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Pretentious Atheists and Agnostics

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Agaric, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Agaric

    Agaric New Member

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    As an agnostic, I am somewhat ashamed of many others who share the same choice against believing in a higher power. Half the time I hear agnostics and atheists railing against those of faith (Christians usually) in such a way just to make themselves sound highly educated. Come on people, if you choose not to believe in something, then that's cool. But if you try and degrade others who actually do believe in something by using academic jargon, then you're coming off as a total douche. Modesty is probably the most powerful weapon that agnostics and atheists have, because the whole point is that we are NOT belief fanatics.
     
  2. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

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    I hate to lump a atheists and agnostics together. I see alot of people do this and honestly they are completely seprate. I sometimes think the groups confuse the issue as well.

    A Agnostic believes *i thought* in everything. They are supposed to keep an open mind and celebrate every religion is the way i understood it. I dont think they should be challenging any religion per say.

    Atheists seem to love to negatively portray every religion. I have a problem with this mentality since pretty much its tell you to stop thinking about the matter you are nothing, go die in a corner. lol. You cant convince me my life is not to be pondered and explored. I also refuse to stop thinking its undevolution.
     
  3. framed

    framed New Member

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    I agree to an extent. I'm an agnostic myself (To me its more that I accept there are things I can't explain, while rejecting the explanations I've heard to date.) I generally think its wrong to get preachy about it or to rub it in people's faces. That's especially true from an agnostic's position, since their fundamental starting point is "we dont know".

    There is a flip side to it however: If someone engages in a religious discussion its not necessary to pretend that non-fact based arguments hold water. That's where I find lots of religious folks get offended. I get a lot of "you dont respect my beliefs" when all I'm doing is disagreeing with something openly rather than politely nodding. I also run across people who tell me I'm going to hell for not believing in their particular flavor of.. religion. At that point I feel pretty free to make them defend their faith with some actual thinking.
     
  4. l99999us

    l99999us New Member

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    I think most aithiests/agnostics are pretty laid back and as a Buddhist i am probably closer to an agnostic then many other religions. I have encountered in the past some things that i have thought went too far such as people calling for eradicating all religious beliefs etc and insulting comments to anyone who was even remotely religious. Personally i think it is probably a small minority of aithiests and that it is probably more to do with unresolved issues in the individual then the beliefs (or lack of them) per say.
     
  5. dong

    dong New Member

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    There are several different strands of agnosticism here, the core aspect, as I understood it, to be a cautious unassuming skepticism (I think that'd be covered by everything said thus far.) Palefrost is right: atheism is specifically the belief that there is no deity.

    The lines can be slightly blurred though. As a non-theist, I'm of the belief that the current definition of a deity entails a metaphysical contradiction, but I am always careful to note that this does not mean that one should not believe in a deity. Only that one should perhaps carefully consider the perspective so that a more fruitful dialogue might be made between apparently conflicting axiologies.

    Various schools of buddhist thought actually struck me as being able to strike an effective balance in this regard: In, say, Pureland, there is the advocacy of submission to a deity-like figure but with the specific promotion of awareness of the act, as opposed to the assumption of the reality of the being. This of course doesn't address the fact it conflicts with a traditional interpretation of theology. Then again, I think this in itself needs to be addressed as its implications are problematic for the notion of tolerance and respect that also lies at the center of religious doctrine.

    Back to the original post though, I agree with Todd that conflict is inevitably indicative of a lack of confidence and attachment to sense of identity that requires defense. It is the lack of security that causes knee-jerk reactions.
     
  6. karenlyn

    karenlyn New Member

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    I think this is an interesting argument. I'm also agnostic (looks like we're in the majority) and I have a couple of friends who are athiest. I try to be accepting, but I can't help but judge just a teensy bit the Christians who believe so... yes, to me it seems blindly. Some have thought out their beliefs, and I respect that. But others are unwilling to even have a conversation with you about them, because you disagree. They don't know why they believe what they believe-- just that they were always told that this is so.

    I agree that many agnostics and athiests are insecure (and perhaps threatened a bit by Christians), but I don't think that's the only reason they give Christianity a hard time. I think it's also because this blind faith seems silly to many of us. It's insensitive to say so, but... it's true. I find many Christians (but not all, of course) frustrating myself.
     
