It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The God Who Wasn't There.

page: 4
0
<< 1  2  3   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 6 2006 @ 08:17 PM
link   

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Yes, I do. That's what is meant by calling a claim "extraordinary": that no amount of evidence for it will be considered sufficient. It's an excuse for dismissal.


Not true. Calling a claim extraordinary only means that extraordinary evidence will be required to overcome the default position of "false". For those who might claim such visitations are impossible, well, then I would agree with your conclusion. I'm certainly not making a claim like that.

Claims that can be explained with an ordinary explanation have a long row to hoe in the evidence field before the extraordinary explanation will be considered.

I'm not arguing against the experience of alien abductions. It just isn't reasonable that so many people would be lying about such a thing. The argument is against the conclusion drawn from that evidence. If you do a bit of research, you'll find that similar experiences have been observed in controlled environments, where the subject never left the room.

Further, if you listen to those who promote your position, you will find that "the experts" claim it is within your power to prevent yourself from being abducted. By fighting back? Shooting them? Persuading them? No, the answer lies in psychological conditioning. If people are being abducted, they are not being abducted physically, but rather, their minds are being hijacked, which then makes the sex experiments that much more bizarre, since they are not even physical experiments.

But how can we tell the difference between a mind being hijacked vs. a pseudo dream state where the body is still paralyzed, but dreams are remebered as if they were reality?

I'm sorry if you don't like the alternative explanation, but it isn't just drawn from thin air.




posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 01:15 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
Absolutely-- I am agnostic. So, for that matter, is everyone else-- I simply admit to my lack of knowledge.


Well, someone has to break the news to you at some point that you can't just be "agnostic". That'd mean you don't know anything about anything. I'm sure you can agree there. If not, perhaps the following will make things clearer.

As you well know, gnosticism/agnosticism deals with knowledge, not belief. Knowing for certain or not knowing. Both are used in describing the atheist/theist. It's an epistemic position.

------------------------------------
Theists:

The gnostic theist believes there is a god, but it doesn't stop there. The GT, usually just referred to as a theist, sees whatever data is present (i.e. the bible and supernatural events) and adds to that belief the claim to know that god exists.

The agnostic theist believes there is a god but doesn't claim to know based upon the evidence.

------------------------------------
Atheists:

The gnostic atheist - the strong atheist - lacks a belief in god and knows there is no god based upon contradictions with god and material reality. Amongst other things.

The agnostic atheist - weak atheist - lacks a belief in god as well, but doesn't know if god(s) exist from a lack of evidence.

------------------------------------

Agnostic is not a third option to atheism/theism as much some may want to it be. You're right about everyone using agnostic analysis in all aspects of life - though you didn't exactly phrase it that way. It's simply critical thought. We couldn't survive without such.

-Obscure



[edit on 1/7/2006 by Obscure]



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 01:52 PM
link   
This is hardly the first time that I've been told that there's no such thing as agnosticism. Yet-- I'm still agnostic, and happily so.

And yes-- as you stated, I approach all issues from a default position of agnosticism, or, more accurately, I don't pretend otherwise. Until such time as there is empirical evidence (or compelling logic, in the case of philosophical issues) to support a particular viewpoint, I'm content to continue to admit to my lack of knowledge and to continue to not hold to a particular viewpoint. Agnosticism has remained my position regarding broad religious issues, such as the possibility of the existence of some manner of being(s) that might legitimately be termed "god(s)," simply because there is still no empirical evidence to justify any other viewpoint.

The fact that I remain agnostic proves, at least to my own satisfaction, that it can be done. No external assertion that it can not be done alters the fact that I do it.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 03:53 PM
link   
You're disregarding logic here.

Do you have a belief in god? This is different from knowledge. If you don't, then you're a weak atheist. Going to irrational lengths to differentiate yourself from either side of this spectrum is ridiculous.

You're saying it's a fact - being agnostic - because you are. That's the same as a theist saying god exists because it does. No logic to support it. You can call yourself whatever you want - not my place to force anyone to call themselves something - but you seem to at least respect logic enough to use critical thought in your analysis of things. Which to me, is just a waste to go that far with logic and not see it through to the end. Fortunately for you, you only live for yourself and don't have to fully adhere to logic if you don't want to.

I understand the comfort that "agnosticism" brings. The guise of being adaptable to any situation. Perhaps that's not why you claim to be "agnostic" but..

