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The Agnostic's Issue


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#16    Zaphod222

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:26 AM

View PostHavocWing, on 12 April 2013 - 03:55 PM, said:

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

That, alas, is true. I notice that typically the converts to virulent religions have been religionists all along: they just switched to the harder drug. Atheists are hardly ever recruited.

I am only saying that as long as he only touts Christianity, he is no skin off my nose.

Edited by Zaphod222, 15 April 2013 - 02:27 AM.

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#17    SpiritWriter

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:55 AM

I didnt read all this, I only got to a certain point. There becomes a time when God IS completly knowable. Not saying you completely know God, but you completely know God is real. I think its perfectly natural to be agnostic in some cases. Just dont forget you know, if you do know there is a God... thats all I have to say..

:)

Have a nice day..

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#18    SpiritWriter

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:01 AM

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

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.

Maybe he is trying to understand agnosticm. Does it really seem like he's trying to force opinions on you? To me it just seems like he's expressing himself by his own point of view. It seems to me that you want to limit his ability to do so... or that's how this comment comes across, to me...

Thankyou for sharing what being agnostic means to you, that was insighful. :)

Edited by SpiritWriter, 15 April 2013 - 03:03 AM.

The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#19    WolvenHeart7

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:26 AM

Got a problem with this.
Agnosticism remains more than the three points than the OP has stated. They have stated defining points of agnosticism in the perception of their beliefs.
You cannot really debate if some minds are excluded from the debater's beliefs.

Agnosticism: The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
Definitions of Agnosticism also state the unknown or disbelief in God.
I would further this example by perhaps stating that Agnostics are those that believe in certain other ways but not in God or gods/goddesses.

"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do." -William Blake

#20    AquilaChrysaetos

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:26 AM

View PostCopasetic, on 14 April 2013 - 04:39 AM, said:

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!!!

Forgive me for the late response, I have a busy thing I always have to adhere to called a life. ^_^ I don't always have time to bicker, but I'll do my best to satisfy you.

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

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.

Whether people realize it or not, belief and unbelief in the existance of God influences every other aspect of people's lives. It influences your entire philosophy, culture, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Your specific views concerning spirituality are imperative.

This isn't just my opinion based on my personal belief. This is an undeniable universal fact we all have to live up to. When it comes to religion, there is no neutral, and there is no middle ground. Tolerance, Pluralism, and Interfaithism are logical contradictions. Since we logically know that truth is absolute not relative, there must logically be an absolute answer.

Your response "believe what you want to believe" has quite serious implications if applied. For example if I were to say I believe we can survive on the moon with no protective gear, and you say you believe we can't, logically one of us has to be right. But if you deny that basic logic and continue on in an attempt to prevent me from getting my feelings hurt, then my "Biological Moon" belief would cause all kinds of scientific problems in the long haul that could devastate the community (especially if I express that belief to multiple people and they believe it as well) and even cause multiple deaths.

Therefore there is an absolute answer out there that explains every single mystery. Of course we'll never have all the answers, however that doesn't mean we shouldn't ever question any deep and serious issues such as God's existance.

Therefore I start these threads in an effort to throw out these false dogmas such as pluralism, and naturalism, simply in an attempt to get people to objectively think about these issues and to then therefore search for the truth. :)

View Postflbrnt, on 12 April 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

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.

"Scientific truths are not absolutes?" What could possibly be more absolute than a truth? Especially a scientific truth. Now if by scientific you mean someone's interpretation of scientific evidence, then yes I agree with you. That isn't absolute, only the evidence is. However if all evidence can be explained by a certain scientific theory, then it becomes therefore logical to believe in that theory of which you have great evidence for (which always requires faith) unless or until other evidences arrive to refute said theory, which if so would be logical to abandon such belief and move on to another. Since I have yet to hear any evidences or logical refutals, I therefore don't see any fallacy in my argument.

Also, not every scientific theory is reasonable to believe simply because it is repeatable (as observed through the scientific method). There are certain things that are self evident. For instance the existance of life on Earth. Can you prove that through the scientific method? Of course not, but you don't need to. Same goes for the Big Bang Theory. There are lots of evidences to support it, and yet it cannot be proven through the scientific method. However logically based on the evidence (as well as the self-evidence that everything exists) The Big Bang Theory's scientifically accepted as a reasonable conclusion. Not everything in science requires the scientific method.

View PostMerc14, on 14 April 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

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 misunderstand my message. I have not presupposed that he can be proven, I have simply stated that logically it is most certainly not worth abandoning yet. You're right, we can't scientifically prove that our universe is just one of many, nor can we prove string theory or quantum entanglement. However as stated above, it is more logical to believe the theory that can be explained by the greatest amount of evidence as opposed to the theory that cannot. I personally believe that God is explained through the greatest amount of evidence.

