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Tags agnosticism , agnosticism definitions

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Old 8th May 2018, 07:50 AM   #121
3point14
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Originally Posted by Tommok View Post
Gnostic Theist: I know a god exists.
Agnostic Theist: I do not know that a god exists, I believe a god exists.
Gnostic Atheist: I know that no god exists (variation: I know that I do not believe a god exists).
Agnostic Atheist: I do not believe a god exists, I do not claim to know that one does not exist.

In my understanding of the language "agnostic" is an adjective, not a noun. So you qualify some other feature with it, such as "agnostic weatherman" or "gnostic time-teller".

And again: "gnostic" or "agnostic" is derived from "cognoscere", which means it addresses knowledge claims ("I know X to be true") as opposed to claims of belief ("I believe X to be likely true" (based on whatever kind of evidence)).

So when asked whether or not one believes in a god, saying "I am an agnostic" is, besondes being bad English, not a substantial reply to the question asked, but rather a diversion, implying that this question should rather be discussed on a basis of knowledge rather than belief.

And it is, indeed, a copout in many cases.



I still really, really want to know what the criteria are for deciding if something is worth being agnostic about. For me, this is where, as an expression of belief, it falls down. The agnostic accepts that others may define, for them, fictional entities that cannot be dismissed as fictional entities because the authors of such entities say hey hold the fictional quality 'deity'


What's the fundamental difference, I would ask agnostics, between fictional things one can dismiss as fiction and fictional things one cannot?
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Old 8th May 2018, 08:01 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Tommok View Post
Gnostic Theist: I know a god exists.
Agnostic Theist: I do not know that a god exists, I believe a god exists.
Gnostic Atheist: I know that no god exists (variation: I know that I do not believe a god exists).
Agnostic Atheist: I do not believe a god exists, I do not claim to know that one does not exist.

In my understanding of the language "agnostic" is an adjective, not a noun. So you qualify some other feature with it, such as "agnostic weatherman" or "gnostic time-teller".

And again: "gnostic" or "agnostic" is derived from "cognoscere", which means it addresses knowledge claims ("I know X to be true") as opposed to claims of belief ("I believe X to be likely true" (based on whatever kind of evidence)).

So when asked whether or not one believes in a god, saying "I am an agnostic" is, besondes being bad English,....
First off, just the straight definition begs to differ on that point:

Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
agnostic: 1) a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable;
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic

Quote:
...not a substantial reply to the question asked, but rather a diversion, implying that this question should rather be discussed on a basis of knowledge rather than belief.

And it is, indeed, a copout in many cases.
Yeah, that's pretty much the point. Evaluate knowledge first, then form the belief. An agnostic says you can't reach the 'form belief' stage without resolving the 'knowledge' stage first. For example, until I can get some kind of grip on what we mean by 'god', I default to agnosticism. The theists and atheists have a hell of a lot more faith than I have.
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Old 8th May 2018, 08:15 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Tommok View Post
In my understanding of the language "agnostic" is an adjective, not a noun. So you qualify some other feature with it, such as "agnostic weatherman" or "gnostic time-teller".
In mine, it's either an adjective or a nominalised adjectiveWP. Since the adjective "agnostic" is, for the most part, only applied to people, the term "an agnostic person" can simply be abridged to "an agnostic," in the same way that someone can be a conservative or a liberal.

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Old 8th May 2018, 09:22 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
In mine, it's either an adjective or a nominalised adjectiveWP. Since the adjective "agnostic" is, for the most part, only applied to people, the term "an agnostic person" can simply be abridged to "an agnostic," in the same way that someone can be a conservative or a liberal.
Ok, I concede that, apologies!

I do, however, think that it should be applied in proper context, i.e. with a qualifier, even though it's not required to be correct English. Saying someone is a person who "does not know" tells me relatively little about him or her.
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Old 8th May 2018, 10:41 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I still really, really want to know what the criteria are for deciding if something is worth being agnostic about. For me, this is where, as an expression of belief, it falls down. The agnostic accepts that others may define, for them, fictional entities that cannot be dismissed as fictional entities because the authors of such entities say hey hold the fictional quality 'deity'


What's the fundamental difference, I would ask agnostics, between fictional things one can dismiss as fiction and fictional things one cannot?
Plausibility. It's implausible there's a tea cup floating around Jupiter. The existence of some being who created the universe is not implausible. It would also explain a few things.

