VonNoble

Best label for this assignment

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

 

 

It's nuance.  Not all that different.

 

Atheist:  I have no reason to believe that God exists -- so I don't believe.

 

Agnostic:  I have no facts about God -- so I don't know.

 

Agnostic Atheist:  I don't know and I don't believe.  (The teacher gave you three choices.  Did she say that you couldn't combine them?)

 

Agnostic Theist:  I don't know, but I choose to believe.

 

:mellow:

 

 

I guess that fall into the realm of she did not say we could not blend the choices....nor did she say we could not originate our own choices (unless THESE ARE YOUR THREE CHOICES counts as an instruction to pick ONLY one of these) ......which follows she did not (clearly) (specifically) give nor withhold permission (about as definitive  as everything else in this class.)  :lol:

 

von

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

 

Pay attention to the fact that the given agnostic position is not defined with "I don't know" but with "Nobody can know." That is important. It probably requires the most complicated defense.

Astute advise. Thank you. 

I am encouraged via your notations that this might be more about "knowledge" than faith.   It makes it easier to be objective in the construct. 

 

von

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4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Okay.... I can follow all of that....

 

If no evidence ....than which thing occurs..... no evidence equals no PROOF.... so no supreme being = atheist

 

OR...no proof.... can’t know = agnostic

 

Which strikes you as more correct?  Of a better position to be in on “cross examination?” 

 

...and thanks

 

von

the best position is the one you decide is right, ability to defend is irrelavent.  for me, person a tells me they had a tuna sandwich for lunch and i believe them.  its not a bizarre claim and doesnt really affect me either way.  if same person insists they were soundly dead and got better after a few days, i want proof.  if they don't provide it, i see no reason to believe OR accept i don't know as a valid answer.  i am not agnostic about little green men who are really good at hiding living on the moon, either.  i dont believe in them, flat out.

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We are now engaged in anticipating possible challenges.

 

Atheists are told that any God that they could understand, wouldn't be God.

Atheists are told that the Super Natural can't be proven by Natural means.

Atheists are told to prove that there is no God.

Atheists are told to define the God that they don't believe in.

 

Agnostics are told that just because they don't know -- does not mean that nobody knows.

Agnostics are told to grow a spine and take a stand.

 

Atheists and Agnostics are both asked what they would accept as proof.

 

You might consider which  varieties of crap,  that you are willing or able to cope with.  Either way, you will encounter the God of the gaps.

 

Why is there something  instead of nothing?

Everything has a cause.  What caused the Universe?

If people came from monkeys; why are there still monkeys?  

If there is no God -- how do you know right from wrong?

How can you be good without God?

 

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When is it reasonable to believe in something you have not seen? When is it reasonable to believe that somethimg you have not seen does not exist? When is it reasonable to believe that a truth cannot be determined? If we adopt a habit of believing when it is unreasonable to do so, what dangers do we face? Is it better to unreasonably believe there is no monster in the woods than to unreasonably believe there is? Is it better to gain hope for a bad reason than to lose hope for a bad reason?

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15 minutes ago, mererdog said:

When is it reasonable to believe in something you have not seen? When is it reasonable to believe that somethimg you have not seen does not exist? When is it reasonable to believe that a truth cannot be determined? If we adopt a habit of believing when it is unreasonable to do so, what dangers do we face? Is it better to unreasonably believe there is no monster in the woods than to unreasonably believe there is? Is it better to gain hope for a bad reason than to lose hope for a bad reason?

 

God as the monster in the woods?  It is time to face our fears.   

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1 hour ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

God as the monster in the woods?  It is time to face our fears. 

It goes beyond that. This isnt really about God. It is about knowledge. Epistemology, not theology. 

 

The same things that determine whether a belief in God is justified determine whether a belief in dark matter is justified. The same things that determine whether it is reasonable to believe that God is not real determine whether it is reasonable to determine that someone is innocent of murder. 

