Poll: Are you an gnostic atheist?
Yes. I am atheist and I KNOW there is NO god.
No. I am atheist but am not 100% positive god doesn't exist.
I am a believer. And I KNOW god exist. I just KNOW
I am a believer. But I can't be sure.
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Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
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22-08-2012, 04:56 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(21-08-2012 10:16 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 09:24 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I read your post. I always carefully read what others say before I comment on them.

(21-08-2012 09:24 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You're arguing for skepticism

Is there an emoticon for slamming your head against a brick wall?

Where am I arguing for skepticism? Show me. Quote me. FTLOG!

The sceptical objections to moral evidence, or to the reasonings concerning matter of fact, are either popular or philosophical. [Then Hume goes on to explain the sceptical objections]

The sceptic, therefore, had better keep within his proper sphere...

Did you even read Hume? Hume was a skeptic, and the passage you quoted was an argument from skepticism. And on top of not understanding the passage that you yourself cited, you threw in an insult because you still think I'm the one who didn't get it. Classy.

I've quoted Hume myself. I've read Enquiry many, many times. Hume was not arguing against agnosticism. Science is agnostic. Sure, we can "know" as far as the evidence will allow us to, but there's always a limit to the amount of evidence we can collect, and scientists realize that further evidence may always prove them wrong. Of course you know this, but you still clearly mis-characterize this as gnosticism. It's not. Being certain within the knowledge you have is not gnosticism.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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22-08-2012, 07:54 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 04:56 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I've quoted Hume myself. I've read Enquiry many, many times.

Reading it once, and understanding it, would have been preferable to reading it many many times and not understanding it. You've given me good grounds for this, as you've completely misunderstood my position.

Otto: Apes don't read philosophy.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto. They just don't understand it.





(22-08-2012 04:56 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Did you even read Hume? Hume was a skeptic, and the passage you quoted was an argument from skepticism.

Hume wasn't a skeptic; he was an empiricist. If everything that we know is a product of our senses, how can we know that the sun will rise tomorrow? We can't sense it in advance. Of course, we could rely on probability, but Hume would reject even that. For all we know, the laws of physics might allow gravity to function on a finite basis, causing it to eventually cease... with the Earth slipping from the sun's gravitational field, as we float into deep space, never seeing another sunrise.

This is an empiricist talking, not a skeptic. He allows that the skeptical position might make perfect sense in the classroom of pure theory, but (as human beings, and as natural entities) we must leave such nonsense there, as it can't allow us to function in the real world.

After an epistemological lecture that concentrated on scepticism (I'll return to the UK spelling, without a K) I was pondering the nature of scepticism on my commute back home. It was getting dark and, on a side road up ahead, I could see a car that was waiting to join the main road. I sat there, hoping that the driver of the car wasn't a sceptic, as, if he was sceptical about the existence of my car, he might pull out into my path.

However, before I reached him, the following brief thoughts flickered through my mind... if he is a sceptic:-
  • He would be sceptical about the existence of his own car
  • He wouldn't own a car, as his scepticism wouldn't allow him to have a career, so he wouldn't be able to purchase a car
  • With no money, he wouldn't only be without a car - he'd be without a home
  • He would be living in a cave, that he doubted was real
  • But not for long, as he'd starve to death because he would be sceptical about food curing his hunger

There are no true sceptics. Scepticism doesn't allow us to function in the real world. Hume was fully aware of that - and that was his message in the text that I quoted.
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22-08-2012, 08:41 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 07:54 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  There are no true sceptics.

I'm tired of debating the meaning of common words with you. Your position is that of an agnostic, but you refuse to see yourself in that position. You want to posit that Hume was an empiricist as opposed to a skeptic, although those positions are clearly not mutually exclusive -- he was both. But you can't see his skepticism because you've redefined that, too.

I hate this argument because you don't really see things differently than I do on this subject, except that you insist on making up your own definitions to common ideas. Go ahead and do that all you like. I don't care anymore if you understand what agnosticism is, or skepticism, or knowledge. There are true skeptics... I'm one of them. But I'm not a skeptic in the way that you view them.

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22-08-2012, 09:06 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 07:54 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  There are no true sceptics. Scepticism doesn't allow us to function in the real world.

Dude, you are awesome and all, but here is where I disagree with you.

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22-08-2012, 10:40 PM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
I have seen nothing but evidence against the existance of a god. I am so close to 100% positive that there is no god that I consider it 100%. The way I see it god does not exist any more than Thor does.
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23-08-2012, 12:25 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 08:41 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(22-08-2012 07:54 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  There are no true sceptics.

I'm tired of debating the meaning of common words with you. Your position is that of an agnostic, but you refuse to see yourself in that position. You want to posit that Hume was an empiricist as opposed to a skeptic, although those positions are clearly not mutually exclusive -- he was both. But you can't see his skepticism because you've redefined that, too.

I hate this argument because you don't really see things differently than I do on this subject, except that you insist on making up your own definitions to common ideas. Go ahead and do that all you like. I don't care anymore if you understand what agnosticism is, or skepticism, or knowledge. There are true skeptics... I'm one of them. But I'm not a skeptic in the way that you view them.
I'm not trying to be a douche to Red but, i agree with this statement.

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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23-08-2012, 12:30 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 10:40 PM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  I have seen nothing but evidence against the existance of a god. I am so close to 100% positive that there is no god that I consider it 100%. The way I see it god does not exist any more than Thor does.
I really messed up tho by not defining god in the OP.

Just view god as an overseer. Someone/something that is responsible for the existence of things. but not necessarily omnipotent-present-scient. Just powerful.

For example. Maybe there is a being out there who provoked the big bang to create existence and did it to make billions of planets to hold life. If you think this could be a possibility, then you are not a gnostic atheist.

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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23-08-2012, 01:07 AM (This post was last modified: 23-08-2012 01:10 AM by witerat.)
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
Gnostic Atheism reminds me Douglas Adams' treatise on the population of the universe:
Quote:None. Although you might see people from time to time, they are most likely products of your imagination. Simple mathematics tells us that the population of the Universe must be zero. Why? Well given that the volume of the universe is infinite there must be an infinite number of worlds. But not all of them are populated; therefore only a finite number are. Any finite number divided by infinity is as close to zero as makes no odds, therefore we can round the average population of the Universe to zero, and so the total population must be zero.

Despite the glaring misuse of infinity in the argument, the question of the odds of there being a deity, we are talking about odds that are as close to zero as make no odds. Such an entity would leave evidence its of its creation process, and in three and half millennia what have we found? Insinuation, innuendo, and warm fuzzies, an woo.
The "No god" hypothesis is a null hypothesis. To have certainty of it one must know everything and since the brain's data capacity is only around 1 petabyte(1000 terabytes), that's never going to happen.

What we can say it this:
Quote:Given everything that we do know about how the universe works from cosmology, biology, geology, palaeontology... we see how the universe works precisely in a way one would expect without a deity.
Certainly there is no suggestion that a deity exists however intellectual honesty demands that if there is an infinitesimal probability of a deity we should admit it. Sadly theists like to over inflate this admission to at least even money or even to certainty.
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23-08-2012, 01:46 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
Listen people.

I seriously fucked this thread up.

I should have known to have define 'god.' Now it's all gettn lost in translation. fuck.


Now I know why Dawkins went through such detail on what HE means by god in the book the god delusion. dammit.

Forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live.-Lawrence Krauss

For god loved the world so much he tortured his only begotten son, gave him a 3 day nap only to wake up in ultimate awesomeness and called it a sacrifice.
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23-08-2012, 08:44 AM
RE: Are there any gnostic atheist out there?
(22-08-2012 09:06 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  
(22-08-2012 07:54 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  There are no true sceptics. Scepticism doesn't allow us to function in the real world.

Dude, you are awesome and all, but here is where I disagree with you.

Firstly, thankya for the compliment, my little snuffle-cat. Secondly, keep in mind that there are different definitions of skepticism. In the circles that we inhabit these days, skepticism is a label for people who reject woo and insist on scientific methods for establishing what is (and is not) real.

Philosophical skepticism is a different beast. And, even there, there are different levels. And that's probably where myself (and others) are on different tracks of the railway. To me, if you're a skeptic, you are (what Hume described) a radical skeptic. It's the course that Descartes took, rejecting everything "known" in order to establish what can ultimately be known.

His conclusion was the famous cogito ergo sum, but even then, detractors of Descartes have pointed out that even that is a claim too far. Descartes introduced the concept of an "evil demon" who was providing distorted truths to everything that was understood to be real. In modernity, philosophy lecturers replace this with a concept from popular culture: The Matrix movie.

Whether we try to establish whether we are awake or dreaming, or the inhabitants of a complex simulated virtual reality (Matrix) device... we have to ask ourselves what we can and cannot really know. If you take the path of the radical skeptic, you have to reject all knowledge because certainty is unobtainable. Or you can decide (as Hume did) that such notions should be kept in the classroom and that our ability to function (as working agents) must reject skepticism and allow for knowledge... within whatever framework we actually inhabit: waking, dreamstate, virtual reality or non-virtual reality.

To me, calling yourself a skeptic (in the philosophical sense) is as nonsensical as calling yourself anything else, when the level that you ascribe to that notion is something other than 100%. Unless you are a radical skeptic, you can't call yourself a skeptic; you can have skeptical tendencies, or apply skepticism to a certain degree of your working life... but (as I briefly explained in my previous post) a true skeptic is unable to function.

If you press a letter on your keyboard and the resulting ASCII code doesn't match the letter you pressed... the skeptic will see that as a justification of his skeptical stance. He is skeptical about everything... and that a complete lack of knowledge allows for nothing other than uncertainties in everything he does.

Some of those that I've been conversing with don't see skepticism in that way. I do. Whether you agree with my position or not, my personal lack of skepticism (in the philosophical sense) allows me to say that I know that the Tooth Fairy does not exist, and neither does the creator god that the OP originally presented to us.

As a non-skeptic, I can happily call myself a gnostic atheist. If a partial-skeptic would argue otherwise, that is within their rights to do so.

But it doesn't make them any less wrong. Shy
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