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Thread: a true agnostic?!

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Again, I Why in the world are you so obsessed with labels and whether someone IS or IS NOT an atheist or agnostic or both or neither? You're treating words like battlegrounds to be claimed for your team. You know someone is being intellectually dishonest when the other side goes out of their way to explain exactly what they mean in easily understandable words, yet the other side insists on saying they ARE or ARE NOT this-or-that label. Seriously. I don't care if you call me a plupperdiddle as long as you understand what my beliefs and claims are, because, really, that's all that matters here.
    If we're in agreement about your beliefs, then there is absolutely no reason to shift the terminology around to suit you. We have a fairly good precedence for what the terms "agnostic" and "atheist" mean, but you know, as well as I do, that "agnostic" doesn't make such a good springboard for attacks on religion. It seems to me as though you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    If one makes metaphysical arguments then they're a moron because we have absolutely zero evidence of anything metaphysical and we're right back to Russell's teacup. See, it's really a metaphysical teacup that is actually residing in a metaphysical realm that just happens to be superimposed over our own universe and revolving around the sun! "Metaphysical" is such a wonderfully pretentious way of saying "I don't have to prove what I say so nani nani boo boo!"
    You know, this is probably the worst comment you've yet made. If one has a so-called "strong" belief in naturalism, then one believes in metaphysical naturalism. This is not an equivocation, as you might think. To even state a position of naturalism one is required to momentarily step outside that worldview to make the judgement that there is only nature, and that judgment is a metaphysical one. Even the most severe varieties of naturalism require metaphysics to state their naturalism.

    And, no, we're not back to Russell's teacup. It seems as though you have at least some philosophical background, yet no logical one.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    No kidding, they're called axioms. They're the things we assume are true for the sake of seeing what can be produced from the theorems derived from them. Even though they apply a bit differently in philosophy than they do in math, the idea is the same. Analytical statements and empiricism do not have to prove themselves using their own method, they have to prove themselves using the truthfulness of what's discovered using those methods. And you'll excuse me for thinking we've found out far more about how things work using empiricism and analysis than we have using metaphysics, which I'm pretty sure has produced exactly zero testable hypotheses to date (which is miraculous considering how long it's been around!)
    Yet no one takes these particular axioms for granted outside science.

    Again, you seem to have no clue what constitutes "metaphysics". I see that you have a thread on Craig's Kalam. The argument's first premise is a metaphysical judgment. Any statement suggesting what one OUGHT to do is a metaphysical one. The statement that there is, in fact, a universe is, itself, a metaphysical judgment.

    Science alone will never be enough because we need a means by which to direct science in the manner that it ought to be directed. If you want to debar metaphysics, then you can never say what ought to be done. Without metaphysics there can be no imperative for science. Even if we, for some reason, decide to engage in science, there would be, without metaphysics, no way to determine whether we should use humans as test subjects.

    Seriously, you are presenting major gaps in your philosophical understanding. You seem to think that metaphysics is synonymous with the "supernatural". "Extra-natural" is probably a better way to look at it. Previously I had thought you might be an undergrad studying philosophy, but it is now apparent that you really don't have much understanding of how philosophy works. I think you could even benefit from reading a Wikipedia article on metaphysics.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    I did so above.
    No you didn't. Do you know what standard logical form is? If you do, present the argument in that form please. As the only thing I find is a bald assertion along the lines of, voila, teacup.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Very well done! I'm glad you seemed to understand that part of the argument. Atheism can merely be a statement about one's lack of belief. It does not have to be a statement about their claim to the absence of God to any absolute degree.
    Don't pretend to patronize me. You're fairly clueless on this topic. And stop mischaracterizing my statements as though they are in accord with your second-rate scientism.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    I can't help but be struck by the fact that this entire paragraph conveniently side-steps everything I said about absolute, polar, boolean, 0/1, true-false statements not being necessary (and, in fact, always being false in the most literal sense) when dealing with the unknown. Atheism can mean two different things at once (I know you may be shocked to learn words can have more than one meaning!). It can concern one's lack of belief (as discussed above), and it can concern statements about the non-existence of God. Since now you've switched to talking about the latter, I don't know what to say except to reiterate what I already said.
    There's no side-stepping. Apparently you just aren't capable of understanding.

    I too can engage in the same obfuscation. My theism is not a statement about the existence of God, but simply an acknowledgement that I believe; thus it is senseless to prosecute an argument since I'm not really asserting anything other than my belief. It doesn't matter that this has nothing to do with traditional theism. <Insert some comic balderdash about connotation and denotation.> Okay, okay, so God might not really exist, but I'm still a theist even though my position might technically look no different from agnosticism. <Insert rudimentary explanation of probabilistic logic> Okay, okay, I have no idea what metaphysics means, but whatever.... There's no reason theism can't be some non-committal hokum that allows me to evade any serious criticism of my ideas. Oh, and Bayes!

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Now who's erecting strawmen?
    Still you.

    Look, cut out the BS for a second. Let us suppose that belief in God exists on a continuum of certainty from absolute disbelief to absolute belief. If we are to investigate the subject, the investigation must be conducted within the context "God exists" VS. "God does not exist". I am not suggesting you should change your opinion; I am, however, suggesting that the monolithic shift in the argument to "God Exists" VS. "I don't believe in God" is idiotic.

  2. #62
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