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How many times a month, do you as an agnostic, answer to a point of an argument or to a direct question ... " I just don't know" Equally how many times a month do you give an answer that you know NOT to be true. No one is going to follow this up by checking on you. (I hope).

Mcflewster 7 Oct 13

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I've learned not to say I don't know. Every single time, I get told, "that's gawd. Mmhm. He takes keer of everthin."


I taught my students it was proper to say, "I don't know and I'll be sure to check." If I didn't know, I would ALWAYS look and come back and inform them - few really cared, but it proved my point.


I've learned a while ago that you are not required to attend every argument to which you are invited. As for direct questions, if I don't know, I say I don't know. If it's important to me, I'll make a note and follow up on it. Except for little white lies (no, no, those jeans look great on you), I don't give answers I know are not true.

I love. "you are not required to attend every argument to which you are invited." That would make a great quote. Will post it, I hope you don't mind.

@Fernapple Well, I stole it from a meme, and I agree it's a great quote. But don't attribute to me, it's not mine,

@zeuser Too late sorry.

@Fernapple No worries. πŸ™‚


I never admit I don't know....its always "I'll have to get back to you on that, .and I only lie when in dreadful fear for my life. .

There is no shame in it. Guilt and shame are the most useless of emotions and are substitutes for real science knowledge.




I tend to fiercely protect my own credibility, and I will always answer honestly with "I don't know" than lie to pretend I do. There is no shame in not being a know-it-all, and no shame in saying "I was wrong about that." It's far more important that people understand my sincerity.

Deb57 Level 8 Oct 13, 2021

Agreed. And on a similar but not related note, when my students ask a question and I don't know the answer, I say, "I don't know, but I will try to find out." When a students thinks I am wrong and I am, I admit it; if I am not I explain why I am not wrong. It has given me more credibility with students than less.


β€œI don’t know anything. Ever. It’s really quite relaxing.”

  1. All the time. Not just in matters of theology either.

  2. Never. I do my best to qualify all my answers with the level of confidence I have in it. As such, I'll say something like "I'm not sure this is true but let me share it with you" but I'll never say something like "I know this isn't true but let me share this with you"


My answer is l don't know how the universe got here. I don't know if there is a reason the universe exists or it just is. I do say there have been at least 2000 Gods or more that human beings have come up with and not one of those thousands of Gods is the answer because historians have traced the origins of those Gods and they have all been made up by men. There may be some unknown power we have yet to discover responsible for our existence, but l am sure it has nothing to do with the Gods humanity has conceived, which is why l go back and forth as to whether l am an Atheist or an Agnostic.

you might attempt to pronounce AEOU, since we have an established convention for the (transliterated) YHWH, or contemplate empty room, but imo it is also pertinent to recognize that Jesus gave some of the highest praise, Go and do likewise, to an atheist (Samaritan)

@bbyrd009 It's AEIOU. 😊 l have yet to see any real evidence Jesus actually existed, absolutely none.

@Sticks48 ah, well i leave that for the literalist believers now, be they Christian or Atheist. Since i am now convinced He did not, i mean

β€œits aeiou” ha yes, ty
perfect, wadr


I don't know.


I don't know a lot of things and try not to lie about it.

We have our areas of expertise and those in which we are ignorant. I know a lot about literature, writing, and some are areas. I know nothing about rocket science and have no compunction in saying "I don't know" when I don't know.


The Karen archtypes do not want that response of " I do not know " (They might even send their brother sid to break your toys).

They want a manager who knows how to walk that fine line between giving her what's coming to her and baiting her to that path with what she pretends to be looking for.

It is why political extremists suddenly hated StarWars : they saw themselves as the faultless mary sue character and it made them incredibly uncomfortable.


Let me modify the question you are giving and change it to a simple "I don't know." I say it a lot in religious discussions without going on forever about bible doctrine. One of my favorites is "I don't know and you don't either. You're making it up." If this gets back to "the bible says" I come back with "why should we believe the bible?" As for the lying part, I usually lie by omission. Keep my mouth shut and don't go far enough to be a part of the lie.
I submit this as an atheist. If you like you can call me an agnostic atheist. I really do not know and I am not making it up.

Good answer, that could have been my reply too, if I could write so well.


I always start with. "I don't know." as the default, because in most cases I think that that is the most honest and accurate answer, and that it is that basic level of, honesty, which makes most of the sceptical ideologies better than theist ones.

I probably don't lie that often these days, since now that I am retired and post self employed, I chose not to mix with people I would feel the need to lie to, any longer.


Well speaking on a personal basis here, when it comes down to discussions/debates regarding religion and religious doctrines, etc, I can honestly state that I never need to say the words "I don't know" since I have made it my aim in life to discover everything possible regarding Christianity, its tenets and doctrines, its ACTUAL history, the bible and its TRUE origin, etc, etc.
And if a subject other than religion comes up and I'm unsure of the answer to a question, etc, THEN I make it a point to find out whatever it is that I need to know and to understand as well.


I say 'I don't know' all the time as an agnostic atheist, but I don't know how related to my beliefs about religion it is. I think it has more to do with my desire to not be wrong. If I don't know something, I either say I don't know when asked directly, or simply keep my mouth shut if I wasn't (no point in volunteering that you don't have anything to add).
As for how often I lie, I imagine pretty often, but rarely, if ever, in an attempt to be maliciously deceptive. Sam Harris makes a really good case for never lying about anything ever, but I just can't imagine it in practice. Unless you were famous for not lying, thereby providing anyone you come across foreknowledge that you wouldn't lie to them at all, the self-imposed inability to lie would definitely come off as a personality disorder or maybe autism.

Yes, there is lying that is malicious and lying or fudging the truth to avoid causing greater harm. Jesus and Superman never told an untruth, but they are fictional and we are real people trying to survive in a dishonest world.

Can I suggest that you agree with yourself a trial period of applying the following phrase strictly to yourself :- "DARE to tell the truth" and google it. You will be surprise how it changes you and changes attitudes of other people too. No DARE is worth anything if it stays only in the mind though.

@Mcflewster So I tried Googling it, but couldn't find what I assume you wanted me to find. Just stuff about how to use it in a sentence or good questions for the game Truth or Dare. Can you just link what you're taking about?

@JeffMurray I will try to find it .I know it is there. It may take some time.

@JeffMurray []
In the meantime try the above. Someone tried to form a wider social movement and I will try to find that.

@Mcflewster Apparently I can't access Amazon UK from the US... Can you just tell me what it is? Is it basically Sam Harris' argument?

@JeffMurray Interesting ! I am still researching , basically trying to contact the friend who lead me to the social movement" Dare to tell the truth." Is the book not in Amazon US?

@Mcflewster There's a couple of titles similar by Nord and Peakock...
I assumed this was something you already did...


Well, I don't know about agnostics (I dislike questions phrased like this) but as an atheist I am happy to say 'I don't know', since I have no problem acknowledging the limits of my knowledge. Your second question is asking how often we lie (let's not be coy). There are lies and then there are lies, like telling a salesperson in a shop that you'll think about buying some product when you know you won't.

@powder BUT, imo, you ARE trying to reach the Apex of the Pile as Spreader of False and Misleading Information and similar Interpretations are you not?

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