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Author Topic:   Atheists can't hold office in the USA?
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(2)
Message 61 of 777 (747591)
01-17-2015 1:04 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Taq
01-16-2015 3:22 PM


Re: It's hard to modify Constitutions
The way I view it, getting rid of the law that no one enforces does nothing.
and I think all laws should expire after a period of time, like 20 years. If the law is still needed then a new version can be passed, possibly more suited to the current social conditions.
It would also give the legislators something to do.
Enjoy.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 65 of 777 (747642)
01-17-2015 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by NoNukes
01-17-2015 1:48 AM


Re: It's hard to modify Constitutions
A good number of these 'no atheists' laws are placed in state constitutions. Are you okay with letting the constitutions expire every 20 years? How about the federal constitution?
Well if the US constitution were rewritten every 20 or 50 years, then all the amendments could have been included and the wording of obsolete sections (ie -- the way votes were counted and who could vote) could have been changed. Rulings by the Supreme Court could be reviewed and action taken to either comply or reverse the rulings.
Then you pass or reject that (and dissolve government? Interesting proposition). Then you entertain new amendments (ones still in limbo and new ones ... and vote on them.
And if you knew it was going to happen there would be a national discussion. It would truly be a living document.
Enjoy

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 67 of 777 (747645)
01-17-2015 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Taq
01-15-2015 1:42 PM


agnostic anyone?
I thought we were talking about state laws that banned atheists from elected office?
And what about agnostic?
Enjoy

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 69 of 777 (747700)
01-18-2015 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by dwise1
01-18-2015 3:14 AM


Re: agnostic anyone?
And we all know that Gish is not a credible source ...
quote:
http://io9.com/why-agnosticism-probably-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-it-1583312952
Agnostics are often characterized as ambivalent or wishy-washy fence sitters who refuse to make up their minds. But there's much more to agnosticism than these tired misconceptions, including a stricter adherence to scientific principles than those typically invoked by atheists.
The current culture war doesn't leave much room for agnostics. Atheists and theists are battling it out for memetic supremacy, each side making cocksure proclamations as to whether or not God truly exists. Theists make the case for God by appealing to faith, scripture, or any number of now-archaic arguments. Atheists take the diametrically opposed stance, arguing that there's no reason to believe that a supreme being exists.
But this casual usage of the term betrays its original purpose, an epistemological stance and methodology in which skepticism and empiricism two hallmarks of the scientific method takes center stage.
What's remarkable about Huxley's skepticism was his stance against certainty and those who refused to doubt especially those who insisted that their theism or atheism must be true.
Moreover, Huxley's agnosticism was more than just stubborn skepticism it was a methodology. ...
Indeed, many agnostics are skeptical of those who claim to have all the answers in regards to life, the universe, and everything. They view hardcore atheists and devout believers with equal scorn and they often see the two camps exhibiting the same kind of overzealousness when making their case and propagating their views. To the agnostic, it's just as important to prove the existence of God as it is to disprove God's existence; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 74 of 777 (747713)
01-18-2015 7:15 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Tangle
01-18-2015 5:57 PM


Re: agnostic anyone?
And therefore both atheists and agnostics disbelieve in God. QED
Nope.
Atheists lack belief in god/s. The atheist says that the case for god/s has not been made.
Agnostics lack certainty whether god/s exist or not. The agnostic says that neither the case that god/s exist, nor that they do not exist, have been made.
You can be an agnostic theist, but not an atheist theist.
Enjoy.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Tangle, posted 01-18-2015 5:57 PM Tangle has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 75 of 777 (747715)
01-18-2015 7:43 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by NoNukes
01-17-2015 5:24 PM


Re: It's hard to modify Constitutions
Sure. And fundamental rights would be exposed to popular review every couple of decades. We could redefine who is and who is not a citizen periodically; by popular request.
That would be a concern, but if the rewrite on constitutions were limited to incorporation of already passed amendments and clarifying the language, while further modification required new amendments (with a higher bar to pass) that would provide for improving the document while maintaining the original protections from change by the tyranny of the masses.
For amendments to be incorporated they would need to be passed by a super-majority rather than a simple majority vote.
Does that work?
Enjoy.

