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Tags agnosticism , agnosticism definitions

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Old 4th May 2018, 08:22 AM   #41
Ron_Tomkins
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
If someone asks 'do you believe in love at first sight?', and you answer 'I'm not sure', does that mean you are anti-love at first sight?
No. It means you didn't answer the question. Read again what I posted. It makes no difference if you exchange "God" for "Love" or for whatever other word you choose.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:24 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I hear you, but is taking that particular default necessary? Is there anything wrong with saying, for instance, 1/0 is undefined, rather than defaulting to zero or infinity?

Nothing wrong as such, obviously (nor is it wrong to be a full-blown theist either), but that sense wouldn't comport with Huxley's intention, far as I can see. So to that extent, linguistically speaking, I suppose it would be wrong, yes. (Unless the meaning of that word has evolved away from Huxley's sense. I don't think it has.)
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:28 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
No, not necessarily. Check out Apathia's mother.

Being uninterested in something is so very different from having any view, even a negative view, about it.

Might life have been brought to earth via meteors? That may be a very important question for many, it may be a not-very-important-but-nevertheless-not-wholly-unimportant question for many others, and a wholly and entirely unimportant and uninteresting question for a great many others.

So why not with the God question as well?

(Sorry about the somewhat garbled response. I have no set view on this. I'm feeling my way forward, thinking aloud, in trying to respond to your post.)

Yes, if life is actually proved to have originated on meteors, then it is conceivable that many who are apathetic about that question will begin to take an interest. I suppose that can be said about the God question too?



In ages past, when God was such an important part of one's day-to-day life, perhaps you are right, perhaps one could not really have been uninterested unless one were an atheist. But today? Today I think that is perfectly plausible.
Because the existence of god, whatever that might be, would be a paradigm-altering revelation, not historical minutia. Not caring = assigning no importance to...a god. Not a tenable position, I would think.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:32 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
No. It means you didn't answer the question. Read again what I posted. It makes no difference if you exchange "God" for "Love" or for whatever other word you choose.
I think it does answer it. If asked about love at first sight, you can reasonably think that you have no experience in the subject, or it may be a misunderstood phenomena, or a host of other responses beyond the simple yes or no. I think it is perfectly valid to answer that you cannot to commit to a yes or no on the question of what you believe, given that you do not have enough information to put yourself on one side of the line or the other. What side of the line is 1/0 on?
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:32 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Because the existence of god, whatever that might be, would be a paradigm-altering revelation, not historical minutia. Not caring = assigning no importance to...a god. Not a tenable position, I would think.
It wouldn't be a tenable position for me, that much is certain. Nor you, it seems. But that is probably because we are (that is, that is probably another way of saying that both you and I are) not apatheists.

You know, I haven't personally interacted, IRL, with someone who's an apetheist. But apparently there are such people. (Although a good skeptic would ask for evidence, if only anecdotal experience, for the existence of such people. Well, we have Apathia talking about her mother in this thread itself.)
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:33 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think it does answer it. If asked about love at first sight, you can reasonably think that you have no experience in the subject, or it may be a misunderstood phenomena, or a host of other responses beyond the simple yes or no. I think it is perfectly valid to answer that you cannot to commit to a yes or no on the question of what you believe, given that you do not have enough information to put yourself on one side of the line or the other. What side of the line is 1/0 on?
You don't need to have information about something in order to believe in it.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:38 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
You don't need to have information about something in order to believe in it.
True. You also do not need to commit to belief or not, but can suspend that commitment.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:42 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It wouldn't be a tenable position for me, that much is certain. Nor you, it seems. But that is probably because we are (that is, that is probably another way of saying that both you and I are) not apatheists.

You know, I haven't personally interacted, IRL, with someone who's an apetheist. But apparently there are such people. (Although a good skeptic would ask for evidence, if only anecdotal experience, for the existence of such people. Well, we have Apathia talking about her mother in this thread itself.)
Reading the tale of Apathia's mother, it sounds like she was uninterested in the discussion, at least at that time. I wouldn't take that as an apatheist stance, any more than I would take lack of interest in meteors as an apameteor position; it's just not giving a rat's petootie.
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Old 4th May 2018, 08:50 AM   #49
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All I know is, if asked I now always say non-religious or agnostic. I've literally had people get upset when I said atheist. They seem to think that means I "hate god" and want to destroy their religion.

