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

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posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
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.


I absolutely 100% agree with what you just said. I've said many times that we should all keep our egos in check in order to recieve the truth when it becomes available to us.

But you also said this:



Neither side is going to convince the other.
No one has added any new information on these topics in centuries.


Which made me think that you were saying that we should not argue or present the logical reasons why we believe what we believe.
This is what I disagree with, because I think it's essential that we do argue using logic and reason even if we are not going to convince anyone.

I think you and I pretty much agree on all this, we just have a different perspective.




posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


Well imho you bolded the wrong part of the definition.
No matter what follows, the fact is that "atheist" is an explicit position.
It's in the word. [a]without [theos]god.
Let's use the dictionary instead of wikipedia:

2 a: a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity

Merriam Webster
So pink fairies notwithstanding, atheism is the []explicit rejection of the existence of God. And imo that sort of certainty when armed with limited knowledge within what is merely a reactionary a reactionary position of negation, is arrogant.

edit: darn it, you posted while I was writing this post. If I had known we agreed I would have left it at that. Now, I just started something. Oh well.

In any case, I think our disagreement is more a semantic one than anything else.






[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Let's use the dictionary instead of wikipedia:

2 a: a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity

Merriam Webster
So pink fairies notwithstanding, atheism is the []explicit rejection of the existence of God. And imo that sort of certainty when armed with limited knowledge within what is merely a reactionary a reactionary position of negation, is arrogant.


But you seem to be misinterpreting the definition.
I'll use an example.
It says: a disbelief in the existence of deity.

Do you have a disbelief in the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
I'm sure you do, yet that doesn't mean you claim to 'know' that there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster, just that you don't believe it.
Belief and know are two different words.
It never says an atheist claims to know that there is no god, just that we believe that there is no God.
Just like I believe that the moon is not made of cheese.
How the heck would I know? I've never been there, and I don't claim to know, however I still believe that the moon is not made of cheese.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
It never says an atheist claims to know that there is no god, just that we believe that there is no God.


I think you hit the nail on the head here.
You my friend are one of the few who grasp this distinction.
If you go back to the OP, I refer to the the endless repetition within the way too numerous creationist(id)/evolution threads, where the vast majority of the posters come from the arrogant attitude of absolute and unshakable knowledge.

You have really just identified the reason for this thread.
To encourage and point to the attitude which you embrace in yourself.





[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by TruthParadox
It never says an atheist claims to know that there is no god, just that we believe that there is no God.


I think you hit the nail on the head here.
You my friend are one of the few who grasp this distinction.


But you yourself don't seem to grasp the distinction, because you have said several times on this thread that atheists claim to know and are arrogant unlike agnostics.

This simply isn't true.
It's not the only misunderstanding of what atheism is though.
I hear this crap all the time:
Atheism is a religion - Wrong. It's a lack of one.
Atheism requires faith - Wrong. Atheism is a LACK of faith
Atheists don't look at the evidence - Wrong. We base our decisions ON the evidence as well as the LACK of evidence.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 




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.


well, I didn't - but now, unfortunately, I have to think about it (see above)



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.


that is subtle - but it makes sense in a way that other explanations don't

I don't have any problem understanding the atheist point of view - it makes perfect sense to me

it could easily be my point of view if it weren't for a couple of things that get in the way - and I wish I could conceive of a way explain that those "couple of things" were empirically determined - but in the end it would come down to you just having to take my word for it

so - that leads to exactly nowhere

so many times, the declaration - or explanation of atheism ends up sounding pretty much the same as belief - or faith

and I'm one of those that is pretty quick to point that out

but only when that explanation doesn't go any further than saying there's no belief in god - it's that word believe - very annoying

I like your explanation

none of this answers the OPs question - except that it goes towards the idea of certainty - and how hard it is to let go of that even in a discussion where the unknown is agreed upon



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
Atheism requires faith - Wrong. Atheism is a LACK of faith


Ah, but you can't have it both ways.
You said earlier that you don't claim to "know" that there is no God but that you "believe" that there is no God. If you are going to attach yourself to that part of the definition then you ARE the other side of the coin of those who "believe" that there is a God.

The fact remains that someone had to come up with the concept of God first for another to establish a contrarian position of "oh no there isn't." And that's all that atheism is, notwithstanding that validity of the atheist argument, it is one set by another party without which the very notion of atheism is moot.

