I'm an atheist. I'm afraid there's not a very interesting story behind it. I just know how to recognize bullshit.

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drunken-rambling:

Atheists Used to Take the Idea of God Seriously. That’s Why They Mattered.

academicatheism:

philosopherzeus:

"Science and religion ask different questions about different things. Where religion addresses ontology, science is concerned with ontic description. Indeed, it is what Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart calls their “austere abdication of metaphysical pretensions” that enables the sciences to do their work. So when, for instance, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne and pop-cosmologist Lawrence Krauss dismiss the (metaphysical) problem of how something could emerge from nothing by pointing to the Big Bang or quantum fluctuation, it is difficult to be kind: Quantum fluctuations, the uncertainty principle, the laws of quantum physics themselves—these are something. Nothing is not quantum anything. It is nothing. Nonbeing. This, not empty space, is what “nothing” signifies for Plato and Aquinas and Heidegger, no matter what Krauss believes. No particles, no fluctuation, no laws, no principles, no potentialities, no states, no space, no time. No thing at all.”

"Pop-cosmologist." That underhanded ad hominem is enough to expose the author’s bias. Perhaps you’ll benefit from watching this debate. The something from nothing question is no longer interesting because Aristotelian physics is outdated. Every model in cosmology is self-contained. I guess the author will call Sean Carroll a “pop-cosmologist” as well.

By the way, I take the concept of god seriously. As such, I consider cases not named Yahweh. No matter Hart’s pretenses, his god is still Yahweh. I couldn’t care less how many cherry-picked passages he quotes from church fathers. David Bentley Hart has completely divorced Christ from his version of Christianity. He puts so much emphasis on how new atheists don’t address his panentheistic deity. Well, the Bible simply doesn’t communicate his god concept. Yahweh cannot be divorced from the scripture that tells us of him and morphed into some concept that doesn’t resemble what that scripture tells us of him. I’d have the same problem with Muslims who do this with Allah. Yahweh doesn’t exist and this retreat to metaphysics won’t change that.

What some Christians do to their God to defend the more abstract idea of theism, I could just as easily do to pretend that someone believing in Superman was being reasonable. Superman is a hero, yes? If I was raised to believe that he’s real, other people who knew better might mock me about that (quite understandably), and I might feel quite attacked when they did so (again, understandably). Out of this defensive posture, I might take to insisting that THEY are the ones being unreasonable, because heroic acts are real, and if you really get down to it superman is all about the idea of heroism, which many people would agree exists. Such an argument wouldn’t be surprising, given that the person making it cannot control how he was raised or what he was raised to believe (though he may, to some extent, be able to choose to change his mind, he doesn’t really have control over whether he is inclined to do so). What surprises me is how many people find that argument convincing.

The Argument From Evolution: A Defense

academicatheism:

After I posted the Argument From Evolution, some discussion ensued. Most comments offered that if one denies the concept of original sin, one need not accept the argument. This suggestion has a problem however. How would a Christian reject original sin, especially given Romans 5:12-21 (i.e. “sin came into the world through one man”) and 1 Corinthians 15:45? It isn’t enough to say that sin entered the world at some point since that begs the question. I agree, however, that if one wants to defeat the argument, P1 should be the target. Let’s revisit the argument.

P1 If evolution is true, there was no original sinner.

P2 Evolution is true.

P3/C1 Therefore, there was no original sinner.

P4 If there was no original sinner, there was no original sin.

P5 There was no original sinner.

P6/C2 Therefore, there was no original sin.

P7 If there was no original sin, there was no continuing sin.

P8 There was no original sin.

P9/C3 Therefore, there was no continuing sin.

P10 If there was no continuing sin, there was no reason for Christ to die.

P11 There was no continuing sin.

C  Therefore, there was no reason for Christ to die.

