Challenges to an Agnostic

Atheism, secularism & freethought etc.

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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#21  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 20, 2018 6:16 pm

laklak wrote:Super advanced aliens are far more likely than Jehovah or one of his ilk. I've seen Star Trek, man, the truth is out there.


It's not a different story. We're looking for something that's interested in The Pilgrim's Progress.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#22  Postby Hermit » Dec 21, 2018 12:54 am

Cito di Pense wrote:...if I started raving about signs from God, I'd figure I'd gone round the bend.

The notion that you have not started raving about signs from God is not a difficult one to accept. Come to think of it, neither is the notion that you still have not figured that you'd gone round the bend.
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#23  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 21, 2018 1:23 am

Hermit wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:...if I started raving about signs from God, I'd figure I'd gone round the bend.

The notion that you have not started raving about signs from God is not a difficult one to accept. Come to think of it, neither is the notion that you still have not figured that you'd gone round the bend.


I'm not the one entertaining speculation as to what it would take for me to start believing in God. I'm also not saying someone would be other than nuts for thinking they'd gotten a sign from God. There may be folks you have to treat with kid gloves when they talk about their signs from God, but I have no such millstones around my neck. Lots of agnostics are simply trying to be polite to some theist or other, and haven't really thought about it in more detail than that, except for the usual epistemic wibbles about black swans. Call it epistemology if you like.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#24  Postby TopCat » Dec 21, 2018 1:04 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
TopCat wrote:But if someone started reliably and instantaneously restoring amputated limbs, that would be a different matter and it would be ridiculous to just write it off as "unlikely but so what".


God knows everyone is waiting for a sign just like that one. God is much cleverer than that. Only the very wise will see the signs. It's pretty much the gold standard for wisdom among those who can barely tie their shoelaces.

Most amusing.

Why did somebody dream up the amputee example?

Because it's a conspicuous example of the sort of miracles that are never claimed to happen, even by the evangelicals that claim other miracles happen. It's used by anti-apologists to show them up.

If someone reliably (by which I mean predictably and testably) started doing such things, there is no way that the usual debunking of the miraculous (hearsay, lying, wishful thinking, hysteria, hallucination, etc etc) would hold water. The fact that they never have just confirms the evangelicals' charlatanry.

The fact that you're still trying to figure out what kind of sign would convince you of the existence of God is already a bad sign.

Why so, and of what? We define confidence levels all the time to decide whether improbable events that happen are statistically significant or not. Just because we currently think that the notion is pure fantasy doesn't rule out the possibility that at some point we may uncover new evidence.


As I've said on more than one occastion, if I started raving about signs from God, I'd figure I'd gone round the bend. The problem is that I'd probably be too far-gone at that point to try to reverse course.

Of course, but it wouldn't be raving, would it, if you were able to reliably regrow amputated limbs.

How about holding off on the sneering for long enough to say how you would actually go about reacting to that?

I'm not expecting it to happen any more than you are, you may be surprised to hear, but I don't see how figuring out what kind of sign would constitute evidence is so awful.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#25  Postby SafeAsMilk » Dec 21, 2018 2:11 pm

Ah cito, still talking about how J.K. Rowling is nuts for thinking about what her fictional characters might do. One's very sane work is never done!
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#26  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 21, 2018 2:22 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
Only the very wise will see the signs

Clearly they understand what God is telling them even though no one is supposed to understand him at all
Squaring circles though is very easy to do when you have substituted logic for imagination and metaphysics
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#27  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 3:02 pm

[I just discovered that I can't correct the OP's first sentence as I intended.]

SafeAsMilk wrote:
scherado wrote:Any self-respecting Agnostic labors in consideration of any and all the subjects for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion.

No agnostic without too much time on their hands labors in consideration about the existence of Bigfoot, or how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Some folks have actual, legitimate concerns to occupy their intellectual energies. By your measure, I could make up literally anything and keep making up things about it, and you'd have to labor in consideration of it. ...

Now, I will change the sentence which led to the wrong interpretation: I don't mean that ANY propositions or subjects are worthy of "labor in consideration." The new sentence: "...any and all the subjects worthy of the time and for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion." I did qualify in the third sentence with, "the several ultimate questions". If you don't have the time to get to the third sentence, then I suggest that you NOT read my posts.

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#28  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 3:08 pm

laklak wrote:
scherado wrote:
laklak wrote:Do do do do /twilight zone theme song

Do do do you identify yourself as anything, with respect to religion?


Agnostic atheist is probably the closest.

