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sudikics
May 3rd, 2009, 06:32 PM
Oh also, faulty logic and paranoia = religion.
Or atheism, which is based on the exact same logic.
TGRR, how exactly is atheism based on faulty logic and paranoia? Atheism isn't even an organized system. It's just lack of a belief in any supernatural deities. Atheists don't worry about going to hell. I'd say that atheism rather like anti-paranoia, where skeptical, rational people discern causes for events themselves rather than accepting everything around them without evidence.

Daruko
May 3rd, 2009, 08:33 PM
We've touched on this in various forms before. People seem to assign diff connotations and degrees to their definitions for terms atheism, agnosticism, etc,.

Typically Atheism implies to me:
atheismnoun1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God [ant: theism (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theism)]

Denial that there is a God.

This is quite different to me than agnosticism (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agnosticism), which implies:
Agnosticism
Ag*nos"ti*cism\, n. That doctrine which, professing ignorance, neither asserts nor denies. Specifically: (Theol.) The doctrine that the existence of a personal Deity, an unseen world, etc., can be neither proved nor disproved, because of the necessary limits of the human mind (as sometimes charged upon Hamilton and Mansel), or because of the insufficiency of the evidence furnished by physical and physical data, to warrant a positive conclusion (as taught by the school of Herbert Spencer); -- opposed alike dogmatic skepticism and to dogmatic theism. [I think it has more to do with the linguistic limitations/contradictions, but that's just me]

But we always seem to have disagreement about these terms.

Anyway, if we can agree somewhat on the definitions here, then under those circumstances I will agree with Rodge that Atheism is based upon false logic.

sudikics
May 3rd, 2009, 08:56 PM
See, I defined passive atheism (lack of a belief in god), while you defined active atheism (belief in a lack of a god). The former is certainly not founded in false logic.

Daruko
May 3rd, 2009, 08:59 PM
Could you explain the difference between "passive atheism" and "agnosticism", then?

fosley
May 3rd, 2009, 09:20 PM
You can be an agnostic theist. It's hard to be a passive atheistic theist.

Agnosticism is stating that, regardless of your actual beliefs, you don't believe you have enough evidence to make a conclusive determination. Gnosticism, on the other hand, is stating that whatever you believe, it is founded on strong evidence and/or logic, and is unlikely to be incorrect.

Regardless, I disagree that atheism would ever be based on paranoia. Even assuming a gnostic atheist is basing his beliefs on faulty logic, it's hardly paranoia that drives him. As Scikidus said, atheism, if anything, is based on "Meh, whatever", rather than "Oh my god, what if I have an eternal soul and I'll be damned? How could I prevent that? It must be. . . um, uh, oh god, let me just pick something and blindly believe it so I won't be as scared of eternal torment from a loving, forgiving god."

sudikics
May 3rd, 2009, 09:37 PM
Agnosticism is "don't know" passive atheism is "don't believe in god".

Daruko
May 3rd, 2009, 09:47 PM
Agnosticism is "don't know" passive atheism is "don't believe in god".
It seems contradictory to me. It sounds like your trying to say "belief in a lack of a god", but when called to defend it you claim what you really have is a "lack of belief". I'm not trying to offend you, it just comes off that way to me. I'd like to understand your distinctions more clearly.

Erasmus
May 3rd, 2009, 09:48 PM
Agnosticism, passive (weak) atheism and active (strong) atheism are all pretty close in a way.

Passive atheism includes people who eschew believing, and people who have never formed an opinion on the matter.

Some people split atheism into Implicit/Explicit Weak/Explicit Strong/Critical but that borders on the ridiculous.

rzm61
May 3rd, 2009, 09:49 PM
I wonder if xtians argue about their faith and beliefs with other xtians as much as athrists and agnostics aguge about what they don't believe in.

rmw
May 3rd, 2009, 09:51 PM
I wonder if xtians argue about their faith and beliefs with other xtians as much as athrists and agnostics aguge about what they don't believe in.

Well, if you look at the various denominations out there, I'm sure they do. Although in their case, it may be more of a matter of who has the "correct" belief vs. in our case, who is what.

Erasmus
May 3rd, 2009, 09:52 PM
I wonder if xtians argue about their faith and beliefs with other xtians as much as athrists and agnostics aguge about what they don't believe in.

You've never heard of Ireland, have you?

rmw
May 3rd, 2009, 09:54 PM
You've never heard of Ireland, have you?

Or how about the entire Middle East? You have Sunnis and Shias willing to kill each other over who is "right."

Erasmus
May 3rd, 2009, 09:55 PM
Or how about the entire Middle East? You have Sunnis and Shias willing to kill each other over who is "right."