What feature of evolution disqualifies the notion of an original or first sinner? It may seem enough to state that populations and not individuals evolve. This is what Dawkins illustrates. However, like the difference between semantic and methodological instrumentalism in the philosophy of science1, there’s a difference between semantic evolution and actual evolution. Richard Dawkins’ illustration is a semantic presentation and gives us the gist of evolution; it doesn’t, however, give us the details or actual evolution. That’s all well and good, but if intended to serve as support for the Argument from Evolution, the presentation isn’t enough.

Of the contentions raised, perhaps the most interesting was raised by A.J. Doherty over at icrappoetry. We had extended discussions in private centering around the argument. He isn’t a creationist or an ID advocate, so he didn’t approach the argument with any pretenses of challenging P2 of the argument. He went after P1. He pointed out that Dawkins’ illustration is challenged by predicate vagueness. One would show this by using a sorites paradox.2 In brief, it looks as follows:

P1 One grain of sand doesn’t form a dune.

P2 If one grain of sand doesn’t form a dune then two grains don’t.

P3 If two grains don’t form a dune then three grains don’t.

Pu If 7,000,000,000 grains don’t form a dune then an infinite amount of grains don’t. (u means undefined since no one knows how many premises were necessary to arrive at that conclusion).

This is a variation of the heap. It’s to be noted that one grain can make the difference between a dune and a non-dune. Therefore, we could see this as a line between a dune and non-dune. If we accept this logic, then there’s some difference between a sinner and a non-sinner; in other words, there’s a line dividing sinner from non-sinner. As A.J. offered, for this claim to be approximately true, it doesn’t matter what the species of the sinner was. Given evolution, this species was related to humans; thus, it need not be a homo sapien. I would contend that given what the Bible says, this isn’t theologically sound; however, I’ll set that issue aside. The issue is that predicate vagueness addresses semantics. If anything, it calls into question our use of language. It doesn’t call actual cases into question since we generally agree we know a dune when we see one. This may seem like splitting hairs, but the contention is worth fielding.

Predicate vagueness no doubt works against semantic evolution. Dawkins’ illustration presents a smooth continuum flowing from one ancestor to the next. Actual evolution, when the details are considered, doesn’t work this way. There are three things to consider: anatomy, structure, and function. For the sake of brevity, I’ll simply agree that evolution implies anatomical and structural similarity from one ancestor to the next (e.g. if homo antercessor was the most recent ancestor of homo sapien, it was anatomically similar to homo sapien). What it doesn’t imply is functional similarity and since we’re talking of a first sinner—in other words, of an individual who knew right from wrong, felt guilt after doing wrong, and was thus, liable for his/her actions—the structure we should focus on is the brain.

I agree that the brains of neanderthals were structurally similar to human brains. But were they functionally similar? Were they capable of understanding right from wrong? It has been suggested that they had the capacity for language,3 which is probably good reason to conclude that they did understand right from wrong. Whether or not language is necessary for this understanding is not of interest for our purposes. One can continue to push the buck back and offer that homo antercessor and homo erectus understood right from wrong. One will eventually arrive at a population that didn’t understand right from wrong. Granted. But how about the notion of a first sinner? Since predicate vagueness only applies semantically and not actually, there was no first individual capable of this understanding—especially since vagueness would not apply to function. Brain function is of central importance when speaking of the capacity to understand right from wrong and feel guilt after doing wrong.4 Brain structure also plays a part.5

Ultimately, the contention deserves careful attention. It is, however, addressed by the fact that there’s nothing vague about function and (probably) structure. In other words, 99% of, for example, an amygdala isn’t the difference between someone who understands right from wrong and someone who doesn’t. Evolution doesn’t work grain to grain like semantic dunes do. Even if we grant that it does, function wouldn’t work this way. We can’t argue that one neuron or one synapse makes the difference between someone who feels guilt for doing wrong and someone who doesn’t. Brain function isn’t linear; it isn’t a smooth continuum. One could offer this semantically, but it is indefensible in actuality. So while the contention is interesting and at first sight seems to threaten the Argument from Evolution, a careful consideration shows that that isn’t the case.

