2
   

Agnosticism: To believe or NOT to believe...

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 05:52 am
The word "cannot" in that context is totally inappropriate--in the opinion of Frank Apisa.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 07:27 am
Terry wrote:
If you asked me what football team I belonged to and I said that I don't play football, would you still insist on pigeonholing me as a football team member and make up an imaginary team to assign me to?


No, I would think that you didn't play football. If I followed up with the question "Do you watch football?" "Do you know what football is?" "If the answer is no to both of those, I woould assume you know nothing about football and would hold any opinion you have on football as inconsequential.

Quote:
We are interested spectators but see no reason to choose one team over any other. We simply do not have a religious belief system, nor do we see any need for one. Why is that so hard for you to understand?


I have never said that it is a "religious" belief system, merely a belief system that allows one to have an opinion on God.
0 Replies
 
Terry
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 09:08 am
InfraBlue wrote:
An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven, for example, but rather holds that one cannot know for certain if they exist or not.

... Also, taking this definition further in regard to god(s), an agnostic cannot say that one cannot know for certain if god(s) exist or not, because an agnostic doesn't know either which way. In regard to god(s), the agnostic simply and utterly does not know.


Setanta wrote:
The word "cannot" in that context is totally inappropriate--in the opinion of Frank Apisa.


I agree wtih Frank. Agnostics CAN know that we don't know. And we can guess, based on everything else we know, that no one else really knows, either. :wink:

But as we both said, certain knowledge is certainly possible - IF the God in question chooses to reveal itself unambiguously.
0 Replies
 
abeltoask
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 10:06 am
Hello everyone,

I've been listening for awhile and would like to comment. (excuse me if I don't follow your exact format. I'll catch on.
The quote: An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven, for example, but rather holds that one cannot know for certain if they exist or not.
Lets change a few words.
An agnostic does not deny the existence of God and heaven, for example, but rather holds that he or she does not know at the present time for certain if they exist or not.
Here in lies the difference: subjective reality as opposed to objective reality. As an agnostic, I am not certain of anything. Not just the existence of God , but something as simple as will gravity prevail one moment from now.
Got to go.Have a nice day all .

I
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 10:48 am
Terry,

You can *know* that you do not know. But you still *believe* that it is appropriate to remain in the "not knowing" column given the available information.

Contrast this with the fact that atheists *believe* that there is enough information to draw a conclusion and you see that there is an underlying belief of sorts.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 10:51 am
Terry, my point was simply that Frank had contended the dictionary to which he had referred was wrong, and i was pointing out that it is wrong, in his opinion.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:06 am
Is there belief involved when one says,

"About god(s), I am agnostic"?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:10 am
InfraBlue wrote:
Is there belief involved when one says,

"About god(s), I am agnostic"?


When the agnostic asserts that there is not enough information to come to a conclusion other than that, yes.

That is a judgement call. We never have certainty, we usually make a judgement call to operate without it.

The judgement call that agnosticism is the only sound conclusion to the available information is a belief. Just as the athesit believes that there is sufficuent information to draw a different conclusion.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:13 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
Is there belief involved when one says,

"About god(s), I am agnostic"?


When the agnostic asserts that there is not enough information to come to a conclusion other than that, yes.

That is a judgement call. We never have certainty, we usually make a judgement call to operate without it.

The judgement call that agnosticism is the only sound conclusion to the available information is a belief. Just as the athesit believes that there is sufficuent information to draw a different conclusion.


It's because you wrote a dictionary isn't it...

Why does it sound better when you say it?
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:13 am
Instead of using the ambigous term "agnostic," replace it with the synonym "ignorant."

About god(s), I am ignorant.

Is there belief involved in that statement?
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:14 am
InfraBlue wrote:
Instead of using the ambigous term "agnostic," replace it with the synonym "ignorant."

About god(s), I am ignorant.

Is there belief involved in that statement?


Ignorant does not have the same meaning as agnostic does. You change the meaning when you change the words.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:16 am
McGentrix wrote:

It's because you wrote a dictionary isn't it...

Why does it sound better when you say it?


Huh?

InfraBlue wrote:
Instead of using the ambigous term "agnostic," replace it with the synonym "ignorant."

About god(s), I am ignorant.

Is there belief involved in that statement?


Sure, there is an implied belief that the available information is not sufficient to draw a conclusion other than that one.

