Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

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1 hour ago, Stormbringer said:

Atheists and Agnostics: All Agnostics are Atheists. Agnosticism is about what can be known. Atheism is about belief. Agnostics do not actively believe in nor worship any deities, therefore they are Atheists. Neither are mutually exclusive.

 

Brights: I actually have no knowledge of this label.

 

Free Thinkers: I've never understood how people can honestly state that a religious person can't be a "free thinker." It's a rather insulting premise imo.

 

Pantheists: Interesting concept and position but I don't see much activity from them.

 

Secularists: Another term that isn't mutually exclusive in regards to the religious. Although I often see it used that way. I think for pluralistic societies secularism is necessary.

 

Humanists, Secular Humanists, Spiritual Humanists: Humanists are humanists I guess. For every label more labels will arise.

 

Objectivists, , Apatheists,  Nones, No Preference, Etc: Do all these different labels have much in common besides what they are not, in contrast to what they are? 

 

I understand why the distinctions between Atheist and Agnostic don't excite you.  They don't excite me.  I tend to go with the Agnostic label, because I get into fewer stupid arguments with it.  The difference is nuance.  People get seriously over heated over that nuance.  On Youtube, Agnostics and Atheists flame each other over the nuances.  I know.  It's silly,  but there it is.

 

I've had to drop out of some Facebook Atheist groups.  They had raised the same tired question yet again. If you had to  -- gun to your head -- take on a religion -- which religion would you pick?  I said "Agnostic".  From the reaction, you would think I had walked into their church and pissed on the altar.  

 

Free Thinker is more of a cultural thing.  In a place like Saudi Arabia -- where Atheism gets you the death penalty -- the Free Thinker label makes a lot of sense.  The Free Thinker label got it's start in the Christian world.  It's rather old fashioned, but still has a following.

 

Pantheism is for the people who have outgrown the Abrahamic God, but don't want to be Atheists.  If nothing is God, then God is everything.  

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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2 hours ago, Stormbringer said:

Atheists and Agnostics: All Agnostics are Atheists. Agnosticism is about what can be known. Atheism is about belief. Agnostics do not actively believe in nor worship any deities, therefore they are Atheists. Neither are mutually exclusive.

 

Brights: I actually have no knowledge of this label.

 

Free Thinkers: I've never understood how people can honestly state that a religious person can't be a "free thinker." It's a rather insulting premise imo.

 

Pantheists: Interesting concept and position but I don't see much activity from them.

 

Secularists: Another term that isn't mutually exclusive in regards to the religious. Although I often see it used that way. I think for pluralistic societies secularism is necessary.

 

Humanists, Secular Humanists, Spiritual Humanists: Humanists are humanists I guess. For every label more labels will arise.

 

Objectivists, , Apatheists,  Nones, No Preference, Etc: Do all these different labels have much in common besides what they are not, in contrast to what they are? 

 

Apatheism is different.  It's not about "not knowing" or "not believing".  It's about not caring whether or not God exists.  For the people are don't like arguing.

 

"Nones" is misleading.  A "none" could have any beliefs at all.  The "none" simply has no affiliation.  

 

"No Preference"?  Really?  Someone who gives equal weight to Atheism, Islam, Christianity or Wicca?  

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I use the title Agnostic but most think of that title as being Atheist. I feel the two are different but accepting of one another. I have always thought Agnosticism as being the only open and scientific position. I may not believe in Christianity and I definitely do not believe the bible. Does God exist? I am only left with who knows. As it is at present the evidence shows as very unlikely and it is not likely as we can see it as things are at present. If I could see evidence to the make me change my mind I am open but I do not see it empirically or scientifically. For me that is the difference between Atheism and Agnosticism. In my opinion, One definitely does not believe there is a God and the other does not see it and does not think there is any way of knowing it at present.    All I know is until there is proof I do not care.  How others see things may of course be different.

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2 hours ago, Pete said:

I use the title Agnostic but most think of that title as being Atheist. I feel the two are different but accepting of one another. I have always thought Agnosticism as being the only open and scientific position. I may not believe in Christianity and I definitely do not believe the bible. Does God exist? I am only left with who knows. As it is at present the evidence shows as very unlikely and it is not likely as we can see it as things are at present. If I could see evidence to the make me change my mind I am open but I do not see it empirically or scientifically. For me that is the difference between Atheism and Agnosticism. In my opinion, One definitely does not believe there is a God and the other does not see it and does not think there is any way of knowing it at present.    All I know is until there is proof I do not care.  How others see things may of course be different.

 

I have been finding the Agnostic label, more useful than the Atheist label.  By useful, I mean that it gets me into fewer stupid arguments.  I enjoy friendly conversation.  At this point, I don't enjoy arguing.  Even less so, when there are no objective and verifiable facts.  

