Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
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18-04-2011, 02:43 PM
 
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
Well according to Websters, Definition of AGNOSTIC
1. a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.

That being said, why not? All god's and goddesses are man made. Anything that can be created in the human imagination is limited by it's scope of conscious understanding and even projection, by that limited intellect. We can imagine all we like, we can see god in the stars, or a blade of grass as animists do. But is that the truth of what is the ultimate reality? No. It's simply the human imagination taking on faith, anything conceived to be god is likely to appear within it's creation.

I think anything that would truly be qualified to be called a higher power or that source and ultimate answer to reality, would be impossible for the limited human imagination to grasp.

While striving to find the ultimate through theories and/or faith, is simply exploiting an avenue to achieve an answer to the question of source behind all that is. While the human animal that is the seeker who breathes life into the question isn't psychically or mentally or biologically able to process the answer.
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16-05-2016, 02:43 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
The only way to reply to this topic is to use myself as an example. In most cases, from what I've heard (through mostly unreliable sources) is that to be agnostic is to simply be separate from both theistic and atheistic ideologies, but still have some interest in the result, preferring to wait until there is some actual proof, remaining "undecided". In my case however, I tend to see things differently; I use the term "agnostic" to describe myself as a person who neither believes in the existence of a god or gods, at the same time not refuting the idea. Instead, I find my position to be more of the border of both ideals. More of a "fence-hopper" than a "fence-sitter", I prefer to listen to every side of the issue and look at it from their perspective, while still remaining neutral. I can understand why people believe in God, and if I so chose, I could believe in him or them as well. At the same time, I can see why atheists can not believe in an entity that has all these abilities and a constant watch over us, but yet can not be seen in return. So, being agnostic, at least in my case, is less of being undecided, and more of being flexible. I could belong in any type of belief, because I go to their side and listen to why they believe what they believe, while still remaining neutral so I can hear more points of view, rather than locking myself down to one. (I also take this stance to most everything in my life, including the different viewpoints of capitalism, communism, and fascism. I suppose you could call this the "Jack of All Trades" approach?)
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16-05-2016, 05:02 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
I know it's popular among a lot of our circles to go on and on about agnosticism versus gnosticism, and we're all familiar with the little four way chart that many of us are fond of. But if you look at the common usage of the word, and most dictionary definition, the word in popular usage does mean effectively 'not picking a side'. So if someone asked you about a political issue, and you respond that you're remaining agnostic on the issue; that makes sense with the dictionary definition, but makes no sense with how the word gets bandied about by atheists.

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16-05-2016, 05:20 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
I don't think you can. If your answer to the question "do you believe in God?" is anything other than yes, you don't have faith. If you did, you'd say yes, but being undecided effectively results in you not having that belief. Whether it's a little or not enough, I don't think it's relevant.

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16-05-2016, 07:55 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
Agnosticism is a way to dodge answering a question.

If someone asked "Do you believe someone will win the lottery next Friday ?"

Agnostic replies - "I don't know"

He or she doesn't want to provide an answer on the question of belief. Saying I don't know is just a dodge.

In this day & age, there can be social & workplace repercussions for answering the question on belief.

A safe response is to simply say "I don't know"

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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16-05-2016, 08:16 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
(15-04-2011 07:37 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Setting aside for the moment that "agnostic" is constantly misused to mean "undecided" or "on the fence" in belief about god(s) when it actually refers to whether or not that knowledge can be attained... is it possible for someone to be a true non-atheist AND non-theist AND non-polytheist AND... alright fine let's just call them agnostics.

The way I see it, you either believe that there is a god (or gods) or you don't believe. People I debate with constantly cop out by saying they're agnostic and think arguing religion is stupid. And when I try to tell them that they are in fact agnostic atheists, they freak out in denial because "atheist" is akin to "satanist" or "communist" in our society.

