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Athiests: Why not agnostic?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by SexyButIgnorant, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Typical. It's almost a common practice for some Christians, the motivation is pretty obvious --- to make a point that our "belief" is just as invalid as theirs.

    Except for the fact that not believing is not a belief/religion. There's no dogma for non-believers, there's no one to worship, there's no idol to follow, there's no indoctrinated textbooks to read.
     
  2. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Er, no, we can all agree that Thor isn't behind lightning because no one is arguing anymore that he is. We are not going to agree that God doesn't exist because many people still believe that he does. You are asking if we can agree on that, and we can't. You are not asking whether he actually does or not, and whether we think so or not or agree on that question has no bearing on the fact of his existence or nonexistence.

    So, if/when atheists become a majority, do you expect that there will be agreement? Don't count on it. Either way, it will have no bearing on the actual question of his existence. You are asking about opinions and agreement - which are pretty meaningless.
     
  3. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Certain belief in the nonexistence of a deity is a *huge* leap of faith. You know NOTHING for certain. You are choosing to believe in nonexistence. If you are right then I wasted some time, money, and thought, none of which will matter in the end if you are right. If I am right then you are in tremendously, hopelessly deep sh^t for all of eternity when you die. Who's really gambling here? Which is really the bigger leap?

    No, it is based upon your perception of reality. You can base it on absolutely nothing else. You do not have perfect knowledge and can must be selective about what information you access and incorporate. Unless you are God yourself then you cannot base it on objective reality, only your perception of it. Which is invariably flawed, as it is with every human being who ever existed.

    And science says NOTHING about whether or not God exists. I am pretty sure that any study proving God's nonexistence would have made big headlines. The closest you'll get is Stephen Hawking musing about the possibility of gravity accounting for a non-designed universe. OK, that is one possibility, and it does not preclude the existence of a Creator, it only says that according to his theory a Crestor isn't necessary to explain it. It doesn't comment on the actual existence or nonexistence of that Creator one way or another.

    Deductive reasoning? I am guessing you didn't read the paper at the link I posted, then. I didn't think you would. Easier to shove the fingers in the ears...

    Yes, it is. Entirely. And your zealotry and close-mindedness on the subject matches that of the most radical fundamentalist Christian or Muslim.

    Well, of course it is. Are you the one conducting all of these scientific experiments that have supposedly proven to you that there is no God? Or is someone else doing it? I'd like to see them, BTW.

    Again, it's based entirely upon what your personal perception is. It can be based upon nothing else. Your observations are unique. The person standing next to you looking at the same painting will see things much differently than you will. It's unavoidable.

    And precisely what data has told us that God does not exist? You seem to have some special knowledge on this subject that no one else is privy to. Again, I'd like to see it.

    Show me the data, please.

    It is faith. It is your belief. You have no actual knowledge here, only your belief based upon your perception and observations. Faith and belief are synonymous. Literally.

    Yes, you bet. It is certainly radical for one to profess certainty in something - especially something this potentially profound - when they cannot possibly be certain of it. It's EXACTLY as radical as those you decry on my side of the aisle.

    You are. There's no "trying" to it.

    So says your personal interpretation of reality. Because in the absence of true, complete, perfect and total knowledge of the entirety of reality, that is all that you can base it upon. Why you refuse to admit that simple truth is mystifying. It's sort of... radical.
     
  4. treeman

    treeman Member

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    I wouldn't count on it, no. ;)
     
  5. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Er, no, that is not what I said and it was not my point. My point is that believing in the existence or nonexistence, in the absence of certain, perfect knowledge, requires faith. We are talking about the basest question here: Does God exist or not? He either does or doesn't, there is no in between, and we on this earth do not know for certain the answer to that question. Those who believe that he exists have faith that he does, and those who believe that no God exists have faith that he doesn't.

    It's really not that complicated.

    There's really insufficient evidence to make a solid conclusion either way. You have no choice but to make a leap of faith in your belief either way you go. Unless you simply don't give a sh^t, in which case you probably aren't reading this thread anyway.
     