The argument can, however, be defeated but perhaps at a hefty price. If one is to defeat the argument, one would have to reject the doctrine of original sin on theological grounds. To do this, perhaps the best route is to adopt some of the earliest interpretations of the idea expressed in 1 Corinthians 15:45. The earliest idea can be traced to Philo of Alexandria though the idea likely predated him.6 Furthermore, the idea resembles Plato’s forms or ideas. This lends strong credence to the notion that the earliest versions of Christianity were actually versions of Judaism that included hellenic elements, which would thus make for a mystery religion. Also, Philo’s idea—and by extension, Paul’s adaptation of the idea—can be considered gnostic, which in the modern day is considered a heretical view. So to defeat the argument, one would have to adopt an unorthodox theological view that would probably be labelled heretical by modern Christians. One would have to regress to an earlier version of Christianity and admit that what is taught today is false. In essence, this is a hefty price to pay: to avoid the conclusion of an argument, one is then willing to throw Christian theology into disarray. A detailed consideration of Christianity’s history already accomplishes this, but if one wants to pay that price for the sake of defeating the argument, so be it.

Notes

1 Sober, Elliot. "Instrumentalism Revisited." Crítica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía Vol. 31: 3-39. Web. 26 July 2014.

2 ”Sorites Paradox.” . Stanford University, 17 Jan. 1997. Web. 26 July 2014. <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sorites-paradox/>.

3 Frayer, David. "Who’re You’re Calling a Neanderthal." The New York Times. 2 May 2013. Web.

4 Fumagalli, Manuela , and Alberto Priori. "Functional and clinical neuroanatomy of morality." Brain 2012: 1-16. Web. 26 July 2014.

5 Wood, Janice. "Scans Show Psychopaths Have Brain Abnormalities." Psych Central. 11 May 2012. Web.

6 In Philo’s scheme, the first Adam was an invisible perfect man, having no gender and being immortal and imperishable, and this is what explains there being two creation accounts in Genesis (Gen. 1-2.3 vs. Gen. 2.4-25): the first related to the creation of the true man, and the second related to the creation of his mortal copy. Although Philo thinks a lot of the creation account is allegorical (for him there was no Paradise and no Serpent, for example), it is clear other Jewish theologians disagreed with him…And as we saw, even Philo clearly imagines a real cosmos with a real heaven with perfect versions of things, of which the things below are imperfect copies—and the things in heaven can be seen only by higher, spiritual senses (the pure intellect), unlike ordinary ‘material’ things that are seen by our ‘external’ (material) sense.

In response to the question of why God put the ‘material’ Adam in Paradise but didn’t do the same for the perfect heavenly Adam, Philo answers that ‘some persons have said, when they imagined Paradise was a garden, that because the man who was created was endowed with senses, therefore he naturally and properly proceeded into a sensible place’, whereas ‘the other man, who is made after God’s own image, being appreciable only by the intellect, and invisible, had all the incorporeal species for his share’; but Philo thinks rather that all this Paradise stuff is allegorical and not literally meant. However, it’s clear that Philo was dissenting from a view other Jews held, and the view of those others was that there were two Paradises, the material one and the heavenly one, or possibly more than two, many levels or ‘emanations,’ from the perfect Paradise on high, to the more material Paradise in the third heaven, to the many gardens on earth, which are all copies of those.

Of the two Adams, Philo says, ‘there are two kinds of men, the one made according to the image of God, the other fashioned out of the earth’, because ‘the image of God is the mold for all other things, and every imitation aims at this, of which it is an imitation.’ And, therefore, ‘the races of men are twofold: for one is the heavenly man, and the other the early man; and ‘the heavenly man, as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence’, whereas ‘the earthly man is made of loose material…a lump of clay.’

