George Carlin was an agnostic…AND an atheist!

According to this idiot. That’s like saying he’s a christian and a muslim. But that sort of logic would fly right over his head. And can someone please explain what is Jerry Seinfield doing in this rant? Besides the stand up comic thing, I fail to make the connection.

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10 Responses

  1. Haha, I had to laugh through most of that shit. He says all the rest of us are going to hell with him, but if George is already there, won’t that help.. just a little?

  2. No, Atheistic Agnosticism is not the same as calling someone a Christian and a Muslim. Agnosticism has its varied labels just like Christianity.

    Let’s say you call yourself a Christian. Okay, well, are you Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Protestant, etc.?

    Let’s say you call yourself Agnostic. Okay, well, are you an Agnostic Theist, an Agnostic Atheist, a Pragmatic Agnostic, etc.?

    A little education can go a long way in understanding what you believe and/or lack thereof. For the record, an Agnostic Atheist is one who doesn’t believe in a God or a higher power but doesn’t pretend to KNOW there isn’t a God or a higher power. You might hear an Agnostic Atheist say something like the following: “I don’t believe there is a God but I can’t prove it, so there might really be one… but he sure as hell isn’t doing anything here on earth! I can’t prove there isn’t a God but you sure as hell can’t prove there IS one.”

    Between strong Agnosticism and Agnostic Atheism,
    Stephen

  3. I’ve had this discussion over and over. There is no such thing as an agnostic atheist. Nevertheless there is always an issue with labels. Evey person interprets the label differently. Some people feel the need to qualify the label of atheist with an additional agnostic, as a way to make it clear that they are not saying that there can be no God. Nevertheless, for anyone who is learned in the sciences, it is clear that you can never prove a negative. A statement such as “There is no God” can’t really be uttered, just as a statement “There is no Santa Claus” can’t, from a logical standpoint.

    So long story short, I consider an atheist to be a person who does not believe in God, but also must accept that he CANNOT KNOW that there is not God. And I don’t think I need a second label. Atheist will do just fine.

  4. Skepdude,

    I’m glad you’ve had this discussion over and over but your conclusions aren’t the be all and end all. What you consider an Atheist to be differs from what an Atheist actually is. While I agree that a person who calls themself an Atheist can’t prove the non-existence of a God, a Theist can’t prove that there IS a God just the same.

    At that, I didn’t say there were varying degrees of Atheism; I said there were varying degrees of Agnosticism. An Atheist has it made up in their mind that there is no God and they don’t need to prove it to anyone just like a Theist has it made up in their mind that God is there and if you don’t believe it, you’re simply a “mere weak-minded human.” Agnosticism, on the other hand, has varying degrees of the acknowledgement of a God but regardless of if an Agnostic thinks a God does or doesn’t exist, an Agnostic acknowledges that they truly do not know and cannot prove as such.

    If you think there could be a God even if you don’t believe in one, you’re not an Atheist by true definition and because there aren’t varying degrees of Atheism, maybe it’s time to reconsider your view of Agnosticism… and, dare I say, Agnostic Atheism.

    And yes, “There is no Santa Clause” can absolutely be uttered from a logical standpoint. lol.

    -Stephen

  5. Stephen,

    Of course my conclusions are not the be all end all, not even to me. I am willing to revise them provided I have been given good reason to.

    Nevertheless, my point is that labels, such as atheist, liberal, agnostic, fundamentalist etc. etc., are not rigid, static things. They’re what we as people make of them.

    It appears you are adhering to a very strict definition of atheist, and I don’t. Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a deity. I don’t see how that contradicts the possibility of a God existing. I am not agnostic. Agnosticism generally says “we cannot know” which I find a quite useless state of mind.

    And yes there are various degrees of atheism. You can be more rational about your lack of belief and accept the possibility that you could be wrong (what you call Agnostic Atheist) or you could be more dogmatic and say that you KNOW there is no God (what could be called Dogmatic Atheism). I personally adhere to the first one, thus you would call me an Agnostic Atheist, even though I wouldn’t. But that don’t matter at the end of the day. What matters is what I think not what I am labeled, wouldn’t you agree?

    Of course you may not adhere to that definition of agnosticism and I then would have to evaluate your definition. But that goes back to my point. Labels are what we make of them. I don’t feel the need to qualify my atheism with the word agnostic, any more than I feel the need to qualify it with the word skeptic.

    I don’t go around saying I’m agnostic about fairies, Santa Claus or unicorns and dragons. I lack belief in them, but in my mind I know that I cannot prove that they never existed, or that they don’t in fact exist, just as I do with God. So why should I tip toe around the idea of God and say that I am agnostic, whatever that means, but dismiss completely the other entities that could exist? If you’re going to be a real agnostic, then you should be agnostic about those entities as well. The fact that only God is believed by billions of people should have no effect on that.