To sum: I believe the odds of a deity existing are extremely low, however it cannot be proven definitively that there isn't one. Whatever the term is for that, I don't really care.
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Old 4th May 2018, 09:04 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Reading the tale of Apathia's mother, it sounds like she was uninterested in the discussion, at least at that time. I wouldn't take that as an apatheist stance, any more than I would take lack of interest in meteors as an apameteor position; it's just not giving a rat's petootie.
Yes. She was uninterested in religion.
There was also an element of no one has the place to be telling me I ought to be religious. My father was after her about "being saved." After he passed away she was free. So part of her disinterest was an expression of her freedom to be disinterested.

I hear her calling from the grave:
"What is Atheism? What is Agnosticism? I don't give a rat's ass! Just believe whatever you want and don't shove it on me."
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:11 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
That was not intended as a gotcha. You seem to be a thoughtful poster and I am interested in how you would view that analogy, which I am sure you have considered before.
Of course I've considered it before, because "God is love" is the kind of hackney cliche that gets brought out over and over.

Quote:
An MRI would show certain physiological responses, to be sure. You would consider them to be the whole of 'love', then?
It would be the whole of love. It's not a matter of what I consider.

You're invoking a spirit or soul into the neurological process.

Or "Qualia" which is the same thing.

But this particular recursive rabbit hole has already been thoroughly dug out in other threads and has nothing to do with the question be asked so I will not be continuing this further.

Agnosticism is not valid practically because it assumes "God exists" is a magically different kind of question from everything else and therefore "Magically unknowable" has a kind of validity that it doesn't have in other cases. That is not accurate and is special pleading.
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:17 AM   #52
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Agnostics just haven't thought it through.
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Old 4th May 2018, 03:26 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Agnostics just haven't thought it through.
I have no idea.
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Old 4th May 2018, 04:17 PM   #54
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This level of silly linguistic hair splitting over what kind and level of "statement" something is isn't necessary when discussing anything else, so to invoke it with

Is the chair blue? Yes or no. Whether or I am of the opinion that the chair is blue or believe the chair is blue doesn't change anything. The chair is or isn't blue.

There's no invisible dragon living in my garage. Notice I didn't say "Well I'm pretty sure there's no invisible dragon in my garage but I don't know for certain."

But whenever God gets brought into the discussion I'm expected to do that, frame everything in weak, passive, apologetic near groveling.

There is no God. I can make that statement and just... stop talking. I can make that statement and just stop talking even if you disagree with me.
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Old 5th May 2018, 01:56 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This level of silly linguistic hair splitting over what kind and level of "statement" something is isn't necessary when discussing anything else, so to invoke it with

Is the chair blue? Yes or no. Whether or I am of the opinion that the chair is blue or believe the chair is blue doesn't change anything. The chair is or isn't blue.

There's no invisible dragon living in my garage. Notice I didn't say "Well I'm pretty sure there's no invisible dragon in my garage but I don't know for certain."

But whenever God gets brought into the discussion I'm expected to do that, frame everything in weak, passive, apologetic near groveling.

There is no God. I can make that statement and just... stop talking. I can make that statement and just stop talking even if you disagree with me.
I note you only deny you have an invisible dragon in your garage, but you avoid denying that you have an invisible *pink* dragon in your garage!
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Old 5th May 2018, 02:38 AM   #56
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Define “Agnostic”

Intellectual coward.
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Old 5th May 2018, 03:14 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Define “Agnostic”

Intellectual coward.
There are some humans, who don't understand that their reasoning, logic and evidence is not about reasoning, logic and evidence, but emotions.

With regards
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:19 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Reading the tale of Apathia's mother, it sounds like she was uninterested in the discussion, at least at that time.

You’re right, going just by that post, it might well have been that she was uninterested in that particular discussion, nothing more. But Apathia does clarify, later on, that it was religion itself (and therefore God, I suppose?) that her mother was apathetic about.

Like you, I have difficulty conceiving of someone being so wholly uninterested in what appears to me to be a very important question. But it seems this attitude is really a thing -- else we wouldn’t have a whole separate term for it, right? (Yes, that’s circular reasoning, I know!) I suppose I, like you, have difficulty empathizing with apatheism, simply because I myself am not apatheistic, and because I haven’t encountered any apatheist IRL. (And that last is probably because I almost never discuss God and religion at all IRL. In theistic company it would be seen as bad manners, given my own lack of faith ; and in most other places it would be seen as plain weird. I love being able to so freely -- all the more freely because I’m anonymous here -- discuss all of these things here in this forum, with people who share my interest in this subject.)


