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Old 10-07-2012, 09:58 PM   #3121
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Originally Posted by W4RP1G
And? Are you trying to imply that you can't just be agnostic? I'm simply arguing that being an agnostic means that you can't make a decision. Period. For someone to claim that they are agnostic AND an atheist is ridiculous.

Which isn't true. It's one definition, but words can have more than one, can't they?

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Yeah no shit. So an agnostic atheist is claiming that they having chosen atheism based on no knowledge. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

It means there could be a god but they don't believe there is one. You're acting like this is a state of cognitive dissonance when it's not.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:03 PM   #3122
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Originally Posted by CG Man16
Which isn't true. It's one definition, but words can have more than one, can't they?

Absolutely right. I meant an agnostic can't make an informed decision. That is indisputable, no?
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:05 PM   #3123
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It means there could be a god but they don't believe there is one. You're acting like this is a state of cognitive dissonance when it's not.

Well maybe I'm the only one here, but I don't believe that anyone who holds a belief based on nothing should be taken seriously.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #3124
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Well maybe I'm the only one here, but I don't believe that anyone who holds a belief based on nothing should be taken seriously.

You don't quite get it. It's almost impossible to discount a god, but in regards to any god humans have invented it's very easy to. So why should someone believe in a hypothetical god just because it could exist? This is called Russells' teapot. Lurk more, you might learn something.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:27 PM   #3125
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Originally Posted by CG Man16
You don't quite get it. It's almost impossible to discount a god, but in regards to any god humans have invented it's very easy to. So why should someone believe in a hypothetical god just because it could exist? This is called Russells' teapot. Lurk more, you might learn something.

Damn, I can't argue with that. Good show.

However, I still the believe that a stance of neutrality based on agnosticism is the best stance to hold when arguing against a religion. Works wonder for avoiding the inevitable derailing of the conversation by theists.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:27 AM   #3126
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Again, the fact that something cannot be disproved is not a reason to be agnostic towards its existence.

Erm... that's kinda the whole meaning of 'agnosticism', if you cannot 'prove' that something exists, then you cannot say with absolute certainty that you 'know' it doesn't exist. In other words, you 'lack knowledge' of it's nonexistence. 'Agnostic' literaly means 'without knowledge', so I'd say that if the existence of something cannot be disproved then it is a reason to be agnostic towards its existence..
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To use Russell's teapot, I can't disprove it, but I wouldn't trust anyone who said that they were strictly agnostic towards its existence, because the existence of said teapot would go against almost everything we know about the accretion of matter, development of small solids etc.

I'd agree, but only because we happen to know for a fact that the celestial teapot in question was made up by the philosopher Bertrand Russell. In that sense we know for a fact that it doesn't exist, but that's the only point where the teapot and deities differ in this matter.
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To be entirely skeptical of Russell's teapot is the only intelligent approach to it. You can say that's a belief if you like, but we both know that it isn't in any meaningful sense of the term; much like not believing in fairies or Cthulhu isn't a belief.

Well, like Russell's teapot, we know that Cthulhu doesn't exist because we know who made them up, they were created by the writer H. P. Lovecraft, but can you honestly say that you can 100% prove that fairies don't exist? If not then you obviously cannot possibly say that you 'know for definate' that they don't exist. It can truly be said that, strictly speaking, you 'don't know' if they exist or not, and If you 'don't know' about something, then you are literaly being 'agnostic' about it because agnostic literaly means 'without knowledge'.

But we're talking about agnosticism in terms of personal belief and claims of what people consider they know here. Strong theists believe, and claim to know, that God definately exists, strong atheists believe, and claim to know, that God definately doesn't exist. Somewhere in the middle lies the agnostics who simply admit that they don't claim to know anything for definate. The thing is though, you can still have a belief about something even if you claim not to have definate knowledge about it.


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But, when you debate with a theist and they say 'Yeah, well atheists believe there isn't a God so ha!' they don't mean belief supported by rational thinking and skepticism - which really needs a different word to describe it.

Look, if a theist said that to me, I'd simply point out that they were belittling their own value of 'belief'. Any theist naturaly values 'belief', that's why they make such a big deal of the word 'faith', but if they say that atheism is 'just a belief', as if beliefs are unimportant to them, then they are essentially contradicting their own value of belief. It'd be a stupid contradictory argument for a theist to make.

So really, I think a question you should be asking yourself is, why would you let someone elses stupidity influence you?
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I believe that the next time I go to pour a cup of tea gravity will still be working. I have no reason for this belief, I can't prove that gravity won't just be miraculously turned off just as I'm about to brew a cuppa, but I would still 100% affirm that gravity will still exist.

Actualy, considering that we know for a fact that gravity is a constant in any 'body' that exists in space and that the only way our own gravity could be turned 'off' would be if we could make our planet disappear, I'd say that so long as you remain on this planet, then you can be 100% certain that gravity will still exist at a constant for you.
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Now, that's a belief in the crudest sense of the term,

No, as I've just shown, that actualy real knowledge, something that you can 'know for definate', it doesn't require 'belief'.
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but it isn't anything like the belief that a deity created the entire universe solely for one little primate on a rather unimportant planet.