I don't get why this is a stickling point, belief is pretty common.

e.g. I believe I will live to see tomorrow.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 11:16 am
I believe i will have a baloney sammich . . .
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 12:21 pm
McG,
I am operating on a definition based on the etymology of the word "agnostic" - without knowledge.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 12:22 pm
Craven,
You are making an inference, "an implied belief that the available information is not sufficient to draw a conclusion other than that one," from that statement that is not necessary.

In the statement, "About god(s), I am ignorant," one isn't saying that the available information is not sufficient, one is stating that one is ignorant of the available information.

Is it belief to say, "I am ignorant of the information available to draw a conclusion"?

This is a stickling point because I want to be sure about how we are using these words, and I've got time to kill discussing petty points.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 12:42 pm
InfraBlue wrote:
Craven,
You are making an inference, "an implied belief that the available information is not sufficient to draw a conclusion other than that one," from that statement that is not necessary.


Correct, I am making an inference. As to what is and what is not necessary that is subjective and also a matter of belief.

I have yet to meet anyone who claims to be an agnostic merely out of ignorance. All the agnostics I know also assert that this is a preferrable position given the currently available information.

So in my personal experience the agnostics both claim they do not know as well as claim they should not know (given the available information).

Quote:
In the statement, "About god(s), I am ignorant," one isn't saying that the available information is not sufficient, one is stating that one is ignorant of the available information.


One could be doing either. And like I said, I have never met an agnostic simply claiming that they are ignorant. All the ones I have encountered claim that they are ignorant *because* the available information to them does not support a conclusion.

Quote:
Is it belief to say, "I am ignorant of the information available to draw a conclusion"?


If we get into splitting philosophical hairs, definitely. Some can argue that we know nothing (including our ignorance) and that all is belief.

But I won't go there. What I will say is that even then the individual believes that the information they currently have (regardless of what they do not have) indicates a certain conclusion.

Different individuals can come to different conclusions with the same amount of information. This is why it's subjective and can result in different beliefs.

To give an example, Frank says that the information available to him does not lean one way or the other and as such he believes agnosticism is the most sound course.

I think that the information available to Frank should point to atheism. I *believe* that this conclusion is sound.

With pretty much the exact same information, we believe different conclusions are the best.

Now even if you try to make it a total void of information there is differing beliefs on what consitutes relevant information at all.

For example one person could see human nature as evidence of no god, another could see it as evidence for a god, and another could see it as irrelevant information altogether.

So even if someone says they are ignorant of any such evidence it's possible that this belief comes into question. The belief that certain items are evidence to one way, or the other, or not evidence at all.

I think agnostics are rejecting the "belief" label because of the stigma associated with specific beliefs. Thing is, we all believe something, Setanta believes he will have a sammich.

So I see no harm in them ceding a belief, this does not rquate them to believers of any type.

For example, a comparsion between a man who believes he is alive and a man who believes he is Napoleon is not fair.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 01:02 pm
Craven,
points taken.
0 Replies
 
Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 01:52 pm
What if an agnostic states God is stupid, God is cruel. Doesn't that leave the listener to have the opinion that the agnostic is leaning to a side of credibility of God that they claim they do not know exists.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 01:54 pm
Wouldn't any opinion on God at all do the same?
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2004 02:09 pm
Ruach wrote:
What if an agnostic states God is stupid, God is cruel. Doesn't that leave the listener to have the opinion that the agnostic is leaning to a side of credibility of God that they claim they do not know exists.


Ruach,

Examine your own very un-Christian comments about Frank and quit your crusade against him here. I for one am absolutely sick of it. And back when I was a Christian I would have been sick of your vengeful use and invocation of God for your petty message board spat.

If Frank thinks the Biblical god is stupid and cruel that is his prerogative, I think the Biblical god is stupid and cruel as well. Many do.

We have as much of a right to our opinions as you do to think that we'll burn in hell for ours.

If you disagree with his opinion feel free to express it. But quit pestering the Moderators for one. Their job is not to defend your god against any negative opinion.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

700 Inconsistencies in the Bible - Discussion by onevoice
Why do we deliberately fool ourselves? - Discussion by coincidence
Spirituality - Question by Miller
Oneness vs. Trinity - Discussion by Arella Mae
give you chills - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence for Evolution! - Discussion by Bartikus
Evidence of God! - Discussion by Bartikus
One World Order?! - Discussion by Bartikus
God loves us all....!? - Discussion by Bartikus
The Preambles to Our States - Discussion by Charli
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 12/07/2022 at 08:21:35