I do realise that strict accuracy is not of great importance in the world of sloganeering but 'atheism' *is* a belief. It is the opposite of 'theism' which *is* the belief in a some sort of god. As knowledge of, and proof for or against, the existence of a god does not exist the only sensible stance is to be agnostic.
I don't agree, David. Atheism is the absence of a belief, not a belief.
"Atheism: (noun) the theory or belief that God does not exist" "Agnostic: (noun) a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God."O.E.D.They are all 'beliefs' but as, so far, there is no empirical evidence either way, agnosticism seems to me to be the most sensible stance.And, yes, I realise it's a quibble but words do matter which is why I get so picky about their misuse by your 'agit-prop' activists - witty though they sometimes be!
I agree that we're just quibbling over words, but I remain unconvinced that a simple lack of belief should be considered a belief itself.
Semantics matter, Ted, they are how we communicate. When you say "atheist" I assumed that to mean that you believed specifically that no supreme being (name irrelevant) exists. It isn't about whether or not it is a "belief," really.Somebody says, "I know God," (Theist) and I sense a content of arrogance. Someone says, "I can see where God would be if he/she/it existed and he/she/it aint there," (Atheist) and I sense a content of arrogance. Someone says, "Damifino, the whole thing is above my pay grade, and I really don't care" (Agnostic) and I feel a kindred spirit.
Well, I never thought to find a "kindred spirit" in these distinguished columns so it looks as though it's going to be a good day today!The analogy I would use is the Higgs Bosan particle which one particular scientist, decades ago, suggested must exist because of empirical effects that had been detected and which required a cause. Others were more sceptical because they searched and searched and found nothing. Now, the evidence is somewhat stronger - but still not completely conclusive. Thus, we have, so to speak, Higgists and a-Higgists, and then people like me, and 'Jaywalker' perhaps, who wouldn't know a Higgs Bosun particle if it landed in our coffee!
I would agree with both of you that no one can know for certain whether there is a god or not. There is just no empirical evidence to say one way or the other. However, I call myself an atheist rather than an agnostic because to me the agnostic argument admits that the current religions (christianity, islam, judaism, etc.) might be true, and I just can't accept that. They are too illogical. Even if there was a god, I don't think he/she/it would approve of any of them.
Ah, but that's because, and it's not unreasonable, you equate the word 'God' with one of the main religions. I very much doubt that 'god' is like that at all because for a start 'it' appears to have no moral sense what-so-ever. The term I prefer is 'prime mover' because somehow energy and matter were brought into existence and whatever entity did that deserves some sort of title and recognition. However that does not include the right to tell me how to live my life.
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