I don't think I'm EITHER (A-Theist NOR Theist) DARE I say I'm the "Dirty Third"....being:aa

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I don't think I'm EITHER (A-Theist NOR Theist) DARE I say I'm the "Dirty Third"....being:aa

agnostic?!!??!!!??

 

The root of the word "agnostic" means simply "not knowing".

 

As in "DOES God exist??"......  "uh, I don't know!!"

 

At least that is my own pea-brained take on it.

 

Now, to ease the colic that has undoubtedly been created and created the need for a few diapers to be changed...... I am FAR from a "theist", as basically anyone that I have gotten into it with regarding a theological disagreement will ever-spitefully concede to.

 

But I find myself constitutionally UNABLE to say "there is NO Higher Power in ANY form WHATSOEVER".

 

So, I assumed that I was going to raise this question eventually anyway.

 

I simply had no clue it'd be THIS soon.  Like, immediately after registering THIS SOON!!!

 

Yeah, I suppose there's something about a forum with "NO theists" and "your posts will be deleted" inside of the same title that makes me say:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??"

 

 

 

 

 

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You may want to read this

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The Apothecary wrote: But I

The Apothecary wrote:

 

But I find myself constitutionally UNABLE to say "there is NO Higher Power in ANY form WHATSOEVER".

 

Does this mean that you believe in a higher power or that you believe that there is a chance that there is a higher power? If you believe that there is a chance that there is a higher power then you are agnostic but if you believe that there is one then you are most likely some sort of deist. You might want to read up more if you haven't done so already.


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The Apothecary wrote:The

The Apothecary wrote:
The root of the word "agnostic" means simply "not knowing".

"knowledge" plus the "alpha privative", which negates, if you're curious.

The Apothecary wrote:
As in "DOES God exist??"......  "uh, I don't know!!"

But probably not! Find me one that can.

The Apothecary wrote:
But I find myself constitutionally UNABLE to say "there is NO Higher Power in ANY form WHATSOEVER".

Personally, I can't say there is definitely no Santa whatsoever. It's pretty much the same thing.

The Apothecary wrote:
"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??"

What, not being allowed to post in one forum out of a whole bunch on a privately run atheist community site?

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The Apothecary wrote:Yeah, I

The Apothecary wrote:

Yeah, I suppose there's something about a forum with "NO theists" and "your posts will be deleted" inside of the same title that makes me say:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??"

That is only one specific forum out of the many on this site with those particular rules, for those who want to have somewhere to just discuss issues of mutual interest to Atheists/FreeThinkers, and don't want to be distracted by Theist postings in the middle of their discussions, as happens in most of the other forums on this site, in most of which Theists are actually welcome to explain their point of view. What is your problem with this simple idea?? How does that represent a 'mentality'??

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Personally...etc.

 

      I am an atheist, I'll tell anyone that. As for "what if?" ,   well I am willing to hear any evidence about their god or any god for that matter,  and I do mean evidence.  After 50+ years of listening I  haven't heard any evidence yet.  Maybe someone will surprise but I doubt that very much.

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Agnosticism refers the the

Agnosticism refers the the question of knowledge. It doesn't answer a question of belief.

Sounds made up...
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The Apothecary

The Apothecary wrote:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??" 

You have just restricted yourself to deism and atheism. As far as I know there aren't any other options. You're a dirty fence sitter. Pick a side! We're at war!

Bonus cool points to any one that got the reference.

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Welcome to the forum!The

Welcome to the forum!

The Apothecary wrote:

Yeah, I suppose there's something about a forum with "NO theists" and "your posts will be deleted" inside of the same title that makes me say:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??"

I don't really like the wording on that either, but it's just a sub-forum for non-theists. Many religious forums don't allow others to post at all.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I also dislike that the

I also dislike that the criterion by which one is excluded from the forum in question is that of "theist". A forum devoid of the crapology which theism engenders is a fine facility to provide, but it should also be requested that all people who entertain delusional fantasies desist from contributing.

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Nordmann wrote:I also

Nordmann wrote:

I also dislike that the criterion by which one is excluded from the forum in question is that of "theist". A forum devoid of the crapology which theism engenders is a fine facility to provide, but it should also be requested that all people who entertain delusional fantasies desist from contributing.

That's a pretty good call, I have to say. If only crapology could be adequately addressed.

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spike.barnett wrote:The

spike.barnett wrote:

The Apothecary wrote:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??" 

You have just restricted yourself to deism and atheism. As far as I know there aren't any other options. You're a dirty fence sitter. Pick a side! We're at war!

Bonus cool points to any one that got the reference.

 

Steven Tyrone Colbert (Dr.)

 

One of his favorite lines when doing interviews. It's an easy one to work into a conversation, he just needs a setup that can be made into a false dichotamy, and since his improving the interviews you can tell how he uses it when he needs a laugh from the audience. Not that that's a bad thing. Colbert rocks.

 

And to the OP, as has been said already, agnosticism refers to knowledge, atheim to belief. If you don't KNOW wether there is something out there that we humans can't understand then you are in the same boat as everyone else. The unknown wouldn't be unknown if it was known now would it? Eye-wink

 

If you BELIEVE that there is something: unicorns, faries, E.T, or Gods, then you are a believer, and if gods is one of the things you believe then you are a theist. Otherwise you are an atheist. You can still be an agnostic, since you don't KNOW wether there is a God, you just don't BELIEVE there is.

