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

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posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by rapinbatsisaltherage
If we went with your line of thinking we’d be saying “I don’t know” about everything.

I can only wish for this to happen.
It would be the healthiest premise upon which to start any conversation.

Ugh. What a milquetoast, namby-pamby, wishy-washy world that would be. Count me out.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog
It also happens to be true.

As rapinbatsisalltherage has already pointed out, it isn't.

[edit on 2-10-2008 by Astyanax]




posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:08 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Out of curiosity then, from your atheist perspective, you would rather all the religious people say "I know" instead of "I don't know"?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:19 AM
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reply to post by cognoscente
 


The Scientific Method only benefits the science upon which it is established, and not the mind that attempts to interpret the knowledge upon which the science itself is imagined.

Science - as some people on ATS never tire of pointing out - gave you the computer on which you are typing your denial of its beneficence. Its other gifts to you - and therefore to the mind that some would say is precisely 'you' - are so many it would be tedious to enumerate them. Suffice to say that some - like the computer - are material, while others, like the calculus, or liberation from superstition's baleful grip - are mental.

Science is based on the scientific method, so its benefits are in some sense derived from it. Your statement is tautological, I'm afraid.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:24 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Faith by definition is not and should not to be subject to scientific proof.

This is tantamount to admitting that all faith is belief in a probable lie.

And this is precisely the issue with faith, isn't it?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:32 AM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Out of curiosity then, from your atheist perspective, you would rather all the religious people say "I know" instead of "I don't know"?

But they do say that, don't they? They say it all the time.

Still, to answer your excellent question: yes, thanks, I would rather. I prefer it when people state their position unambiguously, even if I disagree with it. You know: honesty, courage of one's convictions, all that stuff.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:41 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


But the belief in God is the belief in something that transcends science altogether. The belief in God is the belief in a force that exists within and more importantly outside of the Universe.

Science is the observation of the physical world of the known Universe. The belief in God is not contained within that scientific world by its very conception, therefore should not be contained by its deductive reasoning.

Science does not attempt to explain and describe what took place before the Big Bang, there is no observable evidence to even explore that idea. Yet, what scientist is saying that nothing existed prior to that point? Science can't explore that idea for the same reason it can't explore the idea of God (not in its entirety at least).

It's like proving scientifically nothing happens after we die. People make that assertion because the body dies at death, but that is not proof of anything except that bodies die, anything more is belief under a scientific guise.

It's perfectly fine to disregard anything that can't be scrutinized by science. All I am saying is that this belief can't be scrutinized with a model that is supposedly transcends to begin with.

[edit on 2-10-2008 by Lucid Lunacy]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:44 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


So then what is your position on Agnosticism in general?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 

You postulate an entity that is 'outside the universe'. Such an entity, by definition, cannot interact with the universe. Therefore it might as well not exist.

But that's not most people's idea of God. The God they believe in can and does intervene in the material world. 'He' is supposed to have observable and measurable impacts upon it. Thus he falls well within the purview of science.

Funny how schrodingers dog's very general question is turning into yet another religion v. science/faith v. atheism debate.

You asked what my position on agnosticism is. It is the same as my position on comfortable mediocrity: it's fairly harmless but rather ignoble, and it doesn't really get you anywhere, does it?

As you can see, 'brothers and sisters, can't we just get along?'* just doesn't do it for me.
 


*Those who recognize the source of this quotation will recall that it didn't work on that occasion either.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:18 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Well I said, within and outside.

And by that reasoning, yes that would imply the ability to scientifically observe it to whatever extent.

I am personally what some call a Panentheist. Actually more accurately a 'Deist', as my belief didn't form from a specific bible or doctrine. But I believe in a 'God', for lack of a better word, that is the known Universe and is not. A force that contains the Universe, but also exists outside of it. My signature resonates my belief.

As for this forces observable manifestations in this scientific world, which by my belief, there would be some to observe; what would constitute as evidence for me? For you? If you see my sig, I think you can infer which parts of the scientific world I live in I would view as evidence of God



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:27 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Agnosticism to me seems like the Independent Party of God.

