Atheism Basics: What's the Difference Between Atheism & Agnosticism?

Jul 22, 2009 Full story: atheism.about.com 446

Wednesday July 22, 2009 Many people who adopt the label of agnostic reject the label of atheist - there is a common perception that agnosticism is a more 'reasonable' position while atheism is more 'dogmatic,' ultimately indistinguishable from theism except in the details.

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“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#424 Oct 30, 2009
formerly really wrote:
You have to understand that these are people laboring under the burden of superstition and myth.
Yeah, I realize that this trumps everything else.

I'm just saying that there are signs of certain death that were accessible even to primitives. It doesn't take much exposure to or experience with death to know such things. I am certain that any warrior could tell you that dead people undergo certain changes, and that nobody with rigor mortis or dependent lividity ever stood up.

So sure, if you're afraid that you might be buried alive, have a bell. I was merely responding to the idea that it takes modern knowledge or technology to be sure when somebody is dead. If you're superstitious, even that is not enough. And if you're not, the advances of modernity aren't necessary. I'll bet all ancient physicians knew that if they can't hear a heartbeat, this is someone who is dead or in the throes of actively dying. No mystery.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#425 Oct 30, 2009
NotBuyingIt wrote:
to keep animals from smelling them and digging them up. This *could be* were the idea of 'hell' came from - having your body dug up by animals was pretty horrifying I could imagine.

As it took time to realize burial depths were the variable factor if someone was dug up.
It seemed reasonable to me. Think about it...
If someone is not well liked - the people that would have burried them may not have put as much effort (like digging deep enough) to avoid things like animals getting to their remains.
While the ones who were well liked - there is more possibility for one to consider such possibilities like an animal digging them up and finding the objectionable and more likely to work harder to dig deeper to prevent that.
And thus - the less liked peoples remains would get dug up by animals - and the liked ones would not. The liked ones had peace in 'heaven' and the disliked ones went to 'hell'. Whether the terms like heaven and hell are used - the concepts of what it would be like are illustrated by such events, I think anyway.
<quoted text>
Do you have any links on this. I could see it being 'inspired'- but as Karl asked - how many people 'rang the bell'??
But from what I find this depth is still variable - in mashy areas of New Orleans it seems, if too deep the casket would 'float' up from it being air tight. So they supposedly bury shallower ??
<quoted text>
I don't think these 2 ideas are related in any way.
Maybe.

But I always thought that the concept of hell came from volcanoes. They burble red hot, fiery lava from inside the earth, often after explosions, and they often smell of sulfurous gases (brimstone). Whatever in hell lives down that hole and is blowing up mountains and pushing that crap up must be a bad mofo, and his home an awful place to be.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#426 Oct 30, 2009
Path wrote:
<quoted text>Fair enough.
I still think it's a distinct possibility though. They really didn't know s$%^ about health and medicine thousands of years ago, so burying a comatose person or someone that just passed out doesn't seem very far fetched at all to me.
Yes, they may well have made those mistakes.

But hopefully, they examined the alleged corpse. No stethescope is necessary is hear the heartbeat when applying the ear to the chest. And I can't imagine it taking anybody long to recognize that all of the ones who awakened - the comatose or passed out - had heartbeats.

I don't know what they knew. I'm just saying that people had already solved far greater problems than this one even before the Middle Ages, so I'm a little skeptical about attributing such errors to a limitation on human knowledge and, to the extent that these things occurred, to the inability to disseminate this knowledge. I don't imagine that priests, who it seems likely were frequently the go-to guys to pronounce death, were trained in these matters.

It's not an important point to belabor. I just thought that people might be interested in knowing how to determine death even when there is no decomposition or obvious injury like beheading (even the priests would have gotten those right).
jack13

El Paso, TX

#427 Oct 30, 2009
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, it's pretty easy. If the death is a few hours old, there will be rigor mortis (for awhile), and dependent lividity (blood pooling in the underside of the body: http://www.codoh.com/graphics4/nrtkcoill5.jpg ). Absent these, just put your ear to the chest. If you don't hear anything, that's a dead person, with two relevant exceptions:
[1] Somebody has just undergone an unwitnessed cardiac arrest and needs CPR.
[2] A body retrieved from a very cold environment, like arctic sea water or a walk-in freezer.
You are so right. I think another indication is when all the spectres open up. Death can be messy. And it is not hard to find a dead person in the jungle. The smell is a dead give away. At one time, I understand, with people they really didn't want to return from the dead were buried face down so if they tried to dig their way out, they would be going the wrong direction.
jack13

El Paso, TX

#428 Oct 30, 2009
To the above,sphincter would relax.

“No Bishop,No King,No Nobility”

Since: May 08

The Underworld

#429 Oct 30, 2009
It aint necessarily so wrote:
I'm just saying that people had already solved far greater problems than this one even before the Middle Ages
I'm not talking about this bell nonsense, which I'm sure was just a variant stemmed from earlier superstitions.

As far as cremation and burial go they go back much farther; farther than recorded history.

