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The Agnostic's Issue


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#1    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:20 AM

There are generally three basic forms of Agnosticism:
  • Those who believe the truth about God is unknowable
  • Those who simply haven't and/or don't really think too much about God
  • Those who are currently active in the process of questioning God's existance/non-existance and have not yet personally come up with a definitive answer
Obviously it is impossible to refute the second stance because the second stance is the complete lack of a stance. The third stance is purely procedural and is therefore rarely considered a lifestyle or phylosophy. Therefore we are basically left with the discussion of stance #1...

To those who believe that the truth about God is unknowable, or that the truth about God can never be proven or known, you must also logically deny that scientific truth itself of any sort cannot be known. Logically, there is a truth. Either God exists, or he doesn't. He cannot exist and not exist at the same time. Truth itself is absolute, so logically there is an absolute truth about God. Someone has to be right. Therefore the debate concerning God's existance/non-existance crosses into the realm of science. If God happens to exist, he is no longer a religious figure, but a scientific fact. Therefore if one were to scientifically pursue the question of "Does God exist?", why is it suddenly impossible to know this specific scientific question as opposed to any other one?

To say that the existance/non-existance of God can never be scientifically proven is to presuppose that science cannot answer a simple yes or no question such as this, and that science has not answered it already.

Now I am not saying that I am a harsh believer in scientism. However I am saying that certain black and white scientific truth questions such as "Does God exist?" should not be automatically ruled out as impossible to know simply because someone happens to find it to be a difficult question.

Fact is, it is logically impossible to say that the truth about God cannot be known. Because that statement in and of itself presupposes you know that statement to be absolute truth, which is impossible to prove. Therefore if it is logically possible that God exists, and logically possible to scientifically prove whether he does or doesn't exists, then it is only logical to pursue this question scientifically as opposed to dogmatically ruling it out.

Agnosticism stance #1 is an illogical stance. Agnosticism stance #2 is obviously illogical and to some extent irresponsible. Therefore the only logical Agnosticism stance is stance #3. As I mentioned, this is purely a procedural stance, and is basically meant only to chose one's side. It is only logical for every person to pursue the issue of God's existance, whether it be on their own individually, or as a collective group. Even the belief that God's existance isn't already proven is a presupposition in and of itself. Science is only data. Science says nothing, Scientists do. It is the interpretation of that same data that causes scientists to draw their conclusions, and people have proven themselves time and time again to be capable of reading the exact same data and draw completely different conclusions.

In the end, Agnosticism has no leg to stand on. All that is left is for the Agnostic to begin (or continue) active and vigorous pursuit of the answers, whether it be by themselves or with others.

Peace :)
And God Bless

Jesus Christ - Matthew 28:18-20 said:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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#2    krypter3

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:29 AM

Why must you feel the need to to start these kinds of threads.  The use of labels is pointless. I've been called agnostic because I believe there could be something after death but I don't believe in 'god' as religion describes him.   You say it's illogical for someone to simply not think about god.  I think it's illogical to make these posts to try and force opinions and beliefs on someone.

Believe in what you want to believe in and let others believe in what they want to believe in.

Edited by krypter3, 12 April 2013 - 06:30 AM.


#3    Zaphod222

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:18 AM

View Postkrypter3, on 12 April 2013 - 06:29 AM, said:

Why must you feel the need to to start these kinds of threads.

That is a religious zealot for you.
But at least this one is harmless. So just take it as background noise... no skin my nose or yours.

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#4    RamblingRebel

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:06 AM

It is good to think though.  Might not agree with his thoughts,  but cant knock the fella for thinking.


#5    Zaphod222

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:51 AM

View PostRamblingRebel, on 12 April 2013 - 08:06 AM, said:

It is good to think though.  Might not agree with his thoughts,  but cant knock the fella for thinking.

Couldn´t really detect much deep thought there. But as I said: he is harmless, and no skin off my nose.

