Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 08:15 pm
Frank,
Evidence against god/s?
Precisely the same as my evidence against the existence of the FSM

As to context, what precisely is it, context wise, that makes abrahamic mythiopia more probably than the FSM?

A one word answer such as 'context' hardly serves to illustrate your position, nor to sate my curiosity.

Quote:

So what, exactly, is the probability (or likelihood) of there being no gods associated with REALITY...and what, exactly, is the probability of there being a God or gods????

As 'gods' are by all indications created by men, to serve a very specific psychological function (explaining the unknown, alleviating apprehension caused by the knowledge of eventual death) the probability of their existence is next to nil. Exactly the same as the FSM.

Again, don't get me wrong. As I know from exposure to your posts, you define atheist differently than myself, so let me be clear; I am not purporting to know the nature of reality. I do assert that we can learn, and are learning about such every day, and further I do assert that nothing thusfar lends credibility to the notion of gods or the supernatural. In fact, the more we learn, it would seem, the less use we have for such ideas.
Knowledge tends to push 'gods' further and further back into the cosmos.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 08:26 pm
It's not evidence against there being any god(s), it's evidence that no god is instrumental in the creation of the Universe and Earth. There is exactly zero evidence that any entity presides over the Universe and least of all the grain of sand called Earth. So it's only a matter of making up one's mind as to what is important in their life. If they have the need to have faith and believe in a higher entitity, and it is making them happy, so be it. To proclaim that it is the answer for everyone else is too uncomfortably in control freak territory and not very becoming to that individual.

If the Universe is an intelligence onto itself but this kind of intelligence bears no resemblance to what we can measure, we can only surmise what it is.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 08:47 pm
The onions stand chopped and ready...



ok, the original post -
quoting bvp

"I have been reading through quite a few threads and notice many atheists here, now my question is quite straight forward, which one of the above is most of yous ? and why? "

Osso -
Well, just to clarify for bvp (sorry if I have the initials wrong, but I'll probably lose my reply if I go back to check), we post on a forum with a large membership, with some members who keep up more or less over time, and a pretty constant supply of newbies. The number of us who think one way or the other will vary depending on who of us see the thread and has time to answer. Then there is the matter of time itself.. as people do occasionally change opinions. So, you can't trust the results re who happens to answer, re all the people who are signed up on this website.


"surely an Atheist with a bible, is an agnostic as they are are seeking some sort of higher truth ?"
This sentence threw me for a loop. Most atheists and agnostics don't carry a bible. Some here who are atheists or agnostics know the bible very well. They tend to have other interests than carrying it around.
If you found an atheist carrying a bible, it might be that he or she is teaching a course in the bible as literature.

Your apprehension of atheists as potentially seeking a higher truth shows me that you don't understand atheism in any way. I don't think most agnostics spend their time seeking higher truth in religion either, though many remain open to new spiritual experiences. I can't speak to this well personally, re seeking higher truth.


"or are most atheist minds finally made up, which means they will not accept any sort of afterlife truth no matter how presented ?"

Well, yeah. Thus the word.



" or are you an atheist towards modern religion"
What do you mean?


"Personally I am an agnostic, I believe there is a possible higher being, and why not ?"
Okay, fine for you. (not a problem for me that you think this.)




"(But if thats not one preached my modern religion then that makes me an atheists) but who it is is another question, is there just one God, I doubt that!!"

You don't think there may be a god based on an older model? You think there may be a bunch of gods based on a newer construct?



"but anyway science one day will provide an answer"
really? why do you say that?



"but at the moment literal religious students who try and prove made up garbage written thousands of years ago while ignoring other book written at the same time will only slow the process, and science only fact only take us steps backwards, Quantum physics proves that, so if this is true then maybe most Atheists are agnostic (Seekers of truth).... "

This is unclear to me, can you explain better?


