Author Topic: The Nature of Skepticism  (Read 419 times)

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2021, 12:02:22 PM »
I like to see a comprehensive debate about the invisible pink unicorn, because some people may believe in one.  Then we should move on to Bigfoot, and the teapot that is said to orbit Jupiter.  These are all reasonable debates because each of those things, and millions of other similar things have been posited by actual people.  In the process of doing all this, the forum should be renamed "Redefining Skepticism to Make it More Usable for the Mentally Challanged."  After all, if you're going to be a true skeptic, you must be skeptical enough about skepticism to get rid of it when it no longer suits everyone's agenda.

Regardings unicorns, etc, this is what I have to say:

It is certainly perfectly possible to criticize Agnosticism, but not by means of probabilities, and much less by the bizarre way of ridiculous comparisons that, surprisingly, not only Dawkins but many other atheists use frequently, which is to equate belief in God with weird beliefs like unicorns, pink elephants or chupacabras, claiming that as it is not possible to prove their non-existence, we should then be agnostic about them as well.

It could be, but this argument is simply stupid for ignoring at least two obvious interconnected things:

1 - That belief in God, due to its intrinsic characteristic, is metaphysical and infinitely extensible, different from other specific entities that can be claimed;
2 - And that Agnosticism is not based on the simple fact that it is not possible to prove that God does not exist, but mainly on the fact that IT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THAT HE EXISTS, which certainly does not apply to other specific beings.

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2021, 04:30:52 AM »
By the way, for the intelectually impaired, and mentally challenged, the above is a reflection on Agnosticism aa a means to counter retarded, stupid comparisions to ''pink unicorns'' or some other equally dumb shit.

No wonder SGOS has no response to it. Nor could he/she.

Online aitm

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2021, 07:37:16 AM »

1 - That belief in God, due to its intrinsic characteristic, is metaphysical and infinitely extensible, different from other specific entities that can be claimed;
The “belief” in a god, any gods, is a learned belief. One does not pop out of the womb already conscious of a supernatural being. That belief must be taught. Anthropology has shown us the “evolution” of religion, from simple animism, to totemism, to shamanism to eventual deities. We can watch the very same development in our children. They process from believing that inanimate objects can communicate with them, that rocks, stuffed toys and blankets can be their friends and confidants. “We” teach them that there are gods. There is no intrinsic character. We gift the gods their intrinsic character. We invent it, define it, then worship it. A rather incredible idea actually, but still childish in its invention. Make up something that offers you comfort and then conform it into a god that can grant your wishes. Then teach it as reality to everyone who will listen so you not only are foolish for believing it, but now you have dozens, hundreds, thousands of fools unaware of their foolishness and no one dares to question it, thus it becomes religion. A shared delusion brought to life and offered as proof by popular agreement. Argue with them and the become obstinate, angry even violent. Why? Because deep down, they really know that their beliefs is probably bullshit, but they have invested too much time, energy and pride is hailing it as truth. Sheer embarrassment now.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2021, 07:50:23 AM »
1 - That belief in God, due to its intrinsic characteristic, is metaphysical and infinitely extensible, different from other specific entities that can be claimed;
2 - And that Agnosticism is not based on the simple fact that it is not possible to prove that God does not exist, but mainly on the fact that IT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THAT HE EXISTS, which certainly does not apply to other specific beings.

It is also "intrinsic" to believe the sun revolves around the earth. Calling something "intrinsic" has no value when looking for truth. Got any examples of anything infinite? Since there is zero evidence for the gods, giving them a characteristic that has also not been shown to exist does not help at all.

Why is it impossible to prove gods exist (unless they don't)? And if this is the case why should you believe? You can no longer distinguish between god or unicorn or anything else someone claims exists. There is no difference. Unicorns are mentioned in the bible (8 times). So is god. These tired old "metaphysical" justifications are not providing any facts or truths.


Offline SGOS

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2021, 08:54:28 AM »

It could be, but this argument (existence for the Pink Unicorn) is simply stupid for ignoring at least two obvious interconnected things:

1 - That belief in God, due to its intrinsic characteristic, is metaphysical and infinitely extensible, different from other specific entities that can be claimed;
2 - And that Agnosticism is not based on the simple fact that it is not possible to prove that God does not exist, but mainly on the fact that IT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THAT HE EXISTS, which certainly does not apply to other specific beings.
Oof!  You're discharging your shotgun wildly into the air.  I know I promised I would ignore you, but this is so absurd that I can't resist. So now you know. If you want me to respond, all you have to do is say something absurdly stupid, and I'll be here.

