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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Special as in being naturally different from other human beings and as having abilities that other humans don't have. For example, Christians believe that Jesus never committed a sin in his life, do you think this is true?
    If I am certain the Bible is fictitious, why would I believe in the existence of a son of God?

    What would compel me to believe that the Biblical tales of Jesus document a real person?
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    (Original post by chemting)
    VERY VERY VERY diluted Christian Europe... if Christianity = morals, why were there moral code and laws before Christianity? Also, why do people that have no connection with "Christian Europe" have morals?

    Considering the Christian right in America is more likely to support torture and war... I am not quite sure it's just down to "lack of Jesus".
    Why do Southern states in the US have higher levels of teen pregnancy and STDs, yet they are the most religious... morals?

    Sure, Christianity provided a level of orthodoxy that is now in declining, but Christianity = morals is a bit of an overstatement.
    You've misunderstood my point. What I'm saying is that in the transitional stage from Christian Europe to Secular Europe, most objective morals which Christianity provided remained and thus people who where conditioned by their societies held very christian beliefs - even if that was indirect (so for example, the belief that sex outside marriage is wrong etc). Of course there was a form of morality before christian europe, but what im saying is that the form of moral code we have today - or a lot of it - was adopted from that time

    I'm also not stating that without christianity you cannot have moral codes, of course you can. The only difference of course is that a relative moral code has no intrinsic value to it.

    Plus I also aknowledged that as times are progressing, our secular society is starting to loosen that once objective moral code and eventually it will tie it's own knot. Using the example of sex outside of marriage. A long time ago that would have been taboo in Britain. But now it's become the social norm.
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    (Original post by Onde)
    Philosophy is a very broad subject which includes science, so I really think you should define what you mean by "necessary" before I can answer you, if I have not answered you already.

    A "necessary being" only exists in existences where they actually exist. If I exist, then I accept that necessary beings could exist, but even then, I would wonder if I am objectively able to make such a distinction, and would wonder whether it was just a matter of semantics.
    Ok I'll define what is meant by a necessary being.

    A necessary being is something that could not fail to exist or could exist differently. This stands in contrast to a contingent being which could both fail to exist or exist differently.


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    (Original post by Onde)
    You seem to be saying that you are only good because god exists? That is a deeply immoral view to hold. As it is, humans worldwide (especially in less religious countries) are also less violent towards each other than in the past.

    Humans are better off now than at any point in history, and consider themselves happier. I believe that humans have set themselves the standard of wishing to improving their lives, and this is generally happening. Sorry if you cannot see any value in that.
    lool how can you objectively point the finger and call me immoral when morality without God is relative? If you call me immoral from your relative point of view then fine, means as much the same to me as if you had called me moral. Anyway i am not saying I'm only 'good' because God exists, I'm saying because God exists in my opinion then good and bad can have intrinsic value.

    Otherwise where do you get your morals from? Society? That means your only good because society conditioned you in a certain way to believe 'x' is good and 'y' is bad.

    Again, you're making the assumption that just because humans feel happy and that they have improved their lives then thats good. That's a purely emotive way of looking at things. You've just commited the is ought fallacy.

    And i never said I didnt see any value in it. Im just saying that because I believe in God the good that i see in it has some intrinsic value and will remain the same no matter what culture/society i live in
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    Just a quick question on morality if anyone is interested:

    As an Atheist, do you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, or do your rely on higher authority?

    Is it possible to objectively criticise another individual's morality if it clashes with your own? If not, then can you say what they are doing is actually immoral?

    Apologies if you get asked this 24/7
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    It's not myopic when (1) it was Huxley who defined it like that Or (2) that most philosophers nowadays agree with that. Whether you like it or not, the academia and all of the definitions found in the dictionary agree that agnosticsm is a position that is correct to hold

    Anthony flew's definition has been dealt with in that Reddit post I linked to you and is rejected by most of the relevant experts nowadays
    I'd like you to point me to any of these 'relevant experts' that have explicitly stated that they know for absolute certain that no god exists.
    Who even are these 'relevant experts'? Surely you don't think random Reddit users are relevant experts.
    And not all dictionaries define it like Huxely does.



    What Huxley did was coin the term as a suitable 'label' for his stance. The term has been around since the ancient Greeks.
    To assume that being an agnostic is simply a third option to atheism or theism is to misunderstand the definition of atheism.




    According to Gordon Stein:
    Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean “neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.” Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley’s definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable.Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Yes that's the translation and a breakdown of the literal word, but it's initial use was not to be an exact mirror of its Greek translation (if memory serves correct) but simply an non committal view on the question of God. It wasn't until the later part of the 20 century that it became popular to change how the word was used and what it meant.