  7. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

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    I totally agree with you. Some Christians feel they need to be on a holy crusade to recruit your soul. They truly believe you will burn in hell if you are not saved. I find it annoying since i have few members of my family that "found god" late in life and now have to "share" *twitch twitch* I try not to be rude about it but it does set me off when they start "preaching" at me and i wish i had the magic lines to make them stop.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Ah yes, "born again" syndrome. People think they suddenly discover the keys to life, the universe and everything- but as I like to say:

    The epiphany
    Today becomes trivial
    In my tomorrow

    Oh I'm such a poet :p
     
  9. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    I am a christian and I believe that poeple do not "burn in hell". I believe that there are different levels in the afterlife of which we can be a part. And, I believe that no matter what your faith, or even if you are athiest or agnostic that, as long as you are living a life in which you treat others with kindness and respect, that you are just as "saved" for lack of a better word, as a christian who does the same. It just makes sense to me. Why would a loving god damn someone just because they do not follow a specific religeon or do not believe in his existence? To offend each other is to offend God. So, I can't understand christians who judge others.
    Thank you Agaric for what you said. I have been in some uncomfortable situations in which people have been very cruel to me because of my religeous beliefs, people who have asked my opinion and then laughed at me or accused me of believing things I don't. But I have never heard an agnostic or athiest mention shame at others for bashing us until you.
     
  10. mtatum4496

    mtatum4496 New Member

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    The thing about holding to any belief or philosophy is that some folks will insist their view is more enlightened, more factual and more logical than any other view. This appears to be a common human trait. I have known devout religionists, agnostics, and atheists who had no problem looking down their noses at the belief systems of other people.

    By the same token, I have known people in all three aforementioned categories that were able to dialogue most amiably with others who held different views, without implying or expressing that anyone was foolish for holding said beliefs.

    Personally, I have no problem dialoguing with someone who holds different views from me. I do have a problem with someone who wishes to tell me what I believe (coz they read all about it in a book or because their minister said so), or who insists I see things from their point of view. The older I get, the less patience I have with such nonsense.
     
  11. mtatum4496

    mtatum4496 New Member

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    Hokeshel, a couple things you said here lead me to believe you and I may have at some time been members of the same religious tradition, if not the same specific denomination within that tradition. If I were to say "degrees of glory" would that phrase have meaning to you?
     
  12. framed

    framed New Member

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    In response to mtatum4496: I think you can make a solid argument for belief based on proof vs belief based on word of mouth. (science vs religion)

    At least in terms of one's ability to progress the understanding and capability of the human race theres some solid historical backing for that statement. Would you disagree?
     
  13. dong

    dong New Member

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    Hm, framed, I would agree with you in some respects; it essentially boils down the what each system purports to do. It has finally become slightly more common knowledge among the philosophers that the science-vs-religion propaganda from the students of the 19th century of Darwin fame is misleading: the two do not necessarily antagonistically strive for the same ends. Religion is not supposed to provide a descriptive compartmentalised framework of our empirical universe, and science is not supposed to pander to our awareness of greater and unapprehendable things as part of the human condition (to put it really really simply). In fact most likely they are complementary.

    This of course means that those who do use religion as a means by which to fill in those empirical gaps (as commonly happens) and those who use science and rationality to dismiss religion (as also commonly happens) are misunderstanding that which they use. Science is the most powerful analytical tool and it is improving as we finetune our understanding. But it has its place and can never reach the be-all and the end-all that some might claim it to aspire to.
     
  14. mtatum4496

    mtatum4496 New Member

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    I can not agree with the statement as outlined. The implication is that one form of belief is based on known immutable fact. As we continue to learn more about our world and the cosmos, we will continue to have to rethink understandings that we once thought were complete. I think you would agree that science has always been a discipline that has been open to new information, even if it meant having to dump understandings that had been held as fact for decades or even centuries.

    Neither belief based on faith (or word of mouth as you state, which I think is looking at only one small component of religious belief) nor belief based on current,demonstratable fact should be clung to so tightly that it is choked and cannot accomodate new understandings.

    I think where we have the most trouble is when persons insist that God has revealed all there is in religious truth and there will be no more, and when we also insist that science as it is constituted today approaches something akin to infallibility. To me, the logical course is to see both of them as works in progress, and encourage further study and growth on both sides of the fence.
     
  15. TheoryAll

    TheoryAll New Member

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    I have met some agnostics who were truly agnostic, as in they just don't know and they are fine with that. And i have meat some atheist who will politely tell you they do not believe there is a god "so please don't badger me" But then I have met others who were just obviously scarred by christianity so they have a vendetta against it. I am none of the above so eh. I despise doche bags as much as the next guy.
     
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