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@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?

ChestRockfield 8 Jan 11
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Are not words fun??? Are you not intertainedr

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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.

@DangerDave No. Read it again. Where do you see me say I'm an agnostic? I have no doubts in my disbelief. Sensible atheist.

@DangerDave disbelief lol

@DangerDave every thought is a belief but it's not a religion

@DangerDave For me it's a question of logic and probability. What you see is what you get.

@DangerDave what "turn about"?!? You are incredibly skilled in reading whatever You think others should think, methinks

@DangerDave The Wikipedia? Yes. It's pretty deep stuff. Objective reality are proven or at least widely accepted fact. Subjective reality are left up to interpretation and are difficult to project to others, if you would want to. Things that are real in my life my not be real to everyone else, maybe no-one.

@DangerDave Anything faith based, for me, is purely subjective.

@DangerDave Atheism is acceptance of only things that are scientifically proven. If you think that's my subjective reality, I guess I don't care.

@DangerDave Claiming knowledge, whatever. My philosophy. I don't think there's anything else. I think once we die we're no better than a dead rat. We're just more highly evolved, that's why we're discussing this.

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Seems to be no end to this giant circle jerk....

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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!

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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.

First of all, that wasn't what the discussion was about.
Second, no it's not, unless you're talking about gnostic atheists, which we weren't.
Third, I know there are a lot of definitions people like to use, but I think there's a pretty big segment of the atheist population that defines it as simply a lack of a belief.
Fourth, there are literally thousands of gods I lack belief in simply by virtue of the fact that I have never heard their names or the first thing about them.
Fifth, the definition you gave for agnostic is not accurate. I think there's a newer word that is the definition for. It was either apatheist or maybe another designation I can't recall, but there are a bunch on this site and I'm sure one will chime in.
Finally, I'm not trying to win anything, but if there's one person here who doesn't understand agnosticism... it's you.

@JeffMurray Whatever.
I lack belief in all anthropomorphic gods too.
I lack belief, period, in 'god' or 'no god.'
You can call it 'apatheist' which is not even close, or whatever else you want. Makes no difference to me; it still puts Agnostics on the belief spectrum, where they don't belong.
We're not theists or anti-theists (atheists)---we just know we don't know.
We can discuss the subject in all it's complexity because it's interesting to talk about, without landing on one position, digging in our heels, and saying, 'Yes, that's it! THAT'S the truth!'
It's a state of permanent, humble ignorance, a state we all are in if we're honest about it. All those people who made up all those 'gods' we're either wrong, partially wrong, mistook aliens or something else for 'gods,' or maybe, just maybe...well, who really knows? Maybe some of the WERE 'gods!' Doubt it, but hey...
The TRUTH: we'll never know. To me, in this context, it's not 'truth' which sets one free, it's self-aware ignorance.
I'm agnostic, but I suppose there are different definitions for that too.

@Storm1752

  1. If your think a 'lack of a belief' puts you on a 'belief' spectrum, that's something you're going to need to take up with your English teachers.
    Does your lack of pregnancy have you on a prenatal schedule?
    Does your lack of debt have you on a payment plan?
    Does your lack of a conviction have you on parole?
    Where does your lack of autism place you on the spectrum?
    I think 4 examples is probably enough. If you don't get it by now your lack of understanding must not have put you on the enlightened scale.
  2. Anti-theists and atheists are not the same thing either. Why do you hate dictionaries?
  3. I NEVER made such a claim. If you are suggesting I did, please link it here.
  4. I'm with you on that. I am pretty sure we can't know, and may never know if a god exists or existed, which makes me agnostic. However, based on everything I've learned about religions, science, the nature of reality, etc. there is nothing that makes me believe there is a god, so I lack said belief which makes me an atheist.
  5. Look at who's a gnostic now claiming you KNOW we'll never know. How do those words taste?
  6. "Self-aware ignorance"? I won't argue with you on that. 😉

@JeffMurray Why do you CARE so much, Jeff? Why can't you expand your consciousness, open yourself up to the infinite possibilities?
You are so boxed in by your self-imposed limitations you'd be the most boring guy at the next party I won't attend.
I'm sure we agree on most things concrete and knowable in the real world, but on this subject we never will because I don't have any answers, only questions.
Questions without answers.

