Why agnosticism?
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30-08-2015, 01:25 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(30-08-2015 11:24 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 09:34 AM)kim Wrote:  I was chuckling myself ... because uh ... I nearly whipped out some silly stringy thingys to tie this all up in a vibrating bow but, figured it might shock the children. Dodgy
***

Speaking of children ...
Carrying a fully fleshed identity arround is all the rage for the trendy, hipster, 'new thing' kinda guy. When the monkey is ready to run naked with the rest of us, he'll toss away those designer labels. If full-on Matt Finney is still hanging on to his coat of many colors that his mother made for him, who are 'we' to point him to an even more comfortable wardrobe?

That would be the 'royal we', by the way. Dodgy

If you think I give a shit about labels, you couldn't be further from the truth. Obviously if we want to communicate at all, we have to agree on some definitions. It's necessary evil if you will....

I only started this topic because I think many atheists are making the same mistake that the religious make, and that is jumping to a conclusion. My criticism is of the 6.9'ers who are just as certain that there's nothing, as the religious are that there's something, when the truth is that no one knows the answer to these questions. It's a mistake in critical reasoning, and a mistake that should be avoided if one wants to find the truth.

my 2 cents

Thank you for sharing that Brother Matt Dodgy

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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30-08-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(30-08-2015 01:19 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  For me, it's not so much being agnostic about a fictional character (god), but being agnostic about the big questions. Why is there a universe? What is the origin of existence? Is there an origin to existence? Is it possible that our universe was created intentionally? Could beings (advanced aliens) from another universe have created/caused our universe? Could there be some purpose to existence? If there's no purpose or cause at all to our universe, I have to admit to myself that that seems just as bizarre as if there is a creator, etc.....

I just leave the answer to these questions at "I don't know". I would be dishonest if I said, "I don't know what the origin of existence is, but I know it isn't god." The true answer is very simply "I don't know".

I think that atheists/agnostics are very self reflective on those things. Yes But, if we don't know the answers just yet, we simply don't make the leap (for me, anymore) to the god of the gaps type of theory.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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30-08-2015, 04:40 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(30-08-2015 03:17 PM)Deidre32 Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 01:19 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  For me, it's not so much being agnostic about a fictional character (god), but being agnostic about the big questions. Why is there a universe? What is the origin of existence? Is there an origin to existence? Is it possible that our universe was created intentionally? Could beings (advanced aliens) from another universe have created/caused our universe? Could there be some purpose to existence? If there's no purpose or cause at all to our universe, I have to admit to myself that that seems just as bizarre as if there is a creator, etc.....

I just leave the answer to these questions at "I don't know". I would be dishonest if I said, "I don't know what the origin of existence is, but I know it isn't god." The true answer is very simply "I don't know".

I think that atheists/agnostics are very self reflective on those things. Yes But, if we don't know the answers just yet, we simply don't make the leap (for me, anymore) to the god of the gaps type of theory.

On this, we are in 100% agreement! Cool
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30-08-2015, 04:56 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
Agnosticism? Nawww ...

I don't believe in it.

Tongue

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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30-08-2015, 06:35 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(30-08-2015 05:21 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Atheist only means lack of belief that god exists, whereas abeliefist would go further to also avoid belief that god doesn't exist, until there is conclusive evidence.
You could claim to be either of the following:
- ignostic
- agnostic atheist
- weak atheist

They all hold the position of lacking a belief either way.
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30-08-2015, 07:16 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(30-08-2015 08:57 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 08:45 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I also strongly disagree that Leo didn't say anything. What he didn't do is feed you a load of bs, and perhaps that's why you didn't like it?

Should he claim that god is doesn't exist? Should he believe that god doesn't exist?

Have you ever considered the notion of cleansing yourself of your beliefs that don't hold up?

Good ol' agnosticism, judging people since the word was invented. Rolleyes

Literally that is what it was invented for... it was Huxley coming up with it to contrast atheists he thought were too extreme. Yet He himself was a big too assertive in his stance because he defined it. He coined it as the thinking X is unknowable stance. But language clearly isn't limited to the way words were initially defined.

