Recommended Posts

6 minutes ago, damnthing said:

So, agnostic theist: a contradiction or an oxymoron?

Discuss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Agnostic Theist is someone who doesn't know that a god exists -- while believing that a god exists.

 

To my understanding, this is about hope.  Someone who wants to believe.  For instance

  • A Jew who wants God to be real, while having doubts.
  • A Christian who wants salvation through Christ, but has doubts.
  • A Muslim who wants to believe, but has doubts.
  • A Hindu who wants to believe, but has doubts.

Sometimes, people want to believe what they know isn't true.  They are honest that they don't know -- but they hope it is so.

 

Isn't that what religion is about?  Belief without knowing?  

 

So, no.  Not a contradiction.  Hope is not faith or knowing.

 

Not an oxymoron.  That would be something like "military justice".  If it's military, it's not just.  If it's just, it's not military.

 

:bye:

 

 

Link to comment

A contradiction.

 

"The agnostic believes only what is knowable. He rejects revelation and the doctrine of the Trinity as “past human understanding.” He is neither theist, deist, nor atheist, as all these are past understanding."

 

"A theist believes there is a God who made and governs all creation; but does not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, nor in a divine revelation."

 

As I read it one can be either one or the other but not both.

Link to comment
42 minutes ago, damnthing said:

A contradiction.

 

"The agnostic believes only what is knowable. He rejects revelation and the doctrine of the Trinity as “past human understanding.” He is neither theist, deist, nor atheist, as all these are past understanding."

 

"A theist believes there is a God who made and governs all creation; but does not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, nor in a divine revelation."

 

As I read it one can be either one or the other but not both.

 

That might be true, if religion were rational.  We both know better than that.

 

There are means of alleged knowledge, by which one can "know" a god.  Really, any means of enhanced perception.  It need not be "revelation" as such.  There are various altered states and means to induce them.

 

There is also the succubus.  There is more than one way to know a god.  Sometimes, in the Biblical sense of the word.

 

The knowledg/gnosis, does not need to be authentic.  Only believed as such.

 

Link to comment
3 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

That might be true, if religion were rational.  We both know better than that.

 

There are means of alleged knowledge, by which one can "know" a god.  Really, any means of enhanced perception.  It need not be "revelation" as such.  There are various altered states and means to induce them.

 

There is also the succubus.  There is more than one way to know a god.  Sometimes, in the Biblical sense of the word.

 

The knowledg/gnosis, does not need to be authentic.  Only believed as such.

 

I accept that irrationality is paramount in most religions. But agnostics are almost by definition rational since they believe only what is knowable, whereas any form of theism/deism is irrational as it supposes some kind of supernatural being/creator be it knowable or unknowable.

 

I can only believe in that which is provable, or very nearly so. There is not full agreement that at the center of our, and many other galaxies a black hole, or that black holes even exist, but enough scientific evidence suggests that that is indeed the case. We know 'gravity' exists as it's provable, but it is not definable in that we're not sure how it works, only that it works.

 

Thus The Satanic Temple, who exhorts members to accept and believe in the provable, in science and in natural laws. It's a perfect fit for any humanist. Save that it has as its center a concept that is anathema to x tian beliefs. Satan is a metaphor for knowledge, learning, exploration, curiosity; antithetical to the x tian religio-pathy that predominates and presupposes an adherent need not think for themselves, simply drink the Kool Aid and all will be fine...if not now then after you die (talk about making promises that can't be kept nor sued for making false promises).

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Pete said:

I came across agnostics that are agnostic in everything except they believe Jesus existed and the stories about him.

Odd I know.

If cheeses is just a mystical shaman then I can get it. If instead they accept cheeses as the son of dog then...nope, not agnostic

Link to comment
1 hour ago, damnthing said:

I accept that irrationality is paramount in most religions. But agnostics are almost by definition rational since they believe only what is knowable, whereas any form of theism/deism is irrational as it supposes some kind of supernatural being/creator be it knowable or unknowable.

 

I can only believe in that which is provable, or very nearly so. There is not full agreement that at the center of our, and many other galaxies a black hole, or that black holes even exist, but enough scientific evidence suggests that that is indeed the case. We know 'gravity' exists as it's provable, but it is not definable in that we're not sure how it works, only that it works.

 

Thus The Satanic Temple, who exhorts members to accept and believe in the provable, in science and in natural laws. It's a perfect fit for any humanist. Save that it has as its center a concept that is anathema to x tian beliefs. Satan is a metaphor for knowledge, learning, exploration, curiosity; antithetical to the x tian religio-pathy that predominates and presupposes an adherent need not think for themselves, simply drink the Kool Aid and all will be fine...if not now then after you die (talk about making promises that can't be kept nor sued for making false promises).

 

 

Only Christians?  It can't be very popular with Muslims.         :bye:

Link to comment
3 hours ago, damnthing said:

"A theist believes there is a God who made and governs all creation; but does not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, nor in a divine revelation."

 

 

So monotheists gets to define theism for the rest of us. Some things don’t change.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
10 hours ago, LeopardBoy said:

 

So monotheists gets to define theism for the rest of us. Some things don’t change.

Who says it was a monotheist who made that definition?

And shouldn't there be a common definition for words? Otherwise how would be communicate effectively?

Link to comment
11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

Only Christians?  It can't be very popular with Muslims.         :bye:

I suppose that's true but since muslims as a general rule aren't trying to force their way into the american public sphere, they aren't the threat that x tians are

Link to comment
26 minutes ago, damnthing said:

Who says it was a monotheist who made that definition?

And shouldn't there be a common definition for words? Otherwise how would be communicate effectively?

 

Because the definition itself only describes monotheism. Do you think it fits polytheism or pantheism?