 

Sometimes, the monster in the woods is real. You know, lions and tigers and bears, oh my.  Sometimes, its metaphorical, because the guy next door may be cooking meth, the restaurant up the road may be serving e. coli, and Vesuvius may be about to blow. The world is full of dangers neither of us have seen. The world is also full of liars and fools. So having some practice at sussing out the truth is useful.

Edited by mererdog

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

We are now engaged in anticipating possible challenges.

 

Atheists are told that any God that they could understand, wouldn't be God.

Atheists are told that the Super Natural can't be proven by Natural means.

Atheists are told to prove that there is no God.

Atheists are told to define the God that they don't believe in.

 

Agnostics are told that just because they don't know -- does not mean that nobody knows.

Agnostics are told to grow a spine and take a stand.

 

Atheists and Agnostics are both asked what they would accept as proof.

 

You might consider which  varieties of crap,  that you are willing or able to cope with.  Either way, you will encounter the God of the gaps.

 

Why is there something  instead of nothing?

Everything has a cause.  What caused the Universe?

If people came from monkeys; why are there still monkeys?  

If there is no God -- how do you know right from wrong?

How can you be good without God?

 

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be argued (and has been in another thread) that one doesn't need a God to know right from wrong anymore than they need one to know what feels good or bad. Which, by the way, can also be an argument for the question that came after.

As for the monkeys, simply put, not all species had evolved, obviously.

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1 hour ago, Key said:

It can be argued (and has been in another thread) that one doesn't need a God to know right from wrong anymore than they need one to know what feels good or bad. Which, by the way, can also be an argument for the question that came after.

As for the monkeys, simply put, not all species had evolved, obviously.

 

This is some of the silliness that I have encountered.  The same questions keep coming up.  

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

It goes beyond that. This isnt really about God. It is about knowledge. Epistemology, not theology. 

 

The same things that determine whether a belief in God is justified determine whether a belief in dark matter is justified. The same things that determine whether it is reasonable to believe that God is not real determine whether it is reasonable to determine that someone is innocent of murder. 

 

Sometimes, the monster in the woods is real. You know, lions and tigers and bears, oh my.  Sometimes, its metaphorical, because the guy next door may be cooking meth, the restaurant up the road may be serving e. coli, and Vesuvius may be about to blow. The world is full of dangers neither of us have seen. The world is also full of liars and fools. So having some practice at sussing out the truth is useful.

 

It is interesting that you would pick the example of dark matter.  This is an interesting idea, which might turn out to be true.  As yet, it is unproven.  Much like the idea of God.  I do not believe in dark matter.  I also don't disbelieve in dark matter.  I'm waiting for the facts to emerge.  There's no hurry.  I can wait.   It is the Agnostic Way.  The way of living with uncertainty.  The way of knowing that I don't know.  That I may never know, but I might.  

 

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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First, Thanks to all for keeping me on track on this assignment! 

 

Second - thanks for the tip to check out U-Tube...I whiled away a good chunk of time watching a wide array of information regarding this topic.  All of it informative to me.   I guess there was a LARGE swath of things I did not know about atheists and agnostics.   Some of the interviews and presentations were witty, clever and a couple downright humorous. 

 

I am going with the Agnostic Atheist label for round one (thanks for casting your votes)  :D   (even though it was not officially designated as an option) ....it seemed the closest fit ...that I felt i might have a shot to explain.    In reality I still do not really have an interest in any of these labels but since I have to pick one to get through this assignment - that seems the best fit. 

 

There were SPLENDID presentations explaining without rancor ....any number of reasons a person might choose any option.  

I am actually making flashcards to prep for the class discussion.   I might not think to swiftly on my feet without a bit of advance work there. 

 

My position essentially centers on a MUCH abbreviated scale of nicely knitted concept from Dr. Dawkins.   He managed to neatly  weave everyone into "NONE OF US KNOWS."  

 

That being the opening perimeter on my position....we see commonality since none of us knows

 

 Some can choose to BELIEVE in a Supreme Being  and live a happy moral life.  

Some just leave it at the opening gambit - we don't know ...and we too can have a happy moral life.   

