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How far can/should one press philosophical doubt?
Should we keep on questioning until nothing is left to question or is there a point on which we need to stand (which we often tend to do)?

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Lady_bug 5 Nov 14
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21 comments

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7

I strive to live an evidence based life supported by facts and data. When a claim is made with absolutely no evidence to support it, I disregard it completely until said evidence is presented.

@jlynn37 Both are works of fiction. It's up to the reader. I personally disregard the possibility of either being factual. That's me.

5

I chose to believe in facts. I know that they can change and when they do I reevaluate my position. I know that I can never know all the secrets of the universe, but I will strive to explore and understand my little section of it.

4

There will never be nothing left to question.

agreed, only more questions less answers and extreme complexity

4

I'll keep questioning in my mind but I don't need to articulate my beliefs unless asked. Answer with a question "What do you want me to say?" I don't wish to argue these points with theists. When people preach to me, I treat them like telemarketers. "Sorry I'm not interested" Chalk me up as a Gnostic Apatheistis Atheist.

4

Add one additional option to make it complete: "Who gives a fuck?"

4

I remember my little brother was convinced the wind was blowing because the trees kept waving back and forth making it windy.
Imagine never questioning your first impressions, or your last.

3

How are yes/no options in an "or" question?

Wife beater question.

3

As was instilled into me from my childhood, " If you never ask questions you WILL NEVER learn anything."

3

I personally need to question and find answers, settling only at objectionable truths.

2

For starters, you cannot prove a negative..........so how can you get to "nothing"?

1

How far can/should one press philosophical doubt?
Should we keep on questioning until nothing is left to question or is there a point on which we need to stand (which we often tend to do)?

I am inclined to think that such inquiries are fine so long as they don't suck too much energy away the dilemmas of real life. Because for the most part, the questions surrounding such views as atheism and agnosticism don't have much bearing on reality as we collectively know it. However, such things as climate change and fascism DO.

Indeed, I come at this from the standpoint of being though this conversation (phase?), and I don't want to stifle inquiring minds that are just discovering the various flavors of reason. And I may well be conflating 2 very different phenomenons that should not/are not really related. None the less, it's hard to argue that petty disagreements amongst secularists are not holding back our collective power as a whole. And if there is anything that should serve as a warning as to the dangers posed by this needless schism, its the socio-political events of the past 4 to 5 years.

There will always be a place for these questions. But there ought also be a time when we put our minor philosophical disagreements aside in the name of unity of the collective. Considering that NOT seeing this big picture is to our peril.

1

I think this is a particularly insightful question, that isn't asked often enough, and hardly ever answered well. I do think there is a place to make a stand. But getting to that place can be a bit of a journey.

Hovering in mid air can be exhausting. Sometimes we might want to just throw a dart and pick a side so we can rest. But I don't find that method very satisfying, or affording any kind of real net benefit.

The defense of agnosticism I hear most often is that we can't prove a negative. Or more precisely, we can't prove God doesn't exist. While that may be true, it seems like a red herring to me. There are untold gazillions of things that we can't prove the non-existence of that we, nevertheless, don't miss any sleep over. Russell's Teapot takes care of this problem adequately for me. I have no obligation to believe something for which there has been no evidence shown.

But of course that doesn't solve the entire problem. There is always "But what IF...?" Now Pascal tempts us with his wager. With matters so grave, better safe than sorry.

But I'm betting Pascal bet wrong. Here's why.

For one, a life lived insincerely just in case is not without costs, both material and psychological. There needs to be better justification for those costs than just in case. We could easily "just in case" our lives away.

And secondly, and maybe more importantly, such fears can be adequately put to rest by coming to understand their genesis. And, conveniently, this all falls in the category of questions for which we DO have some answers. This is where the aforementioned "journey" begins.

Our own psychological nature is a funny beast. It can try to prevent us from looking at it. Maybe one of the most terrifying challenges we can face is scrutinizing our own scrutinizer. This may be a place for baby steps.

But with persistence, and with a modicum of courage, we can come to understand quite a lot about the deep evolutionary and cultural forces that forged our psyches and planted our expectation of gods. Education is the universal antidote to fear.

