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Agnosticism is the Best?
in Religion

By MattGouldMattGould 47 Pts
I am an agnostic individual, at least when it comes to the subject of religion and whether or not there is a god or not. I personally think that agnosticism is the most logical and reasonable of the different positions on these issues. Simply because, if it is impossible to prove that there is a god, then it then in tern is impossible to prove that there isn't a god.  So from my point of view, those who are atheists are making the same faith based conclusion that religious people make. They are saying there isn't a god, when in reality they don't know that and are simply making a claim that is not falsifiable. So I am curious Do you agree or disagree with me? What do you think? Let me know.
SkepticalOneZeusAres42Zombieguy1987
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

"It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

"To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater





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Arguments

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 2036 Pts
    It seems to me that agnosticism is just a refusal to take a position. The reasoning that, just because you cannot prove something to be false, you have to say that you don't know anything about it, doesn't hold much ground. I cannot prove with 100% certainty that there are no living goblins on Earth, but I'me pretty sure that there are none, and for all purpose I can say that I "know" there are none.

    Same with God: I know that God is an imaginary concept, because that is what it is: people came up with it during their philosophical speculations. Does it mean the God cannot exist? Obviously not. But as a pure product of human imagination, backed by no evidence, we should assume the null hypothesis: that it does not exist. It does not mean that we are 100% confident that it does not exist, but it means that we take a logically consistent position that it does not exist. It is not a faith-based approach; it is a logic-based approach. I do not "believe" that the God does not exist, but I assume that it does not exist, based on some logical considerations.

    I do include some Shintoist concepts in my world view; I like to think of my car as a living being, or of the trees around as living beings. That is just an abstract model, however; I do not try to make any claims about the objective reality here. We all have our own models of the world, all strongly flawed.
    CYDdhartaSkepticalOneMattGouldPlaffelvohfenZombieguy1987Aini
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    MayCaesar said:
    It seems to me that agnosticism is just a refusal to take a position. The reasoning that, just because you cannot prove something to be false, you have to say that you don't know anything about it, doesn't hold much ground. I cannot prove with 100% certainty that there are no living goblins on Earth, but I'me pretty sure that there are none, and for all purpose I can say that I "know" there are none.

    Same with God: I know that God is an imaginary concept, because that is what it is: people came up with it during their philosophical speculations. Does it mean the God cannot exist? Obviously not. But as a pure product of human imagination, backed by no evidence, we should assume the null hypothesis: that it does not exist. It does not mean that we are 100% confident that it does not exist, but it means that we take a logically consistent position that it does not exist. It is not a faith-based approach; it is a logic-based approach. I do not "believe" that the God does not exist, but I assume that it does not exist, based on some logical considerations.

    I do include some Shintoist concepts in my world view; I like to think of my car as a living being, or of the trees around as living beings. That is just an abstract model, however; I do not try to make any claims about the objective reality here. We all have our own models of the world, all strongly flawed.

    Agnostics do take a position.  An agnostic is "A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God."
    MattGouldAini
  • @CYDdharta

    Agnosticism is not a position of belief related to the existence of deities. It is a position of knowledge. One can accept there is nothing to be known about gods while still believing (or not) in their existence.
    MattGouldPlaffelvohfenZombieguy1987Aini
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    @CYDdharta

    Agnosticism is not a position of belief related to the existence of deities. It is a position of knowledge. One can accept there is nothing to be known about gods while still believing (or not) in their existence.

    You've just proved that agnosticism is, indeed, a position.  True, one can accept there is nothing to be known about gods while still believing (or not) in their existence, but people with such beliefs are not agnostics.  For a person to be an agnostic, they must hold the belief that the ultimate understanding of the nature and origins of the universe is unknown and unknowable.  Agnosticism is a position, just not one about the existence of God or Gods.
    SkepticalOne
  • @SkepticalOne while I get what you are saying. I do not agree that agnosticism is a position of knowledge nor do I agree with the following sentence's conclusion. 

    Agnosticism is a position that states there is nothing that can be proven in terms of whether there is a god or not and therefore there is nothing that can be known about the existence of god, meaning that the positions of whether there is a god or not are not falsifiable. If they are not falsifiable, then they can't be considered as fact. Which according to the dictionary is "a thing that is known or proven to be true." If something is not falsifiable, then it cannot be proven to be true. 

