U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-28-2011, 11:51 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,733,662 times
Reputation: 1770

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
If you don't see a reason to believe it, you don't need to disbelieve it. You simply don't believe it, which is the default position.
That's true. But what should we call that position?

If we were to use only one word, it would be agnosticism. That's the popular definition of the word, and any other single word (atheist or theist) is misleading.

Granted, if we were to use two words, (differentiating between knowledge and belief,) then one could be either agnostic-atheist or agnostic-theist or perhaps agnostic-agnostic.

But why complicate matters? If you don't believe in a god, just call yourself an atheist, If you do, a theist, and if you don't really know, agnostic. That's my opinion at any rate. I used to be an atheist, but now am agnostic.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-29-2011, 05:31 AM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
That's true. But what should we call that position?

If we were to use only one word, it would be agnosticism. That's the popular definition of the word, and any other single word (atheist or theist) is misleading.

Granted, if we were to use two words, (differentiating between knowledge and belief,) then one could be either agnostic-atheist or agnostic-theist or perhaps agnostic-agnostic.

But why complicate matters? If you don't believe in a god, just call yourself an atheist, If you do, a theist, and if you don't really know, agnostic. That's my opinion at any rate. I used to be an atheist, but now am agnostic.
Gotta step in again. If you don't really know (about 'god' (1), you call yourself agnostic, so what do you 'believe'? If you don't know, you don't believe until you do. That is enough to make one an atheist. However, as I say, we use different labels. You make you case on the idea that atheists are assuming a bit too much by taking the materialist theory as the better. In some ways I agree as the definition of materialist find assumptions and beliefs (as Mystic philosopher pointed out) that were perhaps just assuming a bit too much.

I don't see that, as an atheist, I have to sign up to anything other than not being convinced of the existence of anything I though might deserve the 'god' label (and, as i said, that requires forward planning, not just a murky grey area between mater an the immaterial. An atheist can believe in the supernatural - excluding gods - if there's evidence for it. But if there's no evidence of forward planing - not just 'order' but prescience, then there is no evidence of 'god'.

Of course, as you say, it's all so odd that matter could loop back on itself in time an plan it's own unplanned future. Thus a forward planning mind could still be unplanned. As you say, whatever evidence for 'god' there is, could still fall under the 'matter' category. So I can understand your frustration at finding any evidence for 'god' can just be absorbed into 'nature' theory.

I can only say that I decided myself to be agnostic about this 'sortagod' (aka deist or pantheist god) as a teener as I don't mind it. The idea of singing songs to it or paying money to men in funny hats in a building where it's supposed to live is laughable to me. I might just as well sacrifice to the sun (2).

As I say, the only reason I have to stick on the 'atheist' position, is not only because I believe that 'don't believe' (not 'deny the possibility') is a logical position arising from 'don't know' but it's also tactically needful in that it keeps the burden of proof on the theist.

You argued that it was on the atheist or at least materialist (3) to prove their case (or that it was the better). We saw what happened. Evidence was explained away. Bad planning did not necessarily mean no planning.

I suppose we all find ourselves doing that - C34 certainly thought so when we debated the Saudi Exodus site. So I don't see anything unsound about atheism. Even the attempts to 'prove' a first cause by applying physics laws that work here to a cosmos about which we know very little now, let alone what it was like billions of years ago, don't really do more than make 'god' an undisprovable possibility.

So I'm prepared to be agnostic about that and keep the matter on the shelf, unlike religion which is getting under my feet.

(1) God we are pretty sure about.

(2)I at least know it's there and my life depends upon it

(3) whoopee, three footnotes! While atheism doesn't need to embrace materialsm as a tenet or dogma, it does tend to prefer it as a evident 'given' and it's reasonable to ask why.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,733,662 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post

As I say, the only reason I have to stick on the 'atheist' position, is not only because I believe that 'don't believe' (not 'deny the possibility') is a logical position arising from 'don't know' but it's also tactically needful in that it keeps the burden of proof on the theist.

You argued that it was on the atheist or at least materialist (3) to prove their case (or that it was the better). We saw what happened. Evidence was explained away. Bad planning did not necessarily mean no planning.

.
I will make these two points:

Do you know if everything was created without a God? Is "don't believe" a logical position arising from "don't know" with respect to a non-god explanation for the cosmos?

It seems to me you are applying the "Don't know -> Don't believe" logic in an inconsistent way. If the logic is sound, it should apply equally to "god" as it does to "not god."

Thus you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by a god."

But at the same time you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by something other than a god."

Atheism implies that you don't believe the universe was caused by a god, but you do believe it was caused by something other than a god.

Agnosticism more properly conforms to the idea that we don't have good evidence either way.



