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    (Original post by HumzaAsad97)
    Results for what?! Empiricism is used to gain knowledge. Science argues that this knowledge is true. But the tool to search for this knowledge/truth is purely faith based. Surely this is equivalent to religious beliefs of God. Religion argues that it provides knowledge which is true. But the belief of God is faith based.

    So understanding and knowledge of anything is based purely on faith. What is then the distinction between science and religion?
    nice work
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    Then you don't accept the typical definition of necessary being in philosophy. We are talking of completely different things if you consider yourself a necessary being. So do you find the idea of a necessary being (the actual one philosophers mean) incoherent?

    With regards to the empiricist example, that is ironically loaded. It seems to have puzzling ideas about what it means to be necessary and how it ties into existence.

    A necessary being exists by definition. The question is whether any necessary being exist. It could be that there are no necessary beings, that certain forms of anti realism are true. But that says nothing as to the concept of a necessary being. The problem with your examples of the empiricist, is that almost all candidates for necessary beings are abstract objects (numbers,sets, propositions etc) and so empiricism isn't just impotent to the topic, it's irrelevant. That's why you must be falsely equivocating a different definition for 'necessary being' in your example for it to make sense.

    But back to the main point, it really was a simple question.

    Do you disagree with the s5 axiom of modal logic? Of course you could break that down and look at components, such as necessary beings and whether they are possible, to highlight exactly where you disagree with the axiom.


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    lol the S5 axiom is quite controversial
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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
    Hello, what's your opinion on the issues?
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    what is there to talk about
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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    To which they respond of course with the ontological argument that is equally silly.

    The notion that a fact about reality can be proved merely by sitting around in one's armchair with no real previous insight about the world is definitely a very shady notion.
    lol.

    Ah. But. You know. If it's an armchair that God made that was so small even he couldn't sit in it - then you know. I'd like to see anyone refute that bit of scientific logic.
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    (Original post by like_marmite)
    I find people who bang on about atheism, past the age of 16, quite perplexing. What do you say to this?
    I find those who can believe in something that can't be proven past the age of 10, quite perplexing. But that's just me
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    (Original post by Thaladan)
    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.
    1) No
    2)See (1)
    3)See (1)
    4)See (1)
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    (Original post by MyNameWasTaken12)
    1) No
    2)See (1)
    3)See (1)
    4)See (1)
    Good answer.

    I'll have a go as well, if you don't mind, using a "yes" for number 1 :

    1 : Yes.
    2 : No.
    3 : No.
    4 : No.

    For example, another universe could have existed before this one. While these factors, and others, are unknown, it is impossible to agree with 2,3, and 4.
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    (Original post by YesAllMen)
    The philosophers do not claim, that they all have to a level of certainty or unity or 100% that that monotheistic Yahwehism is fallacious/false - they claim that to a very high level of reliability and confidence that monotheistic Yahwehism is fallacious/false, to the point where there's no point in keeping the lack of belief label since it's meaningless.

    Anecdotally, most philosophers I know feel pretty confident to say that there can't be a God.



    these aren't random reddit users; all the flaired users you see have graduate degrees in philosophy with many of them being professors.

    I'm not sure why this is necessary. I've already showed you how the IEP defines this -- the IEP is regularly checked and is a peer-reviewed resource. The same would apply to the SEP. What more do you want? Some quotes by prominent atheists? Here:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Like Drange, Schellenberg argues that there are many people who are epistemically inculpable in believing that there is no God. That is, many people have carefully considered the evidence available to them, and have actively sought out more in order to determine what is reasonable concerning God. They have fulfilled all relevant epistemic duties they might have in their inquiry into the question and they have arrived at a justified belief that there is no God. If there were a God, however, evidence sufficient to form a reasonable belief in his existence would be available. So the occurrence of widespread epistemically inculpable nonbelief itself shows that there is no God.
    If you check the philpapers survey, then most of them are atheists:




    Being philosophers, we have good reason to assume they follow the philosophical definition hence we would assume most of them hold the position that there is no God



    No -- but most of them do.




    Indeed, and the label has widely been accepted to represent the position of agnosticism nowadays. However, the greek definition was was not used with atheism in the past. Atheos" (ἄθεος) was the greek adjective for "godlessness" (not simply lacking belief). This definition traces well though history. From Greek to Latin to French to English, the definition remained relatively similar.