"Well I hope I can get some good answers on this"

Perhaps the last sentence about quantum physics presents a question we can engage on --- but I'm no help on that.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 08:50 pm
osso
That's a sensible post. It would be nice if the thread could focus on that sort of give and take.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 09:16 pm
EB, I am a little mixed in that I follow the religion and spirituality threads because the subject once interested me greatly, and - I never really learned how to argue as well as some here can. Indeed, I wasn't raised to argue. Even now, I am pretty much fine with whatever anyone thinks, as long as it doesn't impinge on me, and there's the catch.

So, in my way, I sort of pretend I am each poster, whether they agree with me or not. And looking at them as me, try to figure where the skip-a-loop happens. Fairly primitive thinking, I know.



I'll add that I don't really get the seeming yawning abyss on a2k among those who are atheistic and those who are agnostic. Seems a false set up to me. Not that there are differences, but I don't get the hostility.

I don't get the hostility re any of the points of view on religion, except for the primary one of Don't Put Your Foot On Me.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 09:31 pm
BDV wrote:

Agnostic - I am quite well aware of the term and greek translation, but it does not remove from itself the meaning which many modern people use it for, if there is a better word for Agnostic, then tell me but as far as i can see it wouldn't matter as you would find some literal way to rip it apart.


BDV wrote:
I wish I could have a conversation without the bitching about the def of a word . . .


BDV wrote:
. . . as a newbie to the site I was expecting this in a way, but when people choose to ignore parts of your statement and then scrutinize your definitions of a word, then it becomes hard to listen too . . .


I, for one, didn't know that many modern people use the word 'agnostic' to mean 'a seeker after truth.' If you want to get into a discussion about these things, it is best not to assume that other people know the special definitions of words that you ascribe to them. I think the vast majority of people go by the definition that is found in the dictionary, 'not knowing.'

You shouldn't get all worked up with people wanting to clarify what you are saying. That is being close minded. What's so bad about clarity?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 09:33 pm
This missed a word -
Not that there are differences, but I don't get the hostility.


Meant to say 'not that there are not differences....'
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 02:13 am
edgarblythe wrote:
What are these "fears" you ascribe to those with whom you disagree, Frank? I've searched high and low and have yet to catch a glimmer of just one.


Yup. It is obvious that yours are deeply hidden from you.

Keep working at it...and you may finally get to see them.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 02:37 am
Doktor S wrote:
Frank,
Evidence against god/s?
Precisely the same as my evidence against the existence of the FSM



Which is to say that "the evidence" against the existence of gods does not exist.

I agree.

So why assert it?

And if you are not asserting there are no gods...and that the answer to the question "Are there gods" is "I do not know"...why do you call yourself an atheist when the word "agnostic" is more appropriate?


Quote:

As to context, what precisely is it, context wise, that makes abrahamic mythiopia more probably than the FSM?


The context is a discussion between an agnostic and an atheist...which damn near always reduces to some absurdity about purple CPA's working on a moon of Saturn; flying spaghetti monsters; or such.

It is obvious to me that you just made that stuff up as a debating tool...so I do not give it much credence.

But I do not know the nature of REALITY...and it is both possible that there are gods...or that there are no gods.


Quote:

A one word answer such as 'context' hardly serves to illustrate your position, nor to sate my curiosity.


If you had thought about it more...it might have.


Quote:


Quote:

So what, exactly, is the probability (or likelihood) of there being no gods associated with REALITY...and what, exactly, is the probability of there being a God or gods????

As 'gods' are by all indications created by men, to serve a very specific psychological function (explaining the unknown, alleviating apprehension caused by the knowledge of eventual death) the probability of their existence is next to nil. Exactly the same as the FSM.


Oh please.

The FSM or the CPAONAMOS...is nonsense made up by atheists in an attempt to explain why they will not assert their agnosticism realistically...and has absolutely nothing whatever to do with serving any higher psychological functions. To assert they are exactly the same is absurd and illogical.

