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Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber huckleberryhound
    Devout Agnostic.
    06 Aug '13 08:31
    Hi there.

    I've been in a discussion with some people about this, and i thought i'd throw it up here and see what the opinion of this forum is.

    What do you all think about the idea that you can't just be Agnostic? That you have to be either Agnostic atheist or Agnostic theist? The premise being that, Agnostic is an answer to a question of Knowledge, and Atheist/theist is an answer to the question of belief. I've been trying to tell some people that i don't care enough about the subject to consider myself an anything "ist", and that to me it's like the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment. The argument i get in return is that the answer to "Do you believe (a) God exists?" is a question with only yes/no as an answer.

    It would be interesting to hear what you guys think, thanks in advance...Huck.
  2. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    06 Aug '13 09:44
    yes, it is possible to be a stand alone agnostic. some agnostics believe that everyone is somewhat agnostic too. so many different kinds of agnosticism...
  3. 06 Aug '13 12:27
    Originally posted by empovsun
    yes, it is possible to be a stand alone agnostic. some agnostics believe that everyone is somewhat agnostic too. so many different kinds of agnosticism...
    That is true. All people are agnostic if you go by the definition of the word in the dictionary.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/agnostic

    1
    : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
    2
    : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>
  4. 06 Aug '13 12:41
    Originally posted by huckleberryhound
    Hi there.

    I've been in a discussion with some people about this, and i thought i'd throw it up here and see what the opinion of this forum is.

    What do you all think about the idea that you can't just be Agnostic? That you have to be either Agnostic atheist or Agnostic theist? The premise being that, Agnostic is an answer to a question of Kno ...[text shortened]... r.

    It would be interesting to hear what you guys think, thanks in advance...Huck.
    Hi Huck. An extended discussion of the logical positions of atheism on the Spirituality Forum starts here:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=154278&page=1

    Agnosticism per se is only mentioned briefly along the way—see, for example, my post on page 18 of that thread here:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=154278&page=&page=18

    There seem to be two types of agnosticism: (1) the strong version, in which one takes the position that judgment must be withheld because there is (a) lack of sufficient evidence to form a judgment, along with, perhaps, (b) the logical impossibility of there being such evidence; and (2) the weak version (“don’t know, don’t care” ). You might consider the possibility [I think Dr. Scribbles used to argue this—doubtless, you remember him] that, apart from the epistemological questions, one is either a “practical atheist” or a “practical theist”, in terms of how one lives—as if there is/are god(s), or as if there is/are not.

    You’re likely to get more extended commentary on your question if you take it to the Spirituality Forum (which has always also been the de facto philosophy forum). Hope that helps.
  5. 06 Aug '13 12:50
    Seems to me this is just a semantic issue. In my experience, people who label themselves "agnostic" tend to be atheists who don't want to hurt the feelings of religious people and/or just want to be different and cool.
  6. 06 Aug '13 12:58
    Agnostics are really just atheists without any gonads.

    Any other questions Huck?
  7. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    06 Aug '13 13:11 / 1 edit
    Their gonads got all scratched up from straddling the fence.
  8. 06 Aug '13 13:55
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Their gonads got all scratched up from straddling the fence.
  9. Standard member empovsun
    Adepto 'er perfectu
    06 Aug '13 13:59
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Seems to me this is just a semantic issue. In my experience, people who label themselves "agnostic" tend to be atheists who don't want to hurt the feelings of religious people and/or just want to be different and cool.
    it isn't

    agnosticism is a philosophical stance that has many variations to it, and cannot be lumped together.
  10. 06 Aug '13 14:14
    Originally posted by huckleberryhound
    Hi there.

    I've been in a discussion with some people about this, and i thought i'd throw it up here and see what the opinion of this forum is.

    What do you all think about the idea that you can't just be Agnostic? That you have to be either Agnostic atheist or Agnostic theist? The premise being that, Agnostic is an answer to a question of Kno ...[text shortened]... r.

    It would be interesting to hear what you guys think, thanks in advance...Huck.
    Do you mean is it possible to believe that you can't know the answer and that each person has the right to decide for himself?

    It is possible for such a person to exist, but that would be a rare person indeed. Most people feel the need to have others conform to their point of view.
  11. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    06 Aug '13 15:01
    Originally posted by huckleberryhound
    Hi there.

    I've been in a discussion with some people about this, and i thought i'd throw it up here and see what the opinion of this forum is.

    What do you all think about the idea that you can't just be Agnostic? That you have to be either Agnostic atheist or Agnostic theist? The premise being that, Agnostic is an answer to a question of Kno ...[text shortened]... r.

    It would be interesting to hear what you guys think, thanks in advance...Huck.
    Yes, it's possible to be just Agnostic. As far as not caring enough to be an "ist", I guess you can do that too. There is a pretty good chance you'll change your mind on the "ist" as you get older though, and begin to ponder your place in eternity. (Time has a way of doing that)
  12. 06 Aug '13 15:06
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Do you mean is it possible to believe that you can't know the answer and that each person has the right to decide for himself?

    It is possible for such a person to exist, but that would be a rare person indeed. Most people feel the need to have others conform to their point of view.
    I've never met anyone who thinks people don't have the right to decide their opinions for themselves. Where do you meet these people?

    Maybe you are confusing "the right to decide for yourself" with "the right to not have your opinions questioned by anyone".
  13. 06 Aug '13 15:47
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I've never met anyone who thinks people don't have the right to decide their opinions for themselves. Where do you meet these people?

    Maybe you are confusing "the right to decide for yourself" with "the right to not have your opinions questioned by anyone".
    How do you question axioms?
  14. 06 Aug '13 15:51
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Their gonads got all scratched up from straddling the fence.
    I used to call myself agnostic, until Ayn Rand convinced me to alter that to atheist, with the proviso I could change if the evidence became available.

    Agnostic seems to be the flexible position, which many lacking specific convictions take, but it can be different from one belief to another.
  15. 06 Aug '13 15:56
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I've never met anyone who thinks people don't have the right to decide their opinions for themselves. Where do you meet these people?

    Maybe you are confusing "the right to decide for yourself" with "the right to not have your opinions questioned by anyone".
    Surely you can't believe that after just reading in this forum.

    In another thread I questioned why so many think others ought to be "forced" to conform. Clearly, a lot of people are uncomfortable with others having different beliefs, and different decisions and actions. Those that believe in force to get conformity may be in the majority, split along different lines.

    There may be a majority who want liberty in many things, but are prepared to use force for conformity in others.