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Old 26th September 2003, 09:51 AM   #1
Darwin
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Why agnosticism?

What do you think about it,agnosticism?
Using a dictionary definition,an agnostic would state that "the existence of a God cannot be either accepted or denied".I can see how one could have a problem with this definition though,and there appears to be variations of it.
Biologist Thomas Huxley,as a famous example of an agnostic,gave us the idea of "not being able to know",while "not necessarily believing" (these are not really direct quotes).
Where philosopher Herbert Spencer felt that there will be things outside of human mind´s reach,Darwin (probable agnostic) thought that the whole issue goes beyond one´s intellect.
So,I wonder,why agnosticism? I think there are agnostics lurking around to offer their thoughts.
In a way it appears that agnosticism has logical edge in that it it appears true that the issue we are dealing with is often untestable unless predictions are made (on this ground,we can perhaps,more easily put to rest a God or two) and in that a solid one.But why should one assume this position,why not simply disbelieve? As for me,I think fairly highly of agnosticism,but I find no reason to entertain it myself,so far.
Responses of all kinds are appreciated.Thank you.
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Old 26th September 2003, 10:15 AM   #2
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For me, I used to be an athiest (expressedly denied the existance of god). Now I'm not so sure.

In reality, agnosticism just fits in with my whole philosophy better. I'm trying not to believe in anything, because I feel that if I believe in something then I close my mind to other opions, and possibly correct ones. So in essence it comes down to a lack of belief either way. I don't believe god exists, I don't believe god doesn't exists, however I am willing to entertain either option at any given point of time.

That help?
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Old 26th September 2003, 10:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hegel
So in essence it comes down to a lack of belief either way. I don't believe god exists, I don't believe god doesn't exists, however I am willing to entertain either option at any given point of time.


What he said.
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Old 26th September 2003, 10:37 AM   #4
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I always thought agnosticism was a belief in some sort of abstract God that had nothing to do with what organized religions said about it. Well, I'm an idiot.
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Old 26th September 2003, 10:42 AM   #5
Michael Redman
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Quote:
Originally posted by c4ts
I always thought agnosticism was a belief in some sort of abstract God that had nothing to do with what organized religions said about it. Well, I'm an idiot.
That's what I think Deism is.

The first part, not the being an idiot part.

That's fundamentalism.
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Old 26th September 2003, 10:55 AM   #6
Darwin
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Thanks.Keep it coming.

Deism:
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism
Agnosticism:
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism
Rather different.Some dictionary definitions can be very bad (well,at least as far atheism goes),I prefer these sources.

"That help?"

Sure.Everything goes.
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Old 26th September 2003, 11:02 AM   #7
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there is a bit of mixed definition of terms. Sometimes the set of definitions people use is something like:

Atheists: make the postive statement god does not exist

Agnostic: non-existance of god cannot be proven, but do not accept the existance of a god either without any evidence


These are close to the dictionary definition. Atheism as defined above is a positive statement that cannot be proven, and can be derided as just as much a statement of faith as stating a god exists. It is also sometimes refered to as Hard Atheism. Agnostic as defined above is also sometimes refered to as Soft Atheims.

The other pair of definitions sometimes used:

Atheism: does not believe in the existance of a god (combination of hard and soft atheism)

Agnostic: does not know if a god exists or not, possibly considers it an unanswerable question


So by the first set I would be an agnostic, by the second set I'm an atheist. Then we can bring in comparisons like the Loch Ness Monster. We would say it doesn't exist, which is similar to the Hard Atheist statement on god. Technically you can't completely prove such a creature never existed, but we have no problem makeing this statement. So a person can say that if we are justified in makeing the postive statement Nessie doesn't exist, then we are also justified in makeing the positive statement god does not exist.
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Old 26th September 2003, 11:39 AM   #8
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i am an atheist, and i actively disbelieve in any god/gods due to the fact that there has never been any real evidence for the existance of a god/gods. however, this active disbelief does not mean that i wouldn't change my opinion if valid evidence for a god/gods was found. to me, agnosticism has always seemed silly. being an agnostic about god/gods is no less silly than being an agnostic about santa claus.

i once heard, and this might be pure anecdotal hogwash, that the term "agnosticism" was coined as a joke by some late 19th century wag making fun of the fact that the "inteligentsia" of the time had a need to label everything, whether it needed to be labeled or not. whether that story is correct or not, i have always thought it to be apt, as i don't really believe that agnosticism is a valid philosophical position. in modern times, agnosticim seems to be nothing more than a reaction to invalid negative connotations to atheism brought about by the more rabidly religious to discredit those they feel are their enemies.
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Old 26th September 2003, 12:31 PM   #9
Titus Rivas
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Agnosticism as an incoherent position

I would like to comment on this issue from another angle, namely that of the internal coherence of the position of agnosticism.

