Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
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16-12-2010, 04:37 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
Quote:It's pantomime season I guess.


Mimes have their own season?

Wait a second, if deer season is when you shoot deer... and duck season is when you shoot duck... quick, Mable, get me my gun!

(Mable of course playing the role of my assumed 80 year old wife in this charade)

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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16-12-2010, 05:20 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(16-12-2010 04:20 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Your idea of a logical refute UB is "oh no it isn't".

Another obvious lie.

Quote:For the record - you started calling me a liar when you didn't understand something I said.

That's as may be, but how it started is not important. Since it started, I have repeatedly called you out on things which are lies, and which are not merely misunderstandings.

Quote:I was fully open to anything you said

As I am to you. I simply require that the things you say be logical before I accept them. They aren't.

Quote:But you proving that you won't discuss with me openly

Another lie. I have not said that I will not enter into discussion with you. I haven't even said that my opinion of you cannot change. I just see no evidence that it will, as you continue to lie in almost every post you make.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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16-12-2010, 05:56 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
I'm afraid you're refusal to grant me respect (the denial of my point that I am offended by your overuse of the word "liar") locks you out of our conversation UB.
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16-12-2010, 07:00 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(16-12-2010 05:56 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  I'm afraid you're refusal to grant me respect (the denial of my point that I am offended by your overuse of the word "liar")

I don't deny that you are offended by it. I simply don't care. As you are a liar, and you have repeatedly insulted not only myself but most of the other members of this site, I don't see any reason to refrain from using the term in reference to you.

Again, if you want me to stop calling you a liar, do not lie. It is not a hard thing to do. In the meantime, I see no reason to refrain from insulting you, since you apparently see no reason to refrain from insulting the rest of us.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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16-12-2010, 10:14 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
Hey, Unbeliever.

As for giving examples, I did. He also asked for clarification. I gave it.

That being said, that's a conversation for BnW and I to hash out. I respect the man immensely, but it's no secret that we've had our fair share of rows. Fortunately, the respect I have for the man comes out of our history of working through our differences after we have stepped over each other's lines. Neither of us would be the men we are if we did not have those lines and defend ourselves vigrously when they are crossed.

Quote:We don't "crush" anything, Ghost, and we don't "take flying projectile shits" at any new idea that comes our way. You simply don't like the fact that we don't agree with you on everything, and that we aren't afraid to say so.

Quite frankly, you have demonstrated on multiple threads on this site that it is you who exhibits this behavior, not us. When someone says something that you don't like or didn't expect, you throw a fit and storm off. That's exactly what happened here in this thread when BnW said that he didn't think your hypothetical situation was possible. You're quick to anger and quicker to abandon a thread once it's become clear that no one agrees with you. Rather than actually responding to objections, you insult the person who voiced them. You've done it to me, you've done it to BnW, and you've done it to others.

We're happy to have you here, because your threads are some of the most interesting pieces of discussion on the board. But seriously, dude, tone down the anger a little, and try responding to objections rather than running from them.

You know what? I'm not a perfect person. I'm willing to admit that. I do get angry and I do lash out. I don't want to diminish that admission, because it is an honest admission, but I do have one "but". The idea that it happens in a vacuum is silly.

Do you really believe that no one has ever shot down an idea here? Honestly?

I'm painfully aware of the fact that most people here don't agree with me. I have never hid that. From day 1 I have said clearly that I am not an Atheist and that I consider myself an outsider. I'm pretty much immune to the idea that people disagree with me. I expect it. It's literally why I came here in the first place. I have the same style of conversation with theologians. It's because I see myself seperate from both Theists and Atheists and I see them fight and I aim to better understand them and to help them better understand each other and themselves so that I might stop that fight some day. Ambitious? Sure. But it is a path I have never deviated from. I have consistently offered my own points of view and engaged, at length, anyone and everyone that has engaged with me. Where I lose my mind is in four places. 1 - When people dismiss what I or what other people have to say out of hand, 2 - When people try to shut down a conversation because they think it's unworthy, 3 - When people attack other people for having differing ideas and 4 - When people dehumanise those who are different. Go back and read through all my posts. I guarantee you that any time I have "thrown a hissy fit" one of those four things happened. I'm not saying I'm proud of losing control of myself, but I think it's perfectly rational to have an adverse reaction to those things.

