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Author Topic:   An Exploration Into"Agnosticism"
RAZD
Member (Idle past 306 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 166 of 179 (571480)
07-31-2010 9:43 PM


Indeed, Why Not Agnostic?
I am reviving this thread to discuss agnosticism, rather than continue on the Identifying false religions. thread, where discussion there has veered off of the topic (although I admit to being accessory to the crime)

The question is: what is so wrong with the agnostic position?

Looking at the basic decision making process we see:

                 question                                                        
|
is there sufficient valid
information available to decide
| |
yes no
| |
decide based is a
on empirical decision
objective valid necessary?
evidence / \
(A) yes no ... but ...
/ | |
decide why make a
based on decide decision
inadequate at this anyway ... while ... claiming
evidence time? based on to have
=guess =wait opinion evidence
(B) (C) (D) (E)

When we have sufficient objective empirical evidence on a question to make an informed conclusion based on logic, we can end up at (A).

When we do not have sufficient objective empirical evidence on a question, the logical position is (C) - we don't know, and we'll need to wait for new information or investigate to see if we can determine new information.

If one is forced to make a decision on inadequate information, (B), then all they have to rely on is the information that is available, their worldview, life experiences and biases. It is a personal subjective "best guess" based on available information and opinion.

Next, if one is not forced to make a decision, but makes one anyway, in spite of the evidence being insufficient, then the decision is neither logical nor evidence based, it is not rational.

Finally, if one claims to have evidence, but cannot demonstrate the evidence necessary to end up and (A), then they are making an irrational claim, because it is neither logical nor properly informed by objective empirical evidence.

rational -adj
1. using reason or logic in thinking out a problem
2. in accordance with the principles of logic or reason; reasonable
Collins English Dictionary - 10th Edition ©2009

To focus the discussion further we can use these broad descriptions of possible positions in the spectrum of beliefs:

  1. Absolute Theist: knows god/s exist. (logically invalid position)
  2. Strong Theist: the existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  3. Weak Theist: the existence of god/s is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  4. Agnostic: god/s may exist or they may not, there is insufficient evidence to know one way or the other. (logically valid position)
  5. Weak Atheist: the non-existence of gods is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  6. Strong Atheist: the non-existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  7. Absolute Atheist: knows that god/s do not exist. (logically invalid position)

Where the validity of the logic on it's own (with no supporting evidence) was tested as follows:

Compare:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) can be true

to:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is absolutely true

OR:

• any X with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• X(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ X(a) is more likely true than false

If the logical form is true for any X then it is true for Y, now let Y = notX:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is possibly true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) can be true
== notX(a) can be true ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) still can be true true ... which is valid, and a true conclusion is reached.

(3), (4) and (5) fit this pattern. Possibility is a valid conclusion from a lack of contradictory evidence.

versus:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is absolutely true
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is absolutely true
== notX(a) is absolutely true ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still absolutely true ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.

As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified. (1) and (7) fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.

OR:

• any Y with no contradictory evidence is more likely true than false
• Y(a) has no contradictory evidence
∴ Y(a) is more likely true than false
== notX(a) is more likely true than false ...

... and by the form of the argument, X(a) is still more likely true than false ... which is a contradiction ... unless you have objective empirical evidence that directly contradicts one or the other being true: without such evidence there is a contradiction in the form of the argument and the argument is invalid, falsified, void.

As the second premise is the same as above, we see that the first premise is falsified as well. (2) and (6) fit this pattern and are logically FALSE arguments.

Thus holding (1), (2), (6) or (7) positions without having sufficient evidence to reach an informed (A) conclusion is irrational, if not delusional (especially in the case of (1) or (7), claiming absolute knowledge). It is assuming something is true where that is not known, or it is pretending to know something is true where that is not known.

For the sake of completeness, when we talk about evidence we need to distinguish evidence that is suggestive from evidence that is compelling. Evidence that is suggestive (a subjective position) can lead to level II concepts, while evidence that is compelling is required to reach level III concepts.

RAZD's Concept Scale
  1. Zero to Low Confidence Concepts
    1. No evidence, subjective or objective,
    2. No logical conclusions possible, but opinion possible
    3. Hypothetical discussion possible

  2. Low to Medium Confidence Concepts
    1. Unconfirmed or subjective supporting evidence (with opinion and personal biases also involved),
    2. No known contradictory evidence,
    3. Nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid
    4. Conclusions regarding possibilities for further investigation, and opinions can be based on this level of evidence,

  3. Medium to High Confidence Concepts
    1. Validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and
    2. No known contradictory evidence
    3. Nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid
    4. Conclusions regarding probable reality can be made, repeated attempts to falsify such concepts can lead to high confidence in their being true.