And to be clear, this is not a "God-in-the-gaps" argument. All of the scientific evidence lead scientists to ardently believe in the existance of the Higgs Boson for over 40 years. They had no proof it existed, yet logically it must exist based on all of the hardcore scientific evidences to support it. Finally after 40 years of painstaking work, they finally found it and proved it's existance. Now if scientists can go through literally billions of dollors worth of research over a 40 year span in an attempt to find the "God Particle" which logically based on evidence simply must be there, why do scientists deny the common sense evidences (Big Bang, Fine Tuning, Life on Earth, Human Consciousness, etc.) and do absolutely nothing in an attempt to find "God?"... My only logical answer to that question is simply dogmatic belief and denial.

So no Merc14, I haven't presupposed anything, I've simply followed the evidence where it leads.

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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#21    Merc14

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:37 AM

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 17 April 2013 - 12:26 AM, said:

You misunderstand my message. I have not presupposed that he can be proven, I have simply stated that logically it is most certainly not worth abandoning yet. You're right, we can't scientifically prove that our universe is just one of many, nor can we prove string theory or quantum entanglement. However as stated above, it is more logical to believe the theory that can be explained by the greatest amount of evidence as opposed to the theory that cannot. I personally believe that God is explained through the greatest amount of evidence.

I agree that the theory that can be explained by the most evidence is the most likely till proved otherwise, yet you present none, except your feelings of course.

View PostAquilaChrysaetos, on 17 April 2013 - 12:26 AM, said:

And to be clear, this is not a "God-in-the-gaps" argument. All of the scientific evidence lead scientists to ardently believe in the existance of the Higgs Boson for over 40 years. They had no proof it existed, yet logically it must exist based on all of the hardcore scientific evidences to support it. Finally after 40 years of painstaking work, they finally found it and proved it's existance. Now if scientists can go through literally billions of dollors worth of research over a 40 year span in an attempt to find the "God Particle" which logically based on evidence simply must be there, why do scientists deny the common sense evidences (Big Bang, Fine Tuning, Life on Earth, Human Consciousness, etc.) and do absolutely nothing in an attempt to find "God?"... My only logical answer to that question is simply dogmatic belief and denial.

So no Merc14, I haven't presupposed anything, I've simply followed the evidence where it leads.

The question is simple and ages old, how do you prove the existence of God?  Propose the theory?  It isn't possible yet you feel intrinsically that God exists.  Isn't that enough, isn't that faith?  You want one of man's religions to describe something that you can't even propose a theory on and then attack science.  Propose the theory that will prove God exists and you'll be famous.  If you can't buy the religious dogma without that theory yet you believe God exists then guess what, you are an agnostic.

"What is faith? It is belief in the absence of evidence."  A. Rand

“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”  A. Rand

#22    eight bits

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:44 AM

AC, the OP

Quote

I don't always have time to bicker, but I'll do my best to satisfy you.

Really? Copa asked you specifically to answer my post. You didn't. Feel free to remedy that lapse at your earliest convenience.

Quote

This isn't just my opinion based on my personal belief.

That's exactly what it is.

There is an absolute truth, like the right answer to Goldbach's conjecture. Nobody knows what that answer is. In the meantime, toleration and cooperation with people who think that there is some large even number which isn't the sum of two primes (yeah, right, and then you ask them to name one, and they hand a some line of BS about how they're still looking...) make a lot of sense. As does toleration and cooperation with the "agnostics" on Goldbach's conjecture, those cowardly orifices who won't shove either answer down anybody's else's throat. Can you believe some people?

Quote

Of course we'll never have all the answers, however that doesn't mean we shouldn't ever question any deep and serious issues such as God's existance.

And given that the topic is some "agnostic's issue," have you concluded that agnostics do not ever question any deep and serious issues such as God's existence? Isn't that in fact your complaint about us, that we question everybody's ideas about this, including our own?

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#23    Frank Merton

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:52 AM

I think "agnosticism" is a valid word when used to describe someone in one of two camps:

1.  They don't care whether there is a God or not, probably considering the question a form of tilting windmills.

2.  They think finite human beings fool themselves if they they think they can demonstrate any answer to such a question that pertains to infinite things.

In both cases, since there is no "belief" in God present, the individual is also accurately describable as an atheist (one who does not believe in God), so agnosticism can be said to be a subdivision of atheism.


#24    Zeta Reticulum

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

Well, we will all someday be on our death beds. I personally want to feel that I have some beautiful reunions and exotic places ahead of me. Rather than the blackness that you who don't believe, must think awaits.


