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THE OXYMORON OF AGNOSTIC A/THEISM: A PROPOSITION (modified due to post limit)

This post is inspired by a discussion spawned on an unrelated thread,

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I will tidy up my position to make it as clear as possible. I will NOT try to address the opposing position in order to have as clean a slate as possible on this thread and allow them to summarize their points here (or not) as they choose.

The baseline proposition is as follows: agnostic a/theist is a self-contradictory position given that if one is agnostic on a subject one lacks knowledge of that subject yet if one is a/theist one is expressing an existential belief on that subject which, in order to be justified, must be based on some knowledge of that subject. But, I propose, if you are already agnostic and claim to not have knowledge of a subject, then you cannot then justify belief or disbelief in that subject.


What I shall try to show is how this self-contradiction manifests itself first in a secular context, using Category Theory, and then draw an analogy within a theological context


INTRODUCTION, where I define agnosticism and a/theism for this proposition.

As I see it, agnosticism is a position of epistemology. It refers to a mental process, a statement of what we know, what we can know, and what we can't know. There are shades of agnosticism such as strong, weak, pragmatic, and even ignosticism. I will lump all of these together under the common thread that they all claim that we have no knowledge of the subject... the shades mostly come into play depending on whether you claim knowledge can every be gained or not.

As I see it, a/theism (the forward slash meaning it applies to theism and atheism) is a position of ontology. Whether you define it as a belief or knowledge is irrelevant: you are making a claim on existence and that is the realm on ontology, not epistemology. If you believe or know a subject exists, then you are making a claim that, to the best of your knowledge, that subject has existence in our universe. Vice-versa, if you believe or know a subject does not exist, then you are making the claim that to the best of your knowledge. In both cases, in order for that belief to be more than guesswork, it needs to have some justification.


OXYMORON, where I define the central tenant of why agnosticism and atheism are self-contradictory.

Using the definitons about, if you claim to be agnostic on a subject, you are making an epistemological claim that you don't have any knowledge of that subject. This is NOT an ontological claim. You are NOT saying the subject does or doesn't exist, nor I say saying you believe or know that it does or doesn't exist. You are claiming no knowledge. In effect, ignorance is a good synonym for the agnostic: they would claim that having no knowledge of gods, they are ignorant of gods.

But if you claim to be a/theist, you are making a claim on the existence of the subject. You are claiming that you can justify, in one way or another, that that subject does or does not exist. However, justification woudl require some knowledge of that subject. If you say something exists, you would need to bring evidence to prove that it exists; vice-versa, if you claim something doesn't exist, you would need to bring some evidence to prove that it doesn't exist.

So, if you are agnostic on a subject, you claim no knowlege of it. But if you are a/theist, you claim you believe or know the ontological status of that subject, that it exists or doesn't. But if you first claimed no knowledge of said subject, how then can one turn around and justify their existential claim? Therin lay the oxymoron insofar as an agnostic atheist makes an ontological claim without any supporting epistemology to support it.

(CONTINUED AS REPLIES DUE TO POST LIMIT)


TheMiddleWay 8 Jan 4

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0

1a) I know for certain that the outcome of a lottery game will be even or odd (or zero, if possible!).

BUT I am agnostic about whether that number will be even or odd.

Just because I don’t “believe” it will be even, that doesn’t mean I believe it will be odd!

I am completely agnostic about whether that number will be even or odd... WITHOUT BELIEF in even or odd!

That would be AGNOSTIC A-ODD/EVENISM!

I do not believe in odd, I do not believe in even!!

1b) I know for certain (both theist and atheist agree/know) there is either a god/gods or there is not.

BUT if I am agnostic about which of these is true or can be shown to be true or false, that means I DON’T believe in a god/gods - ATHEIST!!

But just because I don’t believe in god that doesn’t mean I believe in there being NO god!

I simply have NO belief in god, but claim no knowledge of there being a god/gods or not!

I do not believe in god.
I do not believe in NO god!

That is AGNOSTIC ATHEISM!

You can NOT believe, because you have no knowledge of, or think that knowledge of a thing is impossible!

This is basic reasoning!

If all that matters is OPINION, reasonable discussion is just not possible!!

‼️?‼️

Ungod Level 6 Jan 21, 2019

1a) I agree. As long as you don't believe or un-believe in either outcome but recognize that it has to be one or the other, you are agnostic about either outcome.

1b) If you don't believe in something existing, that is the same as saying that that something doesn't exist. Otherwise, you'd be saying that you don't believe in something that does exist, which is illogical. The agnostic atheist exemplifies this oxymoron by claiming on the one had to not know that gods exist on the one hand but still claim they don't believe they exist on the other... belief without knowledge is untenable to me in other words. I only believe, or don't believe in those things that I can claim to have knowledge about.

@TheMiddleWay
“1b) If you don't believe in something existing, that is the same as saying that that something doesn't exist.”

NO, believe it or not, you can say YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN BOTH THINGS!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
You can't not believe in both things when it comes to existence under boolean logic, which is how our language is usually set up: A thing has to exist (A) or not exist (not-A). The Law of Excluded middle prevents any other choices.

To not believe in both possibilities means that you believe a third option which is impossible in boolean logic but possible in higher logics like quantum or ternary logics.

@TheMiddleWay

“1b) If you don't believe in something existing, that is the same as saying that that something doesn't exist.”

NO, believe it or not, you can say YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN BOTH THINGS!

‼️???‼️

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
Why are you repeating yourself? That's spamming you know...

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
Please stop spamming the threads. You've said this many times over. I get it. Move one.

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

1

I do agree that we should differentiate between an ontological and an empistemological position.
But of course one can believe that the gods proclaimed by certain organized religions do (most likely) not exist based on particular arguments fitting only to these cases, while staying agnostic about the likelihood of the existence of hidden supernatural (divine) things, beings, dimensions etc. in general.
I personally for example dismiss an ideological naturalism because of my special epistemological theory (in which I really believe at the moment).

I very much agree with your approach. Dismissal of specifics can be addressed (like the efficacy of prayer) but dismissal of generalities (like existence claims) should only be addressed based on the evidence.

1

I came from that other thread and I see the others grew tired of this before you posted and never showed up. You are wrong, as they stated. You absolutely can claim you don't have a belief something exists while at the same time claiming you can't know for sure whether or not it does. All of your counterarguments seem to be based on the premise that any amount of knowledge about something eliminates the (a)gnostic component. All universal negatives cannot be proved, which means you can never know they don't exist. Does that mean we cannot claim we don't believe in them? Do you never profess to not believe in unicorns? Leprechauns? Pink flying elephants?

Also, you fail to recognize that you can have a belief or a lack of a belief without any evidence whatsoever. You box/penny question in no way proves that someone is unable to believe there is [or isn't] a penny in the box.

"ou absolutely can claim you don't have a belief something exists while at the same time claiming you can't know for sure whether or not it does."

You can do this of course; no law against failing to use knowledge to inform your beliefs. 😉

"
Also, you fail to recognize that you can have a belief or a lack of a belief without any evidence whatsoever."

Of course... but then you aren't being rational or scientific, a cornerstone of (most) brands of atheism.

"All universal negatives cannot be proved, which means you can never know they don't exist."

Exactly; hence agnosticism: if you can't prove something one way or the other, make no claims about that something one way or the other.

For example, I can use genetics to prove that unicorns and flying elephants don't exist; no need to be agnostic about them.

Leprechauns on the other hand I don't know what definition you are using. So, as an experiment between you and I, why don't you define them for me and I'll see if I can prove them or not but while you give me no knowledge of them, I shall remain agnostic on any claim you provide for them.

@TheMiddleWay I see why the other people didn't show up. The fact that you think genetics can prove a universal negative tells me all I need to know.

@JeffMurray

Never claimed it can prove a universal negative.

I claimed it can prove a specific negative, namely unicorns and flying pigs. 😉

@TheMiddleWay I don't know why I'm doing this to myself, but how exactly can genetics prove unicorns don't exist anywhere?

@JeffMurray

The standard definition of a unicorn is a terrestrial horse with a horn. However, only bovoids and deer naturally grow horns (using genes located in chromosome 10). Since horses are genetically distinct from bovids or deer and further lack the gene to grow horns (their chromosome 10 is related to their feet, not head), then horses cannot have horns.

There may be horse-like creatures on other planets and those creatures might have horns but because they are from other planets and because the horn would require a different genetic code than a horse, they would no longer be terrestrial horses and thus again would not fall under the standard definition of horse.

