The Meaning of Everything (1 Viewer)

I've thought about this for a while, so I thought I'd see what y'all think about my circuitous manner of thought.

OK, so an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a higher power of some sort (god, if you will), and an agnostic is someone who believes in a higher power but not in the religious (theocratic) definition/pursuit of it. So, already we have a problem. The agnostic is actually anti-theocratic, but is not considered to be atheistic.

Further, since a gnostic is one who has knowledge of spirituality that is not religious in nature, but actually "logical/thinking" in nature (not intended to be a diss), an agnostic should have knowledge of spirituality that is religious in nature, but the agnostic does not believe in religious pursuits.

So, who the hell defines these things, and has anyone else bothered to think about this stuff?
 

Father Luke

Founding member
I've thought about this for a while, so I thought I'd see what y'all think about my circuitous manner of thought.

uh oh.

OK, so an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a higher power of some sort (god, if you will), and an agnostic is someone who believes in a higher power but not in the religious (theocratic) definition/pursuit of it.

Okay. If you want to define them that way. Sure.
I once said that an Atheist is someone who believes
in no God, and an Agnostic does the same, but
doesn't want to tell anyone.

Alternately, an Atheist is someone who believes
there isn't a God, and an Agnostic is someone who
believes there is, but doesn't want to admit it in public.


So, already we have a problem. The agnostic is actually anti-theocratic, but is not considered to be atheistic.


Further, since a gnostic is

Apples and oranges. . . I think. You have just
introduced a third element. But I'll hold off 'till you're done.


. . .one who has knowledge of spirituality

Spirituality is being introduced here. A new term.


. . .that is not religious


Well, Religions are actually man made beliefs, by
definition.

. . .in nature, but actually "logical/thinking" in nature (not intended to be a diss), an agnostic should

By should, do you mean "by definition" ?


. . .have knowledge of spirituality that is religious in nature, but the agnostic does not believe in religious pursuits.

So, who the hell defines these things, and has anyone else bothered to think about this stuff?

Well, actually we define them by agreement.


Here is the thing.

Religion is man made to reflect
something which is intangible:

Mystery
Death
Life
Love

etc.

Spirituality is the same.

Atheists get to thumb their noses
at anyone who doesn't believe what they believe.

Agnostics get to agree with whomever they want.

Gnostics get paid to smooth
the rifts between the two.
 
Good response, Padre. One of the fundamentals of my discussion here is that by convention of the English language (which is a slippery slope at best, no doubt), agnostic is the opposite of gnostic. Similarly, an atheist is the antithesis of theocratic thought.

I'm not trying to cast any dispersion on anyone nor point any fingers. I'm simply trying to illustrate the ambiguity (to me at least) of terms that most people would think "I know exactly what that makes me think of when I hear it."

By my own admission I am both agnostic and gnostic. I believe that "god" is the collective essence of what makes us, well...be. The essence of the murderer just as much as the essence of the saint, the painter, the car mechanic and the astronaut. As well as the dog, cat, fish and antelope. Throw in a few mosquitoes too.

But it's got nothing to do with religion, and that's not a convenience for me, but a weight to bear.
 
I've always considered an agnostic as someone who believes there could be a god, but just hasn't had anyone sell them on it yet. Where spirituality ties into all of that--I'm not sure. Hell, I'm not even sure about this reply so if someone has a better one, I'm willing to take it into consideration--but it better be good.:D
 
An agnostic doesn't know: a= Greek alpha privative; gnosis=Greek "knowledge", thus "no knowledge." An agnostic says, "I don't know if there is a god or isn't: I'm on the fence."

Me, I'm all for Zeus. I think we should replace "God" on American currency and coins with "In Zeus we trust" rather what is one there presently.

Thnk about it: polytheism makes alot more sense. A god of the sea, of the forest, of the river, of love, of war, of.....It's an error in our conception of historical evolution to think that MONO theism is an ADVANCE on polytheism. On the contrary, we have gone down hill since the Greeks. Untergang des Abendlandes indeed....
 
An agnostic doesn't know: a= Greek alpha privative; gnosis=Greek "knowledge", thus "no knowledge." An agnostic says, "I don't know if there is a god or isn't: I'm on the fence."

Since this is all designed to be subject to interpretation, I'll bite on this one.

In a pure sense of the long-ago battle between free thinkers (e.g., Knights Templar or Greek intellectuals) and those who preached faith as an alternative (whilst simultaneously refusing to educate that populace and even accuse them of heresy - Roman leaders), gnostic means "knowledge" as you say. Agnostic follows as "no knowledge" as well. The problem lies in how one defines "god." I hope I didn't cross the line here; I'm simply trying to get to the semantics of the matter and how they translate to collquial thought.

In my mind, the gnostics were not worried about a god figure, but about absolute truth. By the concept of opposites, agnostics didn't get it. But it needn't involve god or religion at all, simply absolute truth.

Whether god or religion has any connection with absolute truth is the $64,000 question. Given the current stock market, it may or may not be more or less than that.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
About all of this.

A bar owner was working his bar one evening and he noticed a group of patrons talking about politics. He burst into their conversation, "please stop. no talking about politics. whatever you do don't argue about politics it always starts fights. talk about whatever you want but please no politics." They all settled down and ordered more drinks.
A bit later the bar owner hears them arguing about religion and he burst in. "Oh my God!" "Stop this, every time people argue about religion fights break out and people get killed. Talk about anything else but please don't talk about religion."
So this fairly drunk patron asks, "Can we talk about sex?" to which the bar owner replied,
"Sex? Sure talk about sex all you want, no one ever got hurt talking about sex."
So the patron says, "Good, go fuck yourself!"
Something like that.
 
i heard this on MASH the other day and really liked it: "there are no athiests in foxholes!"

although i've never been in a foxhole, i'm pretty sure this is quite accurate.
carry on...
 

mjp

Founding member
I don't know. I have been quite sure I was living my last moments on three rather memorable occasions, and none of those experiences convinced me to believe in any god, either at the crucial moments or later, after the fact.