Quote:
I wouldn't take that as an apatheist stance, any more than I would take lack of interest in meteors as an apameteor position; it's just not giving a rat's petootie.

But isn’t that what is the literal meaning of being apathetic (in general)? And because God is such a thing, such a powerful focus of interest [unlike life via meteors], I suppose that is why we have a separate word for ‘being apathetic about the God question’, which is “apatheism”. “Not giving a rat’s petootie”, as you put it, about the God question -- isn’t that exactly and literally what apatheism is?

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Old 5th May 2018, 06:28 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
Yes. She was uninterested in religion.
There was also an element of no one has the place to be telling me I ought to be religious. My father was after her about "being saved." After he passed away she was free. So part of her disinterest was an expression of her freedom to be disinterested.

I hear her calling from the grave:
"What is Atheism? What is Agnosticism? I don't give a rat's ass! Just believe whatever you want and don't shove it on me."

And was she wholly unconcerned about the God question as well? (If you wouldn’t mind my probing just a bit further about what is after all a personal matter?)

It is one thing being uninterested in religion per se, it is one thing feeling that one’s religion (or lack of it) is no one’s business but one’s own, but a whole different thing to be wholly fully and entirely indifferent about God (and everything that the God question represents). For instance, can one really be wholly indifferent about one’s mortality? And if one were to ever think seriously about one’s mortality (that is, about the fact of one’s mortality itself, as opposed to the practical pragmatic issues surrounding it, like estate planning etc), then how could one not think about the God question at all?

In fact not just thoughts about mortality : given that religion seems to have been thrust on to your mother (albeit she seems to have pushed back herself, repelled that thrust), wouldn’t that kind of pressure necessarily set one wondering in some way or form about the God question?

The reason I ask this is because (like I said in my previous post, addressed to Thermal) I haven’t really encountered a real bona fide apatheist myself (probably because I almost never discuss religion and God IRL) : and I have difficulty properly comprehending, difficulty empathizing with, the idea of apatheism -- I mean apatheism as an actual attitude that one spontaneously holds, as opposed to an idea or as a philosophy that one has thought one’s way to.

Because if you’ve had to consciously think your way to apatheism, after having properly considered the God question, then as Thermal says, that is probably because you’re probably (implicitly) an atheist underneath your apatheism, someone who has decided that the probability of God is too small to bother with (which is exactly the atheist’s position). But of course, if you spontaneously and right from the get go happen to indifferent to this issue, then I suppose you can really be described as a bona fide apatheist.
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:30 AM   #60
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Hmmm...I'm not sure.



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Old 5th May 2018, 06:38 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Of course I've considered it before, because "God is love" is the kind of hackney cliche that gets brought out over and over.
...uh...I'm sure it is. Of course, I wasn't saying that, nor do I think that. I used 'love' as a common concept that is slippery to talk about because it is hard to define. I did not say 'god is love', nor was I leading to that. Please don't put words in my mouth.

Quote:
It would be the whole of love. It's not a matter of what I consider.
Just to be safe, I checked some of the current definitions and theories on love. Nowhere did I find a credible description of the whole of love being a measurable set of physiological reactions.

Quote:
You're invoking a spirit or soul into the neurological process.
I am not. Please don't put words in my mouth.

Quote:
Or "Qualia" which is the same thing.
Subjective experience /the taste of sugar is invoking a soul? No, it's not. No, I wasn't. Again, please don't put words in my mouth. Pretty please. With sugar on it.

Quote:
But this particular recursive rabbit hole has already been thoroughly dug out in other threads and has nothing to do with the question be asked so I will not be continuing this further.

Agnosticism is not valid practically because it assumes "God exists" is a magically different kind of question from everything else and therefore "Magically unknowable" has a kind of validity that it doesn't have in other cases. That is not accurate and is special pleading.
I don't think it is magical, in question or in premise, to not quite understand what is meant by 'god', just like I have a hard time with 'what is love'. They are qualitatively different questions than 'is the chair blue'. Oh, that's right. You think there is a love meter and love is measurable. Pssst: don't tell DeBeers.
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:47 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
@Joe Morgue and Nay_Sayer:

Do you believe in love? If so, please show the empirical, non-anecdotal evidence. If not, on what empirical grounds?