 

And finally, if you really DO activily BELIEVE that there is some sort of "ultimate authority of the Universe", but you don't have any opinion about what exactly that authority IS, then you can probably rightly call yourself a deist.

 

There's the terms for you in a nutshell.

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Give me some odds!

The Apothecary wrote:

agnostic?!!??!!!??

 

The root of the word "agnostic" means simply "not knowing".

 

Give us some odds so we kind of understand your thinking.

Why not give us the odds(in percentage) of the follow things being true?

No God or higher power exists.

Life exists on other planets.

Elvis is still alive.

Aliens crash landed as Roswell.

Jesus is God's son and the bible is literally true.

Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet.

Zeus is God.

The flying spaghetti monster is God.

 

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The Apothecary wrote:I am

The Apothecary wrote:
I am FAR from a "theist"
As in 'not' theist?  What's that prefix you can put on something meaning not\non?  Nontheist?  Untheist?  Oh yeah, atheist...

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DAMMIT!!!  I had come well

DAMMIT!!!

 

 

I had come well underway in drafting the "response to end all reponses" and it'd be just my luck that some slight twist of my mouse caused it all to be wiped out and lost forever in cyberspace.

 

Makes me wanna have some cybersex !!!

 

Anyway, I am too hungry; busy; and other excuse galore to REdo it right NOW.

 

But I thought I'd at least do the courtesy of letting y'all know what is up and that everyone's replies are duly noted and will be thusly given heedance to.

 

 

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Please check the size of

Please check the size of your forum avatar.  It seems to be too wide.


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 Yeah, I thought I saw that

 Yeah, I thought I saw that myself....but just thought it was the craptastic PC I was usin'.

 

Give me a minute to, uh, minimize the problem.

 

 

-Make a move and plead the Fifth because you can't plead the First

-Never be haughty to the humble, never be humble to the haughty.


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The Apothecary

The Apothecary wrote:

agnostic?!!??!!!??

 

The root of the word "agnostic" means simply "not knowing".

 

As in "DOES God exist??"......  "uh, I don't know!!"

 

At least that is my own pea-brained take on it.

 

Now, to ease the colic that has undoubtedly been created and created the need for a few diapers to be changed...... I am FAR from a "theist", as basically anyone that I have gotten into it with regarding a theological disagreement will ever-spitefully concede to.

 

But I find myself constitutionally UNABLE to say "there is NO Higher Power in ANY form WHATSOEVER".

 

So, I assumed that I was going to raise this question eventually anyway.

 

I simply had no clue it'd be THIS soon.  Like, immediately after registering THIS SOON!!!

 

Yeah, I suppose there's something about a forum with "NO theists" and "your posts will be deleted" inside of the same title that makes me say:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??"

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, your a wishy-washy Agnostic.

You'll "get religion" before you die, just to be on the safe side.

Aside from the article JillS suggested...

Consider this...

Theists made a claim that god(s) exist.
The Scientific Method calls for Empirical evidence, which they've not provided, AND
Logic demands that having made a claim, the burden of proof falls on the Theist.

I say you've got a blue haired invisible monkey that just took an invisible shit on your head.

Why the hell should you believe me!
In as far as my assertion goes the burden of proof falls entirely upon my shoulders.

My point is simple: the Agnostic fails to understand the basis of Science and and the basis of Logical analysis.

Soz, but I can't offer you any empirical evidence which can be tested by the Scientific Method, (numerous times and iin various ways) as proof of what I said about invisible shitting monkeys.

Do you "get" where Atheists are coming from?


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A God that could exist...

HisWillness wrote:

But probably not! Find me one that can.

treat2 wrote:

Yeah, your a wishy-washy Agnostic.

You'll "get religion" before you die, just to be on the safe side.

...

Theists made a claim that god(s) exist.
The Scientific Method calls for Empirical evidence, which they've not provided, AND
Logic demands that having made a claim, the burden of proof falls on the Theist.

These claims are indeed true, but for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed by making observations about our universe.

We are tiny and insignificant compared to everything else. We know quite a bit about our universe these days and it can be confidently said that if there exists a creator, this being has not interacted with us at all. The universe unfolds according to naturalistic laws of physics. Not to mention all the terrible disasters that could potentially destroy all life as we know it on this tiny blue speck. It is likely that this creator is just that, a creator. Nothing more. Not a judge of good and evil, not a being of justice or truth or anything, simply a creator. This creator likely has no idea that it created us and that there are beings conscious of their own life that exist within its creation. This being may even be dead or gone or has moved on to a different creation by now. Perhaps this being is simply doing stuff in its own plane of existence and is accidentally creating universes along the way without even seeing or knowing it. This being is not and cannot be perfect, for true perfection and omniscience creates absurd paradoxes and perfection is in the eyes of the beholder anyways. That is why even agnostics should be smart enough to never "get religion" before they die. In fact, I would argue that choosing an earthly religion before death, which they are all so clearly flawed, would, if anything, condemn oneself to irrationality and true blasphemy (in the unlikely event that is even possible). A God who created our universe and caused it to obey the same rules of rational thought we use to dissect it would likely be a rational being itself. And in being a rational being, it likely condemns irrationality.

Now, after that little divergence, the truth remains that humans once knew not of atomic theory and cosmology. In discovering these, we found there existed a mercilessly huge number of objects in either direction. The smaller we go, the more we realize we are made of an abyss of thoughtless particles and the larger we go, the more we realize we are insignificantly contained within an abyss of thoughtless planets and dwarfing formations. There is no reason to believe the journey won't further reveal this in both directions. More small tiny particles or multidimensional strings if you will. And likely tons and tons of other universes or even tons of branching directions of time with no end likely to ever be in sight.