I should stop before I get too aggrievated. Plus, football is on. Be back later.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 04:49 PM
link   
Let's look at this graphically:

Yes--------------------X--------------------No

Your assertion seems to be that anyone who is not at the position "Yes" is atheist. That the only choices are to believe (Yes) and to "not believe" (everything other than "Yes," including but not limited to "No.")

I believe this is an illogical assertion. By that logic, a theist could assert that I'm a theist, claiming that the only two valid positions are to disbelieve (No), and to not disbelieve (everything other than No," including but not limited to "Yes.")

Ultimately it becomes a game of semantics, but the fact remains that there are two extreme positions-- "Yes" and "No," and a broad range of possible positions between those two. My own position is "X," dead center between the two. I submit that that is a third and specific viewpoint, and it's the only viewpoint that is substantiated by fact. Yes, theists (and atheists) can assert that they know that their respective views are factually based, but I sincerely do know that I don't know. I know that in all my years of searching and thinking and pondering and questioning, I have found no empirical evidence, nor have I seen any empirical evidence that anyone else has found, to substantiate either "Yes" or "No," and in the face of that absolute lack of evidence, I have chosen to remain entirely neutral.

I call that neutral position "agnostic" since it represents my true state-- I am "one who does not know." I do not call it atheist, since atheist is the only term currently available to denote the "No" position, as contrary to the "Yes" position of theism.

Regardless of the terms one might choose to use, there are three distinct positions regarding all questions-- yes, no and I don't know/neutral.

It's entirely possible that your viewpoint is similar to mine, in which case I would have to wonder what you sought to gain by attempting to argue in favor of the position "No" and what you now seek to gain by attempting to apply the same term that you would use to describe yourself to me. It's also possible that our viewpoints are different, in which case it becomes even more inexplicable that you would seek to convince me that I must apply the same descriptor to my viewpoint as you would apply to your differing viewpoint.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 07:38 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
Your assertion seems to be that anyone who is not at the position "Yes" is atheist. That the only choices are to believe (Yes) and to "not believe" (everything other than "Yes," including but not limited to "No.")


Suppose you're right and it is possible intellectually to neither believe nor disbelieve.

Which way do you live?

If gods are irrelevent to the way you live your life, you're an atheist my friend regardless of what your intellect claims. On the other hand, if you modify your behavior to fit some conception of gods you may have, then you're a believer.

Your subconscious does not sit on a fence, regardless of what your conscious mind debates with itself.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 08:42 PM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham

If gods are irrelevent to the way you live your life, you're an atheist my friend regardless of what your intellect claims. On the other hand, if you modify your behavior to fit some conception of gods you may have, then you're a believer.


There's no requirement, despite the teachings of some of the more familiar religions, that "god(s)" would have the least interest in how I live my life, nor that I should include his/her/its/their possible existence in any consideration that I might grant to my actions. The two issues, again, despite the teachings of some of the more familiar religions, don't necessarily have anything to do with each other.


Despite your (and Obscure's) apparently increasingly desperate need to paint this as a monochromatic issue, it simply is not one. That's been at the heart of my point all along.

Fine-- you don't agree with the answer, as referenced in my earlier post, of "Yes." I don't either. However, like many things, this is not a simple binary "on/off" issue. "Not yes" does not equal "No," nor does "Not no" equal "Yes," much though you appear to want them to.

Ironically, the heart of my issue with atheists is specifically that I find so many of them to be just as dogmatic and just as absolute in their views as theists, and just as intolerant of the views of others, and here you are, trying to tell ME what I am and what I can and cannot believe or not believe under the guise of "you're either with us or against us."

I submit that stating that I must either be a believer or an atheist is no different, really, than stating that I must either be a Christian or a heathen, or a Muslim or an infidel, and I further submit that your assertion that I must be one or the other simply demonstrates my initial point here that atheists have more in common with theists than they'd care to admit, even to themselves.



posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:10 PM
link   
It's funny how you continue to avoid the point raised. If you lack a belief in god, you're an atheist. Knowledge is an entirely different sphere. If you're denying the atheist label because it's counterpart is not falsifiable, then that's one thing. That's not what you're saying though.

You don't have to call yourself anything you don't want to. Just don't expect people who abide by logic and rational thought to take you seriously in the future if this is the extent of your worldview.

That's it for moi. If I say anymore i'm liable to get banned. Have at me!