Yeeees, but they're not Christians in the strictest sense of the word. Or any sense.

rmw
May 3rd, 2009, 09:59 PM
Yeeees, but they're not Christians in the strictest sense of the word. Or any sense.

True, but they are theists, and I think rzm's question can apply to theists in general, not just xians.

sudikics
May 3rd, 2009, 10:40 PM
It seems contradictory to me. It sounds like your trying to say "belief in a lack of a god", but when called to defend it you claim what you really have is a "lack of belief". I'm not trying to offend you, it just comes off that way to me. I'd like to understand your distinctions more clearly.
Now that I think about it, you're quite right. On Dawkins' theism scale (100% for god is a 0, 100% against god is a 7), agnostics are a 3.5. Weak atheism and agnosticism are quite similar.

I hold the position that while I cannot prove the God doesn't exist, it makes more sense to live as if he/she/it doesn't than as if he/she/it does, and therefore do so. I see no reason why any one religion's idea of God should be absolutely right over every other religion's ideas of God, nor why we should hold onto irrational beliefs (e.g. homeopathy) in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary, nor why the protection of beliefs should be given special status above everything else, particularly freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and scientific research.

DrM
May 3rd, 2009, 10:55 PM
Daruko, i agree with your definitions,
Agnostics: we dont know because of lack of evidence. (get off the fence were at war! JK im an agnostic and its good.)
weak atheists: we dont care about or think that a god exists.
Strong atheists: NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE!!! (more like "we believe there is no god".

If TGRR was talking about only strong atheists, then he got it half right.
False-logic? no, because the logic isnt there. How could it be faulty? Note that in the definition it says "believe", wherever there is belief, logic simply is absent.
In short: Strong Atheists never pondered gods existence, then found strong evidence that he didn't exist; then reached a logical conclusion that he didn't exist.
They thought about it, found no evidence that he DID exist, then believed that because of that, he doesn't. (there usual argument of "absense of evidence is evidence of absense".)

So the real question is not whether they used faulty reasoning (since they used no reasoning.) It is whether the rule they used to confirm there belief holds water.

So... What do you think? Does this rule work? Or is it faulty?
"absense of evidence is evidence of absense."

Erasmus
May 3rd, 2009, 11:11 PM
So... What do you think? Does this rule work? Or is it faulty?
"absense of evidence is evidence of absense."

Yes, unless you want to start believing equally in every myth, legend, fairytale and story.

fomenter
May 3rd, 2009, 11:57 PM
Yes, unless you want to start believing equally in every myth, legend, fairytale and story.
or that each myth legend and fairytale, religion or lack of belief is a model or a map of reality and that none is reality, but a description of it and that each serves a purpose when it is useful and can be set aside in favor of other models when they are a better description of the territory being traveled.
or
model agnosticism

Erasmus
May 4th, 2009, 12:18 AM
Model agnosticism is sort of interesting, but it is also a way of intellectually justifying having conflicting points of view on different issues, rather than taking the time to form something coherent.

fomenter
May 4th, 2009, 12:38 AM
Model agnosticism is sort of interesting, but it is also a way of intellectually justifying having conflicting points of view on different issues, rather than taking the time to form something coherent.
in everything i have read about it or discussed with model agnostics i have never seen it used to do this.

rmw
May 4th, 2009, 12:40 AM
Model agnosticism is sort of interesting, but it is also a way of intellectually justifying having conflicting points of view on different issues, rather than taking the time to form something coherent.

Sorry, Erasmus, but I don't understand how "I don't/can't know" equates to conflicting points of view.

Loki
May 4th, 2009, 02:37 AM
I'd like to know why you feel the need to wear a label?

Agnostic, strong atheists, weak atheist, existential nihilist (my fave :D) - why not be you?

I'm being serious btw.

Why is a member of a group treated with more respect than a person who decides for themselves?
Apart from the obvious answer - power in numbers.

I'm genuinely interested in this - who here is certain of their views/beliefs?

rmw
May 4th, 2009, 02:45 AM
I'm genuinely interested in this - who here is certain of their views/beliefs?

As far as I can tell, the only time it really matters "what you are" is when you're on an internet forum discussing "what you really are." I go with the term "agnostic" not because I have some sort of existential angst about the nature and existence of god, but because I simply don't care. Maybe "apathetic" would be a better self-description...

BTW, Loki, I find it funny that you have to point out when you're being serious. :D

sudikics
May 4th, 2009, 03:20 AM
I consider myself an atheist because my beliefs (or lack thereof) fall uder the description of atheism. It's just a labeling system, IMO. Taxodermic, if you like.

Loki
May 4th, 2009, 03:42 AM
Taxodermic, if you like.