@Storm1752 Care so much about what? Being careful with my words?
Also, everyone knows how one likes to discuss the nuances of philosophy, religion, and politics directly relates to his they would behave at a party with a completely different purpose and group of people.
You seem to have unfounded ideas about my beliefs, and I just don't know where you're getting them. I've been very clear, and your baselessly tell me I need to expand my consciousness. What is it exactly that I'm saying you find so objectionable?

@Storm1752 Why do you care whether he cares. You are both entitled to think what you like. I don't know why anyone should care that people are theists or atheists, believers or skeptics. Xtians are the worst, their entire faith is based on spreading the word of the Gospel. Why would a all powerful deity care if mere mortals believe in them or not. Jesus could make his presence known at any time he wants, never does, never will. Curious isn't it? I don't go around telling Xtians this truth, unless they preach their fairy tales to me. Live and let live, I always say. If I'm wrong, don't argue with me, leave me to my own devices.

@barjoe The thing Agnostics and atheists agree on is anti-religion, which claims there there definitely is a 'god.' And tried to shove it down our throats, along with all 'his' rules, which are really THEIR rules.
But that doesn't mean there ISN'T some kind of 'god,' and they (atheists) have no right to claim it.
That's why I say Agnosticism and atheism are two completely different things, and any attempt to equate the two is doomed to failure.
I guess what I'm really saying is, atheists treat Agnostics with same distain as they do theists, as if we're really atheists, or theists, but not something separate.
Theists similarly claim we're really theists, or closet atheists, but not our own distinct school of thought.
We're neither atheist nor theist
Just because you say you don't know if there's a 'god' or not doesn't make you an atheist. Similarly, it doesn't make you a theist.
I think Agnosticism is a better approach than either of these two belief systems.

@Storm1752 I'm certain that there is no God. That's my reality. I'm not trying to shove anything down anyone's throat. I'm an Atheist. Whatever you are I really don't give a shit. You're entitled to the think you want, provided YOU don't shove it down MY throat.

@barjoe Great. Then we're in agreement.
So stop doing it. I have nothing to shove.
But whether you realize it or not, you do. You're a True Believer, just like the people you oppose, which includes agnostics. Why don't you just admit it?

@Storm1752 What did I do? Express my opinion? A true believer in what? A belief that we are organic matter and should enjoy consciousness that we have because it's all we get. Okay that is my "belief"

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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.

"Illogical atheists guide for ending Christianity "

Word Level 8 Jan 11, 2021

@DangerDave what's funny, in a sad way is to understand the old testiment Hebrew Angelic concepts then to see how modern christianity is unaware of that original concept that puts Jesus character as the Angelic "Lord of host" Lucifer the devil leading the Masonic lodge secret religion racist devil worshipper European invador government terrorism identification for taxation and government control capitalism slavery mark of the beast establishment.

@DangerDave I have no desire or reason to debate with you, not trying to convert you to anything. I just have understanding of how to properly dispute xtian. Just a reason why I don't debate. You have your observation that works for you when dealing with xtian. That is fine if it works for you and I only teach what I can observe so someone can have a means of disputing with xtianity. I don't debate any version of xtianity. I make observations, like simply, "this is what the writting says ..." if what is written says, " xyz", then there is no debate as to such an observation, particularly when I see "xyz" and the person I am discussing with sees "xyz".

Then, I understand, some people want to debate the meaning of "xyz". Generaly, I don't care to debate this either, but to give the observation as to what it appears to mean given the context and what can be seen as the author's original intended meaning.