    Also, if a position of whether or not god exists cannot be proven true or false, then it cannot become knowledge. Again, according to the dictionary, knowledge is "facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject." 

    So since the idea of the existence or non existence of god cannot be proven logically, meaning it can't be falsified, then it cannot become a fact and therefore cannot become knowledge. So your argument that somehow it is not a position on the existence of deities/gods is not true.

    Also, as a former religious person I can guarantee you that most if not all religious people(at least those that I have met in my life) truly do think that they can prove the existence of god. If you want a better background on some of the arguments religious people make I recommend watching a movie called the "Case for Christ". It will give you a good idea of how religious people, especially Christians think and justify their faith to themselves.


    definition of knowledgehttps://www.bing.com/search?q=knowledge+definition&form=EDGTCT&qs=DA&cvid=b1bede9ec52a4a2fbc36ad640ec95093&refig=20d506317aa942e9d40f738d6027a33d&cc=US&setlang=en-US&plvar=0&PC=DCTS ;


    definition of fact-https://www.bing.com/search?q=fact+definition&form=EDGTCT&qs=DA&cvid=0c3bf0359ac144f39bfe63f2d9a55585&refig=77c66deca8e84a538ba134ce4f121029&cc=US&setlang=en-US&plvar=0&PC=DCTS


    background on the "case for Christ" filmhttps://www.bing.com/search?q=the case for christ book film&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=the case for christ book film&sc=1-29&sk=&cvid=123C9142E78F41918560D3F1B8BBDE86
    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • MattGouldMattGould 47 Pts
    edited October 3
    MayCaesar said:
    "It seems to me that agnosticism is just a refusal to take a position. The reasoning that, just because you cannot prove something to be false, you have to say that you don't know anything about it, doesn't hold much ground. I cannot prove with 100% certainty that there are no living goblins on Earth, but I'm pretty sure that there are none, and for all purpose I can say that I "know" there are none.

    Same with God: I know that God is an imaginary concept, because that is what it is: people came up with it during their philosophical speculations. Does it mean the God cannot exist? Obviously not. But as a pure product of human imagination, backed by no evidence, we should assume the null hypothesis: that it does not exist. It does not mean that we are 100% confident that it does not exist, but it means that we take a logically consistent position that it does not exist. It is not a faith-based approach; it is a logic-based approach. I do not "believe" that the God does not exist, but I assume that it does not exist, based on some logical considerations.

    I do include some Shintoist concepts in my world view; I like to think of my car as a living being, or of the trees around as living beings. That is just an abstract model, however; I do not try to make any claims about the objective reality here. We all have our own models of the world, all strongly flawed."


    @MayCaesar Believe it or not, but you have just proven my point. 

    The problem with your first paragraph is that you are a falsely equating the idea of a goblin with the idea of a metaphysical being. The idea of the existence of a goblin is ridiculous. However, the idea of a goblin, even though it is false, is an idea of a physical being that can take up space. It is not a metaphysical being that doesn't take up space and doesn't take up matter. So this is not a logistically valid argument on your part. 


    Secondly, It is not entirely known where the idea of a god or gods came from. But it certainty didn't come from peoples philosophical speculations. Philosophy wasn't even a concept of a concept until the ancient Greeks made the idea of philosophy famous and I can guarantee you that the idea of a god or gods was being permeated through out the world long before ancient Greek Philosopher like Socrates, Plato, or even Aristotle were even around. According to historians, it is probable and might even be the case that even as far back as the Neanderthals were practice religious and metaphysical concepts.-( http://www.religioustolerance.org/god_devel.htm) What most historians believe caused the creation of the idea of a god/gods is the idea and blief in the balance of order and chaos in early humans, which then developed into the idea of good and evil and then eventually into the idea of a diety. Now, I will admit what I am talking about couldn't even be fully tuaght in a college class, and that I am oversimplifying it currently. However, that doesn't make it any less true. 


