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I am an agnostic.  There's only two things that I know for certain about this whole kerfuffle.

1.  I don't know the answer.
2.  Neither do you.

Thanks, and have a good evening.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I actually do know the answer. (10+ / 0-)

    But I'm keeping it a secret.

    Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

    by psilocynic on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:25:02 PM PDT

  •  Actually ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, psilocynic, melfunction

    You do not know if your point #2 is correct, you only believe it to be :)

    Now ... if your position is simply that you do not believe the assertion that "There is a God", then technically you are Atheist.

    :)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:26:33 PM PDT

    •  But that's not my position (12+ / 0-)

      my position is that I don't know whether or not to believe in that assertion because there's no definitive proof either way.  And that fact is not just true for me, but for all people at all times, which is why (2) is in fact valid.  :-)

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:29:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would simply ask (5+ / 0-)

        whether or not you believe that "extraordinary claims demands extraordinary evidence"?

        If you do, then surely the assertion of the existence of a Divine Being is THE most extraordinary claim, for which there exists scant evidence.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:35:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then bring me the results that falsify it. (5+ / 0-)

          Until I get that, how am I supposed to make an argument against based on anything other than the same sort of metaphysics that those that argue in favor resort to?  You see the logical problem?

          The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

          by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:38:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That isn't how it works (5+ / 0-)

            in any field of human learning or endeavour.

            We do not accept claims as truth until they are disproven

            ... those making the claim are supposed to demonstrate why it is so.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:42:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well yes (6+ / 0-)

              and here we have both theists and atheists asserting that their position is "so".  Well, somebody deliver me some proof, otherwise, my position is just what you describe, the position of saying "You have failed to prove your point".

              The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

              by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:48:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, your premise is false (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ActivistGuy, melfunction

                You are now suggesting that there exists an equivalence between Theists and Atheists.

                Theists have made the extraordinary claim ... Atheists assert nothing positive, they just don't accept the claim.

                Atheists do not have to "claim" that their position is correct because they don't take a position.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:59:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well that's not true (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Quicklund, foozle

                  Atheists assert that we know all the forces at work in the universe.  That's a pretty powerful and sweeping assertion for which they can provide no evidence any more than a theist can provide one for the existence of deities.  I'm humble enough in human skin to accept that our knowledge of the working of the universe, and whatever may exist beyond our ken outside the universe, is tiny, feeble and limited.

                  The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

                  by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:26:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, atheists assert that the claim is untrue (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ActivistGuy, Sylv, dewley notid, Quicklund

                  The "I don't know whether it's true or not" position is, by definition, the agnostic position.  And there are a lot of believers who are agnostic in the sense that they readily concede that they don't KNOW that their belief is true.  For many years, I didn't go to church because I had lots of doubts.  And then I met a member of the clergy who recommended a book by a British Methodist bishop entitled "The Christian Agnostic."  It pointed out that there is no inconsistency whatsoever, except in the limited vision of fundamentalists, between believing certain things and readily admitting that you don't KNOW them to be true, and between accepting the essence of a faith and having lots of doubts about the details.

                  When my the minister in my current church invites people to communion, it is nearly always phrased in the words that all are welcome, "in your faith and in your doubt."  I have profound respect for agnostics -- whether they identify with a particular faith, or with no faith at all.  To put it succinctly, "the absence of proof does not constitute proof of absence."

                  Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                  by leevank on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:45:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Atheists do not assert any such thing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ActivistGuy

                    They simply reject an assertion.

                    They are not necessarily agnostic because it is a question they do not have to even consider.

                    Why should I consider the baseless assertion that God exists to be anything other than an assertion?

                    I can stop right there. I have no need to further speculate about the existence of something that is asserted with nothing to support it.

                    Some may do that. They may hold extreme views or, indeed, take an agnostic position.

                    Atheists need do no such thing, even though they might.

                    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                    by twigg on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:56:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why don't you just use the term agnostic then? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      leevank

                      I do not "get" why some people want to claim

                      A) There is/are no god(s)
                      B) OK, maybe I am wrong and there are gods somewhere.
                      C) I am an atheist not an agnostic.