I think it's very difficult to formulate a version of agnosticism that wouldn't contradict itself implicitly.

Here's the logical problem I have with agnosticism:
1. First of all, agnosticism is a position about the knowability of the existence of a theistic or deistic god, i.e. of a divine creator who has created the whole manifest universe and its laws, whether he's still involved in its historical development (theism) or not (deism).
1a. Agnosticism claims that it is apriori impossible to know if there's a creator or not.
2. The existence of a creator supposedly would make a lot of difference, even all the difference "in the world" , for the structure of manifest reality.
2a. A world created by a divinity would have to be fundamentally different from a uncreated world.
3. If an uncreated world differs from a created world, it should in principle be possible to know if the world is created or not.
4. Thus, agnosticism claims that it is apriori impossible to know if there is a creator, whereas the very concept of a creator implies that his existence can in principle be known.

You may think you can save agnosticism from this incoherence by redefining the concept of a creator. A creator would be redefined as a being that makes no difference for reality and that's why he can't be known. However, that definition of a creator is clearly absurd, as creating the world and its laws makes all the difference one can imagine. A real creator who is nothing but "a superfluous hypothesis" for our understanding of the world simply makes no sense.

Agnosticism is about a creator as commonly understood by atheism and theism.

Please note that we're talking here about agnosticism in the non-trivial sense (we can't know if there is a god or not), not in the trivial sense which translates as "I just don't know if there is a god".

Perhaps the least incoherent form of agnosticism is a form of complete anti-rationalist epistemic skepticism or irrationalism, which simply claims we cannot know anything. However, even that form would be incoherent, as we would supposedly be able to know its truth.

Any comments?

Titus

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Old 26th September 2003, 01:03 PM   #10
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
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Titus said:
Quote:
2. The existence of a creator supposedly would make a lot of difference, even all the difference "in the world" , for the structure of manifest reality.
Perhaps, but how do we know what those differences are?

~~ Paul
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Old 26th September 2003, 01:22 PM   #11
Titus Rivas
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In principle

Hi Paul,

Quote:
Perhaps, but how do we know what those differences are?
I have no exact recipe, but then again my argument is aimed against agnosticism, rather than an argument for atheism or theism.

In general, if the world is created by an intelligent creator, it should show in the structure of its laws, etc. Clever theoretical scientists should in principle be able to predict aspects of the way the world is structured that would follow from a theist or an atheist scenario. Again, if there's a creator he (just a grammatical gender ) should leave a mark in his creation.


Titus
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Old 26th September 2003, 01:49 PM   #12
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Well, I guess the Creationists would agree with you, since they think they've found the evidence. I remain agnostic, or perhaps I should say, anagnostic.

~~ Paul
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Old 26th September 2003, 02:09 PM   #13
Titus Rivas
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Logos

Quote:
Well, I guess the Creationists would agree with you, since they think they've found the evidence.
Yep, but so would the atheists. Note that my point is about the apriori, in principle knowability of the existence of a creator. If there is a creator, then he should be in principle knowable. Even if this in principle knowability would never lead to knowledge in practice. In other words, even if agnosticism in the trivial sense were true.

Quote:
I remain agnostic, or perhaps I should say, anagnostic
You should say so perhaps, but not write, as it certainly means something else

Unless you're just referring to your surname of course.

Titus
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Old 26th September 2003, 02:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
”Darwin” asked:
What do you think about it, agnosticism?
Agnosticism = The existence of “God” is unknown, or there is not enough information to make a definite conclusion regarding the existence of “God”.

I would say that Agnosticism is a logically consistent, realistic, and skeptical position to hold.
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Old 26th September 2003, 03:22 PM   #15
Stimpson J. Cat
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I'm inclined to agree with Titus on this one. In fact, I think there is an even simpler, and more air-tight proof.

