Do I have this straight?.....
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23-07-2017, 07:54 AM
Do I have this straight?.....
I just introduced myself in the Introduction forum and received my license to post!

I've been reading the forum all night, mostly the thread started by DarthMarth's introduction. I think I have already learned a few things (definition-wise) about atheists and agnostics. Below are a couple of statements upon my understanding. Please correct me if I'm off target.

Hard agnosticism - The existence of God is a question that cannot be studied scientifically so why bother with the question at all.
Hard agnosticism is the only position I can fully relate to from a purely scientific perspective along with my current ideas on at least some of God's qualities, if God exists.

On the other hand, soft atheism (at least as I currently understand it) accepts that God may exist and that it may be possible to study the question scientifically, but since no scientific evidence exists, soft atheists will not believe God exists.....which is somewhat different than straight up saying God does not exist, with certainty.

However, hard atheists believe that the question of God's existence can (and has) been studied scientifically and the overwhelming "evidence" is that God does not exist.

All three positions require that the scientific method is the only method that can acquire "knowledge".

Am I on the right track?

I know that a lot of this has probably been stated in other posts, but since I'm damn near delirious from lack of sleep, I'm hoping that I can get a quick affirmation or correction before heading to bed.
Thanks.
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23-07-2017, 08:02 AM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2017 08:06 AM by Peebothuhul.)
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
Hello! Big Grin

Yup, from a lay-man's quick reading that sounds about right. Thumbsup

I'm sure much smarter folks will be along soon to help ideas spread smoothly.

My one thought, where there might be asticking point?

Is your sentecne: "All three positions require that the scientific method is the only method that can acquire 'Knowledge'."

Am pretty sure folks such as Phylosophers get to some sorts of facts and such using their method. Not sure if said method could also be construed as 'Scientific' though. Consider

Cheers!
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23-07-2017, 08:02 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
Atheism and religious belief are exactly like sexual orientation.

Yours is, what it is and anyone who tries to define it, does so from the biased coloring of their own belief. Or lack thereof.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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23-07-2017, 08:05 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
Here's a useful quick-reference diagram (although not everyone sees it this way):

[Image: main-qimg-03de07dcf9a7a7a20aea931c6157f1dd]

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23-07-2017, 08:10 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 07:54 AM)MorningStar Wrote:  I just introduced myself in the Introduction forum and received my license to post!

I've been reading the forum all night, mostly the thread started by DarthMarth's introduction. I think I have already learned a few things (definition-wise) about atheists and agnostics. Below are a couple of statements upon my understanding. Please correct me if I'm off target.

Hard agnosticism - The existence of God is a question that cannot be studied scientifically so why bother with the question at all.
Hard agnosticism is the only position I can fully relate to from a purely scientific perspective along with my current ideas on at least some of God's qualities, if God exists.

On the other hand, soft atheism (at least as I currently understand it) accepts that God may exist and that it may be possible to study the question scientifically, but since no scientific evidence exists, soft atheists will not believe God exists.....which is somewhat different than straight up saying God does not exist, with certainty.

However, hard atheists believe that the question of God's existence can (and has) been studied scientifically and the overwhelming "evidence" is that God does not exist.

All three positions require that the scientific method is the only method that can acquire "knowledge".

Am I on the right track?
I prefer to think of (a)gnosticism as one's knowledge position about deities, and (a)theism as one's belief position. They influence each other but vary independently.

An agnostic concerning deities might be a "hard" agnostic, who says it's impossible to know anything about gods, or a "soft" agnostic, who says he has no such knowledge but has some hope that it could be ascertained in some way. Aldous Huxley, who originated the term agnostic, was a hard agnostic.

Atheism sees no valid reason to believe in any deities. Most atheists are also agnostics, for the simple reason that invisible gods are inherently unfalsifiable and therefore no valid knowledge claim can be taken up for OR against them.

Because invisible gods inherently can't be (dis)proven, I technically can't make a knowledge claim about them at all ... much less that they do or don't exist. So I would be a hard agnostic. However as a person who does not afford belief to the unsubstantiated, particularly when what is asserted without substantiation is fantastical and highly consequential, I do not believe in any gods. So I'm also an atheist.

