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Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:45 AM

Gnostic Agnostic..




Clever...

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Reply Gnostic Agnostic.. (Original post)
Soph0571 Mar 2019 OP
Pope George Ringo II Mar 2019 #1
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #6
marylandblue Mar 2019 #23
Pope George Ringo II Mar 2019 #25
marylandblue Mar 2019 #30
Pope George Ringo II Mar 2019 #36
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2019 #2
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #3
Mariana Mar 2019 #8
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #27
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #4
erronis Mar 2019 #5
Ron Obvious Mar 2019 #7
Mariana Mar 2019 #9
Ron Obvious Mar 2019 #12
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #13
MineralMan Mar 2019 #10
Karadeniz Mar 2019 #11
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #14
Karadeniz Mar 2019 #17
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #18
Mariana Mar 2019 #16
Karadeniz Mar 2019 #19
Mariana Mar 2019 #21
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #22
Mariana Mar 2019 #31
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #33
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #20
marylandblue Mar 2019 #15
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #24
marylandblue Mar 2019 #26
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #28
marylandblue Mar 2019 #29
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #32
marylandblue Mar 2019 #34
Major Nikon Mar 2019 #35
marylandblue Apr 2019 #37

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:03 PM

1. Being an atheist is rather like being a socialist.

Lots of people are, but few will say so out loud. "Agnostics" who don't actually have a religion are technically atheists, many (most?) of them just like the cover they get by not saying so in public. This is why I tend to prefer a "strong atheist" and "weak atheist" distinction, as most of the people who call themselves "agnostic" don't have a religion--and we have a word for people who are without religion.

Of course, I also tend to wonder about the necessity of a word for people who don't believe in one particular type of magic. We don't have a word for people who don't believe in chemtrails, and yet another word for people who aren't sure if they do or not.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:32 PM

6. Nothing wrong with implicit atheism

This picture spells it out pretty well.

1) Some are implicit atheists. Within this realm you have people who lack belief in deities, but don't choose to label themselves.

2) Explicit atheists reject belief in deities.

3) Strong atheists believe there are no deities.

Some people with an agenda will pretend option #3 is the only option. Most of them are theists who think their strawman nonsense strengthens their argument for belief in one or more deities by pretending (1) there is a dichotomy and (2) both sides of the dichotomy are equal. Both (1) and (2) are false.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:13 PM

23. Words exist because they are useful in everyday life

If people spent as much time arguing about chemtrails as they do about God, we might find it useful to call nonbelievers "achemtrailists."

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #23)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:40 PM

25. Its usefulness is severely diminished by theists who can't count to zero.

There are zero positive claims necessary to be an atheist, and the number of religionists who are capable of bungling that is a constant source of amazement. Never mind the absurdity of inventing a label for the "no opinion" position on one topic. The frank truth is that it was invented purely for the convenience of a crowd which appallingly often doesn't even know what it means. Some do find it useful, I find it generally confuses too many for me to say the same.

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Response to Pope George Ringo II (Reply #25)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 10:19 PM

30. You can play around all day with the absurdities of language and people's misunderstandings

I don't find "theists" to be all that useful either. It lumps together people who believe in totally different gods and can also include people who may practice a religion but don't believe in any gods.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #30)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:45 PM

36. The only question with "theists" is what kind of magic they believe in, but that is a commonality.

Some Buddhists do make arguments that they're not in that group. Other Buddhists disagree. Both groups are more qualified to touch on fine points of their philosophy than I would ever be.

Either way, I've learned that there is a halfway numerous subset of theists who are genuinely ignorant of the actual definition of the word. One of the things the word encourages in that group is the misunderstanding that the question is binary, which it most assuredly is not.

We won't get into the subset which is too willfully dishonest to count all the way to zero.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:09 PM

2. Where do you put someone who just doesn't know if there's a god?

What if they are willing to admit there's a possibility there is one, but there's an equal possibility that there isn't? Wouldn't that be an agnostic agnostic? Or maybe they don't know and don't care, which would be an apathetic agnostic.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:17 PM

3. Don't know and don't care is an apatheist

Which is still on the spectrum of atheism.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:47 PM

8. I admit there is a possibility that a god exists.

There may very well be such things as gods, but I don't believe in them. That makes me an atheist. I also don't believe in leprechauns, ghosts, or shape shifting reptilian aliens who control all the institutions of the world for their own nefarious ends.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #8)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:49 PM

27. I kinda think the Banana Cult might have some merit

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:19 PM

4. All that's required to be an atheist is lack of belief in deities

Despite the attempts of some who obsfucate to fit their agenda.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:21 PM

5. Put me in the lower left quadrant. Agnostic Atheist. Willing to let others believe what they want

as long as they don't try to make be believe in their particular god(ess)(s).

Occam's Razor - cut to the quick. Life is plenty complex without throwing voodoo and mumbo-jumbo at it.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor#Religion)

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:34 PM

7. I don't see how Gnostic Atheism even begins to make sense.

I'm fairly certain there are no Gods or afterlives, but I don't claim to have absolute knowledge on the subject. How could I?

But then I think "knowing" has no business in any philosophical discussion in the first place.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:53 PM

9. It makes just as much sense as gnostic theism

which is much more common.

I've never actually met a gnostic atheist, although I'm sure there are some, somewhere.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 04:35 PM

12. Theists usually refer to "Revealed Knowledge"

Or at least can do so without being laughed out of the room.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 06:35 PM

13. I'm not absolutely certain there's no spaceship behind the Hale Bopp comet

I'm also not absolutely certain there's no China teapot in an elliptical orbit around the sun between Earth and Mars.

There's also an infinite number of other unfalsifiable claims I can never be absolutely certain about. That doesn't mean I can't say with certainty they do not exist.

The hazard to comparing gnostic atheism to gnostic theism is one of those two things makes and incredible claim and one does not. So while both claim to know something, both positions aren't equally plausible.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 01:25 PM

10. I don't believe in the existence of deities.

I make no claims about knowing. I don't care, really. I have a high level of confidence, though, that no evidence of such existence will appear, so I guess I fall in the middle of the left group, fairly far to the left in that category. Claiming to know or not claiming to know is, for me, irrelevant.

All in all, though, it doesn't really matter to me. I am on the left side of the groupings. I am an atheist. A pretty passive atheist, I suppose. I'm not looking for evidence, but don't expect that any will ever appear.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 04:07 PM

11. Gnostic should refer to knowing from experience. Lots of people, myself included, have

had otherworldly experiences, whether near death, out of body, via hypnosis or visitations. Thousands of people. I don't personally feel it's appropriate to know from experience (gnostic) that there is no other reality (atheism). How does that work, that one believes in the absence of something because one has never known or experienced it?For that matter, can the inexperienced know from experience that something exists? No.

But we've created a third category, faith. I have faith, despite no personal experience, that Africa exists or Antarctica or viruses because I trust the authorities....I'm so sure of my sources that, in an everyday way, I can say I know. Proof helps. Perhaps someone brought souvenirs
back from Africa, or whiskey from Scotland;proofs from the physical world are easy. For the nonphysical, much evidence is offered, but is it proof? A medical doctor was told during a near-death event, that her young son would die before a certain age. A car killed him the day before that birthday. One must evaluate the source and decide for oneself. The gnostics are few;the faithful many.

The aim of Christianity originally was to guide the way to bring gnostic. To start out, one had to have some faith. "You will know the truth from experience and the truth will set you free." The aim expressed is to know, not have faith.

Back to the picture. I don't believe in a gnostic atheist. I don't think that's rational. I would say any atheist is coming from agnosticism. I definitely accept the gnostic theist. And, if one accepts deity based on culture of family, that's agnostic theism, but they take more pride in saying they are the faithful...and they no longer seen to know from experience.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 06:37 PM

14. Strange you'd accept the one making an incredible claim and reject the one that doesn't

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:14 PM

17. I'm sorry, but I don't understand. What incredible claim do I accept? The medical doctor's? Actually

I do believe her account. You'd have to read her book for her entire experience and the aftermath in her life. Because I've also had an experience and certainly don't assume I'm so special as to be unique, I don't reject the accounts of others as automatically false. I evaluate. There are some aspects which I recognize. There are some accounts I reject.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:35 PM

18. You described it twice

I get you believe it, but hopefully you do get the claim is quite incredible. Meanwhile the acceptance of an unfalsifiable claim being false is rather common. I'd venture to guess there's all sorts of other unfalsifiable claims you readily accept as false.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 06:52 PM

16. I have a serious question.

How do people who've had otherworldly experiences conclude that the experience was real, and not, say, a hallucination or a dream?

Here's an example of the kind of problem with such claims. You state, as a bald fact, that " ... a medical doctor was told during a near-death event, that her young son would die before a certain age. A car killed him the day before that birthday." Well, we can't prove or disprove the communication, but we should be able to document a lot of the elements of a story like this one. For example: What are the names of these people? When and where did the near-death event and the son's death happen? Where can we find a first-hand account of the story, told or written by the mother? Are there medical records we can read from her near-death event? Any news stories about the fatal car accident? Can we examine the son's birth and death records? Etc. If we can't verify these mundane facts, why should we give any credence to the claim that she was given information during a near-death encounter?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:35 PM

19. The doctor wrote a book. She could be an unscrupulous liar. She could have studied

hundreds of near-death accounts and set out to mimic one. Same with the neurosurgeons account. My own experience is believed by basically noone. That's how it is. Most people don't want to accept another's experience. They want validation, like religions provide despite their not offering actual proof. Unfortunately, religions usually stay at the faith level which is lack of knowledge by experience and therefore subject to interpretation and manipulation.

On the doctor's event, as to her going in and out of life, there were friends present trying to revive her, but one has to take her word for her experience during the "dead" times. Most people are hesitant to share since they expect ridicule. Why don't you read her book to test her? Plug "doctor who died while kayaking and had a near death experience" into your search engine.

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #19)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:45 PM

21. The doctor wrote a book? Awesome.

What is the title of the book? What is the author's name?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:06 PM

22. ...and made money from it

Now she believes in Jesus (as if we must believe that wasn't the case before). We are also told this allegedly skeptic doctor searched for a medical explanation and found none, which is kinda strange since numerous studies and other research have been done on NDE listing probable physical causes associated. So this doctor is either very bad at research or simply rejected ample evidence that didn't tell her what she wanted to hear.

Meanwhile NDE is a relatively common phenomena. Had the doctor bothered to speak to just about any anesthesiologist I suspect they would have heard many similar accounts. People who subscribe to Islam or other religions don't tend to find and meet Jesus, though. Very telling that. Similar experiences are also reported by people under the effects of drugs, alcohol, hypoxia, TBI, and even just people dreaming. Occam's Razor torpedoes her story.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 10:19 PM

31. There's a lot of money being made from books like that. nt.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #31)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 10:54 PM

33. There's a lot of money to be made from religion period

Those who lived during the time of metaphorical Jesus had that much figured out during a time when the vast majority of the population was illiterate.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 07:40 PM

20. Not to mention people readily believe what they are conditioned to believe

If what they are claiming isn't factual, that doesn't mean they are lying as other explanations are available. Neither should one automatically accept that just because someone isn't lying means what they are claiming is true.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 06:46 PM

15. I don't separate belief from knowledge and I find the word "belief" ambiguous

I think knowledge is probabilistic. Things believed with high certainty are "knowledge," those with low certainty are called "belief" and if one is very uncertain on any subject one is 'agnostic." I am uncertain about divinities, therefore agnostic.

The chart with 4 boxes doesn't allow for a probabilistic knowledge model, so it makes no sense to me.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:36 PM

24. Neither am I absolutely certain Xenu didn't bring billions of people to Teegeeack (Earth) in a DC-8

I have no proof he didn't stack them up like firewood next to a volcano and blow them into thetans with nukes. So I suppose it's true I'm agnostic about Scientology if you want to define it in such a way.

Meanwhile any probabilistic knowledge model you'd want to develop is going to be more or less the same for any other creation myth like Christianity as it is for a deity living in a spaceship behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:47 PM

26. I am 100% certain that Xenu did no such thing.

But most things are not that certain. We are only 99.9999% certain we have identified the Higg's boson. I am agnostic as to whether we will find a Theory of Everything in my lifetime.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #26)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 09:52 PM

28. I'm not sure how you can say that with zero proof

It's actually less fantastic than talking snakes and donkeys.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #28)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 10:05 PM

29. Because the universe would have to work in a very different way than it does

for anything Scientology says to be true. You don't have to agree with that assessment. But I am not worried about any thetans hanging around and I am sure you just as an unworried as I am.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 10:51 PM

32. Actually I'd say the reverse is true

Most of the claims Scientology makes are within the realm of possibility. They have no stories of hocus pocusing anyone or anything into existence from nothing. They have no zombies or talking bushes. They make no claims to an interventionist imaginary friend who watches us masturbate. No metaphysical soul that magically ascends or descends anywhere depending on how many times we masturbated or blasphemed. They don't even really expect any of their membership to accept anything they claim on faith alone.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #32)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:26 PM

34. It's not just that there is no evidence that there are thetans

If there were thetans, we would see the evidence. Not the fake evidence of glorified sweaty palm detectors.

If you want to argue that something you don't believe is infinitesimally more probable than something else you don't believe in, go ahead, but I don't see the point. You don't believe either one and you ridicule those who do believe it no matter what evidence they do produce.

You make too big deal of a non-zero possibility that someone may produce, I don't know, a fossilized airplane or something, but you and I both know that no such thing will ever be found.

If, as I've heard, an atheist is just someone who believes in one less god than a theist, then I am someone who believes that the odds of thetans existing is 0.00000001% less than you do.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #34)

Sun Mar 31, 2019, 11:40 PM

35. That sounds like your argument so I'm trying to understand it

How does this probability matrix work? There's all sorts of things most religions claim which is demonstrably false. So it seems as if there has to be more to it. How do you decide what you should ridicule and what you shouldn't?

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #35)

Mon Apr 1, 2019, 12:36 AM

37. I don't ridicule any beliefs myself. If someone says they have evidence of something,

I believe they genuinely think they have evidence and that whatever it is enough for them. That doesn't mean they are right. It just means they have some kind of evidence that I don't necessarily agree with.

For things where there is "no evidence," I make an assessment of how certain that lack of evidence can be. I believe that there is no rattlesnake in my house. Now, I haven't really looked for a snake, so I'd say there is a small probability that there actually is one hiding somewhere. But they don't live in this area, and I have a dog who would go nuts if there were any kind of animal bigger than an ant in here. If I then did a thorough search from top to bottom and found no snakes, no snake droppings, heard no rattles or found any other evidence of snakes, I'd say the probability of a rattlesnake drops to zero.

For God, we've looked for a long time, and we've got a lot of stories that don't hold up on close examination. So I don't buy those. Some people have visions or feelings or see strange things. That's evidence, in the sense that we have witnesses testify in court who say "I saw the defendant shot the victim," and juries decide if that witness's story is telling the truth, lying or is perhaps mistaken.

When someone says they felt something or saw something spiritual, I can't say they are lying, maybe they really did see something. Maybe that something is real. Probably it just their brains generating strange things, but maybe it's more than that. It seems to mean a lot to them. I've had religious feelings myself and they means something to me. So I give it a small amount of weight as evidence of something we don't understand. On the other hand, I could also say that those feelings or visions are what people actually mean when they talk about God. They think it's supernatural, but it's just a feeling that they explain with cultural constructs like religion. The feeling is as real as love or friendship though. It's evidence of something, I just don't know what. Hence I am agnostic.

If I gave no weight to those feelings at all, as in they are just brain chemistry and visions or feelings of God are completely worthless even as a personal experience or cultural construct, then I'd say affirmatively there is no God and I'd be a gnostic atheist according to that chart.

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