Poll: Where are you on the Dawkins scale?
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Old 03-07-2013
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Agnostic. The question of the existance or not of a god, or many gods is not that important to me.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Spirituality is important to me: the search for meaning, how to live a good life. But a god is not necessitated by this, and I think one highly unlikely. Acting as though one exists (eg in church services) feels very strange to me.

(I agonized over the religion question in the census on Tuesday, and ended up putting "Buddhist". But "Atheist Buddhist" is more accurate.)

Note that unlike Dawkins, I only have a problem with the faith of others if they use it as an excuse for harm.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flanscho View Post
Btw, nice nickname. I got a Cthulhu fhtagn doormat, some fitting shirts, books by Lovecraft and audio books. I hope you know the Cthulhu musical "A Shoggoth on the Roof".
I've always felt more like an alien inhabiting a human body than an actual human.

I've come across "A Shoggoth on the Roof" before, but I didn't know if it was any good or not.

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Originally Posted by Aletheia View Post
Note that unlike Dawkins, I only have a problem with the faith of others if they use it as an excuse for harm.
Yes, Dawkins is a bit of an ***. I couldn't seem to find a similar scaled devised by anyone else, though.
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Old 03-07-2013
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I voted a 3, but I'm mostly on the fence. I was raised to be a solid 1, went to church every Sunday, accepted Jesus and was baptized as a teenager, but I've become kind of disillusioned with organized religion, as it seems that most "Christians" just seem to be out to judge others for their behavior and not believing the exact same things. And I feel like most of the people at the extremes are kind of close minded when it comes to opposing viewpoints, personified in my own family by my mother, who is a strong 1(or maybe a 2 since she doesn't really attend any church nowadays), and my brother, who is definitely a 7, his god is now science. I just don't understand why people think God and science can't coexist, using the Bible to refute scientific theories, and vice versa, which to me is silly.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flanscho View Post

For me, love is just some form of affection. It's no force. Same as "the evil" and "the good" don't exist to me. They are just conventions we agreed upon.
Hm, it looks like different understanding of terms. Then I might say "positivity", to me is obvious that when for example a plant grows from the seed or kittens are born, itīs a result of some force which is positive, not negative. Negativity is destructive. When I look at plants or kittens, I feel positive emotions, I feel like itīs good and how itīs meant to be. The nature is wise. Of course the creatures once die too, but itīs a part of the cycle. Positivity is a force, because logically negativity cannot be a force, negativity is only destruction, someting that goes backward, not forward. Negativity couldnīt create. Just like I canīt when Iīm depressed .

And the "good" and "evil" donīt exist, OMG. If they didnīt, then you couldnīt exist because thatīs what all our lives are about. Itīs like you canīt see whatīs under your nose, but maybe exactly thatīs why. Itīs so incorporated in our lives that we take it for granted. I bet you would get offended if I called you an idiot now, for example. So how you want to tell me there is no good or bad?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurknomore View Post
I just don't understand why people think God and science can't coexist, using the Bible to refute scientific theories, and vice versa, which to me is silly.
This is something that's always baffled me as well.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aletheia View Post
Spirituality is important to me: the search for meaning, how to live a good life. But a god is not necessitated by this, and I think one highly unlikely. Acting as though one exists (eg in church services) feels very strange to me.

(I agonized over the religion question in the census on Tuesday, and ended up putting "Buddhist". But "Atheist Buddhist" is more accurate.)

Note that unlike Dawkins, I only have a problem with the faith of others if they use it as an excuse for harm.
Aletheia, i think you described my feelings better than i could articulate myself lol. I couldnt agree more.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lea View Post
Then I might say "positivity", to me is obvious that when for example a plant grows from the seed or kittens are born, itīs a result of some force which is positive, not negative. Negativity is destructive. When I look at plants or kittens, I feel positive emotions, I feel like itīs good and how itīs meant to be. The nature is wise. Of course the creatures once die too, but itīs a part of the cycle. Positivity is a force, because logically negativity cannot be a force, negativity is only destruction, someting that goes backward, not forward. Negativity couldnīt create. Just like I canīt when Iīm depressed .
Well, sometimes I might choose the wrong words, since English ain't my native language.

