0774: "Atheists"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Magistrates, Prelates, Moderators General

0774: "Atheists"

Postby soren121 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: 'But you're using that same tactic to try to feel superior to me, too!' 'Sorry, that accusation expires after one use per conversation.'

Let the flame war begin.
Last edited by soren121 on Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:06 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
PHP/XHTML/CSS Programmer
http://www.sorenstudios.com/
Fueled by all of this and V8
User avatar
soren121
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:25 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Orca » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:40 am UTC

Curse you for being first slightly and forcing me to admit defeat. One day!!!!!!!!!!
If you start an argument over whether "they" "them" and "their" can be used as gender neutral singular pronouns, in this thread, I will do terrible, terrible things to you.
-Belial
User avatar
Orca
 
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:44 am UTC
Location: Sea

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Freiberg » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:42 am UTC

I think Randall has found a way to incite a (if not multiple) flame wars within this very thread, without actually saying anything provocative. Then again, if the rest of the people posting in this thread are mindful of this, it could still theoretically be averted...
Ablexxive means "overwhelmingly confusing". Use it some time, won't you?

I am a threadkiller. Feel my wrath!

This link kills spam
User avatar
Freiberg
 
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:09 am UTC
Location: Making abundant if overly spiced tacos

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby KestralTweet » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:42 am UTC

Strange, xkcd didn't update for me until 3 minutes later. :/
User avatar
KestralTweet
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:18 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Eshru » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:45 am UTC

I agree, the alt-text makes a good comic better in this particular example.

Actually, I think that this would be a pretty funny shirt or hat or something, as I know a good number of poeple who think in a similar fashion to the person in the comic.

Couldn't the alt text have been another panel and this have been a 2 panel comic, really? I dunno, it doesn't seem like an alternate bit, but rather a continuation of the conversation. Then what would the alt-text have been I suppose, eh?
User avatar
Eshru
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Interactive Civilian » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:51 am UTC

Hahahaha... I can see this comic getting a lot of use in religion flame wars on Fark. :mrgreen:
I (x2+y2-1)3-x2y3=0 science.
User avatar
Interactive Civilian
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:53 am UTC
Location: Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby scottyb » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:54 am UTC

I guess agnostics either don't annoy him, or he missed a third group to feel superior to. :lol:
User avatar
scottyb
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:30 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Nezrite » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:58 am UTC

^ Perhaps he's simply undecided about agnostics...

But thank you - I am frequently confronted on a forum by someone I have deemed a "fundamentalist atheist" and I appreciate that I'm not the only one annoyed by this. I might be an atheist as well...or I might not...but I cannot abide fundamentalism of any sort. So...thanks!
Nezrite
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:54 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Benjamin-B » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:01 am UTC

My problem--and I'm guessing I'm not the only one--is that, no matter what the subject (religion, politics, philosophy) I always worry that I only believe what I believe in an attempt to feel superior to others, and when I catch myself doing that, I worry that I'm not really correcting myself, I'm just tricking myself into thinking that I'm correcting myself in order to feel even more superior. Then once I realize I'm in that cycle, I feel bad about feeling superior about getting myself out of the cycle.

Sorry if it seems like I'm just saying this to seem superior to everyone else, or if I'm just stating the obvious, but this is something that keeps me up at night. I should probably take a break from attempting to think about stuff, since I'm clearly not very good at it.
User avatar
Benjamin-B
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:01 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby rainslash » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:03 am UTC

scottyb wrote:I guess agnostics either don't annoy him, or he missed a third group to feel superior to. :lol:



maybe they don't annoy him...maybe they frighten him.... :lol:
what is the love child of a french horn and a trumpet?
Spoiler:
mellophone.if you don't know what that is, google it, and then smack yourself for not knowing in the first place.
User avatar
rainslash
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:49 am UTC
Location: Crazy. Don't say I'm going crazy, because I'm already there.

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby lazor » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:08 am UTC

i was an atheist just the other day

get out of my head randall
lazor
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:07 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby xodyac » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:09 am UTC

Okay, as an atheist I can say I mostly agree with this comic.