Thus with genetics we can prove that unicorns don't exist anywhere.

@TheMiddleWay Oh, so what you meant to say was through semantics you can "prove" unicorns don't exist. Got it!

@TheMiddleWay I want you to read this short article about 10 animals scientists didn't believe were real, and then I want you to come back here and tell me that through a potential combination of cross-breeding and genetic mutations of the ANCESTORS of animals that we know of today it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to have been a large 4-legged animal with a single horn on its head.

[ranker.com]

@JeffMurray

"it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to have been a large 4-legged animal with a single horn on its head."

There are large 4-legged animals with a single horn on their head and they are all dear or bovids

Here is a deer where it's two horns fused into one:
[news.nationalgeographic.com]

Then there is the saola, a.k.a the asian unicorn, that has two closely growing horns and like above, could grow into one horn
www.cnn.com/2013/11/13/world/asia/vietnam-rare-mammal/index.html

Or course, let's not forget the humble rhinoceros.

But it remains genetically impossible for a HORSE to have horns, much less a single horn and so if we define a unicorn as "a horse with a single horn", then genetics proves that traditionally defined unicorns aren't real. Of course, if we want to change the definition to include goats and other animals with a single horn, then clearly unicorns exist.

@JeffMurray

"Oh, so what you meant to say was through semantics you can "prove" unicorns don't exist."

It is not semantics to define an object, in this case "a horse with a single horn" and then show that genetically that can't happen.

In the thought experiment I suggested we participate in, quote me a definition for a leprechaun and I will prove that they exist, don't exist, or if I need remain agnostic about their existence. But pursuant to the point I make above, if you can't give me a testable definition, if you can't give me any knowledge about leprechauns (fact, information, "justified true belief" ) , then I have to remain agnostic about leprechauns and any claim that they do or do not exist would be unjustified and self-contradictory insofar as you are saying "I don't know anything about leprechauns... but I know or believe they do/don't exist"

....the same as if you can't give a testable definition of god, if you can't give me any knowledge about gods (facts, information, "justified true beleif" ) , then I must remain agnostic and any addendum that they exist or don't (agnostic atheist or theist) is unjustified and self-contradictory insofar as you are saying "I don't know anything about gods... but I know or believe they do/don't exist"

@AMGT

"Agnosticism in this context answers whether one thinks knowledge can be obtained in regard to god’s. NOT whether they currently have or don’t have knowledge on gods’."

The former is hard agnosticism, the latter soft. It matters not which I use for my claim works equally well in either.

[simple.wikipedia.org]

If one is hard agnostic and thinks that knowledge cannot be obtained about gods, then any positive belief about gods is unjustified and guesswork at best and biased by other concerns at worst.

It's like me putting both my hands behind my back and asking you if I have a penny in either hand or not. If we adopt the hard agnostic viewpoint, you would be unable to obtain knowledge of which hand it's in at any time before or after the question. Thus any answer you give "yes you do" or "no you dont' is unfounded and guesswork. The only sensible answer is "I don't know" or the position of agnosticism with no qualifier

Hence, to be agnostic a-pennyist and claim that I don't have a penny in either hand given that you have zero information to validate or justify that answer (as per hard agnosticism) is pure guesswork or biased by other considerations just like being agnostic atheist and claiming that there is, or you know, or you believe there are no gods is pure guesswork or biased by other considerations

@TheMiddleWay
Fallacy #1
This whole time you've been setting up a Straw Man. You've taken my statement differentiating what people mean when they say they are agnostic and you've defined it in a way that makes it easier to defeat. You say that if anyone has any knowledge or supporting evidence, that eliminates their ability to be agnostic about whether or not god exists. But those are two different things. If I find a bloody collar in the road with my dog's tag on it, I have evidence to suggest that he got hit by a car. Depending on the amount of blood, what the weather conditions are, how resilient and old/young it is, if there were foot pints leading anywhere, etc. I can make educated guesses on whether or not my dog is still alive. So by your definitions, because I know some information about the circumstances that could shape my belief, I can't say both "I don't know if my dog is alive" and "I believe my dog is alive". The only way one is unable to make the claim with intellectual honesty that they don't know whether or not the dog is alive is if they have incontrovertible proof regarding that claim, nothing else.

Fallacy #2
Your unnecessarily long explanation of hard and soft agnosticism was nothing but a Red Herring But if we look at your position on the Higgs. You say you are now "more in the belief camp". What does that mean? It means you have some evidence to suggest that it is true which caused you to limply say you believe, but you don't have proof, so you can't say you know. Your very counterargument, in essence, contains the language that you believe in the Higgs, but can't know for sure (yet). This directly contradicts your statement, "Thus I'm claiming that if you don't have facts, information, or a 'justified true belief' about gods, then you are agnostic and that any further claim that they do or do not exist is unjustified as it is not informed by knowledge." Furthermore, your statement is conflating the words believe and know. Beliefs are (or at least should be) based on evidence. Knowledge is based on proof (a true belief).

Fallacy #3
You initially claimed that you could prove that unicorns don't exist through genetics. You then Moved the Goalposts and claimed that the unicorn had to be terrestrial. Then claimed that the unicorn had to have horse DNA. Let's get one thing clear, if a unicorn exists, it would be its own species with its own DNA, and it would have been a descendant of the ancestors of some of the animals we know of today, but to claim that you know which ones or what DNA it would have despite the fact that it could be based on some pretty significant genetic mutations or cross breedings is exceptionally arrogant and completely fallacious. You took the definition "A mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead" and ignored the very important phrase 'typically represented as'. So as I stated, I wasn't genetics that you used to prove unicorns don't exist, it was semantics that you used to claim they don't.

For these reasons, I can no longer continue to waste my time trying to educate you. This should be enough to show you your position is wrong, and if it's not, I do not care enough about you spouting nonsensical claims to find out how much it would take. I hope you admit you've been wrong because that is actually what I would consider being something typical atheists and those who believe in science would do.

@JeffMurray

RE: Strawman:

"But those are two different things. If I find a bloody collar in the road with my dog's tag on it, I have evidence to suggest that he got hit by a car."

No. You have evidence that the dog is bleeding and that he is lacking his collar. That's the only evidence in your scenario.

". So by your definitions, because I know some information about the circumstances that could shape my belief, I can't say both "I don't know if my dog is alive" and "I believe my dog is alive""

That is correct. If you don't know, then your belief is biased by your wanting your dog to be alive, not by what you know. After all, if by what you said before if your dog did get hit by a car, it is more likely than not that it is dead not alive. Thus we see the contradictions that happen when you base beliefs off what you don't know.


Where is the strawman? Where am I "Substituting a person's actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument."?

@JeffMurray

RE: Red herring

"Your unnecessarily long explanation of hard and soft agnosticism was nothing but a Red Herring"

A paragraph is unnecessarily long to you? Duly noted.


Where the red herring? Where am I " is a deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument." given that agnosticism is the original arguement and it doesn't matter that we use soft or hard.

@JeffMurray

RE: Higgs

"It means you have some evidence to suggest that it is true which caused you to limply say you believe, but you don't have proof, so you can't say you know. Your very counterargument, in essence, contains the language that you believe in the Higgs, but can't know for sure (yet). This directly contradicts your statement,"

Except that I'm a physicist and thus I do have facts, knowledge, and "justified true beliefs" about the higgs and thus there is on contradiction.

@JeffMurray

RE: moving the goalposts
"You initially claimed that you could prove that unicorns don't exist through genetics. You then Moved the Goalposts and claimed that the unicorn had to be terrestrial"

My initial definition was "The standard definition of a unicorn is a terrestrial horse with a horn." thus no goalposts where moved as that was the initial goalpost I was aiming at.

@JeffMurray

"For these reasons, I can no longer continue to waste my time trying to educate you"

No worries; you are not my teacher.

"I hope you admit you've been wrong because that is actually what I would consider being something typical atheists and those who believe in science would do."

I'm not a typical anything and thus we'll both just have to continue hoping you proved me wrong.

Until the next, thanks for the discussion.

@TheMiddleWay
Do you even realize that in EACH CASEYOU MENTIONED, “the animals have two horns on their heads (TWO HORNS ON THEIR HEADS!), that fused into one”??

Even “the humble rhinoceros” has two horns!