    ...this is asserted without any evidence and is very wrong. This is confusing and incorrect, since there are certainly people who are in a middle ground, either with no strong opinions or even who have levels of belief that are low enough that they fluctuate but remain agnostic to the idea. Its not the same position as thinking there's no god, or even the confusingly worded not thinking there's a god. Since how much the atheists humor the idea, and how you approach it is up for grabs. So there's no reason to assume that we should erase the word agnostic as its own stance, and try to lump agnostics in with people with another stance. The outlook and worldview are not even the same.

    Most academics would agree that agnosticism is fine and hence people are going to continue to identify as that without any worry. You're just pulling this nonsense from nowhere. Btw, 'atheism.about' no way qualifies as an academic source



    From the ****ing SEP; nothing you've shown goes against that.

    Likewise, one can reject the position that commits to "the coin will lands heads" without affirming the position that commits to "the coin will not land heads", as presumably we all do when we are uncertain about how the coin will land--even though we know that in fact one or the other position is ultimately correct.



    Huxley, hardly inclined to deference towards religion, likewise cited as one of the reasons to be suspicious of atheism that "existence, motion, and law-abiding operation in nature are more stupendous miracles than any recounted by the mythologies."

    From your posts there seems to be a lack of understanding of Huxley's position. In his "Agnosticism", he characterized himself as having "neither art nor part" with atheism, a characterization he does not qualify with any remark suggesting he means to be an "atheistic agnostic"; And he cites Kant's Critique of Pure Reason as the paradigmatic source for the kind of position he's referring to--a work written with the express intention to refute atheism.

    His objections to atheists being "quite sure they had attained a certain 'gnosis,'–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence" hasn't any connotation of a reference to claims of infallibility, but rather refers only to that relative degree of certainty needed to assert that one knows enough about the ultimate origins of the cosmos to have good reason to say it involves no God.

    Huxley's agnosticism isn't motivated by the belief that we can be reasonably but not absolutely certain there is no God, as if the only thing the theist had going for them was the mere gap between well-informed human understanding and infallibility, but rather is motivated by the belief that the godless accounts of the ultimate origins of the cosmos are just as dubious as ones involving a God. In his "Agnosticism: A Symposium", he references the cosmological argument as giving us a good reason to find the godless accounts dubious, writing that "agnosticism will not forget that existence, motion, and law-abiding operation in nature are more stupendous miracles than any recounted by the mythologies", and deriding with equal scorn the godless accounts of the cosmos which make it into "a 'dirt-pie' made by the two blind children, Law and Force", as he has for the theistic ones which make the cosmos into "a conjuror's house." And this makes sense given his reference to the Critique of Pure Reason, where this line of argument is elaborated at great length.

    The Huxley that confronts us in his own text is clearly and expressly rejecting atheism, not a small fraction of atheism which doesn't even really count because it's based on an epistemological error, but atheism as such.

    Further, nothing said in this quote contradicts what has been said. Of course, it's quite hard to be impartially agnostic, so some people might feel some form of skeptical / theistic tendencies without fully saying that they belief or don't believe in any form of god.


    1. I was referring to all gods/ideas of god and not just the god of abrahamic religion.


    2. Why are you acting as though the definition given by these philosophers is the end all and be all? Philosophers aren't the authority on issues regarding the existence of god. A quick search of 'agnosticism as a third stance', will give you more websites that argue against that notion. I have given you three notable atheists that do not define it as a third stance. In addition to them are Bertrand Russell (who defines it differently to Huxely) and Richard Dawkins, the latter even saying permanent agnosticism (that is as a third option) is fence sitting intellectual cowardice.
    I'd like to see more than five dictionary definitions that explicitly define agnosticism as a third option.

    3. How am I pulling this 'nonsense' from nowhere? This is a very popular opinion. Every atheist Tsr user I've come across holds this same opinion. Plus like I said there are many websites and forums that hold this opinion. Here's another one and another one. The writer of the atheist.about.com is in fact an expert on this issue. I don't know why you're trying to discredit him.
    There is a lot of crisicism of agnosticism as a third option. Even from some philosophers. This isn't something I pulled out my ass.