    Thirdly, it may  be that you are taking all the data you can see and find and coming to the conclusion that there is no god. However, it is not a logical position (at least from my point of view) to be an atheist or a religious person. Both positions are so logically problematic that it is astounding. While you may be logical in your attempt to gather evidence and come a conclusion about whether god exists or not, however as I have said atheist and you yourself are making a huge logical leap by going, ok I cannot prove that god exists therefore he doesn't exist. A metaphysical being is not falsifiable either way.


    So to conclude, your false equivalence between a metaphysical being such as a god and a goblin doesn't hold any water. The idea of a goblin is meant to be a physical being and the idea of a god is metaphysical. It's not the same thing.  And further more, you proved my case by explaining how you come to conclusion that God doesn't exist. You claimed (granted I am paraphrasing here), that you come to conclusion that there isn't a god due to the fact that all the evidence laid out before you, even though it is all inductive and not deductive. So you just proved my point that you are taking the exact same leap of faith that religious people make when they talk about a deity. 

    Therefore, agnosticism is the only logical position to have on the subject. 


    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • @MattGould Atheism in general is not the active disbelief in God. We, as atheists cannot say there definitely isn't a God, only that we have failed to be convinced that there is. There are very few atheists that claim they know there is no such thing as a God. 
    MattGouldSkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen
  • SkepticalOneSkepticalOne 182 Pts
    edited October 4
    @MattGould

    I can easily accept agnosticism is a position "that states there is nothing that can be proven in terms of whether there is a god or not". That is a proper definition. 

    I think the whole argument about whether atheism is faith-based is mostly equivocation. (There is more than one definition of atheism) Some atheists (not all or most) believe no god exists. So, if we're comparing that subset of atheism to theism, then I see little reason to disagree. 
    That being said, I think many atheists will grumble with this argument because they personally understand atheism differently. 

    As for agnosticism being superior, I disagree. Theism makes a claim and atheism doesn't (typically). To stand between these two views is to give theism the benefit of a doubt it hasn't earned. One can reject claims built on ignorance without the need for knowledge to the contrary. In fact, unsubstantiated claims can (and should) be rejected outright.
    MattGouldPlaffelvohfenZombieguy1987
  • @A_Free_Thinker I beg to differ. I hear nothing but atheists all the time claiming there is not god. If anything what you are describing is the exact definition of agnosticism. Also, this is not true what you said atheism is or is not. According to the dictionary. Atheism is "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or God's." so what I find when I saw your post is you saying (and I am paraphrasing), Atheism is not what the definition says and what most atheist practice, it is rather this other thing that looks and sounds a lot more like agnosticism, and that there are very few atheists who claim there is not god when that is exactly what they do.


    I don't care if you consider yourself an atheist, a religious person, or even a sun worshiper. However, either I am missing something or there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is on your part. 




    definition of atheism-(https://www.bing.com/search?q=define atheism&tf=U2VydmljZT1EaWN0aW9uYXJ5QW5zd2VyVjIgU2NlbmFyaW89RGVmaW5pdGlvblNjZW5hcmlvIFBvc2l0aW9uPU5PUCBSYW5raW5nRGF0YT1UcnVlIEZvcmNlUGxhY2U9RmFsc2UgUGFpcnM9RGljdGlvbmFyeVdvcmQ6YXRoZWlzbTtzY246RGVmaW5pdGlvblNjZW5hcmlvO3A6UUFTOyB8&hs=0nME3WgQnqxhXcTaZDRxeJy8h3wNfKFnGK+8od944s4=&FORM=DCNMOP)
    SkepticalOne
    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • @SkepticalOne I beg to differ, there is only one interpretation of atheism. Atheism is the "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or God's", PERIOD!!! anything that falls short of this definition (that I pulled from the dictionary by the way), is not atheism. So like the other individual I am debating on this, I think there is fundamental misunderstanding of what atheism is on your part.