#25    Frank Merton

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:49 AM

View PostZeta Reticulum, on 17 April 2013 - 08:30 AM, said:

Well, we will all someday be on our death beds. I personally want to feel that I have some beautiful reunions and exotic places ahead of me. Rather than the blackness that you who don't believe, must think awaits.
|Wishing for things don't make them true.


#26    chopmo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:27 AM

Not at all and I would thank you to stop stating that.

Agnosticism is a person who follows beliefs/faiths of their own opinion, yes your 3 exist and also the "teeny bopper atheist" which in they say they are but have no idea of the concept and stop have beliefs but really thats like a toddler commenting on christianity.

I am agnostic, my opinion on god is my own accord I take beliefs from many different sources and have formed my own opinion. I don't believe the major religions have it right but there is a method to their madness if you step back from the fear of constantly being spanked by a almighty c*** really if you look at their full death threats and seperate that and the bull**** you get something meaningfull.


btw, yes I do believe their is a heaven, hell, afterlife and a supreme being but as I said before I hold a different opinion than normal religion.

Edited by chopmo, 17 April 2013 - 11:30 AM.

why is everyone so &^%$ing concerned with "the end"...
new beginnings is what you should be concerned about...

#27    praetorian-legio XIII

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:18 PM

I consider myself agnostic based on the literal translation of the word, which is (ancient greek) without knowledge

I am without knowledge of God. I don't know if God exists or doesn't exist based on the fact I have never had anything remotely God like happen in my life. I would like there to be an allcaring God, but until such time as he makes himself known to me , I'm afraid I'll remain agnostic.


#28    Mr Walker

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:15 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
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

Agnosticism, like theism and atheism, is (has to be by definition) a consciously chosen position of belief. In the case of agnosticism, the person is saying, ' I consciously chose to suspend both belief and disbelief, and admit I do not know."

A person who never considers the existence of god is not agnostic  (nor theistic nor atheistic) In reality almost no human is like this because belief construction begins with birth and develops as our mind first begins to comprehend the world around it.  So most humans HAVE considered the existence of gods by the time they are a few years old. They might later lose interest or become apathetic, but often they retain, deep inside them, their first formed belief constructs or the  more later formed construct of disbelief

Few people, on any position, are really prepared to say.,"Honestly I do not know." AND then say, "and i chose not to adopt any belief position on this matter"

Most peole who do not know  the facts about an issue are caused, by the nature of human thought, to adopt some form of belief position. eg "Is vegetarianism more healthy for humans than eating meat?" Most people who have no idea of the facts will still form a belief position, based on other parts of their world view, or other beliefs about health and life.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#29    Mr Walker

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:28 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 17 April 2013 - 08:49 AM, said:

|Wishing for things don't make them true.
But of course that is not the point at all. Wishing for things,  and believing they may come true, alters the human mind and changes the chemical balance within it.

It makes you feel better inmany measurable ways and thus be healthier and  more empowered. I have  a ticket in tonight's 40 million dollar lottery. Of course my chance  of wining it is about  30 in 100 million, but just having the ticket entitles me to dream and plan.  I have spent an hour or two today having a lot of fun  constructing scholsarships, bequests, and charitable donations which I will  create, if i win the money. But even if i do not win it has been a pleasant, challenging, and constructive use of time.  It has made me consider my priorities and my values.

For example I would give several million to the school where I have  been privileged to teach many wonderful children for  over 30 years, both to imrove outcomes for disadvantaged students, and scholarships for the academically gifted.

Most of the rest i would give away to humans who would otherwise die of starvation or never achieve their potential because of where they were born. Ie continue programs I already donate to, to provide education, food, water /sanitation and work, for people in the poorest parts of the world.
People who never wish for something to come true, rarely contribute to making it come true.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#30    Frank Merton

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:36 AM

I don't think you are right in asserting that we chose our belief, not even our opinions.  What we think is true is not something we can choose, like whether we want coffee or tea.  If your boss tells you to clean out your desk and leave, you cannot choose to not believe it.

There are areas where often what we would like to believe has an influence, but in these cases it is most often simple intellectual dishonesty and self-foolishness.  The intelligent person finds out and tries to decide based on knowledge, not wishes.  At the same time, since we all know that knowledge is limited, we remain open to new views when new things are discovered.

In deeper philosophical consideration, there is the question of whether it is ever valid to make a choice based on what we prefer.  Usually when there is no data or insufficient data, we are best off just being agnostic and refusing to form a firm view, but there are a few questions, such as solipsism or the existence of mind or free will, where the consequences of our view follow through into all sorts of other things that at least a working theory must be chosen, and we have no basis for making the choice except that one choice is utterly unacceptable to us and is sterile in its philosophical consequences (might as well be dead) while the other choice makes for more interesting and reasonable consequences.  I tend to think in these few cases we are justified in going with our druthers.





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