Gnostic Atheism
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02-06-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
Being a gnostic anything is impossible. This is common logic.

Even when I was a theist, I wouldn't claim gnostic theism. Knowledge is not subjective; that would be belief. Knowledge is objective.

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02-06-2017, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 09:06 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Gnostic Atheism
Indeed. One can go around claiming to be a gnostic, but that doesn't make it so. You can "have certainty" as much as you want. Ultimately, it's just a feeling that you cannot be wrong. But you can still be wrong (about reality), no matter how many other people agree with you or whatever evidence you have.

I think people who try to claim they can't possibly be wrong are over-compensating for insecurity, and they can't bear the possibility of being wrong.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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02-06-2017, 02:49 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 09:03 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Indeed. One can go around claiming to be a gnostic, but that doesn't make it so. You can "have certainty" as much as you want. Ultimately, it's just a feeling that you cannot be wrong. But you can still be wrong (about reality), no matter how many other people agree with you or whatever evidence you have.

I think people who try to claim they can't possibly be wrong are over-compensating for insecurity, and they can't bear the possibility of being wrong.

Then what is knowledge? Is there such a thing?
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02-06-2017, 03:43 PM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 03:49 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 02:49 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(02-06-2017 09:03 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Indeed. One can go around claiming to be a gnostic, but that doesn't make it so. You can "have certainty" as much as you want. Ultimately, it's just a feeling that you cannot be wrong. But you can still be wrong (about reality), no matter how many other people agree with you or whatever evidence you have.

I think people who try to claim they can't possibly be wrong are over-compensating for insecurity, and they can't bear the possibility of being wrong.

Then what is knowledge? Is there such a thing?

This is my take on things:

The catch with knowledge about reality is you can't tell what among your claimed knowledge is actually correct knowledge. So the best you can do is have repeatable, demonstrable models that appear to describe reality very well*. That is scientific knowledge. If we insist that we can't have knowledge unless it's certainly correct, we are forever chasing our tails. We can't see the answer sheet.

Knowledge on a personal level is even more fragile, and really amounts to beliefs which have a high degree of confidence behind them.

Robust knowledge is reserved for abstract systems of our own devising, where we set the rules in the first place and aren't restricted by the one-way nature of our relationship with reality. The only thing hindering us there is possibly making a mistake while using our own rules.

(*It's technically even worse than this, because we are just modeling our observations of reality. We can't ever get data from it directly.)

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02-06-2017, 03:46 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 02:49 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(02-06-2017 09:03 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Indeed. One can go around claiming to be a gnostic, but that doesn't make it so. You can "have certainty" as much as you want. Ultimately, it's just a feeling that you cannot be wrong. But you can still be wrong (about reality), no matter how many other people agree with you or whatever evidence you have.

I think people who try to claim they can't possibly be wrong are over-compensating for insecurity, and they can't bear the possibility of being wrong.

Then what is knowledge? Is there such a thing?

the sky is blue. that's as real as it gets. if we go up and look for the blue, we never find it. It doesn't mean its not there. Blink

I think the better understanding is that we need to draw conclusions based on what we know. basing a claim on "nobody knows anything so I believe ...." is just crazy to me. Toss in unicorns and rainbows too, for color. Rainbow farts are prettier than thunder bolt throwing sky wizards to me.
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02-06-2017, 03:58 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
One way around this is to only refer to your experiences, and to call this your personal reality.

I can then know things, I suppose, about my experience. I can know I'm feeling happy within the context of the experience, because I am. I'm forgetting about any "real me" that may be somewhere else, interacting with some "real reality". I'm just referring, in a circular manner, to my personal reality. I can't be wrong (it seems) about "feeling happy", because I'm defining what it is, and my experience matches it. I'm looking at the final result, rather than worrying about where it all came from.

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02-06-2017, 06:00 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(02-06-2017 02:49 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  Then what is knowledge? Is there such a thing?

This is my take on things:

The catch with knowledge about reality is you can't tell what among your claimed knowledge is actually correct knowledge. So the best you can do is have repeatable, demonstrable models that appear to describe reality very well*. That is scientific knowledge. If we insist that we can't have knowledge unless it's certainly correct, we are forever chasing our tails. We can't see the answer sheet.

So you've effectively defined knowledge out of existence. Your take on scientific knowledge seems oxymoronic, given the oppositions which you've set up. I'm wondering what a scientific model has to go through to be considered "repeatable, demonstrable". Demonstrability appears to be an unachievable goal given how you've defined scientific knowledge, and repeatability doesn't appear to be a strong enough sieve to separate out false from true models. Maybe you were simplifying, but these doesn't seem to be the main criterion that we look to for certifying something as scientific knowledge.

(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Knowledge on a personal level is even more fragile, and really amounts to beliefs which have a high degree of confidence behind them.

But I thought that you said certainty doesn't amount to knowledge. Why should the standards for personal knowledge be different than scientific knowledge?

(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Robust knowledge is reserved for abstract systems of our own devising, where we set the rules in the first place and aren't restricted by the one-way nature of our relationship with reality. The only thing hindering us there is possibly making a mistake while using our own rules.