Agnosticism, is an independent view of the universe, with no ties and not defined to anyone else's position.

edit: Agnosticism btw, and this is no small point, also allows for consideration and exploration for the numerous interpretations of the word "god" as opposed to atheism which only speaks and is limited to one narrow conceptualized definition of god set by another party.





[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
But how is experience more accurate than logic?


I would add to Schrodinger's Dog's comment because logic says nothing about truth or falsity.

Logical really refers to the form, or that the conclusion is logically derivable from the premises.

www.eng.auburn.edu...

Example of a valid argument that is untrue;


# The syllogism is the basic form of logical reasoning:
Valid but untrue --
Major premise: Dogs are brown.
Minor premise: Rover is a dog.
Conclusion: Rover is brown.


One can also devise a totally valid argument, (in terms of logic) about a thing that has no existence outside of the word made up for the argument. The logic says nothing about the truth of the thing itself, only that the form of the argument was logically consistent.

All Unicorns are white.
Rover is a unicorn.
Rover is white.

Well, guess what? There is no problem with the logic there at all, but there are no unicorns. Simply outlining the argument logically did not effect their existence.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 02:39 PM
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The first step to knowing and knowledge is admitting to yourself that you do not know.

Very simple, very easy to do, and very effective in getting to the point of saying...I know now.

Cheers!!!



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Not only that, but logic is limited to the amount of information one has within the bounds of the perceived "known." As long as this limitation is acknowledged logic is a useful tool.

This goes directly to the point in the OP.

ps. What RFBurns said.




[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by TruthParadox
Atheism requires faith - Wrong. Atheism is a LACK of faith


Ah, but you can't have it both ways.
You said earlier that you don't claim to "know" that there is no God but that you "believe" that there is no God. If you are going to attach yourself to that part of the definition then you ARE the other side of the coin of those who "believe" that there is a God.


That's not true. I believe there is no God, but this requires no faith on my part.
I base my belief on evidence and not faith
There's no reason for me to believe in God so faith is not required either way.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog
The fact remains that someone had to come up with the concept of God first for another to establish a contrarian position of "oh no there isn't."


That's not true. Atheism is the default belief if you do NOT believe in God. So atheism came first. It's like saying someone had to invent clothes in order for someone to be naked.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

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


One can also devise a totally valid argument, (in terms of logic) about a thing that has no existence outside of the word made up for the argument. The logic says nothing about the truth of the thing itself, only that the form of the argument was logically consistent.

All Unicorns are white.
Rover is a unicorn.
Rover is white.

Well, guess what? There is no problem with the logic there at all, but there are no unicorns. Simply outlining the argument logically did not effect their existence.


So the problem is not with the logic but with the knowledge. However, I'm refering to logic BASED on knowledge.
Example:
God is omnipotent
God is having a struggle with Satan

I have the information to determine through logic that both can not be correct.

But I still believe that logic is a stronger bases for belief than spiritual experiences because there can be no way of knowing the source.
Psychology, God, aliens?
At this point, it's more speculation than anything else.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by TruthParadox
That's not true. I believe there is no God, but this requires no faith on my part.
I base my belief on evidence and not faith


Really? What evidence do you have that God does NOT exist?
You can only repudiate someone else's evidence that God exists.
Evidence, as I have said before, that they shouldn't attempt to provide in the first place.
Either way your position is inextricably tied to theirs by its contrarian nature.


That's not true. Atheism is the default belief if you do NOT believe in God. So atheism came first. It's like saying someone had to invent clothes in order for someone to be naked.


That is just plain ridiculous. One cannot take a position negating something that doesn't exist. They just are, without a position against a non existent concept. It would be like you saying you don't believe in "fleebles".

What are "fleebles?"
Exactly!





[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog

Originally posted by TruthParadox
That's not true. I believe there is no God, but this requires no faith on my part.
I base my belief on evidence and not faith


Really? What evidence do you have that God does NOT exist?
You can only repudiate someone else's evidence that God exists.
Evidence, as I have said before, that they shouldn't attempt to provide in the first place.
Either way your position is inextricably tied to theirs by its contrarian nature.


Read what I said again:
I base my belief on evidence and not faith.
Is there any evidence for God?
No.
So there you have my belief.
I never said there is evidence against God, just that there is as much evidence FOR God as there is the jolly green giant.
I don't have faith that the jolly green giant never existed, I just simply have no reason to believe that he existed so I don't believe. Simple.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog

That's not true. Atheism is the default belief if you do NOT believe in God. So atheism came first. It's like saying someone had to invent clothes in order for someone to be naked.


