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Dogmatic Skepticism

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posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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1.

Theorizing over the nature of the universe is a difficult task, especially when it involves going over details with a fine-toothed comb, the research, the fact-checking and developing of it all into a well communicated cohesive whole for the interest of readers. What isn’t a difficult task, however, is the repudiation of this theorizing by dogmatic skeptics, who, while operating under the premise “no one knows”, and presenting no other argument, are nonetheless quite certain of their premise.

2.

By dogmatic skepticism, I do not mean the healthy skepticism given towards ideas that are untenable, but I write about the skepticism invented and practiced by the ancient Greek Pyrrhonist schools, who asserted that peace of mind was found in suspending judgement about everything, which apparently didn’t include suspending judgement about consistently suspending judgement.

This premise became quite popular among the unphilosophical minds in ancient Greece, as many grew tired of the rhetoric shared between opposing schools of philosophy and their disagreements. My contention is that the reason Pyrrhonism was so popular at the time was because philosophy wasn’t popular at the time, and dogmatic skepticism became simply an easy argument against philosophy in general, one that even the most unphilosophical minds could grasp and utilize at their discretion. It gave the intellectually lazy a weapon they have already honed to the point of mastery—Ignorance.

3.

We’ve all heard it in various forms when discussing philosophical subjects of a metaphysical bent. “There is no way you can know that with absolute certainty”, “you cannot prove it”, “no one can know the truth”. This is the go-to argument for those who find comfort in their doubt, a comfort, it seems, they have no reason to be dogmatic about. Once we hear “how are you so certain?” immediately after presenting argument and evidence, we are witness to not a principle, but the anti-principle, anti-knowledge.

I claim these assertions are marks of the intellectually lazy, for no intellect is involved in making them.

4.

An area in modern times where this dogmatic skepticism is immediately apparent is in agnosticism, which has become the neo-pyrrhonism of the day. Though they may choose agnosticism so as to refuse coming to a decisive conclusion, they are nonetheless dogmatic about their anti-philosophical stance.

The sole argument made against atheism and theism, for instance, is that no atheist nor theist can make demonstrable claims about God’s existence, that human reason is incapable of concluding on such matters. However, it might be prudent to be somewhat agnostic about agnosticism in this case, for the claim that we cannot be certain or know about the nature of God is equally non-demonstrable in the very same respect. Their question “how can you know whether God exists or not?” can be met with an equally dubious question: “how can you know whether we can or cannot know whether God exists or not?” Of course, an infinite regress follows.

The argument that there is a possibility, however small, that God still might exist wherever we are still ignorant—for instance at the beginning of the universe, outside the universe, somewhere in the vast reaches of space—and that because of this very slim possibility we should withhold judgement, is entirely without merit and borderline superstitious. Though we definitely cannot know what we do not yet know, suspending judgement on the existence of a deity in such areas makes the grave assumption that there exists the possibility of a God, where no such possibility is evidentially apparent.

Instead, what they seem to be agnostic about is not the nature of a possible God, but of the arguments proposed by theists and atheists. As such, the agnostic suspends judgement not on actual ontology, but in the off-chance that, in regards to states of affairs, the Bible could be true, man may be immortal, and at some time in the distant past mankind may have interacted with God, angels and devils. Why they hold on to this possibility with superstitious reverence is not clear, but we find that despite the agnostics plea to the contrary, such propositions are entirely within the realm of human knowledge and not in human ignorance, being that it was within human knowledge, however limited, that this particular deity, like all the rest of them, was born.

5.

Bertrand Russell contrasted the dogmatic skeptic’s argument as follows:




It should be observed that Scepticism as a philosophy is not merely doubt, but what may be called dogmatic doubt. The man of science says "I think it is so-and-so, but I am not sure." The man of intellectual curiosity says "I don't know how it is, but I hope to find out." The philosophical Sceptic says "nobody knows, and nobody ever can know.’ It is this element of dogmatism that makes the system vulnerable. Sceptics, of course, deny that they assert the impossibility of knowledge dogmatically, but their denials are not very convincing.


