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Why is it so difficult to say "I don't know"

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:43 PM
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Thread after thread on creationism and evolution always repeating the same tired old arguments.

Religion and atheism discussed ad nauseam without the realization that they both share the same false certainty and in fact are two sides of the same coin.

Fact is: we don't know

And it's ok to say it.
Not only it's ok, it's necessary. Lest we look foolish and arrogant.

And please, if faith is your response to not knowing, then god bless you and leave it at that. You shouldn't need concepts like creationism and I.D.. Your faith should suffice. Why would you even insert science or knowledge to back up your faith? It's counterintuitive and reeks of insecurity.

And if you are an atheist, why would you ever be anything but indifferent to those with faith. Unless you feel threatened.

It is these kinds of absolutes that pit people against each other.
Neither side is going to convince the other.
No one has added any new information on these topics in centuries.

A little humility and the ability to say "I don't know" is the only path to new knowledge and the denial of ignorance.

Or you can keep repeating yourselves.




posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:51 PM
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I don't know why.

Actually I think I do. It's not so much a matter of saying "I don't know" but more a matter of saying "you're right". What happens is one side or the other is presented. You now have the option of; a) agreeing, b) disagreeing, or c) ignoring it.

Selecting a) or c) would be kind of pointless. Selecting b) means you can't say "you're wrong, but I don't know why". That would be pointless as well. So you're left with "you're wrong and I'm right and I have to come up with a reason".

There is however a d); "You may be right but there are other things going on that you may not have considered". It doesn't happen often but that's where both sides, if they're able to let go of the "I'm right" part, can learn something. That's where the good stuff is.


edit: Didn't answer your question did I?

[edit on 30-9-2008 by Phage]



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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So what I understand from this thread, is that you are simply trying to express a feeling that you have through an anecdote, which also has the added benefit of teaching us something we all already knew?

What you say is not entirely lost on me; I appreciate what you attempted to do, but what's the point? To open dialogue on "effective dialoguing"?

If that was the point, then you could have at least introduced this discussion in a scientific framework.


And if you are an atheist, why would you ever be anything but indifferent to those with faith. Unless you feel threatened.


Oh, this is a fun question. I think Atheists, by their nature, are fundamentally skeptical of basically everything. Their skepticism extends not only to their personal beliefs but also to the beliefs of others. Perhaps they can't stand people adhering so adamantly to something they themselves can not grasp, for whatever reason: God, the after life, destiny.

The reason someone becomes an Atheist is probably just as important as the present values and beliefs they profess. That is the most significant question. Their Atheism could range from the basis of a psychological framework, to a conceptual interpretation founded on empirical evidence, to a cynicism nurtured by personal experiences, or perhaps simply an insatiable curiosity. The history of an Atheist is very important to consider when formulating a discussion with one. A lot of the problem is that when these discussions arise, there is a series of attempts by each party to confer a sense of moral foundation. An Atheist speaks with real life context in mind, and this is very important to note, while a religious advocate tends to disregard that completely. The only context is the foundation upon which their religion is based, i.e. the Bible, Qu'ran.

[edit on 30-9-2008 by cognoscente]



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:15 PM
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I always say you can't have one without the other. The problem is how literal people want to read into the book of Genisis. I feel it is a literary work to be interpreted as a poem written by Man.

I also say I practice "anyoneism." (-except I usually insert my real first name)
This allow for my beliefs to evolve as well.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 



You're so right. We don't know. WE JUST DO NOT KNOW !

Quite often, I'll write that in a post.

Saying it does not increase your popularity, of course.

It makes people very angry sometimes.

First, they like to believe they know and they spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince others that they 'know' i.e. are 'right'.
They'll drag into their posts any number of 'proofs' and then play pseudo theologian/intellectual -- they'll drown you in 'evidence'.

Secondly, their mental stablity appears to balance on their insistence that someone knows, be that the Pope, or scratchings in a pyramid wall, or Grey-aliens ... whatever.

I suspect it's a 'control' thing. In order to function, they have to believe that WE have control .. that WE 'know' ... that WE have it locked in a box or a book or chunk of stone or ancient chart.

The reality (that we haven't a clue really)scares them witless and makes them frantic and often hostile.

So they take refuge in 'theories' and in antiquity: if something's 'old' then it must be the truth.

They could take a heck of a weight from their shoulders and struggling little brains if they simply looked the situation in the face and said .. 'Gee, no matter what ... we don't know, do we? We haven't a clue, when it's all boiled down. Your theory is as good as mine, isn't it ? I realise that now. Oh well, I'll just live my life and accept that mankind does not have all the answers, despite eons of trying to figure it out. Ok. I've dealt with it now. I'm fine. And now I'm going surfing. '



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:25 PM
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I believe..... shoot I already made an assumption.

I.... damn, there's that "I" business again. We can't really seem to get past that letter. How can we agree on "d"?



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:27 PM
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People want to believe they know because it is a security blanket. They want to be "the ones" who have it right whether they believe or don't because that makes them feel more powerful; that they hold THE knowledge. My beliefs are ever changing because I feel I really could not condescend to know the TRUTH. I just try to seek truths.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by dunwichwitch
I believe..... shoot I already made an assumption.

