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Author Topic:   Atheists can't hold office in the USA?
Stile
Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 267 of 777 (748787)
01-29-2015 12:28 PM


Know Thyself
Is it possible to believe in God while not knowing that you believe in God?
I understand that we can say the words:
I believe in God but I don't know if I believe in God or not.
or:
Yesterday I didn't know if I believed in God or not, but now I understand that I believed in God the whole time. Therefore, yesterday, I didn't know I believed in God or not while I believed in God.
...but I don't think they make any sense.
Not knowing whether you believe something or not is not like not knowing if a light in a room is on or not. One is external to your mind (could be either condition and you don't know). The other is internal to your mind... therefore, you know it's condition all the time... because it's within your mind, there's no escaping it. It's not possible to "not know" a condition such as this of your own mind.
Perhaps my mind is incapable of such a condition, but someone else's is?
To me, it's impossible "to believe in God while not knowing if you believe in God or not."
...which is what's required in order to be an agnostic while not being an atheist.
But, maybe, I just don't understand how such a condition-of-the-mind is possible simply because my own mind does not work in that manner. (Perhaps it's just impossible-for-me).

Replies to this message:
 Message 268 by ringo, posted 01-29-2015 12:34 PM Stile has replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 270 of 777 (748796)
01-29-2015 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 268 by ringo
01-29-2015 12:34 PM


Re: Know Thyself
ringo writes:
How can you possibly know your own mind with perfect accuracy?
This isn't just about knowing a single state of your mind with perfect accuracy.
This is about saying you don't know the state of your mind, but you also do know the state of your mind... at the same time.
This is about 2 contradictory states of mind.
With a light-bulb in another room, it's external... you can not know what state the bulb is in while the bulb is indeed in a certain state at the same time.
With your mind... this is impossible, it's internal. Perhaps you don't know what state your mind is in. Perhaps your mind is in a certain state. But, because it's internal, it's impossible for it to be both of those at the same time.
We're talking about being agnostic and not being an atheist at the same time.
Agnostic = "I don't know if I believe in God or not."
Atheist = "I do not believe in God."
Substituting in definitions and we get:
We're talking about not knowing if you believe in God or not and not not-believing in God at the same time.
Removing the double-negative, we get:
We're talking about not knowing if you believe in God or not and believing in God at the same time.
Which doesn't make any sense to me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by ringo, posted 01-29-2015 12:34 PM ringo has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by xongsmith, posted 01-29-2015 2:42 PM Stile has replied
 Message 285 by ringo, posted 01-30-2015 10:46 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 153 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 319 of 777 (749033)
02-01-2015 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 271 by xongsmith
01-29-2015 2:42 PM


Re: Know Thyself
xongsmith writes:
not not-believing in god
is not the same as believing in god.
...and this the issue, methinks.
You're only talking about one of the terms (atheist). We're not talking about just one term on it's own. We're talking about using both terms at the same time. The is from the message you replied to where I tried to explain about using both terms, I'll say it again:
Stile writes:
We're talking about being agnostic and not being an atheist at the same time.
Agnostic = "I don't know if I believe in God or not."
Atheist = "I do not believe in God."
Let's take it slow and see where you don't agree:
1. I am agnostic, therefore: I don't know if I believe in God or not.
2. Since I do not know either way...
2a. - then it's possible that I do believe, it's possible that I'm a theist
2b. - then it's possible that I'll never know, it's possible that I'm agnostic
2c. - then it's possible that I do not believe, it's possible that I'm an atheist
3. I am not an atheist.
This is the confusion.
Do you agree that an honest agnostic really does not know if they believe or not (1)?
Do you agree that possibly-being-an-atheist (2c) is part of an honest interpretation of being agnostic (1)?
Do you agree that possibly-being-an-atheist (2c) is in direct contradiction with claiming to not be an atheist (3)?
xongsmith writes:
not not-believing in god
is not the same as believing in god.
Do you see the issue now?
I agree with your above statement, it aligns with 2 of the 3 possibilities of being agnostic (actually believing, or remaining agnostic forever).
But what about the last one?
I only think your above statement is relevant if the "agnostic" has already decided that possibly-being-an-atheist (2c) is no longer a part of their agnosticism (1). If that's true... then are they really still agnostic? Are you actually agnostic if you're adamantly against one of the possibilities? It seems to me that you are not... you no longer "don't know" what your belief is. You do, actually, know that a certain side of your belief has been set as impossible (you are stating that you cannot possibly be an atheist (2c)).
Remember, I'm talking about being agnostic and atheist at the same time.
If you're not actually talking about being agnostic... then your comments do not make any sense as they do not encompass the entire situation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by xongsmith, posted 01-29-2015 2:42 PM xongsmith has not replied

  
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