I've expanded this part a bit from before, adding in onfre's hypothetical concept discussion where I think it fits, and making it more of a spectrum than hard and fast categories.

The concept of gravitons would fit in level II, in my opinion, while the existence of gravity is in level III.

That should about cover it.

Enjoy.

NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented. If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you. This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest. Additionally I may answer your post in reply to someone else, and I just don't need to repeat points already made. NOR am I inclined to answer any posts that are off-topic, or that display an inability to grasp what has been posted.
Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : spacing, colors

Edited by RAZD, : clrty

Edited by RAZD, : added notice at end

Edited by RAZD, : fixed scale format


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) • • •

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by bluegenes, posted 08-01-2010 9:01 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 168 by Straggler, posted 08-01-2010 8:16 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1378 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 167 of 179 (571570)
08-01-2010 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by RAZD
07-31-2010 9:43 PM


Re: Indeed, Why Not Agnostic?
RAZD writes:

III. Medium to High Confidence Concepts

(a)Validated and confirmed objective supporting evidence, and

(b)No known contradictory evidence

(c)Nothing shows the concept per se to be invalid

(d)Conclusions regarding probable reality can be made, repeated attempts to falsify such concepts can lead to high confidence in their being true.

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory. The human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings, just as adult rabbits are the only known source of baby rabbits.

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

I'll regard attempts at dismissing the theory without accepting the debate proposition as empty rhetoric and cowardice.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 9:43 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 10:51 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 76 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 168 of 179 (571665)
08-01-2010 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by RAZD
07-31-2010 9:43 PM


Gravitons
Given that the possibility of gravitons is predicted by the logical (i.e. mathematical) extrapolation of our well founded and empirically verified theories - How is the graviton hypothesis "subjective" in any way that is comparable to subjective notions regarding the existence of gods?

You seem to be conflating wholly subjective conclusions with empirically evidenced possibilities.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by RAZD, posted 07-31-2010 9:43 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 306 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 169 of 179 (571677)
08-01-2010 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by bluegenes
08-01-2010 9:01 AM


Desperate for attention bluegenes?
Getting desperate to be noticed bluegenes?

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory.

No, it is an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

It is falsified by the demonstration of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

Nor, interestingly, is it in any way validated by the absence of evidence. The absence of evidence is only evidence of an absence of evidence that is perceived as such. There could be evidence right in front of you, but because you do not perceive it as evidence you do not see it.

It is not falsified by unsupported assertions like "a supernatural being can exist".

Nor, curiously, is it in any way validated by unsupported claims such as "no supernatural beings can exist" ... it can only be validated by comprehensive objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates once and for all that no god/s can exist.

If anyone does not agree that this is a strong theory, ...

Calling it a "strong theory" doesn't make it so. What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

... I'd be happy to participate in a one on one debate on the subject, ...

You get your wish.

... and support the theory with plenty of evidence.

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate: the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, because

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

Interestingly, it now appears that you have given up on equivocating on being an "category (6) atheist that is really an agnostic" (which was a contradiction in terms demonstrated previously), and moved on to being a (7):

Categories of Belief
  1. Absolute Theist: knows god/s exist. (logically invalid position)
  2. Strong Theist: the existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  3. Weak Theist: the existence of god/s is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  4. Agnostic: god/s may exist or they may not, there is insufficient evidence to know one way or the other. (logically valid position)
  5. Weak Atheist: the non-existence of gods is possible, maybe likely, but not sure. (logically valid position)
  6. Strong Atheist: the non-existence of god/s is more likely than not. (logically invalid position)
  7. Absolute Atheist: knows that god/s do not exist. (logically invalid position)

Moving from irrational, in my humble opinion, to delusional ... unless you can show objective empirical evidence that shows that no god/s can possibly exist.

This is what you have claimed:

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

... ie, that there are absolutely no actual supernatural beings, because all the concepts are made up, imaginary fictions.

I'll regard attempts at dismissing the theory without accepting the debate proposition as empty rhetoric and cowardice.

As I would regard your absolute failure to address the (on topic) issue of why agnosticism is not the most logically consistent position, as is amply demonstrated in Indeed, Why Not Agnostic? (Message 166), if I were inclined to employ the logical fallacy of implied consequences.