The idea that I run from threads is demonstrably false. Almost every single thread I participate in goes on for pages. Like I said, as long as people are willing to engage me in the spirit of exploration and understanding, I consider every moment I put into this forum time well spent. But to charactarise me as someone who just storms off whenever I don't like what someone says is utterly unfounded.

I have on occasion told people to stop wasting my time. This thread included. That is because I felt that a line was crossed. At times I put my foot down, not because they disagree with me, I expect that, always, but because I feel they have stopped respecting the conversation. I have no interest in engaging with that sort of thing.

For example, a while ago I posted a piece about why I viewed Agnostics as different than Atheists with some info about my own personal beliefs. You responded and I felt that you hadn't asked for a single clarification or seen a single point or anything else I would consider constructive. I felt, fairly or not, that you hadn't helped to advance the conversation, you were simply condemning my position. So I told you where to go. I'm not bringing this up to rehash that moment or that conversation, but simply to illustrate why I did what I did. I can see how you may have construed it as running away from your arguments, but that wasn't the case at all. I was disengaging from a condemnation because I have no interest in it. No hard feelings on my side, for reelzies, it's water under the bridge, I just wanted to explain that I did what I did on principle.

You're not the first person here to throw the idea out that I am unwilling to listen to other people's opinions. Dude, do you have any idea how many times I say, good point, or I see what you're saying, or I recognise your position but can you follow me down this road anyway, only to have people slam the door? I'm not crying foul, all I'm saying is if you're going to ignore the fact that I am constantly recognising the position of other people (I'm a subjectivist for crying out loud, of EVERYONE here I am the most likely to be able to hold two ideas in my head at the same time and recognise the validity of them both) and then turn around and say that I am some sort of immovable person, of course I'm going to object. Because it's not true.

Bottom line is as long as people are willing to engage in dialogue with me I am a man of infinite patience. I will expend huge amounts of energy hashing things out. But the moment I feel someone slam the door, I do lose my cool. Sometimes I just push through it, sometimes I let it slide, but sometimes I feel it is such an affront that I have to put my foot down.

So I can admit to my failings. The question is, can anyone else here do the same? If you're telling me that this site always welcomes every idea and never actively shuts down other people, then I'm gonna call shenannigans.

Like I said, there's an aweful lot of intelligent people here. But there is also a current that runs through here that is volatile and is often tapped into to shut people down. And it's not something that is unique to this forum either. Most, if not all forums have it, but the ones populated by the base tend to embrace it while those populated by those interested in having serious conversations seem to be able to rise above it. Most of the time. But at times, even the best forums fall victim to it. All I'm saying is, let's make sure we call it like it is when it's happening so that we can all rise above it. If you tell me you already have and your shit don't stank, then there's nothing I can add to that.

Hey, ThinkingNorseman.

If you felt I was accusing you of something, you have my appologies. My comment was in reaction to my own paragraph about people crushing other people because they felt they were lesser. That's why I wrote that I wasn't accusing you of anything. I didn't want it to sound like I was accusing you of those things. I mean, if you tell me that you feel superior to certain people, then yeah, I'd have an issue with that but I had no evidence of it, so I didn't want to willy nilly accuse you of anything unfairly.

As for your response, the idea of the noble savage is bandied around a lot. In short, it says that despite their backwardness, the savage leads a noble life; utopian really. This of course is bunk and has been debunked for hundreds of years. Some of the highest death rates in the world are present in the Yanomammi tribe "The Fierce People" of South America.

But what they do have going for them is egalitarianism (due to their small populations) and a sustainable relationship with an ecosystem they consider themselves inextrudable from and a system of conflict resolution with other tribes that, while bloody at times, cannot be considered war and is, in many cases, ritualistic rather than zero sum.

