For anyone at this stage doubting my intentions for creating this thread, which they are free to do, I will just state outright that I feel this
thread has already been a larger success than I anticipated (not that this is a reason to stop and leave it at that, quite the opposite: I would truly
love more unique voices to be heard), but what makes me feel that this thread is already a big success? I am reading every single reply I can and
answering as many as I can in proportion to the free time I have available.
I'm not doing this to convince those who are not agreeing me to agree with me, even replies I can see from a mile away that appear as though I can
detect their line of reasoning from the first sentence used, I am NOT ignoring the rest and just being lazy. I am actively trying to consider their
whole view in relation to how I presented my argument in the opening post.
And for that reason, perhaps I need to clarify my key arguments for those who I feel at this stage that they are not understanding (NOT
disagreeing, but not understanding) because I have so far failed to successfully clarify my position it would seem.
My key arguments:
1) Agnosticism, which in the context I am using it, not only refers to the position of "whether obtaining or being able to demonstrate whether one is
able to obtain information about the existence of a deity's existence as a plausible position" is true, but ALSO agnosticism's more general definition
in relation to topics involving issues where there is a clear freedom to not take one side and sit on the fence until you feel this is no longer
2) Agnosticism then is a very plausible, honest and admirable position which I personally hold in very high esteem. It is so important to uphold an
agnostic view especially when your knowledge of the topic is very limited, you have not yet heard a range of views in regard to the issue in question,
or you have not had strong personal experience relating to the issue in discussion.
3) Agnosticism only becomes somewhat problematic when it is used for the wrong reasons, which I believe involves being able to avoid discussing a
contentious issue not purely because you lack reasonable evidence or logic, but because you don't want your credibility (which is very important, but
not ESSENTIAL) to be harmed by risking others judging your character as a result of you merely putting forth an argument in favour or against a
position when discussing an issue
4) When one finds themselves taking an agnostic position on an excessive number of issues, even when some of those issues they do in fact have more
than basic knowledge on, have done more than basic research into, or have had more than basic personal experience with, then
for the sake of being agnostic when you DON'T have the freedom to sit on the fence becomes an absurd position to promote.
5) Socrates' argument that "All I know is that I know nothing" IS an approach I hold strongly to and ultimately have believed in from the moment I
first saw it to this very day, but that does not mean agnosticism is a good position to take when you DON'T have the freedom to address a topic from
an entirely neutral standpoint (sitting on the fence).
On ATS, we ALL do have the freedom to remain agnostic until we see fit because we can choose which topics to discuss and which to ignore. But if you
are in a position of power and influence in the real world, there will come times when there is a time to act and you CANNOT wait longer for more time
to attempt to resolve an issue. If you do, then the consequences can range from making the issue worse to making the entire planet worse off because
you failed to act.
THERE. That is the VERY best at this present moment in time I am able to do to clarify my key arguments from the opening post, or at least the ones I
was trying to promote when I started the thread. Feel free to ask for more clarification for anything above you do not understand or outright disagree
with and perhaps we can both learn something in the process.
* * * * *
Things about me that make the above even more worthy of considering:
i) I am somebody who has on more than a few occasions openly and without reservation admitted that I was wrong. It was at times difficult, it was at
times painful, it was at times a strong blow to my ego, but I still did it because it was the right thing to do if I really do value truth and reason
above all else when I have the freedom to do so.
ii) I am somebody who has openly admitted in the past that I do suffer from chronic mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, OCD, anhedonia,
great difficulty handling more than average levels of stress) — which I am extremely happy to mention have almost all significantly improved, due
to my ability to better manage them for the past month and to this moment — that have sometimes affected my capacity in the past to ALWAYS
prioritise truth and reason above other less important factors.
iii) I have come to the conclusion, as I mentioned before, that while credibility is very important, it is NOT essential to establishing a position as
a reasonable and truthful one.
iv) My personal experiences of having such vastly different overall mindsets at different periods of my life so far is either a sign that I am insane
(which I do not believe is truthful) or that I am willing to take on the role of my opposition so well in most cases, that after returning back to my
"neutral" self, I can make strong compelling arguments that DO take into account their perspective and still make sense, are reasonable and are
truthful to the extent they can be.
edit on 12/4/2017 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)