Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 66 (9078 total)
108 online now:
DrJones*, dwise1, nwr (3 members, 105 visitors)
Newest Member: harveyspecter
Post Volume: Total: 895,180 Year: 6,292/6,534 Month: 485/650 Week: 23/232 Day: 0/23 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   An Exploration Into"Agnosticism"
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 46 of 179 (554516)
04-08-2010 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Straggler
04-08-2010 5:34 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
OK. So then the obvious question is what do you mean by "divine intervention"? Are you agnostic towards Christ as the son of God and as your saviour on Earth? Are you agnostic towards the Hindu god Vishnu? Are you agnostic towards an Immaterial Pink Unicorn that created the universe and which provides the morla framework for intelligent beings but which plays no other role in the universe? Are you agnostic towards a "god" (whatver you mean by that) who created the universe but who is now "off doing other things" Aas RAZD once phrased it)?

I'm agnostic towards anything supernatural. If it can't be verified emperically, I take no particular stand on it. I don't hold any one god above any other. the FSM, IPU, Jesus, YHWH, etc., are all equally fairy-tales to me.

But that is the point of this thread - What do those who call themselves "agnostics" really mean beyond simply citing the same uncertainty that we all rationally accept anyway.

What else is there? I mean, there are atheists who themselves are certain there is no god, there are theists that are certain there is one. As an agnostic, I take no stance either direction.

I'll bow out now because I really don't know what the hell you are looking for as a response.


"Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws."-Carl Sagan

"Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God." -Desmond Tutu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 5:34 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:06 PM hooah212002 has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 47 of 179 (554519)
04-08-2010 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Hyroglyphx
04-08-2010 4:59 PM


Re: We Are All "Agnostics" But Some re More Agnostic Than Others
Straggler writes:

But those who claim to be agnostic on this basis seem to have an inconsistent obsession with disproving or refuting some things but not others.

Science, by definition, deals with all aspects of nature.

OK. So? What exactly are you saying? That the supernatural might exist? Nobody disputes that. I simply suggest that the evidence suggests that such notions are more likely the product of human invention. On what basis might we conclude that they are anything else?

It is not equipped to deal with the supernatural, if there is such a thing.

Well it might explain why such a thing as the concept of the supernatural even arises. Which is something that I have never heard a theist (or even an agnostic) give a credible explanation for. "Subjective experiences" are most commonly cited in this context and these fall foul to all the problems of Immaterial "Evidence"

When somebody says, "but then the FSM falls in to this category, so why aren't you agnostic about that?" My answer is one in the same. I can't disprove the existence or non-existence of the FSM either. And to be perfectly honest, I could care less about that, especially since it's an reductio ad ridiculum argument.

The point of the FSM, IPU and other such "absurd" entities is to demonstrate that the the argument that "you cannot refute god" is logically irrelevant. There are an infinite multitude of irrefutable entities. Yet nearly all are considered absurd. So irrefutability alone is not a criteria upon which rational agnosticism can be justified.

If you elevate some irrefutable entities over others on the basis of genuine belief you are doing nothing other than citing belief as evidence upon which to justify belief. And that is a circular argument.

So with regard to your stated agnosticism. What exactly do you mean? - Are you agnostic towards Christ as the son of God and as your saviour on Earth? Are you agnostic towards the Hindu god Vishnu? Are you agnostic towards an Immaterial Pink Unicorn that created the universe and which provides the moral framework for intelligent beings but which plays no other role in the universe? Are you agnostic towards a "god" (whatever you mean by that) who created the universe but who is now "off doing other things" As RAZD once phrased it)?

When you say you are "agnostic" what do you mean exactly? What are you agnostic towards exactly?

That is the question here.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Hyroglyphx, posted 04-08-2010 4:59 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-08-2010 7:32 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 63 by Hyroglyphx, posted 04-09-2010 9:06 AM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 48 of 179 (554523)
04-08-2010 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by hooah212002
04-08-2010 5:43 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
I'm agnostic towards anything supernatural. If it can't be verified emperically, I take no particular stand on it. I don't hold any one god above any other. the FSM, IPU, Jesus, YHWH, etc., are all equally fairy-tales to me.

Well describing the aforementioned as "fairytales" suggests something beyond taking "no particular stand on it". It suggests a degree of atheistic disbelief.

