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Let’s Have a Dialog—ie., a Conversation, not a debate—About the god-hypothesis
Posted: 30 June 2012 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 211 ]
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It’s not enough to say-“Because we can’t be sure!” No- give me some reasoning behind your reservation.  Please.
Some examples would be:  “The universe is complicated, and we just don’t really know how it all started.” or….“How could almost 7 billion people be wrong?  There must be something behind this age old tradition.” or…“The idea of god could be beyond what we magine it to be, it could be an actual natural force….”

What part of this isn’t understandable?  When we speak of probabilities, we understand that there is a notion, a small mote at least of a basis of probability of confirmation.  People can guess to the probability of other life in the universe.  There is a basis for this “agnosticism”.(I won’t bother enumerating.)
Nobody hypothesises about a flying teapot in space!  If they did, I imagine they could give a reasoned basis for their hypothesis. And I would recognize it.
So provide an answer to my italicized request. It wasn’t a rhetorical request, thank you.
Give me the small mote of a reason why you are reserving a spot for god in your probability factor.
And GdB, you make me laugh with your veiled criticisms of semantics and labeling.  Your contributions to the free-will discussion are a large tome in the fetid annals of banal labeling.
I pride myself in trying to be non-compartmentalist.  That would include getting caught up in labels and semantics.
Every time this debate crops up, it’s always someone on the “agnostic” side who initiates it.  Then those of us who care have to toil over explanations of the varying shades of faith.  This includes all the geeks and nerds whose main basis for ideology/science consists of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, and other such crap that opens the minds of the suggestible a little too far! Everyone needs some higher answer. 
That’s it really, humans need to find some higher meaning.
So list your reasons for holding on to the possibilty of a god.  Use my examples as a helpful starting point.

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Posted: 30 June 2012 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 212 ]
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mid atlantic - 30 June 2012 04:35 PM

Lennon was actually not very decent in real life; He was a flaming hypocrite, liar, misogynist, and he was easily swayed by woo. ... And imagination is not a “spiritual force”.

I readily admit, MA, that I know little about Lennon’s life. I just happen to like some—not all—of the music, and the poetry.

BTW, What about the rest of The Beatles group? Feel free to tell us more, and the source of your information. And you say

And imagination is not a “spiritual force”

If not, then what is it? What about hallucinations? In your opinion, are they reality-based?

[ Edited: 30 June 2012 08:57 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 30 June 2012 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 213 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 June 2012 08:51 PM

And GdB, you make me laugh with your veiled criticisms of semantics and labeling.  Your contributions to the free-will discussion are a large tome in the fetid annals of banal labeling.

Cut your tone down, VYAZMA.

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Posted: 30 June 2012 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 214 ]
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RevLGKing - 30 June 2012 08:53 PM
mid atlantic - 30 June 2012 04:35 PM

Lennon was actually not very decent in real life; He was a flaming hypocrite, liar, misogynist, and he was easily swayed by woo. ... And imagination is not a “spiritual force”.

I readily admit, MA, that I know little about Lennon’s life. I just happen to like some—not all—of the music, and the poetry.

BTW, What about the rest of The Beatles group? Feel free to tell us more, and the source of your information. And you say

And imagination is not a “spiritual force”

If not, then what is it? What about hallucinations? In your opinion, are they reality-based?

I like some of his music also, most biographies of him and the Beatles portray a different guy than he claimed to be.  This was a good book - http://www.amazon.com/The-Beatles-Biography-Bob-Spitz/dp/0316013315/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341122555&sr=1-1&keywords=beatles+bob+spitz

This one was good too - http://www.amazon.com/Magical-Mystery-Tours-Life-Beatles/dp/0312330448/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341122975&sr=1-1&keywords=tony+bramwell

Imagination is a mental activity, driven by rudimentary sensory input and memory.  Hallucinations are most definitely reality based, as they are produced by biology.

http://behavenet.com/hallucination

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Posted: 01 July 2012 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 215 ]
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mid atlantic - 30 June 2012 11:21 PM

... Imagination is a mental activity, driven by rudimentary sensory input and memory.  Hallucinations are most definitely reality based, as they are produced by biology.

http://behavenet.com/hallucination

I realize that this is perhaps an over-simplification: But your comments fit in with what I like to call the three components of my humanity. I call them somatic, psychosomatic and pneuma-psychosomatic.

