Craven de Kere wrote:
Well Frank, I really do think we are using incompatible definitions. When you speak of "basic truth" I can't help but think we see these things differently.
I see "truths" as largely subject to the belief of the person asserting it. Certainty is not possible.
But this is tangential, I've avoided charactering your "guess" about gods' existence as a "belief".
What I've been unsucessful in communicating to you is the following:
Criteria for evidence is subjective. We can look at the same evidence and disagree on its worth.
When you say you don't know of any evidence to support the conclusion that there are no gods and ask me to provide it, I suspect that you know we are dealing with the same evidence and that I'd not be presenting you with anything new to you.
And this is, to me, the key difference between our opinions. We have drawn different conclusions based on the available information.
Actually -- (and I have mentioned this to you several time already) -- other than "There is no evidence that there is a God" -- you have NEVER provided me with ANY evidence to substantiate a guess that there are no gods.
I do not know what you are basing this guess on.
And if all you have got is "There is no evidence that there is no God" -- I definitely do consider that to be VERY inadequate as the basis for a guess of "There are no gods."
As I said in a previous thread: There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is any life anywhere else in this universe -- but that would be laughed at if offered as evidence that there IS NO LIFE anywhere else in the universe.
Now I've never seen you characterize your claim that the available information is insufficient to draw a conclusion other than agnosticism as a guess. I've never even seen it stated as your opinion.
Agnosticism is not a guess. It is a statement of fact -- an acknowledgement that someone simply does not know the answer to a question -- and does not see enough evidence upon which to base a meaningful guess on the question.
It is not a guess -- and it is not a belief.
Is this a guess on your part or do you assert its veracity?
And because our evaluation of the available information is based on subjective criteria how do you qualify our positions?
I am not judging your decision to base whatever guess you want to on the evidence as you see it. I am asking -- often begging - you to share the evidence so that I can assess it also.
What evidence other than the fact that there seems to be precious little unambiguous evidence FOR the existence of a God...can you share?
Here's the formula for what I am asking.
1) Do you believe/guess/think.. that the information available has agnosticism as the only intellectually sound conclusion?
I am certainly of the opinion that the evidence I see available FOR the existence of a GOD -- is not nearly sufficient to make a reasonable guess that there is a GOD.
I am certainly of the opinion that the evidence I see available that THERE ARE NO GODS -- is not nearly sufficient to make a reasonable guess that there are no gods.
And I know that I do not know if there is a GOD or that there are no gods.
So...the only available, reasonable, logical course of action for me is to acknowledge all that.
That is what an agnostic does. I am an agnostic. It is the only reasonable, logical, ethical, honest course available to me.
2) If so, is that a guess? A belief? A "truth"?
There is absolutely no guessing or believing involved here at all. I do not understand why you cannot see that.
If you object to the word truth -- I will withdraw it.
I will call it an acknowledgement.
3) If it is merely a guess then this is moot. I sincerely do not recall you ever stating it as a guess.
If it is a "truth" I'll note that I think that asserting a "truth" is a declaration of a belief and that if we differ on this proceeding with the logomachy is not going to be productive.