Sometimes they are undecided, sometimes they just don't want to decide.

Either way, I like seeing conviction and exploration on these ideas. As long as the "I don't know" mentality isn't a roadblock to further investigation then I think it's a perfectly fine position to have (or not have).



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 11:00 AM
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Pertinent points made from most here,


Being an aetheist, I like to have evidence when taking a stance on a matter.

There are obviously things which cannot be known for 100% certainty, however, through observation, testing and review most can be 'proven' one way or another.

I take these proofs to be something which is 'known' instead of something which is possibly not true.

It seems to me that most observable behaviour in the universe and on our planet 'proves' constantly that a God does not exist. I take that as a known fact and live my life by it. I have no problems with other people's faith when it does not hinder the progression of all life for the better.

So in conclusion, I disagree with the OP's point - I think being able to say 'I don't know' can be useful in terms of healthy debate, but when it comes to developing concrete new inventions/ cures/ technology/ ideas etc, one needs to have foundations of proven method. One has to be sure that they are not going to float off the world because Gravity decided to invert.

This doesn't mean that I am not open to new ideas or things being disproved. I just like to have a solid positon when i make my choice, which ususally rest with the most likely.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
The only thing that I would add for consideration, is that there is another universe beyond the five senses. But as you said, it also must be experienced to be "known".


But how is experience more accurate than logic? Your experiences are defined by your brain. Most (if not all) abductions are due to SP, for example. The 'feeling' of God can be attributed to a psychological effect. If you tell your brain something long enough then you will have experiences. The feeling of being watched, monsters under the bed, paranoia - we know the power of the mind to create vivid feelings and experiences. So to me, personal experiences are less trustworthy than logic. Pure logic with no bias rarely (if ever) fails.

Again, I don't believe anyone should claim to know the absolute truth.
However, I'm as sure that God does not exist as I am that pink fairies are not the cause of gravity.
So in effect, I'm 99.99% sure that God does not exist just as I'm 99.99% sure that my eyes are not made out of jelly - for the simple reason that there is no evidence to state otherwise.
Moreover, there are logical conclusions which point to there being no God as well as logical conclusions which point to my eyes not being made out of jelly.

So why should I not state these logical conclusions which I've come to?

Even if no one listens, arguing will only strengthen our arguments in the end and also make us take a closer look at our own beliefs.

How is that a bad thing?


If someone claimed in all seriousness that they believed the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, then I'm sure you would (if they were your friend or if you cared to get involved) try to convince them otherwise using logic, would you not?
Or would you just look at them and say "I don't know"?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 

You asked what my position on agnosticism is. It is the same as my position on comfortable mediocrity: it's fairly harmless but rather ignoble, and it doesn't really get you anywhere, does it?


And there in lies the issue I point out in the OP.

Atheists just like theists, have strict positions based on limited knowledge of everything spiritual and scientific, and still choose to set their views upon this shaky premise.

That is precisely why they lie on opposite sides side of the same coin.
Even semantically they are the same coin and defined by their relativity to each other.

Thus on this thread both sides have no trouble attacking and mischaracterizing agnostics.

The reason is simple. Though agnostics share atheists' questioning of deity, they do not have the arrogance to exclude it from the universe. Agnosticism is not a default position. It is a considered one. We acknowledge and observe that both science and faith are extremely limited in their understanding of the universe. More importantly we leave the door open to any possibility.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
But how is experience more accurate than logic?


I will answer this question though it is slightly peripheral to this debate.

Example:

One can postulate all they want about how they would react or how they would act if they were a soldier having to kill an enemy whilst at war. But until one is faced with that situation, the truth is that they simply "don't know."



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by TruthParadox
But how is experience more accurate than logic?


I will answer this question though it is slightly peripheral to this debate.

Example:

One can postulate all they want about how they would react or how they would act if they were a soldier having to kill an enemy whilst at war. But until one is faced with that situation, the truth is that they simply "don't know."


Apples and oranges

You're talking about experience of a physical situation.