So what do you call your skin - taxodermic? Or is that a skin related bibliography LOL

Erasmus
May 4th, 2009, 11:13 AM
I'd like to know why you feel the need to wear a label?

Agnostic, strong atheists, weak atheist, existential nihilist (my fave :D) - why not be you?

I'm being serious btw.

Why is a member of a group treated with more respect than a person who decides for themselves?
Apart from the obvious answer - power in numbers.

I'm genuinely interested in this - who here is certain of their views/beliefs?

It's not about wearing a label, it's about what you believe. If you do not believe in God, you are an atheist. This doesn't mean you've labelled yourself and lost your identity and bought into a group. Atheist just means "person who does not believe in God". If you believe in God because you think there is evidence he doesn't exist, you are a Strong Atheist. Again, this is not because you've bought into a group philosophy, or sold-out, it just means someone, somewhere invented a term to describe what you have yourself decided to believe.

Sorry, Erasmus, but I don't understand how "I don't/can't know" equates to conflicting points of view.

"I don't know/can't know" is normal agnosticism, I was talking about model agnosticism, and I was being somewhat unfair. Model Agnosticism can be used to hold conflicted points of view, since it says these points of view are just descriptions or maps that you hold up to reality, and not reality itself, but that doesn't mean it is often used for this puropse.

The Copenhagen Interpretation is sometimes called "model agnosticism" and holds that any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model of the world and should not be confused with the world itself. Alfred Korzybski, the semanticist, tried to popularize this outside physics with the slogan, "The map is not the territory." Alan Watts, a talented exegete of Oriental philosophy, restated it more vividly as "The menu is not the meal."

NOTE: The Copenhagen Interpretation is actually an interpretation of quantum mechanics which states that you can't know where an object is and how fast it is going at the same time (uncertainty principle) and that things don't exist if nothing is observing them, and other weird things of that nature.

Perna de Pau
May 4th, 2009, 02:24 PM
You either believe that there is a god, in which case you are a theist, or you do not believe that there is one, in which case you are atheist.

All the rest, including passive, active, strong, weak, agnosticism or Dawkins' scale is crap. Those were possibly invented to try to clarify positions but they only add to confusion as in the end it all boils down to either believing or not believing.

Try to think about santa claus (or the easter bunny) and decide whether you are strong "asantist", weak, passive or just agnostic. Ridiculous, no? Well applying those to god (any god) is not less ridiculous, imho.

Tsar Phalanxia
May 4th, 2009, 11:17 PM
You either believe that there is a god, in which case you are a theist, or you do not believe that there is one, in which case you are atheist.

All the rest, including passive, active, strong, weak, agnosticism or Dawkins' scale is crap. Those were possibly invented to try to clarify positions but they only add to confusion as in the end it all boils down to either believing or not believing.

Try to think about santa claus (or the easter bunny) and decide whether you are strong "asantist", weak, passive or just agnostic. Ridiculous, no? Well applying those to god (any god) is not less ridiculous, imho.

I have just been enlightened. +1 rep.

fomenter
May 4th, 2009, 11:52 PM
All the rest, including passive, active, strong, weak, agnosticism or Dawkins' scale is crap. Those were possibly invented to try to clarify positions but they only add to confusion as in the end it all boils down to either believing or not believing.

Try to think about santa claus (or the easter bunny) and decide whether you are strong "asantist", weak, passive or just agnostic. Ridiculous, no? Well applying those to god (any god) is not less ridiculous, imho.

belief that there is a god/Santa - belief that there is no god/Santa - and agnostic believing you do not or cannot have enough information to say for certain are all valid,

weak atheism is weak and the dawkins scale sounds like crap but it comes from dawkins so what do you expect..

Daruko
May 5th, 2009, 12:08 AM
but it comes from dawkins so what do you expect..
Exactly.

Perna de Pau
May 5th, 2009, 08:46 AM
belief that there is a god/Santa - belief that there is no god/Santa - and agnostic believing you do not or cannot have enough information to say for certain are all valid,

weak atheism is weak and the dawkins scale sounds like crap but it comes from dawkins so what do you expect..

Agnostic is not valid: you either believe or not, there is no third possibility. You can't find many atheists who can prove that god does not exist and therefore they all agree that we do not have enough information. Many theists would also agree that we cannot know for certain.

The fact that some atheists and some theists prefer to identify themselves with agnosticism is in no way related with what they believe in or not.

And by the way not all that comes from dawkins is crap.

Erasmus
May 5th, 2009, 09:31 AM
Agnostic is not valid: you either believe or not, there is no third possibility. You can't find many atheists who can prove that god does not exist and therefore they all agree that we do not have enough information. Many theists would also agree that we cannot know for certain.

The fact that some atheists and some theists prefer to identify themselves with agnosticism is in no way related with what they believe in or not.