‼️???‼️

@ungod

I said that a few posts back so clearly I recognize it.
Here is what I said:


Here is a deer where it's two horns fused into one:
[news.nationalgeographic.com]

Then there is the saola, a.k.a the asian unicorn, that has two closely growing horns and like above, could grow into one horn
www.cnn.com/2013/11/13/world/asia/vietnam-rare-mammal/index.html

Or course, let's not forget the humble rhinoceros.

But it remains genetically impossible for a HORSE to have horns, much less a single horn and so if we define a unicorn as "a horse with a single horn", then genetics proves that traditionally defined unicorns aren't real. Of course, if we want to change the definition to include goats and other animals with a single horn, then clearly unicorns exist*

@TheMiddleWay

“Two horns fused into one” is still two horns!

‼️?????‼️

“The humble rhinoceros” has TWO horns!

‼️?????‼️

How in HELL do you know rhinos are “humble”

⁉️????? ⁉️

‼️?????‼️

@TheMiddleWay

But thank you for your unabashed STOOPIDNESS..

I see now why goddites call atheists just as shamelessly STOOPID as themselves!

‼️?????‼️

@Ungod
"“The humble rhinoceros” has TWO horns!"
The greater ONE-horned rhino only has one horn and it's not a fusion of two horns.

Next...

@TheMiddleWay

But thank you for your unabashed STOOPIDNESS..

I see now why goddites call atheists just as shamelessly STOOPID as themselves!

‼️?????‼️

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@TheMiddleWay

That is typical goddite STOOPIDNESS - “How do you know, where you there?”

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
You are spamming posts you've made before.

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
I see you've nothing more to say but spam.
Duly noted.

1

What is to me a kind of mindlessness, or ignorance, is the fact a majority of religious people use the term "faith" to PROVE the existence of god or their deity whomsoever that may/may not be.
Faith, as in blind faith as in WTF is faith? One cannot argue with someone who thinks this way because your demand for proof one way or another is answered with "you need to have faity". I may have faith I'll win lotto but due to my psyche's 'no expectations' I can't say for SURE it'll happen whereas the believers say they KNOW it will. They know that which is unknowable.

3

From TFA "If you say something exists, you would need to bring evidence to prove that it exists; vice-versa, if you claim something doesn't exist, you would need to bring some evidence to prove that it doesn't exist."
There is no evidence of a god or no god. NONE. So there's the answer to that problem. No one has evidence except the dead and they're not talking.

I completely agree which is why I'm an agnostic with no further qualifier. The nature of this post is to address people who need to qualify their theism, atheism, or agnosticism, a qualification that is unnecessarily at best and self-contradictory at worst IMO

And how do you know the dead have that knowledge?!?

1

An atheist is one who does not believe in any god (or analogous supernatural entity).

An agnostic is one who is not certain about the existence of a god.

We can't know for sure. But we can be really confident that the probability of it is very, very low.

So I consider myself both an atheist and an agnostic. I'm very highly confident that there is no supernatural entity. Just not 100% certain.

Consider: if you assign a probability to something, then you are not without knowledge (agnostic) about that something. You in fact have knowledge about that something and that informs your belief. You might be classified as a "gnostic atheist" therefore but I'll go a step further and claim that in order to be an atheist or a theist, that belief needs to be informed by some knowledge, that belief doesn't exist in an epistemological vacuum in other words. And for that reason, being a gnostic atheist or gnostic theist is redundant.

I would therefore say you are an atheist with no trace of agnosticism for agnosticism is not synonymous with "doubt" but with "lack of knowledge" or even strong "lack of access to knowledge" about a subject.

Somehow, I feel insulted now.

3

You realize a definition that starts with "as I see it" is clearly subjective to the person "seeing" it, right?

Of course. I'm not saying that what I present is cold hard facts but rather as my viewpoint which I share with you. If you agree, then you see things as I do; if you disagree, you don't. I could have also pretested it with "in my opinion" or "From my point of view" and it would have been figuratively the same.

At that point discussion is impossible. “Opinion” can justify ANY position, right or wrong, supporting facts and evidence or not!

3

I don't know that there are no gods, so I guess I'm agnostic. I have no way of proving there isn't a teapot orbiting Mars, so I guess I'm agnostic about that too.
I don't believe there is a teapot orbiting Mars, nor do I believe there are any gods. Since I don't accept any claims I've heard about gods, I am an atheist. It seems simple to me.
I m not claiming to have absolute knowledge that there are no gods, since that would be impossible to prove, but I sure haven't seen anything that would make me think there might be a god or gods.

"I have no way of proving there isn't a teapot orbiting Mars, "

Yes you do.

Teapots are created by man and thus for there to be a teapot orbiting mars it would have to have been brought up there by one of the probes we sent there. You can search though all of NASA records to find any such teapot or any such weight discrepancy in the probe.

Further, you can use a high powered telescope, send a probe, or go there yourself to determine if there is a tea pot orbiting mars. Thus you need not be agnostic because there is accessible knowledge available to determine if there is or isn't a teapot... unlike say string theory or gods where there is no accessible knowledge

"but I sure haven't seen anything that would make me think there might be a god or gods."

I've never seen the big bang but I think there might have been a big bang. Or not. I'm agnostic on that issue as well given that we don't have access to the big bang or gods in the same way that we have access to teapots and mars.

I won't go into the ridiculous notion that I would spend billions of dollars to try to justify being ateapottist. I do know there is lots of evidence already for the prevailing scientific theory for the beginnings of earth, and I accept them. I'm not saying the Big Bang is absolutely true, I don't KNOW. I do think it's the best explanation so far. As far as god go. It was our first explanation of how things worked. Being the first, it was also the worst. It has been replaced many years ago with more logical explanations. I will go with the science. That doesn't mean I am going to uselessly try to disprove something I don't think exists.

@TheMiddleWay
NASA or even human beings are HARDLY the only entities in the entire universe that could put a teapot in orbit around Mars!

No telescope would be able to tell you whether there is a teapot orbiting Mars that may be hidden in an asteroid, or simply INVISIBLE, as goddites claim about their deities!

And all that matters not - the person is without the ability to know, whether not possessed of the means to do so, or locked in 23/1 solitary confinement and thus unable to access that information!

He simply doesn’t know. He is without knowledge. He is AGNOSTIC in the matter!!

@Ungod
But in the case of a teapot, that is something that a) we know exists and b) we know what it looks like and c) we know they aren't invisible.

As such, searching for it and not finding it is possible if difficult. You could search every asteroid, every planet, and prove, conclusively, there is no teapot orbiting mars.

This is radically different from claims of gods whom a) we don't know if they exist and b) we don't know what they look like and c) we don't know if they are visible or not.

@TheMiddleWay
There are plenty of sources for knowing whether or not the Big Bang is a reasonable possibility!

The Big Bang theory arose from the accumulated KNOWLEDGE of man and is subject to further and better knowledge!!

KNOWLEDGE!!

@Ungod
Not really, not unless we have a time machine and we can go back there and see and experiment for ourselves. At best, we can make good guesses based on current information but even those guess aren't "knowledge" as evidenced by the fact that there are theories that take the same current information but don't use a "Big Bang".

@TheMiddleWay

You DON’T know what it looks like - a space alien could make one.

It could be incredibly tiny.

It could be hidden INSIDE something.

It could be disguised as an asteroid!

It could have an orbital path that is just too large for you to be able to comprehend or measure!

It could be “invisible”, it could be “supernatural”.

It could exist in another dimension.

You need to BELIEVE it’s there before you are able to see it!

You can’t see it until after you’re dead.

YOU COULD SIMPLY MISS IT!!

And all that doesn’t even matter - you simply don’t have knowledge of its existence!

That’s called I DON’T KNOW, whether you could eventually find out or not!!

@TheMiddleWay

That is typical goddite STOOPIDNESS - “How do you know, where you there?”

‼️?????‼️

@Ungod
"You DON’T know what it looks like - a space alien could make one."
Yes. But if it's a teapot, it would still look like a teapot and act like a teapot and the fact that it's made by tea drinking aliens doesn't change that fact.

"It could be disguised as an asteroid!"
Then it's not a teapot but an asteroid.

"It could be “invisible”, it could be “supernatural”."
Then it's not a teapot since teapots are visible and very natural.

"It could exist in another dimension."
Then it wouldn't be orbiting around a planet as per the original problem statement and as we understand orbiting.

"YOU COULD SIMPLY MISS IT!!"
Absolutely. What I said is that it was possible to conduct a through search in principle but may not be possible in practice.