So the term atheist/agnostic both are issued because they can mean about 3-4 different things in ways they are contextually used. And they can be combined or contrasted in whichever ways. It really doesn't matter.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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31-08-2015, 08:34 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
Why I'm Not an Atheist: The Case for Agnosticism
by: Omar Baddar

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-badda...45544.html (full text below)

I had my falling out with religion in my early 20s, and a few years ago I published a piece making the case against religious certitude and blind faith. I also read some of the works of "the new atheists" with great interest, and watched them devastate religious opponents in entertaining public debates. However, a convincing argument against religion is not necessarily an equally compelling one for atheism. Between religious certitude and atheism lies a more suitable ground for truly open and skeptical minds: agnosticism.

For clarity's sake, it is important to note that no credible atheist claims they can prove that God does not exist. Atheists merely claim that there is no evidence at all for God's existence, making "him" as probable as a pink unicorn or a celestial tea pot. In the section on agnosticism in his famous book "The God Delusion," renowned scientist Richard Dawkins mentions the "tooth fairy" analogy to argue that while we should be technically agnostic on the existence of fairies because we lack evidence in either direction, in practice we are all (or at least the reasonable among us) "a-fairyists." But is God really only as probable as a tooth fairy?

In order for the tooth fairy analogy to be accurate, we would have to modify reality in one way: teeth would have to magically go missing from under pillows in a manner that science cannot even begin to explain. If that were the reality, no one could assert with any merited confidence that tooth fairies are definitely behind the inexplicable disappearance of teeth, but the idea would not be so patently absurd either. If that were the reality, then God would indeed be as probable as a tooth fairy.

What is analogous in the real world to the magic disappearance of teeth is the very existence of existence. Yes, science can (and if we survive long enough, probably will) explain almost everything about our evolution and the development of the universe, but it can't explain why there is something in the first place rather than nothing. Dawkins argued that it is easier to comprehend simple beginnings to the universe than complex ones, but I would argue that, when it comes to the universe, beginnings are fundamentally unfathomable, be they simple or complex. What "beginning" could possibly stop us from asking, what was there before that? The alternative, of course, would be that the universe has always been here, which is equally unfathomable, as we have evolved in Middle World to think in terms of beginnings and ends because everything we know is temporary.

Beyond the origins of the universe and our inability to wrap our heads around the limits (or lack thereof) of time and space, we can't even understand how the most fundamental building blocks of matter and energy operate on the sub-atomic level. Through quantum physics, we seem to have discovered that a single particle can exist in two different places at the same time. What on earth does that even mean? Do we really know enough about the universe to be clinging to any theories at all? The fact that humans at this stage, with our scientific endeavor still in its infancy, are having heated arguments about the plausibility of God is as laughable as the idea of 3-year-olds, who can barely name basic shapes and colors, having heated arguments about capitalism and socialism. We're not qualified to have strong opinions about God and the universe because we don't know anything yet.

Of course, the late Christopher Hitchens was correct in noting that it's not just what we think that matters, but also how we think. The new atheists are correct in requiring evidence and dismissing faith and revelation for claims to truth or knowledge. They deserve criticism for many other reasons (Hitchens' support for the invasion of Iraq and Sam Harris' irrational animus toward Muslims, as impeccably demonstrated by Glenn Greenwald, are a couple of examples). But their point about the invalidity of religious certitude, particularly the kind that entails lots of specifics about the unknown, is spot-on. One thing the new atheists do overlook is that, for some, God is not some bearded man up in the clouds waiting to torture and reward us over our petty behavior in this life. Rather, God is just the name assigned to the mysterious force they believe is behind this universe; and this conception of God is not quite as silly as a pink unicorn. This world is too damn amazing for largely ignorant beings like ourselves to be utterly dismissive of the plausibility of a higher power. One great agnostic, Albert Einstein, said it best:

"To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious."

Our brains may be too biologically constrained to figure out the big philosophical mysteries of the universe in the same way that your house cat's brain is not equipped to figure out how a TV or a jet engine works. But scientific advancement in the short term and biological evolution in the long term may help us overcome all of today's intellectual barriers. Our job in the meantime is to treat our planet and each other more kindly so that our species may survive long enough to make those leaps. And until then, if anyone were to ask whether a higher power beyond our comprehension has anything to do with the existence of the universe, I think we should have the humility to say: We don't know.
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31-08-2015, 08:55 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
Evangelical agnosticism. I don't know about that. AngelAngel

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31-08-2015, 09:02 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
(31-08-2015 08:34 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Why I'm Not an Atheist: The Case for Agnosticism
by: Omar Baddar

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-badda...45544.html (full text below)

I had my falling out with religion in my early 20s, and a few years ago I published a piece making the case against religious certitude and blind faith. I also read some of the works of "the new atheists" with great interest, and watched them devastate religious opponents in entertaining public debates. However, a convincing argument against religion is not necessarily an equally compelling one for atheism. Between religious certitude and atheism lies a more suitable ground for truly open and skeptical minds: agnosticism.