The idea that “nobody knows, and nobody ever can know” is ridiculous, and I would ask any dogmatic skeptic to name any other species, being or thing that engages in acts of knowing. Knowledge and knowing are human affairs and endeavours. Indeed we can know, and do often, with various degrees and gradations of certainty. Furthermore, stating that we cannot know implies that knowledge is absolute, we are not privy to it, and that in order to know anything, we must be omniscient. This is superstition. This is confusing human knowledge with divine knowledge. Human knowledge is a relation between humans and the things known. In the order of nature we can only know by the means accessible to human observers, the only point in the entire history of the universe wherefrom knowledge has ever arisen. The fact that we cannot know something in no way entails it being ontologically indeterminate.

What we get from the dogmatic skeptic is not any sort of truth, or advance in mutual understanding, but flat-out dogmatism based on zero grounds.
edit on 25-9-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:20 PM
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Truly, you are one of my favorite users to read here when I come to this particular forum.
I don't have much to add. Not until I read it again, search for some nuances to "disagree" with.
(I jest)

.....and this acknowledgement is coming from one whom generally refers to himself as "agnostic" when asked by "simple folks" about such things....mainly to keep it short and sweet and not get into it with them (bible belt).

....I will be rethinking my position on that label.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:26 PM
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I have not written it so elegantly but I have myself been annoyed at the idea that since I do not know -> everybody else must not know the knowable everything(have the same ignorance as me).

I do not mind the fact that my ideas might many times be simplification and work in progress of the all spanning knowledge of everything, but that do not mean I cannot become more aware and remove as much of my ignorance as possible.

With better tools/ideas/aware consciousness we might all work to increase the knowable and remove ignorance to the greatest ability we have so that the things we are ignorant of become smaller and smaller with every iteration/generation/time depending on how you want this to be measured.
edit on 25-9-2014 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:42 PM
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a reply to: LittleByLittle




I do not mind the fact that my ideas might many times be simplification and work in progress of the all spanning knowledge of everything, but that do not mean I cannot become more aware and remove as much of my ignorance as possible.


Eloquently stated.
I agree.




posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

If you have a sound basis for your epistemological system, you can know many things. If you are a nihilist and a cynic, then dogmatic skepticism as you've described it here seems like a natural conclusion.

Personally, I'm an intuitive generalist with some specialized areas. I do not build up everything I know by proofs, but I use logic and I follow my gut a good solid majority of the time. I think most of these radical philosophies are anti-human. We are simultaneously dionysian and apollonian and until someone comes along to synthesize both aspects of our inherent nature into a coherent whole, I don't think we have a good picture of reality.

I mean, you think about it. We are still questioning epistemology, logic, morality, psychology and sociology after all of these years, and these are things that could have been put to bed in the Hellenic era under optimal conditions. People are so arrogant when it comes to science and they talk about the enlightenment as if it were some kind of transcendent event. I think of the enlightenment as a minor course correction, putting us back on track to where we should have been following the Renaissance had monarchy and Catholicism been abolished during the reformation as they should have been.

Anyway, I think materialism is the backlash from where we were. Until we have an anti-superstitious mysticism that leads people to drink directly from the source of their own authority and experience extradimensional reality firsthand, I don't think we'll be in a proper state of being. We need a new revival in the scientific world, an epiphany that synthesizes the reason of the present day with the transcendent spirit of mysticism that has been destroyed by nihilism and unfettered egalitarianism.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

i agree op - there's no doubt people know lots of stuff these days - problem is non of it is true




posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 07:03 PM
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Well what do you say about morality being some evidence of god? I would argue there is no need for morality when you factor in the theory of evolution. When I think about morality and evolution, I do not see an evolutionary need for morality at all. I would further argue that before you have morality, you need to be self aware first....I have heard the ridiculous counter argument that morality exists or " evolved" in order for cooperation towards a common goal for survival....ehhh...I can't say sure with absolute certainty but i doubt bees, ants, bacteria, lions, etc.etc, etc have morality much less self awareness....Don't get me wrong , Not saying this is a flat out direct evidence to support existnece of the LORD, but if you can make a comprhensible counter debate explaining why morality exists without god I would love to hear it...I have also noted the Fibonacci sequence in other posts..Many things from the solar system to your face is replicated into reality using this mathmatic algorithm....Its a blue print based on what I can tell...