"That’s called I DON’T KNOW, whether you could eventually find out or not!!"
I agree. My only point is that finding a teapot orbiting a planet is something that is conceivably possible given that we know teapots exist and know what to look for. But until such time as I conduct a through search, I agree, I can't know that the teapot orbits a planet.

That is the same with the Big Bang: until such time as I conduct a though search of the universe, I can't know that the Big Bang is the way the universe started.

@TheMiddleWay

That is typical goddite STOOPIDNESS - “How do you know, where you there?”

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
I sense a pattern...you are merely repeating the same post to all threads regardless of context.

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
I will report you for spamming if you continue. Please stop.

3

Here's the flaw: "if you claim something doesn't exist, you would need to bring some evidence to prove that it doesn't exist." I don't claim God does not exist. I simply reject the claim that he does exist. In practical terms, we start with an empty universe, a blank slate, a nothingness, and then we start figuring out what it really contains, from quasars to prions. The only valid practical question is the positive one: does it exist? You can twiddle your thumbs or try to demonstrate that covfefe doesn't exist; the two things are about as useful. And all that agnosticism is for pussies 🙂

"I don't claim God does not exist. I simply reject the claim that he does exist."

I fail to see the difference: traditional logic has existence as binary and thus rejecting the claim of existence is accepting the claim of non-existence.

For example, if I reject the claim that you have a penny in your hand, I'm accepting the claim there is no penny in your hand....if I reject the claim that there is water in a cup, I'm accepting the claim that there is no water in the cup.

Perhaps you can clear up for me how rejecting the claim that he does exist doesn't naturally lead to accepting the claim that he doesn't exist.

"And all that agnosticism is for pussies "

True in my case: I am what I eat after all. 😉

@TheMiddleWay Atheism only addresses one prong of a binary issue. You are correct in that a god either exists or it does not. A theist claims that a god exists, as an atheist I make no claim whatsoever as to whether a god exists or not. I have used a roulette analogy elsewhere - the next number out will either be odd or even - a binary proposition. The theist is saying the equivalent of the next number out will be even. By saying that I do not believe the next number out will be even does not mean that I believe it will be an odd number. I am saying that when you can show me that your claim is true, I will believe it. Until that point, I will hold belief.

@Uncorrugated

" By saying that I do not believe the next number out will be even does not mean that I believe it will be an odd number."

If even and odd are the only two choices and you don't believe it will be even, what do you believe it will be then?

@TheMiddleWay.

The answer is "I don't know"

How difficult was that?

To claim it will be even (without any evidence of fraud ot tampering) is the theist position. Until theists provide some evidence as to their god's existence I will reserve judgement.
That which can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence.

I see no evidence of any god existing, but do not know that a god could not exist in any circumstance. Hence I am an agnostic atheist.

@Uncorrugated

Then if you answer is "I don't know", you are a pure agnostic as I see it.

To see why I think you are purely agnostic, where does the "atheist" part come into play? What does adding "atheist" to "agnostic" add to the "I don't know" answer for if you truly don't know, you can't justifiably comment either way?

If the theist claims it will be even and an atheist claims that theist is wrong, then how is the atheist not claiming that it will be odd since the theist is wrong and odd is the only other possibility?

@TheMiddleWay

Gnostic and Theist are different propositions.

One addresses knowledge, one belief.

I believe that there is no god/s. I have seen no evidence for god. I can find no phenomenon that is quantifiable or measurable that can be attributed to anything that theists claim is a god. I do not believe gods exist. I am an atheist.

I am, however, not arrogant enough to say that I know that under any circumstances in any part of the universe that something that could be described as a god could not exist. I do not have enough knowledge to claim that I know enough to disprove the possibility that a god could exist. Therefore, with regard to the claim that a god could exist, I am agnostic.

I will also say that I know the god of the bible does not exist and with regard to that claim I am a gnostic atheist.

@Uncorrugated

But look at the contradiction you yourself set up:

a) "I do not have enough knowledge to claim that I know enough to disprove the possibility that a god could exist. "

But

b) "I do not believe gods exist"

So if you don't have enough knowledge to disprove that possibility the gods exist (part a), on what knowledge do you base your belief that gods don't exist (part b)? For if you have some knowledge to back up your belief that gods don't exist, then you can't be agnostic... but if you lack knowledge to back up either claim that it does or does not exist, then you can't claim atheism and are in fact agnostic with no qualifier either way.

This is like me presenting you with a topic on which you have no knowledge about, say a new form of math or physics, but claiming that you believe or disbelieve in that topic. In this case, since you have no knowledge of the topic (agnosticism) how can you justify your belief either way (atheism or theism)

@Uncorrugated

Also, how do you address this question I had about theroulette model for your beliefs:

"If the theist claims it will be even and an atheist claims that theist is wrong, then how is the atheist not claiming that it will be odd since the theist is wrong and odd is the only other possibility?"

@TheMiddleWay Please do not twist my words. "If the theist claims it will be even and an atheist claims that theist is wrong, then how is the atheist not claiming that it will be odd since the theist is wrong and odd is the only other possibility?"

I have at no point in this post said that the theist is wrong. You seem to have some difficulty distinguishing between I do not believe your claim is true and I believe your claim is false.

You had the same problem with Sisyphe at the start of this. I will try one more time.

If I said to you that I have an even number of coins in my pocket would you believe me? Now you could take that on faith, but you would have no idea if I was telling the truth or not.

Or, you could ask for some evidence that I have an even number of coins in my pocket. if I am unable or refuse to provide evidence that I have an even number and tell you that you must just believe me, would you still have faith that I have a even number of coins in my pocket? Or, would you conclude that as I have provided no evidence that I have an even number of coins in my pocket that I must therefore have an odd number of coins in my pocket?

Of course, I might not have any coins in my pocket at all. The ONLY time to conclude that something is true, is when there is sufficient evidence to support the claim.

@Uncorrugated

"You seem to have some difficulty distinguishing between I do not believe your claim is true and I believe your claim is false."

Because in binary logic, the refutation of one side is the agreement with the other. Thus because of the example YOU provided with even and odd roulette table (your example, your words, not mine), which is a binary logic, if you deny something is even it must be odd. In your analogy, you said "The theist is saying the equivalent of the next number out will be even." which means that atheist must be saying the opposite, that the next number will be odd. Likewise, true and false are binary logic... if it's not true, it must be false and thus if you do not believe the claim to be true you must, by binary logic, believe that claim to be true.

Now, when you talk about even coins, odd coins and NO coins you are switching to ternary logic, logic that has three states as opposed to two. A roulette wheel, your original analogy, does not follow ternary logic... the ball will fall on an even or odd number and that is it. And existence claims by the atheist (god does not exist) or the theist (god does exist) OR belief claims by the atheist (I believe god does not exist) or the theist (I believe god does exist) are binary... if god does not exist, then he exists... if you don't believe god exists, then you believe he doesn't exist.

As you see, it's not I putting words in your mouth... it's logic putting words in your mouth.

Hence, I propose to you, that the reason I and possibly @sisyphe have problems with your viewpoints is because you are mixing binary with ternary logic and for the same reason, but not realizing that your logic is binary, you fail to realize that not believing a claim is true absolutely means you believe the claim is false.

@TheMiddleWay.

"Because in binary logic, the refutation of one side is the agreement with the other. "

You are wrong.

In a binary logic you only address one side of the statement at a time. If you assert that the next number WILL be even without evidence my response is I do not believe you. The next ball MIGHT be odd or it MIGHT be even, but I do not have enough evidence to believe that the next number WILL be even. So until I have evidence of the next number MUST be even (or that god exists) I do not believe.

And now I am done. FTN

@Uncorrugated

" If you assert that the next number WILL be even without evidence my response is I do not believe you"

If you are playing roulette and you do not believe the next ball will be even, you would bet on odd, right?

Similarly, if you are playing theology and you do not believe that god exists, you would bet on god not existing, right?

As such, by your example, you are an theist if you are betting that the next ball will be even, you would be an atheist if you are betting the next ball will be odd, and you would be an agnostic in by not placing a bet at all because you are unwilling to bet even or odd. But since you can't simultaneously not bet on even or odd (agnostic) AND bet on either even or odd (a/theist), you cannot logically be both agnostic and a/theist.

I want to thank you for introducing me to the roulette example; very useful to make my point concrete.

@TheMiddleWay

If I did not believe the number would be odd, I would NOT bet on even as I ALSO have no reason to believe it will be odd!

I WILL bet that it will be even OR odd - a 100% certain bet, which is why that’s not an option!!