There's a common misconception that an agnostic just isn't "sure" about gods when probability is an almost completely separate thing from proof. Proof is a conclusion based on multiple threads of evidence that a thing is true. At a minimum, the preponderance of evidence is strongly in favor of the conclusion. A few agnostics either reckon (wrongly in my view) that the "odds of gods" are close to fifty / fifty, or, more likely, they just find equal amounts of cognitive dissonance with either conclusion. That mental state isn't inherent to agnosticism about gods. Agnosticism simply says you lack knowledge, but it says nothing inherently about belief or the desire for it. You can be an agnostic theist, although it's relatively rare. You can be a gnostic atheist, although it's even more rare. Most people who bother to converse on the matter are either gnostic theists or agnostic atheists.
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23-07-2017, 08:58 AM (This post was last modified: 23-07-2017 09:47 AM by Vera.)
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 08:10 AM)mordant Wrote:  You can be an agnostic theist, although it's relatively rare. You can be a gnostic atheist, although it's even more rare. Most people who bother to converse on the matter are either gnostic theists or agnostic atheists.

And how's that for arrogance and (not) being honest you yourself, eh? I might believe, think, be next to certain that there is no god, but would I go around, claiming, how I just "know it", "in my heart" there is *no* god? Unlikely. Most theists, on the other hand...

I have absolutely no problem, though, saying, claiming, maintaining, betting my life (and non-existent soul) that the vile Judeo-Christian god-monstrosity does not exist.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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23-07-2017, 09:40 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
(23-07-2017 07:54 AM)MorningStar Wrote:  I just introduced myself in the Introduction forum and received my license to post!

I've been reading the forum all night, mostly the thread started by DarthMarth's introduction. I think I have already learned a few things (definition-wise) about atheists and agnostics. Below are a couple of statements upon my understanding. Please correct me if I'm off target.

Hard agnosticism - The existence of God is a question that cannot be studied scientifically so why bother with the question at all.
Hard agnosticism is the only position I can fully relate to from a purely scientific perspective along with my current ideas on at least some of God's qualities, if God exists.

On the other hand, soft atheism (at least as I currently understand it) accepts that God may exist and that it may be possible to study the question scientifically, but since no scientific evidence exists, soft atheists will not believe God exists.....which is somewhat different than straight up saying God does not exist, with certainty.

However, hard atheists believe that the question of God's existence can (and has) been studied scientifically and the overwhelming "evidence" is that God does not exist.

All three positions require that the scientific method is the only method that can acquire "knowledge".

Am I on the right track?

I know that a lot of this has probably been stated in other posts, but since I'm damn near delirious from lack of sleep, I'm hoping that I can get a quick affirmation or correction before heading to bed.
Thanks.

That's pretty much right, except the claim that the scientific method is the ONLY method of acquiring knowledge doesn't belong there. A lot of people in these groups will adopt something like that approach, but it's not technically a prerequisite for falling into those three categories.

Most, I think, would accept that SOME knowledge could be acquired through pure logic rather than empiricism -- for example, one might be able to use logic to identify an omnipotent or omniscient deity as paradoxical and thus incoherent without making a single scientific observation.

There are other exceptions, but the likelihood goes down rapidly once you get away from scientific method and logic as paths to truth. Someone who checked all the other boxes but thought evidence could be found through, say, Tarot readings rather than the scientific method would STILL fall in these categories, even though that would be rare.
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23-07-2017, 09:42 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
First, welcome. I hope you like it here as much as I do!

Second, and on topic with your questions, a member here (RobValue) has a website that offers good answers to your questions...

http://robvalue.wixsite.com/atheism

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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23-07-2017, 09:57 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
I like to keep it simple.

I don't believe in any gods.

That expresses everything that matters, imo.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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23-07-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Do I have this straight?.....
I would expand slightly to Dom's answer to add that I also don't believe in heaven or hell or supernatural miracles.

Where are we going and why am I in this hand basket?
"Life is not all lovely thorns and singing vultures, you know." ~ Morticia Addams
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