I am pretty confident you can safely bet on atheism


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Madmax958 wrote: These

Madmax958 wrote:
These claims are indeed true, but for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed by making observations about our universe. ...

I do not accept on faith that there are god(s).
I do not believe a rational discussion of a myth is worthwhile.

Instead, let's consider for the sake of argument that the burden of proof for making such a claim, rests upon your shoulders (as it does).

Let's carry on from there ... with you providing empirical evidence which you then explain how you plan to test, via the Scientific Method.

(I've posted it half a dozen times. When counting integers on ascending order 1 must precede 2. You can not say, "for the sake of argument let's say that 1 does not exist, and then start talking about your new numerical system which
begins with 2. --- Anyone whom accepts such an absurd
basis for discussion, debate, etc. is a fool, and will be proven to be a fool by whomever they are conversing with.)

Soz. No go. You first, and start with 1, not 2.


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Agnostic is one of those

Agnostic is one of those useless words that could be quite happily dropped from the English language.

If you don't know if god exists you are an atheist, if you see no prove either way you are an atheist. Atheist is a neutral position its not a definitive statement, it is not a statement that 'i know for certain that god doesnt exist or even I think there is a 51% chance he doesnt


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Read my whole post, please.

treat2 wrote:
Madmax958 wrote:
These claims are indeed true, but for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed by making observations about our universe. ...
I do not accept on faith that there are god(s). I do not believe a rational discussion of a myth is worthwhile. Instead, let's consider for the sake of argument that the burden of proof for making such a claim, rests upon your shoulders (as it does). Let's carry on from there ... with you providing empirical evidence which you then explain how you plan to test, via the Scientific Method. (I've posted it half a dozen times. When counting integers on ascending order 1 must precede 2. You can not say, "for the sake of argument let's say that 1 does not exist, and then start talking about your new numerical system which begins with 2. --- Anyone whom accepts such an absurd basis for discussion, debate, etc. is a fool, and will be proven to be a fool by whomever they are conversing with.) Soz. No go. You first, and start with 1, not 2.

Did you not see my final statement, which completely summed up my argument?

Madmax958 wrote:
I am pretty confident you can safely bet on atheism

My entire post was based on the idea that even if one concedes the existence of a creator to a theist, their religious beliefs and anthropocentric attitude still make no sense when compared with our natural world. Lets use your nice numbers analogy. Theists hold beliefs at 3. I was trying to say that even if we give them 2, 3 is still bullshit. I do not under any circumstances actually accept this basis, but once again, I am saying that EVEN WITH THAT BASIS, theists still fall short. The point was that even if the original poster does not accept religion now, but wants to believe in a creator, then he would be unjustified in going over to religion again, because it still requires another jump of irrationality and completely contradicts what we know about the natural universe. This was argument used rationale somewhat in line with God: The Failed Hypothesis.


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mrjonno wrote:Agnostic is

mrjonno wrote:

Agnostic is one of those useless words that could be quite happily dropped from the English language.

If you don't know if god exists you are an atheist, if you see no prove either way you are an atheist. Atheist is a neutral position its not a definitive statement, it is not a statement that 'i know for certain that god doesnt exist or even I think there is a 51% chance he doesnt

OK. There's a furry blue invisible monkey that just took an invisible crap in your mouth. You can still talk, because the shit is invisible.

If the logic and science were to begin with "I don't know.", while at the same time not having been provided with empirical evidence to test using the Scientific Method, scientists and even philosophers would all be walking around saying I don't know to the most psychotic statements put forward.

Check yourself. It starts not with I don't know, but the claim is false until proven true.

However, once the Scientific Method has been applied several times under a variety of conditions by many different scientists, what was originally assumed to be false, THEN evolves into a Theory.

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.")

Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

The Atheist does not claim I don't know if god(s) exist.
The Atheist does claim I have absolutely no reason to believe that any god(s) exist. Moreover, until you (the Theist) provides empirical evidence which can be tested by the Scientific Method under different conditions, by a variety of reputable scientists, the Atheist can scientifically and logically maintain that RANDOM CLAIMS ARE PATENTLY FALSE.


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treat2 wrote:Finally, even

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Not sure I really get treat2

Not sure I really get treat2 comments what I'm trying to say is agnostic and even atheist are politically and logically loaded words.

I am without believe in any god due to no evidence as I am without believe in most things without any evidence thats a neutral term.

There isnt a term in the English language for a word that describes someone who is totally certain there is no god, there should be but no such word exists. I think Hitchens uses the word anti-theist but that can imply he is against a non-existant god (which he isnt)


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Madmax958 wrote:HisWillness

Madmax958 wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

But probably not! Find me one that can.

treat2 wrote:

Yeah, your a wishy-washy Agnostic.

You'll "get religion" before you die, just to be on the safe side.

...

Theists made a claim that god(s) exist.
The Scientific Method calls for Empirical evidence, which they've not provided, AND
Logic demands that having made a claim, the burden of proof falls on the Theist.

These claims are indeed true, but for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed by making observations about our universe.