I really hate the atheists that are borderline nihilist. I'd actually rather those people had a god, just so they could find a reason to live. It's definitely one thing to be an atheist and a good person, and another to be an atheist that doesn't care.
User avatar
xodyac
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:06 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Dthen » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:10 am UTC

Benjamin-B wrote:My problem--and I'm guessing I'm not the only one--is that, no matter what the subject (religion, politics, philosophy) I always worry that I only believe what I believe in an attempt to feel superior to others, and when I catch myself doing that, I worry that I'm not really correcting myself, I'm just tricking myself into thinking that I'm correcting myself in order to feel even more superior. Then once I realize I'm in that cycle, I feel bad about feeling superior about getting myself out of the cycle.

Sorry if it seems like I'm just saying this to seem superior to everyone else, or if I'm just stating the obvious, but this is something that keeps me up at night. I should probably take a break from attempting to think about stuff, since I'm clearly not very good at it.



I do the same thing.
I like cats.
User avatar
Dthen
You talk too much, you talking cat
 
Posts: 415
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:35 pm UTC
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby obzabor » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:16 am UTC

Sometimes you feel superior just because you are... and sometimes because you aren't. In fact, "being superior" and "feeling superior" are orthogonal states - you can be in either, or both, or none of them. (*feels extremely superior for realizing that*)
obzabor
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:16 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:18 am UTC

I find people who hate xkcd to be as annoying as people who love it. :D
User avatar
Eternal Density
 
Posts: 3525
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Location: The Hotdog Cart

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Apteryx » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Because "atheism" is a entirely better description of the universe, only theists feel superior. Hard as it is for theists to admit, we atheists actually don't have to feel superior, we simply are so.
Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.
John Adams
Apteryx
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:41 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby alvarezp » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:24 am UTC

I think that arguing about God existence or non-existence is like trying to force zero to have a sign, either positive or negative. I think both are the same number.

function does_god_exist() {
if (sign(0) == 1) return true;
if (sign(0) == -1) return false;
return NULL;
}
alvarezp
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 7:26 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Azkyroth » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:24 am UTC

I really hate the atheists that are borderline nihilist. I'd actually rather those people had a god, just so they could find a reason to live. It's definitely one thing to be an atheist and a good person, and another to be an atheist that doesn't care.


Weird; I've never met an atheist like that. O.o

Apparently, to shallow thinkers, the only thing that's objectionable about religious fundamentalists is that they express their beliefs with emphasis.
Azkyroth
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:35 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby newman » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:32 am UTC

Fantastic comic, well played.

There's a personality type that is obsessed with finding some "truth" and then banging everybody else over the head with it - and both New Atheists and Fundamental Christians tend to have that personality type. The rest of us get to enjoy the deep irony that these sworn, mortal enemies are actually very, very similar. And pointing this out tends to INFURIATE both atheists/christians, which is enjoyable to watch.
newman
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:35 am UTC

Apteryx wrote:we atheists actually don't have to feel superior, we simply are so.

I can think of at least one who isn't.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I feel like you're probably an ocelot, and I feel like I want to eat you. Feeling is fun!
this isn't my cow
User avatar
Pez Dispens3r
is not a stick figure.
 
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:08 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby rcox1 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:38 am UTC

The thing with Atheism or Theism is that they both start with the assumption that A Priori thinking is valid. We want to believe that going to church, or not, is best so we do, no based on evidence, but what on other tell us.
<p>
Agnosticism is often considered the enlightened view, but it even assumes that somethings. But assumptions are not bad. In science we assume that the world works by rules. That these rules are able to be inferred through careful observation, coded with specially defined symbols, and applicable throughout space time.
<p>
The advance that has been made is the ability to put assumptions aside if the are no longer useful. Some find the assumption of a god or gods or goddesses not useful, so they put those aside. Some feel that putting aside the assumption is equivalent to saying that these construct do not exist, which is not necessarily so. For example, we assumed light was a wave, then it was a particle, then found out that just because we threw away the assumption that it was not wave did not mean that is was not a wave.
<p>
So, to me, what make theist and atheist intolerable is that they tend to try want everyone to think the same way they do, but since such think is often based on emotional need and cultural norms, it really doesn't apply to everyone. Forcing one beliefs on everyone else is not cool.
rcox1
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:23 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby phlip » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:51 am UTC

obzabor wrote:Sometimes you feel superior just because you are... and sometimes because you aren't. In fact, "being superior" and "feeling superior" are orthogonal states - you can be in either, or both, or none of them. (*feels extremely superior for realizing that*)

