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Old 11 Dec 2010, 01:32 AM   #182707 / #1
Schneibster
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Default Religious Compass

Came across this at Freethinker magazine's site. Works kinda like the Political Compass but for religion/atheism/gnosticism/agnosticism. Now all we need's a survey.

I'm an atheist gnostic. I think we can know, and we do: there are no gods.

http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 01:34 AM   #182708 / #2
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I kind of liked Richard Dawkins' scale.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:01 AM   #182714 / #3
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Quote:
“Oh, but how could you know that God doesn’t exist? You’re taking a faith position!”
Aren't these two ideas contradictory? If you know, what do you need faith for?

As for the compass, well, agnosticism is a political position, not a philosophical one. Atheists on forums and blogs may make up their own specialized meaning for it, but in reality, when someone says they're agnostic, that means "I'm an atheist, but I'm walking on eggshells because I don't want to piss off the theists".
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:12 AM   #182719 / #4
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I'm pretty much a gnostics atheist too. A 6.99 on the Dawkins scale. I think if there were any Gods as usually described, we would know. I highly doubt there is a deist kind, but, by definition we can never know if it does exist or not.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:33 AM   #182721 / #5
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I'm a 6 on the Dawkins scale and more an agnostic atheist. Though I am absolutely certain the Judeo-Islamic-Christian god does not exist.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:41 AM   #182722 / #6
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I have a vague nagging feeling that I may be god... Or at least that's what I'm going to put down the next time I'm asked on an official form, last time I ticked Jewish & Muslim.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:53 AM   #182724 / #7
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Atheist agnostic...

I like the term 'militant agnostic': "I don't know and neither do you."
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 06:33 AM   #182739 / #8
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I think I fall somewhere near the middle of that chart. None of those quotes are things I would say. Agnostic/apatheist theist, maybe? I don't regard the existence of God as a particularly interesting, meaningful, or soluble question, but tend to behave as though there is a God as a pragmatic matter.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 08:31 AM   #182743 / #9
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I have definitions problems.

Ask myself if I believe in "a god" and I haven't a clue what that means.

Must a god be conscious?

Must a god be powerful?

I can know that contradictions don't exist. e.g. an omnipotent, omnibenevolent god doesn't exist.

An evil omnipotent god might well exist. People like JFK, John the Baptist, Martin Luther King, Jesus(if he ever lived), Gandhi etc tend to die at the hand of human beings. If the creator is evil though they would never have existed.

If I could think of a definition of a god which didn't involve a contradiction then I could be a theist - perhaps an unconscious omnipotent god wot keeps the Universe evolving. Occam would soon get rid of any such notion.

Terry Pratchett is good at this sort of thing. Lots of capricious gods.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:12 PM   #182768 / #10
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Im probably an absolute atheist gnostic.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 10:59 PM   #182858 / #11
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Gnostic atheist here, too. For some reason I prefer to reverse the term from the way it's being presented here. (I think it's because the 'tic' sounds like more of an adjective than the 'ist' does, and therefore should go in front of the other in order to modify it.)

I've long thought that the difference is one of comfort: how comfortable are you with taking the last step between "I lack belief" and "I (positively) believe no gods exist"? For me, I've been around long enough (tripped over 50 last winter) that I'm confident that if a god did exist - and cared - he'd have found a way to apprise me of the fact by now.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 11:36 PM   #182867 / #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trendkill View Post
Quote:
“Oh, but how could you know that God doesn’t exist? You’re taking a faith position!”
Aren't these two ideas contradictory? If you know, what do you need faith for?

As for the compass, well, agnosticism is a political position, not a philosophical one. Atheists on forums and blogs may make up their own specialized meaning for it, but in reality, when someone says they're agnostic, that means "I'm an atheist, but I'm walking on eggshells because I don't want to piss off the theists".
Not true.

I'm an agnostic atheist. I will argue vehemently for my firm belief that there are no gods - so clearly, I'm not afraid to upset anyone - but I readily acknowledge I cannot prove it (which is what agnostic means).

I think what you're referring to is the general assumption that "agnostic" is a category between "theist" and "atheist." The scale in question (in the OP) doesn't leave "just agnostic" as a possibility, though, as I understand it.

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Old 12 Dec 2010, 12:56 AM   #182880 / #13
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Originally Posted by diana View Post
I'm an agnostic atheist. I will argue vehemently for my firm belief that there are no gods - so clearly, I'm not afraid to upset anyone - but I readily acknowledge I cannot prove it (which is what agnostic means).
Yeah, this is a different category, and maybe I should have included it, since it is so popular. There are the political agnostics, and then there are the agnostics who have bought into the absurd line of reasoning that you have to be agnostic about God if you can't prove or disprove his existence to a mathematical certainty. When you can prove to me that your shoes, your car, your neighbor, etc. exist with absolute certainty, then maybe this will hold some water.
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 03:01 AM   #182891 / #14
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I like it. Atheist agnostic I am.