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#6    eight bits

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

Quote

There are generally three basic forms of Agnosticism:
Those who believe the truth about God is unknowable

Those who simply haven't and/or don't really think too much about God

Those who are currently active in the process of questioning God's existance/non-existance and have not yet personally come up with a definitive answer

I am an agnostic, and find that analytical framework to be an issue. With respect to the first, nobody knows "the truth about God." Dressing that up with the wo-woo term unknowable simply adds something else that nobody knows, whether or not we will ever be clever enough to figure it out.

In the meantime, what every human being has, at most, is an opinion on the subject of God, an opinion about the solidity of the evidence and argument that bears on that opinion, and in your formulation, an opinion about the prospects for future improvement in that solidity. There's nothing "agnostic" about that. You have described the human condition.

The other two "stances," self-servingly presented as the only alternatives worth mentioning, are simply insulting. Who in hell are you to say that I haven't thought much about God? Or that it if I have, that there is any reason whatsoever to think that I will "yet" abandon my religion?

How about this, my esteemed fellow member? Maybe my opinion is correct that the current state of evidence and argument is abysmally insufficient for a responsible thinker to form a "definitive" answer. I assume you meant "categorical," because know this my friend: I already have a definitive answer. And maybe the remedy for the current insufficiency is not for me to do more "questionning," but for me to adopt a posture of watchful waiting, vigilant for progress in knowledge generally that might make an opening for advancement on this specific question.

My agnostocism is not some individual personal problem. If, as and when the entire human race can confidently answer the question the God, then so, too, will I, if I am still around when this happens. In the meantime, one huge difference between you and me is that I believe that I cannot confiidently answer the question of God unless, in principle, everybody can, all in the same way at the same time.

As to your other points,

Of course I deny that sceintific truth can be "known" in any strict sense. It is a contingent inference subject to revision as more experience accumulates, and in the meantime has been accepted as a best estimate for now. Best often reflects not only prospects for truth, or nearness to truth, but also usefulness, including usefulness as a framework for further investigation.

Quote

To say that the existance/non-existance of God can never be scientifically proven is to presuppose that science cannot answer a simple yes or no question

Is number theory incomplete (are there some statements that are true of the counting numbers that cannot be formally demonstrated)? That's a simple yes-no question, too. It provably cannot be answered categorically and certainly. So, science cannot answer it. So what?

This has nothing to do with any positive claim responsible people advance for science. It has nothing to do with the reliability of the answers science gives when it does make estimates of what's going on.

The fantasy of "Scientism" strikes me as fundie revenge for science having rejected their account of my earliest ancestor being an animated mudpie married to a spare rib. It isn't science's fault that some people can't find a metaphor with both hands.

As to the rest, I will only repeat that I have already "chosen a side." I think that the evidence and argument about the question of God is abysmal. You, just like atheist activists, have chosen the other side from mine. It gives me no end of comfort that those who disagree with me about the bearing of evidence and argument so often quarrel among themselves about the implications of their shared belief in sufficiency.

Although I never lose sight that my opinion is only my opinion, nevertheless, the utter confusion of my opponents emboldens me to think that I just might be right about this one.

Edited by eight bits, 12 April 2013 - 09:11 AM.

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#7    Zaphod222

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:55 PM

View Posteight bits, on 12 April 2013 - 09:03 AM, said:


Of course I deny that sceintific truth can be "known" in any strict sense. It is a contingent inference subject to revision as more experience accumulates, and in the meantime has been accepted as a best estimate for now. Best often reflects not only prospects for truth, or nearness to truth, but also usefulness, including usefulness as a framework for further investigation.

Is number theory incomplete (are there some statements that are true of the counting numbers that cannot be formally demonstrated)? That's a simple yes-no question, too. It provably cannot be answered categorically and certainly. So, science cannot answer it. So what?

This has nothing to do with any positive claim responsible people advance for science. It has nothing to do with the reliability of the answers science gives when it does make estimates of what's going on.

The fantasy of "Scientism" strikes me as fundie revenge for science having rejected their account of my earliest ancestor being an animated mudpie married to a spare rib. It isn't science's fault that some people can't find a metaphor with both hands.


LOL! You had me rolling on the floor there for a moment. What a way with words. High five and cheers to you!