Enjoy.

Note that bluegenes was off-topic and this reply is off-topic, so no further replies should be made here.

NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented. If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you. This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest. Additionally I may answer your post in reply to someone else, and I just don't need to repeat points already made. NOR am I inclined to answer any post that is off-topic.
Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : off topic


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 167 by bluegenes, posted 08-01-2010 9:01 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by bluegenes, posted 08-02-2010 8:17 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 171 by Straggler, posted 08-02-2010 8:43 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1378 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 170 of 179 (571753)
08-02-2010 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by RAZD
08-01-2010 10:51 PM


Re: Desperate for attention bluegenes?
RAZD writes:

Getting desperate to be noticed bluegenes?

If I were desperate to be noticed, I'd probably be posting lots of very long posts full of unsupported assertions and containing bright coloured boxes with tables and lists, plus segments of text in multi-coloured writing.

RAZD writes:

Note that bluegenes was off-topic and this reply is off-topic, so no further replies should be made here.

Wrong, as usual, and an attempt at evasion that moderators might note. The theory that all supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination is very relevant to a discussion on agnosticism, and particularly to degrees of agnosticism in relation to gods and other supernatural beings.

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

"All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination".

This is a high level of confidence theory.

No, it is an amusing assertion of your belief, based on wishful thinking, confirmation bias and several logical fallacies.

More waffle. Exactly how we see creationists attempt to deal with strong theories. "You're biased. It's your world view". That's a pathetic way of ignoring the evidence.

It's a strong theory, and explains, amongst many other things, why you can never present a scrap of positive evidence for your deity. Direct question time.

Do you agree that the human imagination is the only known source of supernatural beings? Yes or No?

RAZD writes:

bluegenes writes:

It is falsified by the establishment of the existence of just one supernatural being beyond all reasonable doubt.

Nor, interestingly, is it in any way validated by the absence of evidence. The absence of evidence is only evidence of an absence of evidence that is perceived as such. There could be evidence right in front of you, but because you do not perceive it as evidence you do not see it.

You really don't understand scientific theories and positive evidence. It is validated by the evidence of the chronic tendency of human beings to make up supernatural beings. I can present this evidence.

RAZD writes:

Nor, curiously, is it in any way validated by unsupported claims such as "no supernatural beings can exist" ... it can only be validated by comprehensive objective empirical valid evidence that demonstrates once and for all that no god/s can exist.

Wrong. Try to learn the difference between scientific theories and logical proofs of the kind that only apply internally in systems of formal logic and maths. Evolutionary theory does not conclusively"prove" that all species come into existence via its mechanisms. That's impossible. It offers the best explanation of the data, and demonstrates that it's very unlikely that the species we observe came into existence by non-evolutionary means.

My theory is an explanatory theory of supernatural beings or supernatural beings concepts, and points out their only known origin. It cannot conclusively disprove your unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that a real one can exist, just as evolutionary theory cannot conclusively disprove the unfalsifiable and baseless assertion that one or more species might have come into existence by magic.

You supernaturalists should present positive evidence for such assertions in order for them to be considered anything other than very improbable.

RAZD writes:

Which you certainly need to do, having just just made a positive (and rather extraordinary) claim that absolutely no god/s can exist.

Why do you need to make things up? People can read what I said in the post above. I will demonstrate that your belief in gods is just as unlikely as a belief that there are baby rabbits that aren't born from adult rabbits. Neither claim is falsifiable.

My claim is that it is very unlikely that gods exist. As explained, scientific theories and laws aren't logical proofs.

I'll illustrate to you where you go wrong in attempting to take unfalsifiable propositions about the real world into the area of formal logic in a vacuum of evidence.

Take the proposition "some theists can know if god exists". This relates to position (1) on your scale, and it cannot be proved or disproved. So, in your way of thinking, you can fit it in as "X" in your little "logic" exercise. Try it, and you come up with the conclusion that it is possible, from which you then have to decide that being an uncommitted agnostic "4" on the proposition is the most "logical" position by your method.

Then take the proposition that "there is an old sage somewhere in the world who knows the secrets of the universe, and knows that there are no gods." Again, it cannot be proven or disproven, so put it in your exercise as "X", and the same applies, so you end up as an uncommitted agnostic on whether or not someone can know that there are no gods.