    But I also thinks it's impractical if you take the modern usage. Many take gnostic theism/atheism to mean knowing in a synonymous sense to certainty. Which would just mean the agnostic theists/atheists aren't certain in their beliefs. But that's basically the same for practically all beliefs. Some will argue that we actually do have certainty with things like maths. Buts that's as far as you could go, many argue you can't even be certain the external world exists or that there exist other minds to your own. Some say you can literally have no certainty, even with maths. But put the specifics aside, almost all of our beliefs do not deal with certainties, but probabilities. I don't see the need to say I am an agnostic evolutionist, considering I can't be certain that evolution is true. Why feel the need to qualify theism and atheism? Is there a reason for that or is it as arbitrary as it seems?


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    I suggest you read this as it explains my stance much better than I can.
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    (Original post by HumzaAsad97)
    You've misunderstood my point. What I'm saying is that in the transitional stage from Christian Europe to Secular Europe, most objective morals which Christianity provided remained and thus people who where conditioned by their societies held very christian beliefs - even if that was indirect (so for example, the belief that sex outside marriage is wrong etc). Of course there was a form of morality before christian europe, but what im saying is that the form of moral code we have today - or a lot of it - was adopted from that time

    I'm also not stating that without christianity you cannot have moral codes, of course you can. The only difference of course is that a relative moral code has no intrinsic value to it.

    Plus I also aknowledged that as times are progressing, our secular society is starting to loosen that once objective moral code and eventually it will tie it's own knot. Using the example of sex outside of marriage. A long time ago that would have been taboo in Britain. But now it's become the social norm.
    I think you should frame your point differently. If you are saying that Christianity gives an objective morality, then the crucial part will be arguing that an objective morality exists. If I'm not mistaken, you are simply arguing that a christian society bases it's ethical code on the foundations of an objective morality (regardless of whether morality is indeed objective or subjective, it proceeds and follows ethical theories which are based on objective morality as if it were true). In contrast, a secular society can only rationally base it's morality on a subjective theory of morality. It proceeds and follows ethical theories that assume a subjective morality.

    I understand the problems you get with this topic though. Very very often people mistake the argument for the ontological status of morality to be one that argues we have objective moral values due to our moral epistemology - or that we can only have objective moral values through believing in God, which is of course a misunderstanding.


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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    I suggest you read this as it explains my stance much better than I can.
    Oh no you certainly were clear in describing your stance. It's actually a common atheist response about what agnosticism is, what it means and how it should be used.

    But to reply to that page I'd repeat by question, why do you only seem to require a qualification for atheism and theism in that we are agnostic, without doing so to almost every other belief that humanity has considering those beliefs too are not dealing with certainty? Is there a reason or is it completely arbitrary? Also not that in contexts outside of theism, agnostic certainly is still defined as non committal. So why the arbitrariness?


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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Do you believe that Jesus was a special man in any way or 'just some random human'?
    We know almost nothing about the historical Jesus. I personally think he was a real man who was a follower of John the Baptist and was crucified by the Romans, and probably did give sermons preaching Christian values. If the thoughts recorded in the synoptic gospels are his real words, or a reworked version of them, then he does indeed seem to have been a very intelligent and compassionate person. I still hold some Christian values myself. But I don't think Jesus was the son of God or any of the other supernatural nonsense. It's very possible that Jesus suffered from a mental disorder, but that said, plenty of people today believe they have a personal communion with God without having anything serious like schizophrenia.

    I don't know and I think the bottom line is, Jesus the real man is lost to us, all we have is Jesus the character, and Jesus the character is one of the most influential people in history so was certainly not just 'some random man'.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Oh no you certainly were clear in describing your stance. It's actually a common atheist response about what agnosticism is, what it means and how it should be used.

    But to reply to that page I'd repeat by question, why do you only seem to require a qualification for atheism and theism in that we are agnostic, without doing so to almost every other belief that humanity has considering those beliefs too are not dealing with certainty? Is there a reason or is it completely arbitrary? Also not that in contexts outside of theism, agnostic certainly is still defined as non committal. So why the arbitrariness?


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    I'm not sure I understand your question very well but here is my attempt at an answer:
    Like in the article, it is in fact technically possible and correct to use the term agnostic in reference to other knowledge but it is very rare and is normally only used in reference to the question of gods existence.
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    (Original post by Onde)
    If one person has observed them, they are empirically observable. Of course, the contents of the dreams are typically recognised as dreams, not representations of the waking world.

    In any case, the definition of a natural phenomenon is not "only what humans can see with their eyes", but "A thing or being, event or process, perceptible through senses; or a fact or occurrence thereof."
    They are not empirically observable in the way the scientific method means empirical observation. They would count as anecdotal evidence and not subject to the scientific method, especially when it's defined by some as being able to be falsified.