I'm going back to debunking UFO claims. This forum is gonna get me in trouble. Tee hee.




posted on Jan, 7 2006 @ 11:42 PM
link   
You can not believe in a specific god, but still believe in an existance of some form of god. For example, you might not believe in Braahmun (sp?) from the Hindu religion, or the Yahweh from Christianity, but you might believe that there is a form of god out there, but its none of the ones that our earthly religions really preach about.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 12:19 AM
link   
Your slurs are meaningless to me. They imply far more about you than they do about me, as does your diversion of this debate into a semantic quibble.

I freely admit that I do not know that which I do not know. I make no presumptions and claim no answers when there is no evidence available to support any. That is the position of logic and rational thought.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 08:42 AM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Yes, I do. That's what is meant by calling a claim "extraordinary": that no amount of evidence for it will be considered sufficient. It's an excuse for dismissal.


Not true. Calling a claim extraordinary only means that extraordinary evidence will be required to overcome the default position of "false".


Which amounts to the same thing. What you're not considering here is WHY "false" is the default position, and also WHY the evidence in favor of "true" must, in some people's evaluation, be "extraordinary." It has nothing to do with the evidence itself, but rather with how deeply the phenomenon in consideration challenges the person's entrenched world view.

Have you ever tried to convince a fundamentalist Christian of the validity of evolution? The evidence in favor of evolution is very sound, and the arguments against it by creationists absurd. But even the most intelligent and rational fundamentalists (and there are some) accept those arguments and reject the evidence in favor of evolution. Why? Because evolution is incompatible with Biblical literal inerrancy, which is a cornerstone of their worldview. Without a literally infallible Bible, they think, God cannot exist; they know that God does exist; therefore the Bible must be infallible; therefore evolution cannot be true. Evolution, for the fundamentalist, is an extraordinary claim, one they cannot consider fairly.

It's the same with investigations of UFOs, psychic powers, ghosts, or anything else that is incompatible with the classical materialist worldview, by skeptics entrenched in that worldview. Classical materialism is a philosophical metaphysics grounded in Newtonian physics. Newtonian physics was a deterministic schema leaving no room for any such phenomena; if they occur, then Newtonian physics is false. Which, of course, it is -- but that also means that classical materialism is false, and that philosophical bridge has not been crossed by many. Philosophically, a great many scientifically educated people continue to function as if Newtonian physics were still current scientific theory.

Now, that does not mean that the default position for any of these phenomena becomes "true," or that no evidence need be shown for their reality. All it means is that there is a bias against them such that the evaluations of skeptics cannot be trusted, any more than the evaluation of evolution by a fundamentalist Christian.



For those who might claim such visitations are impossible, well, then I would agree with your conclusion. I'm certainly not making a claim like that.


Actually, I think you do believe them impossible. Perhaps what you mean here is that some form of visitation by extraterrestrials isn't inherently impossible. But in the form in which it's alleged to be occurring, you believe the visitations to be impossible. I think I said earlier that visitations by ETs didn't necessarily have to violate classical materialism, and that's true, but visitations accompanied by violations of inertia and psychic powers do.



Further, if you listen to those who promote your position


Whoa, hold on there. It's not "my position." I told you, I'm agnostic on this subject. I'm not convinced by the evidence I've seen, either, except that something is going on that merits further investigation. I'm not prepared to explain it away as something pedestrian, but nor am I prepared to accept the "alien visitation" explanation without that further investigation. There are some things that don't quite add up yet for me.

The only dog I have in that hunt is that I would like to see classical materialism die the death it should have in the last century.



you will find that "the experts" claim it is within your power to prevent yourself from being abducted. By fighting back? Shooting them? Persuading them? No, the answer lies in psychological conditioning. If people are being abducted, they are not being abducted physically, but rather, their minds are being hijacked


Do these alleged experts say that, or is it your conclusion? If it is your conclusion, then I have to say that it does not follow. If we are dealing with telepathic aliens here, which is universally asserted I believe, then the choice of whom to abduct may be made on the basis of something in the mind of the abductee. In that case, psychological conditioning might serve as a deterrent to being chosen for physical abduction.



which then makes the sex experiments that much more bizarre


One rather off-the-wall idea I've had about that involves the collection of genetic material for use in genetic engineering. An advanced species might (actually, almost certainly would) be one that manages its own evolution, and genes from other intelligent species might be valuable for that purpose.

