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Agnoticism: The truthful standpoint on God

 
 
duce
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 06:04 pm
Individual wrote:
Keep in mind that your own existence isn't even a fact.


Take out a needle and prick your finger, or better yet someone else's.

The fact that I can inflict pain on another and observe it, it proof enough for me. If you need more proof go back to step one only this time take a hammer...
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 06:23 pm
I am not here to stop anyone from being religious and am not disrespecting anyone, merely stating an atheist point of view.
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Ray
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 06:41 pm
Individual, it is hard to 'prove' that I exist to you ( you don't know how many times my friend asked me that question when I was talking about philosophy ), but I can not deny that I do exist or else there is no point in me thinking of anything at all. I know that you exist from my senses and rational analysis. I know that my last sentence will invoke more questions about how do I 'know', but let me just say that I know to the best of my ability and from my reason, I know it 'phenomenally' maybe is what I should say.
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Individual
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 07:55 pm
Exactly, you "know" that you exist.

If I can't see you right now, how do I know that you're there. Were I to have never come in contact with you, for all intents and purposes, you don't exist to me.

Now place god into this scenario. He is much more abstract than you are to me. I can neither see him, touch him, taste him, or talk to him on internet forums. So, does he exist?

You cannot and will not ever prove that God exists unless he comes down here to tell us all. Contrarily, because there is nothing to base any test on, you cannot prove that he doesn't exist.

Where do we stand now? On one side of the problem, we have intimate believers in that thing that they can't see but that everyone else has told them is there. On the other, there are realists who think logically and won't believe in anything that they cannot interact with.

As for me, I'll challenge anyone and tell them that they're wrong...
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 09:21 pm
Individual wrote:
On one side of the problem, we have intimate believers in that thing that they can't see but that everyone else has told them is there. On the other, there are realists who think logically and won't believe in anything that they cannot interact with.

I suspect there are a lot of things you believe in, but cannot interact with. How about a neutron? Ever spotted one underneath a microscope?

You believe the people that tell you they exist, though.

Because you have faith.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 09:34 pm
Put God under a microscope for us.
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WhoodaThunk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 09:47 pm
I've never known a humble atheist/agnostic. That's sad. They huff and puff, establish their own parameters, and demand answers. Really sad. How will they ever find what they seek when they are too proud to ask and listen? It's that simple. Drop the agenda ... ask and listen.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 10:12 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Put God under a microscope for us.

I have no problem with Atheism or atheists. It was the claim that Atheism is rational that bothered me.

Atheism's a leap of faith; it is not based on evidence.

You may claim that it is based on lack of evidence, but that turns it into agnosticism, doesn't it?
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Ray
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2005 11:58 pm
Quote:
As for me, I'll challenge anyone and tell them that they're wrong...


Umm... are you an agnostic? :wink:

Quote:
I've never known a humble atheist/agnostic. That's sad. They huff and puff, establish their own parameters, and demand answers. Really sad. How will they ever find what they seek when they are too proud to ask and listen? It's that simple. Drop the agenda ... ask and listen.


was that directed at me? Hey, I might believe in God(not the God of the Old Testament since the whole book is pretty disturbing) but I assert that it is a 'belief' and not a knowledge of mine.

Quote:
suspect there are a lot of things you believe in, but cannot interact with. How about a neutron? Ever spotted one underneath a microscope?

You believe the people that tell you they exist, though.


That's a good point. We're told of electrons and stuffs but have never actually seen it. Then again, it does work, and that's what physics is, a description of how the universe works.
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Individual
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 01:13 am
DrewDad, I never said whether or not I believed in neutrons. However, I do. Because, unlike god, the existence of a neutron is not a theory.

Also, why isn't lack of tangible evidence a solid point for determining if something exists? Are there really pink elephants in the room simply because you can't test to prove that they aren't there?

WhoodaThunk, please don't stoop so low to placing all atheists and agnostics into the same category. As for atheists having to "ask and listen," what exactly should we ask about?

Ray, I was just trying to tell you that no matter what you believe in, I'll challenge you to consider different ideas.
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binnyboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 02:53 am
Quote:
Are there really pink elephants in the room simply because you can't test to prove that they aren't there?