    Also, to say that atheists don't make any claims most of the time is ridiculous. Every atheist I have watched or heard talk, from Nietzsche to Bill Maher, has told me that they don't think god exists. This is an claim that is making an absolute out of something that is an argument about the existence of a metaphysical concept. Which is a leap of faith into the positions of there not being a god. And your right unsubstantiated claims should be rejected, like the claim that is or isn't a god for example. Both those positions are incredibly unsubstantiated. 

    definition of atheism
    -(https://www.bing.com/search?q=define atheism&tf=U2VydmljZT1EaWN0aW9uYXJ5QW5zd2VyVjIgU2NlbmFyaW89RGVmaW5pdGlvblNjZW5hcmlvIFBvc2l0aW9uPU5PUCBSYW5raW5nRGF0YT1UcnVlIEZvcmNlUGxhY2U9RmFsc2UgUGFpcnM9RGljdGlvbmFyeVdvcmQ6YXRoZWlzbTtzY246RGVmaW5pdGlvblNjZW5hcmlvO3A6UUFTOyB8&hs=0nME3WgQnqxhXcTaZDRxeJy8h3wNfKFnGK+8od944s4=&FORM=DCNMOP

    definition of unsubstantiated-https://www.bing.com/search?q=unsubstantiated&form=EDGTCT&qs=PF&cvid=e06a45b4d77f4faabb6231b13012732c&refig=515c0e4ede054d4da48942a2eb7ff322&cc=US&setlang=en-US&plvar=0&PC=DCTS

    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 2036 Pts
    @MattGould

    I think you misunderstood my position. I specifically said that "I cannot prove that the God exists, hence he does not exist" is a wrong argument. This is not the argument I am making. What I am saying is this: there is no reason to assume that the God exists, and hence the default null hypothesis is most reasonable to accept. It does not mean that I believe that God does not exist, it is that I do not believe that including God in one's world view makes sense.

    As far as your distinction between a goblin and a God goes, I do not see it as valid. It does not matter what something occupies, a space, a mind or whatever else. Either it exists or not; there is no in-between. Granted, you can say that something exists from your perspective, but does not exist from someone else's perspective, and that can be a valid stance. You can believe in goblins and claim to see them every day, and, again, I cannot prove you wrong, no matter what I do. And maybe you really see them; how should I know? But in my world, there are no goblins as far as I know, and there are no Gods as far as I know, and this is a purely logical position.

    In mathematics, we have this rule: "A statement that has not been validated is assumed to be false". You can claim something random - "Every continuous function is differentiable" - but unless you have demonstrated how you have come to this conclusion, nobody will accept your claim as valid. In this case, the claim is false, but instead of looking for a counterexample, I will just assume that your statement is false by default and counter-examples may exist, because, for all I know, your claim is random.
    It is a great rule to follow in life in general, including with regards to God/Gods. Either demonstrate that there is God, or do not bother telling me about it. Maybe there is, maybe there is not, but until I have seen a good argument in favor of one's existence, it will not be a part of my world view.

    An agnostic in this case is one that says, "I do not know if every continuous function is differentiable, so you may be right or not". That is a dubious position to have, because the burden of proof is now on you, and every charlatan can make any claims they want which you will give them credibility for. You should have higher expectations from what you consider a plausible theory.
    SkepticalOnePlaffelvohfenCYDdhartaMattGouldZombieguy1987
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    MayCaesar said:
    @MattGould

    I think you misunderstood my position. I specifically said that "I cannot prove that the God exists, hence he does not exist" is a wrong argument. This is not the argument I am making. What I am saying is this: there is no reason to assume that the God exists, and hence the default null hypothesis is most reasonable to accept. It does not mean that I believe that God does not exist, it is that I do not believe that including God in one's world view makes sense.

    that's a long-winded way of saying you're agnostic.
    MattGould
  • Personally I find agnosticism technically correct but in such a limited and irrelevant extent that I don't bother with it and just consider myself athiest.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone applies the same thought process used in agnosticism to anything else in every day life.

    Technically nothing can be absolutely proven, there is always a margin of error or assumption on anything. Do you live your life as if someone had secretly wired a bomb to every single door you're going to open? It's technically possible, so do you worry every time you're opening a door? Of course not, it's just something that technically could happen but which is so unlikely you pay it no mind.

    There is legitimately infinite stupid BS you can worry about by the standards of agnosticism but no-one, including agnostics, does.

    Formal intents and purposes taking am agnostic approach to whether something exists or not is the same as assuming it doesn't exist. I can't prove my hand isn't possessed by a demon that's about to take it over and try and kill me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to cut it off.