 

The counter position would be (if we get to choose)... that other than the most extreme fringes of Deism or atheism - the vast majority of humans being need not make any of this.... a barrier. 

 

i am still working on it - but this is the sort of rough draft of where I am so far.   I plan on tweaking this it is NOT set.   It is a rather illusive and  paradoxical and dynamic pack of thoughts.    At least, now, after seeing the solid thinking on this thread -  whatever happens I don't feel a need to do battle.

 

 All of this helped me to see it as just one more exercise in growing up and sorting things out in my heard.    This seems to be a simple position.   A potentially inclusive position.  It is fine if others don't agree.  It has always been a puzzle to me to understand the need for rightness on this topic.   No one is, actually, right when I think about it.  (including me.)   It is sort of an continuous evolution lasting a lifetime maybe. 

 

 Maybe  nothing spiritual should end in heated conflict.....

 

von

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3 hours ago, VonNoble said:

First, Thanks to all for keeping me on track on this assignment! 

 

Second - thanks for the tip to check out U-Tube...I whiled away a good chunk of time watching a wide array of information regarding this topic.  All of it informative to me.   I guess there was a LARGE swath of things I did not know about atheists and agnostics.   Some of the interviews and presentations were witty, clever and a couple downright humorous. 

 

I am going with the Agnostic Atheist label for round one (thanks for casting your votes)  :D   (even though it was not officially designated as an option) ....it seemed the closest fit ...that I felt i might have a shot to explain.    In reality I still do not really have an interest in any of these labels but since I have to pick one to get through this assignment - that seems the best fit. 

 

There were SPLENDID presentations explaining without rancor ....any number of reasons a person might choose any option.  

I am actually making flashcards to prep for the class discussion.   I might not think to swiftly on my feet without a bit of advance work there. 

 

My position essentially centers on a MUCH abbreviated scale of nicely knitted concept from Dr. Dawkins.   He managed to neatly  weave everyone into "NONE OF US KNOWS."  

 

That being the opening perimeter on my position....we see commonality since none of us knows

 

 Some can choose to BELIEVE in a Supreme Being  and live a happy moral life.  

Some just leave it at the opening gambit - we don't know ...and we too can have a happy moral life.   

 

The counter position would be (if we get to choose)... that other than the most extreme fringes of Deism or atheism - the vast majority of humans being need not make any of this.... a barrier. 

 

i am still working on it - but this is the sort of rough draft of where I am so far.   I plan on tweaking this it is NOT set.   It is a rather illusive and  paradoxical and dynamic pack of thoughts.    At least, now, after seeing the solid thinking on this thread -  whatever happens I don't feel a need to do battle.

 

 All of this helped me to see it as just one more exercise in growing up and sorting things out in my heard.    This seems to be a simple position.   A potentially inclusive position.  It is fine if others don't agree.  It has always been a puzzle to me to understand the need for rightness on this topic.   No one is, actually, right when I think about it.  (including me.)   It is sort of an continuous evolution lasting a lifetime maybe. 

 

 Maybe  nothing spiritual should end in heated conflict.....

 

von

 

Which brings us to Monotheism.  The gift that keeps on giving.  Consider the Holy Wars over Jerusalem -- the world's biggest outdoor lunatic asylum.    :rolleyes:

 

You know -- the city of Peace.     

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 2/28/2018 at 5:50 AM, 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.

 

You know...I had seen you post this before but I have to admit I did not fully appreciate it until today.

AFTER a few days of watching some stellar presenters on U-Tube....I finally heard the full analogy and it was delivered calmly and reasonably. 

 

The speaker identified there were (he gave a specific number close to 3,000) verifiable god/Gods in the course of humankind.   Today there are, if each having worshipers is a criteria - there are over 2,000 with active groups of faithful.   

 

He asked the audience to just count the ones THEY personally had head of ....including the gods/Gods of major religions in the world today and the audience, collectively, could name more than two dozen.   (one Hindu chap could list more than that by himself) but they settled on two dozen as an agreeable number. 

