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Old 2008-06-03, 05:21   Link #881
oompa loompa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
I will make a claim that a Flying Spaghetti monster exists. You can not disapprove it does, therefore the belief they do must hold just as much water as the opposite one.


Me ? I am a firm believer in the fact that anyone can believe in what they want to believe (as long as it doesn't bring harm or inconvenience to those around you), and one isn't requested to write up an essay to justify it. Everyone is free to believe in what they want, and no justification is needed. But i often find myself having problems with the arguments that try to justify one specific position, rather than the position itself.

southpark eh? i loved that episode, or episodes so to speak cos it continues in the next one ..

i firmly agree with this as well. also, having gone through several of these arguments, people find that they begin going in circles. if i have to put it in some way, faith, (thats just the word im using now) is disconnected with science, i say 'science', meaning looking at it from a purely rational point of view. also, ive found that delving too deep in the subject leads to different questions, which are much more personal in nature, and arnt entirely pleasant to try and answer. my own personal experience of course, im not trying to discourage the development of the thread
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Old 2008-06-03, 07:41   Link #882
Xrayz0r
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I don't see why you have to assume anything about God. And this comes from someone who does assume something about it. And who therefore isn't an Agnostic.

Seriously, "is it raining?" is a question you have to answer if you're a weatherman or a peasant. Or if you're going out and wonder whether you should take an umbrella. But in what circumstance is there a pressing need to give a definite answer to "Does god exist?"?


You're right in that none of us truly know whether God exists. But that doesn't make us all Agnostics.
I'm making the point that just because you've declared yourself agnostic, ignorantly, you don't have to pick a side. Declaring yourself agnostic is simply running away from the argument, and being ignorant of facts. So either call yourself an apatheist, or pick a side.

"I'm agnostic", to me, sounds like you're a complete idiot. (no offense to you, just in general)
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Old 2008-06-03, 07:54   Link #883
Anh_Minh
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What facts? Newsflash: you don't always have to pick a side. It is, in fact, more ignorant to pick a side for no good reason than it is to refuse to pick one.
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Old 2008-06-03, 08:52   Link #884
Slice of Life
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That discussion again ...

In 50 years from now the EUR/USD exchange rate will either higher or lower than the current one of about 1.55:1.

When you ask a sensible economist about his belief in this matter he will probably answer that he has none. His refusal to "pick a side" as Xrayz0r puts it however doesn't make him "ignorant" or even "a complete idiot" in things economic, let alone in general. In fact, if he deserves the title "economist" he knows more about economics than any religious leader about "the other side".

When you ask an economist about the exchange rate in about one year from now he probably will have an opinion about it. He won't however let his life revolve around his opinion on this matter, found or join a community based on this opinion, sing songs about it, feel offended if somebody declares his opinion for clearly wrong, demand the government to refrain from forming their own opinion, etcpp. And finally being proven right or wrong won't be a life-shattering experience for him. Because simply forming an opinion about something doesn't constitute a religion.

I'm no economist but I have an opinion about the exchange rate in June 2009. I also have an opinion about the existence of gods. Neither make me religious.
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Old 2008-06-03, 10:38   Link #885
Xrayz0r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What facts? Newsflash: you don't always have to pick a side. It is, in fact, more ignorant to pick a side for no good reason than it is to refuse to pick one.
Ooh, fancy. The newsflash trick.

I guess it's gonna backfire. Religion is defined as belief, and so is atheism. Newsflash: people don't make choices what to believe, it happens regardless. Even if you wish to stay in the middle, there's no third option because either you do at some point believe there's a god, or you don't. The fact that you don't know won't influence this, even the most religious people or hardcore atheists don't actually know, so they're just as agnostic as you are, whether they/you want to admit it or not.

Either you don't get what belief is defined as, or you think people can make conscious choices. They can't.
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Old 2008-06-03, 10:53   Link #886
oompa loompa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
I'm making the point that just because you've declared yourself agnostic, ignorantly, you don't have to pick a side. Declaring yourself agnostic is simply running away from the argument, and being ignorant of facts. So either call yourself an apatheist, or pick a side.

"I'm agnostic", to me, sounds like you're a complete idiot. (no offense to you, just in general)
i always thought of 'agnostic' more as a person who isnt religious - It doesnt matter much to an agnostic either way, they might hold on to some form of belief, but dont concretely follow any religion. i dont think that necessarily implies that theyre athiests, or believers.. i dont know on this one, if someone does know please clarify.

