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I would like to discuss a little about what we say and what is understood. In the atheist and agnostic communities we are often stuck with words and phrases that in general are often best avoided as what we say is not understood as we intended.

I am an anti-theist.

What I intended- it is a really bad idea to live as though mythology is real. I do not believe people should life decisions based on fairy tales.

What was understood- I hate religious people and want to make it so they can't worship their gods.

I do not believe in God.

What I intended- I do not believe there is a God. I can not make myself believe in the unbelievable.

What was understood- I know there is a God I just don't like, want to follow, or agree with him.

I am spiritual.

What I intended- yoga is great

What was understood- anything and everything!! This this the wild card of all God talk. The word is much like God. It has a very specific meaning to everyone. What ever they think it is. When using the word spiritual or God know in advance the everyone's understanding of what you intend WILL be different.

So I would be interested to know any other words we use in the agnostic/atheist community that actually tend to cause more confusion than understanding.

DavidLaDeau 8 Dec 30

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You believe or you don't. Ain't that complicated.


". Gnosticism is a heresy which is made up of a diverse set of beliefs. It is the teaching based on the idea of gnosis (a Koine Greek word meaning "secret knowledge" ), or knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of internal, intuitive means"
I understood the gnostics to be the first and true believers in Jesus, however they knew the feminine side and only the humanism, not the rising from the dead stuff. And yes I see that GNOSIS means knowledge but in my mind I always saw agnostic as against gnosticism and that did not work for me

EMC2 Level 8 Jan 8, 2018

For the purposes of those whom do not know a heresy is a belief that is not orthodox. The "A" is to be understood as without not necessarily "against".
So agnostic means without knowledge and atheism is without theism.
I do not like to use the therm anti theist because "Anti" does mean against. I an not against theist. I am against theism- living as though mythology was real.
I love to study the history of Gnosticism the perhaps earliest form of Christianities. I am not against what happened in the past I only study how it affects the present. Thank you for your response.


Say what you mean and mean what you say.


There are hardcore atheists here that adamantly state that an agnostic is really an atheist.

SamL Level 7 Dec 30, 2017

Now this is stupid having a debate about how close one is to confirming no god
agnostic or atheist , we are the same, we do not follow a deity. Now that all are on the same page, we need to realize the real deal is too rely on our own intellect and move forward

If someone does not actually believe in a supernatural being even if they accept that there could be, they are by definition an atheist. There are simply more atheist out there than what people believe, wether they know it or wish to openly admit it.


Community. Because there is no community. Communities gather around positives, not negatives. Sure, we can gather around a general defense against the religious majority while that is the case, but as soon as we are in the community of non-theists, the point of being a community dies out. And so, as people search for a positive, confusion ensues again: equality, liberty, and whatever term is attempted to gather people is misrepresented or misunderstood, so much so that I have given up on labels and go straight to the definition.


The religious jargon is endless. Spirit basically means breath. Did a "spirit" breathe life into clay figures and create humans? I much prefer the development of life through nature.

very nicely put, Indeed so. The energy has always been here and now we join with it


Listen to Matt Dillahunty and them. He says it well: I do not believe in things without evidence. Show me evidence and I'll change my mind. Atheists believe in no god or devil and worship nothing. Do like science, not faith.


They have a mindset that cannot be altered. It is their defense against full responsibility of their life.
Jesus protects them and the devil makes them do bad things. But deep down inside they hurt as they reach out to another source of love instead of them self.

EMC2 Level 8 Dec 30, 2017

Excellent post, really hits home. You should see the mess I get back when I make the statement "I am a theist accepting low values for 'Theo.'" What I intend is "Something special that we don't know what it is may have happened somewhere up the line, and if we separate that out from any particular dogma or received 'wisdom' we may learn something. Or not."
What is understood is "You are going to burn in hell for all eternity."

theo means god. theia means goddess.

This is something that really confuses me. How can you not know, and yet believe? It sounds as if you are presented with a jar full of coins and say "I have no idea how many coins are in there, but I believe the number is odd".

@GoldenMean True. But IIUC theology applies to gods, goddesses, spirits, etc.

