1. Donationbuckky
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    13 Aug '06 16:35
    What religion has the ultimate truth ? I know the Christians think they do, but I'm sure the Muslems think the same way. I would bet the Buddhest think they might be on the perfect road also. Could it be that they all might have something to offer ? I know the athiest are convinced they are the smart ones, and that all religions are nut's but they also have a ego problem. Trying to find ultimate truth on a chess forum is no doubt a crazy way to go, but God works in mysterious ways.
  2. Donationrwingett
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    13 Aug '06 16:47
    Originally posted by buckky
    What religion has the ultimate truth ? I know the Christians think they do, but I'm sure the Muslems think the same way. I would bet the Buddhest think they might be on the perfect road also. Could it be that they all might have something to offer ? I know the athiest are convinced they are the smart ones, and that all religions are nut's but they also have a ...[text shortened]... timate truth on a chess forum is no doubt a crazy way to go, but God works in mysterious ways.
    The atheists are smart enough to realize that they do not know The Truth and that nobody else does either. Anyone who claims to have all the answers is either deluded or a liar.
  3. Upstate NY
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    13 Aug '06 20:16
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The atheists are smart enough to realize that they do not know The Truth and that nobody else does either. Anyone who claims to have all the answers is either deluded or a liar.
    I have a question regarding your position; perhaps you can help clarify it for me.

    First can you clarify what you mean by The Truth? Do you mean a particular truth about God and mankind or are you speaking of general truth in an absolute sense?
  4. Donationrwingett
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    13 Aug '06 20:33
    Originally posted by Ristar
    I have a question regarding your position; perhaps you can help clarify it for me.

    First can you clarify what you mean by The Truth? Do you mean a particular truth about God and mankind or are you speaking of general truth in an absolute sense?
    I was speaking more generally about 'god' and the big picture, rather than about all the various minutia that comprise that totality. Obviously if we can be said to know anything at all, there are certain things that we could know as being 'true.' Mathematical computations and the like.
  5. Upstate NY
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    13 Aug '06 21:58
    I see. Thanks for the clarification. Are you not then referring to agnostics as to who claims that truth about God cannot be known (As you probably already know, alpha/negative+theos/God is the greek origin of the term, where as alpha/negative+gnosco/inf. "to know" is the origin for agnostic.)?

    Please forgive the long quote, but I think it's relevant.
    The French philosopher Etienne Borne has defined Atheism as follows: ‘Atheism is the deliberate, definite, dogmatic denial of the existence
    of God… It is not satisfied with approximate or relative truth, but claims to see the ins and outs of the game quite clearly — being the absolute denial of the Absolute.’

    Many claim to be atheists when, in reality they are agnostics. I just want to define our terms for clarity's sake. Am I seeing your position correctly?
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Aug '06 01:401 edit
    Originally posted by Ristar
    I see. Thanks for the clarification. Are you not then referring to agnostics as to who claims that truth about God cannot be known (As you probably already know, alpha/negative+theos/God is the greek origin of the term, where as alpha/negative+gnosco/inf. "to know" is the origin for agnostic.)?

    Please forgive the long quote, but I think it's relevant. ...[text shortened]... . I just want to define our terms for clarity's sake. Am I seeing your position correctly?
    Borne is describing what is often termed a “strong” or “hard” atheism. The difference between a “strong” agnosticism and so-called “weak atheism” seems minimal. I would suggest it has to do with the burden of proof: the “weak” atheist says that the burden of proof for admitting a supernatural category (e.g., supernatural theism) rests with the supernaturalist/theist.* Until such “proof” is forthcoming, I have no reason to admit that category into my inquiry. Further, simply because admitting that category may offer answers to questions for which I otherwise have none, is not sufficient—those answers themselves must meet further tests of plausibility and likelihood; an answer that rests on the supernatural assumption may not be better than no answer at all...

    Rwingett is more well-read than I am on this, and may offer a correction.

    * Note: Weak atheism is sometimes called agnostic atheism.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    14 Aug '06 02:07
    Originally posted by Ristar
    I see. Thanks for the clarification. Are you not then referring to agnostics as to who claims that truth about God cannot be known (As you probably already know, alpha/negative+theos/God is the greek origin of the term, where as alpha/negative+gnosco/inf. "to know" is the origin for agnostic.)?

    Please forgive the long quote, but I think it's relevant. ...[text shortened]... . I just want to define our terms for clarity's sake. Am I seeing your position correctly?
    Borne is an idiot.

    An atheist is simply someone who lacks belief in god. (a=without, theism=belief in god). This includes infants and people who have never heard of god (implicit atheists) as well as people who have, but find the claim unconvincing (explicit atheists).

    An agnostic correctly observes that the truth about god cannot be known. But it is the atheist who draws the correct conclusion that the claim must therefore be doubted.

    So I would put your observation on it's head, in that there are many who claim to be agnostics when, in reality they are atheists. They only feel the need to maintain a separate definition because they've been hoodwinked into accepting Borne's extremely narrow and self-serving definition. In fact I have previously, and still do, maintain that agnosticism is not a separate category from theism and atheism at all, but that all agnostics are either agnostic-atheists or agnostic-theists.

    Vistesd has already made the distinction between soft/weak atheists and strong/hard atheists. I find it curious that theists and self proclaimed agnostics are typically adamant in maintaining that strong atheism is THE definition of atheism while soft atheists are somehow an atypical example, when, in fact, the exact opposite is the truth. An overwhelming percentage of knowledgable atheists would define themselves as soft atheists.
  8. Joined
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    14 Aug '06 02:142 edits
    Originally posted by buckky
    What religion has the ultimate truth ? I know the Christians think they do, but I'm sure the Muslems think the same way. I would bet the Buddhest think they might be on the perfect road also. Could it be that they all might have something to offer ? I know the athiest are convinced they are the smart ones, and that all religions are nut's but they also have a ...[text shortened]... timate truth on a chess forum is no doubt a crazy way to go, but God works in mysterious ways.
    You are correct in that every one thinks they know the truth about the truth, whatever they percieve that to be, and no one likes to be told they are wrong. The problem is, is that not everyone can be right since not everyone agrees about what truth is about the truth. Our perception of truth is skewed due to our finite and fallible states of mind. These are a few truths we can start off with.

    The question then becomes, is truth therefore knowable? Since we have established that we have a fallible and skewed sense of perception, we cannot know the truth about everything. There will always be some areas about truth that we will never know. This does not mean, however, that truth is unknowable. After all, we have established a few truths already. Although our perceptions are skewed, we can still have truth introduced to us and subsequently accepted or rejected by us.

    I speak from a Christian perspective. It is my belief that the ultimate truth was given to us via Christ. Christ said that he was the way, the truth, and the life. Since our personal view of truth is skewed, how can we know everything there is to know about the truth via ourselves? Should we not, therefore, get this truth from an outside source?

    Don't get me wrong. Just because you become a Christian does it mean you will know all there is to know about the truth. However, the truth then can be revealed to you in terms of what you need to know about the truth and what you desire to know about the truth. This can happen once you connect yourself to the source of all truth and your desire to seek the truth. Just as the scritpures say, seek and you shall find. You will not discover what you do not care to find, rather, you will simply discard it. Also, this does not mean that you cannot be wrong once you become a Christian. After all, we will never escape our skewed states of mind until we die, but we can readjust or recallobrate our mind to the truth via the source of all truth.

    Since we have established that truth is skewed via personal interpretation, it would behoove us to look outside ourselves for the truth we seek. As far as looking to Christs for this truth, all I can tell you is study his teachings and decide for yourself. This is what I did and I fell in love with the truth he proclaimed to all.

    You and I know the truth is out there, its only a matter of finding it.
  9. Upstate NY
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    14 Aug '06 02:24
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Borne is describing what is often termed a “strong” or “hard” atheism. The difference between a “strong” agnosticism and so-called “weak atheism” seems minimal. I would suggest it has to do with the burden of proof: the “weak” atheist says that the burden of proof for admitting a supernatural category (e.g., supernatural theism) rests with the supernatur ...[text shortened]... this, and may offer a correction.

    * Note: Weak atheism is sometimes called agnostic atheism.
    Thanks, vistesd. I think it's important to define our terms to aid in communication.

    As to the main topic of knowledge, which is an epistemological question, I think it's important to clarify one point (and please feel free to challenge me if you think I'm all wet): not only is Atheism, systemically speaking, self-defeating in the sense that a person claims unlimited knowledge in order to assert that no one with infinite knowledge exists, "strong" agnosticism is also self-defeating as a system, because it, in effect, says, "I know that you can't know."

    The most respected position is, of course, the type of "soft" agnosticism that says, "I am open to evidence, but in the meantime I don't know that it's possible to affirm the existence of God."

    I think we can all agree that, for a human, the goal of obtaining unlimited knowledge on any subject is a fruitless endeavor. Thus the myth of absolute human certainty remains a myth. Yet we believe in many things, indeed take them for granted that they are true. As Richard Rorty once said, "If anyone really believed that the worth of a theory depends on its philosophical grounding, then indeed they would be dubious about physics, or democracy, until relativism in respect to philosophical theories had been overcome. Fortunately, almost nobody believes anything of the sort."

    The point here, as I understand it, is that it is possible to affirm something, not because you have unlimited evidence, but merely that you have evidence at all. You may believe in mathematics even if people had forgotten how to write equations, because it makes sense that mathematical precision is possible in a world where natural laws are involved. While it is true that a man's hunger does not prove that he will get bread (he could die of starvation in a desert), it does prove (though not conclusively) that he comes from a race that maintains itself by eating and that, somewhere, eatable substances exist.

    The real question, to return to our original poster's query, is "What is the truth of God, if any; and who, if anyone, has it?" If we acknowledge that truth exists(this is, of course, elementary as the very fact that we are asserting and defending things proves we all believe in truth), we must acknowledge a source of truth exists. This point, I believe, must be firmly established before we move on.

    I apologize if I am stating the perfectly obvious, but in a post-modern culture, you can't be too careful. 🙂

    Whew, long post! Thanks for letting me jabber. Any further thoughts?
  10. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    14 Aug '06 02:311 edit
    Originally posted by Ristar
    Thanks, vistesd. I think it's important to define our terms to aid in communication.

    As to the main topic of knowledge, which is an epistemological question, I think it's important to clarify one point (and please feel free to challenge me if you think I'm all wet): not only is Atheism, systemically speaking, self-defeating in the sense that a person clai 🙂

    Whew, long post! Thanks for letting me jabber. Any further thoughts?
    Re atheism as a self-defeating construct.

    There is a difference between not believing in God and believing that there is no God. Most atheists simply state that there is no evidence for God, indeed there is evidence to the contrary (if the bible is to be believed as "God's word"😉.
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Aug '06 02:39
    Originally posted by buckky
    What religion has the ultimate truth ? I know the Christians think they do, but I'm sure the Muslems think the same way. I would bet the Buddhest think they might be on the perfect road also. Could it be that they all might have something to offer ? I know the athiest are convinced they are the smart ones, and that all religions are nut's but they also have a ...[text shortened]... timate truth on a chess forum is no doubt a crazy way to go, but God works in mysterious ways.
    Getting off the atheist/agnostic arguments for a moment - which to be honest get a bit tedious - it seems to me that religions are about pretty much the same as science, and probably most human endeavours if you really think about them, which is:

    ... making sense of the world around us.

    I don't think Christianity, Buddhism, Hindusim, Islam, Judaism, Atheism, Agnosticism, Paganism, Zoroastrianism, or freakin Spaghetti-Monsterism can make any claim to ultimate truth.
    What is ultimate truth anyway?

    Instead, I think they're are ways that people use to make sense of the world around them. And in one sense, they all work ...
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Aug '06 02:51
    Originally posted by Ristar
    Thanks, vistesd. I think it's important to define our terms to aid in communication.

    As to the main topic of knowledge, which is an epistemological question, I think it's important to clarify one point (and please feel free to challenge me if you think I'm all wet): not only is Atheism, systemically speaking, self-defeating in the sense that a person clai ...[text shortened]... 🙂

    Whew, long post! Thanks for letting me jabber. Any further thoughts?
    ...not only is Atheism, systemically speaking, self-defeating in the sense that a person claims unlimited knowledge in order to assert that no one with infinite knowledge exists, "strong" agnosticism is also self-defeating as a system, because it, in effect, says, "I know that you can't know."

    (a) Strong atheism may well be self-defeating.

    (b) I disagree with your characterization of strong agnosticism—though I really don’t care about the labels much. I think strong agnosticism claims that one ought not accept or reject a claim absent sufficient evidence (and again, I see the claim of supernatural theism as asserting the necessity of the supernatural category in order to answer questions that it deems must be answered.

    (c) Rorty is on my lengthy reading list... Nevertheless, I suspect that there may be valid pragmatic and/or aesthetic reasons for an individual to choose to live within a particular religious paradigm.

    The point here, as I understand it, is that it is possible to affirm something, not because you have unlimited evidence, but merely that you have evidence at all.

    The question is one of sufficiency of evidence. People can make erroneous decisions based on limited evidence—e.g., I see no sign of rain; I didn’t have a chance to check the weather report (i.e., that alternative evidence was not available at the time); I leave home without my umbrella and get caught in a downpour...

    I have yet to find sufficient evidence to warrant admission of the supernatural category.

    If we acknowledge that truth exists(this is, of course, elementary as the very fact that we are asserting and defending things proves we all believe in truth), we must acknowledge a source of truth exists.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “source” here. For example, if the force of gravity is a part of the cosmos, then by understanding that we can arrive at certain true conclusions (or at least conclusions that are warranted): e.g., if you drop something from a height, it will fall. (That’s simplistic, I know, but a scientist I am not.) If you are asserting that gravity needs a “source” in order for us to study its behavior and arrive at true conclusions, then I disagree. And if you want to ask “Why is there gravity?” then it seems you are presuming a “source” in your question...

    Thanks for letting me jabber.

    That’s all I’m doing... 🙂
  13. Donationrwingett
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    14 Aug '06 02:53
    Originally posted by amannion
    Getting off the atheist/agnostic arguments for a moment - which to be honest get a bit tedious - it seems to me that religions are about pretty much the same as science, and probably most human endeavours if you really think about them, which is:

    ... making sense of the world around us.

    I don't think Christianity, Buddhism, Hindusim, Islam, Judaism, A ...[text shortened]... ys that people use to make sense of the world around them. And in one sense, they all work ...
    Atheism makes no claims as to the ultimate truth, or any other truth. It affirms nothing.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Aug '06 02:57
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Atheism makes no claims as to the ultimate truth, or any other truth. It affirms nothing.
    And so tilting against the so-called “strong atheist” is setting up a strawman to joust with. Same thing happens with skepticism...
  15. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Aug '06 02:59
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Atheism makes no claims as to the ultimate truth, or any other truth. It affirms nothing.
    Maybe not in your strict terms, but the reality of actually being an atheist is that you make that choice as a way of framing the world around you.

    'I refuse to believe in a God', the atheist says, by which s/he then understands the world.
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