I.... damn, there's that "I" business again. We can't really seem to get past that letter. How can we agree on "d"?




It's all fun and games till someone loses an I

Dock6, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Identification to one's thoughts is a terrible affliction.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:34 PM
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Starred and Flagged by the way

I truly believe this is a very important thread, despite the other massive news items under discussion right now



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Why would you even insert science or knowledge to back up your faith? It's counterintuitive and reeks of insecurity.


A little humility and the ability to say "I don't know" is the only path to new knowledge and the denial of ignorance.

Or you can keep repeating yourselves.




I would just like to say your OP was brilliant!

I am pleased to see that other people have the ability to say "I dont know"!

Welcome to the club



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by dunwichwitch
I believe..... shoot I already made an assumption.

I.... damn, there's that "I" business again. We can't really seem to get past that letter. How can we agree on "d"?


I think that is the crux of the problem. No one can get past I. When we stopped living as a community and started living as individuals we lost something important to our society. It's that whole keeping up with the Jones and my daddy is better than your daddy attitude that has put us here.

But I digress. The question of creationism vs evolutionism comes down to what can you sleep with at night. Would you rather believe that you were created out of God's love or that you evolved from monkeys? Personally I go with God and I don't feel the need to defend that position with scientific facts because I have faith. In faith you have to let go of 'I'.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
And if you are an atheist, why would you ever be anything but indifferent to those with faith. Unless you feel threatened.

I don't care whether or not people have faith.

I do, however, care when they try to pass it off as science. They're misleading people who don't know better, and their claims are just plain wrong.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I don't know, but I sure as hell would like to know!



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente
 


An Atheist speaks with real life context in mind, and this is very important to note, while a religious advocate tends to disregard that completely. The only context is the foundation upon which their religion is based, i.e. the Bible, Qu'ran.

A cogent point, rarely made in these discussions.

My congratulations to you.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


because ATS would be so much less fun if we actually could agree to disagree - there would be some very short threads

and I think we're constantly in the process of establishing and protecting our identity - for each other and ourselves - and when our most cherished beliefs are challenged or dismissed - it's personal

and maybe because it's about more than belief - about things like: who gets to go to jail for alerting the media that the earth is not the center of the universe...

it's about gain and loss, power and control - conquering, raping, pillaging - the winning of elections, the allotment of funds, research grants, appointing judges, creating law, crime and punishment...

"I don't know" doesn't put food on the table or change any borders

so - if it really were just about belief - maybe it wouldn't be any more complicated than agreeing that it's ok to prefer rocky-road over strawberry - we seem to handle that sort of thing well enough

I love the question - I understand why it's here - but it's also a great philosophical question

[edit on 10/1/2008 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente
 



An Atheist speaks with real life context in mind, and this is very important to note, while a religious advocate tends to disregard that completely. The only context is the foundation upon which their religion is based, i.e. the Bible, Qu'ran.


Not exactly.

First of all, that is simply a position. And one dictated by someone else's belief system to boot. A long winded way to say "no it's not" to someone else's "oh yes it is".

There is a reason we have both the words "atheist" AND "agnostic".
An atheist believes that there is no such thing as God. Which is just as absolute a position as saying that there is a God. One coin, two sides.

An agnostic, such as myself, is simply open to any possibility. Including the infinite possibilities of what lies behind the mysteries of our existence beyond the god/no god conversation.




[edit on 10/1/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 

because ATS would be so much less fun if we actually could agree to disagree - there would be some very short threads


I respectfully disagree.

"I don't know" opens the door for all possibilities and makes for long and informative debates. Where all options are explored and considered.

It actually encourages questions between members rather dogmatic back and forth absolute statements between people who try to force their point of view on others in order to validate themselves.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


S.D. Mighty fine post-when it comes to knowing the unknowable,perhaps "I don´t know´ is the only honest,straightfoward answer.
Also,regarding religious extremists attempting to forcefully impose their opinions on others (and suffering the delusion that they are somehow superior ),you also make a good point when you mention the words ´insecurity´and ´counterintuitive´.


[edit on 01/12/01 by karl 12]



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 

because ATS would be so much less fun if we actually could agree to disagree - there would be some very short threads


I respectfully disagree.

"I don't know" opens the door for all possibilities and makes for long and informative debates. Where all options are explored and considered.

It actually encourages questions between members rather dogmatic back and forth absolute statements between people who try to force their point of view on others in order to validate themselves.



I respectfully submit that I was kidding :-)

because I've already experienced that very back and forth - and I agree with you

exploring those options and hearing what everyone actually believes is what I live for

until you get about 8 posts in and it becomes a blood sport

but, even that has it's value



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
There is a reason we have both the words "atheist" AND "agnostic".
An atheist believes that there is no such thing as God. Which is just as absolute a position as saying that there is a God. One coin, two sides.

Not exactly.

I'm pretty sure I qualify as an atheist, and I don't believe there is definitely no god, only that the evidence doesn't support one's existence, and therefore there's no grounds for belief.

As Richard Dawkins said- "I am agnostic only to the extent that I am agnostic about fairies at the bottom of the garden."

It's a far more rational position than people who believe there definitely is a god, without one scrap of evidence to support their claim.





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