If we define agnosticism to be the belief that the existence of God is unknowable, we can make the following deductions:

1) If the existence of God truly is unknowable, then it necessarily follows that the knowability of the existence of God, is also unknowable. In other words, if it is impossible to know whether God exists or not, then it is also impossible to know whether it is possible to know whether God exists or not.

2) This means that a person who claims that the existence/non-existence of God is unknowable, is claiming to know something which is unknowable.

Of course, this only applies if you define agnosticism to be the claim that the existence of God is unknowable. If you define it to be lack of knowledge of God's existence, as most modern agnostics do, then this argument is not applicable.


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Old 26th September 2003, 03:59 PM   #16
Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
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Titus said:
Quote:
You should say so perhaps, but not write, as it certainly means something else.
Well, let's see. Since agnosticism has been co-opted to refer to knowledge of god, I'll co-opt anagnosticism to refer to knowledge of ice cream, and I'm definitely on top of the ice cream situation.

Stimpy, here's what you said:

1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

3. Therefore a person claiming to know whether god exists is claiming something unknowable

But statement 2 is only true if statement 1 is true, so statement 3 is paradoxical.

~~ Paul
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Old 26th September 2003, 04:13 PM   #17
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Paul,

Quote:
Stimpy, here's what you said:

1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

3. Therefore a person claiming to know whether god exists is claiming something unknowable

But statement 2 is only true if statement 1 is true, so statement 3 is paradoxical.
Actually, number 3 should read:

3. Therefore a person claiming to know that the existence of God is unknowable, is claiming to know something which is unknowable.


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Old 26th September 2003, 04:26 PM   #18
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I could be wrong about this but it is possible to know that something is unknowable. Take Hiesenberg's uncertianty principal. We can not know both the the velocity and position of a particle or system with any arbitraty degree of precision. Therefore we know that this is unknowable.

Also, a black hole, we will never know for sure what goes on in the singularity because no information can ever get out. Again
we know this info is unknowable.

Since all we ever will know exists in this universe, we can never know what exists (if anything) outside this universe, or before, or after. So I would suppose that agnostics believe that God exists outside this universe, so therefore unknowable.

You can know something about something that is unknowable because you can know what it is not. We can know that it is not knowable. So there
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Old 26th September 2003, 04:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
I could be wrong about this but it is possible to know that something is unknowable. Take Hiesenberg's uncertianty principal. We can not know both the the velocity and position of a particle or system with any arbitraty degree of precision. Therefore we know that this is unknowable.

Also, a black hole, we will never know for sure what goes on in the singularity because no information can ever get out. Again
we know this info is unknowable.

those aren't very good examples, as they are simply situations where we are constrained by our technology and our current grasp of physics. they aren't truly unknowable.
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Old 26th September 2003, 04:40 PM   #20
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Oops, you're right, Stimpson:

1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

3. Therefore a person claiming to know that the existence of God is unknowable, is claiming to know something which is unknowable.

But statement 3 is only true if statement 2 is true, and statement 2's truth means that statement 1 is true. Statement 3 is still paradoxical, no?

Of course, implication tells us nothing about the truth of statement 2 when statement 1 is false, so perhaps 1 is false but 2 is true.

Uruk brings up an interesting point. Why does statement 1 imply statement 2?

~~ Paul
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Old 26th September 2003, 04:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by uruk
I could be wrong about this but it is possible to know that something is unknowable. Take Hiesenberg's uncertianty principal. We can not know both the the velocity and position of a particle or system with any arbitraty degree of precision. Therefore we know that this is unknowable.

Also, a black hole, we will never know for sure what goes on in the singularity because no information can ever get out. Again
we know this info is unknowable.

Since all we ever will know exists in this universe, we can never know what exists (if anything) outside this universe, or before, or after. So I would suppose that agnostics believe that God exists outside this universe, so therefore unknowable.

You can know something about something that is unknowable because you can know what it is not. We can know that it is not knowable. So there
Philosophy Aside, again, there is no evidence for god[s], yet plenty we don't know about science. Why bank on the side of no evidence??????

I'll tell ya why: social pressure, family pressure, history, society, tradition, folklore, human nature........................................
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Old 27th September 2003, 10:42 AM   #22
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Paul,

Quote:
Uruk brings up an interesting point. Why does statement 1 imply statement 2?
Perhaps I should have provided the logic connecting step 1 to step 2. I can see now that it is not quite as obvious as I thought it was.