We are tiny and insignificant compared to everything else. We know quite a bit about our universe these days and it can be confidently said that if there exists a creator, this being has not interacted with us at all. The universe unfolds according to naturalistic laws of physics. Not to mention all the terrible disasters that could potentially destroy all life as we know it on this tiny blue speck. It is likely that this creator is just that, a creator. Nothing more. Not a judge of good and evil, not a being of justice or truth or anything, simply a creator. This creator likely has no idea that it created us and that there are beings conscious of their own life that exist within its creation. This being may even be dead or gone or has moved on to a different creation by now. Perhaps this being is simply doing stuff in its own plane of existence and is accidentally creating universes along the way without even seeing or knowing it. This being is not and cannot be perfect, for true perfection and omniscience creates absurd paradoxes and perfection is in the eyes of the beholder anyways. That is why even agnostics should be smart enough to never "get religion" before they die. In fact, I would argue that choosing an earthly religion before death, which they are all so clearly flawed, would, if anything, condemn oneself to irrationality and true blasphemy (in the unlikely event that is even possible). A God who created our universe and caused it to obey the same rules of rational thought we use to dissect it would likely be a rational being itself. And in being a rational being, it likely condemns irrationality.

Now, after that little divergence, the truth remains that humans once knew not of atomic theory and cosmology. In discovering these, we found there existed a mercilessly huge number of objects in either direction. The smaller we go, the more we realize we are made of an abyss of thoughtless particles and the larger we go, the more we realize we are insignificantly contained within an abyss of thoughtless planets and dwarfing formations. There is no reason to believe the journey won't further reveal this in both directions. More small tiny particles or multidimensional strings if you will. And likely tons and tons of other universes or even tons of branching directions of time with no end likely to ever be in sight.

I am pretty confident you can safely bet on atheism

Soz. As a rule I don't engage in what could be called hypothetical science or illogical logic to hypothetically discuss reality. Engaging in such a discussion of such is pointless, and too silly, even for me.


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BobSpence1 wrote:treat2

BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

Soz. "Observations" are not facts. Before one can verify that what one has observed is correct, one can't say it is a fact. With regard to establishing facts, or Laws, much more than just making an observation must be accomplished.
You know the Scientific Method. Even Einstein’s observations and observations of countless experiments by many different scientists under a wide variety of conditions have no yet changed ANY of Einstein's Theories
into Einstein's Laws, i.e. "facts".


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mrjonno wrote:Not sure I

mrjonno wrote:

Not sure I really get treat2 comments what I'm trying to say is agnostic and even atheist are politically and logically loaded words.

I am without believe in any god due to no evidence as I am without believe in most things without any evidence thats a neutral term.

There isnt a term in the English language for a word that describes someone who is totally certain there is no god, there should be but no such word exists. I think Hitchens uses the word anti-theist but that can imply he is against a non-existant god (which he isnt)

A few post ago, I didn't say you're an agnostic. I simply said you're wrong and explained in detail why I said it. I can't make it much clearer than I did above. Soz.

You might well be an agnostic or Atheist, or Theist. I don't know. However, I do know that what you said is not true, and (as I just said), explained in detail upon what basis I believe I correctly said it.


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We are again engaged in an

We are again engaged in an example of EXACTLY why Atheists can not "win" an argument with a Theist.

I posted it and reposted it in many different threads.

I'm not saying you're a Theist.

Read what I posted, again. Accepting an untruth as truth is a lie, and the Atheist will always loose in such a debate the moment the Atheist acceots the lie as being true.

That's the point, and this has been a very good example of why I posted the topic about why Atheists "loose" in debates with Theists.

Christ... let's not get idiotic about what the definition of loose is. Sure, I could have used another word. I'm attempting to simplify my point, only to the extent that even a very young reader would understand what I just said.
Substitute whatever goddamn word (for "loose") that you want. I don't give a shit.


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treat2 wrote:BobSpence1

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

Soz. "Observations" are not facts. Before one can verify that what one has observed is correct, one can't say it is a fact. With regard to establishing facts, or Laws, much more than just making an observation must be accomplished. You know the Scientific Method. Even Einstein’s observations and observations of countless experiments by many different scientists under a wide variety of conditions have no yet changed ANY of Einstein's Theories into Einstein's Laws, i.e. "facts".

Of course - I was taking it for granted that you understood I was referring to observations that had been checked out. Even so, as long as we have the raw records of what was observed adequately preserved, that is still a set of facts, even if there turn out to be different ways to interpret them.

But the distinction remains between 'facts' or data, and 'theories'. And NO theories actually get changed into facts, even if they approach the same degree of certitude as confirmed observations and/or measurements.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:treat2

BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

Soz. "Observations" are not facts. Before one can verify that what one has observed is correct, one can't say it is a fact. With regard to establishing facts, or Laws, much more than just making an observation must be accomplished. You know the Scientific Method. Even Einstein’s observations and observations of countless experiments by many different scientists under a wide variety of conditions have no yet changed ANY of Einstein's Theories into Einstein's Laws, i.e. "facts".

Of course - I was taking it for granted that you understood I was referring to observations that had been checked out. Even so, as long as we have the raw records of what was observed adequately preserved, that is still a set of facts, even if there turn out to be different ways to interpret them.

But the distinction remains between 'facts' or data, and 'theories'. And NO theories actually get changed into facts, even if they approach the same degree of certitude as confirmed observations and/or measurements.

Obviously, we're discussing semantics. I don't think you or I are interested in doing that.

I almost forgot what the hell were we talking about, except that amongst one of my posts had to do with the thread-poster requesting that I/we should all assume that some unfounded claim, such as a hallucination is real, and that we have a logical discussion about it. And that I said that was too silly for even me to do, with respect to assuming that I was not really an Atheist, and that god(s) were proven to exist, based on "observations", assumably by a lunatic, or a very strange bunch of scientists.

