@McFlewster and I were having a discussion on a post by @SohnJose about questioning believers.
@McFlewster suggested he employ agnosticism, and explained that you could find something they are skeptical about, ask questions to paint them into a corner, and show them the way out with science. Based on what he had said, I explained that it seemed to me entirely possible you could employ atheism in the exact same way stating: "Can't the same be done with atheism? Sam Harris eloquently explained that EVERYONE knows what it's like to be an atheist in regards to thousands of gods, many of which they outright reject without knowing the first thing about them. The only difference between you and them is that you don't believe in all of the same gods they don't, plus one."
He wanted to start a separate thread, I assume to maybe get more eyes on it instead of our discussion being buried in the comment section of a days-old post. Thoughts?
Outside of this site, I pretty much don't care what anybody thinks. I'm curious to know why if someone is comfortable with their beliefs, why do they care what others believe? I do take offense when someone espouses faith talk on this agnostic (predominantly atheist) message board. Imho that's trolling and I will challenge them, and enjoy making fun of their stupid Jeebus. I agree with Sam Harris, for a believer to criticize atheists for dismissing faith is no different than them dismissing atheism or other beliefs. My basic feelings on this matter is, I don't care what other people think but I don't want them telling me what to think. I don't care. I don't think this nonreligious site should be filled with believers trolling their belief and criticizes me for being a sensible Atheist.
My thought on discussing atheism with a believer, it would be better to start with agnosticism, because religiously indoctrinated people have completely absorbed the dogma and it is like...a part of their nature...not just thoughts in their heads! To try and separate them from their perceived nature, would shut them down because of the fear of loosing a part of themselves!
Yawn; you atheists never give up.
It's impossible to paint Agnostics into a corner, but easy to do so to an atheist.
Why? Because atheists believe IN the non-existence of 'god' as they themselves define 'him' or 'her.' It is a BELIEF SYSTEM requiring a leap of faith in something for which there is no evidence either way for something undefinable.
Agnostics simply say you can't define 'god,' if IT exists at all. So there's nothing to believe IN, regardless of your OPINION, however vociferously expressed.
Give it up. You can't win. You just don't understand Agnosticism.
I started this group to help illogical atheist with properly and biblically knowing how to dispute christianity that does not understand original means that Jesus character is the Old testiment Hebrew conception of the angelic- hosts Lucifer the devil.
First let me make it clear that although I asked for a separate posting and I am grateful to Jeff for starting one, I think it necessary for Jeff to make it clear what his question for this post is.
In the other post I was trying to help in discussions about God's existence by using agnosticism and science as the way to do it as agnosticism is about "Knowing" and science is about "proving" .
I do admit that confusion started to arise when I said that using the word atheist might not be as effective. It is my personal opinion, partly because the word atheist is amongst the most hated word in America. Let me be clear that I think the word atheist is an important word but to me it simply signifies one particular belief about the user of the word. It also signifies a possible lack of flexibility. I am an atheist but I am on a journey towards more positive beliefs and I think science can help me along the way. I did not set out to disagree with Jeff but I think my stance for the original question in the original post still stands. Your perception of words including atheist and belief is your own of course.
I guess my first question is what is the questioning about:
Are you trying to get a better understanding of the basis of their belief?
Are you trying to build up a case for how their beliefs are erroneous, misguided, illogical, etc?
Are you trying to change their beliefs via a socratic or pseudo-socratic method?
I agree fully with Sam Harris on this one. His words on it are true but I don't think you are going to win any friends. The best that happens here is that seeds are planted and years later the believer starts to understand it. Believers are not instantly convinced and I hate their claims where they say atheists are because they are lying.
The original discussion can be found here: "When I ask a religious friend about the factual accuracy behind the existence of God, they would be ..."