I know it will be A number, but that is another bet they won’t allow for the same obvious reasons!

@Ungod
I agree. One can only list the possibilities, even OR odd.

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
Under boolean logic, your statment is illogical. God has to exist or not exist. The way you phrase it makes it sound like you don't believe it exists but also don't believe it exists, impossible under boolean logic.

On the other hand, if you were to state that you don't believe or unbelieve in the existence or nonexistence of god, then you would be taking a purely agnostic stance insomuch as you are admitting that you can't answer the question either way and thus you won't believe or unbelieve either way

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
Nothing original left to say so you spam. Sad.

@TheMiddleWay

I don’t believe in god AND I don’t believe in no god!

Kindergarten simple!

‼️???‼️

@Ungod
Last warning. Please stop spamming the discussion or you will be reported. If you've nothing more to say on the topic, then let it go.

@Ungod
Spam. Reported.

3

The "either/or" choices you offer are quite limited. I know a lot about a myriad of subjects and I know some of it to be true. The rest are delegated to various levels of probability and...being a human with physical, social and very powerful creative needs (to the best of my knowledge, anyway)...priority.

Gratefully, the "answers" to all these unknowns rank a VERY low priority for me.

As far as the opposite extreme, the "all knowing" specialist in...what area? Astrophysics? Nuerobiologists? So these people have the answers now? They know the sum total of all there is to know in their fields...and enough in all the related fields that apply? Then why do they still constantly retest and contest each others' work?

mmm...do we have anyone here with the multiple PhDs and amazing intellect here to provide all the "answers"? Then where have you been?!? The world needs you!

While I rate it as a LOW probability, I don't even "know" I'm sitting here typing this. So for me, what I know is irrelevant. What I see as "reality" is an unimaginably large set of possibilities with greater of lesser probabilities...and among the lowest priorities in my daily life.

5

I don't see it as contradictory or an oxymoron at all.

agnosticism: the belief that one cannot have absolute knowledge one way or the other regarding the existence of gods

atheism: the lack of belief in the existence of gods

Most (but not all) atheists that I know would identify as agnostic atheists. They lack a belief that gods exist because no-one has ever proved that any god exists. They acknowledge, however, that they do not and cannot know with certainty that they are correct because no-one has ever proved that gods do not. They see the probability of the existence of gods to be so remote that it is negligible.

The same argument holds for an agnostic theist. They see the probability of the non-existence of at least one god to be so remote that it is negligible, but acknowledge that no-one has proved one way or the other whether gods exist. They believe that gods do exist. (As an aside, those who believe in the Christian god tend to actually believe in two gods -- the second being Satan.)

Then there are the gnostics. Personally, I find gnostic atheists to be generally more angry people -- "Of course there's no god because, if there was, he'd never let <insert tragic event> happen," and I find gnostic theists to be completely devoid of any meaningful concept of what it means to "know" something -- "I know God exists because I can feel Him in my heart," or "There is no way this could have been a coincidence -- I know God saved <some person from certain death>,"

A/gnosticism has to do with whether or not knowledge of something can exist. Most (but not all) people, whichever side of the argument they are on, will acknowledge that proof is impossible -- thus they are agnostic. A/theism has to do with whether or not the claim of the existence of a god is believable -- atheists say no, it is not believable, while theists say yes, it is.

Two completely different things, independent of each other except for the topic to which they are applied. So, there are:

agnostic atheists (which is the majority of atheists)
gnostic atheists (who believe they "know" they are correct)
agnostic theists (who acknowledge they cannot know)
gnostic theists (who believe they "know" they are correct

Among theists, I'm not certain whether there are more gnostics or more agnostics, but in my experience most of them behave as though they are gnostic (as in, if they are agnostic, they avoid admitting to it because that could be construed as doubt.)

"They see the probability of the existence of gods to be so remote that it is negligible."

Then they are not agnostic because engaging in probability games means that you have an epistemology, a reason, an experiment, a rationale, for dismissing the gods.

Whether theist or atheist, if you have a belief, it has to be informed by some epistemology. And if you have some epistemology, you are not agnostic. This doesn't mean you know you are right or you know you are wrong but it does mean you have a reason, you have a gnosis, backing up your belief. On the other hand, an agnostic lacks any gnosis for calculating any probability... an agnostic isn't XX% sure one way or another... an agnostic claims that there is no rational basis for the calculation of probability in the first place.

"A/theism has to do with whether or not the claim of the existence of a god is believable -- atheists say no, it is not believable, while theists say yes, it is."

Again, and sorry to belabor the point, if it's believable (or not0 then some knowledge of it must exist to justify that belief (or lack) and thus you can't be agnostic because they claim that knowledge cannot be had in the first place

A/gnosticism, as I see it, isn't about knowing if you are correct or not about a subject... it's about there being access to a test, be it knowledge or belief, such that one can determine if you are correct or incorrect,

Thus a gnostic, as I see it, would claim that that knowledge of truth or falsity is accesible... the gnostic theist would claim there is an experiment to test if there is a god and they believe that experiment results in god existing; likewise, the gnostic atheist would claim there is an experiment, perhaps even the same experiment, to test if there is a god and they believe that that experiment shows that god doesn't exist.

HOWEVER, an agnostic a/theist would claim that there is no such experiment, that such knowledge cannot be gain, and thus the second part, as I see it, where they claim that such an experiment, that the knowledge gained by that experiment, proves that gods do/don't exist is unjustified by the first... the first part, agnostic, short circuits the second part, a/theism

I think you are trying to put too much reasoning into people's belief one way or the other. There seems to be no disagreement about what it means to be a/gnostic. Can one have absolute knowledge of the existence of gods? Any reasonable individual would respond in the negative.

The issue arises when trying to apply reasoning to a/theism. It is a belief one way or the other. I doubt many people have sat down a rigorously rationalized their position. Some may have, and I suspect most of those consider themselves to be gnostic a/theists. I find myself rather skeptical about the gnostic part of that (although I struggle with that myself -- do I consider myself gnostic? -- no, but sometimes I really have to talk myself through why I cannot be.) For most people, it seems that a/theism is intuitive, not rational. It is a faith -- no knowledge required.

Just like it makes no sense to try to claim knowledge of whether gods exist, or not, it makes no sense to assume that one's position as an a/theist was arrived at via rigorous reason. It's intuition more than anything else, at least with most individuals.

I believe an agnostic “theist” would be called a deist - he believes in a god, but claims no knowledge of which one it is...

3

asocial, abiogenesis, agnostic, atheist

What do these have in common? A- means without. A-social: without social contact, abiogenesis: the beginning when there was no life; agnostic: when you say you have no knowledge; atheism: when you have no belief in a god (theism=belief in god)

An agnostic atheist doesn't know for sure if there is a god, and does not have a belief; an agnostic theist would be someone who knows there's no proof, but believes anyway (in other words, someone who falls for pascal's wager or something like that. To put it bluntly, someone who doesn't care much about the truth, or isn't good at finding it)

"atheism: when you have no belief in a god " So you are comfortable with god existing but you just not believing in it?

That doesn't sound like most atheists I know.
Most atheists, I wager, would say that god/s don't exist and THAT is why they don't believe. Thus, an atheists claims is first about ontology (existence) which then fuels their epistemology (belief or knowledge)

"An agnostic atheist doesn't know for sure if there is a god, and does not have a belief;"

That's just an agnostic. If you aren't sure there is a god, then by extension you aren't sure there isn't one either. Thus you can't be agnostic and atheist and claim there is no god nor can you be a an agnostic and theist and claim there is... all you can do is claim that you are agnostic and say "I don't know". Otherwise, as an agnostic atheist you are saying "I don't know that there are no gods... but there are no gods!" which sounds to me a lot like the "I'm not saying it was aliens... but it was aliens" guy. 😀

@TheMiddleWay which God would I believe in? I've already found enough problems with the god I was raised to worship that I can no longer believe in it even if I want to.

How would I know for sure that no gods exist? I don't believe any do, and I consider it unlikely enough that I might claim no god exists, but evidence could sway me.

Agnostic and atheist answer two different questions. Do you know?-liar or agnostic. Do you believe?-sheep or atheist. To be clearer, either you believe in god(s) or you don't, which is what theist and atheist mean.

It's more like "I don't know, but it seems about as likely as Russell's Teapot. I can't prove there isn't one in space hidden behind something, but how would it have gotten there?" or "I don't know, the same way I can't be sure there are no leprechauns or unicorns."