    I'm not going to write any further because that would just be repeating myself as you've either ignored or labelled 'unacademic' all the references I've put forward and I don't want to keep on going round in circles with you.
    Let's just agree to disagree.


    You think that agnosticism is a stance that is distinguishable from both theism and atheism.

    I (and many others) think it is sanctimonious fence sitting for people who have associated 'basement dweller' with the term atheist and 'churchy joe' with the term theist and therefore refuse to identify with either label due to a gross misunderstanding of both terms and ignorance to the fact that whilst you can suspend judgement on the existence of or non existence of any gods and declare that there isn't enough knowledge, it doesn't qualify what you personally believe. You can either believe a god exists or you can lack belief that a god exists wich is essentially what theism and atheism is.
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    (Original post by champ_mc99)
    Lol you have the knowledge so I wouldn't want to argue.
    So would you say your human input in making them had negligible difference in chance than if they were created by nature billions of years ago?
    The fact that they can be made in the lab so easily using plausible conditions that would have existed on the early Earth suggests that the chances of this happening were not negligible.
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    (Original post by MyNameWasTaken12)
    I find those who can believe in something that can't be proven past the age of 10, quite perplexing. But that's just me
    I don't even believe in God, bud. I simply don't own as many fedoras as you.
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    (Original post by StrawbAri)
    1. I was referring to all gods/ideas of god and not just the god of abrahamic religion
    Irrelevant. I was giving an example of what most philosophers would be atheists towards and most of them would very very high confidence of God's nonexistence. This might vary to transtheism or something like that but for Classical theism (by far the most common form expressed in the Abrahamic religion) then the majority would have no problem in saying that God doesn't exist.

    2. Why are you acting as though the definition given by these philosophers is the end all and be all? Philosophers aren't the authority on issues regarding the existence of god. A quick search of 'agnosticism as a third stance', will give you more websites that argue against that notion.
    Uhh, yes they are. Because people working philosophy of religion tend to be the relevant experts when it comes to Gods, philosophers of language in using the right terminology. The writers of dictonaries using these edefontions are surely more knowledgeable when it comes to lexicology than some people on the sites that you've linked. Not to mention the people who work in epistemology would deal with knowledge claims. All of these agree with each other on the terminology; is linking to layman sites like patheos enough to discredit the work of the professionals? So who's the authority then? People on patheos that write completely misunderstood objections of theism (which philosophers often refute....)

    The main reasons ontological, cosmological arguments -- or the argument from hiddenness or from evil are existent are because of philosophers!


    I have given you three notable atheists that do not define it as a third stance. In addition to them are Bertrand Russell (who defines it differently to Huxely) and Richard Dawkins, the latter even saying permanent agnosticism (that is as a third option) is fence sitting intellectual cowardice.
    and I've given plenty more. You are aware that Russell famous quote involves him saying this:

    I never know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one prove that there is not a God.On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.None of us would seriously consider the possibility that all the gods of homer really exist, and yet if you were to set to work to give a logical demonstration that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, and the rest of them did not exist you would find it an awful job. You could not get such proof.Therefore, in regard to the Olympic gods, speaking to a purely philosophical audience, I would say that I am an Agnostic. But speaking popularly, I think that all of us would say in regard to those gods that we were Atheists. In regard to the Christian God, I should, I think, take exactly the same line.
    No need to join the two together; agnostic and atheist are fine as separate terms

    Dawkins poverty of agnosticism scale says that it's possible to be impartially agnostic. It doesn't matter here if he thinks it's better to be an atheist or a theist; he doesn't think that people can't be agnostic as a third option. Hitchens also rightly says that atheism should be used when the atheist thinks any gods don't exist.
    Spoiler:
    Show


    wkins offers a 7-point scale of religious belief, to describe his understanding of the issue. I'll quote it:


    1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.J. Jung, "I do not believe, I know."

    2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. "I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."

    3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic, but leaning toward theism. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

    4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable".

    5. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning toward atheism. "I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical".

    6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. "I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not here".

    7. Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction Jung 'knows' there is one". (73)


    By your logic, even if I'm very slightly leaning towards theism or whatever then 'agnostic theist' would somehow by fine, but 'agnostic' (let's say to denote impartiality) is somehow a cowardly position?!