And by the way not all that comes from dawkins is crap.

You really think it's impossible to be unsure, or to believe we don't have enough information? It's like me revealing half an equation and saying "is the answer more than 0 or less?"

Some people might say "it's more" and be entirely sure, some might say "it's less". Others will say "it's impossible to know until you reveal the other half of the equation" and that is a cogent response. Obviously I'm simplifying things to a massive extent, but believing there is insufficient data to make a judgement is entirely valid.

Daruko
May 5th, 2009, 02:03 PM
Agnostic is not valid: you either believe or not, there is no third possibility. You can't find many atheists who can prove that god does not exist and therefore they all agree that we do not have enough information. Many theists would also agree that we cannot know for certain.

The fact that some atheists and some theists prefer to identify themselves with agnosticism is in no way related with what they believe in or not.

And by the way not all that comes from dawkins is crap.
Just because you trap yourself into a dichotomy doesn't mean we have to.

Yiuel
May 5th, 2009, 04:28 PM
Perna : Science is just about that, never being sure. It's the basis of science. Everything that is discussed in science, and everything that we hold as relevant in science is only there because it hasn't been disproven yet, using the scientifical method. Everything that science says, despite its obvious usefulness in our world, is just "this is our best educated guess, but we cannot claim that this is the truth". Science doesn't care about truth, it cares about effectiveness. So, you cannot be sure.

And that is the same about agnosticism, not being sure. It doesn't care about beliefs or certainties, it cares about knowledge. And it says : I cannot know for sure. For there, he derives : I cannot believe either side. But that doesn't mean he won't decide afterwards on which side he'll be.

An agnostic might take Pascal's Wager, and decide that even if cannot believe, he will do as if God did exist. But that is not believing, that is faking belief. Or he could make the oppose wager, like I did, taking the null hypothesis. But that does not make me believing that there is no god, or not believing that there is god, I'm merely taking the skeptical approach of a scientist, rejecting an hypothesis if I don't need it to explain something. I'm basically doing like Pascal, faking the belief there is no god/non-belief there is a god.

An agnostic's belief is : I believe I cannot be sure of any knowledge, therefore I will not believe either way. Is there a difference between a theistic agnostic and a theist? Yes, the former is faking a belief, while the later is truly believing. And is there a difference between an atheistic agnostic and an atheist? Again, the former is faking while the later isn't.

If "faking belief" and "believing" is for you the same thing, I cannot go further into this discussion and, but to me, it sure is a great difference. Is there a difference between "faking being sick" and "being sick"? Well, it is about the same. The agnostic is not honest, neither way, because he sincerly cannot be honest either way. But he has to choose, because existence itself is absolute : you cannot exist and not exist at the same. (Note for QM lovers, I do not say here that the possibilities cannot coexist, but whenever you check, it is or it is not, collapsing the possibilities, which are not absolute, into an existence, which is, even by QM standards.)

Actually, we could even say that something cannot have the quality of non-existence. Because if it does not exist, it cannot have any quality. This is where I derive the idea that existence is absolute. But existence isn't something you can check with certainty, except by finding relations which will give you guesses about existence. But God, which would be something beyond the Universe, beyond the All itself, beyond the links through which we derive knowledge? That's the agnostic's conclusion : since it's out of the links, it's out of the possibility of knowing it, so I believe I cannot have any certainties about it. So he cannot believe either way. And from there, we go back to the faking wagers.

Daruko
May 5th, 2009, 06:53 PM
http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll212/darukomakaruto/mittens.gif
Well said!

Perna de Pau
May 6th, 2009, 09:53 AM
I am surprised at being so massively misunderstood. Probably my bad English is to blame.

You really think it's impossible to be unsure, or to believe we don't have enough information?

You did not read my post carefully enough as I clearly stated that all atheists agree that we do not have enough information. Many theists would also agree that we cannot know for certain.

Just because you trap yourself into a dichotomy doesn't mean we have to.

Please explain how do you escape being trapped in the dichotomy of either being or not being (for instance human).

Perna : Science is just about that, never being sure. It's the basis of science. Everything that is discussed in science, and everything that we hold as relevant in science is only there because it hasn't been disproven yet, using the scientifical method. Everything that science says, despite its obvious usefulness in our world, is just "this is our best educated guess, but we cannot claim that this is the truth". Science doesn't care about truth, it cares about effectiveness. So, you cannot be sure.

And that is the same about agnosticism, not being sure. It doesn't care about beliefs or certainties, it cares about knowledge. And it says : I cannot know for sure. For there, he derives : I cannot believe either side. But that doesn't mean he won't decide afterwards on which side he'll be.