As for evidence of a plan, I don't believe you presented evidence for why the universe wasn't planned. You presented evidence that it wasn't planned well or wasn't planned in a way that incorporated human beings as a central element. Thus you left intact many other types of plans that you didn't challenge.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,974 posts, read 22,151,097 times
Reputation: 10714
Personally, I believe we're all agnostic. Some have very theistic leadings and others have very atheistic leanings, but at the end of the day, none of us know for sure, even though many of us on both sides seem to think we do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 11:48 AM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I will make these two points:

Do you know if everything was created without a God? Is "don't believe" a logical position arising from "don't know" with respect to a non-god explanation for the cosmos?
No and Yes. Respectively.

Quote:
It seems to me you are applying the "Don't know -> Don't believe" logic in an inconsistent way. If the logic is sound, it should apply equally to "god" as it does to "not god."
The logic would say that 'goddunnit' is a claim, requiring evidence. 'I'm not convinced' is not a claim.

Quote:
Thus you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by a god."
Yes. Not believing is not (logically) the same position as disbelieving. Take the box analogy.

'Do you believe there is an apple or orange in the box?'

A. I don't know, so I don't (yet) believe that there is either an apple or orange in the box. Logical

B. I don't know so I believe there is not an apple (or orange) in the box. Illogical. Do you see the difference?

Of course, C. 'I believe there is an orange because I like oranges better that apples.' Daft.

Quote:
But at the same time you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by something other than a god."
I do and have repeatedly said that I don't know how the universe was created, though I am inclined to give Hawkins a bit of credit for knowing what he is talking about. I take the evidence for an expanding universe, 'big bang' event and background echo for what it is, but that (for all I know) could be just one event in a big cosmos and I have no idea why it happened, anyway.

Quote:
Atheism implies that you don't believe the universe was caused by a god, but you do believe it was caused by something other than a god.
I don't believe either. What else can I say when I don't know? That's what agnosticism is. I am very interested in the research and speculation but nothing proven as yet. All I can say is that I am persuaded that what we do know looks natural and even the woo woo stuff can fit into the materialist framework (as Boxcar noted with some annoyance). That's all I can say.

Quote:
Agnosticism more properly conforms to the idea that we don't have good evidence either way.
And that seems to be what you say, also. Non - belief is a rather technical and tactical logical position (while being quite correct, I believe) and is academic except where theists try to use a 'feasible Creator theory' as a jump - off to Theism. Deism I don't mind, though it does seem a cop out for the lack of persuasive evidence for a God being around now.

Quote:
As for evidence of a plan, I don't believe you presented evidence for why the universe wasn't planned. You presented evidence that it wasn't planned well or wasn't planned in a way that incorporated human beings as a central element. Thus you left intact many other types of plans that you didn't challenge.
I think that I did, though I suppose that something that no sensible planner would do, like arranging a couple of extinctions to produce us where a Genesis type event would have been an obvious method is, I'd say, only slight evidence. The lack of anything I'd see as evidence of planning is also slight evidence and I believe that explaining away apparent 'unplan' as poor plan and a lack of spoor of god as 'perhaps it's very well hidden' is actually an illogical position.

There are of course the Panspermia and Alien scientists theories. I don't 'believe' those yet. How could I? Believe one and you have to disbelieve the others. Though there is a few indications that favour panspermia.

As for other plans, I didn't challenge them as they weren't presented. It's not for me to think up theist material. By all means, feel free to suggest other logically sound and persuasive plans of creation that make sense of what looks very much like a hit and miss process in a random cosmos.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 11:57 AM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Personally, I believe we're all agnostic. Some have very theistic leadings and others have very atheistic leanings, but at the end of the day, none of us know for sure, even though many of us on both sides seem to think we do.
Absolutely. In fact none of us know (though some think they do) and we are all agnostic. It is a question of how we assess the evidence and how persuasive we find it.

That applies to man- made religions, too. It's just that the claims are more testable and the evidence more open to scrut.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 12:21 PM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I will make these two points:

Do you know if everything was created without a God? Is "don't believe" a logical position arising from "don't know" with respect to a non-god explanation for the cosmos?
No and Yes. respectively.

Quote:
It seems to me you are applying the "Don't know -> Don't believe" logic in an inconsistent way. If the logic is sound, it should apply equally to "god" as it does to "not god."
The logic would say that 'goddunit' is a claim, requiring evidence. 'I'm not convinced' is not a claim.

Quote:
Thus you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by a god."
Yes. Not believing is not (logically) the same position as disbelieving. take the box analogy.

'Do you believe there is an apple or orange in the box?'