If the existence of God is truly unknowable, then this implies that one of two possibilities is true:

1) God does not exist. If this is the case, then his existence is unknowable, because you can never prove that he does not exist.

2) God does exist, but does not interact with the Universe in any way. As Uruk put it, he exists outside the universe.

So which of the above is the agnostic claiming?

If he is claiming the first, then he is claiming to know that God does not exist. That is a contradiction, since he also claims this is unknowable.

If he is claiming the second, then he is claiming to know that God does exist, which is also a contradiction, for the same reason.

If he is claiming that one or the other of those two is true, but that he does not know which, then he is claiming that if god exists, then he doesn't interact with the universe. But this, too, is unknowable, for exactly the same reason that it is impossible to know that god does not exist. It is always possible that God does interact with the universe, and that you have just not seen or recognized the effects.

So no matter which way you slice it, the agnostic must be claiming to know something which, if it were true, would be unknowable.


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Old 27th September 2003, 11:00 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Titus said:


1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

~~ Paul
I'm with Paul. I don't see how the second statement follows from the first. Why can't you know whether something is unknowable? You say this is so, but what is your reasoning?
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Old 27th September 2003, 11:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stimpson J. Cat
Paul,




1) God does not exist. If this is the case, then his existence is unknowable, because you can never prove that he does not exist.

2) God does exist, but does not interact with the Universe in any way. As Uruk put it, he exists outside the universe.

.


Dr. Stupid
These are not the only two possibilities. Actually, neither of them is a possibility, since an agnostic claims no knowledge either way. Agnostics simply think that - based on the current evidence - we cannot say with any certainty whether or not God exists. I don't see anything contradictery in this kind of statement at all.

And I still don't see how this justifies your previous statements about knowing whether something is unknowable, etc etc.

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Old 27th September 2003, 11:23 AM   #25
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Slightly revising Franco's earlier comments:

Agnosticism = there is not enough information to make a definite conclusion regarding the existence of “God”.

Some definitions of god fare better than others, imo. That is, for a given "god" I may hold the "99.999% certain does not exist" position, but remain agnostic.

I also would say that Agnosticism is a logically consistent, realistic, and skeptical position to hold. Of course, idealists & dualists have less problems here than materialists (or whatever they now call themselves -- naturalists, maybe?).


Er, my agnosticism also extends to the question of "knowability".
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Old 27th September 2003, 11:48 AM   #26
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I think it's a cop-out. Just make up your mind.

I like the new term, "Bright", but I won't refer to myself as such around people I don't know, because it's just too wishy-washy; it includes everything.

I am an atheist. It's not a matter of beleif, it's a matter of fact. There is no god.
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Old 27th September 2003, 12:02 PM   #27
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Renfield,

Quote:
I'm with Paul. I don't see how the second statement follows from the first. Why can't you know whether something is unknowable? You say this is so, but what is your reasoning?
On the contrary. I would not claim that it is true in general that it is impossible to know whether some fact is unknowable. I have explained why I think it is clearly true in this specific case.

Quote:
1) God does not exist. If this is the case, then his existence is unknowable, because you can never prove that he does not exist.

2) God does exist, but does not interact with the Universe in any way. As Uruk put it, he exists outside the universe.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These are not the only two possibilities. Actually, neither of them is a possibility, since an agnostic claims no knowledge either way. Agnostics simply think that - based on the current evidence - we cannot say with any certainty whether or not God exists. I don't see anything contradictery in this kind of statement at all.
I am afraid you misunderstood my argument. I am quite aware that most agnostics mean by the term only that they lack knowledge of the existence of God. I myself consider myself an agnostic, and that is exactly what I mean by the term when I say that I am one.

My entire point was that if you define agnosticism to be not just lack of knowledge of the existence of God, but also the position that the existence of God is, in principle, unknowable, then there is a problem.

I don't define it that way. Apparently neither do you. Good for us.


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Old 27th September 2003, 12:15 PM   #28
slimshady2357
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoeFaux
It's not a matter of beleif, it's a matter of fact. There is no god.
That's quite a claim, can you back that up with evidence. I mean, you're certainly making a positive claim here, a claim to have facts that show there is no god. Please present them.