    (btw, if you want to use dawkins as an example to show that it's cowardly then his books and subjects on religion have been used at logical fallacy classes to teach other students the dangers of using it

    Furthermore, broad definition has been unrepresentative of linguistic practice is the thesis in contention; the reddit posts provides evidence in support of my view on this, and the critic hasn't supplied any compelling objections to this evidence. Please read that reddit post.

    I'd like to see more than five dictionary definitions that explicitly define agnosticism as a third option.
    The original post clearly and explicitly surveys nine dictionaries, and there haven't been any objections to the size or selection of this sample. Three formulations are found in these dictionaries: the negative atheism formulation (lack of belief), the positive atheism formulation (believes God doesn't exist or denies that God exists), and an ambiguous formulation (disbelieves). The results are as follows-- Positive formulation only: 5, Positive+Ambiguous formulations: 3, Negative+Ambiguous formulation: 1, Negative formulation only: 0. The preferred formulation is to give only the positive formulation (5/9), almost all contain the positive formulation (8/9), while only one contains the unambiguous negative formulation (1/9). Even if we counted every appearance of the ambiguous formulation is implying that the positive formulation is wrong, which would be extending our generosity to the critic to an absurd degree, the result would still be that most dictionaries support the positive formulation. (Talking about the reddit post)



    How am I pulling this 'nonsense' from nowhere? This is a very popular opinion. Every atheist Tsr user I've come across holds this same opinion.
    Using TSR definitions? Ok, going by the Pew numbers, more average Americans identify as agnostics than as atheists, so it seems to me mistaken to suggest that agnosticism is not represented in laypeople's religious beliefs.


    Plus like I said there are many websites and forums that hold this opinion. Here's another one and another one. The writer of the atheist.about.com is in fact an expert on this issue.
    If he was an expert on the issue than the writers of the IEP and SEP would agree with him. One opinion doesn't define the rule btw, the aforementioned are both regularly peer-reviewed by people who do this for a living vs some guy who probably does it as a hobby. The usual way of using these terms--as we've seen, the way we find in the SEP, IEP, the vast majority of dictionaries, Dawkins' God Delusion, etc.--does a good job here, giving us the language to clearly note this distinction: 'atheism' vs. 'agnosticism'. Conversely, if we define 'atheism' as the absence of a belief that God exists, we have only this single term to refer to both of these categories. Of course, we still have a word for what other people call agnostics, it's just that it's the same word as the one we have for what other people call atheists. Our language has become vague and inaccurate, when we want it to be precise. Our language is doing it's job poorly when we adopt this definition.




    There is a lot of crisicism of agnosticism as a third option.
    Yes, by people who don't understand the issue. In the links, provided, I've shown you why the professional opinion why this shouldn't be the case. Have you read them?

    Even from some philosophers. This isn't something I pulled out my ass.
    Well it is, considering that virtually no philosopher or person studying the issue would use atheism and agnosticism in the way you are. If there are any philosophers who criticse this, then obviously they are a minority.

    I'm not going to write any further because that would just be repeating myself as you've either ignored or labelled 'unacademic' all the references I've put forward and I don't want to keep on going round in circles with you.
    The only reason we're going around in circles is because you keep asserting the same things without the proper evidence.






    You think that agnosticism is a stance that is distinguishable from both theism and atheism.
    I, and most people who seriously talk about the issues of theism, as opposed to only on TSR -- you're not doing yourself any favours by not reading the original reddit post.

    For your convenience, I've linked part of it below
    Spoiler:
    Show


    PART FOUR: WHAT ABOUT THE AGNOSTIC-GNOSTIC DISTINCTION?

    The previous comments concerned the definition of 'atheism' as the absence of a belief that God exists, but this definition often coincides with a distinction between agnostic atheism and gnostic atheism. Does this distinction help render this terminology more useful?

    We should start by being clear about what this distinction means. The typical explanation is that, where 'atheism' describes a state of belief, the 'agnostic' and 'gnostic' describe a state of knowledge. So, the agnostic atheist is one who merely believes but does not claim to know, while the gnostic atheist is someone who not only believes but also claims to know.