And there seems to be no way you could possibly know that ALL GODS were created by men...no matter how apparent that may seem to both of us, Doc. WE DO NOT KNOW...although I agree with you that IT SEEMS that is the way things went.


Quote:

Again, don't get me wrong.


I'm not!

Quote:
As I know from exposure to your posts, you define atheist differently than myself, so let me be clear; I am not purporting to know the nature of reality.


Well Edgar is an atheist...and he certainly claims to know the nature of reality. Edgar KNOWS there are no gods. Fact is...YOU KNOW all gods are inventions of men...so you may be protesting too much here in purporting not to know the nature of reality.


Quote:
I do assert that we can learn, and are learning about such every day, and further I do assert that nothing thusfar lends credibility to the notion of gods or the supernatural. In fact, the more we learn, it would seem, the less use we have for such ideas.
Knowledge tends to push 'gods' further and further back into the cosmos.


Of all the silliness...and unnecessarily insulting commentary on agnosticism coming from atheists...the one that supposes that agnostics are not concerned with "the truth" or with "looking for the truth" is the most egregious.

Fact is...if one is truly "searching for the truth" one should start from as truthful a place as possible. And in this instance...that would be to highlight above all else...that we do not know the nature of reality...and any guesses about whether there are gods or are no gods are merely pulled out of the air. Any assertion by atheists...whether of the stripe of Edgar or what you suppose yourself to be...that it is more likely or more probable that there are NO GODS than that there are gods...based on the evidence available to us...

...is already an affront to truth and the search for it.

If you want "truth" in this area....if you seek to seek for truth in this area...the only reasonable, logical, ethical place to start is from the position of the agnostic.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 04:49 am
I would say that frothing at the mouth over the subject (hint: that's you, Frank) betrays the real fear here.
0 Replies
 
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 05:50 am
It is almost refreshing to see the atheists and agnostics duking it out without involving Christians. Smile
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 05:56 am
Intrepid wrote:
It is almost refreshing to see the atheists and agnostics duking it out without involving Christians. Smile



Shhhhhh!!!! Pass the popcorn!
0 Replies
 
BDV
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 07:44 am
Sorry it took me time to reply, my time zone is GMT and I had to get some sleep for work today. Anyway it took a while to read through the extra 4 pages of posts since last nite, and thakyou all for taking the time to discuss the subject.

First thing I have noticed is that some Atheists seem to believe the def of agnostic to be different than that of an agnostic, and possible some agnostics believe that some atheists maybe be actual agnostics.

In answer to another question posted previous to me, I believe all people have some form of atheism. I believe there are generally two different types, strong atheism and normal atheism. Most people in the world are normal atheists in the sense that they believe in their God but deny the existance of the thousands of others that have been worshipped through the ages, while strong atheists completely rule out the existance of a god/gods. I have checked the above in several dictionarys and reference books to try and get an acurate definition, and this seems to be the best.

In defining agnostic, I do believe it is quite commonly used to explain a person who has left the book open in reference to deities, and may not necessarily be searching for any sort of answer to the question, but if solid evidence was produced then they would happily change their view point either way. It does seem though that some people who are agnostic believe there is no way to prove or disprove a deities existance.

Surely one of the problems with this type of discussion is a lack of clear, unambiguous definitions for religious terms. What would be defined as your true discription and/or definition of the 2 words? maybe should have been the original question.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:04 am
Frank can only make an argument against my position by characterizing it in a manner which allows him to ridicule my position--however, his characterizations are inaccurate.

If one asserts that acknowledging what one does not know is a morally superior position, the logical next step is to inquire what can, and what cannot be known. If one asserts that it cannot be known if there is a deity or not, i certainly will not quibble with that. I will point out, however, that if one is wedded to the notion of "keeping an open mind," then one cannot do so without stipulating at what point knowing ends and speculation begins. If one asserts that it is possible that a deity exists, then i ask if one asserts that devils and angels also might exist. If so, then does one assert that fairies, brownies, pixies and sprites also might exist. If one is willing to proceed to such lengths in "keeping an open mind," one is on a logical road to knowing nothing at all, because one perforce admits to all possibilities, no matter how absurd.