Anyway, that's as may be. As I said, I'm not convinced one way or the other about the UFO/abduction phenomena class. I think the points that need to be made in connection with it, relevant to this thread topic, have been made. May I suggest that we get back to more directly relevant subjects?

[edit on 8-1-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 08:55 AM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham
If gods are irrelevent to the way you live your life, you're an atheist my friend regardless of what your intellect claims. On the other hand, if you modify your behavior to fit some conception of gods you may have, then you're a believer.


Let me suggest an expansion of terminology here. In addition to the terms theist (believer in gods), atheist (disbeliever in gods), monotheist (believer in only one god), polytheist (believer in multiple gods), we can add theolager (worshiper of gods), atheologer (non-worshiper of gods), monotheolater (worshiper of only one god), and polytheolater (worshiper of multiple gods). Agnosticism is relevant only to the first set of terms, not the second.

Bob may be an agnostic atheolater. That does not make him an atheist. (I'm an atheistic polytheolater myself.)



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 09:26 AM
link   

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
What you're not considering here is WHY "false" is the default position,


To the contrary, I've given it quite a bit of consideration. I've come to the realization that 'false' is the presumption I give to all claims. For claims that are consistent with prior observation, the evidence may need only be trivial, but there must be some. If someone tells me it's raining outside, that's sufficient evidence, because I know it rains regularly, and there's generally no motivation for someone to lie about it, nor is it difficult to confuse something else with rain.

Now, if they claim it's snowing, and it happens to be summer, the fact that they told me is no longer sufficient evidence.

I suspect you generally live your life with this same default position. I'm curious why you do not find the alien abduction claims extraordinary.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
and also WHY the evidence in favor of "true" must, in some people's evaluation, be "extraordinary." It has nothing to do with the evidence itself, but rather with how deeply the phenomenon in consideration challenges the person's entrenched world view.


That's true. I console myself with the knowledge that my entrenched "world view" is consistent across topics, so at least I'm rarely guilty of special pleading.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
It's the same with investigations of UFOs, psychic powers, ghosts, or anything else that is incompatible with the classical materialist worldview, by skeptics entrenched in that worldview.


What you call "worldview", I call experience. The claims are considered extraordinary because skeptics don't witness these things. Numerous attempts to measure them have been made, and they invariably turn up to have ordinary explanations. The areas of psychic phenomenon as well as alien visitation are rampant with fraud and charletans.

If you make claims that can not be verified and are outside the experience of others, you shouldn't even expect to be taken seriously. Instead of trying to explain why no-one else can find any evidence, you should be looking for a way to provide it!


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Which, of course, it is -- but that also means that classical materialism is false, and that philosophical bridge has not been crossed by many.


80%+ of people in the West believe in some form of supernatural.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Actually, I think you do believe them impossible.


You apparently think you're a mind reader as well?


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
The only dog I have in that hunt is that I would like to see classical materialism die the death it should have in the last century.


Whether you agree philosophically with naturalism or not, you must at least acknowledge the benefits you have reaped from it. The modern life is the result of it. The fact that you are on the internet is proof you have not rejected these benefits. What benefits have we reaped from the other "worldviews"?


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
One rather off-the-wall idea I've had about that involves the collection of genetic material for use in genetic engineering. An advanced species might (actually, almost certainly would) be one that manages its own evolution, and genes from other intelligent species might be valuable for that purpose.


Is it realistic to presume life on other planets would evolve in exactly the same way as on earth so that they not only have DNA (which seems far fetched), but even compatible DNA? These experiments have been going on for thousands of years if you accept the claims of abductees (which you must if you accept the abduction explanation to begin with). Surely these aliens have enough genetic material by now. Besides, hair has the same DNA found in the rest of the body. Don't the aliens know that?



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 09:34 AM
link   

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
There's no requirement, despite the teachings of some of the more familiar religions, that "god(s)" would have the least interest in how I live my life,


If you believe that, then why do you concern yourself with the topic at all?


Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
Despite your (and Obscure's) apparently increasingly desperate need to paint this as a monochromatic issue, it simply is not one. That's been at the heart of my point all along.


This is a real dichotemy, not a trumped up one if you believe what research tells us about the way the mind works. I agree that it is possible to be agnostic from an intellectual perspective, but not from a practical one.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 09:58 AM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham
What you call "worldview", I call experience. The claims are considered extraordinary because skeptics don't witness these things.


You will acccept as an ordinary claim many things that you have not witnessed yourself. So will anyone, if the things seem inherently plausible.