The doctrine obviously predates Philo, and Philo has simply made his own modifications to it, because the same tradition was also shared by Paul and thus evidently influenced the earliest Christian theology. Philo’s language of ‘the heavenly man’ and ‘the earthly man’, ‘the first man; and ‘the second man’, and the idea of there being two Adams, is paralleled in (but adapted differently by) Paul. We see this, for example, in 1 Cor. 15.45-49 (to be read with 15.21-24). Philo says the heavenly man is imperishable and immortal and the earthly man is ‘by nature’ mortal and perishable, exactly in agreement with Paul. Both also call the earthly Adam the ‘first man’. Paul then calls Jesus the ‘last Adam’, but describes him in terms identical to Philo’s ‘second’ man (who in order of creation was really the first). Notably, Philo’s ‘celestial’ Adam can be seen only by the eye of the intellect, just as Origen says the body of the resurrected Jesus was invisible to the external senses and could be seen only with spiritual vision. Origen also says that this invisible resurrection body was the original ‘mold’ for the body of flesh that Jesus had previously worn, and thus his fleshly body was only an earthly copy of his true, original (and final) body. Paul describes similar notions in 2 Corinthians 5, where it appears our true bodies (of which our present bodies are copies) already await us in heaven.

Carrier, Richard. On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, p.197-199. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd, 2014. Print.

You have spoken at length in the past about Jesus' existence and powers (or lack thereof); do you have any similar insight into the Prophet Muhammed? It was something that occurred to me, and I'm going to do some research on it, but I thought you might have something to say on the topic (and your followers might be interested by it to boot.)
Asked by hereticaldeej

academicatheism:

Islam, like Christianity, has very obscure origins. The source material for the Qur’an, for instance, was probably a Christian document.1 Also, Christ isn’t on par with Allah and thus, Islamic views of Jesus may have been influenced by non-Trinitarian (Unitarian) sects.2 What’s really interesting to note is that Muhammad, unlike Jesus, isn’t a name. Sure, Jesus comes from the Hebrew word יְשׁוּעָה (pronounced Yeshua). The name means rescuer, which is synonymous to savior. The name was common in the first century, but it is a little fishy that Jesus Christ means anointed savior. Regardless, assuming there was a historical Jesus, his name could have been Jesus. This wouldn’t be the case with a historical Muhammad.

Muhammad, which comes from the Arab word مُحَمَّد, roughly translates as praised one. It’s not a name, it’s a title.3 Interestingly enough, Muhammad could have been a character that developed in response to Jesus first being associated with the title muhammad. Another aspect Islam and Christianity share is the unreliability of documents. If you think the Gospels are problematic, consider the hadiths! They are quite telling of the many factions that existed in early Islam. I am of the view that a historical Muhammad is currently inaccessible. The hadiths and the Qur’an itself are simply unreliable. Furthermore, given that his name is actually a title, we don’t even know where to look. I would recommend Robert Spencer’s works. I’d also recommend Solomon Nigosian’s Islam: Its History, Teachings, and Practices. He shares the following:

The difficulty in discerning the role of Muhammad is enormous, which may come as a surprise to those who are not experts in literary criticism. But every scholar who has tried to study the available sources of information on Muhammad knows that the endeavor of sifting through the evidence to arrive at some tangible historical facts results only in the unpleasant feeling of uncertainty. Critical investigation of the material on Muhammad, both in the Qur’an and in the mass of Muslim traditions, has resulted in profound scholarly disagreements concerning his life and the part he played in the early Muslim community. In fact, the attempt to separate the historical from the unhistorical elements in the available sources has yielded few, if any, positive results regarding the figure of Muhammad or the role he played in Islam. The predicament faced by modern scholars is perhaps best stated by Harald Motzak:

At present, the study of Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim community, is obviously caught in a dilemma. On the other hand, it is not possible to write a historical biography of the Prophet without being accused of using the sources uncritically, while on the other hand, when using the sources critically, it is simply not possible to write such a biography.