The lions share of these peoples are Animists. They believe in monkey gods and bizarre creation myths and that God is everywhere and these Animist beliefs form the core of their culture. Animism is an inseperable part of their story and, as Daniel Quinn points out, the primary purpose of a story is to explain how things came to be this way. Where did we come from? How should we act? Where are we going? Or, as Robert Fulford said:
Quote:A master narrative that we find convincing and persuasive differs from other stories in an important way: it swallows us. It is not a play we can see performed, or a painting we can view, or a city we can visit. A master narrative is a dwelling place. We are intended to live in it.
-Robert Fulford, “The Triumph of Narrative,” p. 32.

While nowhere near noble, they are harmonious and sustainable. And they do it all with a culture based on things that are demonstrably false.

I agree with you that annoyance and anger are not good alternatives to pity. But it is interesting that all of the reactions you can think of are negative.

So here's a question. If people explain to them how wrong they are and they abandon their way of life for ours, which is basically riding the Titanic to the bottom, have they truly taken a step forward?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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17-12-2010, 04:35 AM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(16-12-2010 07:00 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(16-12-2010 05:56 PM)fr0d0 Wrote:  I'm afraid you're refusal to grant me respect (the denial of my point that I am offended by your overuse of the word "liar")

I don't deny that you are offended by it. I simply don't care. As you are a liar, and you have repeatedly insulted not only myself but most of the other members of this site, I don't see any reason to refrain from using the term in reference to you.

Again, if you want me to stop calling you a liar, do not lie. It is not a hard thing to do. In the meantime, I see no reason to refrain from insulting you, since you apparently see no reason to refrain from insulting the rest of us.
You are a complete liar and seemingly incapable of entering into reasoned debate about your beliefs, so completely baseless they must be. You present the very weakest of argumentation, which when simply refuted you post again like you have some medical blindness to that being pointed out. You repeatedly simply say "no it isn't", "No", "Not it's not" without any justification whatsoever ...such is absolute proof of your root dishonesty. I'm a firm believer in the notion that a persons central issue with other people is quite often the issue that most describes themselves. It's plainly you all over. You don't want to discuss anything constructively, just butt in with irrelevancies.
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17-12-2010, 09:40 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2010 09:55 AM by BnW.)
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(16-12-2010 09:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Bnw.

Go ahead. Play the wounded martyr. You have been oh so besmirched my the great douchebag that is me.

I didn't say I was besmirched, I said you responded with a douchebag answer.

Oh, and, a martyr, by definition, cannot be a wounded martyr. First your wounded, then you die, and then, maybe, you become a martyr. Not really relevant, I know, but it did make me smile.

(16-12-2010 09:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  ]
If you really wanna pretend that you contributed to the question, if you really want to pretend that you didn't undermine it, go ahead.

You had two options. You could have said that you were uncertain how to answer it and tried to understand it better so that you could, so that you could move things forward, or you could rip it apart and grind it into the ground. You chose the second. And I am not at all shocked.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I've no idea. And, I'm not sure what answer you were looking for. You asked me - and again, you specifically asked me, this was not a generic question for the forum - what I would think of such a society. I told you it was impossible for me to answer your question and why it was impossible for me to answer your question. You clarified some more and I told you why it was still impossible for me to answer your question. Perhaps someone else can answer your question but, personally, I can't and for reasons I've explained.

And, because I could not answer your question - again, a question that was posed to me, personally - you decided to get snarky with me. I've said before that I really don't give a shit if you get snarky with me and I really, really don't. Just because I point out that you were a douchebag doesn't mean that I care. I'll happily admit that I'm more than capable of the same behavior myself.

Anyway, why you've suddenly gotten your panties in a twist because I answer your question honestly and explained my issue with is it is beyond me. To each their own, though.

(16-12-2010 09:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  This goes for everyone.

I'm bored to death of people tearing everyone down and thinking that they're being creative while they're doing it. There are a number of very intelligent people on this board; unfortunately, instead of trying to understand the breadth of thought that is being offered and instead of trying to further and deepen understanding for themselves and for others, they use their energy to take a flying projectile shit on everything that other people say. They crush the expansion of dialogue rather than foster its growth. You all want to show what dilligent knights you are, protecting the sanctity of a single worldview that is so perfect that everyone must be denigrated in the defense of it. So great, you all have giant penisis. We all bow down to the size of your wangs. But it gets real boring, real quick.