No. They are considered extraordinary because they violate the skeptics' worldview. For that reason and no other.



Numerous attempts to measure them have been made, and they invariably turn up to have ordinary explanations.


No, the research into these areas is rejected on grounds that would not be used to reject research into other areas. It's as I said, these are subjects no classical materialist is capable of investigating objectively. If they are real, then their entire philosophy of reality is false. They are too strongly motivated to reject them.



The areas of psychic phenomenon as well as alien visitation are rampant with fraud and charletans.


True, but irrelevant. You have already acknowledged that the alien visitation phenomenon cannot all be charlatanry and fraud. That is also true of the other.

Skeptical investigation also has its share of fraud and charlatanry. As Exhibit A, I give you James Randi. Should we then conclude that all skeptics are frauds and charlatans?



Instead of trying to explain why no-one else can find any evidence, you should be looking for a way to provide it!


First of all, that's backwards. As long as a claim is regarded as "extraordinary," it is pointless to try to prove it; no proof will be considered sufficient. Secondly, that is not my job, and others have already done it. The evidence will be accepted once classical materialism is dead -- which is inevitable -- and it can be evaluated objectively.



80%+ of people in the West believe in some form of supernatural.


If they regard it as "supernatural," then their view of nature is that of a classical materialist. Supernaturalism is a response to classical materialism. I personally have no need for it.



Whether you agree philosophically with naturalism or not, you must at least acknowledge the benefits you have reaped from it.


I am talking about classical materialism, not "naturalism." Classical materialism is the belief, not only that reality is material, but that the nature of material reality is what common sense, ordinary perception, and Newtonian physics would suggest.

I have no quarrel with the idea that reality is material. That is my own belief as well. My quarrel is with a philosophical view of the nature of material reality grounded in outdated physics, and held at this point purely by inertia.



Is it realistic to presume life on other planets would evolve in exactly the same way as on earth so that they not only have DNA (which seems far fetched), but even compatible DNA?


I think so. A completely different chemical schema for life is imaginable, but we know this one works, and it's not unreasonable to suppose similar conditions to give rise to a similar means of transmitting reproductive information. As for compatibility, recombinant genetics techniques known to our own species can be used to "cross" species that could never cross through normal interbreeding, including plant-animal crosses, e.g. a tobacco plant that glows in the dark due a firefly gene.

Please understand, though, that I'm not sold on this idea. It's just something to play with, something to illustrate that there are more possibilities than are being considered.

[edit on 8-1-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 12:12 PM
link   

Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
No. They are considered extraordinary because they violate the skeptics' worldview. For that reason and no other.


That's correct. In my worldview, simpler explanations are preferred. Such a worldview seems to have practical value.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
No, the research into these areas is rejected on grounds that would not be used to reject research into other areas.


Numerous truly objective studies have been performed in these areas, and they invariably do not support the premise of psychic powers etc. If objective studies regularly showed action or perception at a distance, we would have to accept it (just as quantum entanglement is accepted). If you'd like to preset some research, we can go over whether or not the method is objective.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
It's as I said, these are subjects no classical materialist is capable of investigating objectively.


Hoccum. All your doing is trying to invent an explanation as to why these things are not accepted. The key is, there has to be a reason to accept it. Quantum entanglement is truly bizzare and extrordinary and seems even magical. It is accepted, because the evidence is also extraordinary.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
True, but irrelevant. You have already acknowledged that the alien visitation phenomenon cannot all be charlatanry and fraud. That is also true of the other.


It isn't irrelevant, because frauds and charletons prey on the gullible. The preponderance of these flim flam men in these areas is strong evidence of a higher degree of credulity among those who accept these phenomenon. Credulity combined with some unexplained (though not necessarily unexplainable) phenomenon is all that's required to start making unwarranted conclusions.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Skeptical investigation also has its share of fraud and charlatanry. As Exhibit A, I give you James Randi.


Odd that you would select a man who has made it his life's mission to expose fraud and gullibility as evidence of anything other than the credulity of people who accept psychic claims at face value. I would say Randi exposes the problem with the type of thinking you are suggesting should not be rejected outright.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
First of all, that's backwards. As long as a claim is regarded as "extraordinary," it is pointless to try to prove it; no proof will be considered sufficient.