A. I don't know, so I don't (yet) believe that there is either an apple or orange in the box. Logical

B. I don't know so I believe there is neither apple nor orange in the box. Illogical. Do you see the difference?

Of course, C. 'I believe there is an orange because I like oranges better that apples.' Daft.

Quote:
But at the same time you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by something other than a god."
I do and have repeatedly said that I don't know how the universe was created, though I am inclined to give Hawkins a bit of credit for knowing what he is talking about. I take the evidence for an expanding universe, 'big bang' event and background echo for what it is, but that (for all I know) could be just one event in a big cosmos and I have know idea why it happened, anyway.

Quote:
Atheism implies that you don't believe the universe was caused by a god, but you do believe it was caused by something other than a god.
I don't believe either. What else can I say when I don't know? That's what agnosticism is. I am ver interested in the research and speculation but nothing proven as yet. All I can say is that I am persuaded that what we do know looks natural and even the woo woo stuff fits into the materialist framework 9as Boxcar noted with some annoyance). That's all I can say.

Quote:
Agnosticism more properly conforms to the idea that we don't have good evidence either way.
And that seems to be what you say. non - belief is a rather technical and tactical logical position (while being quite correct, I believe) and is academic except where theists try to use a 'feasible Creator theory' as a jump - off o Theism. deism I don't mind, though it does seem a cop out for the lack of persuasive evidence for a God around now.

Quote:
As for evidence of a plan, I don't believe you presented evidence for why the universe wasn't planned. You presented evidence that it wasn't planned well or wasn't planned in a way that incorporated human beings as a central element. Thus you left intact many other types of plans that you didn't challenge.
I think that I did, though I suppose that something that no sensible planner would do, like arranging a couple of extinctions to produce us where a Genesis type even would have been an obvious method is I'd say slight evidence. The lack of anything I'd see as evidence of planning is also slight evidence and I believe that explaining away unplan as poor plan and a lack of spoor of god as perhaps it's very well hidden is actually an illogical position.

There are of course the Panspermia and Alien scientists theories. I don't 'believe' those yet. How could I? Believe one and you have to disbelieve the others. Though there is a few indications that favour panspermia.

As for other plans, I didn't challenge them as they weren't presented. It's not for me to think up theist material. By all means, feel free to suggest other logically sound and persuasive plans of creation that make sense of what looks very much like a hit and miss process in a random cosmos.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,996,789 times
Reputation: 5074
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
That's true. But what should we call that position?

If we were to use only one word, it would be agnosticism. That's the popular definition of the word, and any other single word (atheist or theist) is misleading.

Granted, if we were to use two words, (differentiating between knowledge and belief,) then one could be either agnostic-atheist or agnostic-theist or perhaps agnostic-agnostic.

But why complicate matters? If you don't believe in a god, just call yourself an atheist, If you do, a theist, and if you don't really know, agnostic. That's my opinion at any rate. I used to be an atheist, but now am agnostic.
We are having this discussion in another thread, so I won't go on about it. But to not believe is atheism. One needn't be absolutely convinced that there is no god in order to be an atheist. Since I don't think that one can know whether there is a god or not, I am also an agnostic. Hence I'm an agnostic atheist. It isn't complicated at all. The "popular" definition of the word 'agnostic' is misleading, and I see no point in dumbing down to fit. Ach, I'm going on about it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,333 posts, read 2,509,869 times
Reputation: 258
I personally, Boxcar, thought all that you're saying also had to be concerned for the officially accepted view of the existence of a whole universe, created or not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-29-2011, 07:10 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,026,706 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I will make these two points:

Do you know if everything was created without a God? Is "don't believe" a logical position arising from "don't know" with respect to a non-god explanation for the cosmos?

It seems to me you are applying the "Don't know -> Don't believe" logic in an inconsistent way. If the logic is sound, it should apply equally to "god" as it does to "not god."

Thus you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by a god."

But at the same time you would be forced to say "I don't know and therefore don't believe the cosmos was created by something other than a god."

Atheism implies that you don't believe the universe was caused by a god, but you do believe it was caused by something other than a god.

Agnosticism more properly conforms to the idea that we don't have good evidence either way.



As for evidence of a plan, I don't believe you presented evidence for why the universe wasn't planned. You presented evidence that it wasn't planned well or wasn't planned in a way that incorporated human beings as a central element. Thus you left intact many other types of plans that you didn't challenge.
If I don't believe the universe was caused by a god, why would that therefore mean that I have to hold some kind of belief that it was caused by something other than a god? I don't have a clue as to how the universe came about or if it has always existed. I have no reason to believe that a god exists, so I therefore would not have a belief that a god did ANYTHING, much less create the universe. However, my "non-belief" in god does not therefore mean that I have to hold some alternative "belief" about the universe's origins. I can admit that I "don't know."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top