I'm talking about experience on something which can not be physically proven or verified.

Should an abductee trust their experience even given the fact that their experience mirrors the effects of sleep paralaysis?

Also, I'm curious what your answer to my question would be:


If someone claimed in all seriousness that they believed the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists, then I'm sure you would (if they were your friend or if you cared to get involved) try to convince them otherwise using logic, would you not?
Or would you just look at them and say "I don't know"?


If you choose the first, then you would be the same as me.
If you choose the second then you would be the most inconclusive person I've met.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


and now I glow...



Many of us hold that truth is absolute, even if it is not humanly knowable in totality, and that to the extent it is knowable, it must and shall prevail over error, be its triumph injurious to some, or even to all.


speaking for myself - and possibly by accident for others - I fervently and constantly wish that truth were absolute

it would make thinking so much easier

but what I actually believe (which should be obvious by now) is that truth is flexible and relative

an enormous sea of grey - and I'm not a good swimmer

I am envious of anyone that experiences certainty - however or wherever that person finds it

it seems like it might be a vacation I'll never get to enjoy

so, my identity isn't glued together so much by a belief in any kind of truth as intellectual and philosophical promiscuity - which I use as a stand in for now

but - I try to be honest and sincere - in my promiscuity - if such a thing is possible

this is exactly why it's so easy for me to say "I don't know" :-)



I cannot, of course, know that 'my' truths are in fact true, but they are very much so to me, and I feel some slight duty to help establish them in place of what I deem to be false. It isn't an overwhelming compulsion or an inescapable obligation, but it's there and it's part of what makes life worth living for a person of conscience.


I like that part very much



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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Btw, none of this ever was much of an issue before Christians introduced ID and the pseudo science behind it as a part of their faith. This was totally unnecessary, devalued their commitment to their faith, and instantly created a new breed of atheists whom in the past never gave them a second thought.

I mean how many threads can one find on ATS pitting atheists against Jews, Muslims, or those of any other faith?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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Even without their pseudo-scientific "theories," the idea the Universe was intelligently created by a deity definitely ventures into the territory of scientists, and is thus subject to the same scrutiny as any other idea.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I think you are misunderstanding what I mean when I say "I don't know."
I am not saying I know nothing. In fact I am learning all the time. So if someone comes to me with your spaghetti example I do apply reason and knowledge to either accept or reject their statement. The only thing I am saying is that we should always acknowledge and be mindful of our limited knowledge of both the physical and spiritual universe. So yes, I use reason and indeed knowledge in everything I approach, but I also retain the humility to concede that there is much more that I don't know. Thus no certainties limit my observation of the universe and the door is always open for new knowledge, without the filter of having that information having to match en existing position.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Atheists just like theists, have strict positions based on limited knowledge of everything spiritual and scientific, and still choose to set their views upon this shaky premise.


But it's not a shaky premise.
My atheist perspective is simple.
I have no reason to believe in God and more than a few to not believe in God therefor I do not believe in God.

Do you believe that pink fairies roam the forests?

I'm sure you're answer would be the same as mine.

You have no reason to believe in pink faries therefor you do not believe in pink fairies.

It's not that there's a 0% chance that God exists, it's just that there's absolutely no reason for me to believe that there is more than a 0% chance that God exists. There's a very fine line there, and most people miss it.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog
The reason is simple. Though agnostics share atheists' questioning of deity, they do not have the arrogance to exclude it from the universe.


It's not that I'm excluding a deity from the Universe. I'm no more excluding a deity than I am pink butterflies on mars.
It's simply that I don't believe and have no reason to believe.
Moreover, I have reason to believe that the God described in the Bible can not be god, because of the inconsistencies and contradictions which I can't ignore.


You seem to think that atheists claim that they 100% know that God does not exist. That's not true. Some may, but the majority of atheists I see do not.



Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] It is also[3] defined more broadly as synonymous with any form of nontheism, including the simple absence of belief in deities.


Read the bold.
'including the simple absence of belief in deities'

That's me - and there is no arrogance in my absence of belief for which I have no reason to believe.





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