I don't think I've seen that combination. Is that, "I don't believe but, if you press me, then, 'I don't know.'?"
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#29  Postby TopCat » Dec 21, 2018 3:18 pm

scherado wrote:Now, I will change the sentence which led to the wrong interpretation: I don't mean that ANY propositions or subjects are worthy of "labor in consideration." The new sentence: "...any and all the subjects worthy of the time and for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion." I did qualify in the third sentence with, "the several ultimate questions". If you don't have the time to get to the third sentence, then I suggest that you NOT read my posts.

Do you really think that, in addition to attempting to parse the wall of waffle in your OP and others of that ilk, people here are going to go back to it, and reparse it in the context of the addenda you give here?

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.

Good luck with that notion around here.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#30  Postby laklak » Dec 21, 2018 3:38 pm

scherado wrote:
laklak wrote:
scherado wrote:
laklak wrote:Do do do do /twilight zone theme song

Do do do you identify yourself as anything, with respect to religion?


Agnostic atheist is probably the closest.

I don't think I've seen that combination. Is that, "I don't believe but, if you press me, then, 'I don't know.'?"


I don't believe in gods (or haints or spooks or any number of supernatural fairy tales) and there's no way to prove either their existence or non-existence.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#31  Postby SafeAsMilk » Dec 21, 2018 3:51 pm

scherado wrote:[I just discovered that I can't correct the OP's first sentence as I intended.]

SafeAsMilk wrote:
scherado wrote:Any self-respecting Agnostic labors in consideration of any and all the subjects for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion.

No agnostic without too much time on their hands labors in consideration about the existence of Bigfoot, or how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Some folks have actual, legitimate concerns to occupy their intellectual energies. By your measure, I could make up literally anything and keep making up things about it, and you'd have to labor in consideration of it. ...

Now, I will change the sentence which led to the wrong interpretation: I don't mean that ANY propositions or subjects are worthy of "labor in consideration." The new sentence: "...any and all the subjects worthy of the time and for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion."

And how, exactly, do you define "worthy of the time"? Looks like still more meaningless babble from you, back to the drawing board again!

I did qualify in the third sentence with, "the several ultimate questions". If you don't have the time to get to the third sentence, then I suggest that you NOT read my posts.

If you can't formulate a first sentence that doesn't express a dumb-as-fuck idea as you've done in your first sentence, don't expect anyone to waste their time on the third.

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.

I suspect someone who can't manage to write a sentence that says what they mean (this seems to be an persistent problem for you) should refrain from calling other people names :lol:
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#32  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 4:04 pm

TopCat wrote:
scherado wrote:I suppose that it didn't persuade. Are you persuaded?

Persuaded of what, exactly?

It's certainly not remarkable in the least that a softback would have a single break in the binding - obviously once there's a break, it's going to open there all the time, and not stress the rest of the binding much at all.

Is it remarkable that the break happened to be where your word was? Maybe a little. But I'd bet it's not more remarkable than winning the lottery, and people do that all the time.

If you buy a lottery ticket, and say "ok God, give me a sign", and you win the lottery, is that evidence of God? Of course it isn't, as you might win the lottery anyway.

Come back when you can predict unlikely things more reliably. Predict them here, in public, in advance, preferably in posts about 50 times shorter than usual. If God's giving you signs, you're obviously a Chosen One, so it shouldn't be too hard.

:coffee:

Persuaded that the, "event [is] so improbable as to have an incomprehensibly small likelihood of occurring," One thousand and nine pages, one split in binding over 25 years. If I remembered the probability methods from my two semesters of "Prob and Stats (but I don't)," then I could make a rudimentary statement of probability based upon the average number of words on (left + right) sides of this opened book:

SUM(((numOfWords(p1+p2))+(numOfWords(p3+p4))+ ... + (numOfWords(p1007+p1008))) / (1008/2).

That wouldn't get us far as it doesn't address the probability of the man on the radio using one of the words on that left/right page combination PLUS it had to be a word for which I didn't know the definition PLUS I happened to be listening.

Do you NOW follow? I wouldn't bet on it.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#33  Postby felltoearth » Dec 21, 2018 4:06 pm

laklak wrote:
scherado wrote:
laklak wrote:
scherado wrote:
Do do do you identify yourself as anything, with respect to religion?


Agnostic atheist is probably the closest.

I don't think I've seen that combination. Is that, "I don't believe but, if you press me, then, 'I don't know.'?"


I don't believe in gods (or haints or spooks or any number of supernatural fairy tales) and there's no way to prove either their existence or non-existence.

Agnosticism isn’t “I don’t know” it’s “It isn’t possible to know.” Hence your confusion about agnostic atheism. Ironically, someone calling themselves an Agnostic should know what the term means.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#34  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 4:06 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
scherado wrote:[I just discovered that I can't correct the OP's first sentence as I intended.]
...