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#8    Esoteric Toad

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:02 PM

As of this moment in history there are many things that are unknowable, To say otherwise illustrates complete blind faith. Think whatever you like that science does not work like that. We'd still be treating the ill using bleeding and the four humors if it weren't for SCIENCE.

Unknowable does not equal god/gods.

Edited for spelling and leaving entire words out. Thinking faster than typing :w00t:

Edited by Esoteric Toad, 12 April 2013 - 03:39 PM.


#9    flbrnt

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:52 PM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 12 April 2013 - 06:20 AM, said:

There are generally three basic forms of Agnosticism:
  • Those who believe the truth about God is unknowable
  • Those who simply haven't and/or don't really think too much about God
  • Those who are currently active in the process of questioning God's existance/non-existance and have not yet personally come up with a definitive answer
Obviously it is impossible to refute the second stance because the second stance is the complete lack of a stance. The third stance is purely procedural and is therefore rarely considered a lifestyle or phylosophy. Therefore we are basically left with the discussion of stance #1...

To those who believe that the truth about God is unknowable, or that the truth about God can never be proven or known, you must also logically deny that scientific truth itself of any sort cannot be known. Logically, there is a truth. Either God exists, or he doesn't. He cannot exist and not exist at the same time. Truth itself is absolute, so logically there is an absolute truth about God. Someone has to be right. Therefore the debate concerning God's existance/non-existance crosses into the realm of science. If God happens to exist, he is no longer a religious figure, but a scientific fact. Therefore if one were to scientifically pursue the question of "Does God exist?", why is it suddenly impossible to know this specific scientific question as opposed to any other one?

To say that the existance/non-existance of God can never be scientifically proven is to presuppose that science cannot answer a simple yes or no question such as this, and that science has not answered it already.

Now I am not saying that I am a harsh believer in scientism. However I am saying that certain black and white scientific truth questions such as "Does God exist?" should not be automatically ruled out as impossible to know simply because someone happens to find it to be a difficult question.

Fact is, it is logically impossible to say that the truth about God cannot be known. Because that statement in and of itself presupposes you know that statement to be absolute truth, which is impossible to prove. Therefore if it is logically possible that God exists, and logically possible to scientifically prove whether he does or doesn't exists, then it is only logical to pursue this question scientifically as opposed to dogmatically ruling it out.

Agnosticism stance #1 is an illogical stance. Agnosticism stance #2 is obviously illogical and to some extent irresponsible. Therefore the only logical Agnosticism stance is stance #3. As I mentioned, this is purely a procedural stance, and is basically meant only to chose one's side. It is only logical for every person to pursue the issue of God's existance, whether it be on their own individually, or as a collective group. Even the belief that God's existance isn't already proven is a presupposition in and of itself. Science is only data. Science says nothing, Scientists do. It is the interpretation of that same data that causes scientists to draw their conclusions, and people have proven themselves time and time again to be capable of reading the exact same data and draw completely different conclusions.

In the end, Agnosticism has no leg to stand on. All that is left is for the Agnostic to begin (or continue) active and vigorous pursuit of the answers, whether it be by themselves or with others.

Peace :)
And God Bless
Your argument contains a fallacy. The question of God's existence deals with an absolute. Scientific truths are not absolutes and, indeed, the scientific method is not designed to deal with absolutes. To say that we finite creatures can know the infinite seems both illogical and arrogant to me. We all have our beliefs in this regard but to say they are more than beliefs to me is a form of idolatry.


#10    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

View PostZaphod222, on 12 April 2013 - 07:18 AM, said:

That is a religious zealot for you.
But at least this one is harmless. So just take it as background noise... no skin my nose or yours.

Kinda sorta, he fuels the way for the more harmful ones.

Edited by HavocWing, 12 April 2013 - 04:18 PM.

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Who is like God
The epitome of evil

#11    Copasetic

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 04:39 AM

View Posteight bits, on 12 April 2013 - 09:03 AM, said:

I am an agnostic, and find that analytical framework to be an issue. With respect to the first, nobody knows "the truth about God." Dressing that up with the wo-woo term unknowable simply adds something else that nobody knows, whether or not we will ever be clever enough to figure it out.