SOMATIC FACTOR
At conception, I was strictly a one-celled somatic being made up of the genes, etc., which I inherited from my parents, their parents and all my parents before that.

PSYCHO-SOMATIC FACTOR
All that was taught to me and done to me by my environment—physically, mentally and socially (spiritually)—by my parents, teachers and others, following my conception.

PNEUMA-PSYCHOSOAMTIC FACTOR
The input that I chose put in to the mix of who I happen to be at the moment I became aware that I am aware and could honestly say, “I am, therefore, I have the power to think, to learn, to know, to will and to take action and do what I feel I ought to do.

[ Edited: 01 July 2012 02:58 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 01 July 2012 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 216 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 June 2012 08:51 PM

It’s not enough to say-“Because we can’t be sure!” No- give me some reasoning behind your reservation.  Please.
Some examples would be:  “The universe is complicated, and we just don’t really know how it all started.” or….“How could almost 7 billion people be wrong?  There must be something behind this age old tradition.” or…“The idea of god could be beyond what we magine it to be, it could be an actual natural force….”

What part of this isn’t understandable?  When we speak of probabilities, we understand that there is a notion, a small mote at least of a basis of probability of confirmation.  People can guess to the probability of other life in the universe.  There is a basis for this “agnosticism”.(I won’t bother enumerating.)
Nobody hypothesises about a flying teapot in space!  If they did, I imagine they could give a reasoned basis for their hypothesis. And I would recognize it.
So provide an answer to my italicized request. It wasn’t a rhetorical request, thank you.
Give me the small mote of a reason why you are reserving a spot for god in your probability factor.
And GdB, you make me laugh with your veiled criticisms of semantics and labeling.  Your contributions to the free-will discussion are a large tome in the fetid annals of banal labeling.
I pride myself in trying to be non-compartmentalist.  That would include getting caught up in labels and semantics.
Every time this debate crops up, it’s always someone on the “agnostic” side who initiates it.  Then those of us who care have to toil over explanations of the varying shades of faith.  This includes all the geeks and nerds whose main basis for ideology/science consists of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, and other such crap that opens the minds of the suggestible a little too far! Everyone needs some higher answer. 
That’s it really, humans need to find some higher meaning.
So list your reasons for holding on to the possibilty of a god.  Use my examples as a helpful starting point.

Vyazma, I get the feeling from your agitation that others have gone over this with you as well.  What did they say?  I don’t want to spend too much time going over what has to be well-worked ground.  I also think you are going off on a tear without trying to understand what people have written.  For example your reference to the agnostic “side” indicates you still think this is about agnosticism being some sort of alternative to atheism.  It’s not.  Agnosticism is an alternative only to gnosticism

So list your reasons for holding on to the possibilty of a god.  Use my examples as a helpful starting point.
I do appreciate your helpful examples.  I would not have been able to address this point without them smirk . Now, your phrasing here makes me uneasy.  I don’t “hold on to” the possibility of a god.  I simply acknowledge that evidence demonstrating the existence of god is theoretically possible.  I also acknowledge the theoretical possibility that I might indeed be insane or in the Matrix.  I acknowledge the theoretical possibility that God actually created the universe last Thursday and just made it seem really old.  BUT…until evidence actually shows up demonstrating that is the case I see no reason to concern myself with those possibilities, nor do I have any burden of proof. 

I am sure the provisionality of scientific knowledge has been gone over repeatedly here.  But as a quickie take a look at the Pharyngula link on Dawkin’s agnosticism I posted earlier.  Here it is again <A Telegraph poll of remarkable inanity

Does this clarify things?  Because I am not sure what to do if it doesn’t.

