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The Case for Agnosticism

Blade-of-Truth
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12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?
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Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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12/28/2014 12:40:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

The first hurdle to jump is to define:

"What is an agnostic?"
TN05
Posts: 4,492
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12/28/2014 12:53:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:52:26 PM, XLAV wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Agnostic atheist or agnostic theist?

Are there any real agnostic theists?
XLAV
Posts: 13,719
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12/28/2014 12:54:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:53:30 PM, TN05 wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:52:26 PM, XLAV wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Agnostic atheist or agnostic theist?

Are there any real agnostic theists?
I think I've seen one around here. But I forgot who it was.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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12/28/2014 12:56:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Oh great. He's back and spouting off that smart stuff again.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,641
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12/28/2014 1:03:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Is agnosticism to you the decision to not have a decision regarding the claims to the existence of gods? Or, something else?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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12/28/2014 1:06:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Agnosticism is reasonable in that it is the most open minded position. The agnostic concedes that he knows very little, and that there is an infinite amount more to discover.

Some agnostics simply don't care and some are not convinced by either atheistic or theistic positions.
Nolite Timere
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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12/28/2014 3:05:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:40:03 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

The first hurdle to jump is to define:

"What is an agnostic?"

Good point. I accept the common definition given by Oxford; A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

I don't, however, think that this definition is flawless. For me, I wouldn't claim that "nothing can be known of the existence/anything beyond material phenomena" I just believe that there's also the possibility that we just don't have the means to "know" at this point, but that doesn't mean that we'll "never know".

I've underlined the parts of the definition that are compatible with my own position.
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Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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12/28/2014 3:07:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:52:26 PM, XLAV wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Agnostic atheist or agnostic theist?

Neither. I cannot take a position where a belief is given as something knowledgeable. I find agnostic theist/atheist to be contradictory. This is one of the things I wish to bring up once I start writing the treatise.
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Blade-of-Truth
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12/28/2014 3:08:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:56:00 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Oh great. He's back and spouting off that smart stuff again.

Lol, this is just the research phase. I won't be making any controversial claims or ruffling any feathers today :)
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Blade-of-Truth
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12/28/2014 3:15:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 1:03:43 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Is agnosticism to you the decision to not have a decision regarding the claims to the existence of gods? Or, something else?

Good question. I think in your question the picture is painted that agnosticism can be a way to avoid taking a position. While I can acknowledge that there are some agnostics out there who do so due to this line of reasoning, it isn't the case for me. For me, I've yet to be convinced by either side, and since I don't have enough evidence to claim that I know one way or the other, I choose option C which is agnosticism. Until Atheists can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no, nor ever was, a God of any sort, then I can't accept their position. Equally, until Theists can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that there is indeed a God, either now or in the past, then I can't accept their position. I think it is also equally foolish to claim that you "Know" one way or the other when ultimately it is nothing but a "Belief". I think the biggest fault in this whole dynamic is that people tend to accept "beliefs" as "knowledge".
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Blade-of-Truth
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12/28/2014 3:16:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 1:06:30 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

Agnosticism is reasonable in that it is the most open minded position. The agnostic concedes that he knows very little, and that there is an infinite amount more to discover.

Very good point. Thank you for sharing that. I fully agree.

Some agnostics simply don't care and some are not convinced by either atheistic or theistic positions.

Also agreed. Agnostics have many different reasons for being so, which is exactly what I'm hoping to discover by posing this question here :)
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Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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12/28/2014 3:23:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 3:05:58 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:40:03 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

The first hurdle to jump is to define:

"What is an agnostic?"

Good point. I accept the common definition given by Oxford; A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

I don't, however, think that this definition is flawless. For me, I wouldn't claim that "nothing can be known of the existence/anything beyond material phenomena" I just believe that there's also the possibility that we just don't have the means to "know" at this point, but that doesn't mean that we'll "never know".

I've underlined the parts of the definition that are compatible with my own position.

