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Jason Clark
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Why Sam Harris is a moron, Part 2: Objective Morality
Someone actually gave Sam a PhD, for his moral landscape thesis. I hope all the universities aren't giving out PhDs for theses based on not knowing the definition of a word. The word Sam doesn't seem to know the definition of is "objective".    Science can ...

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Why Sam Harris is a moron, Part 1: Islamophobia
It is hard to know where to begin, with Sam Harris. He is so addled, that it's going to take multiple posts to describe just how addled he is. Let's start with Islamophobia. When I recently asked Sam Harris what he thought of the word 'Islamophobia,' he dir...

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Jason Clark commented on a post on Blogger.
//A lot of layman seem to have preconceived notions about what these words mean; often they believe that you can't be theist, atheist, or agnostic at the same time.// 

Or...a lot of people use the older, and still more popular (outside of some atheist circles) definitions. Modern brunettes, on the other hand, have decided not to use the definitions "brunette" (someone with brown hair), or "redhead" (someone with redish hair) that existed, and instead decided that "brunette" should mean "not blonde". I mean...modern a-theists, on the other hand, have decided not to use the definitions "atheist" (someone who believes the claim is false), or "agnostic" (someone with no belief as to the truth of a claim) that existed, and instead decided that "atheist" should mean "not a theist".

16th century: atheos (no/not/without god) + ist (someone who believes) = someone who believes "no god" 

17th century: theos (god) + ist = someone who believes "god"

18th century: D'holbach doesn't consider "religious sceptics" or those who "haven't made up their minds yet" to be "atheists". He argues against Christians tossing their narrow definition "atheist" label at non-believers who aren't real atheists. In the writings of every single named opponent of D'Holbach, they use a narrow definition of "atheist". 

19th century: Huxley laments that he's not fond of real atheists, but admits he's the type of person a Christian would label atheist, for lack of a better word. He later comes up with that better word.

"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe.

Consequently Agnosticism puts aside not only the greater part of popular theology, but also the greater part of anti-theology. On the whole, the "bosh" of heterodoxy is more offensive to me than that of orthodoxy, because heterodoxy professes to be guided by reason and science, and orthodoxy does not." ~ Thomas Huxley, 1884 

Huxley was a scientist, above all else. His agnosticism amounted to a form of demarcation. No objective/testable evidence = unobjective/unscientific claim. Results: inconclusive, and no belief as to the truth, or falsehood, of the claim. Karl Popper also self-identified as just agnostic.

20th century: 

"In this interpretation an atheist becomes: not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God; but someone who is simply not a theist. Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word 'atheism' may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage. 'Whyever', it could be asked, 'don't you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?" ~ Antony Flew, 1984 

People promoting broadening the definition of atheism have now created broad and narrow definitions for both words. 

Broad definition "agnostic" defines a specific position of no belief. Narrow definition "atheist" defines a specific position of belief. "Agnostic atheist", on the other hand, doesn't define a specific position. One could be an agnostic weak/negative atheist, who has no belief. Or, one could be an agnostic strong/positive atheist, who has a belief but doesn't claim to know. 

"Agnostic atheist" is the meaningless term.

//really it can be applied to knowledge about almost anything//

This is how the word is applied to anything... 

"(In a non-religious context) having a doubtful or non-committal attitude towards something" - Oxford 

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The way out of Agnosticism "In its relation to religion, the century now drawing to  its close is emphatically the Age of Agnosticism." The New world, Volume 3 "If one were asked to name the two most characteristic intellectual attitudes of the latter half ...

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Quotations about Huxley Huxleyism: the theory of the anthropoid descent of man and its inevitable consequences. Clarence Edwin Ayres, Huxley (1929) p. 242. Darwin's bulldog was patently a man of almost puritanical uprightness. Cyril Bibby in 'T.H. Huxley: S...

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Confusion on people's views stems a lot on definitions. Using different definitions of labels causes confusion. Using different definitions of what it is we're supposed to be contemplating the existence of also causes much confusion.  So, what do I mean by ...

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ADDLED ATHEIST #5: David Nicholls
Agnosticism Explained "Agnostics of the planet are a very dangerous breed"  What the...I'm dangerous? Yet another article by an atheist who stupidly thinks agnostics are trying to squeeze in somewhere between broad definition atheism and theism. An utter mo...

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There seem to be quite a few atheists who act like there is only one proposition, "gods exist", in play. They also separate questions of belief and knowledge, and then ask two binary questions. One, regarding belief, and the second, regarding knowledge.  Do...

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Baron D'Holbach
One of Huxley's heroes was David Hume, who's philosophy had quite an impact on Huxley. Rob Zaretsky describes an encounter between Hume, showing himself to be an agnostic, and Baron D'Holbach... An uncomfortable question, it turned out. Soon after his arriv...

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Silly Beliefs Contrary to what we suspect she intended to convey with her statement — "I'm not an atheist. I'm an agnostic" — it actually translates to, "I believe in God, although I don't think we can ever prove that he exists". This is a straw man. The au...
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