They say that there isn't enough evidence one way or the other so they are agnostic in that there "might be a god and there might not be." But consider this: someone asks me whether or not I believe that invisible, undetectable alien spirit lifeforms inhabit us and are the cause of all our fears, emotions, and worries (Scientology anyone?)

I respond that there isn't enough evidence supporting or denying that claim and that we will never be able to test for this, so I am suspending my acceptance of such claims until further evidence can be provided, aka I am agnostic towards Scientology.

But look at what I am saying. By suspending acceptance of a positive claim, I am embracing the negative until convinced otherwise. My mental state remains in the Default position, which is the assertion that there is nothing outside of my five senses that make up my reality, until sufficient proof forces me to embrace reality outside my perceptions.

I guess this is all just a convoluted conjecture of the old claim that "we are born atheists and must be taught otherwise."

Thoughts?

Not that I want to defend theists in any way, but there are things outside your 5 senses. Dark matter. I am pretty sure science has or at least will if not already prove that dark matter exists. I don't have a sense that is capable of detecting it. There may be some form of life that can see it. I mean, just on our planet alone we have birds that can see things we can't. I know my macaw can see into the IR spectrum. There are designs on their feathers that humans can't see without the aid of technology, yet the birds are able to see it.
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16-05-2016, 09:54 AM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
Not knowing doesn't prevent you from having a belief on the topic. If there is no evidence from which to form a positive belief, then a lack of belief exists.

A lack of belief and not knowing mutually exist.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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16-05-2016, 12:04 PM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
(16-05-2016 07:55 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Agnosticism is a way to dodge answering a question.

If someone asked "Do you believe someone will win the lottery next Friday ?"

Agnostic replies - "I don't know"

He or she doesn't want to provide an answer on the question of belief. Saying I don't know is just a dodge.

In this day & age, there can be social & workplace repercussions for answering the question on belief.

A safe response is to simply say "I don't know"


Oh come on, 'I don't know' is not always a dodge. If you genuinely don't know, or don't care enough to find out, being agnostic on a position is the honest thing to do.

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16-05-2016, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2016 12:13 PM by SitaSky.)
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
I think pretty much all agnostics are atheists since they lack a definitive belief in a deity but I've found many of them to be spiritual. They may say something like "I believe in a soul, I believe we are all connected, it's like a vibration, etc." so, they do have some kind of belief in something "bigger than us" but they don't/can't define it and don't believe it to be a conscious being that loves us, the "energy" or whatever they are feeling is just a part of nature or the universe, in that sense they are open to the possibility of "God" but not the same way a deist would be or a theist.

I think when someone says "I don't know and neither do you." they are admitting they lack a belief, they are an atheist, just not knowing is not a real position since even theists don't really know for sure, they are believing on faith so really all atheists are agnostic and all agnostics are atheist. This whole discussion reminds me of this comic, not sure how much I agree with it but it's a good starting point:

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16-05-2016, 01:10 PM
RE: Can someone truly be an agnostic/undecided?
(16-05-2016 08:16 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  Not that I want to defend theists in any way, but there are things outside your 5 senses. Dark matter. I am pretty sure science has or at least will if not already prove that dark matter exists. I don't have a sense that is capable of detecting it. There may be some form of life that can see it. I mean, just on our planet alone we have birds that can see things we can't. I know my macaw can see into the IR spectrum. There are designs on their feathers that humans can't see without the aid of technology, yet the birds are able to see it.

And that's the point. With the use of science and technology, we have become aware that their perception is not what the perception of others is. 95 % of what the universe consists in, is unknown at this point. We know it's dangerous to generalize on the basis of what appears to human brains, to be "intuitively *logical*, (which is why the "well it couldn't have just popped into existence, could it", is so wrong. If people say "I'm an agnostic", by the way they think of it, then that's probably what they are.

I just don't see any (practical) difference between Agnosticism (defined as "we do not possess the ability to know"), Eastern Tao mysticism, and Western mystical Christianity, (The Dark Night of the Soul and The Cloud of the Unknowing).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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