What epistemology of 'knowledge' do you refer to?

Because I generally use the justified true belief definition, which means we can know things without requiring certainty. We can believe X, although that belief may or may not be true, it may or may not qualify as knowledge.

Thus, for inductive claims, we have some beliefs that we are more confident are true (and therefore more likely to qualify as knowledge) as others.

Let me know what your position on this is.
jodybirdy
Posts: 2,089
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12/28/2014 4:04:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

I am agnostic because the Gods created by religion offer no viable explanation for anything whatsoever. I see no physical evidence for the existence of a supreme being, however I see no evidence against the possibility that there isn't one either. So, I take an agnostic approach and admit that I just don't have those answers. To believe in a God you have to have faith in the unseen. To be a complete atheist you also must have faith that there is nothing unseen. Both are unproven and faith based assertions.

What I do know is this, my moral compass is not affected by my beliefs. In fact, I appreciate life to fullest degree because this may be all that I have to experience. Life in the grand scheme of the universe is a rare and precious commodity. I love nature, animals, and the people of this world. It is all that we have. So in short, to live a good life without the promise of a God or an afterlife with great rewards is the best possible place anyone can com to morally. That is my goal as a person. And it is why I am agnostic.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
o0jeannie0o
Posts: 77
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12/28/2014 5:40:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.


ag"nos"tic
aɡG2;n"stik/
noun
1.
a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

I am an agnostic wiccan.

I am agnostic because I have enough intelligence to know what I do not know. I don't know if there is a god(s) or not. I do not know which god(s) are the right one. I do not know if there is a soul or what form it exists in. I also do not know what happens to the consciousness of a person who dies.

Part of me hopes that everyone is agnostic, yet simply does not say so.

Atheists who are not agnostic are just as bad as theists who are not agnostic. To say "the only thing that's possible is to rot in the ground" is illogical, because this cant be proven (yet?) and is simply pseudo-science. For a theist to say "I know for sure my god is the only possible god" is also illogical, but apparently the explanation behind why is too much for most to grasp.
seeu46
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12/28/2014 11:43:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:52:26 PM, XLAV wrote:
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
Agnostic atheist or agnostic theist?

You have take out the atheist or theist part. Since a Agnostic doesn't declare anything on God nor answers the question if God is real or not in regards to belief.

Although some atheists redefine atheism like that now a days, but there just simply agnostic.
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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12/29/2014 10:17:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/28/2014 12:37:30 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
I'm an agnostic, and I believe that my reasons for being one are pretty common amongst my fellow agnostics. I'm curious to know if my belief is accurate or not though. So, I'd like to hear from my fellow agnostics why you are one. I'm going to eventually write a treatise on Agnosticism and show why it is the only true path one should follow, so consider this my research phase.

All I ask for is an answer:

Why are you Agnostic?

This question reminds me of that saying, "there are two types of people in the world - those who have been to India and those who haven't." It's a funny comment about the snobbery of travel. But it always sticks with me because we talk as if categorizing people is objective, and it isn't. We could compare all those people who have been to India and all those who haven't, and if we did so continually (as people do with race and sex) then we would find all kinds of consistent differences, and impart all kinds of meaning to the difference. Because in a way it IS objective. Some people really have been to India, and some haven't. It's a real difference. On the other hand, it's totally subjective.

I would never choose to categorize myself as agnostic, but I would fall into the category based on the definition given. Here are some of the implications of the categorization based on the thread so far:

OP: "fellow agnostics" and "one true path". Already, the categorization implies that I share something with other people in the category, and - not only that - that there is a difference between me and people who are not agnostics, an implied criticism of non agnostics. I don't care to accept that.

Crypto: "Agnosticism is reasonable in that it is the most open minded position. The agnostic concedes that he knows very little, and that there is an infinite amount more to discover."