They're not entirely independent, though... if your real superiority level is very high, you'll tend to recognise that and feel superior, but if your superiority level is very low, that'll include your ability to self-assess, and you will incorrectly feel superior (see: Dunning-Kruger effect). If your superiority is merely middle-range (or even middle-high), then you'll know enough to know you don't know enough, and not feel superior. So you end up with a curve that's high at both ends and low in the middle. A curve that goes through all four quadrants, yes, but still not independent.
Last edited by phlip on Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:22 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
While no one overhear you quickly tell me not cow cow.
but how about watch phone?
User avatar
phlip
Restorer of Worlds
 
Posts: 7086
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:56 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby krogoth » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:06 am UTC

I'm an agnostic, and I was hoping to get jabbed at. I find the fighting of these details rather silly.

I'm on the I don't think its really knowable side.I intend on being good because its good, and if I have trouble when i die, well I suppose I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.I know, I enjoy twisting that phrase
R3sistance - I don't care at all for the ignorance spreading done by many and to the best of my abilities I try to correct this as much as I can, but I know and understand that even I can not be completely honest, truthful and factual all of the time.
krogoth
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:09 am UTC

krogoth wrote:I know, I enjoy twisting that phrase

Never explain the joke.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I feel like you're probably an ocelot, and I feel like I want to eat you. Feeling is fun!
this isn't my cow
User avatar
Pez Dispens3r
is not a stick figure.
 
Posts: 2056
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:08 am UTC
Location: Australia

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Halrandir » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:11 am UTC

rcox1 wrote:The thing with Atheism or Theism is that they both start with the assumption that A Priori thinking is valid. We want to believe that going to church, or not, is best so we do, no based on evidence, but what on other tell us.
<p>
Agnosticism is often considered the enlightened view, but it even assumes that somethings. But assumptions are not bad. In science we assume that the world works by rules. That these rules are able to be inferred through careful observation, coded with specially defined symbols, and applicable throughout space time.
<p>
The advance that has been made is the ability to put assumptions aside if the are no longer useful. Some find the assumption of a god or gods or goddesses not useful, so they put those aside. Some feel that putting aside the assumption is equivalent to saying that these construct do not exist, which is not necessarily so. For example, we assumed light was a wave, then it was a particle, then found out that just because we threw away the assumption that it was not wave did not mean that is was not a wave.
<p>
So, to me, what make theist and atheist intolerable is that they tend to try want everyone to think the same way they do, but since such think is often based on emotional need and cultural norms, it really doesn't apply to everyone. Forcing one beliefs on everyone else is not cool.


This.
Halrandir
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby DCB » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:16 am UTC

krogoth wrote:I'm an agnostic, and I was hoping to get jabbed at. I find the fighting of these details rather silly.

I'm on the I don't think its really knowable side.I intend on being good because its good, and if I have trouble when i die, well I suppose I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.I know, I enjoy twisting that phrase


Maybe I'm misreading you, but if you burn the bridge when you come to it, wouldn't it be burnt before you cross it? Or am I just stupid and you were intentionally implying you're going to defy death...?