@Jnutter819

"which God would I believe in? "

Don't know. As a pure agnostic, as I use it, I claim to neither believe nor disbelieve in gods. In not disbelieving, I'm not cementing what god, which god, nor that even the god/s that have already been proposed is the right god/s. I merely make the claim that I cannot dismiss the fundamental thesis of there being a "higher power" but neither can I accept it. Being ignorant, I make no claims.

"How would I know for sure that no gods exist?"
That's the foundation of my agnosticism. As a physicist, I'm hard-wired to use experiements to confirm or deny ontology. For example, it's not enough the string theory's math is coherent and consistent... if there is no experiment that can validate it to be physically real, I will neither believe that it is true nor dismiss it as false... I'm agnostic on it's claims that it represents reality in a similar way I'm agnostic in the theists claims that god represents reality or the atheists claims that reality has not gods.

"Agnostic and atheist answer two different questions. Do you know?-liar or agnostic. Do you believe?-sheep or atheist."

Do you believe in what? Do you know what? Both knowledge and belief are epistemology not ontology. But if you say "do you know god exists" or "do you believe god exists" then you are making claims of ontology as informed by your epistemology. As such, simply stating that agnostic = know and atheist = belief is a wholly inconsitent way to differentiate between the two. After all, the atheist claims that god doesn't exist and thus theirs is a claim of ontology. Regardless of whether he calls it belief or knowledge, both are premeditated on the core idea that an atheist doesn't see god/s as part of our reality but if they are agnostic, then they can't justify that belief or knowledge and thus we are back to my central claim that you can be agnostic but not a/theist and a/theist but not agnostic but together, they contradict each other.

"but it seems about as likely as Russell's Teapot. I can't prove there isn't one in space hidden behind something, but how would it have gotten there?"

But you can easily prove there is not a teapot in space: teapots are made by humans and humans have not been there. On the other hand, you could argue that one of the many ships we've sent to mars have carried a teapot and dropped it off in between earth and mars, a thesis which would be easy to prove based on nasa records. Thus, because we know what a teapot looks like, weighs, is composed of, and who made it, we can most assuredly a) look for it in space to see if it's there, b) infer from the lack of humans in space that it isn't there, c) research to see if a probe took it there.

However, the same tests cannot be made of god/s. We don't know what they look like, we don't know what they weigh, in fact while teapots are man-made and used by many people world wide right now, we have no records of gods to know if they exist in the first place. Thus russell's teapot fails.

""I don't know, the same way I can't be sure there are no leprechauns or unicorns.""

Unicorns are easy to dismiss by definition: horses don't grow horns. We've seen horses; we've seen horns; we know, genetically, they don't go together.

Leprechauns I admit I'm not too familiar with. You'd have to describe them for me in order to address the claims. Thus, in my ignorance of what YOU mean by leprechaun (and for you to see my agnosticism at work), I will claim to be agnostic on your claims that leprechauns don't exist until you can give me further description of what you are dismissing and why.

@TheMiddleWay I happen to have a leprechaun in my pocket...

@Sadoi

Ah shucks. I thought you were just happy to see me. 😟

@Sadoi

All joking aside, if that is your claim, then I can easily dismiss it by reaching in your pocket and trying to find a leprechaun. Hence, if the claim is "leprechauns are beings that reside in your pocket", I need not be agnostic about it as I can perform an experiment to verify or deny.

Ok, yeah, I'd be hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit faster than you can say "bill cosby" but all in would all be in the name of philosophy!!!

@TheMiddleWay weeelll... cues in the 70's debby does dallas soundtrack hahaaa

@TheMiddleWay and... what if after you reach into my pocket, you do, indeed find a leprechaun? Then what? And the Bill Cosby thing just about killed me! I spit hot tea all over my keyboard. I do laugh often, but that was a choking sort of moment, tootally unexpected! And yes, blame it on philosophy. "It was in the name of science, I sweaarsesss it!!"

@TheMiddleWay I wish they had a laughing you could give instead of the thumbs up. Thumbs up is just sooo... Fonzie! Ayye! Sit on it Potsie!

@TheMiddleWay sorry, but this applies to my above Fonzie comment

@TheMiddleWay "After all, the atheist claims that god doesn't exist and thus theirs is a claim of ontology." That's not what all atheists say. Look up any definition of atheist (other than things like"fool" citing the bible) and it's literally just not believing in any specific god. Leprechauns are mystical creatures common to Irish folklore. They could easily hide from a loud scientist looking to collect them as proud of their existence. They are too clever to fall for most traps. You cannot prove that they don't exist, especially with all the anecdotal evidence. However, does that mean it's more reasonable to say "Sure, little magical people who wear green and have a bunch of gold could exist" than "prove it"

@Sadoi

"cues in the 70's debby does dallas soundtrack "

"brown chicken brown cow"

@Sadoi

"what if after you reach into my pocket, you do, indeed find a leprechaun? Then what? "

Aren't I granted 3 wishes if I catch a leprechaun?

(and yeah, I think expanding the buttons beyond like to smile frown, etc would be a good features list)

@TheMiddleWay Haaahaaaaaa!!! brown chicken brown cow!" Ahahaha! I just about died laughing when I read that!!! I am still busting up over here!

@TheMiddleWay hmm... although I thought it was a pot of gold one received after locating a leprechaun, I suppose 3 wishes could be equally attributed to said action. Guess you better cross your fingers and hope you come in contact with a leprechaun once you get that hand into my pockets. hah! 😉 I think, first, though, you must rub its belly to get those wishes. If you find the lil green fellow, what will your wishes be? World Peace? A hawai'ian pizza with extra cheese? The Answers to Life and the Universe??! haha (yeah, well, at this point, i would settle for the feature of "Dont fucking LOSE all my goddamned emails here at agnostic.com!" over anything else. you will understand this bitching complaint once you read my emails... well, that IS, IF they are actually All there. grrrr!)

@Sadoi

I think you're right it is a pot of gold... though honestly, I've more use for the pot than the gold! Hahahaha!

But ah' reckon if I were to reach into your pockets, I couldn't help but strike gold! 😮

(Ok, all these double entendres are getting out of hand... "out of hand"... ugh... triple entendre!)

@TheMiddleWay oh geez! I am laughing so hard I am crying!! You are going to land me in the hospital with all your inuendo and side speak! Its okay! I am a sucker for great puntasticness! I Am actually imbibing the pot at the moment, no time for the gold! lol! hee hee! I will think of you next time i hit my bowl. I will send you thoughts of smoke like a prayer. Keep a watch to the north. You may see it coming... yooour waaay! Well, if you reach into my pocket, not only might you strike gold, but i suspect you will also strike an unwrapped stick of gum, random 4 foot long strains of my hair that managed to work their way into that pocket via my hair ties, maybe some stones because I tend to collect random stones whenever I am out hiking, a lighter... i mean... god knows what you would find in there! Hell, you might even find the answers the the universe inside my pocket! 😉

@Sadoi

"Hell, you might even find the answers the the universe inside my pocket!"

A pocket universe you might say? 😀

@TheMiddleWay bwaa you are funny, goofy... goofunny??? Or would you be Punny since you are so puneriffic? Yes, let us ring Guth into this one too! haha!
Okay, I must admit, Oscar Wilde is my favorite human being, Ever and that is due to his overwhelming wit. ...I sense some "Wilde" in you, sir! 😉

@Sadoi

Wilde is pure gold... I honestly can't disagree with anything he says! And as far as Punny, I grew up on Aspin's "Myth-Adventures" and have Anthony's "Xanth" novels on my reading list. When it comes to puns, the only way to know that you've grown up is to groan up.

@TheMiddleWay get a room you two lol

or at least private messages

@Jnutter819

Ha! We are making all of agnostic.com our room and we invite you to join us!!! 😀😀

@Jnutter819 yup! I was waiting for that one for a few days now. haha! I noticed this thread has turned into a monstrosity! haha! Looks like MW prefers to turn the entire room into this...lounge and prompts you to join in! You can appreciate some Brown Cow Brown Chicken chat, right? hahah

@TheMiddleWay time to put on the peer pressure!! hahah

@Sadoi

@Sadoi
It's totally gotten out of hand yes, I admit...
but...
I'm willing to see how many people we can make uncomfortable with our punny entendres... I bet you we can even get @admin to shut us down if we push it far enough... unless Admin decides to join us of course! ROFLMAO

@TheMiddleWay ooh sooo... are you saying this is akin to an experiment to test the boundaries of "how much is too much?" I see. well, i think we Can make this happen buddy! yess... we can!!! Let us put this theory to the test! muhahahaha!!