An agnostic might take Pascal's Wager, and decide that even if cannot believe, he will do as if God did exist. But that is not believing, that is faking belief. Or he could make the oppose wager, like I did, taking the null hypothesis. But that does not make me believing that there is no god, or not believing that there is god, I'm merely taking the skeptical approach of a scientist, rejecting an hypothesis if I don't need it to explain something. I'm basically doing like Pascal, faking the belief there is no god/non-belief there is a god.

An agnostic's belief is : I believe I cannot be sure of any knowledge, therefore I will not believe either way. Is there a difference between a theistic agnostic and a theist? Yes, the former is faking a belief, while the later is truly believing. And is there a difference between an atheistic agnostic and an atheist? Again, the former is faking while the later isn't.

If "faking belief" and "believing" is for you the same thing, I cannot go further into this discussion and, but to me, it sure is a great difference. Is there a difference between "faking being sick" and "being sick"? Well, it is about the same. The agnostic is not honest, neither way, because he sincerly cannot be honest either way. But he has to choose, because existence itself is absolute : you cannot exist and not exist at the same. (Note for QM lovers, I do not say here that the possibilities cannot coexist, but whenever you check, it is or it is not, collapsing the possibilities, which are not absolute, into an existence, which is, even by QM standards.)

Actually, we could even say that something cannot have the quality of non-existence. Because if it does not exist, it cannot have any quality. This is where I derive the idea that existence is absolute. But existence isn't something you can check with certainty, except by finding relations which will give you guesses about existence. But God, which would be something beyond the Universe, beyond the All itself, beyond the links through which we derive knowledge? That's the agnostic's conclusion : since it's out of the links, it's out of the possibility of knowing it, so I believe I cannot have any certainties about it. So he cannot believe either way. And from there, we go back to the faking wagers.

I agree with your first paragraph about science but it has absolutely no place in this discussion. People do not reach their beliefs through a scientific method.

Agnostics do not know for certain and by this definition everybody is agnostic because nobody is able to prove either the existence or the non-existence of god. Where I completely disagree is when you say that agnostics derive "not being able to believe either side" from "not knowing for sure" and may even decide on which side they will be. You cannot decide on what you believe or not.

Either the existing "evidence" leads you to believe or such evidence is not enough for you to believe. I do not see any other possibility.

And everything about pascal's wager is, as you said, fake belief and therefore not relevant for a discussion on beliefs. What I cannot understand is why you supposed that for me belief and fake belief was the same when it was you who brought fake belief into the discussion

fosley
May 7th, 2009, 04:48 AM
Please explain how do you escape being trapped in the dichotomy of either being or not being (for instance human).Oh, pick me, pick me!

Is Darth Vader human or machine? Is he perhaps both, or maybe not quite either? What if I believe in some gods but not others? Or perhaps I'm at the limits of belief, where I believe sometimes but not others, or part of me believes and other parts do not?

While I think the majority of people either do or do not believe in one or more gods, I also think it's possible to be in a position that's not entirely one or the other. In fact, for a very long time I was in just such a position as I weighed my long-held theism against the prospect of atheism.

I agree with your first paragraph about science but it has absolutely no place in this discussion. People do not reach their beliefs through a scientific method.I did, and always have. I think many others have, as well. Yes, a great many of my beliefs are very careless in their origin, but any belief I hold of major significance has been tested against reality in the most scientific method I could feasibly use, and I continue to test my beliefs against the best model of reality I can find at any given time.

Agnostics do not know for certain and by this definition everybody is agnostic because nobody is able to prove either the existence or the non-existence of god.I would back down a bit from that definition. To me, agnosticism isn't the statement that there will always be a teeny-weeny bit of doubt, as such a definition would be rather useless in most contexts, but the statement that a person currently does not possess the knowledge to make an educated decision on the topic at hand. For instance, if you asked me whether humans are responsible for global warming, I might say I'm agnostic on the issue. I wouldn't say this because I don't believe it's possible to know, but because I personally do not have the education or experience to authoritatively say one way or the other -- for the moment, at least.

Is there a difference between a theistic agnostic and a theist? Yes, the former is faking a belief, while the later is truly believing. And is there a difference between an atheistic agnostic and an atheist? Again, the former is faking while the later isn't.I think you're taking "believe" too far. Saying I believe something is not the same as saying I accept it as the absolute, un-arguable truth. Saying I believe the sun is located in a certain direction, but that I am agnostic in my belief, does not mean I am in any way faking my belief.

