Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#81  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 1:26 pm

Sityl wrote:I had heard the, "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know" part of the quote. Whether he was mistaken about the meaning of the word atheism,


How would he have been mistaken? Prior to the period of Dawkins, the definition, and common understanding of Atheism, was one who believes that God does not exist, and it was only recently that this meaning has been altered, perhaps for political reasons, to mean one who merely lacks a belief in God/s existence.

In fact even in religious surveys, the historical meaning, the one Sagan speaks of, is why there are separate categories for agnostics and atheists.

It's fine that you've changed the meaning of the term, but let's not alter history along with it.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#82  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 1:47 pm

the mouse wrote: perhaps for political reasons,


Which would be what, in your view?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#83  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Sendraks wrote:

Which would be what, in your view?


Perhaps to fluff their numbers, by encompassing agnostics under their fold, though those that identify themselves as agnostics don't consider themselves to be atheists. This is not because they misunderstood the term "atheism", but rather because they reject the recent redefining of it.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#84  Postby DarthHelmet86 » May 14, 2014 2:17 pm

Who are these agnostics? I am an agnostic atheist, as are many of the members of this forum. So your claim that those who identify as agnostics don't consider themselves to be atheists is wrong.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#85  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 2:19 pm

the mouse wrote:
Perhaps to fluff their numbers, by encompassing agnostics under their fold, though those that identify themselves as agnostics don't consider themselves to be atheists. This is not because they misunderstood the term "atheism", but rather because they reject the recent redefining of it.


1 - Who are you talking about when you refer to "their?"
2 - Exactly what political goal is being achieved here?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#86  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 2:25 pm

Who are these agnostics? I am an agnostic atheist, as are many of the members of this forum. So your claim that those who identify as agnostics don't consider themselves to be atheists is wrong


Uhm, all the agnostics that classifies themselves as agnostics, but distinct from atheists, such as those who self-identify on surveys as such.

Huxley who coined the term agnostic, didn't consider himself an agnostic atheist. This whole trend of defining agnostics as in one camp or the other, is also recent, popularized by the God delusion. Prior to that the common understanding, self-identficiation, was that the two were distinct terms.

Are you not aware of this shifting in understanding of these terms, that occurred more recently than you think?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#87  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 2:28 pm

Sendraks wrote:

1 - Who are you talking about when you refer to "their?"



Those who campaigned to change the meaning, not necessarily all those who identify with this change in meaning.

2 - Exactly what political goal is being achieved here?


The banner of atheism becomes more encompassing.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#88  Postby DarthHelmet86 » May 14, 2014 2:31 pm

It doesn't matter what I am aware of, I asked you to back up your assertion. There clearly are agnostics who use the term in conjunction with atheist. I have listened to the arguments why the words should mean what they mean and I think that the one arguing that atheism should be about a lack of a belief as theism is about having one holds more water than the older version.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#89  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 2:34 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:It doesn't matter what I am aware of, I asked you to back up your assertion. There clearly are agnostics who use the term in conjunction with atheist.


I never said there isn't. In fact pretty much every atheists who bought into Dawkin's defining of terms, consider themselves agnostic atheist, with a small minority considering themselves gnostic atheist. All based on some ridiculous and likely fictional line that supposedly exists between believing and knowing.

I've also never run across a self-identifying atheists who merely lacks belief in God, in fact they hold all sorts of beliefs regarding God, such as he is imaginary, a human delusion, etc...
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#90  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 2:37 pm

the mouse wrote:Those who campaigned to change the meaning, not necessarily all those who identify with this change in meaning.


What campaign? When? Where?

the mouse wrote:The banner of atheism becomes more encompassing.


That the meaning of words can evolve/change over time is something that rather seems to have passed you by.
Last edited by Sendraks on May 14, 2014 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#91  Postby DarthHelmet86 » May 14, 2014 2:40 pm

the mouse wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:It doesn't matter what I am aware of, I asked you to back up your assertion. There clearly are agnostics who use the term in conjunction with atheist.


I never said there isn't. In fact pretty much every atheists who bought into Dawkin's defining of terms, consider themselves agnostic atheist, with a small minority considering themselves gnostic atheist. All based on some ridiculous and likely fictional line that supposedly exists between believing and knowing.

I've also never run across a self-identifying atheists who merely lacks belief in God, in fact they hold all sorts of beliefs regarding God, such as he is imaginary, a human delusion, etc...


lol wut? So then you don't lack a belief in a unicorn either? You no doubt belief it is made up, or that it is imaginary?