I like cats too, and kittens are cute. Still, they by themself ain't "positive" to me. I just associate them with pleasant experiences. If a plant grows, then I consider that to be a biochemical reaction of some organism that ultimately serves to increase the chance of survival of that very species (quite successfully too, as it still exists after millions of years of evolution). Sure, plants are pretty. I like plants too. Got a bunch of them in my flat, and like cycling on forest paths. That doesn't make plants "good" in my eyes though, I, again, just associate them with pleasant stuff.

Quote:
And the "good" and "evil" donīt exist, OMG. If they didnīt, then you couldnīt exist because thatīs what all our lives are about. Itīs like you canīt see whatīs under your nose, but maybe exactly thatīs why. Itīs so incorporated in our lives that we take it for granted. I bet you would get offended if I called you an idiot now, for example. So how you want to tell me there is no good or bad?
I meant with what I said that "the force of the good" does not exist. Or "the evil". Instead, we simply rate actions good or bad according to what we were taught and what we experienced as good or bad.

For example, many US Americans consider an execution to be something good. As "justice served", "eye for an eye", and so on. I grew up differently, and I consider them to be atrocities. It's all relative.

That I can't see what's under my nose... That's a bit impolite, ain't it? Instead of presenting your opinion as just that, an opinion, you claim that you see the truth while I'm blind. That's close to fanaticism in my book.

Last edited by Flanscho; 03-07-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Flanscho: I think good and bad objectively exist, itīs not just subjective. The world consists of polarities and these two are polarities. I know what you mean though with some opinions being disputable and a matter of personal opinion. But that can be because some people are so twisted that bad things are good for them. Good things are peace, harmony and what promotes growth, bad things atrocities, destruction. I think it makes sense..

Sorry about that wording, I should have been more careful how Iīm saying it I didnīt mean it to offend.
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Old 03-07-2013
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De-facto atheist, strong apatheist. Even if God exists, the effect it has on the universe is to confuse or intricate for me to bother thinking about it.
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Old 03-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
I don't know that we can use knowledge and faith interchangeably. I don't think pure agnosticism really exists. I don't delineate in the same way as the poll I feel like that there are really four categories:

1. Gnostic theist - I believe in God, and I can know the existence of God.
2. Gnostic atheist - I don't believe in God, and I can know that God doesn't exist.
3. Agnostic theist - I believe in God, but I don't know that God exists.
4. Agnostic atheist - I don't believe in God, but I don't know that God doesn't exist.

Belief and knowledge aren't the same thing. Also I don't believe there can be a middle ground between believing and not believing. If you don't have active belief, then you don't believe. "I don't know" is still "I don't believe", and that makes you kind of an atheist by default. Agnosticism isn't a matter of "I don't know if I believe therefore its a middle-ground between theism and atheism" it's more like "I don't think the existence of God can be knowable".
I think it's still doable as an approximation. And I've actually known a lot of people who have variable degrees of belief--I really do believe there is a middle ground. Some people's belief is a lot more active than others.

1. Gnostic theist - I believe in God, and I can know the existence of God. 1
2. Gnostic atheist - I don't believe in God, and I can know that God doesn't exist.7
3. Agnostic theist - I believe in God, but I don't know that God exists. 2~3
4. Agnostic atheist - I don't believe in God, but I don't know that God doesn't exist.5~6

Then the 'pure agnostic', 4, could refer to those who believe the knowledge cannot be obtained, those who have not obtained any knowledge (newborns; someone raised by wolves--whatever), and those who are completely on the fence and undecided.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
....it's more like "I don't think the existence of God can be knowable".
that would be my choice in the survey - which is why i picked #4
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Old 03-08-2013
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I dunno about Dawkin's scale...its hard to put peoples beliefs in boxes. I think most people have been on every part of the scale at some point in their lives...I guess it depends where you are when you're asked the question.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
I understand what you're saying. I think that the term 'agnostic' has come to mean 'one who doesn't know' whereas the technical definition is closer to 'one who claims you cannot know'. Those who haven't obtained knowledge can't be 'pure agnostic'. Those who are on the fence and undecided.. well.. they're still atheists, by definition. Weak atheists, but atheists nonetheless. If I ask you whether you have belief in God, there are two, at a push three answers.

A) Yes, I believe in God.
B) No, I don't believe in God.
C) I don't know. (These are the proverbial fence sitters you mentioned).

"I don't know" isn't really a legitimate answer to a question that really requires either a yes or no. I mean, you know whether you believe in God, right? But for the sake of argument let's say that "I don't know" is a feasible answer.