Because I am facing roughly west, am significantly north of whichever of the Tropics of Capricorn/Cancer is further north, and it's only spring-time, I believe the sun would be on my left hemisphere. Given that it's about one and a half months from the summer solstice, I can surmise the Sun is halfway between the equator and the Tropic line, which I believe is roughly 20 degrees north, and given my belief that I am around 35 degrees north latitude, I believe the sun would be in an arc between 15 and 20 degrees to my left. Further given that it's roughly an hour and a half after local sunset, I would estimate the sun is 20 to 25 degrees below the horizon about now.

Given these beliefs, I can point to a position that roughly equates to the "Gateway" logo on my secondary monitor and correctly state that I believe the sun is in that direction, but I also am quite aware that several of my pre-suppositions may easily be in error. (In fact, I just realized that I *did* make an error: I was thinking the sun would always be to my left, but realized the sun will actually be to my right at midnight -- as such, the sun is likely in front of me, somewhat to my right, and a bit below the horizon -- a position that corresponds more closely to the "Sharp" logo on my primary monitor.)

Likewise, an agnostic theist might say that he is aware of several pre-suppositions he has that could be in error, but that until he finds information proving this, he believes the truth lies in the direction of "god exists". An agnostic atheist could similarly believe the truth lies away from that direction.

Daruko
May 7th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Thanks fosley, for saving me from having to post during finals. Another smokin' explanation.

Dr. Drilling_Teeth
May 7th, 2009, 02:52 PM
I love to watch atheists defend themselves, its nearly word for word as funny as theists.

I am model agnostic. That means that I can use different models to examine my experiences and form ideas about which models appear to be useful and which do not.

So, for example, I invoked Therion in ritual and spent upwards of 10 minutes in the body of a tawny fur covered animal on a hill... while the group saw me on all fours pawing at things in the ritual space.

1) It could have been hallucination
2) It could have been the invocation of a psychological archetype semantically connected to my idea of Therion.
3) It could have been real.
4) It could be that I tapped into something like Jung's collective unconscious.
5) Maybe aliens are beaming information at the earth and my brain mistranslated it.
6) Maybe it was something else.

I have invoked Eris and held conversations with her. And I'm pretty sure that she isn't really real for real... but the experience was. So I can look at this experience through all 6 options listed above as well.

THERE IS NO NEED TO CHOOSE JUST ONE.

A conclusion is just where you stopped thinking. Atheists aren't necessarily illogical, they just stop thinking... kinda like theists.

fomenter
May 7th, 2009, 05:05 PM
I love to watch atheists defend themselves, its nearly word for word as funny as theists.

I am model agnostic. That means that I can use different models to examine my experiences and form ideas about which models appear to be useful and which do not.

So, for example, I invoked Therion in ritual and spent upwards of 10 minutes in the body of a tawny fur covered animal on a hill... while the group saw me on all fours pawing at things in the ritual space.

1) It could have been hallucination
2) It could have been the invocation of a psychological archetype semantically connected to my idea of Therion.
3) It could have been real.
4) It could be that I tapped into something like Jung's collective unconscious.
5) Maybe aliens are beaming information at the earth and my brain mistranslated it.
6) Maybe it was something else.

I have invoked Eris and held conversations with her. And I'm pretty sure that she isn't really real for real... but the experience was. So I can look at this experience through all 6 options listed above as well.

THERE IS NO NEED TO CHOOSE JUST ONE.

A conclusion is just where you stopped thinking. Atheists aren't necessarily illogical, they just stop thinking... kinda like theists.
/
THIS


http://nownormaknits2.typepad.com/photos/gallery_2005/tuttifruity_mittens20050626.JPGwell said

Dr. Drilling_Teeth
May 7th, 2009, 05:51 PM
It's a human problem really. Humans like to 'know' stuff and ever since that asshole Aristotle, we think everything is an Either/Or sort of scenario. People confuse useful tools like Occam's Razor, which is a model of what appears most likely based on a set of criteria within the model, with fact or truth or conclusion. Simply put, humans rarely KNOW what is going on. We know what we perceive that we experience, but that's a long way from any sort of conclusive knowledge.

The best we can do, from what I can tell, is find as many models as possible and see how they line up with our perceived experiences. The "most likely, somewhat likely, useful, useful but unlikely, not very likely and very unlikely/not very useful at all" sort of decision matrix appears far more valid to me than the IS/IS NOT silliness of a 2000+ year old Greek that thought fire, water, earth and air was inside everything.

The scientific method, observation, Occam's Razor are all POTENTIALLY USEFUL TOOLS, but they are not fact, nor a sure thing. Consider:

In the late renaissance, as people began to rely on observation they came to a conclusion that there existed a process called abiogenesis, life from nothing. Maggots for example, simply appeared on meat... even when watched in controlled conditions. Rats apparently geverated in piles of old rags or the Nile River banks, because that is what they observed, or at least what they perceived, what they thought that they observed. Today, we can observe MORE and therefore we can say "Oh maggots are baby flies, you schmucks!" However, what are we not seeing? What layers have yet to be uncovered? Or shall we make the same assumptions as our forefathers and believe we have enough knowledge to KNOW!