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 88 of 777 (747755)
01-19-2015 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by Tangle
01-19-2015 4:56 AM


Re: agnostic anyone?
You mean this begging the question logical fallacy?
Message 79: As neither has the knowledge of the existence or non-existence of a god, it can be removed from both sides of the equation without changing the outcome. In reality, there is no such thing as agnostic.
Where you remove the agnostic position from consideration and then claim it does not exist?
Read again what I said in Message 74:
quote:
Nope.
Atheists lack belief in god/s. The atheist says that the case for god/s has not been made.
Agnostics lack certainty whether god/s exist or not. The agnostic says that neither the case that god/s exist, nor that they do not exist, have been made.
You can be an agnostic theist, but not an atheist theist.
Now I have not seen anyone claim absolute certainty that gods do not exist, so you would be more accurate to say:
As neither has the knowledge of the existence or non-existence of a god, certainty can be removed from both sides of the equation without changing the outcome. In reality, there is no such thing as atheist.
.
You would have people 99% certain gods exist be considered atheist.
What you have in reality, however, are people claiming something like 99% certainty that gods do not exist, and a spectrum of people in between them and theists that claim 100% certainty that gods do exist. In the middle of that spectrum are people that are uncertain in either direction, and it is a false description to lump them into the atheistic category.
It's not black and white.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 106 of 777 (747833)
01-20-2015 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by Tangle
01-19-2015 4:22 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
I remove the agnostic position because it does not follow from the argument. If you ask a differenet question to the one posed, you may have a point.
You are trying very hard to convince yourself, but you are not convincing anyone else. Can I ask what you find objectionable in saying "I don't know" when in fact you don't know?
The answer to the question 'do you believe in god" returns only three responses, 'yes', 'no', 'don't know'. Because belief is binary, a 'don't know' response is 'no'. The 'i don't know reply' is a lack of belief.
Wrong. It is a lack of knowledge about the answer. I don't disbelieve, but I don't know what I believe.
If I flip a coin and I ask you what is it going to land on -- you have three choices ... "heads," "tails" and "don't" know. If you answer "don't know" and I say that means "tails" because you didn't pick "heads" ... am I correct? The result is a binary choice ... you can believe it will land on "heads" and you can believe it will land on "tails" and you can know that there is equal probability of either, objective knowledge that does not convince you that either "heads" or "tails" is a correct response to believe, ... and so the only logical answer based on the degree of knowledge you have is "don't know" ... and there is nothing ambivalent about that answer, it is based on objective empirical analysis of facts.
The "don't know" response means "don't know" and nothing more ... and if the reason you "don't know" is because of a lack of convincing evidence pro or con, then "don't know" is a valid answer based on the degree of evidence: it is a statement of the degree of knowledge. That is how knowledge is applied to the question/s ... and lumping that into either "yes" or "no" is equally fallacious because you are applying your belief rather than taking a proper look at the response data.
If you answer "yes" and there is still a lack of evidence pro or con then you are stating a belief unfounded on evidence, not a statement of knowledge.
If you answer "no" and there is still a lack of evidence pro or con then you are stating a belief unfounded on evidence, not a statement of knowledge.
The answer to the question 'do you believe in god" returns only three responses, 'yes', 'no', 'don't know'. Because belief is binary, a 'don't know' response is 'no'. The 'i don't know reply' is a lack of belief.
Another answer could be "sometimes" ...
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.
Edited by RAZD, : .