Crypto didn't expand on this, so I may be leaping to conclusions in my interpretation of this. If so, I apologize. But it seems on the surface to be similar to Jeannie's comment: "I have enough intelligence to know what I do not know...Part of me hopes that everyone is agnostic, yet simply does not say so."

Both of which are a bit too self-congratulatory to really be open minded. What I mean is, they are not really open to the possibility of belief, because they believe it's better to NOT have belief. It's a closed minded position (or seems so on the surface. I may not have understood it properly).

Which takes us to the issue of whether or not belief and/or faith are in any way desirable. I think they are. I think we believe all kinds of things without evidence every day, and that it makes sense to do so. I don't really understand why the belief in god gets singled out for such attention and for such categorizations of people. I don't understand why I need to be put into such a smug category as agnostic. That's why I try to resist defining myself in that way.
dhardage
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12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?
o0jeannie0o
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12/29/2014 10:38:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Crypto didn't expand on this, so I may be leaping to conclusions in my interpretation of this. If so, I apologize. But it seems on the surface to be similar to Jeannie's comment: "I have enough intelligence to know what I do not know...Part of me hopes that everyone is agnostic, yet simply does not say so."


Quite the opposite of closed minded really.

Let me put it this way: being agnostic says something about your knowledge not your religion.

Definitions:

Theist: the belief in God
Athiest: without the belief in god.

gnostic: relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.
agnostic: Without possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge

Stating that religion is 100% one way or another means you are fully gnostic, Fully knowledgeable (either atheist or theist). Thinking you know everything makes you closed minded.

Knowing that you (or anyone else for that matter) do not know your religion (or lack there of) is 100% says that you are open to finding the real answers. You are open minded.

I will speculate that every scientist that ever existed is a smart agnostic. Without knowing what you do not know you have no reason to pursue answers.
Garbanza
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12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?
Garbanza
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12/29/2014 10:41:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:38:55 AM, o0jeannie0o wrote:
Crypto didn't expand on this, so I may be leaping to conclusions in my interpretation of this. If so, I apologize. But it seems on the surface to be similar to Jeannie's comment: "I have enough intelligence to know what I do not know...Part of me hopes that everyone is agnostic, yet simply does not say so."


Quite the opposite of closed minded really.

Let me put it this way: being agnostic says something about your knowledge not your religion.

Definitions:

Theist: the belief in God
Athiest: without the belief in god.

gnostic: relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.
agnostic: Without possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge

Stating that religion is 100% one way or another means you are fully gnostic, Fully knowledgeable (either atheist or theist). Thinking you know everything makes you closed minded.

Knowing that you (or anyone else for that matter) do not know your religion (or lack there of) is 100% says that you are open to finding the real answers. You are open minded.

I will speculate that every scientist that ever existed is a smart agnostic. Without knowing what you do not know you have no reason to pursue answers.

But you suggest that NOBODY can have certain knowledge, so what's the advantage of being open to finding answers if such a thing is impossible?
dhardage
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12/29/2014 10:45:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?

First, our sensory observations, unless we are somehow ill or damaged, provide us with a pretty comprehensive picture of reality and, since they keep us from walking into walls or sticking our hands into fires, we trust them. It's experience, not faith.

I don't have 'faith' in scientific consensus, I accept it because it makes every effort to confirm what it tells me through multiple checks and balances. If a hypothesis is disproven it is either discarded or re-examined and corrected to account for the new information and tested again. It's not just a popularity vote.

Belief in your god or any other is based on being told something is real with absolutely no real evidence. It must be accepted on faith alone and to question that faith in anathema to the religious believer. It is in no way comparable to scientific consensus and to try and equate the two displays either intellectual dishonesty (at best) or simple ignorance.
Garbanza
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12/29/2014 10:52:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:45:36 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?

First, our sensory observations, unless we are somehow ill or damaged, provide us with a pretty comprehensive picture of reality and, since they keep us from walking into walls or sticking our hands into fires, we trust them. It's experience, not faith.

Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though.