    But what does this mean? The typical explanation is a notion already discussed in the previous comment, that to know means to claim absolute certainty. This makes the agnostic atheist one who believes but does not claim absolute certainty, and the gnostic atheist one who believes and also claims absolute certainty.
    • The agnostic-gnostic distinction does not map onto the distinction introduced by defining 'atheism' as the absence of a belief
    The first peculiarity of these formulations is how disconnected they are from the definition of atheism as being the absence of a belief that God exists. On the basis of this definition, we would expect a distinction between someone who merely lacks such a belief (what is sometimes called "negative atheism" and someone who not only lacks a belief that God exists but also has the belief that God doesn't exist (what is sometimes called "positive atheism".

    But it turns out that that's not the distinction we get. Instead we get a new distinction, between one who doesn't claim knowledge and one who does. Note how we now have four different positions being described by this framework: (i) someone who merely lacks belief and doesn't claim to know that's the right position, (ii) someone who merely lacks belief and does claim to know that's the right position, (iii) someone who who has positive belief and doesn't claim to know that's the right position, and (iv) someone who has positive belief and does claim to know that's the right position.

    But the framework doesn't give us the terminology even for its own distinctions. Rather, we get only the single term "agnostic atheist" to refer to both I and III, even though they are clearly different positions; and only the single term "gnostic atheist" to refer to both II and IV.
    • The agnostic-gnostic distinction does not introduce the terminology needed to clearly refer to what is otherwise called agnosticism
    It might be thought that the complaint from the previous comment--that the absence of belief definition is impractical because it costs us a word for agnosticism--is addressed by adding this agnostic-gnostic distinction. With this new terminology, wouldn't we have the terminological clarity we need?

    It turns out we don't: on the above scheme, the agnostic (in the usual sense of someone espousing agnosticism) is either a I or a II. We end up not having a term for this (I's are "agnostic atheists" while II's are "gnostic atheists", so that we have no single term for agnosticism. And we end up not having a term which refers to agnosticism as distinct from atheism (when we call the agnostic I an "agnostic atheist", we're conflating them with III's, who are not agnostics; when we call the agnostic II a "gnostic atheist", we're conflating them with IV's, who are not agnostics).

    Moreover, in any case we end up calling the agnostic an 'atheist', when distinguishing their position from atheism is the very reason the term agnosticism was coined--when calling them 'atheists' is the very thing they're asking us not to do.
    • The agnostic-gnostic distinction misleads people about how to think critically
    Furthermore, this agnostic-gnostic distinction reinforces the unreasonable demand, discussed in the previous comment, that we must have absolute certainty before we can know. Since we don't have absolute certainty in anything, the result would be general skepticism--we don't know anything. To the contrary, we know a great many things, and in other contexts we recognize the error: if someone tells us we cannot claim to know neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory is true, and so must teach it alongside creationist alternatives, simply because it's logically possible for us to be mistaken about it, surely we recognize right away that they've simply set the bar too high, and are trying to trick us into an unreasonable conclusion. This agnostic-gnostic distinction reinforces this error by making accepting it a condition even of terminology.

    If we wanted to distinguish mere belief from knowledge, there are more useful ways of doing it. One way would be to invoke justification--we know when we have not only a belief but also justification for it. Likewise, we may wish to quantify our certainty in a given belief, and there are useful procedures for this, like Dawkins' scheme, which was discussed in the previous comments.
    • The agnostic-gnostic distinction merely introduces a superfluous category
    It might be thought that adding more terminology helps us speak more accurately and clearly, but this is only true if the categories created by our terminology are well-founded and actually get used. We've just seen a reason to think the categories introduced by the agnostic-gnostic distinction aren't well-founded. Will they get much use?

    On the typical construal, the gnostic atheist is just one who claims absolute certainty. But this is a strange notion to be concerned about, when a significant motivation for the original definition of 'atheism' was that we don't have absolute certainty. And indeed, it's generally right to recognize that we don't. But the result would be that there just aren't any gnostic atheists.

    And it seems that that's often just about the result we get. Nearly, if not literally, everyone in a relevant group will identify as an agnostic atheist, and the only point of the qualifier will be to extol their virtues in not claiming absolute certainty. But then the whole basis for our way of speaking has been the invention of a category that never actually gets used--or except perhaps by a couple people who everyone else regards as merely confused.