    I don’t see a reason, that is why I oppose the special treatment of God. I lack belief equally in God and Santa Claus and dragons and unicorns and fairies.

  6. Labels are what you make of them if you don’t have a clear enough definition of what they mean in the first place. If you have your own definition for something that is more widely recognized to mean something other than your exact definition, well, then your philosophy makes perfect sense!

    Suffice it to say, your current definition of “Agnostic” is lacking… but because your definition of Agnostic is that of merely a label that pulls its meaning from an individual instead of a static definition, you absolutely won’t see it my way. For being so Atheistic, you certainly do seem to adhere to some awefully religious mindsets, Skepdude. 😉 “This bible verse doesn’t mean this, it really means THIS! It’s all just what you make of it!” hahaha, I’m just messin’ with you.

    Anyway, until a fairy, dragon, unicorn, and/or Santa Clause appear, they had might as well be considered proven to not exist due to their lack of proof of existence. I mean, let’s say I create a rumor that trees talk when no one is around. Which one takes precedence: Assumption of something existing prior to any proof or assumption of something not existing prior to any proof? Not every Agnostic mindset simply stops at that and says, “oh well! I give up!” Doubt breeds curiosity. If a person calls themself an Agnostic and says, “oh, I just don’t care because it’s impossible to know,” well, then they are apathetically Agnostic. You could’ve spared an entire conversion with that person if they had simply told you in the first place, “I’m an apathetic Agnostic” instead of simply saying, “I’m Agnostic.”

    See? Static definitions DO have more value to them than you seem to consider they do… but if you want to continue to call yourself an Atheist and leave it up to everyone else to interpret that as they may, be my guest! Likewise, if you would rather continue to consider an Agnostic to be as “static” and “rigid” as you seem to believe they are, then when an Agnostic like me comes along and sees the benefit in trying to tell you, “hey… Agnosticism is more than just, “oh, I don’t care”,” don’t be surprised to be told you’re lacking in your current definition!

    You said: “So why should I tip toe around the idea of God and say that I am agnostic, whatever that means, but dismiss completely the other entities that could exist?”

    The other entities you named have a traceable history and an etymology that you can logically refer back to to know that they do not exist. Not only that, but there is no reason at all to assume they would exist otherwise, so what is there to “prove” in that case? God, on the other hand, is a very different story. The stories of Gods have come and gone; “God” isn’t simply defined by the rules and stories of the Judeo-Christian belief. The idea of a God has reaches far beyond earthly fairy tales. To me, an Agnostic Atheist, I don’t necessarily believe God exists but I don’t have absolutely NO reason not to. We are all here and whether it’s the result of the big bang or an intelligent creator of some sort, that’s reason enough to consider that there may be something else out there that is the cause of existence.

    We know there were never unicorns, fairies, dragons, or Santa Clause. The idea of those fairy tales have beginnings. Proven beginnings. Personally, I don’t see how you can hold provable fairy tales in the same hand as the idea of an intelligent creator possibly existing. That sounds might apathetically Agnostic as opposed to “just Atheist,” if you ask me… but I digress. =)

    -Stephen

  7. Ok, first I never said that Agnosticism equals “I don’t care”. What I said, and what I have been told by other agnostics is that it means “We can never know”. I have an issue with that mindset.

    Second, your second to last paragraph is nothing more than logical gymnastics to support the idea that God is special whereas the other mythological creatures aren’t and I am sorry to say that you don’t have a case there.

    There is a history of religious belief that you can look back to. Just as with the other creatures, there is no reason to assume God exists! I don’t know what you mean when you say that “the idea of a God has reaches far beyond earthly fairy tales”. It is precisely that, a fairy tale, simply the most popular one. You say that “I don’t necessarily believe God exists but I don’t have absolutely NO reason not to”. Why would you have absolutely no reason to not believe in dragons? Why do you dismiss dragons without a second thought? I think if you logically consider both creatures, you’ll find that you can’t in all honesty treat them differently.

    You say that “We know there were never unicorns, fairies, dragons, or Santa Clause. The idea of those fairy tales have beginnings. Proven beginnings. Personally, I don’t see how you can hold provable fairy tales in the same hand as the idea of an intelligent creator possibly existing.”. How do you know there never were unicorns and dragons? Actually as an agnostic you should say that you can’t know for sure! Personally I don’t think that dragons are impossible, just highly improbable. There is no shred of evidence to prove that they did exist, therefore my confidence level is quite high that they did not exist.

    But imagine what would happen if a fossil of a dragon like creature was discovered! Is it impossible to assume that there existed creatures that we don’t know of yet? I don’t think so. It would be quite arrogant of humans to think they have discovered them all.

    The same line of reasoning applies to God too.

    What I can’t see is how you can in good faith say that God deserves agnosticism, but dragons and unicorns don’t! How can you claim with certainty to KNOW that there never were any dragons but are not willing to commit the same certainty to the question of GOD?