I seem to recall that I refused to "play that game" and explained in great detail in too many posts all over this Board, that doing so was idiotic (for lack of a more colorful word).


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"But I find myself

"But I find myself constitutionally UNABLE to say "there is NO Higher Power in ANY form WHATSOEVER"."

Same here, but I'm still an atheist because I don't believe in one.


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treat2 wrote:Soz. As a rule

treat2 wrote:
Soz. As a rule I don't engage in what could be called hypothetical science or illogical logic to hypothetically discuss reality. Engaging in such a discussion of such is pointless, and too silly, even for me.

Well good thing you aren't a scientist. Luckily BobSpence supplied us with the answer to your unintelligence here:

Bobspence1 wrote:
Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations.

That's right. Scientists come up with Hypotheses. Scientists don't know what could be causing something so they come up with a prediction of some kind that is testable. Theists have seen some kind of religious doctrine and from their observation of said doctrine, they hypothesize that there exists a creator. It is a hypothesis because they made an observation of something and from their observation they came up with a belief or prediction that has not yet been validated by scientific evidence. If we are to treat the existence of a creator as a hypothesis, or prediction that there exists a creator and all that, we can then test it with empirical observations. This is the whole point of God: The Failed Hypothesis.

So it is not illogical under any means to test a hypothesis. In fact, it is science. Testable hypothetical theories are the driving force of science. This shows your complete lack of truly understanding the scientific method. Go back to middle school plz.

 


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There is so much confusion

There is so much confusion evident in this thread on the part of some contributors which a clear and precise use of language would clear up immediately. I find with discussions of religious themes that this is nearly always the case (religionists have in fact a vested interest in semantic obfuscation, but that's another debate).

 

The concept of a "higher power", for example, makes sense only if one imagines a hierarchy of "powers", and if one does that then one has to say just what one means by "power" in the first place. It suits the theist to keep it vague, but for the purpose of meaningful debate an agreed definition must first be arrived at before any discussion of anything's place (real or imaginary) in a hierarchy can proceed intelligently. The religionist will normally associate the concept in part (but critically) with sentience subjectively and undemonstrably ascribed to an imagined entity. The realist will demand that the definition be restricted to physical cause and effect, and ability expressed in this context. The result will be an impasse - and rightly so. Such impasses, if honestly recognised and admitted to by all parties when they are encountered, will in their frequent regularity alert religionists of all but the most stupid disposition that they base their understanding of reality on traditional but arbitrary assertions which in fact deny reality. This glaringly obvious fact should underlie - and be seen to underlie - all subsequent assertions they make, even (and especially) by them.

 

If the impasse is not recognised the discussion breaks down into a morass of misinterpretation and semantic vagueness which allows the religionist to persevere in the assumption that his or her assertions carry the same weight as reality-grounded deduction. And so the meaningless discussion is perpetuated, the religionist feeling validated in his or her delusion and the realist simply left boxing shadows - a pretence of real data which would never even have been discussed had their false foundation been exposed at the start. And so it goes on.

 

On the subject of "agnostic" and "atheist" etc, a theme much discussed on these boards, it helps enormously if one jettisons the associated concept that the term identifies one as belonging to any group which subscribes to any hard and fast definition of "god" beyond the definition proposed by theists. Since theists themselves have not produced a common definition to which they all agree except in extremely broad and insubstantial use of language, there is no compunction on anyone else to sweat over which word best describes their refusal to share such unwarranted certainty in an obviously empty semantic assertion. Admitting one does not know is a valid and honest stance for some people, but that does not mean they have to call themselves "agnostic" - or anything for that matter. Likewise, professing a certainty that the theist is wrong based on his or her inability to ever proceed beyond assertion does not make one an "atheist" either. In fact such a label is counter-productive in terms of semantic realism, since empty assertions of no real substance are ironically reinforced when one describes oneself in a term which nominally employs one symptom of such erroneous thinking.

 

Other semantic minefields which protect the theist's particular delusion are terms such as "spirituality", "soul", "divine" etc - in that they are products of the delusion and defy realistic definition. In addition a whole plethora of words with simple and realistic applications have been intentionally imbued with semantic vagueness by religionists over time. These include "sin", "after-life", "morality" etc.

 

When faced with the prospect of a discussion with theists, and especially in discussions which use any of these terms (or similar ones) as their starting points, it is absolutely necessary to engage first in an attempt to nail down the definition before anything else is said. If the theist cannot contribute anything meaningful to that requirement then the discussion is in fact over, and the obvious lesson to be learnt by the theist has been made evident, should they choose to see it or not. But most importantly when dealing with delusional people, no validation - even inadvertently - of their false assertions has taken place.

 

Needless to say, if the discussion is between two realists with no religious delusional tendencies, the requirement to be specific right at the outset is even greater. Obfuscation is the enemy of rational thought. Engaging in it contributes to religionists' delusions. All ignorance contributes to religious belief. The duty of the anti-religionist is to counter ignorance first and foremost, not feed its progress.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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spike.barnett wrote:The

spike.barnett wrote:

The Apothecary wrote:

"Uh......correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the type of mentality that we NON-theists (I can at least get onto THAT label bandwagon) constantly accuse "them" of having??" 

You have just restricted yourself to deism and atheism. As far as I know there aren't any other options. You're a dirty fence sitter. Pick a side! We're at war!

Bonus cool points to any one that got the reference.

Quick question...

Are "we" at war with Pantheists, too?