I understand, different versions of xtianity may want to put their intended meaning for their modern use. This is where a part of my point of properly disputing xtian comes into focus to point out much of modern xtianity is not going by the origional intended meanings but using biblical text to mean what they want. Pointing out this discrepancy is the proper way to dispute xtian and it's not about debate. Most xtians don't know that it is written that Jesus is Egyptian. This is just one thing that can sort of "burst their bubble", so to say, bring realization that what they think they know, or what preacher has told them is not correct.

@DangerDave I can very well be agnostic in ways towards purported styles of gods. But, as Neil deGrasse Tyson says, I am not interested in most any particular label of these sorts.

Now you caustically say, you are agnostic and give a caustic reason why you do not want to Identify with those "delusional " people. A little bit hypocritical?

I would not try to per say dispute that they are delusional HOWEVER, I would give information that could shed light on the causation for their delusions.

Consider the brainless slime mould and the zombie ant fungus. The brainless slime mould has show in research to have an intellegent (howbe it small or low functioning) capability that incorporates many of the single celled mould organisms. There are "god" concepts that operate like the mould but on the grander scale of human organisms.

Consider the zombie ant fungus that attaches to and affects the ant's cognition, or thinking, in that the fungus drives the ant to death so that the parasite fungus can reproduce.

These types of behaviors can appear simular in the larger scale viewing of something like the Jim Jones mass suicide.

So to say, these "delusional " people are that way with out some cause, could be a delusional speculation itself. I personally in several ways have understood and seen aspects of a parasite cognition operate on someone considered to be diagnosed as bipolar schitzoeffective. After I helped this person for some several months his delusional schizophrenia went away and he claimed to me he was no longer in need of his medication making pharmaceutical companies rich.

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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.

Apart from math, science doesn't PROVE anything, there is always doubt/error-bars/new-ideas (it can disprove things).

@FearlessFly We can argue about the word prove but perhaps not productively.

Would you agree that science establishes facts upon which others can build through running hypotheses thro Science methodology.

@Mcflewster IMO, words matter. I advocate not using the 'prove' word wrt science. I think science-based evidence/facts/arguments are highly convincing (the best possible current 'knowledge' ), I don't think that means proof.

@FearlessFly A proof in science can be said to be a snapshot for a certain period of time and the figure or reading can be proved for that certain period of time if it was recorded properly and fairly.

@Mcflewster That 'interpretation' definitely would not apply to math, and IMO, would not apply to science either.

@DangerDave IIUC, your question was (should-have-been) directed at @Mcflewster

@DangerDave I mean, I don't know that that was really the sticking point that stated this whole discussion for me because if our only goal is proselytizing to theists, the most advantageous approach would likely be to pretend we are also theists and "lose god" through questions that don't make sense right along with our target (prey?).

@JeffMurray "I mean, I don't know that that was really the sticking point that stated this whole discussion for me" Well Jeff neither do I . I have already said once "Lets agree to disagree' . No split was ever intended. let us put it down to experience.

@FearlessFly You are a hard taskmaster . What happens when your job depends on you getting proof through a science investigation? I am not saying that you need one but just one like the police would carry out/

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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 checked out the thread that inspired this in your reply below but I'm still unsure as to what the nature or objective of the questioning is.

@TheMiddleWay To be honest, I wasn't either. I didn't respond to the OP, just McFlewster.

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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.

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and wadr it is no less fallacious than your post here; i say this bc as an atheist, you "believe" that there is no God, right? And your premise revolves around, essentially, whether or not Yah "exists," or iow whether one can point to "objective evidence" of Him, is this more or less right?

@bbyrd009 Nope. I don't hold the belief god exists, which you have taken to mean I believe god doesn't exist.
And if you're going to call out fallacies, name them.

@JeffMurray strikes me as splitting hairs, but i could easily be wrong. You would not say that you believe God does not exist then?

@bbyrd009 I mean, in my day-to-day life they are functionally the same thing, but words matter, so I would not deliberately voice my opinion like that, no.

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