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I'm Back And Reaffirming My Atheism!


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It's been a while since I last posted. A year at least. I've been gone for a while and I do hope that the old gang is still around. Me, I finished my last year at Berkeley a few months ago and I got my degrees in genetics and cognitive science.

 

Now skepticism of religion is and has always been a very important thing for me ever since I de-converted from wicca and noticed how HUGE of an impact Christianity had on western politics and society, which is why I joined ExC. It was a glorious age for me, since you guys helped coax me out of agnosticism and eventually on my own I studied philosophy and religion and became a full-blown Positive Atheist.

 

I taught a philosophy course on atheism, talked religion with others, and all in all had a good time.

 

The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that ExC is rather harsh and grating in terms of its debators. Certainly there's a good reason as to why so many atheists go out of their way to mock and offend Christianity and other forms of organized religion: most ExC's have been duped since childhood and feel like they've wasted a lot of their lives on a lie. A good deal of the smarm is to help break away from the allure of faith, and clear away the emotional attachments to it that still drag people down.

 

It's therapeutic.

 

I'm a negotiator, though, or at least practicing to be one, and had to get away from the polarizing effects of ExC, where Christians are the icky-bad ignorami on one side and the Atheists are bastions of truth on the other. If I wanted to convince others I couldn't stand in opposition to them: no one wants to trust the word or reasoning of someone they see as an enemy.

 

Still, I care about you guys, so I'm back and gonna try to check up a little more often on ExC news. I hope all you guys are doing well!

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It's good to see you. You indeed are missed in some of the more scientific discussions. :)

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The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that ExC is rather harsh and grating in terms of its debators.

Just curious - have you ever found a religious debate web site that isn't?

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Are you serious? The way you write I'm shocked. I was sure you were in a doctorate program.

 

Just a matter of time I'm sure.

 

Well aren't you a sweetie. I tell ya though, the last semester was a real bitch, with a whole buttload of hard science courses impacted into fourteen weeks.

 

 

The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that ExC is rather harsh and grating in terms of its debators.

Just curious - have you ever found a religious debate web site that isn't?

 

I don't expect I ever will, but I do hope that it's possible to set one up. The good thing about ExC is that it's very clear-cut in hammering out the bullshit, whereas softer approaches are more tolerant of unjustified aspects of agnosticism and postmodern approaches.

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Hmm.... I didn't remember that you were anti-agnostic. What's wrong with agnosticism?

 

Some aspects of agnosticism are philosophically untenable or meaningless. These include epistemological skepticism or the fence-sitting approach.

 

On certain definitions of god I'm unsure if I'm an agnostic atheist or not, but I feel that if the existence/nature of God is unknowable then the issue is irrelevant to the human condition. Lots of questions with answers unknowable a priori can be asked, such as "What is it like outside of your mind?" but they have no impact on life at all. Note that this is different from things supposedly unknowable or undoable a posteriori like "Can man travel faster than light?" These are legitimate problems that we can hopefully circumvent someday with the right discovery.

 

My main qualm is that the claim "I'm an agnostic, not an atheist" kinda misses the point since these are two answers to two very different questions. Apples and oranges really. Epistemology VS Metaphysics.

 

There are thus two main brands of agnosticism that exist. In my view, the brand of agnosticism that says "well we don't know anything so let's just pick what we want to believe and be happy" is untenable, while the brand that says "the question is unknowable, let's not concern ourselves about that" just reduces to a form of negative atheism. There are probably some more abstract versions out there though.

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Okay. It's basically the form of positive agnosticism that you're against, not necessarily an agnostic/atheist view, or weak agnosicism.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It's been a while since I last posted.

Good to see you again. Congrats on school!

The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that ExC is rather harsh and grating in terms of its debators

I'm fully guilty of that. But sometimes these guys just raise my ire level. I took a break from it for awhile too, to concentrate on making money.

I hope all you guys are doing well!

Thanks! Between, you, AUB, and Mr. Neil and Madame M (and other before and since) I've learned tons.

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Hmm.... I didn't remember that you were anti-agnostic. What's wrong with agnosticism?

 

I'm new here, but it seems from other posts I should be glad that you've returned Mr. Spooky.

 

At any rate, I feel this warrants another quote from Douglas Adams, who is obviously one of my favorite writers. It fits the question of what's wrong with agnosticism well though.

 

"People will then often say “But surely it’s better to remain an Agnostic just in case?” This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. If it turns out that I’ve been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would chose not to worship him anyway. "

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Spooky! Awesome you've returned.

 

I did miss you...

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