As an aside, I realise you consider yourself above “labeling” (i.e. using words for concepts), but you can’t communicate rationally with others if you don’t agree on terms, and sometimes that means some tiresome legwork.

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Posted: 01 July 2012 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 217 ]
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Apxeo,

If you are agnostic about the existence of Australia, then I accept that your agnosticism when it comes to God is reasonable; not that either of those examples are reasonable to me. In both cases the probability equals “anything is possible” and no more. If that’s indeed what you believe, you may be the only true agnostic I know. The rest of “agnostics” are just closet theist without even knowing it.  grin

[ Edited: 01 July 2012 10:39 AM by George ]
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Posted: 01 July 2012 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 218 ]
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I pointed this out earlier, but parenthetically.  May be I should have been more emphatic.  The Australia example isn’t really germane.  Having knowledge that Australia exists does not put you in the tricky position of proving that something DOESN’T exist.  A more apt example given the topic would be Lemuria or Atlantis.

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Posted: 01 July 2012 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 219 ]
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Quoting GdB:

Cut your tone down, VYAZMA.

That was quite unnecessary, GdB.  If you read the variety of tones in the rest of this and related threads, you’ll see that your criticism was invalid.

Quoting George:

The rest of “agnostics” are just closet theist without even knowing it.

I think a fair number of them are just hooked on “scientific” thinking, or are a bit confused about the axiom of “innocent until proved guilty”.  They may think it’s up to the non-believer to prove the non-existence of any god rather than the other way round.

Occam

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Posted: 01 July 2012 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 220 ]
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Apxeo - 01 July 2012 12:37 PM

I pointed this out earlier, but parenthetically.  May be I should have been more emphatic.  The Australia example isn’t really germane.  Having knowledge that Australia exists does not put you in the tricky position of proving that something DOESN’T exist.  A more apt example given the topic would be Lemuria or Atlantis.

I can prove that God doesn’t exist as well as I can prove that Australia does exist. Your capital letters don’t scare me at all.  grin

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Posted: 01 July 2012 09:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 221 ]
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Apxeo-

  I simply acknowledge that evidence demonstrating the existence of god is theoretically possible.  I also acknowledge the theoretical possibility that I might indeed be insane or in the Matrix.  I acknowledge the theoretical possibility that God actually created the universe last Thursday and just made it seem really old.  BUT…until evidence actually shows up demonstrating that is the case I see no reason to concern myself with those possibilities, nor do I have any burden of proof. 

Really?  And why should I seriously consider further discussion with you? 
I would never think it’s possible that I’m in the matrix.
Yes, we’ve been through this topic before-a few times.
Your argument rests on what I would call, “cutesy science”.  I pared down your post to the relevant item.  Another cutesy assertion that their could be a flying teapot in the next room.
Yes, I know I have an acrid tone.  It’s because I feel strongly on these subjects. Again, it seems agnostics are always the one bringing up this discussion.  Is it provocation? 
Because no one is doubting your ability to stand on Arthur C. Clarke ideas of probability. Yes, you have the right to state nothing is 100%!
Wow! That’s heavy.

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Posted: 01 July 2012 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 222 ]
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Occam. - 01 July 2012 12:39 PM

Quoting GdB:

Cut your tone down, VYAZMA.

That was quite unnecessary, GdB.  If you read the variety of tones in the rest of this and related threads, you’ll see that your criticism was invalid.

Which criticism and which related threads?

I am just astonished how some people react on a few very well reflected postings of a new member. We are looking like a bunch of religious zealots. Not especially because of the contents (it is OK to discuss the point when one can say that somebody is really sure, or maybe justified can say he feels 100% sure), but because of the tone of it. Suggesting that Apxeo is a ‘closet theist’ (and I assume George means me to), and calling my defending the compatibilist position of free will ‘fetid’ is unnecessary. These ways of discussion fit to science believers, not to scientists, who always leave a door open to possible valid criticism on scientific theories. I am a through and through physicalist, but I have seen enough of science and science history to know that even an established theory turns out not so universally valid as originally thought; and also that some people run too fast away with established theories, and apply them on areas where they cannot be sure if this theory is valid in the way they prefer it is, for whatever possibly even irrational reasons.