What's obvious to you and me wasn't necessarily obvious to people 10-20,000 years ago.

We know things because we're educated about them, but can you honestly say you would understand about heartbeats and pulses if you'd had no education and spent your life hunting with a spear?.. You'd like to think so, I'm sure, but you can't assume it.
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#430 Oct 30, 2009
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe.
But I always thought that the concept of hell came from volcanoes. They burble red hot, fiery lava from inside the earth, often after explosions, and they often smell of sulfurous gases (brimstone). Whatever in hell lives down that hole and is blowing up mountains and pushing that crap up must be a bad mofo, and his home an awful place to be.
What the destinations are like - can *only* be a product of mans imagination. And we would naturally attempt to relate to it in some way possible like volcanoes and what not.

What I think is most intriguing is the concept of an afterlife. And that was more or less what I was getting at... an afterlife and with 2 contrasting destinations.

I wondered WHY at some point man buried their dead, but those before them did not. And curiously, its *about* the same time speech (could have) developed.

I mean, why did it become 'normal' to bury the dead, as opposed to encourage animals to feed off our remains as some 'honorable' deed. Burial is not natural, but feeding is. Right?

I think it is this seemingly natural objection to what happens to our remains is what triggered mans intrigue of an afterlife. After years of creative thought added,'leaders' ran with it when they found they could control others with it.

Probably started off with an idea like;
'Don't piss me off, or I won't bury you very deep and I let everyone see your rotting flesh and be disgusted at you.'

For one to fear this happening could be called 'hell'.
If they were content, having peace of mind that they would be buried deep, could be called 'heaven'. But later misunderstood as afterlife destinations.

This makes more sense how religion originates and is so wide spread.

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#431 Oct 30, 2009
Path wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not talking about this bell nonsense, which I'm sure was just a variant stemmed from earlier superstitions.
As far as cremation and burial go they go back much farther; farther than recorded history.
What's obvious to you and me wasn't necessarily obvious to people 10-20,000 years ago.
We know things because we're educated about them, but can you honestly say you would understand about heartbeats and pulses if you'd had no education and spent your life hunting with a spear?.. You'd like to think so, I'm sure, but you can't assume it.
Point taken. I don't know what was understood when. I'm saying that I think that this is an easier problem to solve than, say, the earth being spherical, or proving the Pythagorean theorem, both of which had been accomplished before modernity, despite the probability of widespread ignorance on the subject.

“No Bishop,No King,No Nobility”

Since: May 08

The Underworld

#432 Oct 30, 2009
It aint necessarily so wrote:
<quoted text>
Point taken. I don't know what was understood when. I'm saying that I think that this is an easier problem to solve than, say, the earth being spherical, or proving the Pythagorean theorem, both of which had been accomplished before modernity, despite the probability of widespread ignorance on the subject.
That we {should} know better, doesn't mean "we" always {do}.

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/buried...
jack13

El Paso, TX

#433 Oct 31, 2009
NotBuyingIt wrote:
<quoted text>What the destinations are like - can *only* be a product of mans imagination. And we would naturally attempt to relate to it in some way possible like volcanoes and what not.
What I think is most intriguing is the concept of an afterlife. And that was more or less what I was getting at... an afterlife and with 2 contrasting destinations.
I wondered WHY at some point man buried their dead, but those before them did not. And curiously, its *about* the same time speech (could have) developed.
I mean, why did it become 'normal' to bury the dead, as opposed to encourage animals to feed off our remains as some 'honorable' deed. Burial is not natural, but feeding is. Right?
I think it is this seemingly natural objection to what happens to our remains is what triggered mans intrigue of an afterlife. After years of creative thought added,'leaders' ran with it when they found they could control others with it.
Probably started off with an idea like;
'Don't piss me off, or I won't bury you very deep and I let everyone see your rotting flesh and be disgusted at you.'
For one to fear this happening could be called 'hell'.
If they were content, having peace of mind that they would be buried deep, could be called 'heaven'. But later misunderstood as afterlife destinations.
This makes more sense how religion originates and is so wide spread.
I'm not sure all of the old civilizations buried their dead. It is possible it is a myth but it seems, some time in the past, a tribe of native Americans placed there dead on a stand where eagles could feast on the body. But you are right. Even Neanderthals buried their dead. Have you ever noticed how vague the description of the christian heaven is compared to their description of hell? I suspect that it is so impossible to have such a perfect place without sin, that there just isn't much left to do there other than pray to their god hoping that they will not be cast down in that dreaded place where every one is f*cking and living it up.
A priest and a nun are traveling across the desert when the camel dies of thirst. The priest ponders the dilemma and finally says, "Our time is numbered here. Will you disrobe in front of me? I've never seen a naked woman."
"I've never seen a man nude before. Will you also disrobe first?"
The priest disrobes and the nun asks, "What is that thing between your legs?"
Priest says,"That is the staff of life. If I put it in you, it will bring new life."
Nun: "Ah, so put it in the camel and lets get going."