@Xrayz0r - well, according to what i define as agnostic, they arnt really running away from anything. They dont see the necessity in indulging in religious debates or discussions in the first place - you cant possibly say thats idiotic - you dont have to hold a firm position on everything. You are right however about the choice. im sure everyone at some point or the other has made a choice about religion ( it can change of course) at some point in their lives, or youd be very hard pressed to find someone who hasnt (whether or not its a conscious choice is a different story altogether )- cos like you said, either you believe, or you dont, which in itself is a belief. The only thing that varies is the intensity of the belief.
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Old 2008-06-03, 11:28   Link #887
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Originally Posted by oompa loompa View Post
i always thought of 'agnostic' more as a person who isnt religious - It doesnt matter much to an agnostic either way, they might hold on to some form of belief, but dont concretely follow any religion. i dont think that necessarily implies that theyre athiests, or believers.. i dont know on this one, if someone does know please clarify.
Well just put it this way. Are you a theist or are you not a theist?

"I'm agnostic" is no answer to the question, it is an evasion of such. So I'll repeat, are you a theist or are you not a theist? I'll have to keep repeating that until you get the point and give me an answer. That's what you'll be. Regardless, you can still be agnostic about it, but at least you've admitted one way or the other.
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Old 2008-06-03, 11:37   Link #888
oompa loompa
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Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
Well just put it this way. Are you a theist or are you not a theist?

"I'm agnostic" is no answer to the question, it is an evasion of such. So I'll repeat, are you a theist or are you not a theist? I'll have to keep repeating that until you get the point and give me an answer. That's what you'll be. Regardless, you can still be agnostic about it, but at least you've admitted one way or the other.
haha, well, like you said, you can still be agnostic about it.. maybe agnostic is better defined as an attitude?
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Old 2008-06-03, 12:11   Link #889
Xrayz0r
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Sure is.


Anyway... anything but atheism or deism is total nonsense. All of today's religions are just remains of the crap beliefs of uneducated people a couple thousand years ago.
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Old 2008-06-03, 12:32   Link #890
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
I will make a claim that a Flying Spaghetti monster exists. You can not disapprove it does, therefore the belief they do must hold just as much water as the opposite one.
On pure logical grounds, it's true. We don't have the evidences of the existence of His Noodliness, but we don't know everything, so the possibility that He and all His Sauciness is, in fact, there (and wouldn't you agree that it would be totally cool if that's so?). My point that I brought up can be used here as well, we don't *know* everything for sure but we must make a leap of faith to accept it. This just happens to be, in our perspectives, a bigger leap of faith than trusting in your senses or accepting that you and I exist would be.

Regardless, on realistic terms, I tend to agree with your line of reasoning. It's not fun to debate with a guy who says "I don't have proof that [object] exists, but you don't have proof to disprove it either, so we are on equal ground," in debates on most things except metaphysics -- the nature of reality -- which is where theology (and anti-theology, whatever one wants to call it) is squarely situated.

Evidences just don't count as much in metaphysical debates as they do in, say, scientific arguments or political ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r
Anyway... anything but atheism or deism is total nonsense. All of today's religions are just remains of the crap beliefs of uneducated people a couple thousand years ago.
And why does "deism" suddenly get a pass compare to, say, Catholicism?

As a matter of fact, why does atheism even get a pass as well.

As the religious would say, God works in mysterious ways. Maybe they have in fact figured out God's intention down to one's sexual preferences, and we just don't know it for sure. It's not likely from my perspective, but then I myself am a know-nothing.

I mean, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, my personal Bible () and a book which raised a storm in Catholic Portugal, portrayed God to be acting like a King of the Jews and dressed as a rich Jew...for the time that He was still the God of Jews. And I thought that was damn convincing in from its internal viewpoint.
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Old 2008-06-03, 13:19   Link #891
Xrayz0r
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And why does "deism" suddenly get a pass compare to, say, Catholicism?
How are they any similar?

Deism is malleable, Catholicism is rock f*n steady. New evidence comes in; when it fits in, it's endorsed, when it contradicts, it's either ignored or refuted (well, attempted to). That's why religion fails, it can't adapt.
I'm not a deist. I can't see how a universe would require a "mover" yet the mover doesn't, but I'd still not discount the idea because what makes sense to us I reckon is the result of an adaption to our own environment. That's the reason we came up with gods in the first place, we naturally seek purpose in things even if there is none. We've grown accustomed to that, and now it backfires.