For comparison let me make the following statement on which you can pass your agnostic/atheistic judgement - Your subjective perception of red is the same as mine. Now is that a "fairytale"? Or is it perfectly possible but entirely unknowable? Do you see the difference here?

What else is there? I mean, there are atheists who themselves are certain..........

So it keeps being claimed by those who it suits to claim such a position of their opponents. But who are these atheists and where do they hang out? Because I have yet to see an EvC member who describes themselves as an atheist who is not an agnostic by your definition.

As an agnostic, I take no stance either direction.

Except to describe gods as "fairytales".

I'll bow out now because I really don't know what the hell you are looking for as a response.

But you are exactly who this thread is aimed at. Because you seem no more or no less atheistic towards any concept of god that I have ever heard of than I do and yet you describe yourself as an "agnostic" because you lack the exact same certainty that I advocate as rationally necessary.

So I am an atheist and you are an agnostic but we seem equally skeptical towards all conceivable gods. Tell me where I am wrong here?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by hooah212002, posted 04-08-2010 5:43 PM hooah212002 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by hooah212002, posted 04-08-2010 6:33 PM Straggler has replied
 Message 52 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-08-2010 6:47 PM Straggler has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 49 of 179 (554525)
04-08-2010 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by RAZD
04-07-2010 11:16 PM


Or Not?
The atheist, however, seems to have decided that one proposition is more likely than the other.

The theist, however, seems to have decided that one proposition is more likely than the other.

Hey Raz

Talking hypothetically for one moment.......

If there is objective evidence to suggest that the entire concept of supernatural, "unknowable" gods are a human invention but absolutely no objective evidence to suggest that gods actually exist - Is it then rational to conclude that gods are more likely to be the product of human invention than to actually exist?

Or not?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by RAZD, posted 04-07-2010 11:16 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by RAZD, posted 04-08-2010 10:33 PM Straggler has replied

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 120 days)
Posts: 3193
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 50 of 179 (554528)
04-08-2010 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Straggler
04-08-2010 6:06 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
Jesus, Vishnu, and Ra (to name a few) are right up there with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. That's how I can call them fairy tales. You can't tell me with 100% certainty that there is NO Santa Clause, can you? But yet, only when it comes to deities do we even have this discussion.

For comparison let me make the following statement on which you can pass your agnostic/atheistic judgement - Your subjective perception of red is the same as mine. Now is that a "fairytale"? Or is it perfectly possible but entirely unknowable? Do you see the difference here?

Colors are subjective. To someone who is red-green color blind, red is not red. We only agree en-mass that red=red.

So I am an atheist and you are an agnostic but we seem equally skeptical towards all conceivable gods. Tell me where I am wrong here?

In that sentence? You are not wrong. I just leave the door open for a deity to show his face, whereas, in my opinion, atheists close that door.

I will respond, but I would rather not have this discussion as I hate arguing semantics.


"Some people think God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow. Others—for example Baruch Spinoza and Albert Einstein—considered God to be essentially the sum total of the physical laws which describe the universe. I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws."-Carl Sagan

"Show me where Christ said "Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones." Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God." -Desmond Tutu


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:06 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:41 PM hooah212002 has seen this message but not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 51 of 179 (554531)
04-08-2010 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by hooah212002
04-08-2010 6:33 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
Jesus, Vishnu, and Ra (to name a few) are right up there with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. That's how I can call them fairy tales. You can't tell me with 100% certainty that there is NO Santa Clause, can you? But yet, only when it comes to deities do we even have this discussion.

Yes - My point exactly. You sound as atheistic to me as I do to myself.

In that sentence? You are not wrong. I just leave the door open for a deity to show his face, whereas, in my opinion, atheists close that door.

Which atheists "close that door"? Can you quote some doing so?

I will respond, but I would rather not have this discussion as I hate arguing semantics.

I am someone who point blank refuses to argue in terms of dictionary definitions (see any of my previous comments on such things to verify this. But what you are calling "agnostic" seems identical to what I (and otherse here at EvC) are calling atheistic.

When there is such blatant miscommunication of seeming agreement it seems churlish to ignore this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by hooah212002, posted 04-08-2010 6:33 PM hooah212002 has seen this message but not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 52 of 179 (554533)
04-08-2010 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Straggler
04-08-2010 6:06 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
What else is there? I mean, there are atheists who themselves are certain..........