                      If A) use atheist

                      If B) use agnostic

                      Boom you're done. The terms are already in the English language for us to use. Saves a lot of time and money.

                      •  Dictionary.com agrees with us: (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Quicklund
                        An ATHEIST  is one who denies the existence of a deity or of divine beings. An AGNOSTIC  is one who believes it impossible to know anything about God or about the creation of the universe and refrains from commitment to any religious doctrine.

                        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                        by leevank on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:31:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  not in this case. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leevank, ActivistGuy, Quicklund

              these are questions far outside scientific method...at least as they are now, and probably will remain so.  They may even lie outside math and  logic, to be honest.  We can't say.

          •  the empirical stuff supports you: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            Any entity having the characteristics that are attributed to a deity (specifically omniscience and omnipotence), can falsify any experiment performed to ascertain its existence or nonexistence, therefore no such experiment can be valid, a-priori.  

            For example:

            You build a God Detector.  According to your Theory of God, it ought to work.  You take it to a public meeting of scientists and announce, "now we are going to find out whether or not God exists."

            You flip the switch.   One of a number of things could happen:

            1)  There is no God, and the red light for No (God does not exist) lights up.

            2)  There is a God, and the green light for Yes (God exists) lights up.

            The above are what you hope will happen.  However the following are also possible and there is no way to determine which of any of these is actually the case:

            3)  There is no God, but something else you hadn't accounted for (perhaps the squirrels outside are psychokinetically tweaking your machine for fun) causes the green Yes light to light up.

            4)  There is a God, but God really does not want humans to have any easy answers to this question, so God creates a God-Effects Shield around your machine, causing the red No light to light up.  

            5)  God, or the psychokinetic squirrels outside, want(s) to play a prank on you and the other scientists who are watching your machine.  The green and red lights blink rhythmically or randomly.

            6)  God and another God have an arguement over whether to reveal themselves (plural), and neither of them wins the arguement.  The green and red lights blink rhythmically or randomly.  

            7)  Your Theory of God was incorrect, so your machine doesn't detect God, but might (if you're lucky) detect squirrels, and the squirrels are having a good ol' time.

            8)  Regardless of whether your Theory of God is correct, you built your circuit wrong, so it's not capable of detecting God after all.

            Regardless of which outcome you get: no lights, red light, green light, or both lights blinking, there is no way to tell which of the above eight possibilities is more likely than any other.  

            Theism and atheism are both inferential, and neither is conclusive in the purely empirical sense of being possible to translate to the design for (or observed output of) a valid God Detector.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:58:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Many Deities are Falsifiable (0+ / 0-)

            Yahweh is clearly falsifiable and is false. You only have to consider the powers that he supposedly possesses to make a logical argument against.

        •   It's not that there is no evidence of a god... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hopeful Skeptic, ActivistGuy

          The assumptions of god:

          1. It has a personality or consciousness (or at least an ass, it's in Gen. if you don't believe me, look it up).
          2. It is all-powerful and all knowing.
          3. It controls all reality including the laws of matter or nature.
          4. It has always existed.

          Assumption 1 and 2 are critical in the proof that there is no god. In order to have consciousness and be all knowing requires a fundamental ability called memory. God must have some means to store information. Memory is a very definitive attribute; memory is the ability to sense information. In order to do that some state of something that functions as memory changes so as when acted on information can be determined. There is no other definition of memory and in fact the concept of memory is like the concept of a circle. The definition of a circle is all points along the arc are equaly distant from a common center. The circumference of the circle divided by it's diameter is always equal to pi. No matter how big or small the circle, no matter what type of universe you may find yourself in, the character of a circle remains.

          Given that god must have memory and that part of god is a component of god which it did not create since god was not created and that component of god is governed by processes that abide by the definition of memory, then god is subject to elements that are governed by their nature and not the will of god! God ends up being a product of components one of which is memory.

          This analysis from assumption 1 and 2 is an unavoidable conclusion, god is subject to the physics of the elements that it is composed of that are the governing processes of it's components. This truth disproves assumption 3 which states that god controls all reality including nature, since it's components govern how god operates on information and therefore is a form of nature that god does not control but is being controlled by.

          Since god is controlled by elements that it is composed of it is not all-powerful and would suffer from problems of the uncertainty principle, which are based on whatever contraints of its nature, making it not all knowing!

          Because god is composed of components and is therefore a subject of nature, it must devise methods to avoid destruction or entropy, so it must repair itself and must replenish energy.

          Finally the elements god is made of had to exist first before they could compose into god, therefore god did not always exist.

          If you prove that a being created life on earth you still haven't proved that the being is a god. It's not that there is no evidence of a god, the concept of god is a nonsensical notion based on naive assumptions.

          Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

          by psilocynic on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:53:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the metaphysics (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, leevank, dewley notid

            that however nuanced and carefully artificed to make one side (or the other) leaves me no better informed than I was before.  Until one side or the other can offer more than metaphysical argumentation, I'm not going to be swayed one way or another.

            The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

            by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:29:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is one definition of a god (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ActivistGuy

            That has not been the consistent definition of gods in human history. In fact, only your point 1 holds up. I cannot think of any god that was not said to have an awareness of itself and the Cosmos.

            2 and 3 Most gods in controlled a small part of nature, and a quick read of Greek mythology will show gods are anything but all-knowing!

            4: The Greek gods were children of giants and titans and some of them were et up by Zeus and anyway .... nope most god were not designed as "always existing".

            You actually have excluded the vast majority of ways humans have imagined gods to be.

        •  not really. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leevank, Sylv, dewley notid, Quicklund

          Aside from the religious concepts of who or what 'God' may be, a lot of theists just feel that 'something' (however ill defined) is out there.  Let's say that something is a sentience.  Not necessarily an intervening sentience...just a sentience.

          In that sence, the god/no god debate can kind of come down to 'is the universe self aware, or not'?  

          Given that we happen to be self aware, and we're far less complex than the universe as a whole (which contains the building blocks and laws that allowed us to form), I don't see the concept of a sentient universe to be any more or less reasonable than a fully unaware universe.

          These are unknowable questions--I think the burden of proof really lies equally with both sides at a fundamental level.  

          Neither 'made' nor 'just happened' is plausible by our standards of probability....and it may be that even that dichotomy is false, constrained by our own perceptions of reality.

      •  I just used logic to come to my conclusion. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ActivistGuy

        Not trying to engage in the flame war, just how I came my view of existence. A persons beliefs have no bearing on my life unless they make it so.

        Lo que separa la civilizacion de la anarquia son solo siete comidas.

        by psilocynic on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:43:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  of course (6+ / 0-)

    maybe you do know the answer, but don't know that you know the answer.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:27:34 PM PDT

  •  Here's what I don't understand about agnostics. (5+ / 0-)

    You wouldn't take the position that you don't know whether unicorns that fart rainbows exist, but feel compelled to abstain from judgment on the question of something with equally nonexistent basis.  My sense is that agnostics just don't want to piss anyone off, and while that's laudable as an interpersonal skill, it kind of misses the point on a question of reality.

    Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

    by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:31:18 PM PDT

    •  More metaphysics (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, dewley notid

      Until one side or the other can bring me concrete reproduceable/falsifiable evidence, I don't want to hear their endless metaphysics.

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:33:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you're an agnostic only because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ActivistGuy

        you want to avoid being bullied?  

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:46:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know that "bullying" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          would be the right category.   I'd rather not be harangued with groundless speculation might be a somewhat more precise way of putting it.

          The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

          by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:56:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But you don't feel the need (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KathleenM1

            to take a null position on every unfalsifiable supposition, correct?  If someone posited that computers work because electrons are, in fact, faeries who perform computational work only to steal your soul, you wouldn't take the position that people who reject the idea out of hand are being irrational, would you?  

            In that case, the only difference between that hypothetical example and the question of God is that you wouldn't be hassled by an entire culture for dismissing electron-faeries.  So it seems like the only reason to be agnostic is to hide from the consequences of telling the truth to people who don't want to hear it.

            Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

            by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:29:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Unicorns do exist. They're just invisible. (7+ / 0-)

      And pink.

      Sufficient proof.

      Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:41:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On this I disagree! (6+ / 0-)

      We genuinely don't know!  Darwin said that this seemed to to him the only reasonable assertion, commenting on Huxley's view affirming the same.  I am reasonably sure that the Christian (or Muslim or Jewish) concept of god is suspect, but I don't know how the universe started and thus cannot rule out absolutely that it was created.  In fact anything prior to the Big Bang is blind conjecture and in fact it is not certain how something could come from nothing.  That said I doubt that there is a "creator" in our sense of the word and that we jumped up apes are probably too damn primitive to understand ultimate reality anyway.  Thus I find the question, as the Buddha and other philosophers have said, to be basically a waste of time.

      I pretty much agree with ActivistGuy on this!  Most of my family would call themselves agnostics. We do not hold this view to please others as we seldom please either side!

      •  To posit creation (0+ / 0-)

        is to posit the existence of an external context that must likewise be subject to basic physical laws and a "creator" that is merely a much larger and more complex entity within that nature.   Such a "creator" would not fit any meaningful definition of God - it would just be an alien being operating on a higher level of existence and nonetheless limited.  There is no purpose in positing limited gods - the concept is moot, like wondering what a giant midget looks like.  

        If, however, you're saying you honestly don't know whether there is an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being who supersedes causality and logic, then that is simply superstition.

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:35:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  God is a larger concept than a spiky-headed horse (0+ / 0-)

      One has a very narrow definition and the other has a very nebulous definition.

      If I can help again in future just let me know.

      •  Indeed, one has a narrow definition (0+ / 0-)

        and the other has a internally inconsistent and logically corrupt definition, so the one with definite characteristics would seem to have far greater weight of plausibility on its side.  And yet concrete fantasies are dismissed out of hand without hesitation, while the definitively preposterous is treated with kid gloves simply because dismissing it would cause unpleasantness with some people.  Agnosticism is at best intellectual Stockholm Syndrome.

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 08:26:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you're far, far, smarter than this comment, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      Troubadour.

      I'm a bit surprised, to be honest.

    •  to clarify (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund

      the equivalence of 'god' as in a sentient being, with 'unicorns', is ludicrous.

      After all, we're all sentient beings that arose effectively out of nothing, after a long developmental phase.  What would be so shocking about other sentience being out there?

      This is why Dawkins' FSM is such a specious example.

      •  Dawkins didn't invent the FSM (0+ / 0-)

        ...it's meant to counter arguments that creationism be taught in public schools.  If they get to teach genesis, we insist on equal time for the FSM.

        America, we can do better than this...

        by Randomfactor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:02:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i thought that was Dawkins' conception. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leevank, Quicklund

          i get what it's meant to do, except arguments like his tend to assume that people who subscribe to a God idea necessarily believe in a specific mythology, which often isn't true at all.

          The argument that creationism should be taught in public schools is the argument of religous nutjobs...not of religoius adherents in general, though.  I've never met someone of a professed religion who thought this stuff should be anywhere NEAR the school system.

    •  Do black swans exist? (5+ / 0-)

      Until the European discovery of Australia, any European would have probably said, "Of course not!  Millions of swans have been seen, and they're ALL white.  It's absurd to claim there is such a thing as a black swan, and you're nuts for even suggesting such a thing."  Except that black swans DO exist.  Did the absence of evidence for their existence constitute evidence of their absence from the Earth?  Obviously not.

      By the same token, some of the most important scientific advances have come about by leaps of insight for which there was very limited evidence at the time.  Does that mean the insights were untrue until they were proven?  Obviously not.  Nor does it mean that only those insights that are susceptible to scientific falsification are true -- it simply means that other insights are not in the realm of science.

      Is there scientific proof that, for example, the Genesis account of creation (whichever of the two you're talking about) is not literally true?  I think that is the case, beyond question -- as do a lot of other Christians.  But is there scientific proof that God does not exist?  No, there isn't.  (And I will readily concede that there is also no scientific proof that God DOES exist, and that I find purported efforts to "prove" the existence of God to be profoundly tiresome and unproductive.)  Questions about the existence or non-existence of God are simply beyond the limits of scientific evidence.  The sooner that fundamentalists of both the theistic and atheistic stripes concede that point, the better off we will all be.

      Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

      by leevank on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:08:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, indeed. (4+ / 0-)

    I can't prove that the earth does NOT sit on the back of a giant invisible and omniscient tube sock.  So I guess the jury's out on that one.  

  •  Aren't points #1 and #2 "hard agnostic"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, psilocynic, Sylv

    Vs.

    1. I don't know the answer.
    2. But you might.

    Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

    by Pale Jenova on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:44:34 PM PDT

  •  Can't remember where I found this (8+ / 0-)

    Agnostic:
    A person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:48:26 PM PDT

  •  Most sensible view of the subject I've seen. (7+ / 0-)

    If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

    by glorificus on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:50:34 PM PDT

  •  Also need to add (5+ / 0-)

    Humans are self-centered and arrogant about our species' intellect and ability to understand the universe.  It's likely that most things are way beyond our comprehension.

  •  So? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, Quicklund

    Is someone supposed to do something for you?   You want a trophy?  Why did you write this?

    Why am I commenting....arrrgggh!

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:58:36 PM PDT

  •  I'm an agnostic (5+ / 0-)

    Because I have experiences of something other than what can be logically known... but I have no way of defining them using our limited language skills. Who or what this is I have no idea. It is unknowable.

    I do not believe in a god... I just think there is more than meets the eye to the universe.

    While many minority groups are the target for discrimination, few face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many glbt youth.

    by azrefugee on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:59:16 PM PDT

    •  I've had "experiences" too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, azrefugee, Sylv, dewley notid

      but who knows what they were?  Could be very common psychological or neurological "events".  Could be other natural events (did someone slip acid in my drink?) , could be "supernatural", who knows?  I know I don't have the tools to know.  

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

      by ActivistGuy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:12:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What was the question again? nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, Quicklund, ActivistGuy
  •  Agnostics: The new white meat. Or something. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy

    Agnostic is where it's at. Unless subsequest evidence indicates elseways.

  •  I'm an Agnostic, and it doesn't matter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, ActivistGuy, Sylv

    God or no God - He, She, It obviously is entirely disengaged from our lives, so it just doesn't matter. If He, She, It exists. This is why I no longer care or even wonder. For practical purposes, God does not exist. But I can't prove it one way or the other, so, I am agnostic. BTW I like the original premise.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - My Dad's favorite bible verse. We should love everyone. Even Republicans. - My late father

    by Bob the old soldier on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:43:11 PM PDT

  •  Upon expulsion from... (4+ / 0-)

    ... the Garden of Eden, one of the first things the Man and Woman encountered were unicorns.

    Innocent, trusting, delicious unicorns.

    •  The FIRST white meat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic, koseighty, Quicklund

      n/t

      America, we can do better than this...

      by Randomfactor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:04:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a hideous, nasty comment!!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, Anna M

      If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

      by glorificus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:57:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Know! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus

        The Bible is always making hideous, nasty comments about "history."

        It lulls us into a false sense of wonder and amazement by mentioning unicorns nine times in the Old Testament.  And then, BAM!, it hits us with this:

        And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

        Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

        Genesis 9:2-3

        Damn, hideous, nasty Bible!

        --------

        For the record: I would never kill and consume a mythical beast of any sort, especially one that might be endangered.

        •  It's all about the sex and violence, for sure! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koseighty

          The Old Testament, anyway.

          Of course, we can choose what we eat. The suggestion anyone, even the mythical Adam and Eve, would willingly eat unicorns is beyond my comprehension.

          If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

          by glorificus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:02:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  :o) (0+ / 0-)

            I think I'd like your version of Adam and Eve.  

            You know, should we ever meet at the mall or something.

            •  I prefer the first creation story, not the one (0+ / 0-)

              used to trample on women. And Knowledge.

              We meet at the mall, we can sit and make up stories about the other shoppers.

              If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

              by glorificus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:10:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I can see... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Quicklund, glorificus

                ... sitting in the food court with (your) Adam and Eve.  Eating unicorn-free Cinnabon and sipping on dragon-free Julius.

                Talking about the old days.  Remembering when "there was nothing but fields here for as far as the eye can see."  Fields filled with un-eaten unicorns!

                Good times.

              •  Then There's This Scene: (0+ / 0-)

                This one is a mash-up:  Your Eve with Biblical Adam on their first day in the world.

                ------------------

                Eve:  Paradise was wonderful, Adam.  But I think this new world has a lot to offer.  We have quite the adventure ahead of us getting to know our new home.

                Adam: I'm hungry.

                Eve:  Look!  In that meadow over there.  A herd of unicorn frolicking without a care in the world.

                Adam:  What do you think they have around here to eat?

                Eve:  Watch.  See how that unicorn foal nuzzles up to it's mother.  That's sooooo sweet.  Do you think we'll have kids some day?

                Adam:  I'm so freaking tired of fruits and vegetables.

                Eve:  Do you feel that?  Just being this close to them I feel such an overwhelming sense of calm and wellbeing!

                Adam:  Fetch my spear, woman!  We're having unicorn steaks tonight!

  •  I may be God. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, Quicklund, Anna M

    Seems reasonable.

    Solipsistic, but actually probably more likely than either external theism or atheism.

    I have never known anything outside of my own reality.  My first awareness is of my own reality.  When I die, I assume reality will disappear.  Barring an afterlife, or a reincarnation (the former I doubt, the latter actually seems somewhat reasonable--after all I showed up once, I'm experiencing myself now, in this tiny little time frame in an infinity of years--why should this not happen again, perhaps an inifinite number of times?

    Point is, the theism/atheism debate is really ridiculous.  It's outside the realm of knowability.  I don't believe that science can approach these questions.

    Hence, I'm an agnostic.  

  •  I maintain it's impossible to know (0+ / 0-)

    ...whether someone is agnostic or not.

    (Seriously, "agnostic" is a philosophical position.  "Atheist" is a scientific one.  I'll play agnostic games all day long, but when it's time to live in the real world, I'm an atheist.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 10:04:05 PM PDT

  •  Ontology and Epistemology of God's Existence (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Quicklund, Anna M, ActivistGuy

    The words “Atheist” and “Agnostic” relate to Ontology or Epistemology. You can say “I know that God doesn’t exist” or “I don’t know if God exists or not.” But those statements are not very interesting to me. Far more interesting (at least in my opinion) are the social/historical/political/ethical questions about religion.

    Before I say anything more, I should mention that I believe in math, logic, and science. And I tend to fluctuate between agnostic and atheist in my religious beliefs. But I am a big fan of the golden rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) and karma (“what goes around, comes around”). Be nice to your brothers and sisters. Share your cookies. Don’t be an asshole. Basic stuff like that.

    I’m not a big fan of church leaders who amass wealth (through donations from poor people) and then start dressing fancy and hobnobbing with the bigwigs. Camels will never pass through the eye of the needle. And big buildings (pyramids, mosques, cathedrals) cost a lot of money, which could maybe be used to provide food to the poor. And look at the wars between Christians and Muslims (or Catholics and Protestants) (or whatever). If you really believe in the golden rule, you should be against war and in favor of helping the poor and the sick. In other words, a Democrat, not a Republican.

    Then there are all the religious rules (about eating pork or putting menstruating women in a separate hut or wearing yarmulkes or hijabs or not uttering certain words or praying). Maybe pork wasn’t a good idea in the old days – because of trichinosis or because bacon spoils very fast without refrigeration. And I refuse to believe that God requires praise and worship. He is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-present and yet he’s so small and insecure that he requires hymns and statements of belief? Really? That doesn't make sense.

    So that’s just a few thoughts.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 11:35:37 PM PDT

    •  but math, logic and science are stil human (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ActivistGuy, Dbug

      constructs used to describe a universe that we don't understand.  Even they aren't fundamental.  Can the laws of physics and logic account for the existence of the laws of physics and logic?  I don't think so--of course that in itself is strictly my belief.

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy
    1.  I don't know the answer.
    2.  Neither do you.
    Yes, I do know the answer.  There is no sky fairy that waved a magic wand and poof, the earth was made.  Waved it again and poof, plants.  Poof, animals.  Poof, humans.
  •  Agnostic coming out thread? (6+ / 0-)

    Finally something I can join in.  I too don't know the answer and I'm okay with that.

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