    That's why although I technically agree with agnosticism I label myself atheist. It reduces the concept of God to the level of an absurdity that you give no notice to.
    MattGouldPlaffelvohfen
  • CYDdharta said:
    MayCaesar said:
    @MattGould

    I think you misunderstood my position. I specifically said that "I cannot prove that the God exists, hence he does not exist" is a wrong argument. This is not the argument I am making. What I am saying is this: there is no reason to assume that the God exists, and hence the default null hypothesis is most reasonable to accept. It does not mean that I believe that God does not exist, it is that I do not believe that including God in one's world view makes sense.

    that's a long-winded way of saying you're agnostic.
    Explicit explanation should always trump simplistic labels and the pigeonholing that comes with them. 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts

    Explicit explanation should always trump simplistic labels and the pigeonholing that comes with them. 

    Not when it's used to obfuscate one's position and/or misstate someone else's position.
    MattGould
  • @MayCaesar But again what you have just stated, as someone else has proposed in the thread. Appears to be another way of just saying that your an agnostic. Because I find it incredibly logically inconsistent and against the very idea of atheism(according to the dictionary and other evidence)to say that I am atheist, but I don’t not believe in god, I just can’t find any evidence that he does exist. But then you say that your following conclusion is that you are assuming that god doesn’t exist based on the fact that you can’t prove he does exist.

    so again, if anything this just proves my point to a tee. That atheism is a leap of faith/an assumption that something exists or doesn’t exist despite there being no evidence of either case meaning it is not falsifiable.

    Honestly, this illogical twisting argument you keep making is just proving my point more and more.
    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:
    Personally I find agnosticism technically correct but in such a limited and irrelevant extent that I don't bother with it and just consider myself athiest.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone applies the same thought process used in agnosticism to anything else in every day life.

    Technically nothing can be absolutely proven, there is always a margin of error or assumption on anything. Do you live your life as if someone had secretly wired a bomb to every single door you're going to open? It's technically possible, so do you worry every time you're opening a door? Of course not, it's just something that technically could happen but which is so unlikely you pay it no mind.

    There is legitimately infinite stupid BS you can worry about by the standards of agnosticism but no-one, including agnostics, does.

    Formal intents and purposes taking am agnostic approach to whether something exists or not is the same as assuming it doesn't exist. I can't prove my hand isn't possessed by a demon that's about to take it over and try and kill me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to cut it off.

    That's why although I technically agree with agnosticism I label myself atheist. It reduces the concept of God to the level of an absurdity that you give no notice to.
    If there was a reason why someone would want to secretly wire a bomb to every single door I was going to open, and they had the opportunity and access to enough explosives to do so, I probably would.  I haven't been getting any death threats, so your example doesn't apply.  The standard of unknown and unknowable doesn't lend itself to very many things.
  • MattGould said:
    @MayCaesar But again what you have just stated, as someone else has proposed in the thread. Appears to be another way of just saying that your an agnostic. Because I find it incredibly logically inconsistent and against the very idea of atheism(according to the dictionary and other evidence)to say that I am atheist, but I don’t not believe in god, I just can’t find any evidence that he does exist. But then you say that your following conclusion is that you are assuming that god doesn’t exist based on the fact that you can’t prove he does exist.

    so again, if anything this just proves my point to a tee. That atheism is a leap of faith/an assumption that something exists or doesn’t exist despite there being no evidence of either case meaning it is not falsifiable.

    Honestly, this illogical twisting argument you keep making is just proving my point more and more.
    Matt, you are arguing against the definition of atheism you yourself provided (with which I agree):

    "Atheism is "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or god's." 

    Lack of belief is *not belief*. An agnostic can not believe in god. An agnostic can be an atheist. If you don't want to use the label that's fine, but don't try to redefine "atheist" to exclude yourself. 
    Plaffelvohfen
  • AmpersandAmpersand 706 Pts
    edited October 4
    CYDdharta said:
    Ampersand said:
    Personally I find agnosticism technically correct but in such a limited and irrelevant extent that I don't bother with it and just consider myself athiest.