In the meantime, what every human being has, at most, is an opinion on the subject of God, an opinion about the solidity of the evidence and argument that bears on that opinion, and in your formulation, an opinion about the prospects for future improvement in that solidity. There's nothing "agnostic" about that. You have described the human condition.

The other two "stances," self-servingly presented as the only alternatives worth mentioning, are simply insulting. Who in hell are you to say that I haven't thought much about God? Or that it if I have, that there is any reason whatsoever to think that I will "yet" abandon my religion?

How about this, my esteemed fellow member? Maybe my opinion is correct that the current state of evidence and argument is abysmally insufficient for a responsible thinker to form a "definitive" answer. I assume you meant "categorical," because know this my friend: I already have a definitive answer. And maybe the remedy for the current insufficiency is not for me to do more "questionning," but for me to adopt a posture of watchful waiting, vigilant for progress in knowledge generally that might make an opening for advancement on this specific question.

My agnostocism is not some individual personal problem. If, as and when the entire human race can confidently answer the question the God, then so, too, will I, if I am still around when this happens. In the meantime, one huge difference between you and me is that I believe that I cannot confiidently answer the question of God unless, in principle, everybody can, all in the same way at the same time.

As to your other points,

Of course I deny that sceintific truth can be "known" in any strict sense. It is a contingent inference subject to revision as more experience accumulates, and in the meantime has been accepted as a best estimate for now. Best often reflects not only prospects for truth, or nearness to truth, but also usefulness, including usefulness as a framework for further investigation.



Is number theory incomplete (are there some statements that are true of the counting numbers that cannot be formally demonstrated)? That's a simple yes-no question, too. It provably cannot be answered categorically and certainly. So, science cannot answer it. So what?

This has nothing to do with any positive claim responsible people advance for science. It has nothing to do with the reliability of the answers science gives when it does make estimates of what's going on.

The fantasy of "Scientism" strikes me as fundie revenge for science having rejected their account of my earliest ancestor being an animated mudpie married to a spare rib. It isn't science's fault that some people can't find a metaphor with both hands.

As to the rest, I will only repeat that I have already "chosen a side." I think that the evidence and argument about the question of God is abysmal. You, just like atheist activists, have chosen the other side from mine. It gives me no end of comfort that those who disagree with me about the bearing of evidence and argument so often quarrel among themselves about the implications of their shared belief in sufficiency.

Although I never lose sight that my opinion is only my opinion, nevertheless, the utter confusion of my opponents emboldens me to think that I just might be right about this one.

We need some more of this <gets popcorn>, I'm on call with nothing to do and the TV in my call room isn't working! Come one AC fire-back, I want to read some more EB demolition of your posts over the next 6 or so hours!!!


#12    Likely Guy

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:03 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 12 April 2013 - 06:20 AM, said:

There are generally three basic forms of Agnosticism:
  • Those who believe the truth about God is unknowable
  • Those who simply haven't and/or don't really think too much about God
  • Those who are currently active in the process of questioning God's existance/non-existance and have not yet personally come up with a definitive answer

In the end, Agnosticism has no leg to stand on. All that is left is for the Agnostic to begin (or continue) active and vigorous pursuit of the answers, whether it be by themselves or with others.

Peace :)
And God Bless

No, agnostics don't just "believe the truth about God is unknowable"... you're right, in that, we also "don't think that much about God".

We question. Sure. You're 3rd point is a fallacy. I've been an agnostic most of my life. I really don't care whether there is a God, or not.

Really, truly. I believe that either way it makes no difference to me.


#13    Likely Guy

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:07 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 14 April 2013 - 06:03 AM, said:



No, agnostics don't just "believe the truth about God is unknowable"... you're right, in that, we also "don't think that much about God".

We question. Sure. You're 3rd point is a fallacy. I've been an agnostic most of my life. I really don't care whether there is a God, or not.

Really, truly. I believe that either way it makes no difference to me.