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 107 of 777 (747852)
01-20-2015 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by NoNukes
01-18-2015 8:30 PM


Re: It's hard to modify Constitutions
Not for me. I don't want people tweaking the constitution. Even editorial changes require interpretation as to intent. We could fight about what the 2nd amendment is supposed to mean till the cows came home even if our intent was to just be clear.
And if this was done within 50 years of the initial amendment the people would have had a good understanding of the intent.
And I simply don't trust any group of folks to muck around with the federal constitution on a regular basis. A super majority of North Carolinians decided that there we should not even have civil unions for gay people; a decision I consider remarkably cruel.
So you don't trust the Founding Fathers and Mothers to write the constitution in the first place. At some point you need to hold your nose and jump if you hope to improve things.
Curiously I trust the public more than I trust the politicians ... especially those corrupted by campaign contributions and who cater to special interests.
We see an overwhelming tide of decisions state by state authorizing marriage of LGTB people, and it is now going to the Supreme Court to review 4 states in addition to 32 that already allow it, with the understanding that they may rule for the whole US to allow marriage of LGTB people. If this happens then that would become one of the provisions that could then be incorporated, along with voting rights for women and people of color and similar changes that have occurred, that have been passed by amendment and that have been reviewed by the courts.
Roosevelt (FDR) wanted to pass a second bill of rights that included healthcare and minimum wage provisions, things being discussed these days:
quote:
FDR's Second Bill of Rights
The Second Bill of Rights was a list of rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944.[1] In his address Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second "bill of rights". Roosevelt's argument was that the "political rights" guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness." Roosevelt's remedy was to declare an "economic bill of rights" which would guarantee eight specific rights:
  • Employment, with a living wage
  • Food, clothing and leisure
  • Farmers' rights to a fair income
  • Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
  • Housing
  • Medical care
  • Social security
  • Education
Roosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security, and that America's place in the world depended upon how far these and similar rights had been carried into practice.
And there are a number of amendments pending that I would not mind seeing voted on by the public.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 186 of 777 (748306)
01-24-2015 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Tangle
01-20-2015 11:21 AM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
Then you can not believe and are therefore an atheist. Obviously.
Is ancestor worship and the belief that the ghosts of your ancestors watch over you a theistic or atheistic belief?
Is the belief in a spiritual essence to the universe a theistic belief or an atheistic belief?
Is Buddhism a theistic belief or an atheistic belief?
Is Pantheism a theistic belief or an atheistic belief?
Is the belief that you cannot know whether god/s exist or not a theistic or an atheistic belief?
Another answer could be "sometimes" ...
Correct and when you sometimes believe you are a theist and when you sometimes don't believe you are an atheist. In neither situation is someone an agnostic.
So now when I say "I don't know," I am on the cusp between the times I do and the times I don't ... so am I then both a theist and an atheist at the same time? or neither?
Or is your position silly.
Enjoy

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 202 of 777 (748413)
01-25-2015 5:07 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Minnemooseus
01-24-2015 7:56 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
The ancestors and ghosts would seem to be of god like nature, so I say theist.
So ghosts are now gods in order to make your logic work.
My weak understanding of Buddhism is that it is a life philosophy and not a religion. Atheistic.
Again forcing the issue to fit your boxes. Buddhism includes reincarnation -- does that mean that the spirit of a person is now a god-like entity per your response on ancestor ghosts? Everyone is now a god?
Even in binary electronics, there is that state between 0 and 1. But that doesn't make it a trinary system. It's a binary system with a transition.
And a coin can land on the edge. The question is not that there is an edge but how big it is. Now you are counting angels on the head of a pin ...
It's at least part of the definition of agnosticism (seemingly dwise1's, if not yours). dwise's fuller version is along the lines of "The belief that you don't know and can't know if god/s exist". The "can't know" is an unprovable (but disprovable) hypothesis. Certainly, if one can't know, then one doesn't know. The Tangle/Moose position is that one doesn't know, but that doesn't rule out that later one can know. Disproving agnosticism is to prove gnosticism (at least if you consider gnosticism to be "one can know that god/s exist".
The full position is that agnostic-gnostic values are on an axis perpendicular to theist-atheist axis values.
Whether or not you recognize there is, or is not, a zero position on the theist-atheist axis values has no effect at all on the agnostic-gnostic values.
To my mind the silly distinction is between atheist and theist rather than the one betweend agnostic and gnostic. You either know or don't know, belief is irrelevant.
Enjoy

