VonNoble

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For my intro to Philosophy class each student must write an agrument supporting one of the following three choices:

 

1.  Belief in existence of God

2.  Being Agnostic

3.  Being atheist

 

Those are the only choices.  You have to select one of those options.

 

Our supporting “evidence” will in some fashion or other be dissected in class (I am assuming like minded students will be grouped to “defend-explain” their position.)

 

I peeked ahead to the assignment following this one....where we will be assigned to take one of the other two options and repeat the exercise.  So anyway we go ...we  will need to “defend” two out of three positions.

 

Since none these necessarily are my belief.... which two would you strategically select.... I am thinking the first round pick will garner the most lively exchange?

 

Which would you pick for the first round draft?  :blink:

 

I am am leaning towards atheist.... but not sure I wanna be that busy in class discussion....this is not a moment I expect to foster lots of positivity ;) (I might be surprised)

 

Which is the easiest?    Your prediction?

Withdrawing from class :D or calling in sick that day are not options.

 

von

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, VonNoble said:

For my intro to Philosophy class each student must write an agrument supporting one of the following three choices:

 

1.  Belief in existence of God

2.  Being Agnostic

3.  Being atheist

 

Those are the only choices.  You have to select one of those options.

 

Our supporting “evidence” will in some fashion or other be dissected in class (I am assuming like minded students will be grouped to “defend-explain” their position.)

 

I peeked ahead to the assignment following this one....where we will be assigned to take one of the other two options and repeat the exercise.  So anyway we go ...we  will need to “defend” two out of three positions.

 

Since none these necessarily are my belief.... which two would you strategically select.... I am thinking the first round pick will garner the most lively exchange?

 

Which would you pick for the first round draft?  :blink:

 

I am am leaning towards atheist.... but not sure I wanna be that busy in class discussion....this is not a moment I expect to foster lots of positivity ;) (I might be surprised)

 

Which is the easiest?    Your prediction?

Withdrawing from class :D or calling in sick that day are not options.

 

von

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to take the Atheist position, keep it simple.  An Atheist is someone who has one less god than a Monotheist.  

 

The Agnostic position is also simple.  All you have to do is avoid complications.

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22 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

If you want to take the Atheist position, keep it simple.  An Atheist is someone who has one less god than a Monotheist.  

 

The Agnostic position is also simple.  All you have to do is avoid complications.

Avoid complications? A little difficult with the position of "I don't know". ;)

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21 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

If you want to take the Atheist position, keep it simple.  An Atheist is someone who has one less god than a Monotheist.  

 

The Agnostic position is also simple.  All you have to do is avoid complications.

I do appreciate the homework assist-BIG TIME -on this one.

 

I think your definition for atheist will help to avoid much of the muck.... so thank you for that too.   

 

Agnostic..... is the potential complication in a murkey definition or is there some other issue I should include I. My opening perimeter to avoid messiness? 

 

von

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1 minute ago, Key said:

Avoid complications? A little difficult with the position of "I don't know". ;)

That was my first reaction to Agnostic as well...

 

it seemed to open me up as a target to both of the other two positions.... do not a strategic high ground.... I am wondering if using it for the second round will give me a better insight how to manage the i can’t  decide snowball.

 

Von

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6 minutes ago, Key said:

Avoid complications? A little difficult with the position of "I don't know". ;)

 

To the contrary.  We have no objective, verifiable facts about God.  God might exist.  God might not exist.  In the absence of reliable information, we don't "know".  Simple.

 

In addition, the Agnostic does not need to define God.  That headache goes to the believer.  Without a definition for God, what is the believer even asserting?  All that heat over something that can't be defined.  "I don't know" is so easy.  

 

 

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20 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

I do appreciate the homework assist-BIG TIME -on this one.

 

I think your definition for atheist will help to avoid much of the muck.... so thank you for that too.   

 

Agnostic..... is the potential complication in a murkey definition or is there some other issue I should include I. My opening perimeter to avoid messiness? 

 

von

 

 

The Agnostic position and the Atheist position are similar, but there is nuance.

 

Atheism is about not believing.

 

Agnosticism is about not knowing.

 

It is possible to combine them with Agnostic Atheism.  "I don't know and I don't believe."

 

Belief is another word for opinion.  Opinions can't be argued to any purpose.  I can have a serious discussion about what I know and how I know it.  

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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There is an argument that you might as well prepare for.  The believer will insist on talking about "objective morality".  As in -- How do you know that murder is wrong?  Because God said it.

 

Keep your response simple.  God did not say it.  Scripture said it.  People produced Scripture.  People also produced morals.  

 

The believer will insist that we need God to be good.

 

An argument based on need is irrelevant.  I need to be free of Arthritis.  That's not how reality works.  

 

:mellow:

 

 

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There is one more thought I have for you -- for now.

 

Even if the believer manages to prove that there is "a god" -- by no means certain -- it remains to be proven that it's "their" God.    

 

 

Alright:  A bonus question.  The believer will challenge you.  "What would it take to convince you that God exists?"  

 

The answer is simple.  "I don't know -- but God would know -- and it hasn't happened."

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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29 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

The Agnostic position and the Atheist position are similar, but there is nuance.

 

Atheism is about not believing.

 

Agnosticism is about not knowing.

 

It is possible to combine them with Agnostic Atheism.  "I don't know and I don't believe."

 

Belief is another word for opinion.  Opinions can't be argued to any purpose.  I can have a serious discussion about what I know and how I know it.  