There could be.
A way for it to be so is contrivably possible. So there could be. Be careful not to confuse pretty sure with completely sure.
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Individual
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 03:04 am
Alright, enlighten me. How could there be hummer sized mammals in a confined area without being able to be detected by any instrument?
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binnyboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 03:58 am
That's not what you said, but let's assume it is. Furthermore, the particulars are different, such as "hummer sized". But we will assume this, too.

Newsflash: there is a country in the world that you don't know about. It is on a continent in the pacific ocean. Every account of it has been deleted and maps and satellite images are altered by the super hackers and spies that live there. It just so happens that these people have developed elephant cloaking technology that is beyond my comprehension, and which I dare not try to explain here, as I would fail miserably, being completely unaware of how it works.
Highly unlikely.
We can be pretty sure that's not the case.
But pretty sure is not completely sure.
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WhoodaThunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 09:02 am
Quote:
was that directed at me? Hey, I might believe in God(not the God of the Old Testament since the whole book is pretty disturbing) but I assert that it is a 'belief' and not a knowledge of mine.


No, Ray. My comments are not directed at anyone on this thread. Actually, I'm not interested in any sort of recruiting or converting of atheists/agnostics. By and large, they are an intelligent lot -- usually well-versed in all religions, not just Christianity -- and they have made the decision to reject what has been offered to them.

I've seen this rejection explained in various ways, but inevitably it amounts to nothing more than the individual choosing to end his/her spiritual journey. They've established their own criteria for quantifying God, have assumed the roles of judge and jury, and have passed judgment on the cosmos.

Sorry if I offend, but when a little blob of calcium and H2O assumes such a role of self-importance ... then yes ... I do believe that is the height of arrogance.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 09:12 am
The height of arrogance is inventing something like a god and then imposing it on the unwilling.
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WhoodaThunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 09:46 am
Individual wrote:
WhoodaThunk, please don't stoop so low to placing all atheists and agnostics into the same category. As for atheists having to "ask and listen," what exactly should we ask about?


Individual: Sorry for stooping. I suppose you have a valid point there, but my experience has been that agnostics/atheists are the antithesis to the Bible-banging, doorbell-ringing evangelicals. Many are near-rabid in their disdain for theists -- scoffing at their ignorance, dismissing faith as superstition, writing voluminous letters-to-the-editor, etc.

I sometimes wonder if they are capable of comprehending "faith" ... if they're capable of dropping their defenses, becoming vulnerable ... and I also wonder whether their beliefs are nothing more than a misguided effort to hurt a God who they perceive as having hurt them ... a God who gave their child cancer, who allowed a tsunami to occur, who killed their mother in an auto accident, who allows priests to molest little boys, etc. Only they ... and God ... truly know the condition of their hearts, and I seriously doubt any will openly bear their souls in an internet chatroom. And why should they?

But I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about the different "categories" of non-believers.

You said, "What exactly should we ask about?" Probably not pink elephants and neutrons. C'mon. You know the answer to your own question. Do you really believe that life is nothing more than eating, pooping, buying, and selling?
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WhoodaThunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 09:50 am
edgarblythe wrote:
The height of arrogance is inventing something like a god and then imposing it on the unwilling.


Edgar: Unless you're referring to The Crusades or placing a manger scene on the town square, I guess I don't understand what you're saying.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 09:54 am
Fair enough.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 10:52 am
In the absence of conventional evidence it seems to me that "truth" is "what works". Theists are saying "God works" for them, but atheists have no such requirement. As for "agnostics", they seem to be waiting for "evidence" even though they seem to have no idea what form it might take. I therefore conclude that such a position is vacuous.
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Individual
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2005 02:35 pm
BinnyBoy, If I had no knowledge of a country, and I could not see any of its elephants (I'll give you this scenario because it's as likely as mine), then I would not believe anybody who told me that it was there. Would you, beyond apprehension or doubt?

Do you understand how silly it sounds (to an atheist) to believe in some being that has always been and always will be, who can never be perceived, never touched, but can hear everything that you think no matter where you are? But most of all, how unlikely it is that this being, were it to exist, coincided with your exact idea of what it is?

And yet, you don't care about reason, or the fact that it sounds silly, but you believe that he's there anyway...What you're referring to, sounds to me like what I know to be true: that my mother will always be there to scorn me for screwing up. Very Happy
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