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 204 of 777 (748415)
01-25-2015 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by Tangle
01-24-2015 7:04 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
hmm ... lost the reply I wrote out so I will recap
Or is your position silly.
So far you've failed to demonstrate why.
Well that part is easy.
Your claim is that your insistence on a black and white distinction between theism and atheism means that agnosticism does not exist.
This is silly because agnostic-gnostic values are on an axis perpendicular to theist-atheist axis values. You have been told this several times. Ignoring information that is counter to your belief is irrational (see delusion).
This is silly because whether or not you recognize there is, or is not, a zero position on the theist-atheist axis values, that has absolutely no effect at all on the agnostic-gnostic values. Opinion cannot change reality.
This is silly because, if you insist on getting rid of irrelevant distinctions, it should be the distinction between atheist and theist rather than the one between agnostic and gnostic that you should be talking about: you either know or don't know, your belief is irrelevant, your opinion is irrelevant.
So to your superstitions and so on. Ancestor worship, ghosts, spirits etc etc. Whatever you care to mention. For what it's worth, my position on *all* this irrational nonsense - including beliefs in so called gods - as I've said before, is that there should be no word for a lack of belief in them. There is no word for a lack of belief in fairies, ancestor worship, etc etc so what's so special about another made up superstion called God? (god, gods, Gods).
And I don't care what you believe -- I want to know what you know -- do you KNOW that " *all* this irrational nonsense - including beliefs in so called gods " is false? Belief is irrelevant.
Or are you an agnostic ... whether you like it or not?
I know you're fond of logical falacies - try special pleading.
That would be you.
Curiously, you are the one claiming to eliminate agnosticism by talking about something else ... and when it comes to agnosticism it's a simple question: do you know or not?
Let's take ringo's example -- Do you know you don't have cancer? I know that I do have cancer so I'm gnostic on that. I know several people that do, so they are also cancer gnostics. I also know people that know they do not have cancer, and I know people that do not know if they do or not.
Now according to your logic I should lump those that don't know whether or not they have cancer with those that know they do not have cancer: is that logical? rational?
Does belief change any of these people from having cancer or not having cancer or not knowing if they have cancer? Which would you rather have -- belief or knowledge?
So yes, your position is silly.
If I had to choose between using either atheist or agnostic (which I don't see any need to do) I would choose agnostic as it is the more logical position, the more rational position, the more evidence and information based position, and thus the more rigorously scientific position, because it relies on knowledge, information and evidence rather than on belief.
My personal preferred terminology, however, is "open-minded skeptic" -- skeptical of anything not proven or evidenced, open-minded to anything not disproven or invalidated.
So tell me where and how that fits on your theist vs atheist scale.
Show me your position is not silly.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 191 by Tangle, posted 01-24-2015 7:04 PM Tangle has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 206 of 777 (748420)
01-25-2015 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 205 by Tangle
01-25-2015 6:42 PM


