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View Poll Results: Do you consider yourself an agnostic or atheist?
agnostic 57 36.54%
atheist 99 63.46%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-25-2014, 04:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
..

Now it's quite possible that I am the only one interested in how the semantics have twisted the debates. Maybe everyone else is content with saying "there is no such thing as a supernatural god" without ever pausing to consider that they didn't make a factual claim and instead might have just as well said, "there's no such things as dry cats that are wet" or something else of similar illogic.

But to me at least, there is value in clearly defining what it is I believe, and why it is I believe it.
Ok. That clarifies your position, which I'd sorta gathered anyway. You believe that something that one could reasonably call a god must have appeared somewhere in the universe. I can imagine that you could say you 'know' it to be true, just as we might saw we 'know' there are no leprechauns. The similarity being in the degree of statistical certainty, rather than in the method of evaluation (yours on statistical probability and the other on negative evidence).

On the question on relevance to us, I imagine we are the same. There is no plausible evidence to believe that any such god interacts with us here. Correct me if you think there is.

Therefore it seems to me that this god-belief of yours doesn't require you to do anything about it but put down 'agnostic theist' . And for us to say 'Ok' and move on.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:21 AM
 
Location: OKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Ok. That clarifies your position, which I'd sorta gathered anyway. You believe that something that one could reasonably call a god must have appeared somewhere in the universe. I can imagine that you could say you 'know' it to be true, just as we might saw we 'know' there are no leprechauns. The similarity being in the degree of statistical certainty, rather than in the method of evaluation (yours on statistical probability and the other on negative evidence).

On the question on relevance to us, I imagine we are the same. There is no plausible evidence to believe that any such god interacts with us here. Correct me if you think there is.

Therefore it seems to me that this god-belief of yours doesn't require you to do anything about it but put down 'agnostic theist' . And for us to say 'Ok' and move on.
I would describe my level of certainty in the belief that an advanced alien/god exists somewhere in the universe as "probably true", because there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the basic requirements for life to evolve on a foreign planet.

I agree there is no plausible evidence to believe that any alien/god has every interacted or currently interacts with us.

And I agree that my alien/god belief doesn't require anything of us, although I do think my understanding of the word "god" is clearer and makes more logical sense than how the word is commonly employed. The advantage of that is that it avoids some of the confusion often tied to theistic debates.

That's really all there is to it.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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That's fine. And we may agree to differ in the rather minor matter of you having gone to the side of probable existence of something that is so advanced that we might call it a god (or gods) while I prefer to say, that is not impossible but I really don't know and would prefer not to believe as probable what I don't know, we seem to agree on everything else.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Western Oregon
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The thing I have a hard time with is that no two definitions really match, if you really get into it. I suppose the reason we would want to define ourselves one way or the other would be so that we could discuss it. But then when we get deeper into it, sometimes we find out we don't have a basis even for agreement or disagreement sometimes.
So my conclusion is that when we really get down to it, even agnostics disagree with each other. Even atheists disagree with each other. Members of any faith have a range of beliefs. So as much as we want to discuss it here, it will always be apples to kumquats to lugnuts.

Words are our best tools for communication, but they can't communicate our deepest beliefs very well. Why do we try? (Seriously). It's because we want to find some common ground. But words fall way short. This discussion might be accomplishing way less than we think it is. Not to complain, since obviously I am here too, putting my thoughts down in detail.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:31 AM
 
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That is why I dislike this idea of picking up someone using a particular term and insisting that this particular definition means that he ought to believe This or That, never mind what he actually thinks. It is even worse when they cherry pick one of a list of definitions.

It is better to find out in discussion what is actually meant and sometimes a better term comes out. Sometimes Agnosticism is a blanket term- in fact it is, and nobody really knoiws and you just have people who don't know but think they do, don't know but are pretty sure, don't know who (or who) to believe, think a god quite likely but not probable, think it not very likely or no good evidence for it, anyway and those who arepretty sure that no God exists (to a given value of 'God' ). Seems to me the term 'agnostic needs some explanation, and indeed,is used in a more specific way than just. 'Don't know for sure there's a God, but certainly not sure that there isn't'.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Atheist - I am pretty convinced there is no god. We are all we have.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Crabcakes View Post
Atheist - I am pretty convinced there is no god. We are all we have.
If there is Crabcakes, it is enough.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:11 PM
 
354 posts, read 245,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill
I would describe my level of certainty in the belief that an advanced alien/god
exists somewhere in the universe as "probably true", because there is still a
lot of uncertainty surrounding the basic requirements for life to evolve on a
foreign planet.
This is where we differ. Boxcar's god would basically be us with more years and technology under the belt. Not sure, but I'd guess most humans wouldn't call such a thing a god. I certainly would not. Like Boxcar however, I'm quite confident such a thing probably (greater than 99 percent chance) does exist. I'm probably even more confident than Boxcar. We're already in the early stages of testing this belief of mine, and because it would be a physical phenomenon, unlike most anthropogenic gods, it can be eventually proven.

What you might ask makes this concept unworthy of the god label from my perspective? I would not worship it.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:29 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTaTHEIST View Post

What you might ask makes this concept unworthy of the god label from my perspective? I would not worship it.
I'm not sure if that is valid distinguishing trait. Throughout history there have been many god that were believed to exist but not worshiped. Henotheism is the belief in many gods but the worship of only one. So the early jews, for example, believed in gods other than Yahweh, but they only worshiped Yahweh. And even though the Greeks believed Hades was real, few worshiped him.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:42 PM
 
354 posts, read 245,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I'm not sure if that is valid distinguishing trait.
From my perspective, if it's not worthy of worship, it's not worthy of the title. As to what makes a god a god is so vague and varied, we each construct our own parameters. You've constructed the parameters for a naturally occurring god, which runs counter to most anthropogenic god concepts, especially modern ones. You'd probably be hard pressed to find many who would refer to your ultra-advanced alien model as a god.

I'd be the first to agree we should set a universal definition/standard, but sadly, it doesn't exist. So basically it comes down to your personal definition. Mine includes that it must be worship.

Quote:
Throughout history there have been many god that were believed to exist but not worshiped. Henotheism is the belief in many gods but the worship of only one. So the early jews, for example, believed in gods other than Yahweh, but they only worshiped Yahweh. And even though the Greeks believed Hades was real, few worshiped him.
While all these different gods were not worshipped universally (which has always been the case throughout history), I'd wager there were at least a few humans who worshipped them individually. Just see Hinduism for modern examples.
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