So it keeps being claimed by those who it suits to claim such a position of their opponents. But who are these atheists and where do they hang out? Because I have yet to see an EvC member who describes themselves as an atheist who is not an agnostic by your definition.

bobbins, Message 5:

quote:
For me no belief necessary - I am convinced there are no gods.
Belief to me suggests a possibility of doubt, change or vacillation. Beliefs are faith based. Not one scintilla of doubt. That is not faith based but a rational interpretation of the available evidence. Therefore I am convinced that there are no gods.

Semantics with reference to the definition of atheism are irrelevant, there are as many 'definitions' of atheism as people who say they are atheist. Just as believers in cults each have their own interpretation of that cult and it's meaning to them. We do not have to invent a new word for each person.



This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:06 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:53 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 53 of 179 (554535)
04-08-2010 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by New Cat's Eye
04-08-2010 6:47 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
Even here I here I see no proclamation of certainty. Being "convinced" is not certainty.

Maybe Bobbins can clarify - Are you 100% certain that no gods exist?

And if Bobbins is claiming certainty I will tell him why he/she is misguided as vociferously as I would tackle certainty in the opposite direction


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-08-2010 6:47 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2010 7:13 PM Straggler has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6835
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 54 of 179 (554538)
04-08-2010 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Straggler
04-08-2010 6:53 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
Is not Dawkin's scale of agnostic appropriate? It covers from de facto Atheist to de facto Theist. Only the 100%'ers are outside the agnostic umbrella. Is there an issue with being an agnostic on the issue of Jesus while maintaining that such a story is most probably incorrect and therefore choose to proceed in life without this theism thus being atheist in its regard as well?

And then to contrast this with Her Divine Pinkness and His Holy Noodleyness where we are both not the least bit agnostic but hard 100% atheist because we know, with absolute certainty, the absurd analogies by which they were brought into human consciousness.

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:53 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 7:17 PM AZPaul3 has replied

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 287 days)
Posts: 10332
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(1)
Message 55 of 179 (554539)
04-08-2010 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by AZPaul3
04-08-2010 7:13 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
Is there an issue with being an agnostic on the issue of Jesus while maintaining that such a story is most probably incorrect and therefore choose to proceed in life without this theism thus being atheist in its regard as well?

No.

So I am atheistic whilst denying the rationality of certainty in this conclusion. Is that not your position as well?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2010 7:13 PM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2010 7:31 PM Straggler has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6835
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 56 of 179 (554541)
04-08-2010 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Straggler
04-08-2010 7:17 PM


Re: Are We All "Agnostics"?
I have got to get my thoughts together before I hit that submit button. I crossed messages with you.

But, yes. I agree. Unlike Pinkie and the Noodle guy where there is an absolute certainty, such certainty cannot be claimed for all such deities. The best we can do at this point is acknowledge that the preponderance of the evidence is against such a supposition subject to change but don't hold your breath.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 7:17 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Straggler, posted 04-10-2010 6:54 PM AZPaul3 has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 57 of 179 (554542)
04-08-2010 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Straggler
04-08-2010 5:50 PM


Re: We Are All "Agnostics" But Some re More Agnostic Than Others
The point of the FSM, IPU and other such "absurd" entities is to demonstrate that the the argument that "you cannot refute god" is logically irrelevant.

The relevance is that it makes strong atheism irrational.

There are an infinite multitude of irrefutable entities. Yet nearly all are considered absurd.

How do you know nearly all of them are absurd? Without the details, how would you know if any particular one was absurd or not?

So irrefutability alone is not a criteria upon which rational agnosticism can be justified.

Irrefutability means that you cannot know if its false. You have to be agnostic.

Being strong atheist to any one would be irrational.

You need more information than irrefutability alone to rationalize strong atheism.

Enter the absurdity, say logically impossible.

If you elevate some irrefutable entities over others on the basis of genuine belief you are doing nothing other than citing belief as evidence upon which to justify belief. And that is a circular argument.

You could elevate them by their lack of absurdity, say their logical possibility, and not be atheistic and thus remain agnostic.