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Posted: 02 July 2012 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 223 ]
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RevLGKing - 01 July 2012 07:02 AM
mid atlantic - 30 June 2012 11:21 PM

... Imagination is a mental activity, driven by rudimentary sensory input and memory.  Hallucinations are most definitely reality based, as they are produced by biology.

http://behavenet.com/hallucination

I realize that this is perhaps an over-simplification: But your comments fit in with what I like to call the three components of my humanity. I call them somatic, psychosomatic and pneuma-psychosomatic.

SOMATIC FACTOR
At conception, I was strictly a one-celled somatic being made up of the genes, etc., which I inherited from my parents, their parents and all my parents before that.

PSYCHO-SOMATIC FACTOR
All that was taught to me and done to me by my environment—physically, mentally and socially (spiritually)—by my parents, teachers and others, following my conception.

PNEUMA-PSYCHOSOAMTIC FACTOR
The input that I chose put in to the mix of who I happen to be at the moment I became aware that I am aware and could honestly say, “I am, therefore, I have the power to think, to learn, to know, to will and to take action and do what I feel I ought to do.

OK, but I have no idea what your trying to get at here.

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Posted: 02 July 2012 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 224 ]
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George - 01 July 2012 10:36 AM

Apxeo,

If you are agnostic about the existence of Australia, then I accept that your agnosticism when it comes to God is reasonable; not that either of those examples are reasonable to me. In both cases the probability equals “anything is possible” and no more. If that’s indeed what you believe, you may be the only true agnostic I know. The rest of “agnostics” are just closet theist without even knowing it.  grin

The trouble is the English language does not have two words for “KNOW”.  Some languages do.

There is knowing things from personal experience and there is knowing from overwhelming, multiple sources. Like knowing whether or not there used to be a planet called Pluto.

But what is the psychological difference?  There is a judgement being made about the “reliable sources”.

psik

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Posted: 02 July 2012 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 225 ]
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VYAZMA - 29 June 2012 11:13 AM
Apxeo - 27 June 2012 03:37 PM

Well, that’s a wiki entry that needs some work.  smirk

Regardless, if you self-identify as an “agnostic”, chances are you believe the same thing as most atheists. Agnosticism doesn’t lie between theism and atheism.  Gnosticism/agnosticism refers to the presence or absence of certain knowledge (about something).  Theism/atheism refers to presence or absence of belief in a theistic deity.  It’s a question of logical drivel rather than semantic drivel.

I must disagree here. Agnosticism lies firmly within theistic or deistic boundaries.
Taken within the context of the implications of what a god could be, or what it means,  agnosticism is not ruling these possibilities out.  In other words, an agnostic is not ruling out what an atheist can easily reason to be a contrived, human creation that has evolved socially and psychologically with humankind.
Compared with avowed theists/deists this is almost the same exact thing.  After all, every catholic, hindu, or moslem(etc…) has the same exact ‘doubts”.  A theist questions the existence of god.  Compared with an agnostic, this is analogous to the glass being half-empty or half-full.
On the other hand, nobody is agnostic about Santa Clause.  Why would anyone be agnostic about god?
-Because they were imprinted with the idea.  It is universally accepted.  And it helps explain/or soothe unknowns/fears.
This brief summary rebuts your paragraph succesfully in my opinion.  It isn’t a light matter to be foisted into the compartment of semantics.  It is logic and reason as you have said, but your logic is backwards.  I believe I have briefly shown this herein.

Would you say it’s fair to claim to be atheistic toward most gods but agnostic about others?  I’d say I’m an atheist toward all gods that supposedly interact with the world by miracles, but I’m agnostic toward the deist concept of a god as an initial creator.  I am more than willing to admit that if I was better informed about the beginnings of the universe I would be more inclined to drop my deistic agnosticism.

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