No, I don't.
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:53 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
(...) Agnosticism is not valid practically because it assumes "God exists" is a magically different kind of question from everything else and therefore "Magically unknowable" has a kind of validity that it doesn't have in other cases. That is not accurate and is special pleading.

I think it was a great idea of the OP’s, starting these two threads about the actual meanings of the terms ‘agnosticism’ and ‘atheism’. One often comes across these disagreements about which is a more valid position to hold, atheism or agnosticism, and which kind of atheism is best, soft or hard-boiled or poached. I believe it simply boils down to semantics, these disagreements, in nine cases out of ten ; and clearly sorting out this semantic issue will probably (or so I think) make most of these disagreements disappear.

Here is how I define the term ‘agnosticism’. The agnostic admits that one does not have sufficient information, sufficient evidence, to form a conclusion about the God question ; and further, lacking this information and evidence, one takes the default position that there is no God. That, far as I can see, was Huxley’s intent in coining that word. (Etymologically speaking, the word ‘agnostic’ refers only to what one knows, and therefore the position I described would accurately be described as agnostic-atheist. However, meanings of words don’t necessarily perfectly reflect their etymological origins. I choose to follow the nuance that Huxley, I believe, intended for the word.) Of course, usage of words often evolves away from their original meaning : but in this case, in the case of the word Agnosticism, I think what we have is not so much an evolution of the usage, as simple confusion. If one were to go by Huxley’s intent, then agnosticism is no different from ‘soft atheism’. A position that appears perfectly reasonable to me.

The Agnostic -- as I’ve defined the term just now -- treats God no differently than the invisible faeries that frolic around in my garden, undetected and undetectable ; and no differently than Russel’s teapot (or Dawkins’s dragon). The Soft Atheist -- I know, ridiculous term that, “soft atheist”, it is as if the term simply begs to be ridiculed, all the more reason to use the term Agnostic instead -- I was saying, the Soft Atheist or the Agnostic sees no evidence for Santa, or for God, and therefore, pending evidence, believes in neither.

If we go with this particular definition of the word Agnosticism, then no, agnosticism does not assume that “'God exists' is a magically different kind of question from everything else". It does not hold that “'Magically unknowable' has a kind of validity that it doesn’t have in other cases". No, it isn’t special pleading. And yes, it is perfectly valid.



True, there are dictionaries that define these terms differently. True, there are people who use these terms in different senses. People disagree about what these words mean, that is fact. That cannot be wished away. So what is one to do? The common-sense answer is this : One recognizes that this is merely a semantic issue, no more and no less. Therefore, instead of saying things like “Agnosticism is valid” or “Agnosticism is not valid”, it makes sense to simply define these terms first to everyone’s satisfaction. That first and foremost. Once one has done that, I wager we’ll find that the underlying disagreement itself has disappeared, in nine cases out of ten.



For instance, in this post I clearly formulated my own position re. God-belief. You may agree with my interpretation of Huxley’s intent, and agree to join me in calling this position Agnosticism, as I do. Or else we may both agree to move to an etymologically-derived interpretation instead, and refer to my position as agnostic-atheist. Or else we may, provided we can stop ourselves laughing at the absurd picture that those words convey, call those who hold this position Soft Atheists. If we don’t agree to any of these terms, we can then clearly spell out the position that we’re talking about to each other, make sure we both understand what we’re saying, and call it simply “my position” or whatever else we want, for the space of our discussion. Once we’ve done that, we will (very probably) find that we don’t really need to discuss anything at all, that we’d been in perfect agreement all along.
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:53 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
No, I don't.
So you did something subjective in denying subjectivity. "No, I don't" is subjective. So you believe - "No, I don't" - is subjective?
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:54 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
You think there is a love meter and love is measurable.
And you think it's a fat little Cherub shooting arrows.

Why does things being explainable bother people so much? What does it ruin? What does it make worse?

Do you think love is less pleasant for me because I don't think it's magic? Do you think a sunset is less beautiful to me because I know it's the rotation and orbit of the Earth causing my view of our local star to move out of my line of sight causing scattering of the light in different levels in the atmosphere and not a magic chariot of fire being driven across the sky by Apollo?