So with regard to your stated agnosticism. What exactly do you mean? - Are you agnostic towards Christ as the son of God and as your saviour on Earth? Are you agnostic towards the Hindu god Vishnu? Are you agnostic towards an Immaterial Pink Unicorn that created the universe and which provides the moral framework for intelligent beings but which plays no other role in the universe? Are you agnostic towards a "god" (whatever you mean by that) who created the universe but who is now "off doing other things" As RAZD once phrased it)?

You have to have something to move from the rational default of agnosticism. You could disbelieve any one of those examples while being rationally agnostic to the remaining unexemplified ones.

When you say you are "agnostic" what do you mean exactly?

It means you don't know if the proposition is true or false.

What are you agnostic towards exactly?

In this case, the existence of god.

Message 48

But you are exactly who this thread is aimed at. Because you seem no more or no less atheistic towards any concept of god that I have ever heard of than I do and yet you describe yourself as an "agnostic" because you lack the exact same certainty that I advocate as rationally necessary.

So I am an atheist and you are an agnostic but we seem equally skeptical towards all conceivable gods. Tell me where I am wrong here?

Anyone that's been brought up has been absurd so it isn't believed. All conceivable gods are not lacking belief because there isn't enough detail to elevate from agnosticism.

Message 49

If there is objective evidence to suggest that the entire concept of supernatural, "unknowable" gods are a human invention but absolutely no objective evidence to suggest that gods actually exist - Is it then rational to conclude that gods are more likely to be the product of human invention than to actually exist?

Or not?

No. A determination of the likelyhood doesn't logically follow. Objective evidence cannot suggest that the entire concepts of supernatural are human invention.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 5:50 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2010 7:43 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 04-10-2010 7:31 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 6835
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 58 of 179 (554543)
04-08-2010 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by New Cat's Eye
04-08-2010 7:32 PM


Re: We Are All "Agnostics" But Some re More Agnostic Than Others
The relevance is that it makes strong atheism irrational.

I must disagree. Please see my msg 54, second paragraph above. There can be sufficient evidence on an issue where strong atheism is not only rational but required.

Edited by AZPaul3, : correction


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-08-2010 7:32 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-09-2010 10:03 AM AZPaul3 has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 723 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 59 of 179 (554556)
04-08-2010 10:33 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Straggler
04-08-2010 6:16 PM


Re: Or Not? Or more circular self referential preassumptions
Hi Straggler, do you really want to do this again?

Talking hypothetically for one moment.......

If you beg the question in your premises, is it more likely that your conclusion is valid ... or not?

http://theautonomist.com/.../permanent/fallacies.php#begging

quote:
Begging the question fallacy - Advancing an argument on the basis of statements which are assumed but need themselves to be proved, or assuming the conclusion or part of the conclusion in the premises of an argument. (Sometimes called circular reasoning.)

If you have something new to say, then perhaps I might be interested, otherwise I find it pointless to discuss further.

Enjoy.

ps -- for newcomers, I recommend reading Pseudoskepticism and logic, which also goes a fair ways in explaining the differences between atheists (like Straggler) and agnostics. You will also find this same question from Straggler asked and answered.

Edited by RAZD, : ...


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Straggler, posted 04-08-2010 6:16 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Straggler, posted 04-10-2010 6:13 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 723 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 60 of 179 (554557)
04-08-2010 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by AZPaul3
04-04-2010 1:43 PM


Re: Onto the Continuum of Relative Tentativity
Hi AZPaul,

I would prefer

“ … to which the existing evidence negates a measurable portion of the possibilities.”

I considered several different wordings before choosing what I said:

quote:
And where we get into a spectrum of the ability to have confidence in any answer is the degree to which the existing evidence represents a measurable portion of the possibilities.

If there is substantial subjective but unverified evidence of something and no contrary evidence, that to me says it is worth considering the possiblity that it could be true, and focusing on negative evidence doesn't admit this possibility. One can still be skeptical of it, but open-minded enough to consider the possibility.

This is where I think the agnostic differentiates from the atheist, as the agnostic says that the negative premise has not been proven (either), that it is not supported by evidence.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by AZPaul3, posted 04-04-2010 1:43 PM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by AZPaul3, posted 04-08-2010 11:51 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 67 by Straggler, posted 04-10-2010 6:28 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.1
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022