This restricts us to analytical truths. Is there no place for knowledge in the empirical world?
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02-06-2017, 06:20 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 03:58 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  One way around this is to only refer to your experiences, and to call this your personal reality.

I can then know things, I suppose, about my experience. I can know I'm feeling happy within the context of the experience, because I am. I'm forgetting about any "real me" that may be somewhere else, interacting with some "real reality". I'm just referring, in a circular manner, to my personal reality. I can't be wrong (it seems) about "feeling happy", because I'm defining what it is, and my experience matches it. I'm looking at the final result, rather than worrying about where it all came from.

yeah, the "personal reality" trick is used quite often and stubbornly. People just have to maintain that safety net. I guess its an evolutionary advantage to function in this shit storm we live in. Consider

"happy" is an emotion to me. I don't need to be happy when talking about what the universe is doing. Spanozia kind of fits here.

for me, and my personal reality, the more conditional changes my claim can predict the more '"real" it is to me. After my conclusions predict many conditions then i have to add more people to cross check again.

of course you know what I am talking about. The more people we have studying the system the better we can remove error and personal bias. No god knows it's not perfect, but like that blue sky, its all we got.

literal people that slam the door shut on knowledge in favor of "personal reality" in four words, "I don't believe that", like it is the end all, are a big problem in growing past treating a belief as a religion.

They get all sorts of stupid when i ask 'what about all of our realities? Like multiverse notions, they all are in something else, they are all one in the same. back to their omni dude or anti whatever stuff they run to hide.
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02-06-2017, 06:27 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 06:00 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  
(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  This is my take on things:

The catch with knowledge about reality is you can't tell what among your claimed knowledge is actually correct knowledge. So the best you can do is have repeatable, demonstrable models that appear to describe reality very well*. That is scientific knowledge. If we insist that we can't have knowledge unless it's certainly correct, we are forever chasing our tails. We can't see the answer sheet.

So you've effectively defined knowledge out of existence. Your take on scientific knowledge seems oxymoronic, given the oppositions which you've set up. I'm wondering what a scientific model has to go through to be considered "repeatable, demonstrable". Demonstrability appears to be an unachievable goal given how you've defined scientific knowledge, and repeatability doesn't appear to be a strong enough sieve to separate out false from true models. Maybe you were simplifying, but these doesn't seem to be the main criterion that we look to for certifying something as scientific knowledge.

(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Knowledge on a personal level is even more fragile, and really amounts to beliefs which have a high degree of confidence behind them.

But I thought that you said certainty doesn't amount to knowledge. Why should the standards for personal knowledge be different than scientific knowledge?

(02-06-2017 03:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  Robust knowledge is reserved for abstract systems of our own devising, where we set the rules in the first place and aren't restricted by the one-way nature of our relationship with reality. The only thing hindering us there is possibly making a mistake while using our own rules.

This restricts us to analytical truths. Is there no place for knowledge in the empirical world?

for me, he seem to point to his emotional truth. i think we all understand what limitations that has. "Happy" isn't a requirement for describing what the universe id doing for some. in fact, that emotion can cloud the empirical truth.

I think we agree that "personal happy' only becomes a problem if people start forcing it on others that don't need it. whether its god or no god, it doesn't matter. Forcing personal emotional need on others as the "only logical solution" is stupid.

for now, religion is the biggest offender of that. in my opinion that is. 'spiritual people", don't offend freedom as much. And as long as the mechanisms are presents in chemistry and physics, I am ok with giving some lead way to them. again, not perfect, but its all we got.
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02-06-2017, 11:17 PM
RE: Gnostic Atheism
(02-06-2017 03:46 PM)AB517 Wrote:  
(02-06-2017 02:49 PM)big green mouth Wrote:  Then what is knowledge? Is there such a thing?

the sky is blue. that's as real as it gets. if we go up and look for the blue, we never find it. It doesn't mean its not there. Blink

I think the better understanding is that we need to draw conclusions based on what we know. basing a claim on "nobody knows anything so I believe ...." is just crazy to me. Toss in unicorns and rainbows too, for color. Rainbow farts are prettier than thunder bolt throwing sky wizards to me.

Nah. And it doesn't even have to be as extreme as that to be shown that true knowledge is unobtainable without omniscience which is unobtainable as a human.

Let's take your "sky is blue" example. This isn't knowledge and can easily be demonstrated as subjective.

A color blind person doesn't know of a blue sky. He perceives it in different shades.

A blind from birth person has no perception of color, and can only perceive in his mind what the sky might look like... But it's certainly not blue.

"Yabut KC, those are people with disabilities. The general population sees a blue sky; therefore, we know it's blue."

Not so fast, Scooter.

First, in order to be knowledge, it has to be absolute. So, in all cases and instances, the sky would objectively be blue regardless of the surrounding circumstances.

Second, who's to say what we perceive as blue actually blue? We've assigned a shade of color a name based on human eyesight, but do we really know if that is the true color?

We cannot know with absolute certainty that the sky is blue or the grass us green or up is up or down is down. We can only speak on our perceptions relative to our human senses.

A more correct statement would be, "Based on normal human vision, the sky is blue."

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