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Madmax958 wrote:treat2

Madmax958 wrote:

treat2 wrote:
Madmax958 wrote:
These claims are indeed true, but for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed by making observations about our universe. ...
I do not accept on faith that there are god(s). I do not believe a rational discussion of a myth is worthwhile. Instead, let's consider for the sake of argument that the burden of proof for making such a claim, rests upon your shoulders (as it does). Let's carry on from there ... with you providing empirical evidence which you then explain how you plan to test, via the Scientific Method. (I've posted it half a dozen times. When counting integers on ascending order 1 must precede 2. You can not say, "for the sake of argument let's say that 1 does not exist, and then start talking about your new numerical system which begins with 2. --- Anyone whom accepts such an absurd basis for discussion, debate, etc. is a fool, and will be proven to be a fool by whomever they are conversing with.) Soz. No go. You first, and start with 1, not 2.

Did you not see my final statement, which completely summed up my argument?

Madmax958 wrote:
I am pretty confident you can safely bet on atheism

My entire post was based on the idea that even if one concedes the existence of a creator to a theist, their religious beliefs and anthropocentric attitude still make no sense when compared with our natural world. Lets use your nice numbers analogy. Theists hold beliefs at 3. I was trying to say that even if we give them 2, 3 is still bullshit. I do not under any circumstances actually accept this basis, but once again, I am saying that EVEN WITH THAT BASIS, theists still fall short. The point was that even if the original poster does not accept religion now, but wants to believe in a creator, then he would be unjustified in going over to religion again, because it still requires another jump of irrationality and completely contradicts what we know about the natural universe. This was argument used rationale somewhat in line with God: The Failed Hypothesis.

Madmax958 wrote:
...for the sake of thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed ...

My point was quite simple ...
I don't engage in "thought experiments, let us consider what God would likely be like if he existed", as theists have shown no empirical evidence to test any gods exist.

In short... it's irrational to accept what is irrational,
and then discuss what is irrational, given that we accept what is irrational.

Get it?


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It is an entirely legitimate

It is an entirely legitimate and rational discussion to show just how thoroughly irrational belief is by pointing out all the contradictory elements, not just the most obvious ones.

"if <a> then..." is not accepting the validity of 'a', it is discussing what 'a' implies.

Get it?

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:treat2

BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

BobSpence1 wrote:
We start with observations, which are Facts.

Let's back up to your 2nd sentence which I reposted directly above.

"observations" we know, and the Scientific Method doe
not state that when
we start and make observations, that our observations are "facts".

It is not until MUCH later in the Scientific Method that a
Theory can even be referred to as a fact.

In fact, that remains why we STILL refer to Einstein's Theories, NOT Einstein's Laws.

Note the difference in what are referred to as LAWS and what is referred to as Theories (as an example in Physics).

We refer to something as a fact very long after we start research with our observations.


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treat2 wrote:BobSpence1

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

treat2 wrote:

Finally, even after a Century might have passed, and very many experiments were conducted, a Theory may still remain a Theory (or as you would say: "I don't know.&quotEye-wink Ultimately, what are referred to as "Laws" evolve from what previously were Theories, subsequent to an enormous amount and variety of testing.

Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

Then we propose Hypotheses to explain those observations. If after testing, a hypothesis survives, it is regarded as a valid Theory. It does not become a fact in itself. They may well become so thoroughly verified as to approach the certainty of a Fact, but it is important not to lose sight of this distinction, since even the most well-entrenched Theory may be overturned by a fresh insight, but the observations, the base Facts, remain.

The Law of Gravitation amounts to the statement that masses behave as if there was an attractive force between them proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It is a description of what is observed. It stands, regardless of whatever theories are current. More detailed and accurate observations have revealed small adjustments to the observational data.

Theories of Gravitation attempt to explain what gives rise to this observed fact about reality.

BobSpence1 wrote:
We start with observations, which are Facts.

Let's back up to your 2nd sentence which I reposted directly above. "observations" we know, and the Scientific Method doe not state that when we start and make observations, that our observations are "facts". It is not until MUCH later in the Scientific Method that a Theory can even be referred to as a fact. In fact, that remains why we STILL refer to Einstein's Theories, NOT Einstein's Laws. Note the difference in what are referred to as LAWS and what is referred to as Theories (as an example in Physics). We refer to something as a fact very long after we start research with our observations.

You are just so wrong. Re-read what I said.

Theories are NOT FACTS, ever.

FACTS are the verified observational DATA we use to base hypotheses on and attempt to explain by Theories, and check those theories against.

For example, there was the long standing observational FACT that the orbit of the planet Mercury did not quite fit with the maths of Newton's theory.

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity predicted a slightly different orbit, which was a much better fit to the FACTS, the observational DATA, therefore it superseded Newton's theory.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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BobSpence1 wrote:It is an

BobSpence1 wrote:

It is an entirely legitimate and rational discussion to show just how thoroughly irrational belief is by pointing out all the contradictory elements, not just the most obvious ones.

"if <a> then..." is not accepting the validity of 'a', it is discussing what 'a' implies.

Get it?

I'll try 1 last time one that issue...

It is not legitimate or rational to accept on faith that gods exist, and then proceed, after having accepted that as fact, to have a "legitimate" or "rational" discourse, based on what is not fact , as fact.

I WOULD agree that "It is an entirely legitimate and rational" to discuss some HYPOTHETICAL circumstances. However, that's not the case when one is told to accept delusions
as facts, and having done so,
then accept that the discussion is "legitimate and rational."