1. There is nothing anymore intrinsic about God than there is of the unicorn or the Easter Bunny.  They both have to be taught. Even most things that actually exist are not intrinsic, like Ford, Boris Karloff movies, and hot stoves.  Things that are intrinsic do exist like proprioception, where our bodies actually sense where our feet are without looking.  But God is not intrinsic to our being.  Many theists such as yourself believe God is intrinsic to humans, but as we all know, you can't believe something into existence. That's not how reality works. But I do commend you on squeezing the words "intrinsic, metaphysical, infinitely, extensible, and entities" into a readable sentence, although that added nothing to your argument.

2.  Part two of your response,

"IT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS, which certainly does not apply to other specific beings,"

is not relevant to your cause.  You are just repeating what everyone here knows, and doesn't argue against any claim anyone has made.

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2021, 09:30:54 AM »
It would be incredibly easy to prove a god as defined in a particular scripture existed. For example there are extraordinary claims in the bible about the efficacy of prayer. The simplest of experiments would be able to prove if the claims about prayer are true. Even general data collection should provide evidence that prayer works. Yet in fundamentalist regions where belief and practice of prayer is prevalent, typically have worse outcomes than more secular regions. Go figure.

The bible makes claims about a flood that reset the biological trajectory on this planet. The scientific evidence would be overwhelming, yet the non-religious academia disputes these claims as nonsense. If these claims were true there would be need to constantly talk of "faith" in the gods.



Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2021, 09:49:34 AM »

It could be, but this argument is simply stupid for ignoring at least two obvious interconnected things:

1 - That belief in God, due to its intrinsic characteristic, is metaphysical and infinitely extensible, different from other specific entities that can be claimed;
2 - And that Agnosticism is not based on the simple fact that it is not possible to prove that God does not exist, but mainly on the fact that IT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE THAT HE EXISTS, which certainly does not apply to other specific beings.
It is becoming more and more obvious that English is not your first language.  The purpose of writing is to communicate with others.  In order to do that, one has to learn how to use language to do that--communicate.  If one's audience tells you that they don't understand what you are trying to say, then the problem rests with you as the communicator.  I have no idea what it is you are trying to say in the above.  Maybe you could rephrase those two points?
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Online Hydra009

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2021, 12:32:29 PM »
By the way, for the intelectually impaired, and mentally challenged, the above is a reflection on Agnosticism aa a means to counter retarded, stupid comparisions to ''pink unicorns'' or some other equally dumb shit.
Fun fact: the IPU is a facetious mockery of presicely the claim that god is unknowable (when challenged) yet simultaneously knowable (when it comes to insisting that god is a he or advocates certain political positions or dislikes certain groups of people that the speaker conveniently also dislikes)

Recognizing that this is a dumb idea may be a sign of being on the precipice of an even greater realization.   :fsm:

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2021, 06:45:52 AM »
It is becoming more and more obvious that English is not your first language.  The purpose of writing is to communicate with others.  In order to do that, one has to learn how to use language to do that--communicate.  If one's audience tells you that they don't understand what you are trying to say, then the problem rests with you as the communicator.  I have no idea what it is you are trying to say in the above.  Maybe you could rephrase those two points?

It may also rest on the reader's inability to read properly. But I will rephrase the points as soon as I have more patience and time to reply to the stupidity (not yours) displayed here, especially by SGOS.

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2021, 12:56:31 PM »
It is becoming more and more obvious that English is not your first language.  The purpose of writing is to communicate with others.  In order to do that, one has to learn how to use language to do that--communicate.  If one's audience tells you that they don't understand what you are trying to say, then the problem rests with you as the communicator.  I have no idea what it is you are trying to say in the above.  Maybe you could rephrase those two points?

Let me give you an example. I indeed cannot prove that there are no unicorns in the world because of a mere practical issue -- I have other things to do! But I can prove that there is not an unicorn in my room. And I could prove that in relation to the world if I could have simultaneous sensorial access to the whole planet in every one of its locations, or even the universe. Therefore, agnosticism about unicorns could be at best a TEMPORARY one, to use a category suggested by Richard Dawkins himself in The God Delusion.

But I cannot prove that there is no God in my room, not even if I had access to all the universe, for the simple reason that one of the main properties that is typical of God, with capital ''D'', is he being ''greater'' than the universe, and his INDECTABILITY by definition. That's why this type of Agnosticism is necessarily PERMANENT, which is the other category suggested by Dawkins in said book.