Evolutionists state everything randomly occurred out of nothing (How does this not defy 1st law of TD?) Then why is there such an orderly, repeating, precision algorithim being used over and over again....??? I was having a good time following the fibonacci sequence debate here.. good stuff and good post OP. And unless you can actually debate without talking trash, please don't bother replying to my post..I have no interest in arguing with you opinions on what you " know " I'm just asking some questions......Understand what I mean, not what I say....

www.debate.org... reply to: LittleByLittle



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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originally posted by: wyrmboy12
Well what do you say about morality being some evidence of god? I would argue there is no need for morality when you factor in the theory of evolution. When I think about morality and evolution, I do not see an evolutionary need for morality at all. I would further argue that before you have morality, you need to be self aware first....I have heard the ridiculous counter argument that morality exists or " evolved" in order for cooperation towards a common goal for survival....ehhh...I can't say sure with absolute certainty but i doubt bees, ants, bacteria, lions, etc.etc, etc have morality much less self awareness....Don't get me wrong , Not saying this is a flat out direct evidence to support existnece of the LORD, but if you can make a comprhensible counter debate explaining why morality exists without god I would love to hear it...I have also noted the Fibonacci sequence in other posts..Many things from the solar system to your face is replicated into reality using this mathmatic algorithm....Its a blue print based on what I can tell...

Evolutionists state everything randomly occurred out of nothing (How does this not defy 1st law of TD?) Then why is there such an orderly, repeating, precision algorithim being used over and over again....??? I was having a good time following the fibonacci sequence debate here.. good stuff and good post OP. And unless you can actually debate without talking trash, please don't bother replying to my post..I have no interest in arguing with you opinions on what you " know " I'm just asking some questions......Understand what I mean, not what I say....

www.debate.org... reply to: LittleByLittle



morality is an expression of idealism which is a result of increeased neuropsychological capacity. simply put, morality is our ability to recognize our empathic sensations and apply them practically and judiciously. in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 07:39 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: wyrmboy12
Well what do you say about morality being some evidence of god? I would argue there is no need for morality when you factor in the theory of evolution. When I think about morality and evolution, I do not see an evolutionary need for morality at all. I would further argue that before you have morality, you need to be self aware first....I have heard the ridiculous counter argument that morality exists or " evolved" in order for cooperation towards a common goal for survival....ehhh...I can't say sure with absolute certainty but i doubt bees, ants, bacteria, lions, etc.etc, etc have morality much less self awareness....Don't get me wrong , Not saying this is a flat out direct evidence to support existnece of the LORD, but if you can make a comprhensible counter debate explaining why morality exists without god I would love to hear it...I have also noted the Fibonacci sequence in other posts..Many things from the solar system to your face is replicated into reality using this mathmatic algorithm....Its a blue print based on what I can tell...

Evolutionists state everything randomly occurred out of nothing (How does this not defy 1st law of TD?) Then why is there such an orderly, repeating, precision algorithim being used over and over again....??? I was having a good time following the fibonacci sequence debate here.. good stuff and good post OP. And unless you can actually debate without talking trash, please don't bother replying to my post..I have no interest in arguing with you opinions on what you " know " I'm just asking some questions......Understand what I mean, not what I say....

www.debate.org... reply to: LittleByLittle



morality is an expression of idealism which is a result of increeased neuropsychological capacity. simply put, morality is our ability to recognize our empathic sensations and apply them practically and judiciously. in my opinion.



So idealism comes with neuropsychological capacity and then from idealism comes morality.