On one of those occasions I was on the wrong end of a large pistol that was no more than six inches inches from the bridge of my nose. Now, I have never been in a foxhole, but I think that is about as close as you're going to get.

So I have to respectfully disagree with the otherwise fine writers of MASH. ;)
 
That's a pretty popular expression in the Army, and it is true to some degree. I spent a year in Iraq, starting with the initial invasion back in '03. You should see the crowd that a Chaplain can attract when you're in a combat zone.
 

chronic

old and in the way
On one of those occasions I was on the wrong end of a large pistol that was no more than six inches inches from the bridge of my nose. Now, I have never been in a foxhole, but I think that is about as close as you're going to get.

Been there done that. A rather unpleasant feeling. God didn't enter my thoughts at all. I just wanted to get the hell away from there as quickly as possible.
 
It was always my understanding that the agnostic, by definition, and by numerous self-proclaimed agnostics, is, someone who takes the stance that we cannot know if or if not there is a god or gods, therefore, doesn't give it much thought beyond that.

And if that fails, I go with what one of you (FL) said above; atheists who won't admit being so in public because they still have that nagging fear of ETERNAL HELL that the 'responsible' adults crammed into their heads when they were younger. The fear of which atheists do not have.
 

mjp

Founding member
Well, I sure wish we hadn't gone in there, but 'nuff respect to you, my brother, for putting your balls on the line. Glad you made it home.
 
I think it would be pretty hypocritical of me that in my last moments I suddenly made believe that I believed in God. I'm agnostic and if he's around I figured he'd have sussed that out.

I lean athiest but I don't believe in having strong opinions toward something where there is so little facts either way,

I do, though, look at MJP as the God of this forum and Father Luke as his deciple. And I am a very strong believer.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I used to say that I was Agnostic. Now I am an Athiest. It is funny... I don't bring it up, but sometimes people will ask and when I say that I am an Athiest, they get a look in their face like I said that I like to have sex with chickens. These are usually Christians that say that Muslims are all evil and I argue that they have no more right to say that than Muslims to say that all Christians are all wrong. When I don't flash the gang signs that lets know that I am one of them, they ask how I can believe in God and not realize that Muslims are evil. Then I drop it on them.....

My wife hates it. She would rather that I conform and pretend to believe to keep people from hearing how I feel. People don;t want to hear the truth. They want to hear what makes them comfortable. I'm not talking about truth/untruth in regards to religion. What I'm saying is that when people say "How are you?", they only want to hear "Fine, and you?" They do not want to hear that your toe hurts, that you have a hemorrhoid, or that you are tired.

Best,
Bill


p.s. I made a Egyptian Christian friend of my wife's cry one time. She insisted that Allan and the god of Abraham are not the same. She insisted that she is not an Arab, even though she speaks Arabic (Which is what makes you an Arab). She was a self-hating Arab. She had such love for Jesus and hatred for Muslims that she talked most people into the lie that she was not an Arab and that the "Evil" god of Mohamed was different than the "Loving" god of Abraham (Who smote a hell of a lot of people)...
 

chronic

old and in the way
It is funny... I don't bring it up, but sometimes people will ask and when I say that I am an Athiest, they get a look in their face like I said that I like to have sex with chickens.

Being an atheist in America in 2008 is akin to being gay in 1950. In some parts of the country it can get you killed.
 
Sad but true Chronic. But, setting aside the flat Earthers, I think people hate atheists because they secretly wish they could be so. Same as the guys who beat up gays but harbor their own homosexual leanings deep deep in the back of their closet.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
She insisted that Allan and the god of Abraham are not the same.

First. Thanks for Gerard for pointing out that Allan is not considered God, but indeed Allah is...

I think people hate atheists because they secretly wish they could be so.

Maybe, maybe not. I know that I wish that I believed. People with faith can take comfort when something very bad happens to them (They are in a better place, etc...). Some of us that do not believe just do not believe. It is not a choice, it is what we are.

When an Atheist loses someone close, they do not think that they will see them again. They are seen as being GONE FOREVER. That is not comforting, it just is what we believe.

Bill
 
Yeah Bill, as usual I make the mistake of quantfying my statement with the word, "Some". I think SOME people hate atheists.... blah blah. One of these days I'll remember that.

I don't wish that I believed at all.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I've thought about this for a while, so I thought I'd see what y'all think about my circuitous manner of thought.

OK, so an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a higher power of some sort (god, if you will), and an agnostic is someone who believes in a higher power but not in the religious (theocratic) definition/pursuit of it. So, already we have a problem. The agnostic is actually anti-theocratic, but is not considered to be atheistic.

Further, since a gnostic is one who has knowledge of spirituality that is not religious in nature, but actually "logical/thinking" in nature (not intended to be a diss), an agnostic should have knowledge of spirituality that is religious in nature, but the agnostic does not believe in religious pursuits.

So, who the hell defines these things, and has anyone else bothered to think about this stuff?
Would you please pass that joint?:D
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
About the guy in the video: Why do guys like that always wear their ball cap backwards? Having the hat wrong is a clue to the rest of their choices. Am I being prejudice here?
 

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