In the 1700's some people claimed to see rocks fall out of the sky. The Royal Astronomy Society after scientific discussion, decided they were liars for there aren't any rocks in outer space. Obviously, they determined, these people were lying. none of these wise men had experienced seeing a rock fall out of the sky, therefore it didn't happen.

So too today, many humans fall into similar traps, theists, atheists, metatheists, pantheists, etctheists. Anyone who thinks they have enough information to come to a conclusion, seem prone to the same mistakes as our forefathers... they don't know what they don't know.

Thus, I'll remain agnostic... I don't know what I don't know, I don't know what is yet to be discovered or what new model might better explain my experiences in life and physical evidence, so why should I settle for a conclusion based on what is 'fact' today, when 'fact' rarely stays that way?

Believing in Stone Age Sky Gods seems pretty silly... Believing that the human neurological system is capable of providing us with conclusive answers also seems pretty silly.

Tsar Phalanxia
May 7th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Well according to your argument, there's no point in looking for definitive truths, because we'll never find any. Does that just mean we should give up science?

fomenter
May 7th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Well according to your argument, there's no point in looking for definitive truths, because we'll never find any. Does that just mean we should give up science?

boy that is a hell of a leap.. no it means we should stop acting as if and believing that our answers are conclusive, that they are right and every one else is wrong, that we no longer need to keep looking because we know.
we are looking for the best model to suit the perceptions and experience we are having at this point in time. something science it self does looking for the best model (hypothesis ) to describe and predict the phenomena it is studying.

Daruko
May 7th, 2009, 08:45 PM
Ratatosk = tearin' it up ITT.

Dr. Drilling_Teeth
May 7th, 2009, 09:41 PM
Well according to your argument, there's no point in looking for definitive truths, because we'll never find any. Does that just mean we should give up science?


Not unless you're an idiot. There is a horrific misunderstanding of science. Science doesn't tell us what is true, it provides models which, if they are GOOD models, might have some predictive power and may be able to provide very good guesses about things we cannot observe.

But it doesn't tell us what is TRUE, just what models appear useful based on the scientific method.

I mean, science can't even tell us everything about what we experience today. Science can only tell us useful things about that which we can apply the scientific method to. If we cannot make hypothesis, observations, measurements etc... we cannot test something or stick it within a scientific model. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, only that it is currently outside our capacity to discuss within the constraint of models based on the scientific method.

For example, in the 1700's, the scientific method should have persuaded the RAS to say:

"We have not observed rocks falling from the sky, therefore we cannot make any conclusions about rocks falling out of the sky, except to say that we haven't seen such a phenomena. However, we're sending His Lordship Sir James Robert of Dobbshire to spend a few months looking at the sky at night to see if he can observe anything interesting."

Instead they failed because they presumed to KNOW, rather than wonder. They failed because they came to a conclusion, rather than forming ideas and looking for more information. They failed because they asserted facts based on something that they have not observed. Much like theists and atheists.

Application of good science is good. Application of bad science is bad. If your science "supports" theism or atheism, you are doing it wrong. If it cannot be observed, it cannot be discussed in the terms of a scientific model.

There is a wide gulf between a skeptic and a pseudoskeptic. The skeptic works from an unbiased neutral position. The pseudoskeptic works from a position of 'Not unless you can prove it'.

Science, more than any other model of reality eschews conclusions. Could you imagine if we had 'concluded' that Bhor's model of the atom was TRUE and stopped inquiring into the topic? Or if we concluded that Newton's model of physics was the TRUE one? Or Einsteins?

The worst thing ever done by education, was placing the concept of science in the minds of our youth, without the rigors of scientific thought.

Daruko
May 7th, 2009, 11:10 PM
The worst thing ever done by education, was placing the concept of science in the minds of our youth, without the rigors of scientific thought.
You mind if I quote that?

rmw
May 8th, 2009, 12:04 AM
Dr. Drilling Teeth, in short, model agnosticism on whatever subject you happen to be looking at (meteorites, gods, global warming, etc.) could in fact be a way to advance science and scientific research, since it can lead to a conclusion/attitude of "I don't know...but I can try to find out."?

fosley
May 8th, 2009, 02:51 AM
A conclusion is just where you stopped thinking. Atheists aren't necessarily illogical, they just stop thinking... kinda like theists.
They failed because they asserted facts based on something that they have not observed. Much like theists and atheists.You have this very mistaken opinion that those who assert that a god either does or does not exist have ceased to question or examine. This could not be further from the truth. Yes, there are plenty of dogmatic yuppies out there who would refuse to change their mind even if shown absolute, irrefutable proof they were wrong, but this applies to far more discussions than just the existence of gods.