Re: agnostic anyone? when "don't know" is the logical answer.
... I do not, nor can I ever, know that god does not exist. ...
This is belief not knowledge, therefore -- by your own logic -- you are agnostic.
... Huxley - and you - therefore conclude that I am an agnostic. Well I'm here to tell you that I am not - I am an atheist. ...
Yet by your own statements you are agnostic.
Others have the same knowledge and believe in god/s ... because there is no evidence that disproves it ... so your choice is just opinion without foundation, no different than faith that god/s exist.
Believing one way or the other is irrelevant when there is no evidence pro or con, its an arbitrary choice of no rational or scientific value.
... The black swan proves that the all swans are white hypothesis is wrong. The reason I can say that I'm an atheist is because, just like theists, I go further than knowledge to belief. ...
Yes the a priori belief that "all swans are white" is disproved by acquiring the additional evidence and knowledge of black swans. Also the a priori belief that "NOT all swans are white" is validated by acquiring the additional evidence and knowledge of black swans.
Until you have the black swans evidence you do not know, and neither the case that "all swans are white" nor the case that "NOT all swans are white" are supported by evidence or information. Believing one or the other hypothesis is irrelevant and equally silly until they are tested.
But the swans say nothing about god/s, so it is irrelevant to what you believe ... rather they talk to whether you have knowledge of black swans or not.
This example does not prove that no god/s exist either, so you still do not have any evidence for your opinion and fall back on belief. Belief that is curiously incapable of altering reality.
Your belief -- according to your logic -- is a lack of knowledge and therefore -- according to your logic -- you are an agnostic, a non-knower. You either know or you do not know -- that's your black and white paradigm bed to sleep in.
We're human which means that we routinely go beyond what we know to what we intuite or believe. I'm sure you also know people that believe they have cancer but subsequently find they do not. They have that belief, erronious or otherwise, without evidence.
And there's that special pleading again. Being human has nothing to do with whether you know or do not know, it has nothing to do with whether god/s in fact exist or not. It has nothing to do with whether acting on belief is rational or correct. You are just using being human as justification for placing your belief above a proper rational conclusion based on facts and knowledge.
Curiously, acting on belief does not make that action rational or correct. Acting on knowledge does make action rational. Taking action to determine whether you do or do not have cancer is no different than the rational agnostic that searches or waits for more information before making an evidence based decision.
it's educational watching you - and others - totally miss the point, time after time, simply because you've been taught to think of things only rationally. Which is weird considering the time you spend here arguing with the irrational. But in life we all do both.
No the point is that you are chasing imaginary butterflies during a baseball game.
So learn to make distinctions of value rather than play silly games with words over an issue with no real meaning: belief is irrelevant to reality.
Every time you act on belief (whatever it is) you are no different than any ardent theist acting on their unevidenced religious beliefs.
It would be more interesting to distinguish between "beliefers" (those that act based on beliefs

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by Tangle, posted 01-25-2015 6:42 PM Tangle has replied

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 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 01-26-2015 3:12 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 247 of 777 (748658)
01-27-2015 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Tangle
01-26-2015 3:12 AM


the open minded skeptic versus behavior based on belief
Theres's no fooling you is there?! That's why they are two different words to describe two different things.
Indeed, and that is why agnostic and atheist are two different words to describe two different things, one is about the status of knowledge and the other is a statement of opion\belief and generally a useless distinction that cannot affect reality.
beliefers" (those that act based on beliefs ) -- and "not-beliefers" (those that do not act based on beliefs) ... I wonder what I could call them ...
The first type are called people. The second we call machines.
That's your belief\opinion. Not acting on the basis of beliefs would be skeptics in my world. Last time I checked skeptics were people. People willing to consider beliefs I would call open-minded. Those that are willing to consider one kind of belief and not willing to consider a contrary belief I would call biased, cherry picking and employing special pleading.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 01-26-2015 3:12 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by Tangle, posted 01-28-2015 3:12 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1514 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 248 of 777 (748659)
01-27-2015 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Tangle
01-19-2015 3:34 AM


agnostic anyone? and your first mistake ...
Exactly. The first believes in god and is therefore a theist and the second doesn't and is therefore an atheist.
As neither has the knowledge of the existence or non-existence of a god, it can be removed from both sides of the equation without changing the outcome. In reality, there is no such thing as agnostic.
And yet you now agree that you are agnostic and have said so several times. So you made a mistake here. check.
Now you have also been given several cases that explored the boundaries and you came up with rather silly wiggling around the issue of whether or not a person could know whether or not they believe. The funniest was your response to an hypothetical person who believed sometimes, some days yes and some days no -- you divided that person into two different people to fit your argument. There are psychological conditions that have this kind of quandary.
Your claim that someone who does not know is someone who does not believe, is special pleading.
Perhaps another example will clear your eyes:
A person has been a devout, committed, fundamental believer, but they have a crisis of faith as several tenets that they once held to be true are no longer accepted as true. They are in agony as they wonder whether they still believe in the remaining tenets, or whether they have lost all of their faith ... they do ... not ... know.
Cue the special pleading dance to make a pointless point.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆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 79 by Tangle, posted 01-19-2015 3:34 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 249 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-27-2015 8:50 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 252 by Minnemooseus, posted 01-28-2015 1:33 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied
 Message 255 by Tangle, posted 01-28-2015 3:36 AM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

  
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