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Old 8th May 2018, 10:48 AM   #126
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Define "define".
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Old 8th May 2018, 11:16 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Plausibility. It's implausible there's a tea cup floating around Jupiter. The existence of some being who created the universe is not implausible.
Yes it is.

Quote:
It would also explain a few things.
No it wouldn't.


Postulating the fantastic to explain the mundane is just mental.
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Old 8th May 2018, 11:40 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"God exists? Y/N" doesn't have to be approached from 90 bazillion different angles to the point that nobody is actually saying anything so the "belief" side can keep winning.
I don't know what's wrong with "I don't know."

I've read at least this thread and some of the others that apparently gave rise to the argument over definitions. Maybe I'll find an argument in that morass, but to me an agnostic is someone who professes to not know if there's a God.
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Old 8th May 2018, 01:02 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't know what's wrong with "I don't know."

I've read at least this thread and some of the others that apparently gave rise to the argument over definitions. Maybe I'll find an argument in that morass, but to me an agnostic is someone who professes to not know if there's a God.
More specifically can't know (not possible to know). Like other atheists, agnostic-atheists aren't interested in merely believing in gods.

I don't know what's wrong with "I know." (there's no gods) . . .

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Knowledge on which I base my “I know gods don’t exist” claim . . .

Knowledge that after thousands of years of intensive and desperate searching there hasn’t been a single piece of credible evidence found that establishes gods do actually exist.

Knowledge that there is no known method by which gods even could or might exist.

Knowledge of scientific discoveries that negate the need to use god beliefs to fill gaps in knowledge and understanding.

Knowledge that god beliefs are created by the minds of humans.
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Old 8th May 2018, 02:37 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't know what's wrong with "I don't know."

I've read at least this thread and some of the others that apparently gave rise to the argument over definitions. Maybe I'll find an argument in that morass, but to me an agnostic is someone who professes to not know if there's a God.
It's "wrong" in the sense that it's dishonest to claim "I don't know" in a situation when given the same data in another situation you'd be comfortable with a more definitive answer.

Nobody is "agnostic" about everything and I find the arguments for the need to be agnostic about God specifically to be severely lacking and all either special pleading (God's different because... reasons) or circular (God is special because we define him that way.)
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:01 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Yes it is.
No it's not.



Quote:
No it wouldn't.
Sure it would.


Quote:
Postulating the fantastic to explain the mundane is just mental.
I agree. Why is everyone obsessed with postulating the existence of mind-independent stuff AND tying themselves in knots trying to explain how consciousness arises from it?
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:14 PM   #132
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Iíve always thought of myself as agnostic. I donít have any beliefs in any supernatural entity like a god but I also donít dismiss the possibilities of such a being out of hand. If there is a god(s) then itís obviously something that is entirely beyond our comprehension.

Iím just kind of meh about the whole god thing. I just like to live my life and appreciate my existence for exactly what it is.

If itís raining after a long drought:

Theist: ďThank God, our prayers are answered! You see! God listens to his people!Ē

Atheist: ďOh please, itís just the weather patterns finally lining up for us. There is no god!Ē

Me: ďI donít know about all that, Iím just gonna go sit on my porch with a glass of wine and enjoy this beautiful storm!Ē


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:36 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
I miss the old days when meaning of words was not something subjective and "debatable" and "relative", and you could just refer to a dictionary and go on with the rest of your day.
I second that.
An agnostic is somebody who thinks the existence or non existence of a supreme being can not be proved one way or the other.
Question answered.
And this thread had drifted from a discussion of the meaing of agnostic to another screaming match between atheists and agnostics.
Count me out.
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:37 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's "wrong" in the sense that it's dishonest to claim "I don't know" in a situation when given the same data in another situation you'd be comfortable with a more definitive answer.

Nobody is "agnostic" about everything and I find the arguments for the need to be agnostic about God specifically to be severely lacking and all either special pleading (God's different because... reasons) or circular (God is special because we define him that way.)
If someone asks 'do you believe in love at first sight?', can 'I don't know' be a fair response?
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:41 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I second that.
An agnostic is somebody who thinks the existence or non existence of a supreme being can not be proved one way or the other.
Question answered.
And this thread had drifted from a discussion of the meaing of agnostic to another screaming match between atheists and agnostics.
Count me out.
Is this the usual thing, to not talk about this subject civilly? I think the athiest crew has lobbed stupid, dishonest, cowardly...I'm losing track of the insults. The agnostic advocates seem civil enough. Is this some kind of hot button issue?
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Old 8th May 2018, 03:51 PM   #136
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You go immediately from this . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Is this the usual thing, to not talk about this subject civilly?
To this . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think the athiest crew has lobbed stupid, dishonest, cowardly.
Is this what you call "civilly"?

