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Are the New Atheists just as messed up as Believers?

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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
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And, no, it's not "pretty defined". At no point have you defined this vague amorphous "God" that you are agnostic about. It's apparently just something 'out there' that is 'unknowable' but which doesn't have any affect on us or our behaviour. The "shortcoming" is all yours, as you have failed to define what this thing is about which you are agnostic. You've already said it's not any of the mass-market Gods, with their specific lists of rules. So it's left undefined.

All I get from this is you think something, that you can't define or say anything about, may or may not exist.
Yes. I claim not to know exactly whether there was or was not any supernatural power that helped create and run this massive ever expanding universe of infinite galaxies and worlds of which we know so so little about. What an unreasonable position. Admitting what one does not know is often more powerful than saying you do, especially about you know, mundane things like the origin of life and the universe.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
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I guess, since we can't seem to stop intellectualizing about god not god I want to play too.

There are two groups of people, those who know God and those who don't know him at all.

Those who don't know him can be divided into various sets that can be mapped onto the plane of a computer screen. Those would be believers and non believers.

Believers are those who have no knowledge of God but believe their ideas about God are real. Non believers are those who take various points of view to those fabricated beliefs, Gnostic Atheist Agnostic Agnostics and all of the hilarious bull shit.

Those who know God can't be represented on a computer screen because they exist in a dimension that can't be represented there.

They know God because their knowledge does not exist in time or space. The eye with which they see God is the same eye with which He sees them. Who could ever possible understand this other than those who do, certainly not believers or non believers who know nothing at all about it. God has no existence if you are not consciously aware of him. None who sleep can be aware of those who are awake unless it is the question that drives you from deep within ones consciousness. That inner voice, that call from so very near can't be heard by those whose truth is sought by the blinding light of rational thinking. The truth is for fools and idiots, folk in but not of this world.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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I guess, since we can't seem to stop intellectualizing about god not god I want to play too.

There are two groups of people, those who know God and those who don't know him at all.

Those who don't know him can be divided into various sets that can be mapped onto the plane of a computer screen. Those would be believers and non believers.

Believers are those who have no knowledge of God but believe their ideas about God are real. Non believers are those who take various points of view to those fabricated beliefs, Gnostic Atheist Agnostic Agnostics and all of the hilarious bull shit.

Those who know God can't be represented on a computer screen because they exist in a dimension that can't be represented there.

They know God because their knowledge does not exist in time or space. The eye with which they see God is the same eye with which He sees them. Who could ever possible understand this other than those who do, certainly not believers or non believers who know nothing at all about it. God has no existence if you are not consciously aware of him. None who sleep can be aware of those who are awake unless it is the question that drives you from deep within ones consciousness. That inner voice, that call from so very near can't be heard by those whose truth is sought by the blinding light of rational thinking. The truth is for fools and idiots, folk in but not of this world.
Rational thought has produced pretty much everything around you, including the very device you just used to post this message. What exactly have you produced?

The idea that people who support science and rationalism are about the same as those who engage in magical thinking is completely false, as is the notion that there is this vague third group of enlightened people who stand above both. It's parallel to the agnostics in this thread who will snipe at both sides, as well as political "centrists" who engage in bothsides BS to stake out a claim of being above either "side."
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,311
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What is this about the existence of a God or gods being "unknowable?" I think some people are conflating "unknown" with "unknowable" when they aren't the same thing.

The notion that the existence of a deity is unknowable is an untenable proposition. The fact is, there is no theoretical reason why an existing god could not reveal itself, could not provide evidence of its existence. And that is the point for atheists - there is no proof in spite of the fact that in theory such proof could exist. This lack of proof does not support the notion that it is unknowable. It supports the notion that it is unproven, period.

I think when self-described agnostics say that the existence of a god is unknowable, they are pretending that proof is not possible, which allows them to skirt the implication of there being no proof at all.
Again, I generally agree with you.

But to be clear (as one who has described himself as an agnostic) I suggest that the point really is this: that no one can claim to know - with 100% certainty - that some sort of a god cannot possibly exist, even while there is currently IMHO no evidence to support the belief that any god(s) do exist.

My sense is that I may not be the only one here that is using (perhaps in your view misusing) the label "agnostic" to indicate that while we do not believe there is sufficient evidence to support the belief in any of the god candidates, we have not closed and locked the door to the possibility that we are wrong.

For now, we go with our best estimates of truth - making choices in our daily lives without regard the supposed wishes of any gods. But alert to the possibility that our estimates might need changing in light of future events/discoveries.

I suspect this makes us atheists in your eyes; perhaps I will call myself an agnostic atheist in the future.
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,311
345
126
I guess, since we can't seem to stop intellectualizing about god not god I want to play too.

There are two groups of people, those who know God and those who don't know him at all.

Those who don't know him can be divided into various sets that can be mapped onto the plane of a computer screen. Those would be believers and non believers.

Believers are those who have no knowledge of God but believe their ideas about God are real. Non believers are those who take various points of view to those fabricated beliefs, Gnostic Atheist Agnostic Agnostics and all of the hilarious bull shit.

Those who know God can't be represented on a computer screen because they exist in a dimension that can't be represented there.

They know God because their knowledge does not exist in time or space. The eye with which they see God is the same eye with which He sees them. Who could ever possible understand this other than those who do, certainly not believers or non believers who know nothing at all about it. God has no existence if you are not consciously aware of him. None who sleep can be aware of those who are awake unless it is the question that drives you from deep within ones consciousness. That inner voice, that call from so very near can't be heard by those whose truth is sought by the blinding light of rational thinking. The truth is for fools and idiots, folk in but not of this world.
Oh my... The ultimate "holier than thou" cop-out argument.

Let's pretend to want to have a rational discussion, but then lay claim to some higher truth that trumps rationality and cannot be shared with the inferior ones that god has not chosen.

I guess we are done here.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,126
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Again, I generally agree with you.

But to be clear (as one who has described himself as an agnostic) I suggest that the point really is this: that no one can claim to know - with 100% certainty - that some sort of a god cannot possibly exist, even while there is currently IMHO no evidence to support the belief that any god(s) do exist.

My sense is that I may not be the only one here that is using (perhaps in your view misusing) the label "agnostic" to indicate that while we do not believe there is sufficient evidence to support the belief in any of the god candidates, we have not closed and locked the door to the possibility that we are wrong.

For now, we go with our best estimates of truth - making choices in our daily lives without regard the supposed wishes of any gods. But alert to the possibility that our estimates might need changing in light of future events/discoveries.

I suspect this makes us atheists in your eyes; perhaps I will call myself an agnostic atheist in the future.
I hate going back the the FSM so frequently, but if I asked you if you believed in the FSM, would you say "no" or "I don't know?" If your answer is that you would say no, what is different between God and the FSM such that one dictates one answer while the other dictates a different answer?
 
Nov 29, 2006
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I hate going back the the FSM so frequently, but if I asked you if you believed in the FSM, would you say "no" or "I don't know?" If your answer is that you would say no, what is different between God and the FSM such that one dictates one answer while the other dictates a different answer?
What if one said, "no, I don't believe in the FSM, but that doesn't mean that the FSM couldn't exist and just chooses to never to be observed by humans"?

To me that is an agnostic atheist, which we all in here pretty much seem to be.
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,311
345
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I hate going back the the FSM so frequently, but if I asked you if you believed in the FSM, would you say "no" or "I don't know?" If your answer is that you would say no, what is different between God and the FSM such that one dictates one answer while the other dictates a different answer?
Of course I answer "no" to the FSM - just as I answer "no" to all other gods. The answers are not different; they are the same.

The point is that these are the best answers I can give right now, and that there is a very small - but importantly nonzero chance - that at least one of my answers could turn out to be wrong and I might need to correct it in the future.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
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Rational thought has produced pretty much everything around you, including the very device you just used to post this message. What exactly have you produced?

The idea that people who support science and rationalism are about the same as those who engage in magical thinking is completely false, as is the notion that there is this vague third group of enlightened people who stand above both. It's parallel to the agnostics in this thread who will snipe at both sides, as well as political "centrists" who engage in bothsides BS to stake out a claim of being above either "side."
Exactly as I would say when engaging my inferiority complex. You just telling me that any thing different is an attempt to make me feel inferior.

Didn't I mention that you can't know God as long as you engage in comparison. Thought is comparison, emotions attached to past experience, memories and thus time. God does not exist in time, the awareness of past and present. God is when you are in the now. You don't believe that time can stop when thought does and can't so believe if you haven't stopped time. You don't know if thought can stop such that one awakens in the present. But if you had you would then know who God is. You can't possibly be inferior to anybody because full being is as much being as there is. That is the conscious state in which you were born, but it was stolen away. Get it back and it can't ever again be taken because you will know that feelings of inferiority are a total lie, factually, but determine your dominant concealed bias when believed on unconsciously believed and thus the last thing you would ever examine. To deny God is to deny your human potential, what you were meant to experience consciously.

All that crap you deny as bull shit is just the ravings of believers who have no idea who God is either but need him to feel special. The wonderful thing about faith however is that it can lead to love and to love is to know God. The wonderful thing about God is that it strips the mind of delusional thinking. The cup that fills with love can only fill when empty of that which isn't love. Lifted or fallen all can lead to the same place, awakening. Love does not put down or compare. It is empty of self. God is only when one is.

All the gods are only the adumbration of that one thing. God has always been and will always be right there so long as you are.
 

VashHT

Platinum Member
Feb 1, 2007
2,626
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Of course I answer "no" to the FSM - just as I answer "no" to all other gods. The answers are not different; they are the same.

The point is that these are the best answers I can give right now, and that there is a very small - but importantly nonzero chance - that at least one of my answers could turn out to be wrong and I might need to correct it in the future.
This is where I'm at I think, I don't think any man made gods are real, but there's some chance something that could be considered divine is somewhere in the universe. Moreso, it's impossible to prove there isn't really.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,126
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Of course I answer "no" to the FSM - just as I answer "no" to all other gods. The answers are not different; they are the same.

The point is that these are the best answers I can give right now, and that there is a very small - but importantly nonzero chance - that at least one of my answers could turn out to be wrong and I might need to correct it in the future.
Right, "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer when confronted with a question over the existence of something posited but not proven. The fact that there is a non-zero chance that the thing exists is essentially irrelevant because pretty much everything is possible. The problem is that some agnostics here seem to think that saying "no" to that question is the equivalent of actively believing in non-existence as an article of faith. It is not.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,126
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What if one said, "no, I don't believe in the FSM, but that doesn't mean that the FSM couldn't exist and just chooses to never to be observed by humans"?

To me that is an agnostic atheist, which we all in here pretty much seem to be.
Sure, and you could also leave off that part after the second comma. The reason being that, as I said above, pretty anything could possibly exist, so why even bother to address it? I guess one could just stipulate "yes, practically every thing a human can imagine is possible in theory, and technically I don't "know" that any of these infinite possible imagined beings doesn't exist."

Can one just say that once in his life and therefore be allowed to just say "no" thereafter without being labelled as akin to a faith based theist? There, I just said it once. Do I need to ever say it again? It strikes me as too obvious to even require acknowledgement.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
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Right, "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer when confronted with a question over the existence of something posited but not proven. The fact that there is a non-zero chance that the thing exists is essentially irrelevant because pretty much everything is possible. The problem is that some agnostics here seem to think that saying "no" to that question is the equivalent of actively believing in non-existence as an article of faith. It is not.
Thank you, this is exactly correct. The idea that we need to preface every denial we make with the fact that given the near limitless magnificence of the multiverse it could potentially exist is a waste of everyone’s time.

As you said if someone asks you if King George III stopped by your house last night you would just say no, you would not feel the need to qualify it with ‘but given our limited knowledge of time and space maybe he did’. It’s no different here.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
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Furthermore, knowledge of God has no bearing on the love of science and reasoning. It just may help in understanding their limitation. And only magical to you and the members of your cargo cult. :)
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Furthermore, knowledge of God has no bearing on the love of science and reasoning. It just may help in understanding their limitation. And only magical to you and the members of your cargo cult. :)
Amusingly enough members of cargo cults explicitly abandon rational thought in exchange for magical thinking, thinking that building an appropriate temple will bring planes loaded with cargo as opposed to understanding what those planes were and why/how they came.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
10,109
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Thank you, this is exactly correct. The idea that we need to preface every denial we make with the fact that given the near limitless magnificence of the multiverse it could potentially exist is a waste of everyone’s time.

As you said if someone asks you if King George III stopped by your house last night you would just say no, you would not feel the need to qualify it with ‘but given our limited knowledge of time and space maybe he did’. It’s no different here.
You are comparing a stupid question, like if King George III stopped at your house last night, vs a very reasonable and vast question about the most complex and massive thing that exists, the Universe itself and Life. That is simply not a good comparison. That's like saying asking someone to show what 2+2 is is the same as explaining how E=MC squared.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
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Thank you, this is exactly correct. The idea that we need to preface every denial we make with the fact that given the near limitless magnificence of the multiverse it could potentially exist is a waste of everyone’s time.

As you said if someone asks you if King George III stopped by your house last night you would just say no, you would not feel the need to qualify it with ‘but given our limited knowledge of time and space maybe he did’. It’s no different here.
Exactly, people who believe in some God of religion have beliefs that amount to absurdity. People get God wrong in millions and billions of ways. The people who know God know the same God and no box can hold him or describe who He is. One can point a finger but the finger isn't Him. Believers and non believers share the same state of ignorance no matter what they call it, Atheist, Agnostic, Believer etc.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Amusingly enough members of cargo cults explicitly abandon rational thought in exchange for magical thinking, thinking that building an appropriate temple will bring planes loaded with cargo as opposed to understanding what those planes were and why/how they came.
Because they are not equipped with the experience to understand so they invent their own explanation. I didn't choose that term by accident.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
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Because they are not equipped with the experience to understand so they invent their own explanation. I didn't choose that term by accident.
But that’s the whole thing, unlike with cargo cults we are very comfortable with saying we don’t know why the planes landed and don’t know what to do to make them come back.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
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Also, I do not mean to imply that cargo cult thinking implies inferior thinking. I mean it to be inevitable thinking, thinking the best one can given what is is believed.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
22,741
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Exactly, people who believe in some God of religion have beliefs that amount to absurdity. People get God wrong in millions and billions of ways. The people who know God know the same God and no box can hold him or describe who He is. One can point a finger but the finger isn't Him. Believers and non believers share the same state of ignorance no matter what they call it, Atheist, Agnostic, Believer etc.
Sure, the possibility of a supernatural being or force controlling or responsible for existence is something as beings in nature we probably can never know. (However as woolfe mentions it is not unknowable as such a being could reveal themselves at any time)

The difference is of course as I mentioned above that only some of those people are comfortable admitting such ignorance.
 
Nov 29, 2006
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Sure, and you could also leave off that part after the second comma. The reason being that, as I said above, pretty anything could possibly exist, so why even bother to address it? I guess one could just stipulate "yes, practically every thing a human can imagine is possible in theory, and technically I don't "know" that any of these infinite possible imagined beings doesn't exist."

Can one just say that once in his life and therefore be allowed to just say "no" thereafter without being labelled as akin to a faith based theist? There, I just said it once. Do I need to ever say it again? It strikes me as too obvious to even require acknowledgement.
That makes sense for practically everything, except gods. Given the attributes gods are said to have (omnipotent, omniscience, etc), it still leaves the ever so small chance they could exist without our knowing, or ever knowing.

But yes, if someone asked if i believed in the pink rainbow farting unicorns, i’d say ‘no’ hands down. As they don’t have the attributes of a said all powerful, knowing god.

Outsides these discussions, god or religion, play no part in my life. I go about my life as if they don’t exist.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
22,741
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That makes sense for practically everything, except gods. Given the attributes gods are said to have (omnipotent, omniscience, etc), it still leaves the ever so small chance they could exist without our knowing, or ever knowing.

But yes, if someone asked if i believed in the pink rainbow farting unicorns, i’d say ‘no’ hands down. As they don’t have the attributes of a said all powerful, knowing god.

Outsides these discussions, god or religion, play no part in my life. I go about my life as if they don’t exist.
Right but couldn’t the same all powerful, knowing god create pink rainbow farting unicorns? The same problem remains.
 

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