I don't know why atheists and christians are getting are the flame from randall... perhaps because fundamentalist buddhists (i.e. Shaolin monks) are too awesome to be made fun of?
DCB
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:59 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby syko_lozz » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:18 am UTC

I loved this comic, and totally agree with it. Probably for different reasons than most of you (or even Randall), but I really dont want to get into that.

obzabor wrote:Sometimes you feel superior just because you are... and sometimes because you aren't. In fact, "being superior" and "feeling superior" are orthogonal states - you can be in either, or both, or none of them. (*feels extremely superior for realizing that*)


In my opinion, anyone who "feels superior", isnt. They are arrogant. And people who "are superior" know that they have many flaws and so are humble and tolerant of the flaws in others, and so dont "feel" superior at all.
Debate politics with a fern. If you lose, refuse to water it.
User avatar
syko_lozz
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:30 am UTC
Location: Oz

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Interactive Civilian » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:26 am UTC

Those of you making a distinction between "atheist" and "agnostic" do realize that they are not mutually exclusive, right? Theism/Atheism simply refer to theistic BELIEF, while Gnosticism/Agnosticism refer to whether or not you feel you have KNOWLEDGE of something.

Theist simply means "having a belief in a deity or deities". Atheist simply means "lacking a belief in a deity or deities" and can span from simple lack of belief to actually believing there is no (something that some refer to as "anti-theist"). Generally the idea is like this:

Gnostic Theist: I believe in God and I feel I know what God is about.
Agnostic Theist: I believe in some kind of God, but I don't know its nature.
Agnostic Atheist: I don't believe there is a God, but I'd accept the possibility given evidence.
Gnostic Atheist (or anti-theist): I believe there is no God.

So, saying "I'm an agnostic" in response to a question about your beliefs is really just dodging the question. :?

Not that anyone is actually asking anyone else a direct question about their beliefs here. ;)

/agnostic atheist
I (x2+y2-1)3-x2y3=0 science.
User avatar
Interactive Civilian
 
Posts: 468
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:53 am UTC
Location: Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:30 am UTC

Those of you making blanket statements about the meanings of "atheist" and "agnostic" do realize that there isn't really a consensus about that, right?
Treatid basically wrote:widdout elephants deh be no starting points. deh be no ZFC.


(If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome)
User avatar
gmalivuk
A debonaire peeing style
 
Posts: 20990
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Faranya » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:31 am UTC

DCB wrote:
krogoth wrote:I'm an agnostic, and I was hoping to get jabbed at. I find the fighting of these details rather silly.

I'm on the I don't think its really knowable side.I intend on being good because its good, and if I have trouble when i die, well I suppose I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.I know, I enjoy twisting that phrase


Maybe I'm misreading you, but if you burn the bridge when you come to it, wouldn't it be burnt before you cross it? Or am I just stupid and you were intentionally implying you're going to defy death...?

I don't know why atheists and christians are getting are the flame from randall... perhaps because fundamentalist buddhists (i.e. Shaolin monks) are too awesome to be made fun of?


One: If you are crossing the bridge into Hell, it really doesn't matter if the bridge is on fire when you do :D

Two: You try messing with Shaolin monks. Those dudes are terrifying.
Image
Faranya
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:10 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:38 am UTC

DCB wrote:I don't know why atheists and christians are getting are the flame from randall... perhaps because fundamentalist buddhists (i.e. Shaolin monks) are too awesome to be made fun of?
That, or more likely the fact that I don't know of any large group of fundamentalist Buddhists, or of people who complain about fundamentalist Buddhists, in the United States. Which is the country Randall is writing from. There are, on the other hand, millions of fundamentalist Christians, and a smaller but still significant number of apologetic agnostics/atheists who want to pretend they're taking the middle road of moderation between perceived extremes of theism and atheism. There are also some "fundamentalist" a(nti-)theists, of course, but they're so small in number that folks have to twist things around so they can throw the likes of Dawkins and Dennett into the mix and make it look like it's a larger group of people than it ever will be.
Treatid basically wrote:widdout elephants deh be no starting points. deh be no ZFC.


(If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome)
User avatar
gmalivuk
A debonaire peeing style
 
Posts: 20990
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby littlelj » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:51 am UTC

:shock: Theology? At this time of the morning?! :shock:

The best xkcd strips are the simplest, IMHO.
Dudes, I'm a woman.
User avatar
littlelj
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:40 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Mike_Bson » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:02 am UTC

xodyac wrote:Okay, as an atheist I can say I mostly agree with this comic.