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56 minutes ago, Pete said:

Exactly. What  would be the point.

 

There is also the distinction between knowledge and belief.  I can talk about what I know and how I think I know it.  I don't believe -- is a conversation killer.  

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3 hours ago, Pete said:

True. Have I walked into a previous debate.

 

I think it's an ongoing conversation.  I have encountered Atheists who regard it as a debate.  I should explain that.

 

I had to drop out of several Atheist groups on Facebook.  It's a pattern I discovered.  Yet again, someone would ask a recurring question.  If you had to choose a religion -- which one would you pick?  I said Agnostic.  I thought it was funny.  These groups were sadly lacking in humor.  They had a pile on.  Rather than deal with their crap -- I left/

 

I don't enjoy stupid arguments with Atheists, any more than I enjoy stupid arguments with the pious.  Extremists are just plain tedious.  

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

I think it's an ongoing conversation.  I have encountered Atheists who regard it as a debate.  I should explain that.

 

I had to drop out of several Atheist groups on Facebook.  It's a pattern I discovered.  Yet again, someone would ask a recurring question.  If you had to choose a religion -- which one would you pick?  I said Agnostic.  I thought it was funny.  These groups were sadly lacking in humor.  They had a pile on.  Rather than deal with their crap -- I left/

 

I don't enjoy stupid arguments with Atheists, any more than I enjoy stupid arguments with the pious.  Extremists are just plain tedious.  

 

 

i have recently began to wonder about extremists.  Christian, Muslim, most i can think of is bad.  but what would an extreme Buddhist, or pacifist, be like?

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34 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

i have recently began to wonder about extremists.  Christian, Muslim, most i can think of is bad.  but what would an extreme Buddhist, or pacifist, be like?

 

A Muslim minority in Burma, is under attack by Buddhist mobs.  We don't have to wonder.  

 

There are fanatical Jains.  The more extreme a Jain gets in being harmless -- the less anyone else has to worry about.  In this, the Jains are an exception.

 

We should remember that Richard Nixon had a Quaker background.  His upbringing seems to have failed.  

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so certain extremes aren't harmful, while others are.  that should tell the followers a bit about their ideas, i should think.

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7 hours ago, cuchulain said:

so certain extremes aren't harmful, while others are.  that should tell the followers a bit about their ideas, i should think.

 

The core value of the Jain religion is to be harmless.  A serious Jain will walk carefully lest he kill an insect.  The more extreme a Jain is, the more harmless he becomes.  The question does indeed become -- what values is a person extreme about?  That includes the importance of being "right".    Of having to "win" arguments.  IMO.

 

I judge extremists by their actions.  It's not such a rare thing for an Atheist to be rude or condescending.  I never heard of an Atheist suicide bomber.  I conclude from this that there is a huge difference between an Atheist extremist and a Muslim Jihadi.  

 

As you noted, not all extremes are the same.  

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One thing I see as a problem with some groups. They start as an open and friendly and then start to seek purism of their viewpoint. This leads to hostility between the group considered pure and those not of the same persuasion. It then breaks up and the purests seek ever more purity of vision until they break up again. The problem is they force people to leave and make it unpleasant to join for new people.

I use "purest" nominally. 

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4 hours ago, Pete said:

One thing I see as a problem with some groups. They start as an open and friendly and then start to seek purism of their viewpoint. This leads to hostility between the group considered pure and those not of the same persuasion. It then breaks up and the purests seek ever more purity of vision until they break up again. The problem is they force people to leave and make it unpleasant to join for new people.

I use "purest" nominally. 

 

All true.  Once the purerists take over a board -- the board usually goes into a death spiral.  It's a sad thing, when Atheists act like Fundamentalists.  Such is life.  

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On 2/17/2018 at 12:59 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

All true.  Once the purerists take over a board -- the board usually goes into a death spiral.  It's a sad thing, when Atheists act like Fundamentalists.  Such is life.  

Eh, could be worse. Could be trying to join some Fundamental Anarchist group, but you never know when and where the meetings are. ;)

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1 hour ago, Key said:

Eh, could be worse. Could be trying to join some Fundamental Anarchist group, but you never know when and where the meetings are. ;)

 

 

Remember the wisdom of Groucho Marx.  "I would never join a country club, that would have me as a member."     :lol:

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39 minutes ago, RevBates said:

I consider myself a freethinking Christian.

 

As a matter of history, "Free Thought" has been an umbrella term for Agnostics and Atheists.  I'm not trying to be the label police.  I do think you're making confusion.   Words do change their meaning over time.  If you think this really expresses what you are about, then by all means.  If your goal is to be understood, with a minimum of confusion -- I think this is a mistake.  Just my opinion.  Feel free to ignore it.  

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl
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