Atheism VS. Agnosticism
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19-05-2012, 01:41 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 11:08 AM)Ghost Wrote:  But my understanding of Huxley tells me that the reason that he chose to use Agnostic was to deal specifically with those cases in which nothing had been demonstrated empirically. He espoused the ability to say of those cases, "I do not know. I do not possess that knowledge. I am Agnostic (A-without, Gnosis-knowledge)" An ability that he believed (and I agree) that Theists and Atheists alike do not possess. Not all Atheists mind you, but Huxley was reacting to a movement that he perceived and didn't like.
Nicely put. Huxley uses agnostic exactly the way I do, a simple confession of the limits of ones epistemological perspective. It is hard to say with certainty that knowledge of gods existence is unobtainable without at the same time knowing with certainty that gods either do or do not exist. That is why I prefer to keep it personal, because I know I personally don't don't have that knowledge but I also know I have no way of ruling out the possibility of obtaining such knowledge.

The impetus to say more is a sign of ones discomfort with uncertainty. To keep in touch with the real world one needs to develop some comfort with uncertainty rather than expend so much energy trying to enlist agreement with an indemonstrable position. In the end, reality isn't decided with a vote so it really doesn't matter how many people you can find who share your delusion.

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19-05-2012, 02:41 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 12:27 PM)kim Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 10:54 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Why would you wanna do that? Arguing is an opportunity to get to the root of contention, to see what makes you think like you do, and to see if that seed of contention is worth harvesting or furrowing. Wink
I enjoy your arguments TrulyX - the only way I or anyone will ever get to know you is through them. Keep 'em coming! Smile
True, but unless I'm trying to invest in Johnson & Johnson, I think I'd rather avoid the headache and just be apathetic to what others want to believe. In real life, it's worth the argument, but e-beef isn't worth it.

I'd rather just make cool, slick, one line explanations, and bounce.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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19-05-2012, 03:02 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
Hey, BD.

I disagree with what you said (which was well put BTW), not because you're "Wrong" (capital W) but because I see it differently.

I would never say, for myself mind you, that I am Agnostic ABOUT something. For me, Agnosticism isn't a determination, it's a behaviour. I am ALWAYS Agnostic; or rather, I am AN Agnostic.

Like if I said I was a hockey player. I would never be hockey player about something. What I was would determine how I behave. In the case of hockey, it would make me play the greatest sport in the world. In the case of Agnosticism, it would make me vigorously apply a single principle to all questions.

Another important distinction is that Gnostic doesn't appear in my model. The reason is because Agnostics, actually fuck that, I myself am not credulous. Empiricism doesn't mean slam dunk, 100% true, can never be revisited. Only the credulous think that. So I KNOW the answer to every question because to me, there are only 4 possible answers:

  1. Demonstrated - confirmed
  2. Demonstrated - disproved
  3. Undemonstrated
  4. Indemonstrable
Quote:...once I have enough knowledge of something (or what I perceive as enough) I take a gnostic position...

Thank you for bringing this up. This is really what Huxley was reacting to (please don't take this as a personal attack, you just brought it up in a way that illustrates it really well. Thank you for that).

An Agnostic, as Huxley defines it, would NEVER do this (never being used in the strict sense, I'm not saying our shit don't stink).

For Huxley and for myself, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Something is either demonstrated or it isn't.
  • We don't have ENOUGH knowledge about gravity, we know how it works
  • We don't have ENOUGH knowledge about adding vinegar to sodium bicarbonate, we know how it works
  • We don't have ENOUGH knowledge about making babies, we know how it works
  • We don't have ENOUGH knowledge about the electromagnetic wavelength, we know how it works
  • We don't have ENOUGH knowledge about aerodynamics, we know how it works
These fucking things:



Don't work lol Cool

And the is/isn't dichotomy is not draconian. Maybe we understand part of a process. Maybe we know we can get to the Moon, but we're not so sure about Mars, or Alpha Centauri.

