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Featured Agnostics: what's the nature of your agnosticism?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, Aug 26, 2020.

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  1. *Nothing* can be known with certainty, so neither can God/gods.

    6 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. God-belief seems unjustified, but I can't rule out that one of them is a lucky guess.

    2 vote(s)
    11.8%
  3. Gods have been crafted to be unfalsifiable, and you can't say that the unfalsifiable doesn't exist.

    5 vote(s)
    29.4%
  4. There's real merit to the existence claims of one or more gods, just not enough to convince me.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other - discuss below.

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Thinking about the "Agnostics: get off the fence" thread... I got to wondering:

    When agnostics say "the existence or non-existence of gods is unknowable," it doesn't say a lot about how they got to that conclusion or how whatever informs their agnosticism informs their other views.

    ... so with that in mind, I have a poll. Please feel free to discuss in the thread below.
     
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  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    There is no verifiable knowledge about the supernatural.
    There are some things we can verify in a practical sense. Not absolutely such that accepting them as true has practical benefits. Belief/disbelief in the supernatural is not one of these things.

    Anything is possible, any of the various Gods claim to exist, could exist or some "God" that's not being claimed. Just doesn't make sense to me to invest in a belief either way based on a lack of knowledge that can be verified.

    Saying no God exists is just another claim among the many about God that can't be verified.
     
  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    To tell you honestly, I think it's more of a "just in case" position. We usually aren't agnostic about, the common "atheist" example, the Spaghetti Monster; they say it doesn't exist. For some reason god doesn't have that advantage.

    It's an honest position-it's unknowable that god does or doesn't exist. Unless it's all deities rather than one, abrahamic-agnosticism does sound more of a safety position. I don't see anything wrong with it, though some may take offense.
     
  4. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Humans do not possess the perceptual or intellectual capacity that would be required to know that, and how, God exists.
     
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  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I'd say that I'm equally agnostic about the Flying Spaghetti Monster as I am about, say, the Christian God (in his various versions).
     
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  6. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    I went through a myriad of emotion when i left religion, i voted nothing can be known which was a major confusion for me at the time. Things have become much clearer, and i am now past atheism and out the other side
     
  7. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I notice that you didn't check off "God-belief seems unjustified, but I can't rule out that one of them is a lucky guess." Do you see that poll option as not reflective of this position?

    If not, how is your position different?
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    The first 2 were too hot.
    The last 2 were too cold.
    But the middle one was just right.
     
  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Just didn't like the phrasing "a lucky guess". If there is a God, I doubt a guess would have any accuracy to worry about.
    This being/entity/thing you might call God, the reality of maybe of an infinite number of possibilities. With our limited knowledge/understanding of the universe, it is unlikely we could even guess about the truth.
     
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  10. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle 'Some of you humans are just so funny!'
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    The monotheistic gods don't seem to make much sense to me, especially how many religions seem to interpret any human relationships to such and vice-versa, and neither does any universal consciousness that might indicate something similar, or anything else. But I do admit my lack of knowledge and/or ability such that there has to be a small chance that 'something' exists. What that is encompasses my agnosticism. Of course I could be wrong about any and all the religions but I would not be alone since any with one particular religious belief might equally be wrong about any other being true. But, on the balance of probabilities, I think I am in a safer position, and one that tends to cause fewer issues.
     
    #10 Mock Turtle, Aug 26, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Why agnostic?

    Was there something about the Spaghetti Monster and god that lead you to believe they "could" exist and decided that it was unknown?

    Maybe another question to ask is, is there such thing's as fantasy and imagination if everything and everyone under these two types could exist rather than do not exist?

    Kind of puts a good argument to a child that santa claus could exist we just don't know.
     
  12. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    A quick question: do you see a substantive difference between the following?

    There's real merit to the existence claims of one or more gods, just not enough to convince me.​

    and

    I see insufficient evidence to convince me one way or the other.​
     
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  13. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Agnostic is a rather weird position to take in my opinion.

    Most atheists, even if they consider themselves anti theists or hard atheists, can't say for certain whether or not God(s) exists. So, at least to me, it makes a whole lot more sense to ask the question:

    Are you convinced that a God(s) exists?

    If the answer is no, then you are an atheist, if the answer is yes then you are a theist. There is not really any middleground here. Either you are convinced that God(s) exist or you don't find the evidence good enough.

    Looking at the definition of agnostic:
    a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.

    If nothing is known or can be known about the existences of a God(s), then there are no evidence for these and therefore it is irrational to assume that they exists and therefore they ought to call themselves atheists.

    Definition of atheist:
    a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

    Meaning, an atheist is a person that is not convince of the existence of God(s). You can't be sort of believing in God(s), that simply means you are in doubt, but that is not the same as taking the position that nothing can or ever will be known in regards to the existence of God(s).
     
    #13 Nimos, Aug 26, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
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  14. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I remember back when I had my agnostic phase I found it really annoying that folks constantly conflated agnosticism with... other things. I still find it annoying, and stayed out of that other thread because the way it was framed irritated me.

    Back when I was agnostic, it was for the reasons you'd expect, honestly. The stuff I was being taught in Sunday school wasn't compelling, and just sounded like a fiction story to me. When I would ask questions about how they knew this stuff was true and how they knew God existed, I never got satisfying answers. Naturally, I concluded they didn't really know anything. Hence, agnosticism - lack of real knowledge about God.

    The inability of adults to engage me in serious theological discourse also led me to go atheist around that same time for many years. They couldn't back up what they said, so I concluded all theism and religion was baseless and stupid. Even so, I was an agnostic atheist throughout that time because the problem of knowing God was what led me to atheism in the first place. As for what led me away from agnostic atheism in college? Asking questions, thinking critically, and actually learning about theism and religion instead of presupposing it was all stupid and a waste of my time.
     
  15. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    The universe is infinitely vast, complex, and mysterious. When you look at things such as multiverse and quantum theory, for example, the notion of some cosmic force or entity doesn't seem like too far fetched of a possibility. It's silly for us apes to presume we've unlocked all the secrets. That said, all of our religions amount to little more than piles of arbitrary, irrational, unsubstantiated presumptions; empty speculation at best.
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    In the Venn diagram, those two statements' regions overlap but aren't identical.
     
  17. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Except that atheism isn't stating that no god exists. It's simply a lack of belief that any god or gods definitely do exist.
     
  18. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the awkward position of considering myself an agnostic who nevertheless chooses to adopt an atheist position because I no longer feel obliged to actively entertain the possibility of God or gods being real. The two main factors that led me to this position were the lack of philosophically ironclad justification on one hand, and a lack of personal faith in the Divine on the other.

    It can be either, depending on the person. I've certainly encountered both variants.
     
  19. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Was there a reason why you chose not to answer the question?
     
  20. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Atheism doesn't but there are some strong atheists who do.

    However, my point from my position as an atheist was saying there is no God is just another possibility that has no greater/lessor reason to invest belief in.
     
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