Edit: Regarding "The Agnostic's Issue"; we don't have one. We'd prefer to be left alone. Thnxs. :)

Edit / P.S.: Anyone else's belief or disbelief in a higher power will neither elevate nor demean my estimation of that person. I simply don't care, to me, it's like two people arguing over their favourite colour.

Edited by Likely Guy, 14 April 2013 - 06:33 AM.


#14    Emma_Acid

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:21 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 12 April 2013 - 06:20 AM, said:

Now I am not saying that I am a harsh believer in scientism. However I am saying that certain black and white scientific truth questions such as "Does God exist?" should not be automatically ruled out as impossible to know simply because someone happens to find it to be a difficult question.


Science is a process, not an ideology, so it isn't an "ism". Also, the concept of god(s) is unfalsifiable, therefore completely invalid scientifically. It baffles me when people constantly go on about "proof" of god.

"Science is the least subjective form of deduction" ~ A. Mulder

#15    Merc14

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:36 PM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 12 April 2013 - 06:20 AM, said:

There are generally three basic forms of Agnosticism:
  • Those who believe the truth about God is unknowable
  • Those who simply haven't and/or don't really think too much about God
  • Those who are currently active in the process of questioning God's existance/non-existance and have not yet personally come up with a definitive answer
Obviously it is impossible to refute the second stance because the second stance is the complete lack of a stance. The third stance is purely procedural and is therefore rarely considered a lifestyle or phylosophy. Therefore we are basically left with the discussion of stance #1...

To those who believe that the truth about God is unknowable, or that the truth about God can never be proven or known, you must also logically deny that scientific truth itself of any sort cannot be known. Logically, there is a truth. Either God exists, or he doesn't. He cannot exist and not exist at the same time. Truth itself is absolute, so logically there is an absolute truth about God. Someone has to be right. Therefore the debate concerning God's existance/non-existance crosses into the realm of science. If God happens to exist, he is no longer a religious figure, but a scientific fact. Therefore if one were to scientifically pursue the question of "Does God exist?", why is it suddenly impossible to know this specific scientific question as opposed to any other one?

To say that the existance/non-existance of God can never be scientifically proven is to presuppose that science cannot answer a simple yes or no question such as this, and that science has not answered it already.

Now I am not saying that I am a harsh believer in scientism. However I am saying that certain black and white scientific truth questions such as "Does God exist?" should not be automatically ruled out as impossible to know simply because someone happens to find it to be a difficult question.

Fact is, it is logically impossible to say that the truth about God cannot be known. Because that statement in and of itself presupposes you know that statement to be absolute truth, which is impossible to prove. Therefore if it is logically possible that God exists, and logically possible to scientifically prove whether he does or doesn't exists, then it is only logical to pursue this question scientifically as opposed to dogmatically ruling it out.

Agnosticism stance #1 is an illogical stance. Agnosticism stance #2 is obviously illogical and to some extent irresponsible. Therefore the only logical Agnosticism stance is stance #3. As I mentioned, this is purely a procedural stance, and is basically meant only to chose one's side. It is only logical for every person to pursue the issue of God's existance, whether it be on their own individually, or as a collective group. Even the belief that God's existance isn't already proven is a presupposition in and of itself. Science is only data. Science says nothing, Scientists do. It is the interpretation of that same data that causes scientists to draw their conclusions, and people have proven themselves time and time again to be capable of reading the exact same data and draw completely different conclusions.

In the end, Agnosticism has no leg to stand on. All that is left is for the Agnostic to begin (or continue) active and vigorous pursuit of the answers, whether it be by themselves or with others.

Peace :)
And God Bless
  You presuppose that we can scientifically prove God exists  but how do you know that to be true?   Can we scientifically prove that our universe is  just one of an infinite number of universes?  Can we prove string theory or how quantum entanglement works? No we can't, at least not yet, so as far as man is concerned, for now and probably for another millennium, God is unknowable and cannot be scientifically proved.

You asked for Obamamerica, now you are going to get it.  Stand by for suck or as Pelosi says, "Embrace the suck".




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