@hlfsousa Well, what it is that I suspect is, as I stated, that something special happened, and if what that is gets identified, I would accept that as being part of theology, even without being part of any religious practice or text. I base that in large part on a close read of the changes the Sumerian myths underwent by the time they got into the Hebrew mythos. For example, Kathleen McCauliffe, in her recent book "This is Your Brain on Parasites" surveys Pentateuch rules regarding infectious disease control. Did Canaan-era Israel actually practice infectious disease control? Did they get it from somebody else? Did anybody concurrent also do it? Did it work? Same question for Pentateuch harvest rules which ensure autumn application of manure and promises six years (twice the norm) for fallow field agriculture. Autumn manure ensures plenty of available soil nitrogen for planting time in the spring. Did they really do it? Did anybody else do it? Did it work? These are the sorts of questions I examine, and they are completely without respect to a transcendent deity or what your typical theist-on-the-street wold consider a deity. I hope that answers your question; if not, I'm happy to share my research. The take-away from this reply, I hope, is that, although almost all theist communication involves supporting Jesus as part of a triune god, he certainly doesn't have a monopoly on theological thought.

Aren't you just assuming that this something special was not natural? For if these facts have natural causes, it does not make sense to add them to any theology.

@hlfsousa Absolutely not assuming anything was not "natural." If the Greek pantheon was a stranded space ship crew who took the role of gods, that's theology. If the god of the bible was a post-doc from Deneb 4 or the sixth dimension, that would be theology too.IMHO.

@andygee but you are assuming that it was not a mundane or ordinary cause nonetheless.

@hlfsousa Still not assuming anything. I'm trying to make clear what I mean up-thread about "low values for Theo." If people think it's a god, it properly belongs in theology. It is possible that emergent, rather than transcendent, properties of the universe had some effct on us we don't know about. I'm not assuming that actually happened.

@andygee I'm really sorry, but I am still having trouble understanding that position. At first you seemed to claim, by saying that "something special" happened sometime, somehow, maybe, that you believed some phenomenon had a cause that was not related to what we know, but you didn't know what that could be. It is really hard to have a better idea without an example of what that phenomenon could be. If you could provide an example of what a "low value for Theo" could be applied, that would help me a lot -- if it is not too much of a hassle. Have a nice weekend!

@hlfsousa Short answer - anything that is NOT the Christian trinity is a "low value of Theo." this might be something I don't know about, (putting on anti-embarrassment raincoat) survivors of Atlantis or ancient astronauts or whatever. If it (1) is NOT a conscious transcendent property of the universe; (2) it is something recognized as a "god" by some group, and (3) we don't quite know what happened, then it is a low value for Theo.

@andygee I understand what you mean by "low values of Theo". That is not the point of my confusion. What I don't get is whether you believe this unknown thing or not.

@hlfsousa I don't know what the thing is. But I'll accept it if I see it!

@andygee So you don't know what the thing is, which makes you an agnostic. And you currently don't accept it as true -- concluding from "I'll accept it" that you currently do not. Correct me if I'm wrong; but if I'm not, why call yourself "theist"?

@hlfsousa I call myself a "theist accepting low values of Theo" because, for a silly but complicated reason, for the past few years on FB I've been challenging CS, ID, and IC to actually perform original and affirmative research for their positions. I find that doing that as a theist of some kind pisses them off more than being an agnostic. By now, though, I rather like the term. I think it may be accurate because it is likely that i would have a greater marginal propinquity to accept some "special" phenomenon as being caused by something I would accept as Theo than an agnostic would accept something miraculous as being caused by a more traditional deity. This all started with a mathematical and scientific exegetical project started many years ago involving specific technical details showing up in Genesis in relation to their concomitant calendrical information. Too complicated to explain in a post.


I can add a something to explain further what I am talking about. I have an old World Book dictionary that takes the word atheism about and defines it as without god belief, bit also defines the Greek atheos as denial of gods. Somewhere in my old collection of VHS and Beta tapes, I have a recording of a talk show that Madelyn Murray-O'hair was on where she also defined atheism as without god belief.

I used to think that the word agnostic evolved from the "gnostics" A Gnostic But looked it up and nope , not even connected, Not sure I believe what I just said

@EMC2 Gnostic is from Gnosos, knowing. The Gnostic Gospels are based on information "known" to select people. Agnostic is a-gnostic, "not knowing." You can be agnostic about anything. For example, I am agnostic w/r/t economics.

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