“No Bishop,No King,No Nobility”

Since: May 08

The Underworld

#434 Oct 31, 2009
jack13 wrote:
Have you ever noticed how vague the description of the christian heaven is compared to their description of hell? I suspect that it is so impossible to have such a perfect place without sin, that there just isn't much left to do there other than pray to their god hoping that they will not be cast down in that dreaded place where every one is f*cking and living it up.
Well, I suspect that part of the problem with that is that, while they claim to follow the beliefs of Judaism plus Christ, the Jews don't believe in anything like the Christian heaven. Jews believe in resurrection into the kingdom of god, which is not the Christian heaven, but the future time when their messiah has come. Jews also don't believe in anything like the Christian hell either. They believe in a place/realm where {all} the dead go to await resurrection; a place which is neither heaven nor hell.

Really, when you start to look at it, it doesn't sound like the Christian beliefs are {anything} like the Jewish beliefs at all. I really don't know where they get off claiming to follow the same god and beliefs...
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#435 Oct 31, 2009
jack13 wrote:
Have you ever noticed how vague the description of the christian heaven is compared to their description of hell?
Yes, and I notice it invites one to creatively expand on its description. Which is what I think is most important to that observation.
jack13 wrote:
I suspect that it is so impossible to have such a perfect place without sin, that there just isn't much left to do there other than pray to their god hoping that they will not be cast down in that dreaded place where every one is f*cking and living it up.
Yes, but anything is possible in a fairy tale.
jack13 wrote:
A priest and a nun are traveling across the desert when the camel dies of thirst. The priest ponders the dilemma and finally says, "Our time is numbered here. Will you disrobe in front of me? I've never seen a naked woman."
"I've never seen a man nude before. Will you also disrobe first?"
The priest disrobes and the nun asks, "What is that thing between your legs?"
Priest says,"That is the staff of life. If I put it in you, it will bring new life."
Nun: "Ah, so put it in the camel and lets get going."
ROFLMA
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#436 Oct 31, 2009
Path wrote:
Really, when you start to look at it, it doesn't sound like the Christian beliefs are {anything} like the Jewish beliefs at all. I really don't know where they get off claiming to follow the same god and beliefs...
Agreed - what makes most sense is the jews and Christians have 'teamed up' to oppose the Muslims.

These types of alliances are documented through out history. Now is just a different alliance between 2 of the most 'threatened' religions. Same old story, only with new alliances, characters and weapons.
nina

Canada

#437 Oct 31, 2009
Path wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not talking about this bell nonsense, which I'm sure was just a variant stemmed from earlier superstitions....
there's an area in India where the practise is to pile the dead in a particular location, behind a wall and above ground

the vultures then eat the bodies and the spirit is freed

the problem they have now is that the vultures are dying off

and they have a huge mound of corpses
jack13

El Paso, TX

#438 Oct 31, 2009
Path wrote:
<quoted text>I'm not talking about this bell nonsense, which I'm sure was just a variant stemmed from earlier superstitions.
As far as cremation and burial go they go back much farther; farther than recorded history.
What's obvious to you and me wasn't necessarily obvious to people 10-20,000 years ago.
We know things because we're educated about them, but can you honestly say you would understand about heartbeats and pulses if you'd had no education and spent your life hunting with a spear?.. You'd like to think so, I'm sure, but you can't assume it.
I suspect that people who lived by hunting would be aware when someone died. After all, it would be important to know when your prey was dead. If not, it might be the last error you made when that saber toothed tiger woke up.
NotBuyingIt

Mesa, AZ

#439 Oct 31, 2009
nina wrote:
<quoted text>
there's an area in India where the practise is to pile the dead in a particular location, behind a wall and above ground
the vultures then eat the bodies and the spirit is freed
the problem they have now is that the vultures are dying off
and they have a huge mound of corpses
One has to wonder if anyone is looking into whats killing off the vultures when such an abundant food source exists?
nina

Canada

#440 Oct 31, 2009
NotBuyingIt wrote:
<quoted text>
One has to wonder if anyone is looking into whats killing off the vultures when such an abundant food source exists?
they still need habitat to lay eggs

massive construction, expanding cities

“The eye has it...”

Since: May 09

Russell's Teapot

#441 Oct 31, 2009
nina wrote:
agnositic isn't any more reasonable than athiesm
anymore than bisexual is more reasonable than being either het or gay
...hold on, HET?.....we've got to come up with a better term....

<giggles>
nina

Canada

#442 Nov 1, 2009
scaritual wrote:
<quoted text>
...hold on, HET?.....we've got to come up with a better term....
<giggles>
It's nicer than Breeders

“Life may be sweeter for this”

Since: Nov 08

Fennario

#443 Nov 1, 2009
nina wrote:
It's nicer than Breeders
Not to bust your balls (so to speak), because het and breeder are both fine with me (straight is the one I don't like because the word also means lame, square, un-hip, etc.).

But for the sake of the record, how many gay people do you know with biological children? I know quite a few, mostly previously married.

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