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Atheism has the same logical flaws as religion

 
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:27 am
I had this debate on another forum http://www.terminalpacketloss.com, but would like to bring it here.

I intend to prove that agnostic is the only logical religious viewpoint.
I'll start out with definitions from dictionary.com, you can refer to these definitions for debate.

a·the·ist
One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

the·ism   
Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

God
1.
a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.

2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
5. A very handsome man.
6. A powerful ruler or despot.



ag·nos·tic
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:30 am
Using some logic you should "know" absolutely nothing.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:35 am
I am an agnostic -- and I consider the agnostic position to be superior to the theistic or atheistic position.

I doubt seriously, though, that you will "prove"to agnosticism is "the only logical religious viewpoint."

I also disagree with the dictionary definition of agnosticism. -- or at least that part of it that reads: "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."

The use of the word "believes" in that context is unnecessary -- and illogical.

I KNOW I do not know if there is a God or if there are no gods. I do not KNOW if it is impossible to know whether there is a God or are not gods. And any guess I make in that regard (any belief I may have in that regard) is more closely akin to what theists and atheists do than with what agnosticism is all about.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:37 am
Frank pointed out a logical flaw in my response. Here is the corrected version:

Using some logic the only thing you can claim to "know" is that you don't know something.


There are workarounds to that claim that allow you to say that you can't even be sure of your ignorance but they are slightly weaker.
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:38 am
According to the # 2 definition for g-d,

"2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes... "

G-d can be supernatural. If g-d is supernatural, (I'll use "it" for the sake of simplicity) it is immaterial, not tangible to human senses.
However, this does not mean g-d does not exist. There is no real definition for what properties "god" would have. Would we know god if we saw it? What would it look, feel, smell like? There is no material defintion agreed upon for "god." This gives trouble to theists, who believe in the existance of g-d.

This also gives trouble to atheists, because lack of evidence does not = non-existance. Believing in the non-existance of g-d logically requires some evidence of the non-existance of g-d. And being that g-d by definition cannot be defined and can be supernatural (beyond the natural, material world, and thus beyond human senses), there is no material evidence pointing either way. Because of this, atheists are equally logically incorrect with theists.

Agnosticism is based on a lack of knowledge. Because this "god" is immaterial, there can logically be no material gathered on it with wich to argue.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:39 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
Using some logic you should "know" absolutely nothing.


I didn't say I "know." I simply intend to prove. My arguement is based on a lack of knowledge.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:41 am
Portal Star,

Using the same logic I can argue that you don't know what sex you are.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:42 am
you don't (know what sex I am).

But, because I belong to the material world, you or I could theoretically come over here and poke around and find out.

modified to say:
Whereas with g-d that is not an option, even theoretically it seems difficult. This is because if there is a g-d it is not in our senses-tangible realm.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 09:54 am
Frank Apisa wrote:

I doubt seriously, though, that you will "prove"to agnosticism is "the only logical religious viewpoint.

I hope to. Please continue to discuss with me. I am new to philosophy, but from what I have learned I think I may be able to proove it.

Frank Apisa wrote:

I also disagree with the dictionary definition of agnosticism. -- or at least that part of it that reads: "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."

dictionary defintions are difficult, but they are the only common agreement about the use of words. If you can find a better dictionary definition, please post it. The part you quoted was somthing that dictionary.com quoted from Thomas H. Huxley.

Frank Apisa wrote:

The use of the word "believes" in that context is unnecessary -- and illogical.

why?

Frank Apisa wrote:

I KNOW I do not know if there is a God or if there are no gods. I do not KNOW if it is impossible to know whether there is a God or are not gods. And any guess I make in that regard (any belief I may have in that regard) is more closely akin to what theists and atheists do than with what agnosticism is all about.


why is it more akin to what theists and atheists do?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:03 am
Portal, Unknowns about the existence of any god is only one of the mysteries for man kind. As with most unknowns, we make our decisions as individuals. In that respect, nobody is right or wrong until it can be proven otherwise. Don't make such a big deal out of who you think is on the right track. Religion is only one facet of human beliefs. What is most important is how one indidividual lives, and how he/she relates to other humans and living things. The question of my belief/god is better than your belief/god is secondary. c.i.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:09 am
How very silly of you.
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:18 am
Portal,

My argument was that YOU don't know your sex, not me.

