Not that skepticism would necessarily overcome superstitions in everybody, but that if and when a person embraces skepticism, that skepticism would inevitably get rid of all of their superstitions, especially those that significantly impact their lives, including their theistic superstitions.)

It is when (if?) that natural expectation is apparently not met -- when, that is, an otherwise skeptical person nevertheless remains steadfast in their theistic “faith” -- that the “how” of their particular mental contortions, by which they maintain this inconsistency, becomes difficult to understand, not without directly engaging such person/s in a discussion about this.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:00 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Because hanging out with chicks isn't rational. When you do, your brain is not exactly in skeptic mode, nor is it doing most of the thinking.

What's rational is a divorced man saying "no thanks" to the thought of having another wife.

I was just kidding! (But so are you, I guess?)

But still, taking your comment at face value, I don’t see why you’d say hanging out with chicks (and the whole mating dance that sometimes follows) wouldn’t be rational, given the right time and place? It can be irrational and dysfunctional, sure, if it’s done merely as unthinking reflection of what everyone else seems to be doing ; but if you’re aware enough to realize that’s what you yourself want to do, then what could be more rational? It’s as rational as seeking out some food, preferably food you like and enjoy, when you’re hungry : you’d be hard put to think of any behavior more rational than that!

As for the once-bitten-twice-shy divorcee -- again, perhaps you’re just kidding, it’s sometimes hard to tell when textual communication shorn of non-verbal cues is all one has to go with -- but surely what would be rational is heightened, sharper awareness of the risks attending another attachment (and especially another marriage), rather than one particular conclusion (e.g., never remarrying) consequent to such heightened awareness (which conclusion will necessarily depend on individual circumstance, and can never be one-size-fits-all)?
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:05 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
That depends on what is meant by generally skeptical. From my school time and onwards, I was skeptical about all claims of the paranormal, except, obviously, the religious claims. However, at a very early stage I also rejected the idea that guardian angels looked after people, and every other religious paranormal aspect in our present day. To me, all the supernatural stuff that God did, happened in Biblical times, and most recently at the time of Jesus.

So the first stage on the road to atheism was limiting godly acts to happening long time ago. This was a convenient way of combing weakening religion with growing skepticism.


We sometimes hear of real scientists who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, and yet do their normal research that shows something completely different. How they manage that without a split personality would be really interesting to know.

I remember Dawkins talking about some colleague of his, a fairly well-regarded scientist, who squarely faced this contradiction, and actually gave up his science (and joined the church, turned minister, something like that).

Of course, far more frequent would be instances of scientists (as well as non-scientists, of course, I should say skeptics) turning their backs on the religion they were brought up in.
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Old 10th July 2017, 07:10 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Mmm, I think that there is no such thing as a pure rationalist. (If there is, they must be really boring and in dire need of a life). Likewise, there is probably no such thing as a pure theist, in the sense that all have a level of hypocrisy, something they do that they shouldn't.

This means that we are really looking at a continuous scale of beliefs, from full-fledged religious fanatics to rationalists who still has to remind themselves that they are not superstitious when a black cat crosses the road in front of them.

People can certainly be atheists in the sense of being non-theists while still catering to various beliefs. In fact, as believers are often fond of pointing out in discussions with atheists, we all have beliefs. That is, we all have things we assume to be true even if we have not had it proven to us. (Mind that such things do qualify as beliefs, even if they happen to be true).

Hans

This post was intended to run up my posting count.

Still, about the more important things in one's life? There one is either the one or the other, generally speaking. And religion would actually figure fairly significantly in most theists' lives, I suppose?

Of course, there are plenty of apatheists, those who don't much care either way.
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