I could indeed prove the existence of an unicorn simply by showing you one, but I cannot in ANY WAY prove the existence of God not even if I show the most miraculous, stupendeous and colossal thing of all the time, for the best that could achive is showing something super-human, but how do you know if that something would be God?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 01:01:21 PM by Paolo »

Online aitm

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2021, 01:05:52 PM »
and his INDECTABILITY by definition.

Well, if one believes the babble, god showed himself to the Hebrews. They apparently, were not all that impressed.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2021, 01:56:16 PM »
Let me give you an example. I indeed cannot prove that there are no unicorns in the world because of a mere practical issue -- I have other things to do! But I can prove that there is not an unicorn in my room. And I could prove that in relation to the world if I could have simultaneous sensorial access to the whole planet in every one of its locations, or even the universe. Therefore, agnosticism about unicorns could be at best a TEMPORARY one, to use a category suggested by Richard Dawkins himself in The God Delusion.

But I cannot prove that there is no God in my room, not even if I had access to all the universe, for the simple reason that one of the main properties that is typical of God, with capital ''D'', is he being ''greater'' than the universe, and his INDECTABILITY by definition. That's why this type of Agnosticism is necessarily PERMANENT, which is the other category suggested by Dawkins in said book.

I could indeed prove the existence of an unicorn simply by showing you one, but I cannot in ANY WAY prove the existence of God not even if I show the most miraculous, stupendeous and colossal thing of all the time, for the best that could achive is showing something super-human, but how do you know if that something would be God?
I understand what you said.  I used to call myself an agnostic.  But after much study and thought, I think that the total lack of any data that suggests the existence of unicorns or god(s) that they simply do not exist except in the minds of those who believe they do.  I could say that an invisible pink eyed snot monster lives under my house.  Can I prove it?  No.  Can I disprove it?  No.  Except there is no data to suggest that that might be true. 

I used be agnostic about the existence of the christian god.  I used to say (and think) that one could neither prove the existence of nor the non-existence of god.  So, agnostic it is--or was.  I then went on search for spiritual guidance or enlightenment.  My wife was/is a recovering catholic and so we went to Unity to discover what was spiritually right for us.  We were there for over 10 years and were fully active in the church--both of us were board members and I ran the sound system and was the 'greeter'.  Anyway, this was a study time for me.  I discovered for myself, that actually, the absence of proof does constitute negative proof of the existence of any god, or gods, or Jesus, or supernatural anything.   There is not a single scrap of evidence that proves those things exist or ever existed.  And there is another type of proof that for me, proves that god does not exist.  Christians give god a whole list of attributes, headed by love, justice, righteousness, etc.  If god were love, then the universe would reflect that love.  So, how to account for birth defects, or happenstance natural disasters that kill thousands--the good and the bad all get it in the neck.  So, yeah, the absence of proof is proof of nonexistence.  Agnostic I am not.  God does not exist--and there has never been one iota of data to suggest or even hint at, his existence. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2021, 04:03:53 PM »
Well, if one believes the babble, god showed himself to the Hebrews. They apparently, were not all that impressed.
Yeah, gawd mooned Moses. Guess it was nothing to write home about.

And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
(Exodus 33:22-23)

Offline SGOS

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2021, 04:48:36 PM »
Yeah, gawd mooned

And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

(Exodus 33:22-23)

Bible thumper quoting scripture.  I'm happy you posted that.  You never know when you might need that verse.

Online Hydra009

Re: The Nature of Skepticism
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2021, 06:42:53 PM »
Let me give you an example. I indeed cannot prove that there are no unicorns in the world because of a mere practical issue -- I have other things to do!
And even if you did devote your life to tracking down unicorns and never found one, there'd always be someone who claims that they're out there based on nothing but blind faith.  Kinda reminds ya of a certain miraculous tongue, doesn't it?

Quote
I could indeed prove the existence of an unicorn simply by showing you one, but I cannot in ANY WAY prove the existence of God not even if I show the most miraculous, stupendeous and colossal thing of all the time, for the best that could achive is showing something super-human, but how do you know if that something would be God?
Exactly, which makes it an inherently unverifiable/unfalsifiable claim, like the idea that the observable universe is a mote in a giant's eye or that invisible spirits roam the world after death or that gingers have souls.  Hence my very disinterested agnostic atheism.

Also, it kinda makes one wonder why tons of people act so damn sure about something you agree can't be demonstrated in the slightest.  Do they truly know what they claim they know?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 06:54:43 PM by Hydra009 »