It is a matter of belief, if you're rational about it.

Adam
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Old 27th September 2003, 12:32 PM   #29
MoeFaux
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Quote:
Originally posted by slimshady2357


That's quite a claim, can you back that up with evidence. I mean, you're certainly making a positive claim here, a claim to have facts that show there is no god. Please present them.

It is a matter of belief, if you're rational about it.

Adam
It's my opinion that it's a fact. So, we can file it under "Opinion", but, to me it's a fact.
I can't think of any evidence to back up a god, but I can think of plenty of evidence to back up evolution, i.e. Darwin's finches, all kinds of archeological discoveries of pre-human skulls, etc.

You are right, though, it is my opinion. That evidence could be taken any way. Even the pope has said that evolution could be the way the world was created, and there's plenty of Believers who say evolution is correct.
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Old 27th September 2003, 01:19 PM   #30
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MoeFaux,

Quote:
It's my opinion that it's a fact. So, we can file it under "Opinion", but, to me it's a fact.
Since when are facts a matter of opinion?

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Old 27th September 2003, 01:23 PM   #31
MoeFaux
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stimpson J. Cat
MoeFaux,



Since when are facts a matter of opinion?

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When it's mine.
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Old 27th September 2003, 01:51 PM   #32
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Stimpy, isn't there a third option, in addition to:
Quote:
1) God does not exist. If this is the case, then his existence is unknowable, because you can never prove that he does not exist.

2) God does exist, but does not interact with the Universe in any way. As Uruk put it, he exists outside the universe.
3) God does exist, but he interacts with the Universe through a magical means that will always appear to be entirely natural.

Oh wait, never mind.

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Old 27th September 2003, 01:54 PM   #33
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Logic question

Stimpy, why does this original formulation appear to be paradoxical? Is my brain malfunctioning?
Quote:
1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

3. Therefore a person claiming to know that the existence of God is unknowable, is claiming to know something which is unknowable.
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Old 27th September 2003, 02:50 PM   #34
ReasonableDoubt
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Re: Agnosticism as an incoherent position

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
The existence of a creator supposedly would make a lot of difference, even all the difference "in the world", for the structure of manifest reality. ... A world created by a divinity would have to be fundamentally different from a uncreated world.
I suggest that there is zero reason/evidence for such a claim. Certainly none has been offered.

There is, in my opinion, a difference between what is knowable and what warrants belief. Agnosticism speaks to the former; atheism to the latter. Huxley's agnosticism was cleanly defined by Huxley himself: Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle. Positively, the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, follow your reason as far as it can take you without other considerations. And negatively, in matters of the intellect, do not pretend that matters are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable. This impresses me as little more than an early expression of methodological naturalism. For example:
Quote:
In contrasting the Western religions with science, the most important vriterion of distinction is that the supernatural or spiritual realm is unknowable ... Given this fiat by the theistic believers, science simply ignores the supernatural as being outside the scope of scientific inquiry. Scientists in effect are saying:
  • You religious believers set up your postulates as truths, and we take you at your word. By definition, you render your beliefs unassailable and unavailable.
This attitude is not one of surrender, but simply an expression of the logical impossibility of proving the existence of something about which nothing can possibly be known through scientific investigation.

- Understanding Science: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues by Arthur N. Strahler
I suggest that many if not most atheists are agnonostics. As for "A world created by a divinity would have to be fundamentally different from a uncreated world.", perhaps the best response is " do not pretend that matters are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable".
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Old 27th September 2003, 03:17 PM   #35
Titus Rivas
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Agnosticism about supernatural beings and creator

Hi Reasonable Doubt,

You're probably right that not all real supernatural beings would have to be knowable for us humans. You might compare this to say hypothetical parallel universes of a kind that would never interact with ours.

However, agnosticism is not simply talking about the knowability of the existence of ANY supernatural being, but specifically of the existence of the supposed creator of this world we inhabit. My point is that such a creator is not the kind of being whose existence would be in principle unknowable.

So I claim that a priori unknowability is at odds with the definition of a creator, and that therefore the theory of non-trivial agnosticism is incoherent.

Please note that I'm not talking about what I see as trivial agnosticism which may have such meanings as "I actually don't know whether there is a God", "so far there haven't been any conclusive arguments for or against the existence of a god", etc.

A non-trivial agnostic is someone with an interesting, but incoherent view.