Nigosian, S. A.. Islam: Its History, Teachings, and Practices, p.5-6. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. Print.

Hope this helps! Thanks for the question.

Read my responses or shut up about this atheism/agnosticism thing. It's two days old already. I can't be any clearer than I've been. Read my response to somenoiseforthemind over at academicatheism. Changing your opinion about this small matter won't damage your reputation or change your life in any way. I don't get the obstinacy. Belief and knowledge are not the same thing. Consult any introductory text on epistemology. Outside of relevant semantics, you're talking out of your behind.

academicatheism:

jtem:

And you’re not an atheist.  Atheists aren’t quite so dogmatic. 

Words have meanings, definitions, and “Atheist” is not French for “Fence Sitter.”  Atheists come down unambiguously on the Is There/Isn’t There a God debate, while agnostics do not. If you are ambiguous, and you claim you are, you are not an atheist.

You’re welcome.

Listen dude, you cry about getting insulted and what not, but now I can see why people are frustrated with you. I am an atheist. I lack belief in gods and by extension, metaphysical entities, the claims of holy books, the efficacy of religious rituals, and so on. Is there a god? I don’t believe there’s a god. Do you know that for sure? Depends on which god you’re talking about. Again, belief is necessary but not sufficient to arrive at knowledge. There are god concepts I don’t even know about either because I haven’t been exposed to them or because they haven’t been thought up yet. How in the world can I know they don’t exist if I’m not even aware of the concept? Thus, I am agnostic; I don’t claim knowledge in all cases, I only claim lack of belief in all cases. Again, read this response. Consult epistemology. Consult the definitions of these terms and you’ll see that there’s no mutual exclusivity to be had. Only one of us is abiding by definitions. It’s not you. This is so basic! Either grasp it or stick to your obstinate, puerile stupidity. I’m seriously done explaining basics to you.

overseerr:

academicatheism:


How Would Christianity Deal with Extraterrestrial Life?
How would the world’s religions react to the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence? There is, of course, no single answer. But for Christians who believe in the redemption of humanity through a singular event—the Incarnation of God through Christ—the question poses an especially complex dilemma.
To appreciate the conundrum, a good place to start is with the words of Father Jose Funes, a Jesuit astronomer and current director of the Vatican Observatory, who suggested in an interview that the possibility of “brother extraterrestrials” poses no problem for Catholic theology. “As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God,” Funes told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “This does not conflict with our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God.”
But, L’Osservatore Romano asked, what if these beings were sinners?
"Jesus became man once and for all," Funes responded. "The Incarnation is a single and unique event. So I am sure that also they, in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God’s mercy, just as it has happened with us human beings.”
Continue Reading

There are some really interesting, disturbing, and ultimately wrong-headed views in this article. Exo-evangelism is simply disturbing. It’s also wrong-headed because, as discussed by people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, we can’t just assume aliens would be interested in us—even if intelligent. Does Yahweh only care about humans? Yes. We are supposedly created in his image. It’s dubiously ad hoc to assume that that can apply to extraterrestrials. Jesus on other planets? There’s strong evidence to suggest that even if there was a historical Jesus, he wasn’t the Christ of the Gospels. Thus, Jesus on this planet is highly doubtful; forget other planets! Interesting read nonetheless.

If intelligent aliens visit us, and these aliens have zero knowledge of Jesus, the virgin birth, the resurrection, or the other important events of the Bible, I think that will be the ultimate nail in the coffin that destroys Christianity. Of course, most Christians will just declare the aliens are all demons. There are already people today who think the supposed UFO sightings are actually demons.
However, given the vast expanse of the universe, it’s probable that life has to exist somewhere else out there. When you take into context the vast size of the universe, and the huge numbers of planets, stars, and galaxies, most religions start to make less sense. If humans really are the only life in the universe, and the only life God cares about, then why did God “create” so much space that will never be used by humans and serves no purpose?

overseerr:

academicatheism:

How Would Christianity Deal with Extraterrestrial Life?