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And I thought that was damn convincing in from its internal viewpoint.
Everything is convincing from its internal viewpoint. Put things into perspective, you'll notice how absurd they are.
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Old 2008-06-03, 14:25   Link #892
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Originally Posted by Skyfall View Post
If we consider it a valid one, then i can use it to justify just about anything i can conjure up, and everyone must accept it as valid simply because of lack of solid counter-proof.

I will make a claim that a Flying Spaghetti monsters exists. You can not disapprove it does, therefore the belief they do must hold just as much water as the opposite one.
This would be true, if we were saying that things were made valid because there is no way to prove otherwise. However, there is another option: to claim that it is baseless precisely because there is no proof. If you claim that the Flying Spaghetti monster exists but can't prove it, in my mind you have as much credibility as someone who says that they are 100% positive that it doesn't exist: that is, virtually none.

My approach to this type of thinking is that everything is a possibility. There are no absolutes, but certain statements or beliefs may be more or less likely than others. For example, the idea that fairies exist is very unlikely, given that the idea defies a lot of what we know and nobody has been able to provide conclusive evidence of their existence. It's practically impossible, if not entirely impossible, to completely rule out their existence, though. This is the idea that there is no absolute.

A lot of people like to take that idea and make ridiculous statements using it in an effort to make it seem foolish. Understand that we as humans generally accept absolutes. Whether it's built into us or whether it's a cultural value, I don't know. I don't spend my days and nights wondering whether I saw a fairy because I don't believe that they exist. I have accepted that they don't exist, but I understand that we do not know and understand everything, and thus there is always a chance that my beliefs are wrong. I must see solid proof that would convince me otherwise.

If I've stated myself clearly, then it should become evident why I claim that Athiests and Thiests are on equal ground. They have chosen absolute beliefs, whether it is that there is no God/higher power or that there is a God/higher power and what His/Her traits are like. Neither is backed by solid proof, but they have a firm belief. If the Athiests feel the same way about God as I do in the example that I gave about fairies, then I'd hesitate to call them Athiests as Agnostics might be a more fitting term. But if we were to argue over whether those types of people are Agnostics or Athiests... well, that's really more of an argument over semantics.

@Xrayz0r: I'm not sure why you turn this into a matter of sides and beliefs. The way you're speaking makes it sound like you despise Agnostics as being some group of people who don't want to take part in a war. Agnostics are people who have not made up their mind about whether God exists or not, or they have an idea but are open to either belief based on what evidence they hear.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:08   Link #893
Xrayz0r
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@Ledgem

I'm arguing that agnosticism is no alternative to being an atheist or a theist. I've grown tired of people answering "I'm agnostic" whenever I ask them what they believe. It's not an answer, it's an escape. I didn't ask them what they know, I asked them what they believe, and they don't seem to get the difference.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:17   Link #894
Vexx
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Faeries (for example, or demons, gremlins, gnomes, etc) are simply one way of modeling your experience in the world. The principle is simply one that all events and actions proceed from intent. Crops caught on fire? Must be fire-sprites.

These fell into disfavor as rational explanations with repeatable results arose (i.e. science). They are still invoked in a genial way (e.g. "ah, you've lost the blue smoke that made your appliance work"). I find them an entertaining way to label events and processes in the world. However, anything that has behavior that can be described in a non-chaotic mathematical fashion (and lacks what we might call free will) probably isn't sentient and certainly not a god or spirit.

Sky-gods (monotheistic or pantheonic) are another way of justifying the capricious nature of existence, especially the cruel parts. As we understand the larger pictures of how large-scale natural processes work - the tendency to invoke invisible creatures with intent recedes. Though there's nothing inherently evil about anthropomorphizing such things as long as you understand its just a bit of fun.

Something I find interesting is that the word 'agnostic' seems to cause people to automatically assume a Judeo-Christian-Islamic stance of some sort as if the question is "Is there a God of some J-C-I persuasion?" The universe might actually *be* manipulated by an anarchic infinity of little spirits with no over-lord.