I'm not sure what you think your function is on this forum or what role you play, but, for me, your main purpose is to argue for the sake of argument. Now, before you re-twist your panties, that is not meant as an insult, but it's a fair observation. You don't agree with the view most of us share on theism so you come here to challenge people and question them. And, that's fair enough.

However, I think it is extremely hypocritical of you to accuse anyone else of refusing to foster dialogue and consider growth considering the number of time - that being none - you yourself have conceded a point. You're M.O. is simply to take a contrary position and argue it to death. Again, that is fair enough, but to call others hypocrites for not bowing to your position is simply ridiculous. And, most people here have not denigrated your or taken any shots at your at all. You and I have had our differences, certainly, but I speak for no one but myself. To make a claim like the one you did is not only factually incorrect but just pathetic. I know you don't have tantrums and I'm just always reading you wrong but, seriously, these tantrums of yours are what's getting old.

Finally, and most importantly, my wang is absolutely HUGE. I need to have extra space sewn into all my pants just to accommodate it. When I go cycling and I come to a light, I don't even have to clip out of my pedals. I just put my dick down as a kickstand.
Btw, I'm still catching up on this thread and saw the soliloquy that Ghost wrote in response to UB, and I've not read it yet. I'm a bit busy, taking a mental break and will get back to that later. So, sorry if anything I addressed above is covered in that response. I don't mean to cover old ground.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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17-12-2010, 03:22 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(17-12-2010 04:35 AM)fr0d0 Wrote:  <snip lies>

I've dealt with every single thing that you said in that post previously.

You have repeatedly accused me of lying, not justifying my objections, repeating already-refuted arguments, and so on, and yet you have never, ever presented a single example of any of these.

I'm done asking you to back up your lies. I've already exposed them numerous times in my previous posts. The flaws you ascribe to me are, in fact, your own, and I've seen enough to figure out that you aren't going to change.

Once again, I'm sick of this discussion. Goodbye.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-12-2010, 04:52 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
(16-12-2010 10:14 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You know what? I'm not a perfect person. I'm willing to admit that. I do get angry and I do lash out. I don't want to diminish that admission, because it is an honest admission, but I do have one "but". The idea that it happens in a vacuum is silly.

Do you really believe that no one has ever shot down an idea here? Honestly?

No. But it certainly doesn't happen regularly, and it certainly doesn't happen every time you present an idea, which is what you said.

Quote:Where I lose my mind is in four places. 1 - When people dismiss what I or what other people have to say out of hand, 2 - When people try to shut down a conversation because they think it's unworthy, 3 - When people attack other people for having differing ideas and 4 - When people dehumanise those who are different. Go back and read through all my posts. I guarantee you that any time I have "thrown a hissy fit" one of those four things happened.

I would have to disagree. Again, this thread is an example.

BnW did not dismiss what you said out of hand. He did not try to shut down the conversation. He did not attack you for holding a different idea. And he did not dehumanize anyone. He simply said that he didn't think that your hypothetical situation was possible, and you exploded.

Quote:The idea that I run from threads is demonstrably false.

You're right, and I realized that after I made my last post. Consider it withdrawn.

Quote:I have on occasion told people to stop wasting my time. This thread included.

Is saying "I don't think that such a civilization is possible" "wasting your time"?

Quote:You responded and I felt that you hadn't asked for a single clarification or seen a single point or anything else I would consider constructive. I felt, fairly or not, that you hadn't helped to advance the conversation, you were simply condemning my position.

And this is the meat of the matter right here.

You have a tendency to view any criticism of your position as unhelpful, deconstructive, or whatever your adjective of the week is. I didn't ask for a clarification because I didn't think that I needed one. I understood your position. I just thought - and still think - that it is illogical.

Pointing this out is not an attempt to "crush the conversation", or to destroy any constructive conversation that may later occur. It is entirely possible to advance the conversation in a direction that you had not planned.

Ghost, whether you realize it or not, you have a tendency to want to control the direction that a thread takes. When someone says something that you didn't expect or which goes in the wrong direction, you get angry very quickly.