How would the world’s religions react to the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence? There is, of course, no single answer. But for Christians who believe in the redemption of humanity through a singular event—the Incarnation of God through Christ—the question poses an especially complex dilemma.

To appreciate the conundrum, a good place to start is with the words of Father Jose Funes, a Jesuit astronomer and current director of the Vatican Observatory, who suggested in an interview that the possibility of “brother extraterrestrials” poses no problem for Catholic theology. “As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God,” Funes told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “This does not conflict with our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God.”

But, L’Osservatore Romano asked, what if these beings were sinners?

"Jesus became man once and for all," Funes responded. "The Incarnation is a single and unique event. So I am sure that also they, in some way, would have the chance to enjoy God’s mercy, just as it has happened with us human beings.”

Continue Reading

There are some really interesting, disturbing, and ultimately wrong-headed views in this article. Exo-evangelism is simply disturbing. It’s also wrong-headed because, as discussed by people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, we can’t just assume aliens would be interested in us—even if intelligent. Does Yahweh only care about humans? Yes. We are supposedly created in his image. It’s dubiously ad hoc to assume that that can apply to extraterrestrials. Jesus on other planets? There’s strong evidence to suggest that even if there was a historical Jesus, he wasn’t the Christ of the Gospels. Thus, Jesus on this planet is highly doubtful; forget other planets! Interesting read nonetheless.

If intelligent aliens visit us, and these aliens have zero knowledge of Jesus, the virgin birth, the resurrection, or the other important events of the Bible, I think that will be the ultimate nail in the coffin that destroys Christianity. Of course, most Christians will just declare the aliens are all demons. There are already people today who think the supposed UFO sightings are actually demons.

However, given the vast expanse of the universe, it’s probable that life has to exist somewhere else out there. When you take into context the vast size of the universe, and the huge numbers of planets, stars, and galaxies, most religions start to make less sense. If humans really are the only life in the universe, and the only life God cares about, then why did God “create” so much space that will never be used by humans and serves no purpose?

agnosticism and atheism are mutually exclusive. One has to do with beliefs, one has to do with knowledge.
Asked by tannermiller

somenoiseforthemind:

theraginghottruth:

somenoiseforthemind:

academicatheism:

Look up agnosticism and atheism. Then look up agnostic atheism. Seriously, this is basic. It’s a waste of time trying to explain something so basic to obstinate people. It can’t be this hard to change an opinion. This is like a day old already. You’re wrong. Get over it. The fact that another person agrees with your idiotic opinion doesn’t change the fact that it’s an idiotic opinion. Agnosticism and (a)theism are not mutually exclusive.

I really do think the asker is right. Agnostic atheism is non-sense, is something like astrology compared to astronomy. If you are an atheist there is no point in being agnostic, when atheism clearly denies, refuses the existence of any deity. If you don’t believe in the existence of a deity, then there is no logic in believing he might exist, but we don’t know in what form or shape as an agnostic would say. Believing, or leaving the door open for an uknown deity is not atheism. Of course it’s cool to combine all these definitions and act all intelligent, and call people idiots, but there is absoiutely no logic in agnostic atheism. 

It seems that you appear to lack an understanding of what agnosticism or atheism actually entail. Please watch the following, as it explains quite clearly how both work, and how they can fit together:

     I saw this video, but with all due respect this won’t change my point of view on atheism and agnosticism. What this video is telling me is that basically atheism gives a chance for a supreme entity, creator, or let’s name it god (not necessarily the christian God). To me this does not make any sense, since atheism is simply denying the exitence of any deity. We can make it look nicer, or acceptable, or add something to it every year from now on, but that won’t change the precise atheistic view: there is no deity. This video is trying to befriend or unite the atheistic view with the agnostic one, in a nice, lovely, dramatic way (that’s what can touch the heart, right?). Honestly this won’t change my view, I will stay an “oldschool” atheist ~even if I’m young~, and I will never leave a door open for any deity, no matter if it’s an unknown (agnosticism) one. 
To me atheism will be by definition:
Koine Greek (ἄθεος - atheos) : one who disdains or denies God or the gods and their laws, god-denier, atheist
 and agnosticism will be:
Koine Greek (αγνωστος · agnostos) : to that which is unknown because of lack of information, unknown [BGAG 3rd Edition]

So me as an atheist, I am denying the existence of any deity. This is what atheism means to me and this is how every dictionary and encyclopaedia defines it. If someone wants to give it some colors, everyone is free to do what they want, and believe in what/who they want, but again that won’t change what “pure”, “raw” atheism is (to me). Agnosticism gives a chance, a possibility for a deity, supreme being to exist, on the other hand atheism doesn’t. We can combine everything we want, like satanistic christianity, muslim buddhism, muslim catholicism, catholic shamanism and so on, but these won’t change the core of the system.   

To put it bluntly, your point on both agnosticism and atheism is wrong. By insisting that the only valid forms of atheism is your extremely narrow version of it or none at all, you’re committing a logical fallacy known as the false dilemma. Basically there are other options available, you simply are either unaware of them or don’t want to acknowledge them. With that in mind, please observe the following: Speaking of videos It’s quite clear that you either did not watch the video I shared before, or you did watch it but completely misunderstood it. Nearly all of your objections were dealt with in that same video, and it seems you’re cherry picking your definitions to suit your own very narrow view of the matter. Let’s try this one on for size, from the Oxford dictionary:

Atheism - Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Disbelief or lack of belief. That’s important to note, and this is perfectly compatible with agnosticism (also, before you object to this definition, that was covered in the first video as well). Let’s use a neat little graphic to simplify matters:

image

Maybe now that it’s laid out visually you’ll be better able to understand it. Basically, you’re a gnostic atheist. You fall into the upper right space. I’m an agnostic atheist, so I fall into the lower right space. The only real difference between us on this matter is that I allow for the possibly, however remote, that I could be wrong.

I may be completely off-base here, but I’m getting a very strong just-finished-The-God-Delusion vibe off of you. Keep in mind there’s nothing wrong with that. That book is a great jumping-off point, but it’s also exactly that- a jumping-off point. You’re not done yet. The whole thing isn’t as simple as you’d like it to be, and you need to study up and learn what these terms you’re throwing around actually mean, or else the next moderately-smart theist you run into is going to hand you your ass.

agnosticism and atheism are mutually exclusive. One has to do with beliefs, one has to do with knowledge.
Asked by tannermiller

somenoiseforthemind:

academicatheism:

Look up agnosticism and atheism. Then look up agnostic atheism. Seriously, this is basic. It’s a waste of time trying to explain something so basic to obstinate people. It can’t be this hard to change an opinion. This is like a day old already. You’re wrong. Get over it. The fact that another person agrees with your idiotic opinion doesn’t change the fact that it’s an idiotic opinion. Agnosticism and (a)theism are not mutually exclusive.

I really do think the asker is right. Agnostic atheism is non-sense, is something like astrology compared to astronomy. If you are an atheist there is no point in being agnostic, when atheism clearly denies, refuses the existence of any deity. If you don’t believe in the existence of a deity, then there is no logic in believing he might exist, but we don’t know in what form or shape as an agnostic would say. Believing, or leaving the door open for an uknown deity is not atheism. Of course it’s cool to combine all these definitions and act all intelligent, and call people idiots, but there is absoiutely no logic in agnostic atheism. 