  6. treeman

    treeman Member

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    And BTW guys if I don't answer, it either means you're on my ignore list or I don't care about your comment enough to reply. Don't take it personally, I simply add anyone who makes unnecessarily rude or otherwise insane remarks, and my screen is rapidly filling up with red lines.
     
  7. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Priceless.

    If a Christian is preaching in the forest and there's no one around to hear him is he still wrong? :grin:
     
  8. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine
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    Nobody cares. Really.
     
  9. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    It's not complicated at all, and you have just proved my point earlier on that you are confused with "doesn't exist" and "do not believe".

    Let me make it easier for you by referring to the bubble gum theory. Lets say I have this jar full of bubble gums, the number of bubble gums in the jar can only be either odd or even. Now I claim that I have an even number of gums, do you believe my claim?

    If your answer is yes, then that's a leap of faith because you are simply taking my words as a proof which is far from sufficient.

    If your answer is no, then does that mean you are certain that there is an odd number of gums in the jar?

    NO, it simply means you are not taking my words as the sole proof of such claim and remain in a neutral position, afterall it's 50/50 whether it's odd or even, regardless whether you believe my claim or not.

    Hope this example would help you to clarify a few things.


    Exactlty, that's why you admit you don't know.

    Yes I care, I care so much that I would happily admit that I don't know, instead of pretending that I do.
     
  10. Morlock O

    Morlock O Member

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    Taking the "Bubble gum" theory further...

    if the one that told me that bubble gums are even is someone whom I've known and trust to be a very honest person, my natural inkling, since he is a known trustworthy person, is to agree, so if I said "No" then it is also sort of a leap of faith on my side...
     
  11. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    That's a valid point but you've put too much context into it.
    I think the issue here has nothing to do whether the person making the claim is trustworthy or not, I meant I wouldn't believe my best mate for 15 years if one day he told me he grew a pair of wings.

    The bubble gum theory is simplified and focuses on reaffirming the neutral position when it comes to certain claims.
     
  12. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Er, no, that's a pretty terrible example, actually. In that particular example since I do not actually know whether there is an odd or an even number of gumballs, I would be guessing either way. Whether you tell me that we are starting with an odd or even number is irrelevant. What we end up with - odd or even - is unknowable to me since I am not the one who initially counted the gumballs, so if I am to guess - and I have to, since I do not know - I will be putting faith in my answer - either way.

    This is very, very simple. You do k=not know the answer either way. So either way you are guessing. And guessing takes faith. You have to choose something to believe since the answer is unknown.

    I am not sure of any way that I could explain it more clearly. It's an extremely simple and base concept.

    Exactlty, that's why you admit you don't know.

    Then you are WAY ahead of some other posters in this thread. I also readily admit that I don't know either way. The only extreme position to take - on either side - is to claim certainty of knowledge. The only honest answer is "I don't know". We are all guessing, we all have our own personal beliefs. And that is fine. Where we run into problems is when someone on either side claims that they are certain of anything. It's simply not possible in this situation.
     
  13. treeman

    treeman Member

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    Damn my inability to type and put quotes where they are supposed to be
     
  14. Akim523

    Akim523 Member

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    Bubble gum theory is well established and if you think it's a terrible example, I don't know what to say. The question is do you believe my claim and I have shown you why it does not take faith to reject the claim that I made regarding the number of bubble gum because the evidence supporting my claim is absent. No, I DID NOT ask you to guess whether it's even or odd, I simply asked you whether you believe my claim or not.

    Anyway, thats it for today, good night.
     
  15. mclawson

    mclawson Member

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    Are you honestly invoking Pascal's wager here? Do you think this is how it goes?
    [​IMG]

    But what if you're wrong about which god? Uh oh. To quote the esteemed Homer Simpson, "Suppose we've chosen the wrong God. Every time we go to church we're just making Him madder and madder." The proposition then becomes more like this
    [​IMG]

    OF course there are many more gods out there that humans worship or worshipped so that does expand the pool a bit. Even this doesn't scratch the surface.
    IMG]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8NdaLJYgUIs/UEzOZj0N9jI/AAAAAAAABPs/jO2Lxk-rS0M/s1600/expanded.png[/IMG]

    I also quite like this video:
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/czEfLn_ifIU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  16. treeman

    treeman Member

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    If your argument is simply that you believe it best to take no position on the matter - a PURE agnostic who chooses not to believe anything because such knowledge is unattainable - then yes, I get that. You don't accept belief in God's existence, and you also don't accept belief in god's nonexistence; you have no position on the matter whatsoever because you cannot know the answer for certain. If that is your opinion then that is fine, but it is still an opinion, and in my humble opinion it's no way to go through life. But to each his own.

    God either exists, or God does not exist. There is no third option.

    Er, yeah, so? I'm aware of the arguments against it, and they all boil down to "Well, with all of the possibilities out there the odds of you actually being correct are low, so why even bother? Just be an atheist and don't play the game". Also, the criticisms all assume completely selfish motives for belief in a deity. That is not necessarily a valid assumption to make. There are factors other than personal salvation at stake.

    You can make that choice if you want to, I will choose something different.
     
  17. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    Wrong. There are practioners of Asatru and Odinism in Scandinavia. Neo-paganism is in rivival there...my Danish ex brought me back a Mjolnir necklace years ago. Ever since I wore it, I haven't seen a giant or been struck by lightning, not even once. So it must obviously be true.
     
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I don't want to touch the subject of this thread because it seems semantic to me and ultimately I don't care.

    But this post fascinates me. I know that Hitler and Goebbels (did i spell that right?) were big into rewriting the national religion of Germany by reconnecting to the idea that they were Aryans and descendants from God. That Christ was seen as weak (and uncomfortably Jewish) and that they wanted an alternative to that to present to a strong nation built around conquest. Guys like Bonhoeffer had some problems with that, particularly to the extent he was ordered to preach something different in the church than the Gospel. And that ultimately the Nazis scoured the globe to prove up this connection to deity for the "pure race."

    But I had no idea there was any real movement around those ideas today..or any REAL belief in those Norse mythologies (as opposed to mere fascination with the history of it all). Super interesting stuff. Are you aware of any books that chronicle this currently?
     
  19. Deji McGever

    Deji McGever יליד טקסני

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    Some of it is folk religion, some of it is serious, and a lot of them have racialist overtones (but not all). You can find a lot online if your read about Ásatrú or Odinism. My ex had a kooky old neighbor in Denmark that was into it and actually had a viking funeral.

    As for the Nazis, I think it's overplayed. Hitler in his own journal right before his death still claimed to be a Roman Catholic, the religion he was raised in. Goebbels was Catholic as well, but was excommunicated by the Church (the only high tranking Nazi to be so dishonored) for the sole crime of marrying a protestant (his wife Magda). The relationship between the church and the regimes of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini are troublesome to say the least. There's a decent German movie called "Amen" that addresses it. It's a pretty disturbing movie. The Church intervened when it caught wind of the euthenasia program for handicapped children (many of which were Catholic), but did nothing about killing Gypsies, Jews, or Communists because...they weren't Catholics. That and they were afraid of pissing off Hitler.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the info.

    Yeah, I'm aware of that with the Nazis. Hitler was like many who I think claim religion...he claims a particular religion because of culture, upbringing, expediency...but doesn't really believe it. His comments on Jesus don't exactly read like those of a Christ follower.

    Goebbels on the other hand was flat out anti-Christian. People can use whatever label they want...but ultimately when you flatly reject the basis of a faith, you're not a member of it. Remember of course that church leaders were killed for refusing to preach something other than the gospel. Bonhoffer being one of them, as I mentioned before.

    And yeah...the Church (capital C) has down terrible, awful things in its history along with some really amazing great things.

    I don't want to hijack the thread..but thanks for the information!!!
     

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