[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 199, Issue 74

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Thu Apr 23 07:29:43 UTC 2020

On 23/04/2020 00:18, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 3:51 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat 
> <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org 
> <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>> wrote:
>     On 22/04/2020 18:39, Adrian Tymes wrote:
>     > agnosticism is a lack of belief in gods.  Atheism is a belief in
>     the
>     > lack of gods.
>     This is patently false. Agnosticism has nothing at all to say about
>     belief, it's about knowledge (from the greek, 'Gnosis', meaning
>     knowledge). Agnosticism is the position that you don't/can't know.
> And thus, a lack of belief.

Not necessarily.
Many religious people will freely admit they have no definite knowledge 
about their particular god, but still choose to believe in it. I know 
that's a logically contradictory position, but belief knows no logic. In 
fact it rejects logic.

>     Atheism, in it's most common form, is the lack of belief in gods.
>     Some
>     people define a 'strong', or 'hard' form of atheism that is an
>     assertion
>     that no gods exist, but that is a minority view.
>     These things are easy to look up.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
> "Atheism is, in the broadest sense, an absence of belief in the 
> existence of deities.  Less broadly, atheism is a rejection of the 
> belief that any deities exist.  In an even narrower sense, atheism is 
> specifically the position that there are no deities."
> I guess both meanings are in use.

Yes. And one is overwhelmingly more common than the other.

When I say I'm an atheist, I don't want people to assume I subscribe to 
a minority interpretation of the term (mainly because, to me, it's not 
so much the non-existence of gods that is the important thing, but the 
not believing in things ('believing' as in accepting things as true 
without a shred of evidence, and even in the face of contradictory 

The narrowest sense is the one that needs qualification, not the 
broadest one. This is true of job titles and many other things, not just 

Ben Zaiboc

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