I call it extraordinary because there's no evidence that justifies the conclusions being drawn, to which you reply you won't provide that evidence because the conclusion is not being given serious consideration. I think I now understand why you are willing to give the psychic/alien conclusion serious consideration.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Secondly, that is not my job, and others have already done it.


It's certainly not my job. Your the one pleading against naturalism. You're not making much of a case.


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
I am talking about classical materialism, not "naturalism." Classical materialism is the belief, not only that reality is material, but that the nature of material reality is what common sense, ordinary perception, and Newtonian physics would suggest.


In that case, I would say classical materialism is already dead. Is there really anyone who knows what Newtonian physics is yet doesn't know Newtonian physics is an approximation?


Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
I think so. A completely different chemical schema for life is imaginable, but we know this one works, and it's not unreasonable to suppose similar conditions to give rise to a similar means of transmitting reproductive information.


Even on earth there are non-DNA based life forms (prions). The number of possible information replicating materials, even just organic ones, may be boundless. If the aliens have use for our genetic material, I would think that would be predicated on a common evolutionary heritage.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 01:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
There's no requirement, despite the teachings of some of the more familiar religions, that "god(s)" would have the least interest in how I live my life,


If you believe that, then why do you concern yourself with the topic at all?


I don't concern myself with the overall subject of religion much beyond the admittedly masturbatory act of pondering possibilities. I do however concern myself with the specific subject of the attacks by atheists on all who don't believe as they do for the same reason that others might concern themselves with attacks from Muslims or Catholics or any of a number of belief systems-- because I believe that their antagonism is ultimately harmful.

You may note that this all started because I asserted, in response to the initial post regarding this movie, that atheists suffer from the same faults of narrow, rigid, dogmatic "thinking" with which they charge theists, and that their attacks on others are rooted in the same obstinate adherence to a specific belief system that handicaps theists, and since that post I've mostly defended myself from assaults on everything from my logical structures, through my use of language, to my ability to even think. I would say that that simply reinforces my point and begs the question, why do you (and Obscure) concern yourselves with the topic, even to the point of insulting a stranger on a message board?



Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
Despite your (and Obscure's) apparently increasingly desperate need to paint this as a monochromatic issue, it simply is not one. That's been at the heart of my point all along.


This is a real dichotemy, not a trumped up one if you believe what research tells us about the way the mind works. I agree that it is possible to be agnostic from an intellectual perspective, but not from a practical one.


How in the world can it be "impossible" to simply accept that one does not know that which one does not know?

The universe is vast beyond our reckoning and we only understand a tiny portion of it. The more we understand of it, the more apparent it becomes that it is NOT the simple deterministic thing that Aristotelian thought and Newtonian physics deemed it to be-- that we can NOT, with any degree of accuracy, state categorically what is and is not and what can and cannot happen, at least anywhere outside of the simplest processes in our immediate physical surroundings. The recognition of that fact, and the realization that that implies that there are far more possibilities out there than our primitive Aristotelian view of the universe deemed possible is eminently logical, and far from "impossible."



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 09:32 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
I do however concern myself with the specific subject of the attacks by atheists on all who don't believe as they do for the same reason that others might concern themselves with attacks from Muslims or Catholics or any of a number of belief systems-- because I believe that their antagonism is ultimately harmful.


What attacks are you referring to? Columbine perhaps? Why do you consider it an attack for an atheist to voice his perspective, yet don't seem to consider it an attack for a theist to voice his? The two are incompatible regardless of where you find yourself. Why are you not lambasting theists for "attacking" atheists? That at least has historical precedence.


Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
I would say that that simply reinforces my point and begs the question, why do you (and Obscure) concern yourselves with the topic, even to the point of insulting a stranger on a message board?


I would say you totally ignored the section of my post on page 2 where I showed that all knowledge is really based on lack of evidence. Perhaps theists and atheists are not the only ones guilty of ignoring that which challenges our preconceptions?

Besides, I rarely throw the first punch. Whoever your referring to that I've insulted probably had it coming.


Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
How in the world can it be "impossible" to simply accept that one does not know that which one does not know?


It isn't. What isn't possible is to act as if you have not decided. Regardless of what you say is knowable (and I actually agree with you on that part), you must live your life influenced by the idea of gods, or not. You do not. Neither do I. Our actions reveal our beliefs regardless of what we say is knowable. Note that I have never stated 'gods' are impossible (except for incoherent definitions - pretty close to all of them), only that it is reasonable to deny them.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<< 1  2  3   >>

log in

join