I really hate the atheists that are borderline nihilist. I'd actually rather those people had a god, just so they could find a reason to live. It's definitely one thing to be an atheist and a good person, and another to be an atheist that doesn't care.

I can be a nihilist and still care about life.
User avatar
Mike_Bson
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:00 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby from canada » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:03 am UTC

Are people seriously disecting theist/atheist/agnostic/etc definitions as if it hasn't been done before in a thousand other places? Break them down into a million categories if you want, you're still not gonna be able to cover every single person's beliefs with easy to swallow labels. Just stop.

And yes I sure as fuck do feel superior to you, thank you for asking.
User avatar
from canada
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 7:05 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby oddtail » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:04 am UTC

Good comic. Better alt text. And there's really no good way of feeling superior. Whether religion is a load of crap or whether it has merit (I am personally religious, but I get the view that religion is a bunch of fairy-tales), religion can - if done right - teach a person humility.

A few clarifications, before somebody asks (and I know someone would):

1) I know some religious groups don't really suggest a "humility-belief" connection. It's entirely my personal opinion, but I think the two lessons to be learnt from religion is humility and love. The rest is theology and fluff (not that the fluffy part of religions is useless. It's fun, actually. But not central)
2) I should perhaps point out that I think the former point is a universal, or can be. Then again, reading "Tao of Pooh" convinced me that even religions that are supposed to emphasise humility still have followers who feel smugly superior (seriously, what is up with that book?)
3) No, religion is far from being the only way to learn love and humility. But it's a good way, if done right.
4) Humility does not automatically equal lack of healthy pride and feeling of self-worth. The Western world often equates being humble with being meek or even a wimp. Not the kind of humility I have in mind.
5) I can totally relate to the person in the thread who described a vicious circle of feeling superior, then feeling superior because of not feeling superior, and so on. I guess it can't be completely escaped. Part of the reason we adopt stances we think of as open-minded and mature is to feel good about ourselves. But it doesn't change the fact that it's better than not even trying.
6) While I like the comic, my experience with atheists and people like the guy in the comic has led me to believe that I'm *much* more likely to encounter airs of superiority among the former than the latter. So while I appreciate the joke of the comic, I side with the alt-text more, ideologically (is it OK to treat the comic semi-seriously? Or is that overanalysing already?)

So, in a nutshell: religion-based feelings of superiority kind of go against what I consider the neat aspect of being religious. I guess that's why I find the comic witty and smart, although I can't help but wonder just how many people interpreted the comic completely differently.
Last edited by oddtail on Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:06 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
oddtail
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 9:41 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby ijuin » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:06 am UTC

Interactive Civilian wrote:Those of you making a distinction between "atheist" and "agnostic" do realize that they are not mutually exclusive, right? Theism/Atheism simply refer to theistic BELIEF, while Gnosticism/Agnosticism refer to whether or not you feel you have KNOWLEDGE of something.
/agnostic atheist


I believe that, for the purposes of the current discussion, "Atheist" has been used to mean "belief in the absence of God/gods". Therefore, those who don't particularly care to think about whether God/gods exist (and therefore have no strong opinion either way) are being put in a third category besides Theist/Atheist. In other words, they are the "neutral" group as opposed to the pro/con group.
ijuin
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby point and laugh » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:11 am UTC

I feel like the brand "Atheist" has been perverted.
From what I understand, anyway, "Theism" is the belief in a diety or dieties. (In this case, God.) Atheism should therefore be a lack of belief in a diety such as God.
Even though I view myself as an atheist for not believing in the existence of a God, I don't reject that existence, either. I don't like to call myself an atheist, however, because of people like Maher and Dawkins who are atheists that create the image that atheism is anti-religion. I'm actually a big fan of non-fundamentalist religion, so I feel alienated by those kind of people.
At the same time, I don't like calling myself an agnostic, because that's too broad of an answer to a question of faith. Unless a person is a fundamentalist that completely rejects the idea of God or completely accepts the infallibility of religious doctrine, they are technically agnostic to some degree.