As Douglas Adams said isn't it enough to see a garden as beautiful without having to think there are fairies at the bottom of it?
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:58 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
The Agnostic -- as I’ve defined the term just now -- treats God no differently than the invisible faeries that frolic around in my garden, undetected and undetectable ; and no differently than Russel’s teapot (or Dawkins’s dragon).
The entire literal point of Russel's Teapot or Dawkins (I thought it was Sagans?) garage dragon is that no, you don't have to take on a last minute apologetic "But I could be wrong" and nobody would in those situations.

That nobody actually is agnostic about the teapot or the dragon in real life is the point.

Nobody is this level of wishy-washy. Nobody goes "The sun's gonna rise tomorrow... but I could be wrong" or "Well the last 5,000 times I've dropped this coin it's fell to the ground, but this time it could hover in the air."

Why is 'God doesn't exist' held to a different standard?
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:07 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And you think it's a fat little Cherub shooting arrows.

Why does things being explainable bother people so much? What does it ruin? What does it make worse?

Do you think love is less pleasant for me because I don't think it's magic? Do you think a sunset is less beautiful to me because I know it's the rotation and orbit of the Earth causing my view of our local star to move out of my line of sight causing scattering of the light in different levels in the atmosphere and not a magic chariot of fire being driven across the sky by Apollo?

As Douglas Adams said isn't it enough to see a garden as beautiful without having to think there are fairies at the bottom of it?
You are subjective!!! We can't have that you claim something based on how you feel. There has to be an objective standard for the beauty of gardens. Do you really what us to accept that the garden is beautiful just because you say so???
Reality is objective and only real for that which is so independent of you believing, thinking and feeling so. You peddle woo-woo! What you claim is not real, without an objective standard and is not a part of reality!
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You are doing apologetics and trying to smuggle God in by starting to get us to believe that reality is subjective!
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:08 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The entire literal point of Russel's Teapot or Dawkins (I thought it was Sagans?) garage dragon is that no, you don't have to take on a last minute apologetic "But I could be wrong" and nobody would in those situations.

Dawkins has a dragon of his own, that he shows off in his God Delusion. But you're right, he's probably borrowed it from Sagan.

And you're right in what you say. That implicit "I could be wrong" is there in the background of everything we say, of course, but it needn't distract us. Not in other things, and not where the God question is concerned.


Quote:
That nobody actually is agnostic about the teapot or the dragon in real life is the point.

Agreed. But the point of my post was that that word, agnosticism, as it applies to the God question, carries an extra nuance. And also, in case you don't agree with that definition, then ... but no, instead of repeating those points all over again here, I'll just request you to read all of my post again.


Quote:
Nobody is this level of wishy-washy. Nobody goes "The sun's gonna rise tomorrow... but I could be wrong" or "Well the last 5,000 times I've dropped this coin it's fell to the ground, but this time it could hover in the air."

Why is 'God doesn't exist' held to a different standard?

You're right, no one is that wishy-washy about the sun rising (unless they're time-traveling Aztecs, or was it Mayans?). And no, 'God doesn't exist' is NOT held to a different standard. We are in perfect agreement here.

May I refer you back to my post, all of it? That was precisely my point : that we're probably in agreement all along. Not just you are I, but most people (or at least, if not most, *many* people) who appear to have these disagreements.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:10 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The entire literal point of Russel's Teapot or Dawkins (I thought it was Sagans?) garage dragon is that no, you don't have to take on a last minute apologetic "But I could be wrong" and nobody would in those situations.

That nobody actually is agnostic about the teapot or the dragon in real life is the point.

Nobody is this level of wishy-washy. Nobody goes "The sun's gonna rise tomorrow... but I could be wrong" or "Well the last 5,000 times I've dropped this coin it's fell to the ground, but this time it could hover in the air."

Why is 'God doesn't exist' held to a different standard?
Maybe there is difference between methodological naturalism and metaphysics?
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:33 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
And you're right in what you say. That implicit "I could be wrong" is there in the background of everything we say, of course, but it needn't distract us. Not in other things, and not where the God question is concerned.
But the entire concept of agnosticism is bringing that implicit "Yes there is some tiny pointless metaphysical sliver of doubt in every statement made" into the forefront and make it very, very explicit.

It doesn't distract us in other questions because nobody brings it up.

Again that's kind of the point. We can't pretend it being brought up in the context and this context alone doesn't mean anything.

Quote:
Agreed. But the point of my post was that that word, agnosticism, as it applies to the God question, carries an extra nuance.
Again only because we say it does. I don't get inherent "nuance" God has over the dragon or the teapot.

Cultural baggage and inertia doesn't count as nuance in my opinion.