You will get different conclusions from different unfalsifiable statements, and end up an uncommitted agnostic on all of them.

Try it with "Satan is manipulating RAZD's mind". See what I mean. Now you're uncommitted on everything, except uncommitted agnosticism.

This might help you understand why it is science that is used to sort out reality, and why logic and maths are tools of science, but do not sort out questions about the real world on their own.

RAZD writes:

Of course my participation will only involve showing the errors and poor logic in your argument/s, and I bear absolutely no burden to substantiate my personal position/s in this proposed debate:

Of course you will avoid presenting positive evidence for your position, because you can't.

RAZD writes:

the sole focus would be on your attempt/s to show objective empirical evidence that shows - once and for all - that no god/s can possibly exist, …..

And of course you will try to pretend that the burden of proof is on me to falsify your unsupported assertion that gods can exist. The point about "All supernatural beings are figments of the human imagination" is that it's phrased so that it's falsifiable, and therefore cannot be a "proof", but is support of my position that:

"I cannot know whether there are gods or not, but I think it's very unlikely."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

Enjoy the attention.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 10:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2010 8:08 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 76 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 171 of 179 (571758)
08-02-2010 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 169 by RAZD
08-01-2010 10:51 PM


Re: Desperate for attention bluegenes?
I see that you continue to relentlessly conflate the statements of logical certitude that you wish to apply to the atheist position with the evidenced based arguments of relative likelihood that are actually being advocated.

Until you learn the difference between the two, and why it is that evidenced based conclusions are necessarily and inherently uncertain to some extent, you are doomed to forever misrepresent and misunderstand.

Betrand Russel writes:

quote:
"To my mind the essential thing is that one should base one's arguments upon the kind of grounds that are accepted in science, and one should not regard anything that one accepts as quite certain, but only as probable in a greater or a less degree. Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality".

This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by RAZD, posted 08-01-2010 10:51 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 306 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 172 of 179 (571872)
08-02-2010 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by bluegenes
08-02-2010 8:17 AM


Re: Desperate for attention bluegenes?
Your challenge is accepted here:

Proposed New Topics
 Great Debate  the bluegenes Challenge

It is time for you to defend your theory, and any attempt by you to turn the table is just you dodging and equivocating on your position.

Enjoy.

NOTICE: I am not going to answer all the posts I am getting, as there are just too many that are just repeating old arguments that have already been addressed. I have already answered these, and I have answered them to the point that it is silly to keep repeating my position in the hopes that it is understood and not misrepresented (NOR am I inclined to answer any posts that are off-topic, or that display an inability to grasp what has been posted, or that have misrepresent what I have said).

If you see "RAZD acknowledges this reply" it is because this means you.

This is my blanket response to those posts. Likewise if I only answer part of your post/s it is because this applies to the rest. Additionally I may answer your post in reply to someone else, and I just don't need to repeat points already made.
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 170 by bluegenes, posted 08-02-2010 8:17 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by crashfrog, posted 08-02-2010 8:14 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 174 by Straggler, posted 08-03-2010 5:26 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 368 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 173 of 179 (571875)
08-02-2010 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by RAZD
08-02-2010 8:08 PM


Re: Desperate for attention bluegenes?
It's quite clearly your theory, RAZD. You don't get to shirk the burden of evidence.

Sorry. Insisting that everybody but you has to do the legwork, while all you have to do is imagine, isn't compelling or convincing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2010 8:08 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 76 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 174 of 179 (571973)
08-03-2010 5:26 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by RAZD
08-02-2010 8:08 PM


How Confident Are You In Your Own Argument?
RAZD to Bluegenes writes:

What you have is wishful thinking and confirmation bias coupled to the logical fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.

But how do you know that?
Satan could be manipulating your mind to force you to think this. By the definitions and terms of your own argument you cannot dismiss this unfalsified possibility. You cannot even consider it improbable. By the terms of your own argument you must remain absolutely agnostic towards the possibility that any conviction you have in the validity of your own argument is the result of Satan's influence on your mind. Thus, by the terms and definitions of your own argument, you cannot even have any confidence in the validity of your own argument.

Satan's ongoing influence will of course preclude you from accepting this rather damning and self defeating fact.

I look forward to your Great Debate with Bluegenes. It should be fun.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2010 8:08 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15391
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 175 of 179 (572000)
08-03-2010 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by bluegenes
04-06-2010 11:22 AM


does knowledge always dictate belief?
Let me see if I have this right.