 

There was also a consensus there would always be those who had faith and those who did not.  So for the next few minutes they would table any discussion of PROVING the existence of God (or disproving it)....

 

Then he said if for a moment - just one moment the group could agree that no one knows.....and EVERYONE agrees it is possible that God DOES exist - for that moment- the entire room is agnostic. That is the one common label that would fit the group for that one minute. 

 

When asked - those believing right now in ONLY ONE GOD to raise their hands.  He then noted that they, in fact - were atheists regarding the other 23 God's written on the overhead.  They smiled wryly but admitted that they did not believe the other gods existed so they were indeed atheists regarding (23) gods.   The speaker then said - - - the line above.  And I am an atheist to just one more than you.   

 

It was actually interesting to watch the two groups find common ground.   AFTER hearing that one time - I saw several similar moments and find it quite an eye opener.     I heard it before but did not fully understand it ...I guess i needed an longer version to connect the dots.   Not the first time I was slow on the uptake.  :lol:  Won't  be the last either. 

 

But it is quite comforting to see that there is not an uncrossable divide there. 

 

Other observations?

 

von

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If you want a simple uncomplicated position -- that is easy to defend -- I think Agnostic is the easiest.

 

Q.  Prove to me that God doesn't exist.

 

A.  The non-existence of God might not be the case.

 

Q.  Then you do believe in God.

 

A.  The existence of God might not be the case.

 

 

The Atheist position is also easy -- if you don't make things complicated.

 

Q.  Prove there is no God.

 

A.  Prove there are no Unicorns.

 

Q.  I believe in God.

 

A.  Good for you.  Enjoy.  

 

 

My personal favorite is Apathetic Agnosticism.  "We don't know and we don't care."

 

Q.  But you must care.

 

A.  I must?  Why must I?

 

Q.  It's important.

 

A.  Not to me.  

 

Q.  You should pray.

 

A.  You want me to talk to your invisible friend?  

 

Q.  You should pray that God show you the truth.

 

A.  Did you ever write a letter to Santa?  You know -- just in case?

 

 

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14 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Other observations?

To say that no one knows is to project our limitations onto others. It assumes that we are able to concieve of every possible scenario wherein someone could obtain knowledge- that the limits of reality cannot extend beyond the limits of our imagination. It is the "I cannot see it, therefore it does not exist" argument- an argument that deifies blindness.

When we do not know, we do not know why we do not know. When we do not know why we do not know, we do not see how someone else could know. 

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

To say that no one knows is to project our limitations onto others. It assumes that we are able to concieve of every possible scenario wherein someone could obtain knowledge- that the limits of reality cannot extend beyond the limits of our imagination. It is the "I cannot see it, therefore it does not exist" argument- an argument that deifies blindness.

When we do not know, we do not know why we do not know. When we do not know why we do not know, we do not see how someone else could know. 

 

The bane of religious/spiritual discourse, is the level of fraud, bull crap, deception and humbug.  If someone wishes to assert that they know about God -- let them provide the evidence.  An assertion made without evidence, can be ignored without evidence.

 

Nothing brings out the stupid and cray in people, quite like religion.  Anybody can claim anything in these matters.  That does not mean that it has to be taken seriously.  

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

To say that no one knows is to project our limitations onto others. It assumes that we are able to concieve of every possible scenario wherein someone could obtain knowledge- that the limits of reality cannot extend beyond the limits of our imagination. It is the "I cannot see it, therefore it does not exist" argument- an argument that deifies blindness.

When we do not know, we do not know why we do not know. When we do not know why we do not know, we do not see how someone else could know. 

True enough.   Yet moving from a thought problem to a practical application. 

Where do we stick the landing (in general) - not me specifically - but any of us - where is the line between falling into the general patterns of social norms (right amount of flexible without being useless).....and being an extremist. 

 

Is it always in the eye of the other guy? 

Does it only matter how we see ourselves.   

 

We all know generalities are the bane of conversation far too often as it deteriorates.

