I'm an agnostic atheist; ask me anything!

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Horse Sized Duck

Member

10-27-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereg Anfaug View Post
Refresh my memory on proposition 8? Heard of it but don't recall the details.
"only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."


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Sereg Anfaug

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Senior Member

10-27-2012

Alright. You mentioned Mormons... did proposition 8 list the number of women?

(sorry... no offence intended to Mormons... just... couldn't resist. Sorry)


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Horse Sized Duck

Member

10-27-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereg Anfaug View Post
Alright. You mentioned Mormons... did proposition 8 list the number of women?

(sorry... no offence intended to Mormons... just... couldn't resist. Sorry)
Lol.


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Horse Sized Duck

Member

10-27-2012

I see he has no reply to my last post. Me having to break out into more logic probably hurt his brain.


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ff pls

Senior Member

10-27-2012

i have evidence of the afterlife, but i can't share it..


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Sereg Anfaug

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Senior Member

10-27-2012

That doesn't really help then, does it? =\


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Qutse

Senior Member

10-27-2012

Can you name one influential scholar that ever treated agnostic and atheist as not mutually exclusive?


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Qutse

Senior Member

10-28-2012

I have another question. I have here a colored pencil. I put it into a box. The colored pencil can possibly be brown.

So here is my question:
do you believe the colored pencil in this box is brown, do you not believe the colored penciled is brown, or do you think I have not told you enough information for you to either believe nor not believe?


If one holds the view that belief and non-belief are dichotomous set partitioning states such that every individual must be in one or the other states when any statement is rendered in their presence, you would seem to have an inefficient, incomplete and impractical epistemological philosophy that is simple but not very well representative of the human mind.

It would seem there is no limit to the number of propositions for which the human should say simply I do not know. In the context of my pencil which you have not seen, the box which seems irrelevant, and the fact that you will likely never see them or know of them saying, "I believe the pencil is brown but I have no evidence" or "I do not believe the pencil is brown but I have no evidence" is suspicious. It is mechanical, but at the same time imprecise. If someone asked me that I would ponder why I would even have an opinion, and to translate that as presence or absence of the belief that the pencil is brown seems on its face to be silly.

Why do I bring this all up, because the original essay on Agnosticism advanced the position that rendering an opinion about the color of the pencil is foolish given the evidence. The revolution of thought that it offered that it is not "A or not A" it is "A or not A or agnostic".


I once tried to track down when the notion of agnostic as a statement of knowledge level and atheism as a statement of belief entered human consciousness. Where did it begin? Where did it come from? Who first used it? What is its history? Turns out these are really hard questions.

It is instructional and relatively easy to follow the ideas that advance Theism, Agnostic, and Atheism as being on a spectrum with one pushing out the other as you move through the spectrum. It has a clear history. It really gelled into existence from Thomas Henry Huxley and bounced around scholarly circles getting pre-eminent treatments by the likes of Bertrand Russell etc.

To my mind, all that one needs to think about on this issue were basically handled by Bertrand Russell. Who saw Theism, Agnostic, and Atheist on a spectrum.

But, then clearly something happened what? Who wrote it? Are they important.

The likes of Wikipedia has been very unhelpful in this regard. It does have a page on Agnostic Atheism, that was originally very short when I first saw it, and used as its primary source a blogger by the name of Cline Austin. Cline's claim to fame? He has a masters degree in Philosophy. Look I have a master's degree too, but absent the ability to produce another source, I do not constitute a source. I constitute a personal ability to lead to a source. The referencing has gotten better nowadays, but it is still pretty weak.

You might say, what does it matter if the references are weak if the position is right? Usually one goes to an expert, and usually the experts are recognized as such in academia. What I noticed when I read more was that experts in academia were so not on board with the agnosticism as a modifier of theism and atheism. If you go to expert published encyclopedias like Britannia or Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for example, there is no agnostic atheism, and there is no rebuttal of it. It simply doesn't exist.

What I did notice though was that internet chatter over the concept far exceeded any expert literary chatter over the concept. I am of the opinion that it took off with the internet. It is a populist ground up meme. After the internet takes off it takes off. It then gets echo'd in random populist writings.

So what is the problem with it? The problem with it is the dichotomy it gives to belief. Believe or not believe. When you consider it closely, "agnostic atheism" renders a truth value of false to the position advanced by Mr. Hurley. It states you cannot be that sort of agnostic. Which is kind of ironic. It presents itself as the more flexible idea by consider two axis of thought, but bogarts a crucial term so as to render impudent the original philosophy of Agnostic. It renders a philosophical opinion not on god, but on states of knowledge, and it does so by treating actual agnosticism in the old Bertrand Russell writings sense as a non-existent state that should be immediately discounted out of hand.

So, one might say, they can patch it up by giving special privilege to the idea that one can be in a state where one neither has a non-belief or a belief in a proposition, basically rendering two potential uses for agnostic, but then you consider what the goal is. The argument moves to what it means "to know" something. The notion of an agnostic atheism questions the privilege of knowing so extremely that once applied to any other matter with any creativity that one ends up thinking they know nothing at all.

For example, if I leave the room and go to the store, do I know my bed still exist? I am "agnostic believing bed existing" while at the store because I have a creative imagination. I don't have any reason to think my bed doesn't exist because I went to the store, but hey I don't know, so you make sure to make that note. Then you go to epistemological philosophy and find that this notion of the difference between knowing and believing are artificial to some people. That the scholarly debate is not centered on the distinction, while at the same time the distinction consumes discussions on the internet. Personally, when I ask myself how I know my bed exist when I go to the store, or whether or not I believe it exist, I get why! Either way I am just trying to figure out if I think the bed exist.

So, we now have two knocks on agnostic atheism as a philosophy, 1) it renders impotent the original idea that one could be in a third state between believing and not believing, 2) it elevates artificially the difference between believing and knowing.


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Horse Sized Duck

Member

11-03-2012

^

There is no middle ground between atheism and theism. You believe, or you don't. Just because you lack knowledge if a god is real does not mean you can't believe or disbelief.


If atheism was a belief there was no god, you would be correct, but you're not.


I do not know if a god is real, this makes me an agnostic. I do believe in a god as there is no evidence a god is real.


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Horse Sized Duck

Member

11-04-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qutse View Post
Can you name one influential scholar that ever treated agnostic and atheist as not mutually exclusive?
Dawkins. Hitchens. Harris.