  8. PS: On the issue of labels, are you saying that take any label you want, there are no variations, different degrees within that category?

    Or are you saying that there are degrees, but every degree merits an additional label such as agnostic atheist, agnostic skeptical atheist? Agnostic skeptical humanist atheist?

    Can you please clarify your view on that?

  9. Wow, man! Talk about logical gymnastics! lol.

    First off, I clarified quite nicely my stance on “labels,” so I’m not going to continue bickering with you simply for your amusement. If you believe “Agnostic” is as linear as you imply, then you go right ahead and continue to believe that. If me calling myself an Agnostic Atheist to distinguish myself from an Apathetic Agnostic all equates to just “Agnostic” to you, then I really don’t know what to tell you. On the same token, I suppose you wouldn’t care about distinuishing age, race, or gender if someone told you they were simply “human,” huh? lol. How fickle those darn labels are!

    There are no logical gymnastics involved with the fact that we don’t know how everything came to be. Sure, we have some pretty solid scientific theories that I aboslutely cherish studying and I’m no more of an advocate of a God than you are, Skepdude. Sure, the idea of a God is equally as man-made as any scientific explanation for anything, but science has a way of being much more accurate. lol.

    I understand your logic about dragons, but you’re missing the point. If you can CLEARLY SEE the FIRST TIME that dragons were ever mentioned and they were in a fictional context, why in the world would you ever assume they could actually exist? Same with Santa Clause or fairies or whatever else! If you can pinpoint the origins of these fictional creations, why would you even leave any room for, “well, who are we to say it doesn’t exist?” Santa Clause DOES NOT EXIST and it’s not a matter of arrogance or assumption; it’s a matter of FACT. Faries, dragons, and unicorns, as they have been described and founded in their mythological roots, DO NOT EXIST! It’s not a matter of arrogance or assumption; it’s a matter of FACT.

    You’re being argumentative over something that truly holds no worth in logical debate! If you’re going to sit here and tell me that you don’t know for SURE that there aren’t dragons or unicorns, then you’d might as well tell me that – even with all of the scientific and factual proof – the sun is a God. If you’re going to tell me that you can’t disprove the existence of dragons even AFTER the origins of the mythical creature have been shown to you, then you’d might as well tell me that -even with all the scientific and factual proof – thunder and lightening are the result of an angry God.

    Now we come to the concept of a God. Perhaps I should clarify my definition – or acceptance, rather – of the idea of a “God.” I don’t perceive God with a predefined set of rules. I mean, if I as a human can create whatever from scratch, then who is to say that there wasn’t something with intelligence WELL beyond ours that created the circumstances for what are now energy and matter? Probably highly unlikely and certainly nothing that has been even remotely proven, but if all of this didn’t happen solely as a result of the big bang, then how did it happen? What other theories could we come up with to attempt to explain how we exist?

    No, I don’t believe the earth was created and man was created and put here to live out their lives to satisfy a God or whatever. I don’t believe we have spirits, I don’t believe in ghosts or demons, angels, karma, things happening for a reason, yadda, yadda, yadda. All of these ideas that we can pinpoint the origins of, it gives me no reason to believe in them. My perception of the idea of a creator or a God is absolutely not aligned with traditional assumptions. It’s actually evolving and not something I believe in. I’m not sure that I would have ever come to the theory of a possible “creator” without having heard it before, but I find validity in it in some capacity… or at least, something to seek out even if only for the benefit of seeking.

    Honestly, I don’t think there is a God or a creator. If everything came to be via the big bang, then what was before the big bang? If there was anything, that would imply that our universe has some kind of boundary or end somewhere, and that flies directly in the face of our universe being infinite. Then, you get into the ideas of multiverses or whatever else… fascinating ideas, I think, and when you start getting into all of that, then the idea or theory of some intelligent designer seems as plausible as the idea of multiverses. Of course, there are no definitions or rules to apply to those theories yet, but even the thought and then the desire to seek is worth it.

    So, if you want to consider that we might find 12 reindeer and the corpse of a fat man in a red suit on top of some castle one day, thus proving that there is/was a Santa Clause, then be my guest. If you still can’t grasp the distinction between that and – faulty as it may possibly be – the theory or question of their possibly existing something like a “God” or, at least, a more intelligent being, then I’m not quite sure I can continue to debate this with you.

    Again, these aren’t logical gymnastics, as you so aptly labeled (as opposed to other gymnastics that I might have mistaken you to mean has you not applied that little prefix of “logical”) them previously, they’re thoughts and perceptions. They may be totally ludicrous and without merit, but if there is one thing I never claim to be, it’s perfect… and I mean that in every sense of the word; no additional labels needed! lol.

    -Stephen

  10. Pardon the couple of typos in there, by the way. I get a little ahead of myself sometimes. =)

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