An agnostic is one who recognizes you can't be entirely positive that any of these 'world models' are entirely correct. Another form of agnostic is simply one who doesn't care about the argument since it doesn't impact their day-to-day existence. What an agnostic who has thought about it sees is that there isn't any way to actually determine the correct answer. "belief" is irrational.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:20   Link #895
Anh_Minh
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Xrayzor: They believe they don't know, and possibly don't care. Apparently, it's a concept you can't quite grasp, but that's your problem and your limitation, not theirs.

I'd also like to note that the even in logic, it's not always one thing or its opposite (provided you use intuitionist logic).



Ledgem: how firm do you have to be, to be an Atheist rather than an Agnostic? My gut feeling tells me, quite clearly, that there is no god. My intellect tells me, quite clearly, that I don't really know and probably shouldn't care.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:22   Link #896
oompa loompa
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
. Another form of agnostic is simply one who doesn't care about the argument since it doesn't impact their day-to-day existence. .
This is exactly how i define it..

though i dont believe that people ' just dont know '. though logically i can imagine that to be true, though i find it hard to believe that this debate hasnt crossed a persons mind at SOME point of time. its not about whether theres a god or not, ill put it as just whether theres something else (vague i know). of course this can change, this can change so much that a person might not be sure in the end.. but i do find it hard to believe that people are just completely unsure. Thats different from ' they dont know' , well, because no one knows. i find it slightly pointless to go into the actual proof of religion, like i said before its a subject thats detached from the logical. no matter how detached from religion a person is , im pretty sure ( well then again.. this is from my rather limited personal experience ) that at some point the thoughts ' well.. maybe there really is a god ' , or ' now i know god really doesnt exist', or even a ' THANK YOU GOD!!' ( oh come on i know most of you must have done this at some point or the other XD ) crossed everyones ( well almost everyones.. minds). So to conclude, an agnostic really isnt sure either way, or they may believe in something, but just dont have the conviction or patience to argue about it ( as vexx said above, it has little to do with their everyday lives). thats not to say theyre clueless, or theyve never believed either, and that this entire debate has never crossed their minds.. i still do see it as more of an attitude towards religion.

i donno.. this is really just personal opinion, but as much as a person might claim he/she has no idea.. there must be something or the other they believe in on the matter right? or atleast believed in at some point of time? i know how narrow-minded this sounds ( i try NOT to make assumptions like this), but.. like i said,just personal opinion

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Old 2008-06-03, 15:43   Link #897
Xrayz0r
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Xrayzor: They believe they don't know, and possibly don't care. Apparently, it's a concept you can't quite grasp, but that's your problem and your limitation, not theirs.

I'd also like to note that the even in logic, it's not always one thing or its opposite (provided you use intuitionist logic).
Person A: "Do you believe a god exists, or don't you?"

Person B: "I'm agnostic, I dunno."

Person A: "K shut up, I didn't ask if you knew, I asked what you believe. So once again, do you believe God exists, yes or no?"

Person B: "I'm agnostic, and I just don't care okay."

Person A: "Okay so you're an agnostic apatheist. I didn't ask for that, I asked if you believe, whether you care or you don't, tell me what you believe."

Person B: "I believe I don't know."

Person A: "I didn't ask for that, dimwit. Do you BELIEVE a god exists?"


It's an endless chain. I think either our definitions for belief differ, or you think that agnosticism is a 3rd option one can take, which they can't. Not in this particular instance where I ask specifically what their belief is.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:46   Link #898
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayz0r View Post
Person A: "I didn't ask for that, dimwit. Do you BELIEVE a god exists?"
Person A is a clueless annoyance. Person B's answer, "I don't know, and I don't care," is, in fact, perfectly valid.

There.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:49   Link #899
WanderingKnight
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I'd also say that if Person A treats the rest of the world like that when s/he gets an answer that s/he doesn't understand, then s/he's going to have lots, lots of problems in his/her life.
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Old 2008-06-03, 15:58   Link #900
Anh_Minh
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Person B answered Person A's question the first time around. It's just that Person A lacks the vocabulary and/or maturity to understand it. "I don't know" is more accurate than "I don't believe", which covers several positions, from the simple "I don't know" to the more extreme "I believe there is no God".

They're different propositions. I guess Person B should have kept it to monosyllables. Or waited a few years to answer, hoping Person A could grow a brain stem.

Slapping Person A a few times to teach it manners might not have been a bad idea, either.
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