@TheMiddleWay im down! i will push this shit with you, man!! we Got this! hahaha

1

(c'ont part 3) CONCLUSION

This turned out to be more of a jumbled mess than I inteneded and I thank and applaud you if you were able to make it all the way through and make sense of the disjointed way I had to present this. I ran into posting limits where were unknown to me which is why I had to spread this out such that the conclusion is above two other sections of the proposal.

I look forward to any and all discussion stemming from this proposition, both for and against and again, thanks for reading!

I recommend making your comments replies to your first to keep things in the right order

@Jnutter819

Yeah, once I realized that there was a post limit, I posted "in order" instead of "reverse order". Pain in the ass to do it this way, really....

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(c'ont part 2) "I DON'T HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD(S) BUT I BELIEVE/KNOW THEY DO/DON'T EXIST", a theological example of the oxymoron.

Here we have a similar situation to the secular example above. Here, the agnostic makes an epistemological claim, gods aren't known, while the a/theist makes a ontological claim, god/s exist or don't exist. The problem is, just like category theory, that if you claim to have no epistemology (knowledge) for god/s, then you can provide no justification for the ontology (existence) of god/s. If you believe there are no gods and can provide reasons for it, you are atheist with no need for agnosticism... you have epistemological reasons (right or wrong) to support your ontological claim. On the other hand, if you claim there is no knowledge of gods, then you have no epistemology, no reason to support an ontological claim.

When an agnostic is asked "Do gods exist" they claim "I don't know and I don't believe or disbelieve in them... I'm ignorant of the subject". When an a/theist is asked "do gods exist" they claim "I do/don't believe they don't because I'm not ignorant of the subject and here is the epistemology (ie. reasons) in support of my belief".

Thus an agnostic cannot be labeled an a/thiest because they neither believe nor disbelieve, they don't know or do know, they must claim ignorance as the only epistemology currently available to possible. Nor can an a/theist be labeled an agnostic because they have a reason for their belief or knowledge, they will not claim ignorance of the subject like an agnostic will

1

(c'ont part 1) CATEGORY THEORY, a secular example of the oxymoron.

I choose category theory for two reasons. It's a math theory that I have knowlege of but few other people (including mathematician) do. It's a math theory that I believe in but a good majority of those mathematicians that do have knowlege in do not, hence earning it's nickname of "abstract nonsense". It is the fact that it is a not well known theory that I will use to demonstrate how one cannot claim belief or disbelief in a subject (a/categorist to coin a term) if one is agnostic on the subject.

If you don't know what category theory is, great! Ask yourself do you believe in it or not? Does it exist or did I make it up? Without doing any research (no peeking now!), all I've given you is a name and a claim that it exists, but you have no knowledge of it above and beyond that. So which is it, do you believe in category theory or not?

I'll even relax the conditions a bit. Assume you have a little category theory knowledge... that you've heard other mathematicians discuss it, you've read about it in journals, but you have no concrete math knowledge under your belt. Thus while others have claimed that category theory exists or does not, you have no epistemology to justify if it is real or "abstract nonsense" as other claims. In this case, if asked the question of "do you believe in category theory", lacking any epistemology, an answer in either direction would be guesswork at best and bias at worst. The best answer is that you are agnostic on the subject, that you are ignorant of category theory, and thus unable to either believe or not believe in it.

2

@admin

Soooo.... it's be nice to have a maximum length counter. I was able to type twice as much as what got posted but had no clue I'd reached a maximum nor that the rest would be clipped. 😟

No worries. It made sense. I mean, come on, you did list it as "Part One" through "Part Three'' and although it is a bit disjointed, for the most part/overall, your point can be understood. I actually got a kick out of reading all the replies. Seems you mildly ruffled some feathers in your presentation, but... I fully understand what it is you are expressing. I am an agnostic because I have no proof to lean me in one direction over the other. Bring God over for a hot cup of tea and Sure, I will believe in his existance. Until that can be done, I have no proof to substantiate the existance of god. I understand the contradiction you speak of. I once debated with myself, "Am I an Athiest or an Agnostic?" After a timely portion of my life set aside to ponder said question, I came to the conclusion that although I, personally cannot prove there is a god, likewise, I cannot prove there is no god either. As far as my own personal life is concerned, I have yet to experience the elusive nature of god in a way that manifested a seed of faith within me. Hence, I can easily say I Cannot prove a god exists. It would be arrogant for me to say "I know for a concrete fact that god does not exist." Since I am a being that is in constant flux, I must allow for my own personal growth be it mentally, spiritually, et al, and who can say what I shall think or feel a decade from now. I would never close any doors, permanently, because I am in a constant cycle of change. However, I cannot blindly opt to believe in something that I have no facts to support nor anything tangible to go off of. Likewise, I am not closed off to the thought of "believing" if ever a reason is presented that I cannot logically out-debate. For now, the woman I am today, No... there is no room in this life for a god. I cannot foresee that changing even as I age and, if anything, I assume it will only increase as my years roll on. Again, though, I think it would be a bit arrogant for me to say I absolutely no without a shadow of a doubt that there is no god. Deep within my person, I do feel this to be true about 99.9%, but that isn't enough to close the door and to shift to a position of absolutes. I, therefore, consider myself an Agnostic. For all the years I could live, a wisdom that already exists within me is centered enough to know Only a Fool claims to know everything, without doubt. As for your entire point, yes the first time someone told me they were an Agnostic Athiest, I was like, "Wait a minute... wait a minute... is this something like... 'I am a Jumbo Shrimp?'" lol

@Sadoi

Our experiences and viewpoints are so similar, no wonder you come in as a 90%!!

Yeah, I ruffle feathers but only on those who don't like to preen their beliefs. The more dead set one is that they are right, the more "offended" they will get by my presentation of ideas. This is true for secular and theist people alike. Secular people like to think they have an open mind but poke and prod in the right direction and they are just as likely to not want to question their beliefs as the most devout religious... "people are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awefully" as the song goes.

As well, I've vacillated between agnostic and atheist and theist for a good portion of my life. But as I grew as a person and a scientist (physics is my game), I found that intellectual honestly demanded that I treat theological claims the same way I treat physics claims and in doing so, the fact that I can't perform experiements one way or the other to test the claim of gods or not gods leaves me abjectly agnostic. In fact, while I use category theory in my presentation above, I could have equally used string theory for while I believe in category theory since it's mathematical claims can be tested, I'm agnostic about string theory since it's phenomenology claims cannot.

Always nice to know I'm not the only one that thinks the way I do, Sadoi; thanks for your reply!

@TheMiddleWay Hmm i love old Depeche Mode. haha But Blasphemous Rumors seems to work best with religion. lol! I never look at the little hearts with the percentages since the questions we were asked were ridiculously basic. I mean, as a guiding point, maybe? But you are correct. We are in the 80th percentile. I absoutely agree. See, I gained my first major experiences with questioning my own beliefs and thoughts when I began to dissect my faith in God. It began in my teens, to be honest. I began reading all manner of religious text. I have actully been baptized in... 16 churches! I was searching for the "True Church." The last one I was baptized in was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I swear, by the time i was 21, I could have easily become a theology major! As i began to see how easily i could lay older religions upon the face of Christianity and have almost the exact same story, I realized something was amiss. The Hardest thing i Ever had to uproot from within my heart and my mind was God. They know just what to tell you as a child. "Ari when you begin to backslide, you will Think you are seeking knowledge or truth, but the reality is, as you slide away from god the Real truth becomes more difficult to find and the longer you exist in a secular world, the harder it will be for you to heed to the word of god or to understand it and that is how the devil wins." So in my quest to figure out what the truth was, I had to uproot the biggest thing within and in order to accomplish that feat, i had to tear my Entire Mental World apart. I had to questions Everything. Everyone. Myself the most. I learned at a young age that what I believe to be a truth today could easily switch out tomorrow. I cannot say I am concretely placed upon any One Truth as I see myself and my life in a constant form of flux. Many people who even claim the title of "open minded" are open, but only to an extent and that implies we do not question their open-minded ideas/ideals, least we offend them and their sensibilities. I think it starts with Self Analysis. It starts with Self Truth. It starts with questioning the Very cornerstones of our own belief systems. If not within ourselves can we find our personal truths, then with whom do we ever do it? If we Think we are soo right, how do we know this and what questions must we ask ourselves in order to find the honest truth? It is a work in constant progress, you see. Once I begin to get too comfortable with one way of thinking, I will push myself to flip that script and put to the test my belief(s) and how do they continue to stack up against opposition? Anyone who thinks there are ideals/philosophies/laws/mores that they contain within that will never change are honestly people who never wish to investigate themselves deeper and more profoundly. I love knowing i will be a totally different person in another decade. That excites me! The more I understand the true nature of my mind and of myself, the more I can understand and relate to those I love and care for in my life. I will Never stake my flag into One Thing and claim it to be an Ultimate truth for me because... I would be a fool to do so. 😉 I know myself well enough to know This to be true! haha

@Sadoi

Ummmm... fuck yeah to everything you said!!!