I have at no time stated that agnosticism is bullshit. I do assert that it has logical flaws, and cannot claim any "moral" superiority, can claim no superiority of courage or understanding, without addressing those flaws. If one is not going to "keep an open mind" about any assertions of that which is supernatural, if one is going to abandon superstition and theology, and therefore avoid the question of the existence of fairies, brownies, pixies and sprites, and of devils and angels, one is still confronted with questions of what may be known when appeals are made to constructs which do not derive from naturalism.

Animists will assert that all discrete entities of the cosmos, animate and inanimate, have spirits, and partake of the nature of god. To accept such a contention may be an example of "keeping an open mind," but it is also an example of opening the door to superstition because it acknowledges no limits to possibility of supernaturalism, and prevents an insistence on naturalistic explanations of cause and effect. One must abandon the concept of celestial mechanics, for example, in the face of a contention that a star has gone "supernova" because it willed itself to explode, or its will to remain discrete and contained failed.

The further one stipulates limitations to what can be known and how it can be known, the more of superstition and of theology must be discarded in a consideration of cosmology. Eventually, every agnostic of any appreciable intelligence with whom i have discussed these issues will reach a point at which they stipulate that the supernatural might only apply to the question of whether or not there is a deity, whether or not a deity is possible. I don't deny that a deity is possible--i do deny that a deity is probable, and for logical reasons.

Logic bids me to seek the most plausible and simple explanation for cause and effect. Therefore, and as i cannot reasonably be expected to acquire all human knowledge, i accede to the expertise of speicalists in scientific inquiry, and stipulate naturalistic explanations for cause and effect. A naturalistic explanation may not always be available, due to the limitations of human knowledge--that is no good reason to appeal to, or accept an appeal to the supernatural. That which is supernatural cannot be demonstrated or tested, and therefore has no pragmatic relation to the world which i inhabit.

One is then inevitably lead to the subject of first cause. If one stipulates naturalistic explanations for everything up to, but not necessarily including the existence of the cosmos itself--which i do--then the issue of agnosticism resolves itself into the question of whether or not there were a deity, which deity functions as first cause. That is to say, the cosmos is a creation of that deity. However, i would then ask who or what had created the deity. One then has either an infinite regression of creators of creators, or one is obliged to stipulate that the deity is eternal. At that latter point, i would invoke entia non sunt multiplicanda--causes are not to be multiplied--and state that the simplest plausible explanation is that the cosmos itself is eternal. There is no logical need to imagine a deity as first cause.

To the extent that i know of no good reason to assume a deity as first cause, i am functionally atheist--without god. I do not assert that there can be no deity, only that it is improbable, and logically unnecessary.

Anyone who cares to argue against my proposition is, of course, free to do so. Making up wild and false claims about my proposition does not, however, constitute an argument against the proposition--it is only an exercise in constructing strawmen.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:42 am
Setanta wrote:
Frank can only make an argument against my position by characterizing it in a manner which allows him to ridicule my position--however, his characterizations are inaccurate.

If one asserts that acknowledging what one does not know is a morally superior position, the logical next step is to inquire what can, and what cannot be known. If one asserts that it cannot be known if there is a deity or not, i certainly will not quibble with that. I will point out, however, that if one is wedded to the notion of "keeping an open mind," then one cannot do so without stipulating at what point knowing ends and speculation begins. If one asserts that it is possible that a deity exists, then i ask if one asserts that devils and angels also might exist. If so, then does one assert that fairies, brownies, pixies and sprites also might exist. If one is willing to proceed to such lengths in "keeping an open mind," one is on a logical road to knowing nothing at all, because one perforce admits to all possibilities, no matter how absurd.

