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Are atheists being more illogical than agnostics?

 
 
catbeasy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 18 Sep, 2016 12:02 pm
@skania,
I think I'm with you. I like the term 'Effective Atheist'..

To me this means that, although I can hold out the possibility of something else existing that is either beyond our comprehension or amenable to apprehension, but clearly superior to us, I do not do anything with that thought, unless you count discussion as 'doing something'!

So, effectively, I am an atheist. But theoretically, an agnostic. Which, by the way, I think, logically speaking, all rational minded self-proclaimed atheists must be. I emphasize logical for precisely the reason that logically, there could be something else. To deny this is irrational, leaning over to the side of 'belief' powered by 'faith'.

I think many atheists don't like to concede this point because they think it concedes too much on the side of the Christian God's existence because, well, this is how many Christians (ab)use it. I get that, but I've learned how to respond and I just don't care..
catbeasy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 18 Sep, 2016 12:26 pm
@skania,
Quote:
Bertrand Russell's 'chicken' thought experiment

This is Hume's idea in parable form..
0 Replies
 
skania
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Sep, 2016 01:26 pm
@catbeasy,
catbeasy,

Yes, your post makes a lot of sense to me.

Confession - I'll admit to teasing atheists a little, on the lines of your last point. I compare atheists and theists positively, which is understandably unwelcome.

Hume - Thanks for reminding me. It's a long time since Uni. A fellow student once said "Induction is the skeleton in Hume's closet". Of course, if there is to be a philosophy (empiricism) founded on experience, then induction is central, both as a principle and a problem. Thing is, deduction is solid but not much use in life, but induction is practical and perhaps crucially flawed. What a pickle!

S.
catbeasy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 18 Sep, 2016 02:26 pm
@skania,
Quote:
then induction is central, both as a principle and a problem

Yeah, that's why I favour a heuristic approach. It has an analog in statistical versus 'atomistic' knowledge but admittedly not fun at parties or trying to pick up a woman, but it does give a logical base for what we can call knowledge.

It's just qualified knowledge and if folks can't live with that, its understandable. Its rough having to admit that maybe God isn't my co-pilot or angels aren't watching over me or my children or that fairies don't trim my roses..

Our boy Russell, as much a scientist as you could get, cops to this and accepts the limitations of our knowledge. However, we can still talk probabilities and likelihoods for much of what people want to metaphysically claim..
skania
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 02:00 am
@catbeasy,
catbeasy,

I'm pretty much with you again. What we call 'induction' is just getting on with
the way things are for us at the time. Its not a matter of choice.

There is a thing these days about climate change. While I'm not one of the 'God is our thermostat' right wingers, I'll accept that there is a problem with climate science. Whilst the greenhouse theory is probably correct, we don't know if there isn't something else going on that is off our radar? That's where the probabilities approach has a hole in it, but IMHO we do better in practice to quietly ignore it.

Everything in philosophy (outside of formal logic) is about uncertainty. As Neech said, staring into the abyss for too long will invite madness (clumsy paraphrase).

But, there are some folks who actually get off on uncertainty, and I am one of them. If the God thing were settled for sure, I would be disappointed either way! Like Magikthighs in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I demand the right to carry on being unsure. LOL

S.

PS - How do you quote on this forum and are there any smileys?

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 03:06 am
@skania,
This is a naïve position in that there are many atheists who do not assert that there is no god, but simply state that they don't believe it. Theists also include those who don't assert that there is a god, but just that they believe there is a god. However, among those who claim to be theists, the proportion of those stating categorically that there is a god is much higher than those among atheists who categorically state that there is no god. It is worth noting that a large proportion of those who report being a religious person, or who report a religious affiliation also report that they do not believe in a personal god, and some even that they don't believe in any description of god. I highly recommend reading at Religious Tolerance-dot-org on the topic of so-called "atheism." It's easy to come up with smug, pat answers if one ignores nuance.
Smileyrius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 05:04 am
@Setanta,
This is an unfortunate impact of peoples overall ignorance. We pigeonhole people according to type, we attach labels and beliefs from our preconceived stereotypes. Every denomination of Christianity for instance has it's own set of core beliefs, every individual has an opinion on those core beliefs, and speculative understandings that puts each person into his own bracket.