If all these people just quit thinking, there would never be conversions from theism to atheism, or vice versa. Clearly, we see plenty of both, so even if it could be said one camp or the other, or both, is not thinking clearly, they are obviously thinking nonetheless.

Additionally, conclusions are necessary to life. You are just as "guilty" of coming to conclusions that may or may not be correct as anyone else in the world. Otherwise, you would still be stuck in a trance, trying to decide what is most real and most important, etc.

Finally, not everything deserves an equal share of time debating its truth. If I don't eat I die. Perhaps that's not true, and there are, in fact, aliens simply making me think that because it's oh-so-funny, but the reality is that if I don't eat, I will almost assuredly die, so I'm going to eat. Yes, it bears some investigation, as eating is a fairly expensive and time-consuming part of life, but I'm certainly not going to waste my entire life debating whether I need to eat, when the overwhelming evidence indicates that I do.

It would certainly be a worthy goal to come up with a method where I don't have to eat, or have to eat less, or spend less time eating. But to say I've "stopped thinking" because I don't care to pointlessly debate the validity of the statement "I must eat to live" is rather silly.

Yiuel
May 8th, 2009, 02:46 PM
If I don't eat I die. Perhaps that's not true, and there are, in fact, aliens simply making me think that because it's oh-so-funny, but the reality is that if I don't eat, I will almost assuredly die, so I'm going to eat.

Our body's DNA itself have observed, over the thousands of generations preceding us, that not eating = not working (death). If that wasn't enough, we can see people starving, because there are still a lot of these, unfortunately. But is it really food or nutriments that we need? There are people, in coma, that have been fed nutriments by other means than "eating" and they pretty much well survived biologically.

(However, I have read that some recent studies tells us our body needs to "eat" more than it needs because it does not absorb everything (waste in the system) but also because the digestive system has been given a lot more than nutriments for generations that our body might not be able to live properly without more than just nutriments. That's funny, but interesting.)

We won't sit on the fact it does need something, because obviously, we have seen that it does need something. But do we know what, do we know what is more efficient? Nutritionists have been working for decades to see what or body really needs. That's science.

Perna : Perhaps is it because I will say that when I arrive to the agnostic conclusion that I cannot know, I cannot sincerly support the fact either way. I cannot place faith on any side, it's just my best educated bet that I use the null hypothesis (because in science, it works fairly well to think that way). Can't be sure, so I cannot say I believe there is no god. I just can say that my best educated guess would seem to point out there is no god, so I'll do without it until there is point where I'll need that hypothesis. That is being agnostic, always questioning things unsure.

Dr. Drilling_Teeth
May 8th, 2009, 03:35 PM
Dr. Drilling Teeth, in short, model agnosticism on whatever subject you happen to be looking at (meteorites, gods, global warming, etc.) could in fact be a way to advance science and scientific research, since it can lead to a conclusion/attitude of "I don't know...but I can try to find out."?

Bingo.

Additionally, conclusions are necessary to life. You are just as "guilty" of coming to conclusions that may or may not be correct as anyone else in the world. Otherwise, you would still be stuck in a trance, trying to decide what is most real and most important, etc.No, idiot, one does not need a conclusion to interact with reality, unless they are very, very stupid and not very imaginative at all.

Finally, not everything deserves an equal share of time debating its truth

And you are wise enough to know which is which?

We won't sit on the fact it does need something, because obviously, we have seen that it does need something. But do we know what, do we know what is more efficient? Nutritionists have been working for decades to see what or body really needs. That's science.

Exactly, as Crowley said "Every Solider should be followed by a Hunchback" or every AHA! moment should be followed by the next question. Every "!" should be followed by a "?"

Dr. Drilling_Teeth
May 8th, 2009, 03:50 PM
Fosley, also remember that we're dealing with models... and models have parameters. So if we're discussing nutrition, one parameter will be "Human needs something to convert to energy and nutrients". Then, within that model we can examine all sorts of possibilities.

Of course, that doesn't mean the parameter of any map is True in some absolute sense... only that they are useful within the model.

Yiuel
May 8th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I must also add something very important. Science's skepticism is not about denying everything. One of science's strong assumptions is that everything is linked. Science does not question the whats, it questions the hows, it tries to find out the details about those links, how everything is linked. Everything is linked, we just don't know how.

Science's method has been to find the simplest description of those links (with the fiewest links). Science will deny that things might be related a certain way (by showing the links we have worked out does not explain everything possible), but science cannot say there is no link, nor can it speak about what exists between those links. But this is intense epistemology.