Essan, it is my opinion that you are a poor debater.
You admit to being agnostic, after the fact. You find atheists hypocritical, yet disguise your own beliefs or stance in this debate. I find that digingenuous, as if by provoking others, you prove your point. The only thing that proves to me is, you get off on other people's perceived emotions.
Allow me to respond to your relevant (and some of the irrelevant) remarks addressed to my last response.
Jeff: "To sit behind your keyboard, knowing you were an agnostic, but morphing into a theistic position for the sake of "argument", is not in of itself a virtue."
That's nonsense Jeff. What on earth makes you think that any challenge of the definition of "Atheism" means " morphing into a theistic position". This just reveals your own prejudiced assumption that any challenge to Atheism as you define is it a "theistic" thing to do.
Essan, when one challenges a theistic position as you have, yet hides their agnostic stance, what choice is left for reasonable people reading this? That you are either a theist of some sort, or possibly, an @$$hole. Perhaps both. Don't get all snitty when you do not declare yourself at the door, and others, in a well meaning attempt to engage you, try to add context to your statements.
In short, get over yourself. If you feel misunderstood somehow on that score, you have only yourself to blame.
I find as a deist plenty to challenge atheists on. Specifically, I like to engage atheists on the matter of what it means to be a spiritual person, to have meaning in life without a god or organized religion to point a way to do so, etc. It also is apparant that the human experience yearns for higher meaning. I allow that to possibly mean a higher power exists on some plane......
You as an agnostic challenge atheists simply because their attitude seems to piss you off. Since your attitude has obviously pissed me off, I can only mirror your "cleverness" by asking, WTF? Atheism IS limited. We agree on that, or seem to. What you seem incapable of doing is engaging an atheist at any level other then to say, "You can't prove god doesn't exist." So what do you want, for an atheist to stop being an atheist, or to stop pointing out that god doesn't exist?
There are so many rich levels to this to discuss, but you seem determined to mock atheists instead of engaging them. I agree that theists can be similarly mocked. But it isn't the same thing. There is a lot more honesty on the atheist level, and on that score, I am solidly with the atheists.
Jeff "Lastly, when one leaves everything to the imagination, one deserves what various imaginations casts upon them. In this case, you left no one a choice but to imagine you were a theist apologist in this discussion. What you really were, (with all respect) was a camaflouged debater, hell bent on arguing against atheists, just because, you know, they are so hypocritical. (to that I say, whatever, with all respect)"
Sorry Jeff, but that's bollocks. There is no need to "imagine" anything unless one wants to indulge in the ad hominem, as you did.
I am sorry, but this is absolute bullcrap. I engaged in no such thing. You keep missing the part about context in your statements. Any reasonable person would be asking "Why does Essan challenge atheism?" 99% of the time, it is because they are theists. The other 1% evidentally represent whatever you think you are. It isn't imagining. You just want to stimulate a discussion. (nothing wrong with that) by attacking the definition of atheism (nothing wrong with that). A task that is typically done by theists (nothing wrong with that) Except you are an agnostic. (nothing wrong with that either.) But you get pissed off because you were an assumed theist and you were *gasp* actually an agnostic. GOTCHA!!! Boy aren't you clever.
Do you know why we didn't know you were an agnostic? Because you didn't say so you idiot!
I'm not really interested in the relative merits of the Atheism and Theism.
That much is now clear.
I see Atheism and Theism as suffering from the same basic error, just to differing degrees.
Well, it took you 10 pages and a lot of erroneous conclusions to get to your opinion. Conciseness is not your gift.
Lastly, please allow me a poke at agnosticsm. I do find it a very honest place, and can respect that. It is also a much easier place to inhabit mentally. I don't find it a sort of intellectual throne though. This debate leaves me wondering whether or not it is people who make conclusions in life that offend you. Since it is clear that atheists and theists have done that, the one lack in agnosticism is that there is no conclusion to be drawn. It is the ultimate "whatever."
I think that is fine. I am in no way condemning that. But there are good reasons to respect the moderate opinions of both sides of the argument. Esp with atheists, who are only pointing out that, in light of a lack of any evidence, god doesn't exist. I wouldn't argue with an atheist on that score. I would lose.
Whats the point? To define atheism as a belief in something, when it is in actuality a statement based on available evidence that there is no god, is ridiculous.
I don't agree with atheists. I don't rule out god. I see evidence of something, but hell, I am not arguing for it at all.
What is more important to me is, where are we "spiritually." If you don't like that word, then to put it another way, where are we in pursuing meaning in our life, that adds quaility to our life, and to the lives that cross our path?
Debates like this have limited value, other then revealing a little, of where we are.
I don't doubt for a fact Essan that, like me and all others on this board, you will grow from your current position. I wish you well on that quest.