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

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posted on Mar, 12 2014 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by My_Reality
 


It is not doubt, it is the conviction that the knowledge does not exist.




posted on Mar, 16 2014 @ 05:42 PM
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A good view from a lovely lady here.





Well said Jac.



posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 


Yeah that's more or less what I have been driving at.




posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Agnostics are not atheists. Any true agnostic will say "we can never know", which is a far cry from "god doesn't exist".



posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 05:25 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Agnostics are not atheists. Any true agnostic will say "we can never know", which is a far cry from "god doesn't exist".


Well I don't agree with your fist bit about a 'true agnostic' as that seems to be predicated on the definition of your choosing and not Huxley. I think if we use the phrase 'true agnostic' it makes more sense to adhere to the person that truly coined the term. I guess your position is we should use your definition.

Stating "we can never know" in of itself is a claim of absolute certainty where one cannot be made, and therefore so very counter to agnosticism.

As for your last bit. That's pretty much all we have been discussing in this thread. Agnosticism is about knowledge, atheism is about the belief. A lack of belief in the existence doesn't require knowledge the belief is true.

Even if we use your definition of "can never know" how exactly is that incompatible with a lack of belief. Why couldn't someone lack belief due to a lack of evidence but hold the conviction evidence will never come. So even using your definition atheists are agnostic. That said, I don't agree with your take on agnosticism.
edit on 17-3-2014 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 06:47 AM
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I will answer all of your questions with one response, "I do not have evidence." I will now, if you don't mind, extrapolate a bit on my own thoughts about this.

To break this down: I believe that the word "know" is too loosely thrown around. Knowledge comes in many forms. One can know something through faith, through assumption, through evidence. See what I'm getting at? To state that one "does not know" and is therefore an "ag-nostic", is predicated on a plenitude of presumptions. Although it accurately follows the logic of the prefix and suffix of the word.

Ergo, it seems to follow that when an agnostic states that an agnostic "does not know", what the agnostic may be implying without saying is that the agnostic has no verifiable evidence of such an entity, idea or concept.

This question then can really be broken down into two constituent parts: Physical and Immaterial.

I can accurately assert that I do not have "evidence of any God", insomuch that this God is predefined to be something that is PHYSICALLY attainable and subsequently provable, and not anything that we currently have i.e. the Bible for religious beliefs, or anything material for scientific terms.

The other side of this coin (IMMATERIAL)is those whom profess to know God through faith. This is not an illogical or incorrect statement, though copious atheists and agnostics tend to pounce on such beliefs. Faith, as mentioned above, does fall into a form of "knowledge". Therefore it is logically sound that this said individual "knows God through faith".

Personally, I want to be an agnostic based on my "material" or scientific mind, but I cannot deny that in at least some form, if even only an invisible concept to me, I do know God. This, I know, is not only logically sound and coherent, but it is an honest expression of my reality.

It is my strong personal conviction that eventually all agnostics will wake up to the idea mentioned above and accept that in a physical sense they do not know God in whichever number of ways, yet that through an idea or concept, they MUST accept that in fact they do know God.

I don't know if there is a label for what I am, but it's safe to say that in the physical sense I am an agnostic, yet in the immaterial phenomena that explains knowledge, I am a gnostic.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 



Let me just address this part as it will simplify things.



I will answer all of your questions with one response, "I do not have evidence." I will now, if you don't mind, extrapolate a bit on my own thoughts about this.


Atheists have already come to the realization that you don't have evidence if anyone did 99.99% of us wouldn't be atheists. That is the whole point IMO. There is no evidence for any deities. Feelings and recorded personal experiences can't be considered evidence. That type of evidence is falsifiable.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 



Well I don't agree with your fist bit about a 'true agnostic' as that seems to be predicated on the definition of your choosing and not Huxley. I think if we use the phrase 'true agnostic' it makes more sense to adhere to the person that truly coined the term. I guess your position is we should use your definition.