    I'd be interested in hearing if anyone applies the same thought process used in agnosticism to anything else in every day life.

    Technically nothing can be absolutely proven, there is always a margin of error or assumption on anything. Do you live your life as if someone had secretly wired a bomb to every single door you're going to open? It's technically possible, so do you worry every time you're opening a door? Of course not, it's just something that technically could happen but which is so unlikely you pay it no mind.

    There is legitimately infinite stupid BS you can worry about by the standards of agnosticism but no-one, including agnostics, does.

    Formal intents and purposes taking am agnostic approach to whether something exists or not is the same as assuming it doesn't exist. I can't prove my hand isn't possessed by a demon that's about to take it over and try and kill me, but that doesn't mean I'm going to cut it off.

    That's why although I technically agree with agnosticism I label myself atheist. It reduces the concept of God to the level of an absurdity that you give no notice to.
    If there was a reason why someone would want to secretly wire a bomb to every single door I was going to open, and they had the opportunity and access to enough explosives to do so, I probably would.  I haven't been getting any death threats, so your example doesn't apply.  The standard of unknown and unknowable doesn't lend itself to very many things.
    Likewise if there was a rationale for a god to exist then I probably would. However in both instances there is:

    A ) No evidence supporting something happening
    B ) A lack of definitive proof showing it doesn't exist.

    There are literally infinite application this this because there is no limit to the amount of things that could conceivably happen and can be said to happen due to some mysterious immeasurable process.

    Can you prove that you aren't naturally homosexual but being made to think that you're heterosexual (or vice versa) by someunknown supernatural process? No, you can't, because how could you prove something like that?

    So by the logic of agnosticism, you are agnostic when it comes to your own sexuality.

    It's absurd, of course, but that's on the same level as what agnosticism reduces religion to.
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 2036 Pts
    edited October 4
    @MattGould

    It is not my fault that you decide to miss on all the details and simplify one's position in such a way. There are more positions than just "I believe that god exists", "I believe that god does not exist" and "I do not know whether god exists". These are just some general descriptions of one's position, but the actual positions are much more nuanced.

    I consider that gods do not exist, just as I consider that unicorns do not exist, that goblins do not exist, that ghosts do not exist and so on. I cannot prove that they do not exist, and they might exist in principle - maybe they do, how would I know? But nothing I have seen suggests to me that they do, and since my world view has worked well for me so far, I prefer to still keep it. I respect the principles of Burden of Proof and Occam's Razor, purely for their practicality, hence I construct my position based on what these principles suggest.

    In my world view, these entities do not exist; but I do not know with 100% certainty that they do not exist, and I assume the possibility that they do. I just do not think that mere theoretical possibility of something being true is sufficient to take that something seriously. Goblins are a product of human imagination, and even if they exist in reality, any claims anyone can make about them as of now are completely unfounded, hence it is better to not take such claims seriously. Find me a goblin, and then we can talk more about it. Until then, while goblins' existence is, in theory, possible - in practice, I do not think that considering their existence seriously makes any sense.

    You can call me agnostic if you like. To me, most self-called agnostics seem to be intellectually overly careful people, afraid to make any mistakes. I am not afraid of stating that goblins do not exist, and being proven wrong eventually. I would be more afraid of keeping the possibility of trillions different things in my head and never being able to make any conclusions about them; why, I would never be able to lift a finger, if I had to take into account all the theoretically possible consequences of that. I prefer to stick with what has worked for me so far, and there has been 0 instances in my life when the stance that goblins do not exist failed me.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:


    Can you prove that you aren't naturally homosexual but being made to think that you're heterosexual (or vice versa) by someunknown supernatural process?

    Yes, yes I can.  Propagation of the species is imperative for any for of life.  Homosexuals cannot bear offspring.  Heterosexuality is vital to men's existence, homosexuality is a mutation that will not lead to the demise of the species if it were to become all-encompasing.
  • CYDdharta said:
    Ampersand said:


    Can you prove that you aren't naturally homosexual but being made to think that you're heterosexual (or vice versa) by someunknown supernatural process?

    Yes, yes I can.  Propagation of the species is imperative for any for of life.  Homosexuals cannot bear offspring.  Heterosexuality is vital to men's existence, homosexuality is a mutation that will not lead to the demise of the species if it were to become all-encompasing.
    That's not proof.

    Nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.
    SkepticalOne
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:

    That's not proof.

    Nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.

    Yes, it is proof.

    I don't give a thought to supernatural influences, that's what agnosticism is all about.
  • CYDdharta said:
    Ampersand said:

    That's not proof.

    Nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.

    Yes, it is proof.

    I don't give a thought to supernatural influences, that's what agnosticism is all about.
    I don't know how "I don't give a thought to supernatural influences" is meant to be relevent, but you're literally in a thread about the supernatural (e.g. gods and religion) talking about the supernatural in that very post so whatever point you were trying to make you're obviously wrong.

    Also as previously mentioned, nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.
    Plaffelvohfen
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:

    I don't know how "I don't give a thought to supernatural influences" is meant to be relevent, but you're literally in a thread about the supernatural (e.g. gods and religion) talking about the supernatural in that very post so whatever point you were trying to make you're obviously wrong.

    Also as previously mentioned, nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.

    This isn't a thread about the supernatural, this is a thread about agnosticism.

    As I have previously pointed out, your example of homosexuality is a failure.
  • CYDdharta said:
    Ampersand said:

    I don't know how "I don't give a thought to supernatural influences" is meant to be relevent, but you're literally in a thread about the supernatural (e.g. gods and religion) talking about the supernatural in that very post so whatever point you were trying to make you're obviously wrong.

    Also as previously mentioned, nothing you have said disproves the idea that you could be a homosexual being influenced by a supernatural force to feel hetrosexual urges against your natural inclination.

    This isn't a thread about the supernatural, this is a thread about agnosticism.

    As I have previously pointed out, your example of homosexuality is a failure.
    That's exactly what you'd say if you were a homosexual whose mind was manipulated to make you think you were heterosexual.
    SkepticalOnePlaffelvohfen
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:

    That's exactly what you'd say if you were a homosexual whose mind was manipulated to make you think you were heterosexual.
    It doesn't matter/makes no difference whatsoever.
  • MattGould said:
    I am an agnostic individual, at least when it comes to the subject of religion and whether or not there is a god or not. I personally think that agnosticism is the most logical and reasonable of the different positions on these issues. Simply because, if it is impossible to prove that there is a god, then it then in tern is impossible to prove that there isn't a god.  So from my point of view, those who are atheists are making the same faith based conclusion that religious people make. They are saying there isn't a god, when in reality they don't know that and are simply making a claim that is not falsifiable. So I am curious Do you agree or disagree with me? What do you think? Let me know.
    While there are some things here I do not agree with it would be unfair and dishonest of me to say that you didn't provide a strong argument. I can't say that I agree with your definitions of the terms "agnosticism" or "atheism" but I do understand the main message of what you're advocating and that I also agree with which is the idea that you cannot logically say God definitely does exist or say god definitely doesn't exist.
    MattGould

    “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullsh*t requires no such conviction…”
    ― Ben Goldacre, Bad Science




  • Funny how a number of people in discussion like these end up getting lost in semantics. It's like tiny voices appear in the back of one's mind along the lines of - "No, that's not what atheism is," "no, that's not what agnosticism is," and so on.

    “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullsh*t requires no such conviction…”
    ― Ben Goldacre, Bad Science




  • CYDdharta said:
    Ampersand said:

    That's exactly what you'd say if you were a homosexual whose mind was manipulated to make you think you were heterosexual.
    It doesn't matter/makes no difference whatsoever.
    Which is my point. Thanks for conceding.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 1204 Pts
    Ampersand said:

    Which is my point. Thanks for conceding.
    What other reply would you expect from an agnostic?
  • @ZeusAres42 Thanks man
    "If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom."-Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "It is not strange...to mistake change for progress."-Millard Fillmore

    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."-Ayn Rand

    "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."-Barry Goldwater


  • Funny how a number of people in discussion like these end up getting lost in semantics. It's like tiny voices appear in the back of one's mind along the lines of - "No, that's not what atheism is," "no, that's not what agnosticism is," and so on.
    To be fair, the OP is semantic....
    MattGould
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