What do we say of the law then. Is it a product of the more neuropsychological advanced among us?



posted on Sep, 25 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

"The idea that “nobody knows, and nobody ever can know” is ridiculous."

That, my dear Aphorism, is a truism that is carved in stone.
All truth awaits our perception, and there is no truth that we should not seek.

"You want the truth? Well you can't handle the truth!" is actually quite true in 2014.
Superstition and emotion still tie us to our primitive nature.

I know that someday Humanity will honor its potential.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Nechash




Anyway, I think materialism is the backlash from where we were. Until we have an anti-superstitious mysticism that leads people to drink directly from the source of their own authority and experience extradimensional reality firsthand, I don't think we'll be in a proper state of being. We need a new revival in the scientific world, an epiphany that synthesizes the reason of the present day with the transcendent spirit of mysticism that has been destroyed by nihilism and unfettered egalitarianism.


I like this idea. Divinity, the sacred, "God", should be found in this world rather than another.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:20 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: Nechash




Anyway, I think materialism is the backlash from where we were. Until we have an anti-superstitious mysticism that leads people to drink directly from the source of their own authority and experience extradimensional reality firsthand, I don't think we'll be in a proper state of being. We need a new revival in the scientific world, an epiphany that synthesizes the reason of the present day with the transcendent spirit of mysticism that has been destroyed by nihilism and unfettered egalitarianism.


I like this idea. Divinity, the sacred, "God", should be found in this world rather than another.


a world born of a fusion between scientific material-based inquisition and intuition-heavy ideal-oriented mysticism?

a god discovered within such a fusion will revolutionize the concept of deities i suspect. i cant imagine todays spiritualists would be too eager to embrace such a shift in paradigm.
edit on 26-9-2014 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:25 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: Nechash




Anyway, I think materialism is the backlash from where we were. Until we have an anti-superstitious mysticism that leads people to drink directly from the source of their own authority and experience extradimensional reality firsthand, I don't think we'll be in a proper state of being. We need a new revival in the scientific world, an epiphany that synthesizes the reason of the present day with the transcendent spirit of mysticism that has been destroyed by nihilism and unfettered egalitarianism.


I like this idea. Divinity, the sacred, "God", should be found in this world rather than another.


So how do we implement the next level where people can experience the source directly?

One idea is to push chi/light thru your body at all times and hope that the chi/light saturates so that the concentration gets higher on earth and en-lighten-ment (energized aware state) become easier to achieve.

Another idea might be to educate people on tools like Reiki/meditation that can be used by all regardless of religion that help people flow chi/light thru their bodies.

A more open minded research of Synchronicity caused by (energized aware state) and the possibility to achieve telepathy (total synchronicity) between two beings/consciousness.

I have not been able to Astral project so I have no real clue on how that experience is. I can achieve bliss state so at least that I know something about that.
edit on 26-9-2014 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm




a world born of a fusion between scientific material-based inquisition and intuition-heavy ideal-oriented mysticism?


I don't think I would go that far. I would argue that intuition and wonder is a method of scientific inquiry, not fully limited to mysticism. Mysticism, for me at least, is looking at the world through glass darkly and at a limited capacity. In matters of inquiry, we should be operating at full capacity, with intuition, reason, clarity, curiosity, wonder and so forth, working in tandem.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: LittleByLittle


So how do we implement the next level where people can experience the source directly?

One idea is to push chi/light thru your body at all times and hope that the chi/light saturates so that the concentration gets higher on earth and en-lighten-ment (energized aware state) become easier to achieve.

Another idea might be to educate people on tools like Reiki/meditation that can be used by all regardless of religion that help people flow chi/light thru their bodies.

A more open minded research of Synchronicity caused by (energized aware state) and the possibility to achieve telepathy (total synchronicity) between two beings/consciousness.