A trivial agnostic is simply someone who has reasons to believe it is as yet impossible to decide if theism (or deism) or atheism is right.

I'm talking about the implicit claim that the existence of a creator would make no difference for reality, i.e. that reality would be completely identical if it is created or if it is not created. This is does not at all imply that I would claim we already know whether atheism or theism is right, but simply that agnosticism is wrong, as it is incoherent that the existence or non-existence of a creator would in principle be indeterminable from arguments founded on reality. So my rejection of non-trivial agnosticism is in principle reconcilible with a trivial agnostic stand on this issue .

Titus

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Old 27th September 2003, 03:37 PM   #36
Stimpson J. Cat
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Paul,

Quote:
Stimpy, why does this original formulation appear to be paradoxical? Is my brain malfunctioning?

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. If it is impossible to know whether god exists

2. Then it is impossible to know whether it is possible to know

3. Therefore a person claiming to know that the existence of God is unknowable, is claiming to know something which is unknowable.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't know. It doesn't seem paradoxical to me. Could the problem be that (3) seems somewhat counterintuitive? We would not normally think that claiming that something is unknowable is a claim of knowledge. But in this case, that is exactly what it is.

Here is another way to think about it. Let's define God1 to mean any conception of God. Let's define God2 to mean only those conceptions of God in which God interacts with the world in some potentially observable way.

Now, to claim to know that the existence of a God1 is unknowable, is to claim know that no sort of God2 exists.

But if this is true, if no sort of God2 does exist, then it is impossible to know this, because it is impossible to prove that such a God does not exist. It is always possible that such a God does exist, and that we simply have not identified any of his interactions yet.

Therefore the claimant must claim to know something which, if he is right, is unknowable.

In other words, nobody can claim to know that an interacting Deity does not exist, but that is exactly what you must do, in order to claim that the existence of any sort of Deity is unknowable.


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Old 27th September 2003, 03:39 PM   #37
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Why agnosticism?

"I don't know, and I don't care."
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Old 27th September 2003, 03:53 PM   #38
ReasonableDoubt
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Re: Agnosticism about supernatural beings and creator

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
My point is that such a creator is not the kind of being whose existence would be in principle unknowable.
Nor is it the "kind of being whose existence would be in principle knowable". Unless you can demonstrate a methodology (protocol) capable of providing verifiable information about the supernatural, you've managed to say essentially nothing.
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Old 27th September 2003, 04:03 PM   #39
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As to the moronic Gods of the OT and NT - I am atheistic. That much I'm sure of.

Was there a creative force that motivated existence?

I can conclude there being one and I can conclude there not being one. On this and this alone - I'm agnostic.
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Old 27th September 2003, 05:35 PM   #40
Yahweh
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Quote:
Originally posted by slimshady2357
That's quite a claim, can you back that up with evidence. I mean, you're certainly making a positive claim here, a claim to have facts that show there is no god. Please present them.
There are lots and lots of different kinds of science, they all work soundly with one another. With them, you can easily see how the world could have come the way it has without any aid from God.

Also, usually the best way to prove somethings nonexistence is to prove that it cannot logically exist. There are other ways to go about this, but just for the purposes of time, I'll use the famous Arguement from Evil (copied and pasted from the internet, it can be found pretty much all over the place):
1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.
5. Evil exists.
6. If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn't know when evil exists, or doesn't have the desire to eliminate all evil.
7. Therefore, God doesn't exist.

Premise 5 is what makes the contradiction. Premises 1 through 6 do logically (and validly) imply Conclusion 7.

Of course, the usual way people try to go about "refuting" the Arguement from Evil is by claiming that Evil doesnt exist objectively... no s**t, but evil exists when someone's actions conflict with the teachings of Jesus Christ (refusing to turn the other cheek by hauling off and coldcocking someone would be evil). Another way is to suggest that "evil is relative to the observer, what is evil to me might not be evil to you", of course use the same Teaching's of Jesus counter and the Evil is Relative remark becomes irrelevant.

As brought up in another thread, if we "started from scratch" and began science all over again, we would have the the same science as we did before, now try that with religion.

There you go, the world of science sees no need for god, God cannot logically exist using the Arguement from Evil, and the nature of Christianity is as best on shaky grounds. It is perfectly reasonable to say "I know God does not exist".
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