1. Joined
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    30 Dec '05 23:37
    Let's face it, unless you believe in God, it seems pretty unlikely he exists.

    So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Are they saying they consider it very unlikely, yet possible, there is a God?

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opinion, before they admitted they believed God did not exist?

    After all, there could be an elephant in my bedroom, but I don't believe there is.

    Or are they saying they have no idea what exists outside the physical realm? And what consequences does that have for their view of the odds of a specifically Christian God existing?
  2. Donationrwingett
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    30 Dec '05 23:47
    Originally posted by dottewell
    Let's face it, unless you believe in God, it seems pretty unlikely he exists.

    So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Are they saying they consider it very unlikely, yet possible, there is a God?

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opinion, before they admitted they believed God did not exist?

    After al ...[text shortened]... nsequences does that have for their view of the odds of a specifically Christian God existing?
    I think agnosticism is a bit of a cop-out myself, but for different reasons.

    Agnostics typically say that it cannot be known whether god exists, and not that it's a 50/50 chance. There is a big difference in those two. Or they say that the very concept of god is unknowable and that the question as to whether he exists therefore makes no sense.
  3. Subscriberinvigorate
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    30 Dec '05 23:50
    If you genuinely don't know. Then you are Agnostic. An Agnostic is a bit like a floating voter at election time - they are genuinely interested in the subject matter, but can see the possible and the impossible in both arguments.
  4. Donationrwingett
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    30 Dec '05 23:53
    Originally posted by invigorate
    If you genuinely don't know. Then you are Agnostic. An Agnostic is a bit like a floating voter at election time - they are genuinely interested in the subject matter, but can see the possible and the impossible in both arguments.
    Let me ask you something: Do agnostics believe in god?
  5. Subscriberno1marauder
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    30 Dec '05 23:571 edit
    Originally posted by dottewell
    Let's face it, unless you believe in God, it seems pretty unlikely he exists.

    So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Are they saying they consider it very unlikely, yet possible, there is a God?

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opinion, before they admitted they believed God did not exist?

    After al nsequences does that have for their view of the odds of a specifically Christian God existing?
    As an agnostic, though a shaky one, I would say my belief in the possibility of a "Christian" God i.e. the one discussed in the Bible is near zero. As someone who sees order in the universe and who believes that, on the basis of what we know about the physical laws of the universe, that the possibility of them being so aligned as to make life possible is rather small, I must allow for the reasonable possibility of a Creator. That is absent some evidence of alternative universes or "Meta" physical laws.
  6. Joined
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    31 Dec '05 00:141 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Or they say that the very concept of god is unknowable and that the question as to whether he exists therefore makes no sense.
    Not sure about that; surely they have to have some conception of God in order to say that it is impossible to know whether he exists?

    Otherwise, does it not reduce to a kind of atheism (albeit the kind that says the very concept of a God is meaningless)?

    No1's position - acknowledging a "reasonable" possibility of God existing - seems more in line with what I understand to be agnosticism.
  7. Subscriberno1marauder
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    31 Dec '05 00:211 edit
    Originally posted by dottewell
    Not sure about that; surely they have to have some conception of God in order to say that it is impossible to know whether he exists?

    Otherwise, does it not reduce to a kind of atheism (albeit the kind that says the very concept of a God is meaningless)?

    No1's position - acknowledging a "reasonable" possibility of God existing - seems more in line with what I understand to be agnosticism.
    A quibble: I said there is a "reasonable possibility of a Creator" of the universe. Whether that would necessarily be a "God" as generally understood is by no means certain.
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    31 Dec '05 00:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    A quibble: I said there is a "reasonable possibility of a Creator" of the universe. Whether that would necessarily be a "God" as generally understood is by no means certain.
    Fair enough.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    31 Dec '05 00:31
    Originally posted by dottewell
    Let's face it, unless you believe in God, it seems pretty unlikely he exists.

    So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Are they saying they consider it very unlikely, yet possible, there is a God?

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opinion, before they admitted they believed God did not exist?

    After al ...[text shortened]... nsequences does that have for their view of the odds of a specifically Christian God existing?
    So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Before I could answer that question, you'd need to clarify what you mean by "God". Like marauder, I think that the chance of the Christian God existing as described in the Bible is near zero - but not quite zero.

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opinion, before they admitted they believed God did not exist?

    Depends on what "believe" means.

    After all, there could be an elephant in my bedroom, but I don't believe there is.

    You are doing a little bit of sleight of hand with your terminology here. There's a difference between not believing X and believing not X.

    Or are they saying they have no idea what exists outside the physical realm?

    What is "the physical realm" and what does it mean to be outside it?
  10. Donationrwingett
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    31 Dec '05 00:331 edit
    Originally posted by dottewell
    Not sure about that; surely they have to have some conception of God in order to say that it is impossible to know whether he exists?

    Otherwise, does it not reduce to a kind of atheism (albeit the kind that says the very concept of a God is meaningless)?

    No1's position - acknowledging a "reasonable" possibility of God existing - seems more in line with what I understand to be agnosticism.
    The dictionary definition of agnostic is: One who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.

    He cannot assign any probability to the question of god's existence because it is simply beyond the capacity of man to know anything about him. Because it's a yes or no question (either god exists or he doesn't) it does not follow that it therefore becomes a 50/50 proposition, with each being as likely as the other. An agnostic would deny having the capacity to assign any probability to the question at all.
  11. Donationrwingett
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    31 Dec '05 00:49
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    [b]So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Before I could answer that question, you'd need to clarify what you mean by "God". Like marauder, I think that the chance of the Christian God existing as described in the Bible is near zero - but not quite zero.

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opin ...[text shortened]... ical realm?

    What is "the physical realm" and what does it mean to be outside it?[/b]
    Do you think any other gods have a greater chance of existing than the christian god?
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    31 Dec '05 00:51
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    [b]So are agnostics saying they are 50-50 on the matter?

    Before I could answer that question, you'd need to clarify what you mean by "God". Like marauder, I think that the chance of the Christian God existing as described in the Bible is near zero - but not quite zero.

    If so, how vanishingly small would the odds have to be, in their opin ...[text shortened]... ical realm?

    What is "the physical realm" and what does it mean to be outside it?[/b]
    I believe there is not an elephant in my bedroom. (Shortly I will be able to verify...)

    If you think the odds of a Christian God existing are approaching zero, surely you believe there is no Christian God? (Not the same as knowing there is no Christian God.)
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    31 Dec '05 00:55
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The dictionary definition of [b]agnostic is: One who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.

    He cannot assign any probability to the question of god's existence because it is simply beyond the capacity of man to know anything about him. Because it's a yes or no question (either god exists or he doesn't) ...[text shortened]... An agnostic would deny having the capacity to assign any probability to the question at all.[/b]
    I think most defintions of agnosticism are that the TRUTH of claims about God, etc., is unknowable.

    If the concept of God is meaningless, I don't see how you can be an agnostic.

    You need to at least have some concept of what it is, whose existence you cannot determine.

    This could be a specific idea of a God or something more general (e.g. a creator).
  14. Subscriberno1marauder
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    31 Dec '05 01:021 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Do you think any other gods have a greater chance of existing than the christian god?
    Definitely. The Christian God is a projection of a certain group of ancient people who believed (not unreasonably from their perspective) that they were the most important thing in the universe and that therefore God must take a special interest in them. This is a common belief among ancient peoples. Our knowledge of the universe now makes the idea that there is a almighty, all-knowing, all- powerful God who took particular interest in a small band of semi-savages 3000 years ago rather ludicrous. Coupled with the many logical absurdities the particular Christian belief system leads to (many which have been discussed in this forum), the possibility of the Christian God existing in the form asserted in the Bible can be dismissed.
  15. Donationrwingett
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    31 Dec '05 01:09
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Definitely. The Christian God is a projection of a certain group of ancient people who believed (not unreasonably from their perspective) that they were the most important thing in the universe and that therefore God must take a special interest in them. This is a common belief among ancient peoples. Our knowledge of the universe now makes the idea that ...[text shortened]... he possibility of the Christian God existing in the form asserted in the Bible can be dismissed.
    Which gods have a higher probability of existing? And why?
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