Sure you can poke around but can you be sure? How do you know that a higher power is not playing a cruel joke on you and making you see and feel genitalia that nobody else does?

When you allow burden of proof to be ignored, allow supernatural forces to be introduced without proof, and require certainty the result is that anything can be argued into "don't know".
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:19 am
Portal Star wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:

I doubt seriously, though, that you will "prove"to agnosticism is "the only logical religious viewpoint.

I hope to. Please continue to discuss with me. I am new to philosophy, but from what I have learned I think I may be able to proove it.


Not trying to be petty, here, Portal, but if you truly intend to try to prove what you say you will -- you really would be better off spelling the word "prove" correctly. You've misspelled it several times.

I'll stick with you through thick and thin on this -- as I am one of the more vocal agnostics in this forum.

I doubt you will prove agnosticism to the "the only logical religious viewpoint" -- and I suggest you consider revising that objective.

But if you insist -- we will see.

Frank Apisa wrote:

I also disagree with the dictionary definition of agnosticism. -- or at least that part of it that reads: "One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."

dictionary defintions are difficult, but they are the only common agreement about the use of words. If you can find a better dictionary definition, please post it. The part you quoted was somthing that dictionary.com quoted from Thomas H. Huxley.[/quote]

It appears all dictionaries use this definition. I've taken the definition to task on many occasions in threads here and in Abuzz.

I usually handle this by indicating what I mean when I use the words "agnostic" and "agnosticism" -- which at least clears the table for the duration of any discussion involved.

Frank Apisa wrote:

The use of the word "believes" in that context is unnecessary -- and illogical.

why? [/quote]

Theists "believe" such and such.

Atheists "believe" such and such.

It makes no sense to assert the superiority of agnosticism -- but to define agnosticism in terms of what one "believes."

Better to simply state: I do not know the answers to Ultimate Questions -- such as Is there a God or are there no gods -- and I do not see enough unambiguous evidence upon which to make a meaningful guess in either direction.

Frank Apisa wrote:

I KNOW I do not know if there is a God or if there are no gods. I do not KNOW if it is impossible to know whether there is a God or are not gods. And any guess I make in that regard (any belief I may have in that regard) is more closely akin to what theists and atheists do than with what agnosticism is all about.


why is it more akin to what theists and atheists do?[/quote]

See my response up above. The moment a "belief" is asserted, we have left the province of agnosticism -- and are simply guessing or believing differently from theists and atheists.
0 Replies
 
Equus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:45 am
I say I am agnostic, but in practice I waver back and forth between being atheist and having a personal belief.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:46 am
Portal star- Saw your request. Have moved this thread to Spirtuality and Religion, with a shadow topic in Philosophy & Debate, so people can access it from both places. I will remove the other crossover thread that made the request!
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Anon
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:48 am
The only thing I know for sure is that I don't buy any of the prepackaged "Religions" as truth. They all seem to have their own truth, which get's down to the real point.

Each and every person has their own truth, and their own beliefs. These probably always remain the same regardless of how you classify yourself!

For me. I'm a spiritual person, with a very spiritual nature. I have my own belief of how things work out after I die, and how things work out as we live and breath here on mother earth. No one can change what I consider to be "my truth"!!

Anon
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 10:56 am
If I had my "druthers" I would add a category, "don't care". As far as I am concerned, I live my life the best way that I know how, and have absolutely no personal interest in gods or religions, except from a historical and intellectual point of view.

The problem is, most of the world does not believe as I do, and things come up from time to time where I am obliged to deal with the concept.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 11:01 am
Phoenix, Same here. Being in the minority is sometimes not the easiest thing to do. Wink c.i.
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New Haven
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 11:05 am
Re: Atheism has the same logical flaws as religion
Quote:
Portal Star"]I had this debate on another forum http://www.terminalpacketloss.com, but would like to bring it here
.

What is the purpose of this "proof"?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2003 11:05 am
c.i.- Even though I live in Florida, where I am is middle America with a capital "M". I cannot get through an afternoon with people where the word "church" is not mentioned.
0 Replies
 
 

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