I lack a belief that a god or gods exists, don't have one, no where to be found. Simple as that, whatever other ideas I have about gods is totally irrelevant. I see no argument that I should change my usage of the word coming from you, only a lame attempt to point out that people used to think differently. That isn't surprising, people constantly think differently to older generations no doubt in the future there will be another change in meaning for a whole bunch of words.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#92  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 2:57 pm

DarthHelmet86 wrote:

lol wut? So then you don't lack a belief in a unicorn either? You no doubt belief it is made up, or that it is imaginary?


No, I believe they do not exist, in fact the claims that I believe they are imaginary, alludes to this much.

If I was 9/11 truther, this wouldn't mean that I merely lack a belief that 9/11 was an act of a foreign terrorist, it means that I believe it wasn't an act of foreign terrorist, but an inside job by the US government.

I lack a belief that a god or gods exists, don't have one, no where to be found. Simple as that, whatever other ideas I have about gods is totally irrelevant.


No it's not irrelevant, in fact beyond some mental juggling, when you believe that God's are imaginary, a product of human delusion, this in turn means that you believe God does not exist, there by you are an atheists under the historical definition of the term. All you're doing is basically what christian apologist do, when they try and redefine terms like religion, to say that Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship, or whatever other gobbledygook.

In fact i find it dishonest when atheists who believe God does not exist, try to claim they just merely lack a belief, to avoid having to defend their positive beliefs regarding God's non-existense.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#93  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 3:07 pm

the mouse wrote:In fact i find it dishonest when atheists who believe God does not exist, try to claim they just merely lack a belief, to avoid having to defend their positive beliefs regarding God's non-existense.


The problem, and dishonesty, with sticking your definition of atheism is that it requires an individual to be aware of a belief system in order to then to establish some sort of rationale behind their belief. It refuses to accept the existence of individuals who don't believe and they are born every day.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#94  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 3:08 pm

When a person claims to merely lack a belief in something, the assumption is that they have little information, or ignorant of the thing in question to have an opinion either way. Such as I lack a belief that you have a pet dog, or are married, own a car, etc...

But I believe you're not a 12 foot tall giant, or a cyclops, because i believe these things to be imaginary, there by you couldn't be these things.

The distinction is an important one, and not an irrelevant one. It would be the difference between an Obama Birther, and someone who knows very little about Obama, who or what he is, or his citizenship status to say either way.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#95  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 3:11 pm

Sendraks wrote:
The problem, and dishonesty, with sticking your definition of atheism is that it requires an individual to be aware of a belief system in order to then to establish some sort of rationale behind their belief.


Not really, being an atheists might require something of the sort, but they could be agnostics, such as I am in regards to your martial status.

It refuses to accept the existence of individuals who don't believe and they are born every day.


Again agnostics, not atheists.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#96  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 3:12 pm

the mouse wrote: Such as I lack a belief that you have a pet dog, or are married, own a car, etc...


In regard to you, I simply have no information or interest in knowing these things until such time as they become relevant. I have no beliefs in reagrd to what pets you have, your marital status or car ownership. I have never given these things any thought and will continue not to do so.

the mouse wrote:But I believe you're not a 12 foot tall giant, or a cyclops, because i believe these things to be imaginary, there by you couldn't be these things.


As I give no consideration to mundane facts about your person, why would I give any consideration to the incredible.
At point does my brain think in regard to posters here "they're certainly not a cyclops" but then it also doesn't go "I bet they don't own a car."
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#97  Postby DarthHelmet86 » May 14, 2014 3:13 pm

I don't believe all gods must be imaginary. I might believe that about some select gods yes but not all. In the case of a god or gods existing I lack a belief, I do not believe they do not exist.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#98  Postby Sendraks » May 14, 2014 3:15 pm

the mouse wrote:
Not really, being an atheists might require something of the sort, but they could be agnostics, such as I am in regards to your martial status.


Whereas I give no thought at all to yours.

the mouse wrote:Again agnostics, not atheists.

Babies are agnostic? Really?
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#99  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 3:17 pm

Sendraks wrote:

In regard to you, I simply have no information or interest in knowing these things until such time as they become relevant. I have no beliefs in reagrd to what pets you have, your marital status or car ownership. I have never given these things any thought and will continue not to do so.


Yes, and the corresponding term here would be akin to "agnosticism".

the mouse wrote:
At point does my brain think in regard to posters here "they're certainly not a cyclops" but then it also doesn't go "I bet they don't own a car."


You would be akin to "agnostic" in regards to my car ownership, and akin to an "atheist" in regard to me being a cyclops, as I would be regarding you as well.
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Re: Sagan: An atheist is someone who knows there is no god.

#100  Postby the mouse » May 14, 2014 3:19 pm

You merely lack a belief in regards to my ownership of a car, but do you honestly merely lack a belief in me being a cyclops? Or do you believe that I am not one?
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