Pot>kettle>black
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:02 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You go immediately from this . . .


To this . . .

Is this what you call "civilly"?

Pot>kettle>black
I think that is a dry statement of fact. Is it uncivil to call attention to it, you mean?
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:14 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Is this the usual thing, to not talk about this subject civilly? I think the athiest crew has lobbed stupid, dishonest, cowardly...I'm losing track of the insults. The agnostic advocates seem civil enough. Is this some kind of hot button issue?
Yeah, it is in skeptic circles.
And it is bizarre that all too often the more militant athiests behave exactly the way militant religious believers behave. They become a Bizarro version of the "religionists" they hate. That is a major reason I have become really disillusioned with a lot of the aspects of "The New Atheism".
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:23 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
If someone asks 'do you believe in love at first sight?', can 'I don't know' be a fair response?
"I don't know" doesn't answer the question as it's effectively saying "I can't answer the question because I don't know if I do or don't" (I don't know the answer). The default is "I don't believe" because you don't "do believe" until you actually do believe. The question doesn't ask "Do you know if you believe in love at first site?".
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:27 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think that is a dry statement of fact. Is it uncivil to call attention to it, you mean?
Not merely your imaginary god belief based biased (anti-atheist) opinion then?
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:39 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
"I don't know" doesn't answer the question as it's effectively saying "I can't answer the question because I don't know if I do or don't" (I don't know the answer). The default is "I don't believe" because you don't "do" until you do. The question doesn't ask "Do you know if you believe in live at first site?".
Ok, we may be on to a kind of common ground now.

If asked 'do you know if you believe in love at first sight', the answer is no, for me, because I don't know if I believe in it. Asking simply 'do you believe in it', I can't answer, having not experienced it myself but others may have. But I don't have enough info for a meaningful conclusion, to borrow from Asimov again.
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Old 8th May 2018, 04:43 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Not merely your imaginary god belief based biased (anti-atheist) opinion then?
FWIW, I live for all intents and purposes as an atheist. Except for when I'm diong God's work, of course. I just lack the faithful zeal y'all have

Eta: no, it wasn't my opinion, either. Stupid, cowardly, and dishonest were used to describe agnostics ITT.
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Old 8th May 2018, 05:31 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
FWIW, I live for all intents and purposes as an atheist. I just lack the faithful zeal y'all have
So what? Some Christians have told me that for all intents and purposes I live like a Christian. Doesn't make me a Christian or mean I don't have a bias against Christianity.

Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Eta: no, it wasn't my opinion, either. Stupid, cowardly, and dishonest were used used to describe agnostics ITT.
That's a complete contradiction of this (ITT) . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Is this the usual thing, to not talk about this subject civilly? I think the athiest crew has lobbed stupid, dishonest, cowardly...I'm losing track of the insults. The agnostic advocates seem civil enough. Is this some kind of hot button issue?
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Old 8th May 2018, 05:45 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
So what? Some Christians have told me that for all intents and purposes I live like a Christian. Doesn't make me a Christian or mean I don't have a bias against Christianity.
You're not making sense. Why did you say my imaginary god-based biased anti-atheist opinion? You just made all that up to be...what? Civil?

Quote:
That's a complete contradiction of this . . .
You're really losing me with this. What is uncivil about that? Atheist posters have in fact been using such terms. Is it the use of 'crew' or 'lobbed' that you find uncivil?
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Old 8th May 2018, 05:55 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
You're really losing me with this. What is uncivil about that? Atheist posters have in fact been using such terms. Is it the use of 'crew' or 'lobbed' that you find uncivil?
You've really lost the plot. My post that you responded to was specifically to do with a contradiction, not "uncivil".

Here's the contradiction in which you claimed . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Stupid, cowardly, and dishonest were used to describe agnostics ITT.
When you earlier used them specifically to describe atheists . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I think the athiest crew has lobbed stupid, dishonest, cowardly
And specifically excluded agnostics . . .
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The agnostic advocates seem civil enough.
All "ITT".
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Old 8th May 2018, 05:58 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Why did you say my imaginary god-based biased anti-atheist opinion?
Because it's self-evident that you do have such a bias. I have an anti-theism bias (that's not an anti theist bias)
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:02 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You've really lost the plot. My post that you responded to was specifically to do with a contradiction, not "uncivil".