I can't attempting to clarity my point any further
would be futile, as (I refuse to be assimilated into the hive, and) it would appear that a circular argument on that point would be taking place.


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treat2 wrote:BobSpence1

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

It is an entirely legitimate and rational discussion to show just how thoroughly irrational belief is by pointing out all the contradictory elements, not just the most obvious ones.

"if <a> then..." is not accepting the validity of 'a', it is discussing what 'a' implies.

Get it?

I'll try 1 last time one that issue... It is not legitimate or rational to accept on faith that gods exist, and then proceed, after having accepted that as fact, to have a "legitimate" or "rational" discourse, based on what is not fact , as fact. I WOULD agree that "It is an entirely legitimate and rational" to discuss some HYPOTHETICAL circumstances. However, that's not the case when one is told to accept delusions as facts, and having done so, then accept that the discussion is "legitimate and rational." I can't attempting to clarity my point any further would be futile, as (I refuse to be assimilated into the hive, and) it would appear that a circular argument on that point would be taking place.

The statement in the post you appear to have been objecting to was

"My entire post was based on the idea that even if one concedes the existence of a creator to a theist"

which is consistent with what I was saying.

To describe that as "accept[ing] on faith that gods exist" or "having accepted that as fact, " is just being argumentative for the sake of it.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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treat2 wrote:BobSpence1

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:

It is an entirely legitimate and rational discussion to show just how thoroughly irrational belief is by pointing out all the contradictory elements, not just the most obvious ones.

"if <a> then..." is not accepting the validity of 'a', it is discussing what 'a' implies.

Get it?

I'll try 1 last time one that issue...

It is not legitimate or rational to accept on faith that gods exist, and then proceed, after having accepted that as fact, to have a "legitimate" or "rational" discourse, based on what is not fact , as fact.

I WOULD agree that "It is an entirely legitimate and rational" to discuss some HYPOTHETICAL circumstances. However, that's not the case when one is told to accept delusions
as facts, and having done so,
then accept that the discussion is "legitimate and rational."

I can't attempting to clarity my point any further
would be futile, as (I refuse to be assimilated into the hive, and) it would appear that a circular argument on that point would be taking place.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Actually that is not quite correct. 

We start with observations, which are Facts.

...

The above is once again a 2nd re-post of your own post.

I'm but sorry when we start making our observations
they are very far from being referred to as facts.

One can only refer to a theory as a fact after it has undergone rigorous testing by
a multitude of scientists, and that may take many years.

Observations and even Theories are not referred to as "facts". However, in a field such as Physics, we may refer to a Law as a "fact".

Theories are Theories because they are not "Laws", nor have they been established as facts.

Again, as to this point, I can not be more clear, and entering into a circular argument is futile. As suchI won't respond further to any response on this point.


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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treat2 wrote:butterbattle

Are you trying to suggest that something in that link says anything significant to contradict the contents of those links butterbattle gave??

It says to start with something you observe (ie some data, or fact(s)), and find a question to ask about it. Devise a hypothesis , and test it. 

Your point is...?

Do you actually have a problem with the content of either of butter's links??

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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treat2 wrote: BobSpence1

treat2 wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
Actually that is not quite correct.  We start with observations, which are Facts. ...
The above is once again a 2nd re-post of your own post. I'm but sorry when we start making our observations they are very far from being referred to as facts. One can only refer to a theory as a fact after it has undergone rigorous testing by a multitude of scientists, and that may take many years. Observations and even Theories are not referred to as "facts". However, in a field such as Physics, we may refer to a Law as a "fact". Theories are Theories because they are not "Laws", nor have they been established as facts. Again, as to this point, I can not be more clear, and entering into a circular argument is futile. As suchI won't respond further to any response on this point.

An observation is a fact - did the apple fall from the tree? Yes. The observation is fact.

Why did the apple fall from the tree? That is when we get into Thesis, then Theory, then Law.

Why can't people accept that Atheism is by definition no faith? I don't believe in Atheism, I simply am Atheist.


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The Apothecary wrote:As in

The Apothecary wrote:
As in "DOES God exist??"......  "uh, I don't know!!

This topic has been covered quite a bit, take a look on the sidebar to the left, there is actually a link to an essay on it.  

It's been fairly well established that agnosticism refers to knowledge, while theism/atheism refers to a state of belief. What I know and what I believe are not always the same. Mrjonno gave it a good sum up:

mrjonno wrote:
If you don't know if god exists you are an atheist, if you see no prove either way you are an atheist. Atheist is a neutral position its not a definitive statement, it is not a statement that 'i know for certain that god doesnt exist or even I think there is a 51% chance he doesnt

Agnosticism is a redundant word as far as I am concerned. It is just the admission that we do not have direct/definitive knowledge of the existence or non-existence of "god" (which in the US generally means a Christian type god). To say that one has direct/definitive knowledge of this existence is pretty oddball and I think the person in question should have themselves checked out. [Note: I am not talking about proving particular claims as being logically impossible]

Nordmann wrote:
Obfuscation is the enemy of rational thought. Engaging in it contributes to religionists' delusions. All ignorance contributes to religious belief. The duty of the anti-religionist is to counter ignorance first and foremost, not feed its progress.

I have to say, this is now one of my favorite posts to date. Very well explained Nordmann, thanks.