Quote:
You're right, no one is that wishy-washy about the sun rising (unless they're time-traveling Aztecs, or was it Mayans?). And no, 'God doesn't exist' is NOT held to a different standard. We are in perfect agreement here.
No we are demonstrably not in perfect agreement. "God doesn't exist" IS held to a different standard than "Is there an invisible dragon in my garage" or "Is there an undetectable teapot orbiting Saturn" because agnosticism exists as voice in discussions of the first question but nothing equivalent exists in the later.

You're arguing that agnosticism technically doesn't matter, while I'm arguing that it functionally very much does.

What if one day, out of nowhere, before leaving for work your spouse told you "Don't worry, I'm not gonna cheat on you today" despite never having said that before?

Technically speaking your spouse has not done anything wrong or worrisome. The "I'm not gonna cheat on you" was implied every other day, so by your argument them explicitly bringing it up in one specific context should not add any extra meaning to it.

But we both know that's not how reality and language work. Explicitly saying something in one context when it is implied in all others... has meaning.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:47 AM   #71
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Joe, I agree with you. But I'll wager you still haven't read all of my post #63. This one. I invite you to once again to go through it.

The "nuance" I spoke was not a nuance that attaches to the God question, but the nuance that attaches to the word Agnosticism.

And I disagree with you when you say that we are in disagreement! Again, please read my post #63.

When you say you're agnostic about your wife's fidelity, that is certainly cause for worry. Unless you believe in free love and an open marriage, that is. But when applied to the god-question, that word takes on an added nuance that it doesn't have when applied to one's spouse's fidelity. Because Huxley.

And nor do you necessarily have to agree with what is after all my definition. Because ... my post #63.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:47 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
No, I don't.
Well, there's that cleared up.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:49 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Joe, I agree with you. But I'll wager you still haven't read all of my post #63. This one. I invite you to once again to go through it.

The "nuance" I spoke was not a nuance that attaches to the God question, but the nuance that attaches to the word Agnosticism.

And I disagree with you when you say that we are in disagreement! Again, please read my post #63.

When you say you're agnostic about your wife's fidelity, that is certainly cause for worry. Unless you believe in free love and an open marriage, that is. But when applied to the god-question, that word takes on an added nuance that it doesn't have when applied to one's spouse's fidelity. Because Huxley.

And nor do you necessarily have to agree with what is after all my definition. Because ... my post #63.
Please stop telling me to read your posts. I've read them.

Saying that the "nuance" isn't attached to God but to agnosticism changes nothing.

I'm saying the nuance isn't there, not arguing about where it goes.

"Nuance" is not a magic word that makes one argument magically different from another.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:51 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Please stop telling me to read your posts. I've read them.

Saying that the "nuance" isn't attached to God but to agnosticism changes nothing.

I'm saying the nuance isn't there, not arguing about where it goes.

"Nuance" is not a magic word that makes one argument magically different from another.

I beg your pardon. You don't have to read it if you don't want to. I didn't say that to push at you, only because I didn't feel like repeating what I'd said all over again.

But no matter.
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:58 AM   #75
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I'm not contesting anything with you, Joe. What I was trying to convey was :

(1) Agnosticism, as it applies to the God-question, does carry an added nuance. Because the man who coined that term put it there.

(2) With that nuance added, the term Agnosticism is no different from Soft Atheism.

(3) True, that term, with that nuance, that meaning as Huxley probably intended it, is different from the etymological meaning of the word.

(4) Also true, different people do use different meanings for that term in practice. That cannot be wished away.

(5) Most disagreements about these terms stem from different people using different definitions for these words.

(6) Therefore, if we recognize this to be simply a problem of semantics, then we can at the start agree on our definitions, instead of arguing about underlying concepts and ideas that we are (probably) in agreement about all along. I'm saying we're probably arguing over nothing. (Not just you and I, but most people who argue about this.)
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Old 5th May 2018, 07:59 AM   #76
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Because you're arguing two direct contradictions and hiding it behind some undefined "nuance."

I don't care how you define it, I don't care how Huxley defined it, the very fact that it exists in only the God question is special pleading. Taking a red pen to the dictionary isn't gonna change that.

Hell the very fact that people think they have to define it like this is part of the problem.

You don't have to define the exact linguistic terminology and spell out exactly the mental process that leads to "There's no dragon" in my garage or "There's no teapot orbiting Saturn."