But at the end of the day, if someone believes something WITHOUT that true demonstration, if they say, "Well, we have enough evidence/knowledge," then that is dogmatic. The decision to believe was arbitrary, not fact based. In laymans terms, they convicted on circumstantial evidence. I can't trust a justice system that allows that to happen, and I can't trust someone who believes things just cuz.

In terms of the God question, it's theoretically indemonstrable and irrefutably undemonstrated. So someone that takes any position on the God question is doing so because they want to believe it, not because the evidence has impelled them to believe it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-05-2012, 03:44 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 03:02 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In terms of the God question, it's theoretically indemonstrable and irrefutably undemonstrated. So someone that takes any position on the God question is doing so because they want to believe it, not because the evidence has impelled them to believe it.
Which includes someone entrenched in the Agnostic position.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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19-05-2012, 03:46 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 12:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I am a "linguist" tho .. so must ponder .. Consider
Bucky is a cunning linguist.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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19-05-2012, 05:05 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
I can understand being agnostic with regards to certain issues but using it as its own definition seems faulty, the reason why a better description of myself would be an agnostic atheist since the absolute knowledge of the nonexistence of something that does not exist cannot be known. I am not an agnostic scientist though, nor an agnostic realist. I know that science can explain things and that through science things are knowable, they just may not be currently known. I don't think humans will ever use science to explain everything, but that is due to 2 things, 1) we will never be around long enough to do so and 2) there are events in the past that we can never be 100% of. As to the examples you gave about gravity etc, we may not know everything there is to know about them, but that does not mean it is unknowable. The pursuit of knowledge through science tells us more and more about gravity all the time, and does not mean that one must be agnostic about gravity. We know it exists, we know it works, we have postulated hypotheses as to how it works, we can make predictions about it and through it.

I am not an agnostic realist because reality is known, there may be aspects of it that are unknowns, but that does not be they are unknowable, just that they are currently unknown.

Your example of a hockey player is not a very good one. If someone were to ask me who I was, I would not use a single term to describe myself, and a hockey player is the same still. If you were a hockey player, that pertains only to a single aspect of your life and not to every other area. Some of the other areas of your life may tie into it, but not all aspects of your life are contingent upon it. You have a past that defines you, a present that defines you, and a body of knowledge that defines you, you are a known quantity (although some aspects of yourself may be mysterious, even to yourself).

Building off of the closing point of my first paragraph with regards to gravity, we may not know everything about gravity but we know enough to use it as a predictive tool. The claim that a god exists should have predictive power if true, but that claim has never provided a prediction that was true. Anyone can make a prediction about gravity and test it right now, predict what will happen when you drop a ball and then try it out. God is an unnecessary claim with no predictive capability, so while I admit that the absolute knowledge of a god(s) existence is unknowable, I would say the same thing about Big Foot or the Loch Ness monster. Until something that cannot be explained except through the existence of a god(s) would I be able to change my position from one of agnostic atheism to any other position.

The reason why I commonly use only the term atheist instead of agnostic atheist is due in large part to the fact that atheism is the rejection of the god claim. I don't define myself based off of what I don't believe.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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19-05-2012, 05:48 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 03:46 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 12:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I am a "linguist" tho .. so must ponder .. Consider
Bucky is a cunning linguist.

Sadcryface2 oh my Gwynnies...

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19-05-2012, 06:34 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 03:46 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 12:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I am a "linguist" tho .. so must ponder .. Consider
Bucky is a cunning linguist.
Yea... I saw that... I saw what you did there. Blink




Consider
I might kill you last.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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19-05-2012, 07:01 PM
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 06:34 PM)kim Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 03:46 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Bucky is a cunning linguist.
Yea... I saw that... I saw what you did there. Blink




Consider
I might kill you last.
Good, I was beginning to worry. Drinking Beverage

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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19-05-2012, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 19-05-2012 07:19 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Atheism VS. Agnosticism
(19-05-2012 03:46 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(19-05-2012 12:33 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I am a "linguist" tho .. so must ponder .. Consider
Bucky is a cunning linguist.

I wonder if he raps for food???





Or just provides lip service.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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