 

 

 


Thomathy
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wkirby wrote:Why did the

wkirby wrote:
Why did the apple fall from the tree? That is when we get into Thesis, then Theory, then Law.
You make that sound as though there is a progression from a theory in science to a law in science.  That's not the case though.  A law is usually a mathematical proof where a theory is the explanation of empirical data about observed phenomenon.  In science, I believe, a law has no explanatory power because it is an observation, but a theory is the explanation of myriad observed data, including laws, and how they function in reality.

So, the progression you illustrate with the falling apple isn't entirely correct.  I suspect that the scenario goes more like this:

An Observation is a fact - did the apple fall from the tree?  Yes.

Why (which is, 'By what mechanism') did the apple fall from the tree?  That is when a mathematician hypothesises a mathematical law and works to produce a formula that can be tested for validity against other empirical observations it should predict.

Not to nit pick, but it seems the distinction is important.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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treat2 wrote:butterbattle

Thank you very much treat2, but I am quite familiar with the scientific method, and I do not need a refresher. However, I don't understand what your link has to do with either of my links, both of which feature respected scientists disagreeing with your interpretations of the terms in this thread. Maybe you just don't care. After all, BobSpence has a science degree as well, and you don't seem to give a rat's ass what he says. 

Quote:
I'm but sorry when we start making our observations they are very far from being referred to as facts.

Observations are facts.

"Let’s look at the facts. Remember that a fact is merely data, a demonstrably accurate observation which is indisputable because it can be objectively verified by either side arguing about it. So let’s demonstrate the fact of gravity. We see that things tend to fall down. What’s that mean? Well, nothing yet; a fact on its own is meaningless. We need to understand it more specifically. When seen on an astronomical scale, we can determine a universal rule; that matter attracts matter. This is the law of gravity; a law being a general statement of nature which is always true under a specific set of circumstances. Now why does matter attract matter? That’s the theory!" - AronRa

If I observe that when I throw ball up into the air, it comes back down, then it is a fact that when I throw a ball up, it comes back down. The rule that matter attracts matter, whether it be General Relativity or the less accurate Newton's Universal Gravitation, is a law. Why matter attracts matter, why matter pulls other matter towards it with a nonphysical force, that's a theory. This is really misleading for a lot of people due to confusion over the everyday meanings of all these different terms, but this is what they mean in science. Another example, I observe that populations of organisms change over time. This is a fact. Mutations, genetic drift, natural selection, etc. which mesh together to explain why organisms change over time, that's the theory of evolution. A theory is not somehow, "less proven," than a law. A theory is different from a law, and it is based on facts. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Thomathy wrote:wkirby

Thomathy wrote:

wkirby wrote:
Why did the apple fall from the tree? That is when we get into Thesis, then Theory, then Law.
You make that sound as though there is a progression from a theory in science to a law in science.  That's not the case though.  A law is usually a mathematical proof where a theory is the explanation of empirical data about observed phenomenon.  In science, I believe, a law has no explanatory power because it is an observation, but a theory is the explanation of myriad observed data, including laws, and how they function in reality.

So, the progression you illustrate with the falling apple isn't entirely correct.  I suspect that the scenario goes more like this:

An Observation is a fact - did the apple fall from the tree?  Yes.

Why (which is, 'By what mechanism') did the apple fall from the tree?  That is when a mathematician hypothesises a mathematical law and works to produce a formula that can be tested for validity against other empirical observations it should predict.

Not to nit pick, but it seems the distinction is important.

I need to pull you up a bit on your explanation, my fault I should have made the process clearer.

Observation - the apple fell from the tree.

Why did it occur? We start with a Thesis. A thesis is simply an idea, completely unproven and untested but something that may explain why the event occurred. Experiments are conducted (mathematical, mechanical and chemical depending on the Thesis being tested). If the experiments are successful the Thesis becomes a Theory. If they are not, throw it out and come up with another one.

Now we are at the Theory state, experimentation continues. If the Theory can be tested in a controlled environment and work 100% of the time it becomes Law. There ar some Laws in the scientific world, though not many - the Law of Gravity is one of them, not because it can be disproven but because it can be proven. The Law applies 100% of the time. If you cannot prove a Theory to be correct 100% of the time, it cannot progress to becoming a Law

Other scientific breakthoughs that remain Theory (highights include the Theory of Relativity and the ever popular Theory of Evolution) because while they may appear to be correct mathematically, they cannot be proven. We cannot produce a speed equal to the speed of light x the speed of light. We don't even know if that's possible but Ernest Walton and John Cockroft showed that it was likey by splitting the atom. This example may never become a Law because we may never be able to prove it works 100% of the time - at the same time it cannot be 'disproven' so it remains a Theory. Same goes for Evolution, it cannot be proven - yet - and it will remain a Theory until it does.

The process is not limited to mathematical evidence, in fact the majority of the time the mathematical component is the Thesis, it's the combination of the mathematical with the experimental (or the theoretical vs the physical) that may (or may not) eventuate into a Law.

Why can't people accept that Atheism is by definition no faith? I don't believe in Atheism, I simply am Atheist.


BobSpence
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Scientific Theories do not

Scientific Theories do not normally become Laws, they are distinct concepts.

See here, and here.

That said, there are subtleties here, and different understandings even among people with credible scientific bacKgrounds.

I think you can find specific examples where a Theory has effectively become a 'Law', but it would depend on the content of the theory whether it made sense as a 'Law'. If it was heavily based on mathematical relationships behind some observations, then if sufficiently confirmed, it could be ok as a 'Law', but if it is more about describing a process which explains the observations, say like 'The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection', it really doesn't quite make sense as a Law.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology