Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
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13-04-2015, 12:07 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
When you say god or gods you're applying attributes that can be tested for existence. After all, all of the ten thousand odd gods in human history share at least a few supernatural traits and there is no other being (to my knowledge) that can be accurately described as a god other than those beings sharing the supernatural traits attributed to all gods invented by humans.

Thus, it is perfectly rational and logical to be a strong atheist and to say that gods do not exist. What isn't rational or logical is to claim agnosticism based on the premise that some god somewhere in some universe could exist but that no one can know. If you can't know about something then you CAN NOT apply attributes. And once you say god you've made the presumption that this unknowable being has some specific traits.

In the end, I'm agnostic simply because I don't know and, don't have any opinion about that which I don't know. I'm also agnostic about a shit ton of actual, real and tangible things in this universe but I cannot tell you what they are because I DON'T KNOW about them. ;-) I'm a strong atheist because I know that what has for thousands of years been described by humans as god or gods, cannot exist, whether that be here or in some other universe about which no one knows.

To put it simply, all gods are supernatural. If any sufficiently large group of human beings ever sees and can empirically verify that one exists, then it is no longer supernatural and thus, no longer a god.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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13-04-2015, 12:23 AM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2015 12:30 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
Sure. If supernatural means "can never be tested or interacted with regardless of what methods we may develop in the future" or simply "that which we can know nothing about" then any supernatural claim is automatically an argument from ignorance. And you're right, if you claim to know something about anything you are defining this way, you are talking complete crap. You've literally contradicted yourself.

I've flirted with Ignosticism, the idea that the God claim is incoherent and/or unfalsifiable and so is pointless to even address. "Come back when you've got a question that makes sense."

Try and get a theist to define what a "God" is. What distinguishes a god from a non God? It's entirely arbitrary. It's a meaningless word, it can mean anything to anyone. The whole thing is fucking ridiculous, it's pathetic that we even need a word for someone who doesn't accept such claims.

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13-04-2015, 12:48 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
There's no if. Supernatural means beyond natural. If we wind up seeing it and being able to empirically verify it then it is no longer super natural... it's natural.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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13-04-2015, 12:55 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
Sure, I mean if that is the definition. Some people use stupid definitions. I've heard all sorts of nonsense.

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13-04-2015, 12:57 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
(13-04-2015 12:48 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  There's no if. Supernatural means beyond natural. If we wind up seeing it and being able to empirically verify it then it is no longer super natural... it's natural.

Well... If I think of having a universe simulator on my desktop PC, but every now and then I fuck with it for shits and giggles... that's something external to the universe fucking with its internals. I could see residents of the PC universe labelling that as supernatural activity.

The thing is... in *this* universe, nothing remotely identifiable as such external fucking around has ever been found, as far as I'm aware. All the bullshit and noise the theists make is... bullshit and noise. Not independently verifiable stuff which doesn't operate according to the laws of this universe. I mean, it'd be a hell of an ask to prove it even if they *did* have something amazingly anomalous to point to, but all they have is muddled accounts of apes nailing each other to shit and generally being nasty...

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-04-2015, 05:38 AM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2015 05:56 AM by rezider.)
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
(12-04-2015 11:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  (...)
To my mind (relevant to god) it is the best position to hold.
As a concept God does not need the defining dogmas of any religion,
In terms of a cosmic vivifying force for the good the idea becomes more acceptable.
Agnosticism is not simply a moronic 'I don't know', it is a challenging consideration of both atheism and theism. It avoids becoming entrenched in radical new atheism as well as hard line dogmatic fundamentalism.
(...)

I agree. In the end of the day it all comes down to how we define the terms we use to describe ourselves; what we mean by them.

It is not about how probable or improbable it is for a god/'higher power' to exist (deistic or theistic), rather it is about whether it is possible or not. And since the possibility exists agnosticism feels as valid as any standpoint; a suspension of judgment on ultimate questions.

As Huxley describes it, agnosticism is 'the fundamental axiom of modern science'. He then proceeds to say, 'Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.'

Agnosticism is, in a sense, saying, 'I will not make any claims at this point. I will follow the evidence wherever it may lead.' While you can make a pragmatic assertion and say that there is no god, it would be more rational to say that there is no evidence for a 'higher power' (be it supernatural) interacting with the universe.

Agnosticism simply takes the position of: 'There is no god evident... yet.'

"I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way." - Carl Sagan
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13-04-2015, 05:41 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
@rezider:
Deism is still a subset of theism, and every self-proclaimed "agnostic" I've ever spoken to believes agnosticism to be a middle-ground between atheism and theism.

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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13-04-2015, 05:52 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
(13-04-2015 05:41 AM)One Above All Wrote:  @rezider:
Deism is still a subset of theism, and every self-proclaimed "agnostic" I've ever spoken to believes agnosticism to be a middle-ground between atheism and theism.

Even so. The matter remains the same. I shall correct it.

"I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way." - Carl Sagan
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13-04-2015, 05:55 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
Bottom line - you can call yourself anything you want.

The trick I suppose - is getting other people to agree and call you what you wish.

Then again - who gives a rat's ass what they think???


...

I consider myself a lapsed atheist. That is, I don't practice my non-belief on a regular basis. It's too time consuming.

I've got other shit to do.


Big Grin

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13-04-2015, 05:57 AM
RE: Agnosticism - a valid standpoint?
(13-04-2015 05:38 AM)rezider Wrote:  
(12-04-2015 11:24 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  (...)
To my mind (relevant to god) it is the best position to hold.
As a concept God does not need the defining dogmas of any religion,
In terms of a cosmic vivifying force for the good the idea becomes more acceptable.
Agnosticism is not simply a moronic 'I don't know', it is a challenging consideration of both atheism and theism. It avoids becoming entrenched in radical new atheism as well as hard line dogmatic fundamentalism.
(...)

I agree. In the end of the day it all comes down to how we define the terms we use to describe ourselves; what we mean by them. When we talk about agnosticism it is more likely that the person who defines himself as such is not inbetween atheism and theism, rather than between atheism and deism.

You can be a strong atheist towards theistic gods but you could be agnostic towards a deistic 'higher power' that has assissted in some way in the creation of the universe and that's just it, it doesn't interact with it. And it is not about how probable or improbable it is for such a thing to exist, rather it is about whether it is possible or not. And since the possibility exists agnosticism feels as valid as any standpoint.

As Huxley describes it, agnosticism is 'the fundamental axiom of modern science'. He then proceeds to say, 'Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.'

Agnosticism is, in a sense, saying, 'I will not make any claims at this point. I will follow the evidence wherever it may lead.' While you can make a pragmatic assertion and say that there is no god, it would be more rational to say that there is no evidence for a 'higher power' (be it supernatural) interacting with the universe.

Agnosticism simply takes the position of: 'There is no god evident... yet.'

I can define myself as a 6.5' tall muscle bound gift to the female gender. I can define short as tall, flab as muscle and poverty as wealth but I'd be the only person who sees those definitions as valid. And I'd be wrong on all accounts.

Likewise, when an agnostic claims, "There is no god evident... yet", he has applied easily understandable and universally defined attributes to that which is unknown.

If that's a valid position then why not be consistent and apply agnosticism in other areas of life? Rape could be a moral good in some other universe so how can we negatively judge the rapist in this one? Two and two may make 5 in that other universe as well so how can a teacher mark that answer wrong on a test in this one?

After all, just because those things aren't evident doesn't mean that aren't possible. Right?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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