If you can't formulate a first sentence that doesn't express a dumb-as-fuck idea as you've done in your first sentence, don't expect anyone to waste their time on the third.

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.

I suspect someone who can't manage to write a sentence that says what they mean (this seems to be an persistent problem for you) should refrain from calling other people names :lol:

You've earned the right to be COMPLETELY ignored. That means, don't expect any further replies.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#35  Postby Hermit » Dec 21, 2018 4:14 pm

scherado wrote:[I just discovered that I can't correct the OP's first sentence as I intended.]

SafeAsMilk wrote:
scherado wrote:Any self-respecting Agnostic labors in consideration of any and all the subjects for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion.

No agnostic without too much time on their hands labors in consideration about the existence of Bigfoot, or how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Some folks have actual, legitimate concerns to occupy their intellectual energies. By your measure, I could make up literally anything and keep making up things about it, and you'd have to labor in consideration of it. ...

Now, I will change the sentence which led to the wrong interpretation: I don't mean that ANY propositions or subjects are worthy of "labor in consideration." The new sentence: "...any and all the subjects worthy of the time and for which, "I don't know," is the conclusion." I did qualify in the third sentence with, "the several ultimate questions". If you don't have the time to get to the third sentence, then I suggest that you NOT read my posts.

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.

Your alteration makes no difference to what i wrote in [url=any and all the subjects]post #7[/url].
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#36  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 4:20 pm

felltoearth wrote:... Agnosticism isn’t “I don’t know” it’s “It isn’t possible to know.” ...

Says you.

I've told you how I'm using the word. If I were asked whether it's possible to know the several ultimate questions, I might respond, "I don't know." What I DO know, is that finding ANY life off Earth and within our solar system MIGHT inform us all with respect to origin of life, and probably something about the biological evolution theory. If we, eventually, convince ourselves that the solar system is devoid of life except for Earth, then we'll make the appropriate conclusion.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#37  Postby felltoearth » Dec 21, 2018 4:22 pm

scherado wrote:
felltoearth wrote:... Agnosticism isn’t “I don’t know” it’s “It isn’t possible to know.” ...

Says you.

I've told you how I'm using the word. If I were asked whether it's possible to know the several ultimate questions, I might respond, "I don't know." What I DO know, is that finding ANY life off Earth and within our solar system MIGHT inform us all with respect to origin of life, and probably something about the biological evolution theory. If we, eventually, convince ourselves that the solar system is devoid of life except for Earth, then we'll make the appropriate conclusion.

I don’t care how you are using the word. It’s contradictory to how everyone else uses it. I can understand why you are a confused person in general now.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#38  Postby SafeAsMilk » Dec 21, 2018 4:30 pm

scherado wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
scherado wrote:[I just discovered that I can't correct the OP's first sentence as I intended.]
...

If you can't formulate a first sentence that doesn't express a dumb-as-fuck idea as you've done in your first sentence, don't expect anyone to waste their time on the third.

Are you a wretched Atheist? There are types of Atheist.

I suspect someone who can't manage to write a sentence that says what they mean (this seems to be an persistent problem for you) should refrain from calling other people names :lol:

You've earned the right to be COMPLETELY ignored. That means, don't expect any further replies.

I'll survive somehow :lol:

Your intellectually dishonest hack job on my post is noted, btw.
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#39  Postby scherado » Dec 21, 2018 4:31 pm

Hermit wrote:Nobody has managed to explain to me by what criterion we can determine the point at which something becomes so unlikely that it could not possibly have occurred without the intercession of a supernatural entity. Until then an (un)likelihood, no matter how great or small the odds, will always remain just that - an (un)likelihood.

There is a name for the error one makes when thinking otherwise: Divine fallacy. It's also known, somewhat ironically, as the argument from incredulity. "X must be the result of superior, divine, alien or supernatural cause because it is unimaginable for it not to be so." Theists usually resort to it in conjunction with the fine-tuned universe.

Next.

Not so fast, oh So Secluded One: If you actually understand the several requirements for this event to have occurred, then how could you NOT be at a loss to explain? Please read this response.

Your reply read thus: "It couldn't have happened, because it's not possible." Are you an Atheist?
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Re: Challenges to an Agnostic

#40  Postby SafeAsMilk » Dec 21, 2018 4:32 pm

scherado wrote:
felltoearth wrote:... Agnosticism isn’t “I don’t know” it’s “It isn’t possible to know.” ...

Says you.

And y'know, pretty much every definition of the word :lol:
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