Obviously, because it isn't a required 'belief' at all.
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Further, the whole point of faith is that belief is the ultimate measure of existence - a fact which impedes science greatly. To take a cliche example; stem cell research is being ******ed because people believe in souls. Now, this is a belief founded on no evidence whatsoever. You could say that the proponents of stem cell research believe that stem cell research will be beneficial, a fact for which they have no current evidence for - but they're two different types of belief. One is belief in something for no reason, the other is belief based on reasoned extrapolation of known factors/phenomenon.

The reason theists turn to this 'atheism is a belief' nonsense is that they are intelligent, 21st century people who realise, at least subconsciously, that belief in something without evidence is illogical - which is why stating atheists 'believe' is meant to hold sway in the argument.

And as I said earlier in this post, if they are talking about 'belief' and criticising it as something that's 'illogical', then they are also criticising their own 'belief' too. It'd just be a ludicrously stupid argument for them to make. It'd be like trying to intimidate someone by killing yourself.


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The vast majority of atheists I know are skeptics rather than anything else. One is only an atheist with regard to the question of the existence of God.

However, this whole argument doesn't really work, as atheists only affirm the nonexistence of an intervening God - a fact which is actually testable and provable by examining claims of intervention and disproving divine aspect: something which has been done for countless miracle claims and the like. An atheist could never disprove the existence of a deistic god - though the need for such a being/thing is diminishing given our understanding of the universe - but an intervening God can, to within the minutest fraction of certainty, be shown to be not vindicated.

Woah, hang on a minute, you claim to be able to 'disprove' the 'divine aspect'?
Believe me, if you really could do that, you'd be the most famous atheist in the world.

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Typically atheists are against belief in something on bad or no evidence, it's simply that when applied to the question of god - one of the most important and endemic questions we have - this produces a negative view.

You cannot change the meaning of something just because in one instance you consider it to produce a negative view of your beliefs.
As I've said twice now, the 'negative view' that you are talking about doesn't really exist, it's just someone elses stupidity, a stupidity that causes them to argue that unsupported belief is illogical when they own stance depends solely upon unsupported belief.

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Edit: Oh, and to disprove this 'atheists believe god doesn't exist' nonsense:
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Originally Posted by OED
atheist
n. a person who does not believe in the existence of God or gods: he is a committed atheist.
< DERIVATIVES > atheistic adj. atheistical adj.



Does not believe X exists =/= believes X does not exist.


So you're saying that someone who does not believe that X exists can still believe that X exists?
That's just silly and contradictory, if you 'don't believe' that something exists, then it becomes necessary for you to 'believe' that they don't exist.

You can believe in the existence of someone or something while not believing in their abilities, their message or their intentions, but you cannot not believe in the 'existence' of something without believing that it doesn't exist.

That's like expecting the answer to 2x3 to be different to 3x2.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:31 AM   #3127
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Being an apatheist makes this debate seem rather redundant.

Honestly I just don't see why it matters if God exists or not. My philosophy is that you should be a good person, just because. I trust physics to explain the how but until such time as God Himself points at me from the sky and says "yo, sup", I just don't render religion as being of any importance in my life.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:37 AM   #3128
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Being an apatheist makes this debate seem rather redundant.

Honestly I just don't see why it matters if God exists or not. My philosophy is that you should be a good person, just because. I trust physics to explain the how but until such time as God Himself points at me from the sky and says "yo, sup", I just don't render religion as being of any importance in my life.


While I completely agree with your sentiment, this debate isn't about whether God exists or not, it's simply about the definition of the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic', the differences between them and how they can both be used together to pinpoint a persons personal belief system.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:47 AM   #3129
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This is a shitty, fallacious thing, but I want to see how you guys would reply to someone with this reasoning:

What if you believe that if God is all knowing and created everything as claimed, did he not create people's skepticism or foresee that? Did he not create remote places that no one would ever hear of him in their lifetime or are exposed to another religion? What if people literally, never heard of Christianity?

Or do people have some level of freewill that would negate or is supposed to overcome all that?

My roommate said people have the opportunity to repent these types of things like skepticism and remoteness during Revelation. As much as I respect her as a person, this Revelation thing seemed to come out of left field for her. How does free will come into play here?


Can someone clear this up for me? Never went over free will much in my classes, so I'm not very well versed in that area. Mostly I've taken normative ethics (Mill, Kant, Aristotle, Rawls), business ethics, medical ethics, etc.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:58 AM   #3130
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This is a shitty, fallacious thing, but I want to see how you guys would reply to someone with this reasoning:

What if you believe that if God is all knowing and created everything as claimed, did he not create people's skepticism or foresee that? Did he not create remote places that no one would ever hear of him in their lifetime or are exposed to another religion? What if people literally, never heard of Christianity?

Or do people have some level of freewill that would negate or is supposed to overcome all that?

