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Atheists? Have you been feeling a bit "agnostic" lately?

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posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


I didn’t realize your position. I too am an agnostic atheist, at least by definition. However I do refuse the label. But that doesn’t mean we cannot discuss it.


Right. 'God' would need to exist in order for anyone to ever find evidence for 'god'. I still don't see your point. Which still seems to be that waiting for evidence implies belief in 'god'?

If I await strong evidence for the claim the Earth is hollow it doesn't follow that I believe the Earth is hollow. Even to a small degree...


If the only evidence of God is God himself then yes, waiting for a confirmation from God is like waiting for Santa Clause to reveal himself. No science will convince us otherwise. If we were finally able to poke our heads outside the universe and look around, theists would simply push back the goal posts, and the agnostic would be forced to wait another thousand years before making any judgement.


You're, I think, confusing this could with belief in the existence.

Could only in the sense that since we cannot evaluate what is outside the physical Universe things outside of nature are unknowable and therefore we cannot be absolutely certain it does or doesn't exist. It's about acknowledging the limitations of our knowledge. If it's outside our limitation obviously we cannot prove the thing to exist or not exist. If someone made the claim outside the physical Universe there exists a place called Equestria where ponies, unicorns, and pegasi all live harmoniously together…. it would be an uncertainty. We cannot evaluate that claim. Just because one cannot be objectively certain it's false doesn't mean that person believes Equestria is a real place.


Yes I understand. But it is an assumption that there is an "outside of nature" or "outside the physical universe". What are your grounds for supposing that there is such a place and that it is unknowable? The difficulty I have with this assumption is that it’s founded on zero evidence, and assuming there is such a place, even entertaining the thought, is a leap of faith. First it might be necessary to prove there is such a place before we can be certain or uncertain about what does or doesn’t exist within it.

Like you said, we must acknowledge these limitations, including the limitations of those who made these assertions in the first place.


You misunderstand. Agnosticism isn't suggesting 'god' is unknowable itself in its nature. Why would it? That would suggest that thing exists. Agnosticism isn't saying that. It's unknowable because of our limitation of knowledge. The unknowable part has to do with us, not this alleged 'god'. This is apparent in those Huxley quotes.


But you keep suggesting it is unknowable. If you don’t wish me to misunderstand, clarity might be in order.

If it is us that does not possess the capacity to know, why does the agnostic hold on to the possibility that bronze-age slaves may have somehow possessed that knowledge, knowing full well humanity’s limited capacities? It seems that we have all this conclusive evidence in regards to our inability to know, but we refuse to apply it to bronze-age thinking…for what…just in case?

This is the could I am talking about. I suppose its almost like a faith in the possibility that ancients could behold God, be we cannot.


We could. If it existed.


The evidence is all around. There’s words in books, ancient artifacts, statues, paintings, literature, oral histories etc. This is the only place God has ever been found, in the literature, right alongside Odin, Zeus, Vishnu, Gandalf, Hera etc. This is the evidence for God, and it exists.

Cheers.
edit on 4|3|14 by Words because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by Words
 


I am convinced that any deity may be confirmed or debunked using the tools and techniques of modern scientific investigation. There is no reason that any concept or phenomenon held to be fact in the community both civilian and scientific should be impregnable to such an approach.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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reply to post by Words
 


I didn’t realize your position. I too am an agnostic atheist, at least by definition. However I do refuse the label. But that doesn’t mean we cannot discuss it.

Yeah this thread was sparked from an earlier discussion I had with the OP about what is and isn't an unintelligible proposition. Additionally his claim an atheist cannot be agnostic. I don't care for these terms much either. It's the underlying ideas that matter. I am only using them so much because of the topic matter. Honestly I refer to myself as an anti-theist because most of my time is spent discussing religion itself and not god belief.


If we were finally able to poke our heads outside the universe and look around, theists would simply push back the goal posts,

True. I have little doubt!


But it is an assumption that there is an outside of nature or outside the physical universe.

Have we proven there isn't existence outside our physical Universe? It's not an assumption there is existence outside our physical Universe, it is, again, acknolwedging our limitation in determining the certainty. If you think we have conclusively determined there exists nothing outside our physical Universe then I would say we can all be 'strong atheists' and drop the agnostic bit in respect to 'god'. We would at that point have gnosis. We would know there is no supernatural anything.


But you keep suggesting it is unknowable. If you don’t wish me to misunderstand, clarity might be in order.

At the very least you now know I am not suggesting god's nature is unknowable in of itself because that would imply I believe this 'god' exists, right?


If it is us that does not possess the capacity to know, why does the agnostic hold on to the possibility

Possibility is intrinsic to the limitation. The possibility there is an 'outside' to the physical Universe exists. Scientists even postulate it with particular quantum theories. It's not proven there is no 'outside' our physical Universe.


This is the evidence for God, and it exists.

Evidence god exists as a human construct, yes. That I will agree.
edit on 4-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


If we can track a Higgs Boson like a deer in the woods, how the hell have we not isolated and identified such an intrinsically operative force as a god? Or even if it is not intrinsic, such minute examination should yield any entity of godly potency or proportion, if it were to exist. An agnostic says that gods lie beyond our comprehensive capacity. Why is that? On what understanding are they basing such a claim?



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


If we can track a Higgs Boson like a deer in the woods

As I understand it scientists are confident they are about to find it, not that they have. Is that what you meant?


An agnostic says that gods lie beyond our comprehensive capacity. Why is that?

This is what agnosticism says according to the founder of the term. If we have desire to pay homage to it.

"Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle. Positively, the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, follow your reason as far as it can take you without other considerations. And negatively, in matters of the intellect, do not pretend that matters are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable."

"That it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can provide evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts and in my opinion, is all that is essential to agnosticism."

I see nothing here that suggests agnosticism holds to the belief that 1) there exists god(s) and 2) those god(s) are unknowable.

It's saying take reason as far as it can go. Beyond that don't claim certainty. Saying the claim of god is unknowable/unprovable is simply because it's postulating something outside the physical Universe.

Now if you are saying I am wrong and we can evaluate that which is outside the physical Universe OR that we have determined conclusively there isn't an 'outside' the physical Universe, I would definitely be interested in those ideas as they would likely render some of my arguments in this thread invalid should they be true.

I'm but a layman in physics and cosmology. But I continue to hear physicists talk about the possible existence of other Universes. With potentially different laws of physics. String theory, M-theory, etc.


On what understanding are they basing such a claim?

You said it yourself earlier. Your quote:
"It is not the agnostics' job to define any gods. That task belongs to those who would emulate and promote those gods.".
The claim is from the theists. The definitions are from the theists.
edit on 4-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


And examining most (if not all) of such definitions in the manner you described ought to provide a reasonable foundation for a case in favor of or against any deity. One way or another, we would have, at the very least, a silhouette to build on.
edit on 4-3-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


To which I previously acknowledged
I did say we can evaluate and prove the non-existence of gods.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


But agnostics would argue. Any agnostics want to weigh in on the possibility of a conclusive answer?



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


No I don't think they would. When I said we can prove the non-existence of gods I mean religious gods. They present claims that can be evaluated. If those are proven wrong then that particular god is not true. We both agreed that about Yahweh earlier. Bible makes specific claims about how that god created this Universe. Clearly demonstrably false. Therefore how does that conflict with the agnostic maxim of claiming certainty only when you have demonstrable evidence?



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Agnostics imply that any investigative technique which might be applied in pursuit of such a conclusion will invariably fall short of the goal. The opposite of what I am postulating.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Agnostics imply that any investigative technique which might be applied in pursuit of such a conclusion will invariably fall short of the goal.

I simply do not see that reflected in the descriptions I had just provided from Huxley.

It's saying the investigative technique falls short only because it reached a point it can no longer investigate. As it pertains to the 'deist god' if you will, it would fall short.

However...

Religious gods are defined by their holy books and those contain truth claims about the known World. They can be evaluated. The investigative technique can with full intellectual honesty evaluate the proposition.

I don't see conflict here. Hmm :/
edit on 4-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


I am proceeding with an understanding of the technical definition, not one man's interpretation of it. His comprehension does not necessarily reflect a professional, objective, nor fully rounded study on it. It reflects his personal position, hardly a central reference point. I'm glad you gave me an opportunity to clarify that point.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 09:11 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


I am proceeding with an understanding of the technical definition, not one man's interpretation of it. His comprehension does not necessarily reflect a professional, objective, nor fully rounded study on it. It reflects his personal position, hardly a central reference point. I'm glad you gave me an opportunity to clarify that point.


That's more than fair


I would much prefer Huxley's take on it then say a random web definition though [as is the case in the OP]. Which is why I have been favoring its use in arguments.

Now if you would return that fairness and offer your comprehensive understanding of the idea of 'agnosticism'.
edit on 4-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


The self-same definition I presented to good ol' Ben. Its somewhere in the last couple pages. I'm on my phone, sorry.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

Not a problem. I'll find it. Will be a moment.



posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 11:13 AM
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Lucid Lunacy

If you bothered to familiarize yourself with the thread instead of just coming in and making these completely odd and off topic remarks, you would know many atheists are not claiming to know with the kind of certainty you're saying is mental illness.
edit on 3-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)


I`m familiar with the OP and a couple of pages of the thread.

And while it might sound odd or funny, it really isnt. When you take walks around mental institutions, the defining characteristic of their conversation is....they proclaim things that are unknowable. Trying to make them aware of it is usually a waste of time. Sad, isn't it?



posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

Now that is a red herring if I ever saw one.

Sad isn't it?



posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 01:07 PM
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Skyfloating

Lucid Lunacy

If you bothered to familiarize yourself with the thread instead of just coming in and making these completely odd and off topic remarks, you would know many atheists are not claiming to know with the kind of certainty you're saying is mental illness.
edit on 3-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)


I`m familiar with the OP and a couple of pages of the thread.

And while it might sound odd or funny, it really isnt. When you take walks around mental institutions, the defining characteristic of their conversation is....they proclaim things that are unknowable. Trying to make them aware of it is usually a waste of time. Sad, isn't it?


And you're still here. Funny, that.



posted on Mar, 5 2014 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by BenReclused
 


Yes, you did make a demand. You demanded a positive or a negative, a true or false answer. I have no idea what you mean with the rabbit and dog race comment. Speak plainly. I told you how an atheist would see the answers to those questions. Once again, irrelevant. Perhaps I should elaborate. I know my place in the universe. I don't mean in life or in society. I am referring to cosmic scale. I can look up at the sky on a cloudy day or gaze at the stars at night and be at peace, knowing that all is well in the universe.

And yet you said it yourself:
" I am, ONLY, interested in focusing on the difference between agnosticism, and atheism. "

Doubt. That is the difference between agnosticism and atheism. Agnostics doubt. Atheists go with the flow.

You're welcome. I enjoyed knowingly participating in this discussion.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 04:10 PM
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Have you Christians been feeling agnostic lately ? sure ya haven't hahah



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