I don't have 'faith' in scientific consensus, I accept it because it makes every effort to confirm what it tells me through multiple checks and balances. If a hypothesis is disproven it is either discarded or re-examined and corrected to account for the new information and tested again. It's not just a popularity vote.

Belief in your god or any other is based on being told something is real with absolutely no real evidence. It must be accepted on faith alone and to question that faith in anathema to the religious believer. It is in no way comparable to scientific consensus and to try and equate the two displays either intellectual dishonesty (at best) or simple ignorance.

Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily.
o0jeannie0o
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12/29/2014 10:54:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:41:42 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:38:55 AM, o0jeannie0o wrote:
Crypto didn't expand on this, so I may be leaping to conclusions in my interpretation of this. If so, I apologize. But it seems on the surface to be similar to Jeannie's comment: "I have enough intelligence to know what I do not know...Part of me hopes that everyone is agnostic, yet simply does not say so."


Quite the opposite of closed minded really.

Let me put it this way: being agnostic says something about your knowledge not your religion.

Definitions:

Theist: the belief in God
Athiest: without the belief in god.

gnostic: relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.
agnostic: Without possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge

Stating that religion is 100% one way or another means you are fully gnostic, Fully knowledgeable (either atheist or theist). Thinking you know everything makes you closed minded.

Knowing that you (or anyone else for that matter) do not know your religion (or lack there of) is 100% says that you are open to finding the real answers. You are open minded.

I will speculate that every scientist that ever existed is a smart agnostic. Without knowing what you do not know you have no reason to pursue answers.

But you suggest that NOBODY can have certain knowledge, so what's the advantage of being open to finding answers if such a thing is impossible?

It isn't impossible to not ever have the answers. It is, as far as i know, Imposable for anyone alive (and able to communicate with me) to have these many of these answers. Such as what happens after you die. You cant ask a dead person that, but some day you may find out (if there is a consciousness after death) .

We can still strive for scientific information on other aspects that religion may or may not know such as what created the universe. There are theories yes, but nothing that is fact or the only viable answer.

The advantage in this is simple: Why keep looking for something if you have already found it? for science to progress we need people working on the answers behind why.

If you lose your keys and come up with a few places you think they might be do you not look for them? Of course you do or you may be late!

Without the theories it would take longer to find what your missing, but without checking, you make yourself look bad. (assuming makes an a** out of u and me)
dhardage
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12/29/2014 11:03:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:52:53 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:45:36 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?

First, our sensory observations, unless we are somehow ill or damaged, provide us with a pretty comprehensive picture of reality and, since they keep us from walking into walls or sticking our hands into fires, we trust them. It's experience, not faith.

Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though.

I don't have 'faith' in scientific consensus, I accept it because it makes every effort to confirm what it tells me through multiple checks and balances. If a hypothesis is disproven it is either discarded or re-examined and corrected to account for the new information and tested again. It's not just a popularity vote.

Belief in your god or any other is based on being told something is real with absolutely no real evidence. It must be accepted on faith alone and to question that faith in anathema to the religious believer. It is in no way comparable to scientific consensus and to try and equate the two displays either intellectual dishonesty (at best) or simple ignorance.

Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily.

1. "Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though."

Once again with feeling, it's not faith, it's experience. I have lived for over a half century and manage every day not to walk into holes and pick up a hot skillet with my bare hands. My sensory images are accurate enough and I navigate reality daily. No faith required.

2. "Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily."

First, I didn't insult you, I stated a general principle. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Science is indeed useful. Thank it for your extended lifespan from when religion ruled (the Dark Ages) and the computer you are using to have his discussion, just to name two. It's more than simply useful. It's the most accurate way to investigate and explain our world. Once more, no faith required because I understand the methodology and have seen the results. You confuse faith with acceptance and they are not synonymous.