One thing that evolution theory teaches us, for example, is that we don't really have any evolutionary need to know anything at all about "ultimate reality." We have evolved needs for finding food, shelter, mates, and so on, but worrying about existential abstractions is only an unfortunate side effect of having evolved such a large brain for other purposes such as managing complex language skills, solving the logistics of social coordination, and toolmaking.

Sure, it can be a tantalizing curiosity, and it's not useless to pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake, but there is no pressing practical need to know whether a literal God exists other than to alleviate a gnawing discomfort that we manufactured for ourselves out of thin air. And that discomfort is easily washed away by the light of knowledge which our species already possesses. All we have to do is locate it and add it to our understanding.

When these two tasks are completed - acknowledging the wisdom of Russell's Teapot, and replacing Pascal's fearful wager with genuine self-knowledge - there are no remaining excuses for continuing to hold the door open for agnosticism. If future evidence comes knocking, the door can always be reopened.

It's really not about being right or being wrong. It's about making a life that's livable, and having genuine peace of mind in the here and now, instead of spending this real life waiting for an imaginary one that never comes, or hovering forever in uncertainty. Agnosticism may be logically "correct" but it is of no practical value.

All that said, I don't consider myself an atheist... any more than an agnostic or a theist, because no flavor of religious literalism makes any sense to me. Religious figuratism, on the other hand, makes all the scientific, psychological, historical, and practical sense I'll ever need. But that's another, even more long-winded, story. Thanks for listening to this one.

skado Level 9 Nov 14, 2020
1

Simple I do not care!!!

1

I see no reason to accept the validity of any claim unless there is proof (i.e. in mathematics) or an almost overwhelming weight of evidence (e.g. as in the natural world).

1

I found out I really do exist. I have heard of Harry Potter style God but I does sound like a fictional story to me. I do not go around questioning per say about the existance of Harry Potter style God but if I ever see one then I know one does exist .

Otherwise, I may die never knowing if a Harry Potter style God exist.

Word Level 8 Nov 14, 2020

Harry Potter exists, at least on paper same with God. Two fictitious characters. You can believe both are real if you want. Harry Potter is a children's book. A fairy tale. So is the bible.

1

Doubt? Why believe in the first place without proof?

Have believers of whatever nonsense that they are pushing prove their unsubstantiated claims.

0

Stand your ground and leave harmless people be ... confront the enemy actively harming society and individuals.... be the solution not the PROBLEM

0

The question seems to be: Should we continue to argue or is there a point at which we say, enough is enough? About what? Religion? Agnosticism? For me all of this arguing (philosophizing) about religion is waste of time. Before asking about gods, I would like to know where heaven is. Heaven, that supernatural realm where anything is possible, is but human imagination. So, that is the point, I think, that ends any need to argue about the divine. GROG

GROG Level 6 Nov 21, 2020

Is the fact that it’s not worth your time the reason you do it? 😃

0

Assuming that philosophical doubt is fueled by the search for certainty that is entirely for you to decide how far you want to take it. However, I would not waste my time trying to prove that the bogeyman, leprechauns or any other fabled creature exists or existed.

It is so much in the nature of the imagination and language that it allows us to talk about things that do not exist. The mere fact that many people believe in something and talk about it does not constitute proof of its existence and that applies to all beliefs.

0

I won´t vote because the agnostic point is "if there is no way to solve the question, why are you bothering with the question?"

Basically, for the sake of proof, there is no way to proof any non falsifiable claim, so any non-falsifiable claim holds the same weight that is zero, because you can imagine virtually infinite of those claims.

So go on with your life, if a claim is not falsifiable, don´t bother

0

I didn't vote. What am I questioning?If it is the idea of whether to believe in gods or not, I go by logic and evidence. God belief has proven itself to have zero evidence. In case I am classified as "an angry atheist" I fully agree. My weapon of choice is a keyboard.

Trump won your state.

@barjoe I know but my not voting was in reference to her post. I voted for the election and not for Stump. 🙂

@DenoPenno Oh sorry. I don't blame you. It's a one sided stupid poll. In going to unvote if that's a word. -----can't cancel vote. idm

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