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    I am a Muslim but i dont have a problem with anyone.If you are nice to me i would be nice to you regardless of age/gender/skin color or religion.To all those who say religion is the cause of war it is actually something much more simpler. It.It is human greed,we all desire to get more and we are never content with what we have

    But idk ayyy lmao.
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    (Original post by Onde)
    Does this apply to abstract beings, or purely "in the flesh" ones?
    What do you mean by 'in the flesh ones'? Considering a necessary being cannot suddenly fail to exist, it must be incorruptible which is why almost all candidates for a necessary being are immaterial like numbers and sets etc. the number 2 does not decay or die.


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    (Original post by TheOpinion)
    I hope so. However, as long as we have religious texts we will have disillusionment.
    So you want to have a polite argument about atheism but say our religious texts are 'disillusionment'? I find that very insulting.
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    (Original post by Copperknickers)
    We know almost nothing about the historical Jesus. I personally think he was a real man who was a follower of John the Baptist and was crucified by the Romans, and probably did give sermons preaching Christian values. If the thoughts recorded in the synoptic gospels are his real words, or a reworked version of them, then he does indeed seem to have been a very intelligent and compassionate person. I still hold some Christian values myself. But I don't think Jesus was the son of God or any of the other supernatural nonsense. It's very possible that Jesus suffered from a mental disorder, but that said, plenty of people today believe they have a personal communion with God without having anything serious like schizophrenia.

    I don't know and I think the bottom line is, Jesus the real man is lost to us, all we have is Jesus the character, and Jesus the character is one of the most influential people in history so was certainly not just 'some random man'.
    Ironically I think you have given an outline of the historical figure Jesus by describing crucial events of his life and the things he taught. I can't be bothered going into the reliability of Jewish oral culture, but if you are interested in it I'd encourage you to research the topic!


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    A question for the atheists here: would you agree with following line of reasoning?

    1) The universe is, by definition, the totality of all physical substance.
    2) Because the universe is the totality of all physical substance, before the universe existed there was no physical substance.
    3) Therefore, whatever existed before the universe existed was not physical.
    4) Therefore, whatever existed before the universe and caused the universe to exist was not physical.
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    (Original post by ImNotMe)
    Just a quick question on morality if anyone is interested:

    As an Atheist, do you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, or do your rely on higher authority?

    Is it possible to objectively criticise another individual's morality if it clashes with your own? If not, then can you say what they are doing is actually immoral?

    Apologies if you get asked this 24/7
    Higher authority from which I gleam my moral code. Don't claim its perfect but ones own ethical system being flawed doesn't stop them being able to see flaw in another's.
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    (Original post by ImNotMe)
    Just a quick question on morality if anyone is interested:

    As an Atheist, do you decide for yourself what is right or wrong, or do your rely on higher authority?

    Is it possible to objectively criticise another individual's morality if it clashes with your own? If not, then can you say what they are doing is actually immoral?

    Apologies if you get asked this 24/7
    It doesn't take astounding intellect to realise what kind of consequences your actions will have, what causes another person to suffer for example.

    Being an atheist, I am free to realise the downfalls of the morality or doctrine presented to me in religious texts by taking a look at the bigger picture. I am not weighed down by the fear of being eternally tortured or loosing the opportunity of an afterlife.

    Reality isn't black and white and a list of assertions on what is bad and what is good, just doesn't cut it. It very much depends on context, as to how a person responds.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Whether or not people posses the innate qualities required to do the right thing, is another question. (The right thing meaning to strive for the most positive outcome, whilst being empathetic & conscientious of others).
    This applies to any human, regardless of their beliefs.
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    I'm not sure I understand your question very well but here is my attempt at an answer:
    Like in the article, it is in fact technically possible and correct to use the term agnostic in reference to other knowledge but it is very rare and is normally only used in reference to the question of gods existence.
    Why is it used only in reference to God's existence? When you reflect on the epistemology of our knowledge, you soon realise that agnostic applies to either everything we know or almost everything we know. Yet there seems to be a need to be precise with saying we aren't certain when it comes to God's existence. Put it this way, if we are to be consistent, we should put agnostic in front of almost every word that represents a belief. But we don't need to qualify the lack of certainty - it's obvious. Why does there seem to be the need to qualify that with God's existence? Do atheists need to remind themselves that they aren't certain?

    I think the only time someone should qualify their view on God is when they put gnostic in front. Perhaps they think they can prove God exists and so know with certainty or that they can show the impossibility of God and so he doesn't exist with certainty.


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