It seems that you appear to lack an understanding of what agnosticism or atheism actually entail. Please watch the following, as it explains quite clearly how both work, and how they can fit together:

mc-xc:

Inventing god

mc-xc:

Inventing god

Young children who are exposed to religion have a hard time differentiating between fact and fiction, according to a new study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science.

psychoticwaltz:

My exact wish for the next US President (like that would ever happen)

psychoticwaltz:

My exact wish for the next US President (like that would ever happen)

Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know—the Church does neither.
Robert Ingersoll, b. 1833 (via whats-out-there)
I just read the exchange between you and thoughtsandsquats. You remind me of those kids in my undergrad phil classes who are prideful, verbose, and insufferable. Protip: nobody likes them. You're being a dick. Have some humility. He said he doesn't want to continue the conversation because he can immediately tell that you already have an agenda (he's wrong and an idiot, god don't real), pride (I'm better than you), and knows the conversation would go nowhere because of it. Head, out of ass.
Asked by quercy

academicatheism:

So let’s summarize the exchange because some of thoughtsandsquats’ followers seem to be a bunch of children. First and foremost, there was nothing verbose about any of my responses. Sorry that paragraphs intimidate you. “Prideful” and “insufferable” are opinions you can’t possibly make after reading three posts. I’m being a “dick” and yet you’re the one sending this message.

In any case, allow me to summarize. In my first response, I raised a few points—none of which were addressed:

  • That the world is fallen is based on a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3 (¶1)
  • That Jesus became incarnate to conquer death is a theological belief with zero historical evidence to support it (¶1)
  • Omniscience is incompatible with sin entering the world (¶2)
  • Omnipotence is incompatible with suffering in the world (¶2); had he addressed this, I would have gotten more specific: omnipotence is incompatible with gratuitous suffering
  • In a godless world, these aren’t just things that happen (¶3)—which directly addresses his statements: “The second thing is that we all resonate with the point this man made because we can’t believe that such suffering and evil could be ultimately meaningful in the way the tired popular responses try to tell us it is.  But more importantly, we cry out against such suffering because we *know* it is terrible, that it is alien, that it shouldn’t be that way, that something isn’t right when a child dies or a tornado destroys a town or a tsunami wipes out a village.  But these feelings themselves don’t fit in a world without God.  In such a world, these are just things that happen.”
  • The Bible doesn’t solve the Problem of Evil (¶4)

Rather than address any of this, he zeroed in on the last sentence of my response, which said the following: Unfortunately, people like you seem more invested in amateur theodicy than in helping to mitigate the problem—more invested in defending your religion than in doing your part to contribute to a better world. He called that ad hominem, which makes no sense because given the preceding paragraphs, I gave no impression of dismissing his arguments.

I defined ad hominem and then reversed the accusation because he said my response was “very short on substance and theological understanding and big on rhetoric.” I wouldn’t have hesitated to demonstrate this rather than merely assert it. In that second response, I made a few additional points:

  • I find the Problem of Evil weak and uninteresting—and by weak, I’m speaking from an atheistic perspective: there are better arguments against theism and Christianity in particular
  • He still hadn’t addressed one iota of what I presented
  • Norman Geisler and William Lane Craig made better points concerning the Problem of Evil than he did in his initial statements about the HONY status

He then responds with another dismissive statement concerning my initial response and said that I “didn’t present much that was worth responding to.” He was also particularly bothered by the fact that I said I’d run circles around him. He then boasts about being an ABD (All But Dissertation) at an unnamed top university in the US and how he almost has a Ph.D. Then I once again told him that he didn’t address anything. That’s all in my last response.

Ultimately, my three responses amount to only eight paragraphs—with my first response having the most, five to be exact. How is that “verbose”? In any event, I don’t have an agenda. He has his opinion; I have mine. I happen to think his is wrong; I happen to lack belief in the Judeo-Christian god. If that’s an “agenda,” then he also has one: “he’s wrong and an idiot, god do real.” I don’t ever claim to be better than anyone, but my arguments were better than his. Take your head out of his behind. This thoughtsandsquats guy has a hive of puerile, fangirl followers. They’re butthurt over nothing.