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Old 02-13-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Several problems.

Many agnostics say that science has nothing to do with religion since we can never disprove it (indeed it is impossible to disprove something that does not even exist) or prove it. That may be true but the science aspect is entirely false. In science we have every right to talk about the probability of something. Just because we don't know if there is a floating tea pot in space which is invisible to the human eye does not mean we have to be 50/50 on the issue, as a rational human being we can say "theres a high probability it does not exist". The majority of atheists are in fact agnostics - in other words we agree we can not DISPROVE the super natural and we can not know for certain that such things don't exist but we know there is a large probability that such things don't exist. In other words I have a problem with the "true agnostics" who are 50/50 on every supernatural issue. If you use your brain you can see that is has no evidence and probably does not exist, meaning you lean on one side or the other..make up your mind!

As Dawkins says
Quote:
There is nothing wrong with being agnostic in cases where we lack evidence one way or the other. It is the reasonable position. But there is also a deeply inescapable kind of fence-sitting agnosticism. They often make the illogical deduction that the hypothesis of God's existence, and the hypothesis of his non existance, have exactly equal probability of being right. It is a scientific question; one day we may know the answer, and meanwhile we can say something pretty strong about the probability.
In other words you can be "agnostic" about the chemical composition of the sun in the 1800s, that is until we had the spectroscope which gave us evidence. As it is right now the evidence and science overwhelmingly points that the non existance of god has a much higher probability than him existing. Just like it is highly improbable for their to be flying cows in space that live off of space dust. Both are just as probable and improbable. But as a intelligent human being you should be able to come to the conclusion that both god and flying magican cows are both very unlikely to exist.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I agree with Dawkins when he says that although he can't prove that there is no god, the likelihood is at the vanishing point. Neither can I, so technically I'm an agnostic-atheist. However, I can't disprove lots of other wildly improbable tales either.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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Also I'd like to point something out. Here is the difference of atheism/agnosticism and religion.

Category 1 Atheist "I think it is highly improbable that a god exist, and I live my life accordingly"

Category 2 Atheist "I know with absolute certainty that god does not exist and I live my life accordingly"

Even Richard Dawkins himself says he is in category 1. I have never heard of an atheist express the beliefs in category 2. Indeed many rational atheists might even ridicule fellow atheists in category 2

Now lets look at religious.

Category 1 "I don't have absolute proof or certainty but I believe god exists and live my life accordingly"

Category 2 "I know for a fact that god absolutely exists"

Now Category 2 is very common among religious people, while category 2 for atheists is not. It's quite obvious which is more rational. Keep this in mind the next time a religious person claims atheism is just another "religion".


In other words atheists use rationallity and probability while religious people don't. I have never heard an atheist say "I know for an absolute fact god doesnt exist", even richard dawkins would ask him, wheres your evidence? Obviously thats irrational but I have heard many religious people saying their belief in the super natural is absolutely true. No rationality or laws of probability there..

Last edited by Bibi12; 02-13-2010 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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Indeed. I go by George H Smith's definitions of gnosticism/agnosticism and theism/atheism:

Gnostics 'know' whether there is a god or not. Agnostics don't.

Theists believe in a god (or gods), while atheists don't.

Therefore, mixing and matching, the combination of agnostic atheist is most rational.
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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True, but as I said earlier my problem with "agnostics" is the fence sitting 50/50 ones who are indifferent to the discussion. I find this just as irrational as religious people. You have a brain, you can't be indifferent to such a question.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:56 PM
 
Location: An absurd world.
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The whole atheist vs agnostic issue is an illusion anyway that only exists because of people's lack of knowledge of the definitions of the words they are using.

Atheism/Theism is about belief. Do you believe or not?
Agnosticism is about knowledge. Is the existence of god(s) knowable or unknowable?

A person calling themselves an agnostic says nothing about their belief in a god. An agnostic can be an atheist or a theist (or deist for that matter).


With that said, it is annoying when some people twist the meaning of the term agnostic to make it seem like some neutral position or something.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haaziq View Post
The whole atheist vs agnostic issue is an illusion anyway that only exists because of people's lack of knowledge of the definitions of the words they are using.

Atheism/Theism is about belief. Do you believe or not?
Agnosticism is about knowledge. Is the existence of god(s) knowable or unknowable?

A person calling themselves an agnostic says nothing about their belief in a god. An agnostic can be an atheist or a theist (or deist for that matter).


With that said, it is annoying when some people twist the meaning of the term agnostic to make it seem like some neutral position or something.
Well said!
Agnosticism is more of a philosophical view than a religious/non-religious one. Apples and oranges.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:04 PM
 
39,023 posts, read 10,812,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NihonKitty View Post
True, but as I said earlier my problem with "agnostics" is the fence sitting 50/50 ones who are indifferent to the discussion. I find this just as irrational as religious people. You have a brain, you can't be indifferent to such a question.
Yep. But people are free to be indifferent to whatever doesn't interest them. There are atheists who either cannot or will not concern themselves with the argument for or against gods. I think it leaves them open the evangelism package, but it's up to them. All I want to see is that, if they are asked to consider espousing a religion, both sides of the argument are there for them to consider.

I suppose I have modified my view to accept that some agnostics may have looked at the arguments and decided that there must be a god (or something on which the label han be slapped) but don't know anything about it. I can be pretty content with them as they tend not to preach.
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Not.here
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The practical type of agnosticism that I'm aware of says, "if there's no evidence to support something, don't waste your time with it?"
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NihonKitty View Post
The point of this thread is that I tire of the people who disagree with even talking about probabilities. They think god has an equal chance of existing as he doesn't exist, which is preposterous. If they truly believe this then they believe everysingle ridiculous thing I can think of right now has a 50/50 chance of existing. I can say that My dog can fly into space and doesn't need oxygen and can also shape shift into a human, would they say it's 50/50? If the answer is no, then why do they believe 50/50 about god.
As a person well versed in statistical analyses who happens to be agnostic, I cannot agree with this view at all.
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