Too - for some even a two-sided box is too restrictive. 

In hearing another person and realizing the general perception I suspect a majority would conclude...It got me thinking

about not just me - but all people.  Do we factor in the appearances we project when we share our opinions. 

 

Does drawing a line limit you?  Does failing to draw a line limit you?

Is the correct average 50%.

 

There is sort of no way to assess and process without moving back and forth between those two sides which puts most of us in gray most of the time.  Or does it?  

 

By the way - of no importance other than fun -  apparently - I learned  - we get to choose if we wanna get to spell it grEy or grAy...I like those words. Too few of them.  I like to choose it either way - which makes gray a fun word in my view.   Just threw that in for fun facts and things I am getting a tickle out of this morning :D

von

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

 

The bane of religious/spiritual discourse, is the level of fraud, bull crap, deception and humbug.  If someone wishes to assert that they know about God -- let them provide the evidence.  An assertion made without evidence, can be ignored without evidence.

 

Nothing brings out the stupid and cray in people, quite like religion.  Anybody can claim anything in these matters.  That does not mean that it has to be taken seriously.  

i can agree with that, except to add that the possibility exists that a person incapable or unable to prove their claim is not necessarily false, simply not believable.

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15 hours ago, VonNoble said:

 

You know...I had seen you post this before but I have to admit I did not fully appreciate it until today.

AFTER a few days of watching some stellar presenters on U-Tube....I finally heard the full analogy and it was delivered calmly and reasonably. 

 

The speaker identified there were (he gave a specific number close to 3,000) verifiable god/Gods in the course of humankind.   Today there are, if each having worshipers is a criteria - there are over 2,000 with active groups of faithful.   

 

He asked the audience to just count the ones THEY personally had head of ....including the gods/Gods of major religions in the world today and the audience, collectively, could name more than two dozen.   (one Hindu chap could list more than that by himself) but they settled on two dozen as an agreeable number. 

 

There was also a consensus there would always be those who had faith and those who did not.  So for the next few minutes they would table any discussion of PROVING the existence of God (or disproving it)....

 

Then he said if for a moment - just one moment the group could agree that no one knows.....and EVERYONE agrees it is possible that God DOES exist - for that moment- the entire room is agnostic. That is the one common label that would fit the group for that one minute. 

 

When asked - those believing right now in ONLY ONE GOD to raise their hands.  He then noted that they, in fact - were atheists regarding the other 23 God's written on the overhead.  They smiled wryly but admitted that they did not believe the other gods existed so they were indeed atheists regarding (23) gods.   The speaker then said - - - the line above.  And I am an atheist to just one more than you.   

 

It was actually interesting to watch the two groups find common ground.   AFTER hearing that one time - I saw several similar moments and find it quite an eye opener.     I heard it before but did not fully understand it ...I guess i needed an longer version to connect the dots.   Not the first time I was slow on the uptake.  :lol:  Won't  be the last either. 

 

But it is quite comforting to see that there is not an uncrossable divide there. 

 

Other observations?

 

von

 

 

Often times, the pious like to define Atheists.  In the view of the true believer -- an Atheist is someone who asserts that God does not exist.  The claim is further made that since Atheists are asserting that God does not exist -- the Atheist must back up this assertion by proving that God does not exist.

 

No.  The only thing an Atheist is asserting, is that he does not believe.

 

:mellow:

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21 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

i can agree with that, except to add that the possibility exists that a person incapable or unable to prove their claim is not necessarily false, simply not believable.

 

I want a sharp focus on the issue.  meredog -- he does insist on the small M -- is insisting that "nobody knows" is a form of blindness.  That is the issue that I want a narrow focus on.  I am disagreeing with meredog on this one narrow point.

 

It is my opinion that "Knowing" is objective.  If someone wishes to assert "Knowing" about God -- "Knowledge" of God -- this is different from belief and needs something objective to back it up.  Belief about God does not need proof.  Knowledge about God does need proof.  IMO

 

:mellow:

 

Your point is taken.

 

:mellow:

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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