I'm not sure those methods will work. They may perhaps make people feel better, but feeling better is not a prerequisite to understanding, knowledge and wisdom.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: Nechash




Anyway, I think materialism is the backlash from where we were. Until we have an anti-superstitious mysticism that leads people to drink directly from the source of their own authority and experience extradimensional reality firsthand, I don't think we'll be in a proper state of being. We need a new revival in the scientific world, an epiphany that synthesizes the reason of the present day with the transcendent spirit of mysticism that has been destroyed by nihilism and unfettered egalitarianism.


I like this idea. Divinity, the sacred, "God", should be found in this world rather than another.


a world born of a fusion between scientific material-based inquisition and intuition-heavy ideal-oriented mysticism?

a god discovered within such a fusion will revolutionize the concept of deities i suspect. i cant imagine todays spiritualists would be too eager to embrace such a shift in paradigm.


The new age movement and Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Sufi crowd would probably not be so much trouble except for a few who hates having their creativity blocked by quantification.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:34 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: LittleByLittle


So how do we implement the next level where people can experience the source directly?

One idea is to push chi/light thru your body at all times and hope that the chi/light saturates so that the concentration gets higher on earth and en-lighten-ment (energized aware state) become easier to achieve.

Another idea might be to educate people on tools like Reiki/meditation that can be used by all regardless of religion that help people flow chi/light thru their bodies.

A more open minded research of Synchronicity caused by (energized aware state) and the possibility to achieve telepathy (total synchronicity) between two beings/consciousness.


I'm not sure those methods will work. They may perhaps make people feel better, but feeling better is not a prerequisite to understanding, knowledge and wisdom.



If they feel better then they might wanna know why it works and start asking the right questions. It would be a big change in awareness for humanity from my point of view to even accept that the energy exists and not hide from it.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:44 PM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: TzarChasm




a world born of a fusion between scientific material-based inquisition and intuition-heavy ideal-oriented mysticism?


I don't think I would go that far. I would argue that intuition and wonder is a method of scientific inquiry, not fully limited to mysticism. Mysticism, for me at least, is looking at the world through glass darkly and at a limited capacity. In matters of inquiry, we should be operating at full capacity, with intuition, reason, clarity, curiosity, wonder and so forth, working in tandem.


im talking about the sort of intuition that tells us faith is all we need to establish a claim as fact.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Until we create gods in this world, we can never hope for a permanent independence. Any prosperity we create will just be us passing the time until the other shoe falls. The interrelation of the realms works both ways. That which is above can impose its will on that which is below and that which is below can rise up to consume the higher realms. We can create of this multi-verse a permanent habitation. Forever clipped off from that tree which leads to eternal bondage.



posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: LittleByLittle

People are being actively tortured in order to get them to compromise their own authority. Intervening and getting the independent few to wake up to this reality before they surrender their will to one of the tyrannical faiths is of utmost importance. Teaching people to channel the higher aspects of themselves into this world, bearing their talents and authority fully into existence in a non-destructive manner is the pathway to leading them back to self-integration and towards a higher understanding. We will never need to explain to them the full nature of themselves,. They will come to understand that as they access other aspects of their being. We merely need to teach them self-mastery so that they do not engage in self-destruction and to encourage them to tease their creative powers into a state of activity.

Nihilism of all sorts is a mental/spiritual heroin. It creates a feeling of unity and peace and bliss because it is destroying and eradicating every aspect of that individual that makes them unique and powerful. Just look at the outcome of the unifying mystical experience. Those people withdraw from the world and bury their talents never fully realizing the glory of personal evolution and self-governance. The end game for them is ultimately servitude and annihilation. They grow in joy and recede in significance. It is a very dangerous path they walk.

The brazen few must stand against the ebb of the ages. We must make our line in the sand here. There is nowhere else to run. If we turn away and we stand back and watch as more and more precious individuals are devoured by the jaws of oblivion, we will condemn ourselves to a diminished world forced to endure and subsist in the shadows of what we could have been.

No tyrant is powerful enough to withstand the trumpet blast of a collective cry for liberation. We can coordinate our efforts without compromising our individuality or personal dominion over our part of this reality.



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