    But what if we think of the agnostic-gnostic distinction in terms of justification rather than absolute certainty? That is, rather than saying the agnostic atheist is someone who doesn't claim absolute certainty and the gnostic one who does, what if we say that the agnostic atheist is one who doesn't claim justification and the gnostic one who does?

    Here it seems we'd get the opposite result. For who would say that lack belief that God exists, or believe there's no God, but lack justification for doing so? Sometimes it seems the theists say something like this: that they agree that the world looks godless, but they nonetheless believe in God, out of some extra-rational act of faith. But surely we're not likely to encounter a position like this among atheists. Surely the atheist is not going to say that while all the evidence points to God's existence, nonetheless they believe he doesn't exist, out of sheer, extra-rational faith in their relationship with the absence of God. It's funny--but it's not realistic.

    So if we think of the agnostic-gnostic distinction in terms of absolute certainty, the result is that there's no real basis for anyone being a gnostic atheist. And if we think of it in terms of justification, the result is that there's no real basis for anyone being an agnostic atheist. In either case, we've just added a category which isn't getting any use.

    And this has been at the cost of a category--agnosticism--which was getting use, and at the cost of the confusion this terminology introduces. It doesn't match up with the distinction introduced by defining 'atheism' as the absence of belief, but rather confusingly leaves us with four categories and only two words for them; it doesn't give us a substitute term by which to refer to agnosticism, but rather leaves that idea without any clear name; it reinforces an unreasonable demand about how to think critically, which would render us all general skeptics if we consistently applied it; and the whole effort ends up looking superfluous anyway.
    I (and many others) think it is sanctimonious fence sitting for people who have associated 'basement dweller' with the term atheist and 'churchy joe' with the term

    Only because you're misinformed and assume that for some reason agnosticism has to be 'sitting' on the fence'. I can absolutely guarantee you I've studied significant amounts to do with theism and the position I hold of agnosticism is based really on finding arguments for and against God both very plausible, to the point where I don't see one as a better than option than the other. By your logic though, it's wrong for me to sit on the fence!

    I've never heard these terms used outside of immature discussions with a bunch of 15 year olds so I don't really see why I need to pay attention to these terms (basement dweller?)


    and therefore refuse to identify with either label due to a gross misunderstanding of both terms and ignorance to the fact that whilst you can suspend judgement on the existence of or non existence of any gods an
    This doesn't make sense.
    .
    You can either believe a god exists or you can lack belief that a god exists wich is essentially what theism and atheism is.
    More blind assertions. Evidence for these because nothing here says contradicts what I've said other them some nonsense source from atheism.about.com. Imagine comparing something peer-reviewed by many professionals to something like about.com

    Nobody gives a **** what some randomers on TSR think when they've done nothing to worry the professionals on why they're definitions are wrong. There are people 1000x more informed than you who have studied this for a living, yet for some reason you saying it's either "being sanctimonious and sitting on the fence" and saying that "agnosticism cannot be had as a third option". You have no real credentials to make any of these claims, and people (rightfully) ignore your contrived definitions. Do you actually think the academic sources are wrong? As if you're just abritarly showing something from patheos or atheism.about.com and concluding that it's cowardly for people to be agnostic? At least consider that they could be true rather than making some weird objection like that (even if you want to stick to your definitions) and please don't say most 'informed' atheists are agnostic atheists, because there's no reason why some people can't be gnostic atheists (popular forum user QE2 is one towards the likes of Islam and whatnot) but doesn't hold that towards deism


    But fine, if you want to leave this here, then that's not a problem

    Something else to add: The meaning of "Gnosis" in fifth century Greek has a lot more to do with religious rites, the Mystery cults, more so than say, Plato's philosophy or Ancient Science, even though it sometimes appears in translations as "knowledge." (Oddly enough, in the sixteenth century and earlier, it was almost always translated as "science," as when it appears in the King James translation of the Bible)
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    (Original post by like_marmite)
    I don't even believe in God, bud. I simply don't own as many fedoras as you.
    Oh just stop with the fedora analogy. It's boring.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    All of the print copies on the planet could be eradicated and still the novel could be able to be said to exist.
    I am struggling to accept this. It reminds me of the whole "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" I would accept that the sound waves would exist, but the the sound itself is merely a perception of the sound. If there is nobody to perceive the sound waves or if one is deaf, the there is no sound. So for me, the existence of the story is contingent on there being someone to perceive it.