However the definition of a god still demands address.

I would be agnostic about the possible existence of some natural super-being with existence/powers across multiple universes. Perhaps that's not the best way to describe such a thing. Something that can exist in multiple universes? All natural and constrained by whatever are the laws of the natural universe(s) if they exist beyond this one. Not a creator of, but an inhabitant of... I don't believe it. I just can't show evidence against.

I have no doubt that bible-god is a myth and a lie.

I use the term agnostic in a very broad sense. It's not constrained by what theists would describe as their god in any way.
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 11:21 AM   #182924 / #15
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Im probably an absolute atheist gnostic.
Oi.

That took a lot of very careful composition and no-one has called me on it?

And absolute gnostic atheist does look better.
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 01:34 PM   #182933 / #16
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I'm very uncomfortable with the standard definition of agnostic.

If no-one can be anything else (theist or atheist) because such things cannot be known in a strict philosophical sense then it is entirely redundant to state that you're an agnostic and silly to ask you to state what you are.

To say that you are undecided actually says something about you so more than half the world (?) think that that is what agnostic means.

I think it's sort of snobbish to sneer when folk use the word agnostic to mean undecided.

I sympathise with clivedurdle. There are no words to express his strong position and he is obliged to talk nonsense like "probably absolute"

Last edited by Jack Willsson; 12 Dec 2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 01:48 PM   #182937 / #17
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I would be 6+ on the Dawkins scale, but I would still call myself an agnostic atheist. And I'm completely sure that the Judeo-Christian God doesn't exist.
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 09:40 PM   #183006 / #18
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I do think a confusion between the alleged perfection of maths and the somehow allegedly iffy standards of science has been extrapolated ridiculously by apologists to give them some wriggle room.

Godfree solutions are related to quantum weirdness, rejection of false Platonic ideals, understanding Godel, acceptance of pragmatism and an ability to live with uncertainty.

And does no one else get sick of godists claiming morality and spirituality?
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Old 12 Dec 2010, 10:11 PM   #183018 / #19
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I can't fit any category as my concept is if 'The Universe'...... amorphous but it's out there and has rules that we religiously flout. It can only allow so much idiocy and then it, 'The Universe', will act.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 12:09 AM   #183366 / #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trendkill View Post
Quote:
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I'm an agnostic atheist. I will argue vehemently for my firm belief that there are no gods - so clearly, I'm not afraid to upset anyone - but I readily acknowledge I cannot prove it (which is what agnostic means).
Yeah, this is a different category, and maybe I should have included it, since it is so popular. There are the political agnostics, and then there are the agnostics who have bought into the absurd line of reasoning that you have to be agnostic about God if you can't prove or disprove his existence to a mathematical certainty. When you can prove to me that your shoes, your car, your neighbor, etc. exist with absolute certainty, then maybe this will hold some water.
I was under the impression that we know nothing but mathematics to a mathematical certainty.

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Old 14 Dec 2010, 12:48 AM   #183380 / #21
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Well, there is logic...
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 07:09 AM   #183452 / #22
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Even logic and mathematics are only as certain as the reliable functioning of our own faculties. The point is that there is a double standard going on here. The level of "proof" that is good enough for you to feel confident of the nonexistence of unicorns is not good enough for you to feel confident of the nonexistence of God. What is so special about God that the preponderance of the evidence is not enough?
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 07:30 AM   #183455 / #23
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Quote:
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Even logic and mathematics are only as certain as the reliable functioning of our own faculties.
Wrong. Mathematics itself, and the logic and consistency that it relies upon, are characteristics of the universe, and can be demonstrated to be so. When you turn the corner, you don't turn into a penguin; if you're a penguin today, you're a penguin tomorrow; and if you're a penguin in the US, you're a penguin in the UK. These demonstrate consistency over rotation, consistency over time, and consistency over space, respectively, three of the most important characteristics of physics in the real world. You may have heard them called conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, and conservation of angular momentum.

These are not constructions of the human mind; they are characteristics of the universe. They were true before there were humans and will be true when there are no more.

And logic itself is either incomplete or inconsistent:

This sentence is a lie.

End of demonstration.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 07:48 AM   #183459 / #24
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Logic and mathematics can only make one's conclusions as good as one's assumptions; even the best machine is restrained by the appropriateness of its input.
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Old 14 Dec 2010, 08:11 AM   #183468 / #25
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That's beside the point; the point of logic and math is that they have builtin accuracy checking mechanisms. Using them incompetently doesn't invalidate their correctness, or their derivation from reality.

But even that's not actually the point; the point is, it's possible to know, and we do, many of us just don't like it, and therefore try to pretend it's not there. Good luck with that.
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