Practicality has no relevance to this discussion. We are discussing agnosticism, more precisely why one chooses to be agnostic. I have explained my personal reasoning in the most concise way I could and find none of your comments to be a convincing reason to change that outlook.
Garbanza
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12/29/2014 11:05:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 10:54:17 AM, o0jeannie0o wrote:
But you suggest that NOBODY can have certain knowledge, so what's the advantage of being open to finding answers if such a thing is impossible?

It isn't impossible to not ever have the answers. It is, as far as i know, Imposable for anyone alive (and able to communicate with me) to have these many of these answers. Such as what happens after you die. You cant ask a dead person that, but some day you may find out (if there is a consciousness after death) .

We can still strive for scientific information on other aspects that religion may or may not know such as what created the universe. There are theories yes, but nothing that is fact or the only viable answer.

That's an interesting point, because I suppose that whether or not you believe in God shouldn't have any effect on your ability to search for information about what created the universe. The same scientific principles of examining the evidence would apply. Your motivation might be different, though, but people have all kinds of motivation. I actually think diversity in motivation is best to avoid any systematic bias.

The advantage in this is simple: Why keep looking for something if you have already found it? for science to progress we need people working on the answers behind why.

If you lose your keys and come up with a few places you think they might be do you not look for them? Of course you do or you may be late!

Without the theories it would take longer to find what your missing, but without checking, you make yourself look bad. (assuming makes an a** out of u and me)
Garbanza
Posts: 1,997
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12/29/2014 11:11:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 11:03:40 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:52:53 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:45:36 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?

First, our sensory observations, unless we are somehow ill or damaged, provide us with a pretty comprehensive picture of reality and, since they keep us from walking into walls or sticking our hands into fires, we trust them. It's experience, not faith.

Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though.

I don't have 'faith' in scientific consensus, I accept it because it makes every effort to confirm what it tells me through multiple checks and balances. If a hypothesis is disproven it is either discarded or re-examined and corrected to account for the new information and tested again. It's not just a popularity vote.

Belief in your god or any other is based on being told something is real with absolutely no real evidence. It must be accepted on faith alone and to question that faith in anathema to the religious believer. It is in no way comparable to scientific consensus and to try and equate the two displays either intellectual dishonesty (at best) or simple ignorance.

Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily.

1. "Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though."

Once again with feeling, it's not faith, it's experience. I have lived for over a half century and manage every day not to walk into holes and pick up a hot skillet with my bare hands. My sensory images are accurate enough and I navigate reality daily. No faith required.

If you say so. :)

2. "Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily."

First, I didn't insult you, I stated a general principle. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Science is indeed useful. Thank it for your extended lifespan from when religion ruled (the Dark Ages) and the computer you are using to have his discussion, just to name two. It's more than simply useful. It's the most accurate way to investigate and explain our world. Once more, no faith required because I understand the methodology and have seen the results. You confuse faith with acceptance and they are not synonymous.

Practicality has no relevance to this discussion. We are discussing agnosticism, more precisely why one chooses to be agnostic. I have explained my personal reasoning in the most concise way I could and find none of your comments to be a convincing reason to change that outlook.

It seems strange that you would say practicality has no relevance to the discussion when you used a computer and extended life span as evidence that science is accurate, and you used not walking into holes as evidence that you can perceive reality. All of those examples are entirely about practicalities. I can't see any evidence for you position APART from practicalities.
dhardage
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12/29/2014 11:15:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 11:11:34 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 11:03:40 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:52:53 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:45:36 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:39:30 AM, Garbanza wrote:
At 12/29/2014 10:30:09 AM, dhardage wrote:
Why am I agnostic? Simple. There is no verifiable evidence, no single fact, no falsifiable hypothesis about the existence of any supernatural, divine being. In the absence of evidence one must assume that any claim is null and void. This is a legal as well as an intellectual tenant. If and when the absence of evidence is eliminated and some form of testable, verifiable evidence is presented I will re-evaluate my position. Clear enough?