The question is here to do with belief, not knowledge. "Do you believe in God" not "Does God exist". For the latter, sure, you can say "I don't know", but for the former, "I don't know" still means "I don't believe". It isn't the same as disbelief, but a lack of belief still constitutes non-belief.
That makes it sound awfully binary. I just don't think it's a yes or no question--not for everyone anyway.

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Originally Posted by joule View Post
I dunno about Dawkin's scale...its hard to put peoples beliefs in boxes. I think most people have been on every part of the scale at some point in their lives...I guess it depends where you are when you're asked the question.
Yep, most people's beliefs are a lot more complicated than a number from 1 to 7. But you can always pick the closest and qualify what you were thinking in your post.

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what exists exists

what doesn't exist doesn't exist

it matters little to existence what we think exists

what matters to us is what we are able to experience for ourselves

what we think might exist is different than what we have experienced actually existing

the real question is... can we tell the difference?
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Old 03-08-2013
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Sorry to make another comment about the wording but there's one that makes choosing a bit difficult for, the word "god." It has an extremely strong church going, religious/worshiping connotation. The word god can be used more broadly than to describe the christian or Jewish god we come to associate with the word. On that god I really don't have an opinion. (sort of feels like I should having gone to catholic church for 17 years, but no thoughts on it at all surprisingly)

If it's being more used in a spiritual sense, meaning that there is something more than ourselves, or some other force or deity (not specifically described in the bible) or just a more vague "something" I have more of an opinion. I don't think that what meets the eye is all there is, and as crazy as it makes me sound (and feel writing it) I think there's meaning or significance of some kind to everything in every way, or as the phrase goes "everything happens for a reason." And then of course, there must be a reason for the reasons, which of I have no idea. I consider myself a huge skeptic on most aspects of life but this I've always felt very strongly about and still do. And that it all sort of plays into the bigger picture, sort of like a very intricate, with every piece fitting just right. And every piece no matter how big or small plays a role in completing the puzzle, and is deliberately places as such. What all this says about predestination, free will, and the interaction with a the puzzle maker and the puzzle pieces I don't know, and don't think we're able to know. I don't know exactly what to call this puzzle master though, I don't think of him as god, or as a him or being at all, more of an un-understandable force, or at least un-understandable to us. (obviously there is something to be understood). Personally I don't think it's something to be worshiped, or prayed to or can be interacted with but being the skeptic I said I was I'm not sure about that either, who am I to say.

Basically that there is nothing truly random in the world, and I'm not exactly sure where I would rate that on the scale. Were the pieces put there by "god" or a "god-like" being or force or energy or something? I don't know, maybe? I'm somewhere between 1-4 unless the definition of God is more of the bible sense than I would have to say N/A.
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Life is not fair.

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Vj288. I agree a lot with what you said... I always find it mildly frustrating that "God" implies a religious god, when there are plenty of people who believe in a god and yet hate religions. It used to be more common for people to accept the idea of a god existing outside of religious ideas, but it seems very rare now... People simply equate God and religion as the same thing.

I also agree with what another member said about not understanding why people think science and religion cannot coexist. Or rather, I do understand why (crazy over-the-top religious people trying to fight against science which goes against their beliefs, along with some anti-religious atheists who want to bring down all religion and demonise it... Both fighting against each other...), but there are plenty of scientists who are religious or have belief in a god of some form.

Ideally we ought to look at evidence and decide where that takes us.. That's what I do and that's where I get my beliefs from. I take nothing on faith, including what "science" says... After all, "science" (I hate the way it's spoken of as though it is something in itself rather than a method... it would be much more helpful to speak of the scientific consensus.) was wrong in the past, things considered true now may well be proven wrong in the future... Therefore, I believe the sensible thing is to search for yourself and see where your search takes you, never believe something just because a scientist says it, anymore than you would because a vicar says it.
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I picked De-facto Atheist.
Was tempted to pick strong atheist.

I believe that there is no god.
But it just feels weird saying that I'm 100% certain of such a thing.

*shrug*
I just don't really care.
haha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanielWingatePeaslee View Post

Yep, most people's beliefs are a lot more complicated than a number from 1 to 7. But you can always pick the closest and qualify what you were thinking in your post.

In that case, at this point in my life I do not believe that any deity exists. I do believe there is a chance of understanding where we come from through Science...I hope so anyway
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