  • Growing up, I studying every religion and paranormal and supernatural and scientific claim I could get my hands on. I had a pet belief that every religion was 1% correct and if I studied them all and put the right bits together (and threw away the 99% incoorect) I might achieve a modicum of cohesion. That plan didn't quite work out that way but much like you, I started to realize that no only was something very wrong with major orginized religions (roman catholic for me) but that all religions started to sound the same with ideas such as humility or the golden rule.

  • Did I get that your name is Ari??? 🙂 The only other place I've seen that name is in CJ Cherryh's book "Cyteen"... she is one of my favorite authors and Ari was a hell of a gal in that book as well!

  • Funny you mention being a different person in the next decade. Bottowing from buddhism, I'm prone to say that I have died many times in the past and I will die many times again. I've gone through so many changes that a reincarnation is the best way to describe how I've gone from theist, to atheist, to agnostic... from paranormal, to preternatural, to physicist... from music listener, to music player, to music theory creator!

@TheMiddleWay ooh I all currently out and only have my phone and I loathe, with a passion, typing on this thing. I tend to be long winded since I am a writer, but I just had to throw something in quickly. I will respond fully once I arrive home to the loving embrace of my laptop where I can type my 150wpm and allow my mind to freely move. I think extremely fast, therefore I must type fast. It is also why I type like I speak. Anyway, geez, auto (in) correct already took over and made me sound like a buffoon with little thought of grammar nor syntax. Oddly it went through a leprechaun one when it kept turning"hey you" into "hey pig.". Although I never figured out just How my phone made that correlation, it mad for many an awkward moment:. "hey pig! What you eating for lunch??". Yeah... That goes over reeeaal well when you accidently over like That particular auto (in) correct and it goes to two overweight girlfriends your are running late to meet for lunch!! Soo, what u wanted to say was... You should eerily like me. For me, it took a nosedive at UCLA when I was surrounded by my non believing scientist peers. It kinda sped up my religious investigation because suddenly I was the odd man in the room, so to speak. I pressed even harder. I also teetered, but all wound up within my Protestant God was my Buddhist upbringing. I was raised by my Japanese family. I am half French half Japanese, but never raised with my father's family and they reside in Paris and Nice. I am the same blend as the lovely Sofie fatale from the kill bill series! Lol little side note. Anyway, I'm distracted so I'm rambling. Aaand I am also now that rude asshole sitting at the restaurant table texting ppl...ooh lala! Has! So I leaned on my Buddhist side for balance. I delved into it. Now, for all my lacking in telling belief, I cannot explain why I feel this way...well... That isn't entirely true...I could but that would be my spiritual side speaking and that part of me does not speak publicly, if you catch my drift...I do believe in reincarnation. If I had to choose a spiritual belief, I would either be Taoist or transcendentalist. I will respond more later. I'm starting you think I will need my plate to shield out the daggers being shot my way ATM! Yikes! Allow me to jump back into real time conversations with the wit of the great Oscar Wilde! Ciao for now. PS oh yes. I did not realize I typed my name. When I am on a roll and it's a topic I am passionate about, I fall to safeguard as good as I, maybe, should? Ari is my name. Only Ari. It isn't short for anything. It's a boys name and it means lion. I am also a Leo. And I'm sure crazy cat lady too! Triple meow madness! Tell me about this character "Ari" you speak of.

@TheMiddleWay OMG it already fucked me up! Freaking leprechauns AGAIN?? I tried to say it went Through a phase. Geez Louise!

@TheMiddleWay OMG not so u wanted to say. I'm now banging my head on the table. This shit makes no damn sense! What I (ME ME ME) wanted to say was you should eerily like me. U did the Same Thing you wrote.

@Sadoi

"Tell me about this character "Ari" you speak of."

Oh gods. I guess I better start with the author, CJ Cherryh. I had the honor pleasure fortune of meeting her at the Nebula 50th anniversary awards. She was their honorary guest. She is so shy and has such an interesting life. She was into astronom and math back in a time where "girls didn't do that" and she was into girls back in a time when "girls definitely didn't do that". She had her current partner, Jane, with her at the meeting and the dynamic was really cool, like an old married couple cool.

So, Ariane Emory and her clone Ari. She is part of Union which was CJ's sort of version of the soviet union in her "mercanteer-union" universe, which encompasses the book she is in "Cyteen" as well as many others she is not like "Downbelow station" and " 40 thousand at gehenna" to name two. In the union, everything is controlled based on genetics. There are citizens that are born of natural reproduction and there are clones that are "produced" citizens have rights clones don't even though it's not strictly slavery. After all, clones are programmed from birth to be what they are meant to be and thus are (generally) happy to be who they are. In this backdrop, Ariane Emory is one of the most powerful and smartest women in the Union, based on the planet Cyteen. She is also one of the randiest and has an appetite for young men. Without getting too much into the story (and absolutely butchering the plot), she drugs and forces herself on the son of one of her researchers for sexual and political reasons and then goes and gets herself killed. These two acts form the center of the story and I'll leave it at that in case you want to read it. I will say that knowing that Ari means Lion sure makes sense given the strentgh of her character in the book!!!

@TheMiddleWay hmm... I assume this is Sci-fi? Reminds me a bit of Bladerunner. Typically, whenever AI is involved, AI is being dooped. They are the new slaves on the block. Hah! How funny. I tended to date younger men! ooh my curiousity is piqued. Perhaps I will have to read these... book(s)? I like to consume things, knowledge, and I am always looking for something new to challenge myself with, or a new interest. Thank you. 🙂 I will look into it.

@TheMiddleWay hmm so I have consumed the basic synopsis of said book series. Interesting concept. I was impressed with the fact that Ari, despite being a clone, is eventually given the possessions of Emory as well. The way the infuse Ari by recreating her life as they did Emory's (if i understood correctly) sort of has the flavor of The Truman Show as well. I would have to further investigate, but so far, those few things stuck out to me and I may very well need to read these books. They are my type of reads. 😉 thank you again!

@Sadoi

Yeah it's sci fi but not AI. The story has elements of science fiction to motivate the environment but it's moreso a study on what it is to be "you" and the repercussions of what you do. CJ is a fantastic author... hard sci-fi and with a real good understanding of human dynamics. She is also very much about putting females in the lead role, something that is rare in books and sci fi in particular

@TheMiddleWay I only had a small taste of the storyline while i casually researched it yesterday. Yes, i love everything involving human nature and the study of human nature. When I was 8, I discovered Desmond Morris and i fell in love with a book he wrote called "People Watching." I couldnt put it down so my interest in human behaviour, human nature and all things involving human Individuality has been well cultivated since I was a young child. I was a weird kid. Just to see if i Could read it, I took on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace when I was 12 and I got through it. I understood it. I am a quick learner. 😉

@Sadoi

Chaucer and the Cantebury tales for me... the way he observed and satirized his culture by focusing on people on a pilgrimage as well as the novel literary approach (for his time) really stuck with me in terms of "people watching".

I've always wanted to update the Cantebury Tales but setting it in an airport, the airport being one of the best "people watching" places... or used to be before 9/11 shut out so much of it from non-traveling public view and were a guy showing up day after day to watch and not travel would PROBABLY get arrested!

@TheMiddleWay you could set it in a popular outdoor area too like... 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I Know its a good people watching place because I used to spend hooours of my days just sitting around, sketching and watching ppl... taking notes... I also know of a number of huge malls on the west coast that are ideal. The piers all up and down the coasts where I lived, great spots! Pismo Pier, Santa Monica Pier, Cannery Row in Monterey. I worked at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in my teens, another great place. What about a zoo? haha! I get where you are going with the idea though... would be interesting actually. yes... it would indeed.

@TheMiddleWay ooh chinatown or japantown in SF would be a fun place too.

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