Not really, because I bet you believe a lot of stuff on faith. Time, self, memories, sensory perceptions. These are all constructs which we take on faith to represent reality, even though the evidence is that we don't really perceive an objective reality as it exists. Nevertheless, we find it practical to assume an objective reality with certain qualities that we can all perceive and interact with. What's the difference between consensus-defined reality, faith in scientific consensus, and belief in god?

First, our sensory observations, unless we are somehow ill or damaged, provide us with a pretty comprehensive picture of reality and, since they keep us from walking into walls or sticking our hands into fires, we trust them. It's experience, not faith.

Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though.

I don't have 'faith' in scientific consensus, I accept it because it makes every effort to confirm what it tells me through multiple checks and balances. If a hypothesis is disproven it is either discarded or re-examined and corrected to account for the new information and tested again. It's not just a popularity vote.

Belief in your god or any other is based on being told something is real with absolutely no real evidence. It must be accepted on faith alone and to question that faith in anathema to the religious believer. It is in no way comparable to scientific consensus and to try and equate the two displays either intellectual dishonesty (at best) or simple ignorance.

Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily.

1. "Right. It's pragmatic faith. We believe that stuff because it's convenient. The underlying principle here is that faith is sometimes convenient.

I'm curious how you can be so sure that you have "a pretty comprehensive picture of reality" though."

Once again with feeling, it's not faith, it's experience. I have lived for over a half century and manage every day not to walk into holes and pick up a hot skillet with my bare hands. My sensory images are accurate enough and I navigate reality daily. No faith required.

If you say so. :)

2. "Okay, well, try to avoid the insults because if you're so sure of your position you'll be able to explain it without them.

Science is useful, but scientific findings are accepted by the community with a faith that the scientists themselves don't have. It makes practical sense for it to be so, because we need to interact with the world on a best-guess basis. The underlying principle is, again, that theories/faith etc. have a practical use. The question in relation to god, then, is whether or not faith in god has a practical use. I think the problem is that it doesn't, necessarily."

First, I didn't insult you, I stated a general principle. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Science is indeed useful. Thank it for your extended lifespan from when religion ruled (the Dark Ages) and the computer you are using to have his discussion, just to name two. It's more than simply useful. It's the most accurate way to investigate and explain our world. Once more, no faith required because I understand the methodology and have seen the results. You confuse faith with acceptance and they are not synonymous.

Practicality has no relevance to this discussion. We are discussing agnosticism, more precisely why one chooses to be agnostic. I have explained my personal reasoning in the most concise way I could and find none of your comments to be a convincing reason to change that outlook.

It seems strange that you would say practicality has no relevance to the discussion when you used a computer and extended life span as evidence that science is accurate, and you used not walking into holes as evidence that you can perceive reality. All of those examples are entirely about practicalities. I can't see any evidence for you position APART from practicalities.

My position is based on a lack of evidence. That's as simple as I can make it. If you cannot grasp that then I cannot help you. It's pretty simple. So you are, in part, correct. There is no evidence for the position so it must remain the null hypothesis that the object of the position does not exist.
Garbanza
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12/29/2014 11:26:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/29/2014 11:15:55 AM, dhardage wrote:
My position is based on a lack of evidence. That's as simple as I can make it. If you cannot grasp that then I cannot help you. It's pretty simple. So you are, in part, correct. There is no evidence for the position so it must remain the null hypothesis that the object of the position does not exist.

Oh well. I can see there's not much point prolonging this. I was only trying to say that I think you apply that principle inconsistently. For instance, you accept on faith that the air is full of nitrogen (as do I) because you've been told it. And we believe it's true because science. It's just one example. It's just a construct. We accept it on faith because of computers and extended life span and the scientific method. The vast majority of our own knowledge (or probably all of it) is of that type - things we believe. Because we think we have good reason to believe them (science and experience!) it seems like knowledge rather than faith, but the reasons for thinking that are social constructions based on practicalities. To think otherwise is just as hardline as being godly, in my opinion. I honestly can't see a difference except in the labels.