[QUOTE=ciep;1142941]I really hate this distinction.[/QUOTE]
That's a valid attitude :-) but the distinction isn't going to disappear just because you don't like it.
[QUOTE=ciep;1142941]Here is how the terms are generally defined:
An atheist is someone who is not convinced of the truth of god claims.
An agnostic is someone who doesn't hold a position on the issue.[/QUOTE]
I disagree. That is NOT how these terms are generally defined.
An atheist answers a question "Is there a god?" with "No". An agnostic answers the same question with "I don't know". These are meaningfully different answers. The fact that both of them are different from "Yes" does not make them the same.
[QUOTE=ciep;1142941]All agnostics are atheists (because an agnostic, by definition, is not convinced that a god exists) -- but an agnostic is a specific subset of atheist, they are the ones who are uncertain about the matter.[/QUOTE]
Nope. That may be so for [B]your[/B] definitions of atheism and agnosticism, but that is not true for how these terms are "generally defined".
[QUOTE=ciep;1142941]But your assertion that "an atheist is quite certain that gods don't exist" is just plain wrong[/QUOTE]
LOL. Really? Let me quote at you, via Wikipedia:
[I]Rowe, William L. (1998). "Agnosticism". In Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-07310-3. "In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas an atheist and a theist disbelieve and believe, respectively. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that deities do or do not exist. In so far as one holds that our beliefs are rational only if they are sufficiently supported by human reason, the person who accepts the philosophical position of agnosticism will hold that neither the belief that God exists nor the belief that God does not exist is rational."
[QUOTE=ciep;1142941]what really matters is what you ACTUALLY BELIEVE (claim to be true)[/QUOTE]
However to communicate what you actually believe to other people necessitates common definitions and understanding of important terms. Trying to redefine them to suit one's own position is a very common tactic.
Okay, I'm on my phone so I apologize for not being able to quote or post links and such, but anyway... Here's the thing, I'm not redefining anything. Likewise, neither are you. The problem is simply that we're using different definitions. This is a common problem, and it is precisely what I was referring to when I stated that I hate getting into the atheist/agnostic distinction. You pointed to a source which uses your definitions, great!... I agree that the terms are popularly used that way. Likewise, they are popularly used in the way I've described (and, ironically, I could point you right back to Wikipedia to see my exact definitions). It is unfortunate that there is this imprecision in the language surrounding this subject, but it's there. On the plus side, we've both been able to understand each other clearly and we both know what the other means -- which is better than the usual result in these discussions, so hey -- not too shabby, lol.
Language is slippery. The dictionary does not set definitions for words, rather, it describes how they are used. Often words are used differently by different groups of people. I can tell you (for what little it may be worth) that I've read and been involved in this subject quite heavily. The definitions I gave are widely used and accepted as the appropriate ones.
To condense my definitions:
1. Theism - the belief in a supernatural god.
2. Antitheism - the belief that there are no supernatural gods.
Atheism - the rejection of #1.
Agnosticism - the rejection of both #1 and #2.
Note that atheism rejecting #1 is NOT the same as atheism embracing #2. That position is, by definition, antitheism.
These definitions are very widely used in today's world. You may like your definitions better, but I want you to see they they are not the only, and very likely not the commonest usages.
It really has been great and interesting discussing this with you by the way, thanks for indulging me! :)
[QUOTE=YogaBare;1142556]I'm not projecting. I know a lot of atheists, and every one of them is dogmatic, and totally closed to other possibilities.
And as for there being no atheist organisation or movement, well.... [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_secularist_organizations]List of secularist organizations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/url][/QUOTE]I didn't say there were no atheist organizations only that there is none in my life. The militant atheists you know are the most vocal ones. Then there are a lot of people like me, calmly living their lives without it being a big deal one way or the other.
And knowing that believing in fairy tales is not for me does not make me closed minded. What is wrong with trusting my own knowledge?
[QUOTE=Lumifer;1143026]An atheist answers a question "Is there a god?" with "No". An agnostic answers the same question with "I don't know". These are meaningfully different answers. The fact that both of them are different from "Yes" does not make them the same.[/QUOTE]
What is often the case is that whether a person self-identifies as an "atheist" or "agnostic" is more a matter of appearance than substance of their views. Agnostics get less hatred than atheists, and some people are not comfortable getting sucked into the debate that so often ensues when a theist finds out you're an atheist.
[QUOTE=ciep;1143099]The problem is simply that we're using different definitions. This is a common problem[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=ciep;1143099]Language is slippery.[/QUOTE]
Also true and I count this as a good thing. Makes internet discussions slippery little things, it does :-D
[QUOTE=eKatherine;1143140]What is often the case is that whether a person self-identifies as an "atheist" or "agnostic" is more a matter of appearance than substance of their views. Agnostics get less hatred than atheists, and some people are not comfortable getting sucked into the debate that so often ensues when a theist finds out you're an atheist.[/QUOTE]
Well, kinda. Yes, in some places being an atheist is... not socially acceptable :-/ and that influences self-identification.
I still think that the two answers "No" and "I don't know" are very different.
[QUOTE=Lumifer;1143160]I still think that the two answers "No" and "I don't know" are very different.[/QUOTE]
Agreed completely. Which is why it's probably often better to just say what we mean instead of trying to apply labels that may be taken the wrong way.
And +1 also to eKatherine.
Good stuff guys, thanks for the discussion. :)
If a God should turn out to exist as he is portrayed in the bible, or as the maker of the mercyless Nature, well then I must say that I am against him anyway...
[QUOTE=Dr. Bork Bork;1141963]IMO, grain was probably better for you back in those days than it is today. Even 200 years ago, you went out to the field, sowed your own grain, watered it, harvested it, ground it into flour, and then made awesome stuffs with it. These days they plant GMO seeds, spray chemicals all over it, harvest it, grind it into dust, and turn it into bread-like substances. Go back 2000 years, and Jesus had the really good stuff. We don't.
Also unleavened bread (what he probably ate and related himself to) was made differently than what we think of as bread today.[/QUOTE]
Yes! The book Wheat Belly talks about this. I take communion and I don't see a big deal with consuming a tiny bit of wheat once a week. It's the spiritual association with it that matters.
The biggest bummer about being an atheist is that we don't have any cool holidays. Also, I really miss stained glass, but I do get my fix occasionally by seeing any interesting Catholic churches or cathedrals in cities that I visit.