 

 

ALL OF THIS IS VERY HELPFUL....and lowering my apprehension in preparing for this assignment.     We have some time befor it is due so I wanted to avoid engaging in as much friction as possible.

 

Setting perimeters that we’re not flimsy seemed daunting....far less so now...so again, my thanks

von

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2 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

There is one more thought I have for you -- for now.

 

Even if the believer manages to prove that there is "a god" -- by no means certain -- it remains to be proven that it's "their" God.    

:thumbu:

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Beware of a basic debater's trick.  Do not let your opponent define your position for you.

 

The Atheist position is that there is no valid reason -- no good evidence -- no proof that God exists.

 

The believer will attempt to put words into your mouth.  He will insist that your position is that God does not exist.

 

No.  You don't believe because there is no reason to believe.

 

It is for the person making the assertion to provide the evidence.  If you maintain only that you don't believe, you are not making assertions -- other than nonbelief.  If you let your opponent define your position that --  "There is no God" -- you have been tricked into making an assertion and are now responsible for proof.  A bad situation because you can not prove a negative.

 

I do not believe that there are green elephants on Mars.  There is no reason to believe such a thing.  I can't prove it.  For all I know, there are green elephants in Mars.  It seems improbable.  

 

I do not believe that God exists.  There is nor reason to believe such a thing.  I can't prove it.  For all I know, God does exist.  It seems improbable.

 

That is all you need to establish.  That you don't believe due to lack of evidence.  

 

It's worth repeating -- even if the believer proves that a god exists -- Good luck with that -- it still remains to be established that it's their God   

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Spiritual things can not be proven with scientific tools.

Science can not be proven with spiritual tools.

It's kind of like me asking you to measure a football field with a measuring cup or how much water is in a pool with a geiger counter.

It just can't be done.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

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1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

That was my first reaction to Agnostic as well...

 

it seemed to open me up as a target to both of the other two positions.... do not a strategic high ground.... I am wondering if using it for the second round will give me a better insight how to manage the i can’t  decide snowball.

 

Von

 

The Agnostic point is not deciding.  It's knowing Deciding without knowing is not reasonable.

 

In science, when we don't know something -- we don't decide.  We wait for more information.

 

Further -- we don't need to "decide".  In the end, God either is or is not.  Belief is irrelevant.  Disbelief is irrelevant.  Neither changes anything.  We don't know.  There are no facts.

 

Now we come to nuance.  The Agnostic does not "know" -- but can still doubt.  All crows are black, until we find a white crow.

 

Without any objective facts about God's existence -- God's existence seems improbable.  Not impossible.  Unlikely.  

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Pastor Dave said:

Spiritual things can not be proven with scientific tools.

Science can not be proven with spiritual tools.

It's kind of like me asking you to measure a football field with a measuring cup or how much water is in a pool with a geiger counter.

It just can't be done.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

 

I understand that.  Von has to make two presentations of a possible  three positions.  Perhaps you could help him prepare for the belief position?  

 

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I would like to offer the following definition, provided by Google...

ag·nos·tic
aɡˈnästik/
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

Of the three positions, agnosticism has the widest range of potential meaning. To defend a position will require defending your definitions of your terms.

With all the positions, you will need a working definition of god or Gods, even if only "a thing claimed to exist by others."

With atheism, you have to differentiate between lack of belief that a proposition is true, and belief that a proposition is untrue. That distinction causes atheism to mean different things to different people, and will shape how you need to defend the position.

With agnosticism, you have to get into the difference between "I don't know" and "I can't know." Once again, that distinction forms how you have to build your defense.

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Just so you know, the simplest defense of atheism (defined as active disbelief) and belief in God is-

"I have a still small voice inside me that tells me it is so. That voice has never steered me wrong, and I have seen no proof it is wrong about this. So, for now, I believe it."

Edited by mererdog

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I am very grateful for the assistance!!!!

 

i am also thankful ....I did not wait to start developing a position.    This is the first assignment that I can appreciate .... where I will have to really think through the variables (rather that regurgitate rote info) or formulas if little value outside of the field of Philosophy.    Not useless in any way... just not as applicable in my life at this juncture.

 

Knowing (sort of) the constructs (basic) of argument ..... there is FAR mor practical information here.... to help me build a position I can present with some degree of confidence.

 

As an aside I was advised NOT TO seek help from our assigned tutor.... someone who is a Philosophy major suggested I might not get neutral advise as the tutor has a low opinion of atheist positions.

 

Making me double thankful I had a safe place to explore this aspect of class.  All of you assisting me should double your hourly rates:cool:

 

(Seriouly thank you.... it is less about the grade and more about just wanting to do a decent construct...you know ....like not embarrass myself.)

 

von

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If you are willing to assist yet again.....

 

These two statements from our text have me flummoxed.  

 

1.  Believing is necessary for knowing something is true.

 

2.  Knowledge presupposes belief.

 

Aren’t these two “givens” sort of at odds ?

:help:

 

i am am going to reserve seats in the front row @ graduation for FORUM members if I opt to go for another degree...:D

von

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I would think that you would first argue your own position. If you believe in a G/god, then argue for such a G/god. If you don't believe there is a G/god, then argue that. If you don't know then choose that position. Later, you will have heard the arguments against your position and will be better equipped to take on one of the other positions? Best to start with what you think you know. There will be many who will try to let you know that you are wrong.

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