We don't spend paragraph after paragraph carefully and precisely spelling out if we're "Soft Adragonistic" or "Hard adragonistic" or hairsplit the exact nuance between "I believe there's no teapot orbiting Saturn" and "I believe there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn."

The more effort you put into proving and clarifying stuff the more right I am because... we don't have to do this in any other discussion.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:02 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And you think it's a fat little Cherub shooting arrows.
Again with putting words in my mouth. You evidently believe in clairvoyance.

Quote:
Why does things being explainable bother people so much? What does it ruin? What does it make worse?

Do you think love is less pleasant for me because I don't think it's magic? Do you think a sunset is less beautiful to me because I know it's the rotation and orbit of the Earth causing my view of our local star to move out of my line of sight causing scattering of the light in different levels in the atmosphere and not a magic chariot of fire being driven across the sky by Apollo?
This is one of those odd conversations you seem to like having with yourself. I am saying nothing of the kind. Not that it will matter to your psychic self, but when I wonder at the magesty of the heavens, I am amazed that photons from a burning star, light years away create such an awesome spectacular in the skies. But no, with your amazing paranormal gifts, you know what I really meant, didn't you?

Quote:
As Douglas Adams said isn't it enough to see a garden as beautiful without having to think there are fairies at the bottom of it?
You stand up big and bold claiming that the whole of love is demonstrably and inarguably measurable. You've uh, missed the irony in claiming that you have a love meter/weighed the fairies, haven't you?
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:05 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Again with putting words in my mouth. You evidently believe in clairvoyance.
You've two choices, objective reality or magic. You don't get to pretend there's a grey area between the two.

If the idea of something being "Measurable" sets you off, you're arguing for Woo.

It's standard by the book anti-intellectual hogwash.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:14 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Because you're arguing two direct contradictions and hiding it behind some undefined "nuance."

Which two contradictions?


Quote:
I don't care how you define it, I don't care how Huxley defined it,

You may not care how I define it, but how can you possibly not care how the man who coined it intended it? That is, like, the very meaning of the word, a word that didn't exist before he coined it.


Quote:
the very fact that it exists in only the God question is special pleading. Taking a red pen to the dictionary isn't gonna change that.

I don't think words work quite that way. They mean what they mean. You can't point at some word and tell them "You're indulging in special pleading!" or "You're pretending to mean something different from what your etymology dictates you ought to mean."


Quote:
Hell the very fact that people think they have to define it like this is part of the problem.

You don't have to define the exact linguistic terminology and spell out exactly the mental process that leads to "There's no dragon" in my garage or "There's no teapot orbiting Saturn."

We don't spend paragraph after paragraph carefully and precisely spelling out if we're "Soft Adragonistic" or "Hard adragonistic" or hairsplit the exact nuance between "I believe there's no teapot orbiting Saturn" and "I believe there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn."

Yes, it is a problem of different people using different definitions.

So what do you propose as the solution? You seem to be proposing that everyone should necessarily shift to using the particular definition that you use.

I, on the other hand, propose that we clearly recognize that that is indeed what the problem is. Once we do that, then the disagreement simply disappears. Either because we come to agree on some definition at the outset ; or because we find we are unable to come to a decision about the definition and therefore, instead of fixating on the definition, we shift our attention to the underlying concepts instead.


Quote:
The more effort you put into proving and clarifying stuff the more right I am because... we don't have to do this in any other discussion.

How is that?

That there is disagreement about the meaning of the word Agnostic, that different people use that word in different senses, indicates nothing but that different people use that word in different senses. Nothing else. What do you think you're right about, basis that?




(Sorry, have to run off for now. Later.)
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:16 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The entire literal point of Russel's Teapot or Dawkins (I thought it was Sagans?) garage dragon is that no, you don't have to take on a last minute apologetic "But I could be wrong" and nobody would in those situations.

That nobody actually is agnostic about the teapot or the dragon in real life is the point.

Nobody is this level of wishy-washy. Nobody goes "The sun's gonna rise tomorrow... but I could be wrong" or "Well the last 5,000 times I've dropped this coin it's fell to the ground, but this time it could hover in the air."

Why is 'God doesn't exist' held to a different standard?


Exactly. I'm no more agnostic about the existence of a god, any god, than I am about the existence of Hogwarts or Pooh bear or Pug and Thomas. God is a fictional character, I am not - and see no reason for others to be - agnostic about the existence of fictional characters.
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