1) People have a right to assign labels to themselves rather than have labels assigned to them, yet are asked to explain and defend their arguments in forums such as this one.

2) As a self professed believer, I have chosen the label because I feel that belief is a healthy part of holistic health. I cannot know that God exists, and I choose not to claim enough evidence that He does not, based on my world view.

3) Strong atheists, such as Straggler and/or Crashfrog seem to force people to accept the logic of atheism as a sane choice.

Comments?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by bluegenes, posted 04-06-2010 11:22 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Straggler, posted 08-03-2010 9:46 AM Phat has responded
 Message 178 by bluegenes, posted 08-03-2010 10:02 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 76 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 176 of 179 (572011)
08-03-2010 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Phat
08-03-2010 9:19 AM


Re: does knowledge always dictate belief?
You are of course free to believe whatever you want to believe for whatever reasons you want to believe.

But what do you think the evidence says about the actual existence of gods as compared to the concept of god(s) as a product of the human mind?

In the case of gods which are "Unknowable, outside our universe, outside of our perception/s" Message 225 how is it even possible that such a concept can have originated as a result of anything but the internal workings of the human mind?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Phat, posted 08-03-2010 9:19 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by Phat, posted 08-03-2010 9:59 AM Straggler has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15391
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 177 of 179 (572015)
08-03-2010 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 176 by Straggler
08-03-2010 9:46 AM


Re: does knowledge always dictate belief?
The evidence is more on the side of a God or gods being entirely products of the human mind. Some folks prefer to embrace an illogical belief for whatever reasons. Perhaps they see the belief as a sort of mental pacifier. Perhaps they experienced an emotional event or series of events that reinforced their desire to believe. Perhaps they refuse to throw away their faith and belief because they feel that it is better to hold on to it, for their world view and mental health.

Straggler writes:

how is it even possible that such a concept can have originated as a result of anything but the internal workings of the human mind?

Perhaps the question is:

Is it in any way possible?

Edited by Phat, : added point


This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Straggler, posted 08-03-2010 9:46 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 179 by Straggler, posted 08-03-2010 12:06 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1378 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 178 of 179 (572018)
08-03-2010 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Phat
08-03-2010 9:19 AM


Re: does knowledge always dictate belief?
Phat writes:

Let me see if I have this right.

1) People have a right to assign labels to themselves rather than have labels assigned to them, yet are asked to explain and defend their arguments in forums such as this one.

2) As a self professed believer, I have chosen the label because I feel that belief is a healthy part of holistic health. I cannot know that God exists, and I choose not to claim enough evidence that He does not, based on my world view.

3) Strong atheists, such as Straggler and/or Crashfrog seem to force people to accept the logic of atheism as a sane choice.

Comments?

I'm not sure why you replied to that particular post of mine, Phat, as it was about defining agnosticism. However, I'll leave it to the two members you mentioned to reply directly to your points, if you don't mind.

I will comment that you seem to be one of EvC's nicest members, so whatever it is you believe doesn't seem to be doing a great deal of harm!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Phat, posted 08-03-2010 9:19 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 76 days)
Posts: 10328
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 179 of 179 (572040)
08-03-2010 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Phat
08-03-2010 9:59 AM


Re: does knowledge always dictate belief?
Phat writes:

The evidence is more on the side of a God or gods being entirely products of the human mind.

Then I really don't think you and I have much to debate.

Phat writes:

Some folks prefer to embrace an illogical belief for whatever reasons.

Indeed. And the sort of reasons you mention are the sort of very human reasons for belief which I bring up with those who insist:

A) That their gods are evidenced by virtue of subjective experiences of some sort.

OR

B) That there is not, and can never be, any relevant evidence because gods are unknowable.

It is these people I end up fundamentally disagreeing with.

Phat writes:

Perhaps the question is:

Is it in any way possible?

Of course it is possible. It is possible that those who have religious experiences have some sort of non-empirical god detecting 6th sense that is itself wholly unknowable. It is even possible that by some miracle of co-incidence the specific imperceptible object of someones imagination could actually exist.

But if we start talking about what is possible......... Well do you understand why the discussion inevitably turns to Unicorns, Fairies, dragons, Santa etc. etc. etc? Why it is that the possibility of religious experiences being caused by magic moonbeams is just as valid as the possibility that they are caused by gods? And ultimately why it is that we need to differentiate between that which is philosophically possible and that which is evidentially supported.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Phat, posted 08-03-2010 9:59 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
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