It is arrogance on our part to believe that a mans label defines every aspect of his belief system.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 05:10 am
The reason i recommend Religious Tolerance-dot-org to people is that they try to get past those cookie cutter stereotypes and give as much detail on beliefs, confessions, denominations, sects, cults, etc.--as they are able to provide. They constantly update their information based on polling results. too.
Smileyrius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 05:15 am
@Setanta,
Thanks for that Set, I'll add that to my bookmarks list, a very useful tool
0 Replies
 
catbeasy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 10:48 am
@skania,
I agree that not everything is known about Climate Change. However, this is not religious dogma. It is worth understanding because it deals in, at least, ostensibly, potentially knowable things. I don't see any difference here between someone telling me that my house is flooding, but they are not sure why. As a practical matter I would be predisposed to checking out the cause..as difficult and recalcitrant as finding out that cause might be..

Speaking of CC, I love to read older books on science and whatnot. I recently read a book written in 1967 on the state of Soviet and US relations. In that book, there is a detailed accounting of CC. I think, and I think you might agree, part of the problem of this issue with CC, is our lack of perspective and all the mudslinging. I think it changes the conversation a bit when people know that this phenomenon has been recognized since at least 1967 (and I'm sure before that). Those who loudly deny CC do the science a disservice. There is far too much politics involved. And go figure why. Many politicians are just plain ignorant, some are excessively money hungry. There is much more intere$t on the part of denial than of not..though I cannot speak for any given individual..

The irony is that, just like with social services, there is money to be made (and is being made) with making our planet more sustainable and so more livable. We change only slowly. At least from an individual view. Social-Human time does not pass in unit years, it passes in generations.

In any case, I'm not a geologist or physical geographist (I just play one on TV), but I think that at the least there is sufficient evidence/cause to understand what's going on, alarmist calls non withstanding. I find it beautiful that it also dovetails with our stated desire to make our energy more consonant with human and by association, general planetary living..

Quote:
I demand the right to carry on being unsure

Wish Granted

Sincerely,
Heisenberg,
Hume

p.s. check here for quoting..otherwise see the icons above your text editor box..Quote is one of them, copy/paste your quote between the starting quote and end tags..below link gives more advanced stuff..
http://learn-bbcode.blogspot.com/2007/09/how-to-quote-messages-of-other-posters.html
skania
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 01:41 pm
@Setanta,
setanta,

You raise an interesting and inviting question. I once heard someone say, in response to a point in discussion - "I am not saying that you are lying, I just don't believe you."

The above seems to fit neatly with your view about "many atheists".

If I hear an atheist say that they do not believe there is a God, but are not asserting that there is no God, I might respond with ' I am not saying that you are lying, I just don't believe you.' OTOH I would probably recommend they go into politics.

S.

catbeasy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 01:47 pm
@skania,
Quote:
I just don't believe you..exist either

fixed it for you..
0 Replies
 
skania
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 02:01 pm
@catbeasy,
Quote:
I agree that not everything is known about Climate Change. However, this is not religious dogma.


catbeasy,

Found the editor. Thanks.

Yes, you are right on the above. I made the mistake of offering a CC thread digression, as interesting as it is. Discussion for another time?

Sliding back to induction. The principle is relevant here in so far as it deals with the presently unknown, and so of interest to the agnostic. There is nothing in induction to disallow the possibility of religious dogma turning out as fact (q the entry of flying teapots and invisible elves). Personally I would be very surprised and, as mentioned, not happy if theist God turned up just as some theists describe, expect and even predict. Let's hope we don't have to face that day.

S.
catbeasy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 04:53 pm
@skania,
Quote:
There is nothing in induction to disallow the possibility of religious dogma turning out as fact (q the entry of flying teapots and invisible elves).

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Though to the consternation of fundamentally religious folks when I make this point, I always add that while it is certainly possible for your (whack!) God to be real, I believe that there is a greater chance that I am savior..that usually quiets them down a bit..hopefully from thoughtful reflection of what that really means/implies about their knowledge..!

And yes, the CC stuff is interesting and yes, probably best left for another thread..!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Sep, 2016 05:34 pm
@skania,
So, you really don't know anything about atheists, huh? Look up strong or explicit atheists, and weak or implicit atheists. These are well established terms. I really don't need your snide, inferential insults, either, which apparently you dole out to those who don't immediately agree with your point of view.
0 Replies
 
 

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