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Featured Why aren't there more agnostics?

Discussion in 'Agnosticism' started by Samantha Rinne, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Interesting.

    Personally, I'd say the same for atheism: it seems like it proves itself just by looking around.

    The only thing that doesn't make this absolutely definitive is that what a thing "seems like" just by looking at it isn't a reliable way to figure out what's true.
     
  2. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    I disagree! Atheism is not about what you believe, it's what you do not believe. It would be absurd to claim something does not exist before it has been established what it is you are claiming does not exist. There are countless things people call God; some of them do exist.
     
  3. Thirza Fallen

    Thirza Fallen Crazy Cat Lady

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    I think there is a spark of the divine in humans.
    Hmm, stop being practical.
     
  4. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm an agnostic. Just of the atheist variety.
    Seems intellectually honest to me.
     
  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I've stopped calling myself an agnostic.

    I get that all knowledge is tentative, induction is never 100% certain, etc., etc.... but I think that when someone calls themselves an agnostic, most people will take this to mean that the person thinks there's a level of uncertainty around god-claims that we don't have for other knowledge claims.

    I think there's more uncertainty in, say, the claim that the passenger pigeon is extinct than there is in the claim that no gods exist. I wouldn't get challenged about making that first claim with certainty, so I see no need to put caveats and qualifiers on the second claim. Edit: not in everyday conversation, anyway.
     
  6. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    I would go so far as to say MOST theists...
    But certainly not all.
    There have been a number of them right here on RF over the past decade and a half who claim to know for a fact that not only does their favourite deity exist, but that their favourite deity is the one and only really honestly true deity.

    Will the really real deity please stand up
    please stand up
    please stand up
     
  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Same.
    I'd never refer to myself as an agnostic of any description unless in a place where the conversation allows for some nuance.

    IRL I'm 'simply' an atheist.
     
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  8. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Why aren't there more agnostics?: Sitting on a fence is not very comfortable.
     
  9. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Yeah, but what "you do not believe" is about "what you believe." The English language favours positive cases: the "not" is adjunctive.

    When I say I don't believe in Sasquatch, it's more about what I do believe.

    It would be absurd to claim that something does exist without evidence. That's why there are atheists. Atheists have a firm belief in opposition to that belief.
     
  10. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    All those sticks up the butt...
     
  11. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    To believe is to assert a position; to not believe is the default position. If I don’t believe “X” is true thus remain in the default position, that says nothing about what I believe.
    What does it mean to “believe in” something? How are you defining that term?
    I disagree. Despite not having absolute proof, I would without hesitation deny the existence of Santa Clause, as would any reasonable person.
     
  12. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    That's no dictionary definition of "believe."

    (It does, however, make a lot of other people's arguments make more sense.)

    To "believe" means to accept something as true. For instance, I believe in truth. (The statement is self-referencing, so not rocket science.)

    To "believe in" means to accept something as true in actuality or reality. If I state that I don't believe in Sasquatch, I mean that I don't believe that Sasquatch exists in actuality or reality. That's because I understand that I should only believe in things that are reasonably and demonstratably sound. To state that I don't believe in Sasquatch is, by inference, to state that I believe in the reasonably and demonstratably sound.

    But I do have evidence that Santa Claus is an invention of 19th Century marketing. So I have good reason to not believe in it. I couldn't disbelive without good reason.

    Sasquatch is the better example. My disbelieve lies in the many hoaxes that have been perpetrated about his footprints. There are a few examples that make me withhold disbelief, but by and all the evidence against weighs better.
     
    #92 Willamena, Mar 17, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
  13. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    So how are you defining “believe”?

    Going by your above definition, to not believe in Sasquatch would mean you don’t believe Sasquatch is truth; it would have nothing to do with whether he exists or not. For existence you would have to claim you don’t believe in Sasquatch’s existence. Agree?

    Santa Clause is described as a human being who lives at the North Pole and rides around on a magic sleigh; not a marketing tool. I’m saying as such a human being he does not exist.
     
  14. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Existence isn't in question, because it's just about being. Sasquatch exists as a proposed being, as a theory, as a product of imagination, as a marketing tool, as a movie character, etc.

    But I don't believe it is actual. Not believing in Sasquatch says that it's not actual.

    It's actuality that relates to truth.

    That's the marketing, yes.

    As such, I'm saying that such a being isn't actual.
     
  15. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    What’s the difference between existing and being?
    What’s the difference between existing and actual?
     
  16. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    One word is used with an object, one without, i.e. the existence of a thing is its being.

    Actuality, or reality, is a condition applied to existence.

    Many conditions can be applied to existence that are not actuality or reality. Imaginative beings, for example.
     
  17. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    That sounds like the same thing. If the existence of “X” is it’s being, that would mean if “X” did not exist, it would not have a being, and if it didn’t have a being, it wouldn’t exist! If you disagree, give an example of something being that does not exist.
    I said existing, not existence. If something is not real, but imaginative; it is not existing. Again; existing, actuality and reality sounds like the same thing to me. If not, tell me how are they different.
     
  18. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    I do not disagree. To exist is to be.

    Imagine a canvas on which all things are painted. In one corner, you might have an actual thing painted there, and in another corner, an imagined thing. In the middle, there might be a possible thing, and beside it something probable.

    Existing (existence) is being a thing painted there. Everything exists. Only some of them are actual.

    Existence isn't the canvas itself. If you want a word for the canvas itself, a good one might be "god."
     
  19. Kfox

    Kfox Member

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    Yes! That actual thing exists; same thing.
    No, you can’t paint an imagined thing, in order to paint something it has to physically exist
    No; possible things can’t be painted, it has to exist to be painted.
    You can’t paint something that is probable
    If it doesn’t have an actual existence, it only exists in your imagination. The only thing I can see here is something can exist within your thoughts, but in order to be actual or be a part of reality, they must physically exist. So going back to your Sasquatch scenario, Sasquatch may exist in someone’s imagination, but because he doesn’t have a physical existence, he doesn’t exist actually or in reality. Do you agree?
     
  20. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    We differ in some parts. I agree that in order for Sasquatch to be believable, it must be actual, not imagined. That's what I said earlier, that I don't believe in Sasquatch's actuality.

    Where we differ is here: in order for things to exist, they must be. There are no other requirements for that word. To exist is to be. Actual things are. Imagined things are. Phyiscal things are. Theoretical things are. Each adjective doesn't create a whole new thing--they all exemplify "being." The canvas is wide.

    If you want evidence, it's right there in our language. You claim that imagined things don't exist, but things exist in our imagination. One of those has it right, the other is distorted by materialism.
     
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