Quote:You're not the first person here to throw the idea out that I am unwilling to listen to other people's opinions. Dude, do you have any idea how many times I say, good point, or I see what you're saying, or I recognise your position but can you follow me down this road anyway

Yes.

Quote:only to have people slam the door?

But this is the point. We aren't "slamming the door". You simply have to show us that there is somewhere to go. If you want BnW to answer your question about how he would react to a civilization which was built entirely on faulty ideas, you would have to explain what such a civilization would look like, what ideas it operated on, and so on. Until you do so, he - and everyone else - literally has no information with which to answer that question. As far as we know, it isn't possible to build a civilization entirely on faulty ideas. Even the most primitive civilizations had some inkling of the way the universe worked.

Quote:I'm not crying foul, all I'm saying is if you're going to ignore the fact that I am constantly recognising the position of other people (I'm a subjectivist for crying out loud, of EVERYONE here I am the most likely to be able to hold two ideas in my head at the same time and recognise the validity of them both) and then turn around and say that I am some sort of immovable person, of course I'm going to object. Because it's not true.

There are three things here.

Firstly, you are the only subjectivist on this board. You are the only one who is capable of that kind of doublethink. It's not that the rest of us are incapable of such a thing, but that we choose not to do so. From our point of view, one position on any given issue is correct. It may be that we don't yet know what that position is, but there is only one correct answer, not two. A large part of our conflict stems from this, because you are assuming - consciously or not - that we will be capable of taking a position that we know is false. Again, the above discussion with BnW is a perfect example: BnW does not think it is possible for such a civilization to exist. Because of this, he can't answer the question, even hypothetically.

Secondly is another thing that isn't going to be easy to admit: you aren't a perfect subjectivist, in the same way that I am not a perfect realist. No one is capable of perfectly adhering to a given philosophical system. You are a subjectivist, and so you try to be open to all ideas - but you aren't always. I am a rationalist, so I try to be logical in all situations - but I'm not always. I make mistakes in reasoning. You sometimes reject ideas or positions out of hand.

No, you are not entirely immovable. But neither are you as open to new ideas as you might be. This isn't an attack against you - everyone on this forum is guilty of it in some form - but it's true.

Thirdly, I didn't accuse you of being immovable. I said that you sometimes blow up on people with no reason for doing so.

Quote:So I can admit to my failings. The question is, can anyone else here do the same? If you're telling me that this site always welcomes every idea and never actively shuts down other people, then I'm gonna call shenannigans.

The site itself is perfectly welcoming. Some of the members are not.

Quote:Like I said, there's an aweful lot of intelligent people here. But there is also a current that runs through here that is volatile and is often tapped into to shut people down. And it's not something that is unique to this forum either. Most, if not all forums have it, but the ones populated by the base tend to embrace it while those populated by those interested in having serious conversations seem to be able to rise above it. Most of the time. But at times, even the best forums fall victim to it. All I'm saying is, let's make sure we call it like it is when it's happening so that we can all rise above it. If you tell me you already have and your shit don't stank, then there's nothing I can add to that.

And this is my final issue.

Ghost, you have an ego. A rather large one. Or maybe you don't, and it's simply your writing style that makes you come across that way. Either way, this - and much of the rest of your post - sounds horribly condescending.

That aside, I really think that you're seeing things that aren't there. Yes, there are some members on any forum who will react negatively to any new position. Jerks are everywhere, on every side. But the presence of jerks does not mean that no one is interested in having a serious discussion.

You're a subjectivist, but you don't seem to be able to quite process that we are not. What you think is door-slamming is actually just saying "no, this is false; if you want me to consider it further, you need to prove that it isn't". That isn't door-slamming. It's asking you to prove that your position has any basis in reality, that the conversation you're trying to have actually has some bearing on the universe.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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17-12-2010, 05:58 PM
RE: Why choose atheism, over agnosticism?
So, I promised I'd get back to this and after reading Ghost's second (and really long) response and reading Unbeliever's (really long) response to Ghost, my (very short) response is: what Unbeliever said.

He basically sums up my feelings on the matter, or at least close enough at least that there is nothing for me to add.

Unless we want to talk about my penis again (hey, Ghost is the one who brought it up!).

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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