I have at no time stated that agnosticism is bullshit. I do assert that it has logical flaws, and cannot claim any "moral" superiority, can claim no superiority of courage or understanding, without addressing those flaws. If one is not going to "keep an open mind" about any assertions of that which is supernatural, if one is going to abandon superstition and theology, and therefore avoid the question of the existence of fairies, brownies, pixies and sprites, and of devils and angels, one is still confronted with questions of what may be known when appeals are made to constructs which do not derive from naturalism.

Animists will assert that all discrete entities of the cosmos, animate and inanimate, have spirits, and partake of the nature of god. To accept such a contention may be an example of "keeping an open mind," but it is also an example of opening the door to superstition because it acknowledges no limits to possibility of supernaturalism, and prevents an insistence on naturalistic explanations of cause and effect. One must abandon the concept of celestial mechanics, for example, in the face of a contention that a star has gone "supernova" because it willed itself to explode, or its will to remain discrete and contained failed.

The further one stipulates limitations to what can be known and how it can be known, the more of superstition and of theology must be discarded in a consideration of cosmology. Eventually, every agnostic of any appreciable intelligence with whom i have discussed these issues will reach a point at which they stipulate that the supernatural might only apply to the question of whether or not there is a deity, whether or not a deity is possible. I don't deny that a deity is possible--i do deny that a deity is probable, and for logical reasons.

Logic bids me to seek the most plausible and simple explanation for cause and effect. Therefore, and as i cannot reasonably be expected to acquire all human knowledge, i accede to the expertise of speicalists in scientific inquiry, and stipulate naturalistic explanations for cause and effect. A naturalistic explanation may not always be available, due to the limitations of human knowledge--that is no good reason to appeal to, or accept an appeal to the supernatural. That which is supernatural cannot be demonstrated or tested, and therefore has no pragmatic relation to the world which i inhabit.

One is then inevitably lead to the subject of first cause. If one stipulates naturalistic explanations for everything up to, but not necessarily including the existence of the cosmos itself--which i do--then the issue of agnosticism resolves itself into the question of whether or not there were a deity, which deity functions as first cause. That is to say, the cosmos is a creation of that deity. However, i would then ask who or what had created the deity. One then has either an infinite regression of creators of creators, or one is obliged to stipulate that the deity is eternal. At that latter point, i would invoke entia non sunt multiplicanda--causes are not to be multiplied--and state that the simplest plausible explanation is that the cosmos itself is eternal. There is no logical need to imagine a deity as first cause.

To the extent that i know of no good reason to assume a deity as first cause, i am functionally atheist--without god. I do not assert that there can be no deity, only that it is improbable, and logically unnecessary.

Anyone who cares to argue against my proposition is, of course, free to do so. Making up wild and false claims about my proposition does not, however, constitute an argument against the proposition--it is only an exercise in constructing strawmen.



[yawn]
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:46 am
A sterling example of your ability to offer a cogent argument against anyone whose thesis differs from yours.
0 Replies
 
xingu
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:47 am
bm
0 Replies
 
BDV
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:51 am
Setanta wrote:
I do not assert that there can be no deity, only that it is improbable, and logically unnecessary.


Does that not make you an Agnostic ?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:53 am
BDV wrote:
Setanta wrote:
I do not assert that there can be no deity, only that it is improbable, and logically unnecessary.


Does that not make you an Agnostic ?


Only referentially--functionally, that makes me an atheist, because i proceed from an assumption that there are no gods.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jun, 2006 08:55 am
ossobuco wrote:
. . . So, in my way, I sort of pretend I am each poster, whether they agree with me or not. And looking at them as me, try to figure where the skip-a-loop happens. Fairly primitive thinking, I know. . .
Skip-a-loop. What a fine word. Quite easy to understand even for those who never heard it.

I'd like to borrow it from time to time, if you wouldn't mind.
0 Replies
 
 

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