 

As for common definitions of words, ask a monotheist and a polytheist to define the word “God” sometime and see how far that gets.  It’s been my experience on this forum and in real life that most Western atheists agree with the monotheists’ definition of that word, even though the atheists reject the concept as believable. And it doesn’t even occur to them that others can define “God” in a completely different way. Because their society and upbringing has drilled into them this idea that the qualities of the monotheistic God of Abraham set the standard for the word itself.

 

That’s why I don’t post here much. Because it’s two sides constantly arguing in the same language with each other while my own theological experience and worldview just doesn’t match. When it feels like the only activity on this forum is a battle over the believability of the God of Abraham, why should a polytheist even care to post anything?

Link to comment
15 minutes ago, damnthing said:

I suppose that's true but since muslims as a general rule aren't trying to force their way into the american public sphere, they aren't the threat that x tians are

 

I have different responses for that.

  • The situation is different in Europe.  Look at what's happening in France and England.
  • Muslims in America are a small minority now.  The demographics are shifting.
  • Islam is a major power on the world stage.  There is no hiding from the rest of the world.  Not just the Middle East.  Africa and Asia.
  • The Middle East.  Much of what is happening in the world, is a cold war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran -- and their proxies.  It's complicated.  Israel is part of what's going on -- and American Evangelicals are playing their own games.
  • Relations between Pakistan and India are complicated and hot.  Pakistan hid Osama Bin Laden after 9/11.  

 

 

Link to comment
12 minutes ago, LeopardBoy said:

 

Because the definition itself only describes monotheism. Do you think it fits polytheism or pantheism?

 

As for common definitions of words, ask a monotheist and a polytheist to define the word “God” sometime and see how far that gets.  It’s been my experience on this forum and in real life that most Western atheists agree with the monotheists’ definition of that word, even though the atheists reject the concept as believable. And it doesn’t even occur to them that others can define “God” in a completely different way. Because their society and upbringing has drilled into them this idea that the qualities of the monotheistic God of Abraham set the standard for the word itself.

 

That’s why I don’t post here much. Because it’s two sides constantly arguing in the same language with each other while my own theological experience and worldview just doesn’t match. When it feels like the only activity on this forum is a battle over the believability of the God of Abraham, why should a polytheist even care to post anything?

 

 

I think I'm part of the problem that you're talking about.

 

When ever you like, I'm ready for a nuanced discussion of the different ideas about the gods -- small G.

 

I can also discuss Pantheism.  Yes.  They are very different ideas.

 

When I argue with Dan -- or someone like him -- subtleties and nuance get lost.  When the person I'm arguing with is incapable of distinctions -- I can't make them.

 

When I'm in such an argument and I try making distinctions -- I sound like a bloodless lawyer.

 

I understand why the Pagans like you get disgusted and walk out.  It's the situation.  I really don't know what to do about it.  If I can persuade you to stick around, I think we can have some good talks.

 

:bye:

Link to comment
16 hours ago, damnthing said:

A contradiction.

 

"The agnostic believes only what is knowable. He rejects revelation and the doctrine of the Trinity as “past human understanding.” He is neither theist, deist, nor atheist, as all these are past understanding."

 

"A theist believes there is a God who made and governs all creation; but does not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, nor in a divine revelation."

 

As I read it one can be either one or the other but not both.

 

 

On reflection, this is not Theism.  It's Deism.

 

:coffee:

 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, LeopardBoy said:

 

Because the definition itself only describes monotheism. Do you think it fits polytheism or pantheism?

 

As for common definitions of words, ask a monotheist and a polytheist to define the word “God” sometime and see how far that gets.  It’s been my experience on this forum and in real life that most Western atheists agree with the monotheists’ definition of that word, even though the atheists reject the concept as believable. And it doesn’t even occur to them that others can define “God” in a completely different way. Because their society and upbringing has drilled into them this idea that the qualities of the monotheistic God of Abraham set the standard for the word itself.

 

That’s why I don’t post here much. Because it’s two sides constantly arguing in the same language with each other while my own theological experience and worldview just doesn’t match. When it feels like the only activity on this forum is a battle over the believability of the God of Abraham, why should a polytheist even care to post anything?

Insofar as I can see, a polytheist can present their viewpoint just as easily as a monotheist. I can not believe in many gods as easily as I can not believe in one god.

 

Regardless of who defines what, in the end it's up to the person believing to define for themselves what it is they believe in.

 

Maybe because in western society monotheism is more the 'norm'. But then there are a lot of hindus, my partner is hindu and from him, family and friends I've been exposed to some of their beliefs and traditions.

 

They have an interesting cafeteria approach to polytheism; the ones I know typically have a shrine to a particular god and honor that one primarily. That's not to say others aren't honored throughout the year for certain times or events but that mostly (and these are all desi) it's one god that is relevant to them.

 

 

Link to comment
46 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

I think I'm part of the problem that you're talking about.

 

When ever you like, I'm ready for a nuanced discussion of the different ideas about the gods -- small G.

 

I can also discuss Pantheism.  Yes.  They are very different ideas.

 

When I argue with Dan -- or someone like him -- subtleties and nuance get lost.  When the person I'm arguing with is incapable of distinctions -- I can't make them.

 

When I'm in such an argument and I try making distinctions -- I sound like a bloodless lawyer.

 

I understand why the Pagans like you get disgusted and walk out.  It's the situation.  I really don't know what to do about it.  If I can persuade you to stick around, I think we can have some good talks.

 

:bye:

So why not move the discussion over to  -

http://ulc.net/forum/forum/153-earthnature-based-indigenous-religions/

where the conversation can be more broadly discussed while limiting it to poly/pan etc to the exclusion of monotheism. It would be an interesting discussion to follow along with (because I really have nothing to offer other to it)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.