The way that people generally view agnostics is the way that I think atheists should be identified: questioning the existence of God, not necessarily rejecting it. What people generally describe as atheist should be given a different brand, such as anti-theist: wholesale belief that there is no God.

I dunno. I just feel that the current stereotypes are too stereotypical I guess...
(If you wish, replace God with god(s).)
point and laugh
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:22 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Kaijyuu » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:14 am UTC

I'm the guy in the comic :D


Encyclopedia Dramatica lays out my opinion rather well:
[Some] agnostics argue that because one cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, afterlife or metaphysics, that there is no reason for them to adopt a stance either way. These people are just fucking lazy and would rather sit around smoking pot than do anything productive.

Just replace "smoking pot" with "playing video games."
The cake is a lie, but truth is in Pi.
Kaijyuu
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:58 am UTC

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Notch » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:20 am UTC

Interactive Civilian wrote:Those of you making a distinction between "atheist" and "agnostic" do realize that they are not mutually exclusive, right? Theism/Atheism simply refer to theistic BELIEF, while Gnosticism/Agnosticism refer to whether or not you feel you have KNOWLEDGE of something.

Theist simply means "having a belief in a deity or deities". Atheist simply means "lacking a belief in a deity or deities" and can span from simple lack of belief to actually believing there is no (something that some refer to as "anti-theist"). Generally the idea is like this:

Gnostic Theist: I believe in God and I feel I know what God is about.
Agnostic Theist: I believe in some kind of God, but I don't know its nature.
Agnostic Atheist: I don't believe there is a God, but I'd accept the possibility given evidence.
Gnostic Atheist (or anti-theist): I believe there is no God.

So, saying "I'm an agnostic" in response to a question about your beliefs is really just dodging the question. :?

Not that anyone is actually asking anyone else a direct question about their beliefs here. ;)

/agnostic atheist


What about people who say they KNOW?

For example, I KNOW there is no Chtulu. I also, equally strongly, KNOW there is no god.
(Well, they exist as concepts, but that's an entirely different thing. It's possible to be afraid of chtulu without him existing, so he can still affect our reality)
Notch
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:52 pm UTC
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: "Atheists" discussion (#774)

Postby Mike_Bson » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:23 am UTC

Notch wrote:
Interactive Civilian wrote:Those of you making a distinction between "atheist" and "agnostic" do realize that they are not mutually exclusive, right? Theism/Atheism simply refer to theistic BELIEF, while Gnosticism/Agnosticism refer to whether or not you feel you have KNOWLEDGE of something.

Theist simply means "having a belief in a deity or deities". Atheist simply means "lacking a belief in a deity or deities" and can span from simple lack of belief to actually believing there is no (something that some refer to as "anti-theist"). Generally the idea is like this:

Gnostic Theist: I believe in God and I feel I know what God is about.
Agnostic Theist: I believe in some kind of God, but I don't know its nature.
Agnostic Atheist: I don't believe there is a God, but I'd accept the possibility given evidence.
Gnostic Atheist (or anti-theist): I believe there is no God.

So, saying "I'm an agnostic" in response to a question about your beliefs is really just dodging the question. :?

Not that anyone is actually asking anyone else a direct question about their beliefs here. ;)

/agnostic atheist


What about people who say they KNOW?

For example, I KNOW there is no Chtulu. I also, equally strongly, KNOW there is no god.
(Well, they exist as concepts, but that's an entirely different thing. It's possible to be afraid of chtulu without him existing, so he can still affect our reality)
Gnostic atheist.
User avatar
Mike_Bson
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:00 pm UTC

Next

Return to Individual XKCD Comic Threads

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: amateurasu, avocadoowl, Bing [Bot], broarbape, CealExpalased, Earthling on Mars, HES, jc, Killerofsheep, Mikeski, mscha, omgryebread, orthogon, Philbert, sford, Whizbang and 51 guests