That is just plain ridiculous. One cannot take a position negating something that doesn't exist. They just are, without a position against a non existent concept.


Athiest simply means a lack of a belief in a deity.
This is our natural state when we are born.
We are all born as athiests (or perhaps agnostics), because when we are born we do NOT believe in a deity. It is added to us later, just like clothes, which was why I used that as an example.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog
It would be like you saying you don't believe in "fleebles".

What are "fleebles?"
Exactly!


But I don't believe in 'fleebles' even though I don't know what they are, because I have no reason to believe in them.
That was my point.

I may not even know that I don't believe in them until their existence is in question or until I have heard of them, but it doesn't change the fact that I don't believe/can't believe in something I've never heard of.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


At the risk of going against my OP and risk further repeating myself:
You're right!
You're not one bit contrarian.
Obviously nothing exists in the universe without someone else having to prove it to you first. All you have to do is sit there and wait to knock them down.
That is some way to accumulate knowledge.






[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
At the risk of going against my OP and risk further repeating myself:
You're right!
You're not one bit contrarian.



Yep.


Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Obviously nothing exists in the universe without someone else having to prove it to you first. All you have to do is sit there and wait to knock them down.
That is some way to accumulate knowledge.


I never said nothing exists without someone else proving it to me, just that I don't believe in something without evidence or without knowledge.
To do so would be foolish.
Why promote foolish actions?

Belief is not 0% or 100%.

It's anywhere from 0.0000001% - 99.9999999% (at least with me).

God - no evidence; no reason to believe - 0.0000001% (really no reason for that except for the simple fact that it's possible to be possible)
Evolution - evidence, logic, reason to believe - 99%

Things aren't black or white, but shades of gray.



[edit on 2-10-2008 by TruthParadox]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 05:05 PM
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I think someone should definitely ask James Randi that question.

I am serious.
It would be fun - in an embarrassing/pitying sort of way - to see him trip over that one.
(Because an ego greater than one's intelligence, and fears greater than one's light, invariably do that to people: they make them trip over the "simplest" of questions.)

As for me, that is one of the few questions I actually DO know the answer to.

But I am sure many, including yourself, have been and will be answering it much more eloquently than I could do today.

I haven't read the thread yet; and the reason is somewhat baffling to me: when I first read the title, I thought it was one of my own early threads. That's because your title is one of my own favourite questions.
I even wrote a little piece about it precisely in relation to teaching and textbooks about the natural sciences.

So, come to think of it, the flag and the star are, in fact, self-congratulatory on my part.

(But what else could you expect from someone with a screen name like mine...? ;-))


*******

P.S. Totally off-topic, and I apologise profusely - but that pup in your avatar is a cutie to DIE for...








[edit on 2-10-2008 by Vanitas]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


I too accept evolution as a valid scientific premise.

www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

In fact I am fascinated by all things scientific.

I used to get baited into id/evolution debates, but I have "learned" better.
So now I see science and spirituality are mostly unrelated, or if you will. different elements of the whole. I'm not talking just about christianity by the way.

But then again I tend to have a non-dual approach to the universe, so it's not really in my nature to observe in a conceptually "relative" context, if that makes sense.




[edit on 10/2/2008 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 05:51 PM
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Originally posted by SamuraiDrifter
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.


The territory of scientists is limited by it's very nature to nature. The Known Universe Post-Big-Bang. That's not an issue, that's not a problem, that's just the way it is. Science does not address what created the Universe, science addresses the Universe as it is Post-Big-Bang. What came before that point?



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by Lucid Lunacy
 


Even scientists it seems have their flock.
Like our atheist friend TruthParadox who perhaps is also a scientismist.:


Reviewing the references to scientism in the works of contemporary scholars, Gregory R. Peterson[10] detects two main broad themes:

1. it is used to criticize a totalizing view of science as if it were capable of describing all reality and knowledge, or as if it were the only true way to acquire knowledge about reality and the nature of things;

2. it is used to denote a border-crossing violation in which the theories and methods of one (scientific) discipline are inappropriately applied to another (scientific or non-scientific) discipline and its domain. Examples of this second usage is to label as scientism the attempts to claim science as the only or primary source of human values (a traditional domain of ethics), or as the source of meaning and purpose (a traditional domain of religion and related worldviews).







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