Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
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24-09-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
1ag·nos·tic noun \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
: a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

: a person who does not believe or is unsure of something

Full 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
2
: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>


It's been said before, but the phrase "agnostic belief" doesn't make much sense. Maybe you could reword your argument?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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24-09-2014, 08:45 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2014 08:48 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
Agnostic belief makes plenty of sense, IMO. Although usually it is only applied to belief in a deity. The agnostic position is the position of "unknown" (and sometimes the claim that it is unknowable).

What I personally think is more interesting is the difference between knowledge and belief. But that's a different conversation.

As for the OP question, I'd say an agnostic belief is irrational when the belief breaks understood "laws" of nature/reality which have no evidence indicating that they can be broken. Or believing anything (or mostly anything) that is un-proved after much human inquiry while also being un-falsifiable.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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24-09-2014, 08:46 PM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(23-09-2014 10:24 PM)smileXsmileXsmile Wrote:  There could be another factor. It could be a matter of what Christians call big "T" Truth and little "t" truth. There are things that can be tested and proven (big "T" Truth) and there are things that cannot yet be tested and proved (little "t" truth).

An example of little "t" truth would be: my thoughts. It's true at the moment I'm thinking of a kangaroo playing hop-scotch but that's not provable, so that's a little "t" truth. It's true but not provable.


Maybe you or someone can help me out here with where I'm going. It's not irrational for me to agnostically believe someone (without evidence) if they tell me they're thinking about a kangaroo playing hopscotch, but it is irrational for someone to agnostically believe in god without evidence. Why is that? What differentiates the two; they're both agnostic beliefs.

Exactly what do you mean by agnostic belief? The term doesn't have much merrit or purpose for use outside of the religious setting.

If you're trying to conflate it to believing but not claiming to know... well there's some random strangeness in your ideas. I don't think that it would be rational to believe a Kangaroo was playing hop-scotch... I don't know why you present it the other way.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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24-09-2014, 09:37 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2014 09:40 PM by smileXsmileXsmile.)
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
I define agnosticism as accepting something as truth without 100% certainty. Is that not a correct definition/does agnostic only refer to deities?

my definition of agnostic stems from this chart:
   

So what I'm hearing is that the difference between what's rational and irrational is subjective. There no sort of "scientific method" to determine irrationality from rationality.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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25-09-2014, 04:56 AM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
Gnostic and agnostic refer to what you "know", but without a definition of "know" I find these terms wooly.

You believe a variety of things for a variety of reasons, but most things you believe I think you'll find you have evidence for. The quality of that evidence will vary from direct careful observations made by you, to careful study in a domain of knowledge, to the testimony of experts, to testimony of non-experts, to assumptions, guesses, hunches etc. The degree to which you should hold to a believe should normally have some connection to the quality of the evidence you have for it. I don't know what it would mean to hold a belief without any evidence. The question will generally be "how good is your evidence", generally in some kind of ratio to "how much you care about being right".

I care about being right on some subjects and demand good quality evidence in those fields, and other things I don't care about much and I don't mind provisionally holding a belief that may in fact turn out to be wrong. Generally the difference between a belief I care about and one I do not relates to the degree to which that belief impacts on how I live my life.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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25-09-2014, 05:04 AM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(24-09-2014 09:37 PM)smileXsmileXsmile Wrote:  I define agnosticism as accepting something as truth without 100% certainty. Is that not a correct definition/does agnostic only refer to deities?

Nope, you are probably the only person to define it that way.

Quote:my definition of agnostic stems from this chart:


So what I'm hearing is that the difference between what's rational and irrational is subjective. There no sort of "scientific method" to determine irrationality from rationality.

I'm not sure where you got that; your understanding of "agnostic" is fatally flawed, and "agnostic belief" is an oxymoron.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-09-2014, 08:26 AM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(24-09-2014 09:37 PM)smileXsmileXsmile Wrote:  I define agnosticism as accepting something as truth without 100% certainty. Is that not a correct definition/does agnostic only refer to deities?

Look at the definition that evenheathen posted.

"a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable"

That is what agnsotic means.
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25-09-2014, 08:31 AM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(25-09-2014 08:26 AM)Zippo Wrote:  
(24-09-2014 09:37 PM)smileXsmileXsmile Wrote:  I define agnosticism as accepting something as truth without 100% certainty. Is that not a correct definition/does agnostic only refer to deities?

Look at the definition that evenheathen posted.

"a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable"

That is what agnsotic means.

There is multiple usages of agnostic... that is one and it's growing rarer, the image smilex posted demonstrates it well in the other sense, but it doesn't make sense to apply it outside of the religious use. Or at all in the way he did.

There's no having an agnostic belief about something. One can have a belief about something, and not hold to knowing that to be certain... but calling that an agnostic belief is wonky.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-09-2014, 10:17 AM
RE: Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(25-09-2014 08:31 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(25-09-2014 08:26 AM)Zippo Wrote:  Look at the definition that evenheathen posted.

"a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable"

That is what agnsotic means.

There is multiple usages of agnostic... that is one and it's growing rarer, the image smilex posted demonstrates it well in the other sense, but it doesn't make sense to apply it outside of the religious use. Or at all in the way he did.

There's no having an agnostic belief about something. One can have a belief about something, and not hold to knowing that to be certain... but calling that an agnostic belief is wonky.

I know what you mean. I quoted evenheathen's definition not only for the lack of certainty but because the definition mentions how that certainty can't be achieved.

But the whole "I define agnosticism as accepting something as truth without 100% certainty." ...makes me squirm.

That is definitely not the definition of agnostic
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25-09-2014, 04:22 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2014 10:42 PM by smileXsmileXsmile.)
Rational Agnostic Beliefs vs Irrational Agnostic Beleifs
(25-09-2014 04:56 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  Gnostic and agnostic refer to what you "know", but without a definition of "know" I find these terms wooly.

You believe a variety of things for a variety of reasons, but most things you believe I think you'll find you have evidence for. The quality of that evidence will vary from direct careful observations made by you, to careful study in a domain of knowledge, to the testimony of experts, to testimony of non-experts, to assumptions, guesses, hunches etc. The degree to which you should hold to a believe should normally have some connection to the quality of the evidence you have for it. I don't know what it would mean to hold a belief without any evidence. The question will generally be "how good is your evidence", generally in some kind of ratio to "how much you care about being right".

I care about being right on some subjects and demand good quality evidence in those fields, and other things I don't care about much and I don't mind provisionally holding a belief that may in fact turn out to be wrong. Generally the difference between a belief I care about and one I do not relates to the degree to which that belief impacts on how I live my life.

Nicely stated. This is what I was going after. So, minus the philosophical paradox that I may live in the matrix (the infamous "there's no absolute certainty"), I'd like to be to always be certain, in that I demand the highest degree of evidence. If there's a chance that my degree of evidence is lacking, I will disclaim "hey, but there's always *so and so* amount of chance that this info could be wrong".

So with that said, I'm flustered with organizing my thoughts but I'll give it a shot.

There are rational things we accept as truth without the highest degree of evidence. For example, there are six types of quarks that could be in an atom. I haven't tested that or seen proof myself and I have no interest in testing that, but I accept it as truth. Yet this is deemed a rational belief. (belief: accepting something as truth)

Now... if someone has no interest in testing for jesus. why is that deemed irrational, when it's basically the same thing? :accepting something as truth without the highest degree of evidence and no interest in testing it.

I'm not 100% sure but maybe it could be because it's not possibly testable at all? Therefore, anything that is believed, that is not testable (or tests false), is deemed irrational.

"If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it enough" -Albert Einstein
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