Here's the contradiction in which you claimed . . .

When you earlier used them specifically to describe atheists . . .

And specifically excluded agnostics . . .

Oh, I get it. No, I mean that the athiest posters have hurled uncivil terms like cowardly, ets. at agnostics ITT. I'm not directing those terms at them; I am pointing out that they were literally used. I was't describing athiests with those terms at all.
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:06 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Because it's self-evident that you do have such a bias. I have an anti-theism bias (that's not an anti theist bias)
I do not. You are making it up. Why?
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:07 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Oh, I get it. No, I mean that the athiest posters have hurled uncivil terms like cowardly, ets. at agnostics ITT. I'm not directing those terms at them; I am pointing out that they were literally used. I was't describing athiests with those terms at all.
Oh, I get it (now) .

Atheists being uncivil to atheists. It's like atheists might be human after all. At least atheists don't torture and kill other atheists because they don't agree, like some theists do to other theists (and atheists). Why don't you criticise theists for being uncivil to theists?
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:11 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I do not. You are making it up. Why?
Perhaps we get false impressions when we interpret others incorrectly, as we just did? Perhaps we make things up because it suits our bias to do so? Perhaps others claiming we have made something up doesn't mean we did?
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:24 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Perhaps we get false impressions when we misinterpret others incorrectly, as we just did? Perhaps we make things up because it suit us to do so? Perhaps others claiming we have made something up doesn't mean we did?
I suppose. I would like to think that on a skeptic site, we should look at things neutrally and dispassionately, without the baggage from battles gone by.

Shall we pray?
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:26 PM   #152
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:43 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Shall we pray?
Yes. let's. These threads have become such foxholes.
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Old 8th May 2018, 06:59 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I suppose. I would like to think that on a skeptic site, we should look at things neutrally and dispassionately, without the baggage from battles gone by.

Shall we pray?
Skeptics tend to be people that are skeptical of other skeptics and not everyone on a skeptic site is a skeptic. Hardly a forum for neutral and dispassionate debate.

Shall we play?
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Old 9th May 2018, 12:11 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
No it's not.
I don't think just making random **** up to explain stuff - thereby creating an even more complex thing that needs to be explained - is a valid way of thinking.


"I have no explanation for this, therefore I'll fantasise something" is the comment of a lunatic. Often with this added: "and get upset when others point out I'm a fantasist"

Being agnostic about every damn fiction that's ever been created is just a recipe for madness.
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Old 9th May 2018, 05:46 AM   #156
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Wow this went right to the "Atheists are big mean poopie head" well even quicker than normal.
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Old 9th May 2018, 05:49 AM   #157
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Unlike atheism (which some adhere to, some don't) when it comes to agnosticism, everybody is an agnostic, because no one actually knows for sure whether or not there is a God.
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Old 9th May 2018, 05:56 AM   #158
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Heh, there are no real agnostics, because everyone has an opinion, like they have a ... body.

And even if they don't think they have an opinion -- not having an opinion is an offensive act. Mild people with reasonable views cannot be tolerated in today's polarized climate of opinion.
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Old 9th May 2018, 06:12 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Unlike atheism (which some adhere to, some don't) when it comes to agnosticism, everybody is an agnostic, because no one actually knows for sure whether or not there is a God.

Nobody knows for sure that Hogwarts doesn't exist. Are we going to equivocate about that too?
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Old 9th May 2018, 06:16 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Oh, I get it (now) .

Atheists being uncivil to atheists. It's like atheists might be human after all. At least atheists don't torture and kill other atheists because they don't agree, like some theists do to other theists (and atheists). Why don't you criticise theists for being uncivil to theists?
Just saw this edit. I am not criticizing theists because AFAIK, no theists are even participating in this discussion, nor does the topic include the behaviors of extreme theists. Why would you expect criticisms at a group that is unrelated to the thread?

Your own thread title is Define "Agnostic", and here you are asking why I am not criticizing theists. Upthread, I was subjected to a psychotic psychic reading. Can a simple topic not be discussed without bringing in grudges from older battles with other posters?
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