My roommate said people have the opportunity to repent these types of things like skepticism and remoteness during Revelation. As much as I respect her as a person, this Revelation thing seemed to come out of left field for her. How does free will come into play here?


Can someone clear this up for me? Never went over free will much in my classes, so I'm not very well versed in that area. Mostly I've taken normative ethics (Mill, Kant, Aristotle, Rawls), business ethics, medical ethics, etc.

It's pretty simple really, if a God can 'forsee' something, that is, if God can know or see what will happen in the future, then 'free will' cannot exist because in order for God to know what happenes in the future, then the future must be 'predetermined'.
If the future is 'predetermined', then all of our choices that bring about that particular future must also be 'predetermined', therefore we wouldn't actualy have any choice over any of our decisions so we cannot be truly said to have 'free will'.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:11 AM   #3131
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It's pretty simple really, if a God can 'forsee' something, that is, if God can know what will happen in the future, then 'free will' cannot exist because in order for God to know what happenes in the future, then the future must be 'predetermined'.
If the future is 'predetermined', then all of our choices that bring about that particular future must also be 'predetermined', therefore we wouldn't actualy have any choice over our decisions so we cannot be truly said to have 'free will'.

Which then brings up the question of: Why does sin, and the punishment for sins, exist if we never had the ability to choose not to sin?

Of all the logical fallacies in the bible, I think that might be one of the most disturbing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:37 AM   #3132
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Which then brings up the question of: Why does sin, and the punishment for sins, exist if we never had the ability to choose not to sin?

Of all the logical fallacies in the bible, I think that might be one of the most disturbing.


I wouldn't exactly call that particular point a fallacy. While the Bible states that we have free will to make our own choices, it doesn't say that God cannot punish us for making the choice that he didn't want us to make.

The same can be said for our own laws in society. We can effectivley 'choose' to break the law, doesn't stop the law from punishing us for it though.

The whole point of free will in the Bible is to say that you have the choice to be good or evil, but choosing wrongly may result in your own downfall. Another way of putting it is "you are free to make the wrong descision".

The reason it's in the Bible is to attempt to explain why God created people who make obviously wrong decisions. It's basicaly saying that God could have created a group of automatons that were programmed to worship him, but what would be the point in that? What value would 'worship' have if it isn't given freely? So God gave us the freedom to make the choice of whether to worship him or not, and in the Bible, not worshipping him is considered as an obviously wrong descision to make, so, according to the Bible, we have the free will to make wrong descisions so that our worshipping of God has value, which is why there are people that exist that make obviously wrong descisions.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #3133
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I wouldn't exactly call that particular point a fallacy. While the Bible states that we have free will to make our own choices, it doesn't say that God cannot punish us for making the choice that he didn't want us to make.


But if God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then God will know what choices we make before we make them. Thus God punishes us for choices he knows we will make before he even creates us.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:10 AM   #3134
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But if God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then God will know what choices we make before we make them. Thus God punishes us for choices he knows we will make before he even creates us.


God's a ****. I don't see the logical fallacy.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:11 AM   #3135
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But if God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then God will know what choices we make before we make them. Thus God punishes us for choices he knows we will make before he even creates us.

Isn't that like the definition of Calvinism? Why some people are preordained to be saved and the rest damned?
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:48 AM   #3136
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God's a ****. I don't see the logical fallacy.


It's not so much a logical fallacy as a question of which one you want to give up: Omniscience, or free will.

If things are determined (i.e. if there's no free will) then it's possible to know beforehand what choices peopole will make.
OTOH if things aren't determined (i.e. if there's free will) then it's not possible to know beforehand what choices peopole will make.

Thus if God knows all (is omniscient), then there is no free will. Either that or we have free will and God isn't omniscient.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #3137
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Isn't that like the definition of Calvinism? Why some people are preordained to be saved and the rest damned?


It's not a question of who's saved and who's damned, but a question of whether or not God can know our choices without that also meaning those choices are pre-determined.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:06 AM   #3138
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It's not so much a logical fallacy as a question of which one you want to give up: Omniscience, or free will.

If things are determined (i.e. if there's no free will) then it's possible to know beforehand what choices peopole will make.
OTOH if things aren't determined (i.e. if there's free will) then it's not possible to know beforehand what choices peopole will make.

Thus if God knows all (is omniscient), then there is no free will. Either that or we have free will and God isn't omniscient.


Okay, cool. You're right.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:49 AM   #3139
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Regarding the "Abrahamic" God.... If this being creates human beings knowing full well that millions or billions will fail their moral tests during their lifetimes and be condemned to eternal punishment...Then he's a monster.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:56 PM   #3140
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I wouldn't exactly call that particular point a fallacy. While the Bible states that we have free will to make our own choices, it doesn't say that God cannot punish us for making the choice that he didn't want us to make.

I was referring to the belief that we are all following "God's plan", which would mean that we have no free will, thus no ability to sin on our own. Many Christians believe that we are all following this "plan", so it makes no sense to believe in that AND being punished for our sins.

But I don't know, does the bible state that we do have free will, or does it state that we are all following a set path, or "plan"? Or does it say both?
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