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


That is the definition according to Miriam-Webster, not "my" definition. I honestly couldn't care less what Huxley says the definition is, because he's not a dictionary. My position is that we adhere to the official definition because the people who present it as the official definition are paid to know what the official definition is. And if you feel Miriam Webster is wrong, then please make a case, take them to court, and send me a news article describing your victory. At that point, I will gladly concede to your superior intellect.


Stating "we can never know" in of itself is a claim of absolute certainty where one cannot be made, and therefore so very counter to agnosticism.


I've already addressed that.


As for your last bit. That's pretty much all we have been discussing in this thread. Agnosticism is about knowledge, atheism is about the belief. A lack of belief in the existence doesn't require knowledge the belief is true.


Probability indicates that any gods present and alive are about as practical and effective as a dog turd baking on the sidewalk.


Even if we use your definition of "can never know" how exactly is that incompatible with a lack of belief. Why couldn't someone lack belief due to a lack of evidence but hold the conviction evidence will never come. So even using your definition atheists are agnostic. That said, I don't agree with your take on agnosticism.


I don't care what you agree with. Science doesn't care either, and that's the beauty of it. Go ahead and sue Miriam Webster. Be sure to let me know how it turns out. By the way, your proposition is known as "agnostic atheism". Look it up. Jeez, people ought to do their research...
edit on 18-3-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Just need to point out AI that Miriam-Webster also defines agnostic as this.




: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something


Either definition can be used. When I identified as agnostic it was this definition that described my stance, but then I became more honest with myself and realized "nah I don't believe" I still do "not" claim to know for certain one way or another but, I still do not believe.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 

I think that the idea was that people on both sides have come to the conclusion that "they have no evidence" so, they adopt the position of agnostic because, even if they "know" one way or the other, they have no way of proving it to someone else.

I think it was a direct reply to the OP.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:26 PM
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Grimpachi
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Just need to point out AI that Miriam-Webster also defines agnostic as this.




: a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something


Either definition can be used. When I identified as agnostic it was this definition that described my stance, but then I became more honest with myself and realized "nah I don't believe" I still do "not" claim to know for certain one way or another but, I still do not believe.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)


Either definition can be used, in spite of the fact that the two definitions contradict each other. And your additional comments just support that observation. If that's how this thread is going to progress, then I have nothing further to add. Inconsistency is the bane of rationality.
edit on 18-3-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

I don't think they contradict each other. I see the first definition as being god specific and the second being used in general terms.

Like the video stated, meaning nothing by itself, or as I posted before, used as an adjective to convey uncertainty about any topic.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 07:36 PM
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Grimpachi
reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 


Atheists have already come to the realization that you don't have evidence, if anyone did, 99.99% of us wouldn't be atheists. That is the whole point IMO. There is no evidence for any deities. Feelings and recorded personal experiences can't be considered evidence. That type of evidence is falsifiable.


Firstly, I'm going to take the time to clarify. I do not claim to have evidence of any deity. That is that I cannot, at this time, present you with a body or any other physical evidence of the deity itself.

In fact, to be transparent, I was not intending to imply this from the start. Rather, I am showing the members and also myself utilizing the fullest extent and expanse of the definitions surrounding the epistemology and terminology of "knowledge" and "logic".

Hagelian Dialectic, which is a form of logic, states that the 'thesis' and the 'antithesis' can be reconciled at a higher level of logic referred to as the 'synthesis'. The synthesis should serve to combine both the thesis and the antithesis for a higher truth, instead of a stagnant argument between them that may contain logical errors.

Now, as I mentioned before, there are two constituent parts to all of reality actually. These two pieces are material and immaterial. That being said, I can now begin to explain in a more lucid sense to you the functions of your logic and 99.99% of atheists' logic, along with theistic logic and/or immaterial logic/beliefs.

Most atheists cling to a scientifically minded logic. This logic will pit all claims, statements, beliefs and otherwise against some gauntlet in which validity and verification can only be reached through physical evidence. However important and useful this is, many of these same individuals forget about logic, and herein is their fault, their shortcoming of a higher awareness.

The thesis and antithesis (in no particular order and not needed to be applied specifically to one subject and not the other, because naturally they will clash regardless of which one is assigned to which) here is God and a belief in God, or an acceptance of God, with atheists as the underlying subjects and agnosticism the supposed inevitable conclusion and/or consequent disposition in question. We can strip the labels and reduce this down to a different equation - The attempt the Author is trying to make here, I believe, is to persuade or get atheists to reconsider their positions (though not limited to this).

1.) Atheist: A mind that rests on only accepting things as true through being able to verify the validity of pretty much all phenomena with supporting physical evidence. Most likely the reason for denying God and/or any type of creator.
AGAINST
2.) Presenting a concept or idea that admittedly cannot be verified and cannot be invalidated, and from this converting the atheist mindset into an agnostic stance.

The concept cannot be verified and cannot be invalidated scientifically because no experiments can be done on it, so instead it cannot be found. If something can neither be proved and disproved in the scientific community, then it is not logical and it is irrational and unreasonable within logic to assert that "thus it does not exist".

In fact, we do not know whether it exists or does not exist, but we do know that we cannot find evidence of it. Since we do not necessarily know where to look, then the possibility of finding this thing is not limited to one location, and therefore could be anywhere inside or outside the universe (should an outside exist). It does not then follow that, "because we cannot find evidence of said thing, therefore said thing does not exist".

The above logical error mentioned in quotations in the final sentence is a variance of "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" (look it up). This is known among logicians as a logical fallacy.

Do I believe in Zeus, a thunderbolt God with a large gray beard floating in the sky? Of course not, but I also do not disbelieve.
My stance on all phenomena that cannot be proved and disproved is logically consistent with their proof - I do not believe, and I do not disbelieve.

Furthermore, I do possess knowledge of these Gods or concepts. So I do know them, or know of them, rather. From here I cannot convict that I am completely agnostic.

The most prevailing logical error that I see atheists make is the faith that they put in the big bang theory and their staunch opposition to "God". Atheists have just as much faith in this theory and that "nothing" caused the universe to begin as theists do in believing that "God" did it. Due to the fact that neither of them really know what caused the universe to begin, nor do they know if there was a cause or no cause, it is merely a leap of faith to assert that either one is correct. Logically, the correct position on this matter would be to admit that no evidence exists to prove it either way.

Atheists do not and cannot have proof of "nothing", having proof of nothing is impossible, and theists do not have physical proof, outside of the argument that the "Bible said so", that God had a hand in this. Henceforth, they both have faith in their belief.

Lastly and in conclusion, I am not a theist and I am not an atheist, I am also not an agnostic, obviously. I am a logician.
edit on 18-3-2014 by PansophicalSynthesis because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-3-2014 by PansophicalSynthesis because: Spelling, grammar and logic.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 08:19 PM
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PansophicalSynthesis
1.) Atheist: A mind that rests on only accepting things as true through being able to verify the validity of pretty much all phenomena with supporting physical evidence.


Actually, that's Skepticism.

I believe that skepticism, properly applied will inevitably lead to atheism, but not everyone will agree.



The most prevailing logical error that I see atheists make is the faith that they put in the big bang theory and their staunch opposition to "God". Atheists have just as much faith in this theory and that "nothing" caused the universe to begin as theists do in believing that "God" did it.


Completely and utterly wrong.

First of all, Atheism is simply the rejection of a belief in a deity. Beyond that it says nothing about a person whatsoever.

There are atheists that do not accept Big Bang theory. There are atheists who do not have an opinion on it at all.

Secondly, Big Bang theory, like all scientific theories, is supported by evidence - thus it does not take faith to accept it. If someone accepts it as a likely explanation of creation, they do so provisionally, with the caveat that this idea may be revised at any time should new information or evidence come to light which contradicts it.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 


Well I agree with you to a point until you said.




It does not then follow that, "because we cannot find evidence of said thing, therefore said thing does not exist".

he above logical error mentioned in quotations in the final sentence is a variance of "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" (look it up). This is known among logicians as a logical fallacy.


First let me say I don't think that logical fallicy aplies. As I did look it up however I could be wrong so if you can show how it applies using the formula described in the definition of the fallacy I will rethink.


"Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X."


I think the disbelief in something which there is no evidence for is perfectly reasonable position. As an example: Someone could say there is a million dollars in my house, and I could turn it inside out looking for it and even bust out the walls if I found no evidence for said money then my position that it isn't there would be more than reasonable.

Just to be clear I am an atheist the same way I am a-unicornist or an a- fairiest as there is no evience for either fairies unicorns or deities yet I do not claim to know for certain yet my position that due to the lack of evidence for any of those mentioned they most likely do not exist.

The other thing that needs to be pointed out is your statement that one needs just as much faith in the big bang theory as one needs to believe in deities. As far as deities go the evidence presentable is stagnant with personal testimony yet with the big bang theory we are still accumulating evidence in both the physical and measurable where that evidence can be verified by anyone with the willingness to try. Belief in deities requires faith where as one does not need to believe what one can see/ observe for ones self.

I am kind of glad you brought up the big bang theory though because just recently the human race has acquired a huge piece of evidence supporting the theory.

Major Discovery: 'Smoking Gun' for Universe's Incredible Big Bang Expansion Found

Found: evidence of cosmic inflation: Proof of the big bang

It is actually direct evidence for the theory. Of course the discovery still needs to be independently verified through peer review which the goal of peer review will be to falsify the discovery but if it holds up then...well...wow.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 09:45 PM
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ReturnofTheSonOfNothing

Actually, that's Skepticism.

I believe that skepticism, properly applied will inevitably lead to atheism, but not everyone will agree.


Well, we can play with semantics all day long, and in our own right, each one of us is correct. If skepticism leads to atheism, then the underlying foundation of one's atheism becomes skepticism, and that was my point.



The most prevailing logical error that I see atheists make is the faith that they put in the big bang theory and their staunch opposition to "God". Atheists have just as much faith in this theory and that "nothing" caused the universe to begin as theists do in believing that "God" did it.



Completely and utterly wrong.


I intelligently and gracefully disagree. You believe that I am wrong because you are misunderstanding me, which is evident by your twisting of my intended meanings out of their meant contexts. I will display this distortion in the following response. I am not claiming that this is intentionally done by you, as I do not know your reasons and your intents.


First of all, Atheism is simply the rejection of a belief in a deity. Beyond that it says nothing about a person whatsoever.


Correct, I concur.


There are atheists that do not accept Big Bang theory. There are atheists who do not have an opinion on it at all.


This is logically true within the window of possibility. Though I have no evidence of this variety of atheist. I agree again. I specifically chose my words to say "the most prevailing mistake" for a purpose. I did not ever state that ALL atheists accept the big bang theory, nor did I state that every atheist MUST have an opinion on it. Though I have never met any atheists that do not carry an opinion about it. I will acknowledge, but not invoke, the reality of natural atheists: that is indigenous or Indian people that have never been introduced to or pondered the idea of the big bang theory, God, and religion.

In my personal experiences, however, I have never met the variety of atheist that you have mentioned, though it is possible that one exists somewhere. Every atheist that I have ever met, that I can accurately recall, accepts the big bang theory, and from the big bang theory then induces that "nothing" was the cause of this, therefore no God. Every single one of them.

Remember, I am not discounting the possibility that an atheist with opposing views to the above mentioned may be out there, I am only entertaining my experiences with all of atheists that I have come across.


Secondly, Big Bang theory, like all scientific theories, is supported by evidence - thus it does not take faith to accept it. If someone accepts it as a likely explanation of creation, they do so provisionally, with the caveat that this idea may be revised at any time should new information or evidence come to light which contradicts it.


Yes, the theory is indeed supported by evidence and I am no stranger to it.

My point is not that the big bang theory is true or false. The focus is the faith that follows from accepting the big bang was a result of nothing. Abiogenesis or spontaneous creation out of nothing and as a result of nothing. All atheists that I have confabulated with accept that there is no God, and then make an illogical leap of reason that the big bang was a result of "nothing".

Let me be clear, my quarrel is with those who assert that "nothing" is the cause of the universe. There is no evidence of this, this is instead a statement of faith and poor material logic.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:05 PM
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Grimpachi
reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 


First let me say I don't think that logical fallicy aplies. As I did look it up however I could be wrong so if you can show how it applies using the formula described in the definition of the fallacy I will rethink.


The fallacy is this line of thinking: "after nothing, therefore because of nothing." This is a fallacy because the assertion made based on no evidence that nothing was the cause. We can never have evidence of nothing, thus any logical statement that asserts "after nothing, therefore because of nothing" is inherently fallible.

As it applies to the big bang theory - we do not know what came before, nor what caused it. We do not know if there was or was not a before, nor we do we know if there was or was not a cause. All we know is that something appears to have began.



I think the disbelief in something which there is no evidence for is perfectly reasonable position.


Sure, it's reasonable. Reasons can be given. It's also reasonable to believe in something that there is no evidence for, based on your logic.

However, it is entirely illogical to believe or disbelieve in something from a reference point of requiring evidence to do so, when there is no evidence to be found. Therefore it would be logical, from this perspective, to neither believe and disbelieve.

If a belief or disbelief is put in something that there is no evidence for, then faith is required. Sure you didn't find the money. This doesn't mean that the money was never there or that you may have missed it. It means you didn't find the money.

Now, to play with the idea that there certainly is no money because you have absolutely checked EVERYWHERE, brings me back to my original point in my o.p. We do not know where this "God", cause or creator is, therefore we do not know where to look. Until we look everywhere, we cannot be sure that it does not exist.

Do you see the difference between the scenario with your money, in which you provide a given perimeter to find a specific object, and the scenario with a God or creator concept, for which the perimeter to be searched would include the entire universe and possibly beyond and the object, concept or idea is undefined?

Two completely opposite scenarios. In your scenario we know exactly what we're looking for and precisely where to search. In my scenario we have no idea what we're supposed to be looking for, and we have everywhere to search.


Just to be clear I am an atheist the same way I am a-unicornist


I know what you mean by unicorns. Yet, indeed there is a type of unicorn horse that does exist. I believe it resides on one of the Indonesian islands.


The other thing that needs to be pointed out is your statement that one needs just as much faith in the big bang theory as one needs to believe in deities.


You have misunderstood me or not taken the time to read carefully. I did not infer the the big bang theory takes faith. What I presented to you was that belief that the big bang was the result of "nothing" takes just as much faith as believing that "God" did it. Neither position has any supporting evidence, and instead requires belief and faith.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 


Apologies if I misrepresented you.

It might be construed as faith if a supporter of spontaneous big bang theory from nothing declared his belief as an absolute statement of certainty. I do not know a single person who holds this position, however, since the idea is merely a hypothesis and nothing more.

It's also not the only hypothesis out there. I lean towards the idea that it was due to the interaction of hyperdimensional branes in the multiverse, but again I would never assert that as a fact so I can't see how that can be construed as faith.


I should also point out that there are theists who accept big bang theory as well.
edit on RAmerica/Chicago31000000Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:39:17 -05003-0500fCDT10 by ReturnofTheSonOfNothing because: I just like to see the edit message at the end of every post



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by PansophicalSynthesis
 


This is an enjoyable conversation.
Yet.




The fallacy is this line of thinking: "after nothing, therefore because of nothing." This is a fallacy because the assertion made based on no evidence that nothing was the cause.


That example does not follow the logical fallacy you quoted.


Post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a Latin phrase for "after this, therefore, because of this." The term refers to a rhetorical fallacy that because two events occurred in succession, the former event caused the latter event.[1][2]
In addressing a post hoc, ergo propter hoc argument, it is important to recognise that correlation does not equal causation.
Magical thinking is a form of post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy, in which superstitions are formed based on seeing patterns in a series of coincidences. For example, "these are my lucky trousers. Sometimes good things happen to me when I wear them."




X happened before Y
Therefore, X caused Y



"Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X."


I do not think you are using the "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" correctly as X and Y cannot both be nothing which leaves both the "happened" and "caused" as useless descriptors. Perhaps you could explain how the fallacy applies better.



As it applies to the big bang theory - we do not know what came before, nor what caused it. We do not know if there was or was not a before, nor we do we know if there was or was not a cause. All we know is that something appears to have began.


The big bang theory is not meant to nor does it try to answer what came before. The big bang is an attempt to explain what happened. Many people have made the mistake of trying to attribute more to the theory however the theory is only about what happened at the moment the singularity exploded and started expanding.

As it applies to the big bang theory - we do not know what came before, nor what caused it. We do not know if there was or was not a before, nor we do we know if there was or was not a cause. All we know is that something appears to have began.

There are many hypothesises about the cause like the Higgs boson particle and I am sure there are many hypothesises for what was before but they are separate from the big bang theory as the big bang theory is not concerned with the before.



However, it is entirely illogical to believe or disbelieve in something from a reference point of requiring evidence to do so, when there is no evidence to be found. Therefore it would be logical, from this perspective, to neither believe and disbelieve.


I find that statement irrational and illogical.



If a belief or disbelief is put in something that there is no evidence for, then faith is required.


Faith is required of the believer not the disbeliever. Look up the definition of "faith".



Sure you didn't find the money. This doesn't mean that the money was never there or that you may have missed it. It means you didn't find the money.


This is not about what may have at one time have been there.(past tense) It is true the money may still be there however I have exhausted all means to find it even digging up the ground and nothing was found. Logic and rationality says there is nothing there for me to believe otherwise would label me a complete fool.



Now, to play with the idea that there certainly is no money because you have absolutely checked EVERYWHERE, brings me back to my original point in my o.p. We do not know where this "God", cause or creator is, therefore we do not know where to look. Until we look everywhere, we cannot be sure that it does not exist.

Do you see the difference between the scenario with your money, in which you provide a given perimeter to find a specific object, and the scenario with a God or creator concept, for which the perimeter to be searched would include the entire universe and possibly beyond and the object, concept or idea is undefined?


The scenario was to demonstrate how belief and non belief do not both require faith.




Two completely opposite scenarios. In your scenario we know exactly what we're looking for and precisely where to search. In my scenario we have no idea what we're supposed to be looking for, and we have everywhere to search.


Yet with both scenarios 0 evidence could be found so the logical position would be "they do not exist". Most religions do state within their "sacred texts" where their deities reside so even though we cannot rule out a deity not described in "sacred texts" we can rule out the ones that are described.




What I presented to you was that belief that the big bang was the result of "nothing" takes just as much faith as believing that "God" did it. Neither position has any supporting evidence, and instead requires belief and faith.


The big bang theory does not say it was the result of "nothing" I do not know who told you that, but they were wrong. Every scientific hypothesis trying to explain what came before to my knowledge states there was definitely something. What that something is varies.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


I do not think that we can understand each other. I see this as you ignoring the fact that proof requires logic and knowledge that comes in two forms: material and immaterial. This can also be thought of as objective and subjective. Depending on which premise we base that logic we can then formulate a rational conclusion and response to one another, instead of so much disagreement between clauses based on two differing premises of logic.

Regards,
PS



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