For clarity's sake, it is important to note that no credible atheist claims they can prove that God does not exist. Atheists merely claim that there is no evidence at all for God's existence, making "him" as probable as a pink unicorn or a celestial tea pot. In the section on agnosticism in his famous book "The God Delusion," renowned scientist Richard Dawkins mentions the "tooth fairy" analogy to argue that while we should be technically agnostic on the existence of fairies because we lack evidence in either direction, in practice we are all (or at least the reasonable among us) "a-fairyists." But is God really only as probable as a tooth fairy?

In order for the tooth fairy analogy to be accurate, we would have to modify reality in one way: teeth would have to magically go missing from under pillows in a manner that science cannot even begin to explain. If that were the reality, no one could assert with any merited confidence that tooth fairies are definitely behind the inexplicable disappearance of teeth, but the idea would not be so patently absurd either. If that were the reality, then God would indeed be as probable as a tooth fairy.

What is analogous in the real world to the magic disappearance of teeth is the very existence of existence. Yes, science can (and if we survive long enough, probably will) explain almost everything about our evolution and the development of the universe, but it can't explain why there is something in the first place rather than nothing. Dawkins argued that it is easier to comprehend simple beginnings to the universe than complex ones, but I would argue that, when it comes to the universe, beginnings are fundamentally unfathomable, be they simple or complex. What "beginning" could possibly stop us from asking, what was there before that? The alternative, of course, would be that the universe has always been here, which is equally unfathomable, as we have evolved in Middle World to think in terms of beginnings and ends because everything we know is temporary.

Beyond the origins of the universe and our inability to wrap our heads around the limits (or lack thereof) of time and space, we can't even understand how the most fundamental building blocks of matter and energy operate on the sub-atomic level. Through quantum physics, we seem to have discovered that a single particle can exist in two different places at the same time. What on earth does that even mean? Do we really know enough about the universe to be clinging to any theories at all? The fact that humans at this stage, with our scientific endeavor still in its infancy, are having heated arguments about the plausibility of God is as laughable as the idea of 3-year-olds, who can barely name basic shapes and colors, having heated arguments about capitalism and socialism. We're not qualified to have strong opinions about God and the universe because we don't know anything yet.

Of course, the late Christopher Hitchens was correct in noting that it's not just what we think that matters, but also how we think. The new atheists are correct in requiring evidence and dismissing faith and revelation for claims to truth or knowledge. They deserve criticism for many other reasons (Hitchens' support for the invasion of Iraq and Sam Harris' irrational animus toward Muslims, as impeccably demonstrated by Glenn Greenwald, are a couple of examples). But their point about the invalidity of religious certitude, particularly the kind that entails lots of specifics about the unknown, is spot-on. One thing the new atheists do overlook is that, for some, God is not some bearded man up in the clouds waiting to torture and reward us over our petty behavior in this life. Rather, God is just the name assigned to the mysterious force they believe is behind this universe; and this conception of God is not quite as silly as a pink unicorn. This world is too damn amazing for largely ignorant beings like ourselves to be utterly dismissive of the plausibility of a higher power. One great agnostic, Albert Einstein, said it best:

"To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious."

Our brains may be too biologically constrained to figure out the big philosophical mysteries of the universe in the same way that your house cat's brain is not equipped to figure out how a TV or a jet engine works. But scientific advancement in the short term and biological evolution in the long term may help us overcome all of today's intellectual barriers. Our job in the meantime is to treat our planet and each other more kindly so that our species may survive long enough to make those leaps. And until then, if anyone were to ask whether a higher power beyond our comprehension has anything to do with the existence of the universe, I think we should have the humility to say: We don't know.

Same ol', same ol'. Tedious semantic posturing.

Absent compelling definitions nothing is worth taking seriously.

If a claim is so poorly constructed as to cover its falsifiable (and demonstrably false) aspects with an underlying and categorical unfalsifiability, then it's not worth anybody's time.

If elevating "I don't know what I don't know" to the point of dogma makes you feel better about yourself, feel free.

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31-08-2015, 09:03 PM
RE: Why agnosticism?
tl;dr:
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