    So even if the physical book did exist, if there is nobody to perceive the letters and words, then the story would surely not exist (or at least to me that is the case). For example, looking at the layers of sedimentary rock in the Earth is meaningless, it is just layers of sedimentary rock. However, to a geologist, looking at the layers of sedimentary rock tells a story about the Earth's history. That story only exists if one can perceive the story.
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    (Original post by frankieboy)
    lol.

    Ah. But. You know. If it's an armchair that God made that was so small even he couldn't sit in it - then you know. I'd like to see anyone refute that bit of scientific logic.
    God is spirit not form. That's why we have Jesus.

    Jesus is God in bodily form, accessible to us.

    Anyway its all spiritual and multi dimensional, you won't get it looking at it in one-dimension.
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    (Original post by Scrappy-coco)
    What's it not the same thing? What cannot exist outside of our universe? Why does it make no sense to extrapolate a cause?

    The reason people argue for a cause, among other reasons, is that they argue for the causal principle. When you say 'it is more likely that the universe is one thing without a cause'. You could be committing the taxicab fallacy. This it to say that you accept a principle (the causal principle) only to arbitrarily dismiss it when it comes the origin of the universe. Of course, you would avoid this fallacy if you give valid reasons for dismissing the principle in this case.

    To say it's more likely is to say you have evidence or reason to make it more probably than the idea that the universe had a cause, can I ask for examples?

    But I want to address the point you made about cause and effect only ever being addressed sequentially - this is demonstrably wrong with incidents of simultaneous causation.

    Even on a mundane level, we regularly experience simultaneous causation; to borrow an example from Kant, a heavy ball’s resting on a cushion being the cause of a depression in that cushion. Indeed, some philosophers argue that all efficient causation is simultaneous. There seems to be no conceptual difficulty in saying that the cause of the origin of the universe acted simultaneously.

    But even if I put that aside, the bottom line is that there is no consensus on causal directionality.




    Posted from TSR Mobile
    A cause and effect within our universe is not the same as a cause and effect taking place outside and within our universe respectively.Time does not exist outside of our universe, as explained in my earlier post. It is part of space-time and a property of our universe.See first paragraph as to why you cannot extrapolate cause and effect to outside of our universe in this same way.Cause and effect as you describe exist on the marco level. The universe had it's beginnings as a point of infinite density and space time curvature as says General Relativity, however not only does GR break down in these conditions; under such great gravitational force, but the Newtonian laws that govern your cause and effect cease to exist on this tiny scale, which is Planck's scale, and this is where quantum behaviour dominates. It is therefore impossible to make such extrapolations.In regard to causal principles and taxicab fallacies; I am arguing science here. This is an argument from direct observation and suggestion by mathematical theory. Check your knowledge of General Relativity and don't be a philosopher that looks inside of his own head for the answers.Simultaneous causation exists only in philosophy. Check your Special Relativity this time. For two objects in locations separate in space, there is no simultaneity. In other words, simultaneity does not exist and is only a concept that appears when we apply convention.

    Einstein vs Kant on the universe here, I know which side I'd pick.
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    (Original post by frankieboy)
    lol.

    Ah. But. You know. If it's an armchair that God made that was so small even he couldn't sit in it - then you know. I'd like to see anyone refute that bit of scientific logic.
    Happy Thor Day for yesterday! X
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    (Original post by TheOpinion)
    Oh just stop with the fedora analogy. It's boring.
    It's the first time I've used it, kid.

    Though it's not the first time you have incorrectly accused people of something, so I don't expect this will be the last time. Lke that time when you said "argument" is plural.
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    (Original post by Racoon)
    God is spirit not form. That's why we have Jesus.

    Jesus is God in bodily form, accessible to us.

    Anyway its all spiritual and multi dimensional, you won't get it looking at it in one-dimension.
    You clearly don't know the meaning of the word dimension.....
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    (Original post by TuppenceB)
    Do atheists believe in evolution?
    Yes, what else is there that is plausible to actually believe in?
 
 
 
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