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  1. #41
    Member dadapolka's Avatar
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    99 percent atheist, all bastard.

    Has Dawkins ever stated that he is 100% atheist before this anyway? I haven't really payed him much attention. I'm not really sure whether the terminology matters that much, but atheism I thought was not having a religion, or to be godless, and that agnostic was a varying disbelief in a deity. So you could be both agnostic and atheist. I could be wrong.
    Also - you can dislike religion as much as he does and still believe that a god might exist.

  2. #42
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I'm a Perciever, I'm incredulous when anybody is 100% sure of anything. This sounds reasonable.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    What kind of crazed prophet would say with absolute certainty that god does or does not exist?

    Certainly not Dawkins

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    What kind of crazed prophet would say with absolute certainty that god does or does not exist?

    Certainly not Dawkins
    Well, there was Hitchens, but he was more of a rhetorician than anything else.

  5. #45
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Certainty is so uninteresting to me. First, there is a world of difference between 'certainty' in the context of probability calculus and 'certainty' in the sense of a psychological disposition. Second, there are different kinds of subjective certainty, such as the tacit certainty of taking something for granted to the certainty of having a strong conviction. Finally, people can become more or less certain about something over time; even people who were once absolutely certain about something often become less certain and vice versa. And it often has nothing to do with evidence or argument pertaining to the issue: sometimes we just wake up in a more confident mood than other days.

    I'm certain about all kinds of stuff, both in the sense of probability calculus and psychological disposition. However, intellectually, I'm also a fallibilist: I might be wrong even when I am certain that I'm right. To a lot of people, that seems like a contradiction, but it's not. For example, I've never bungie-jumped, but I suppose if I was standing on a bridge ready to do so, my emotional state would have little to do with my intellectual understanding of the situation. I'd be just as certain I was about to leap to my death as I am that the sun is going to rise tomorrow, but I can also internally disagree with my feelings. My intellect can check those feelings and, perhaps, exert some influence on them over time, but I never expect (or really desire) everything to coalesce into any unified measure of certainty--that notion seems to betray a gross misunderstanding of human psychology and, perhaps, knowledge itself.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #46
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    These things never work out a complete answer.

    It comes down to what satisfies personal judgment -- preference for faith-based belief as a means to excavate existential meaning, or empirical inquiry and its analytical goal of determining patterns in our physical world. People create faith. Nature is materialistic. Developing a unifying link between the two often ignores rules central to each, so it's best to skip NOMA and just move with an either/or hypothesis.

    Ultimately, religion pretends to know what it cannot, to influence now what it can. Materialism is open to revision and is therefore unavoidably incomplete. Neither resolves the fear of death/dying, which is fundamental to both.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I'm a Perciever, I'm incredulous when anybody is 100% sure of anything. This sounds reasonable.
    In order to point out something you might be overlooking, so am I. /Ni-dom I don't think (y)our incredulity can be credited to being xxxP or Ni/Ne dominant. I think incredulity is the most honest response to topics beyond our personal experience and can be credited to anyone who refuses to settle for simple answers.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #48
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    In order to point out something you might be overlooking, so am I. /Ni-dom I don't think (y)our incredulity can be credited to being xxxP or Ni/Ne dominant. I think incredulity is the most honest response to topics beyond our personal experience and can be credited to anyone who refuses to settle for simple answers.
    I was being kind of jokey in that comment. No, you're correct.. depending mostly on the source. As a Ne-dom, I tend to recognize when people are working hard to validate their world-view as opposed to honestly evaluating data. I'm actually a theist (in a strange way), and it's been my conclusion that nobody can be held at fault for not being a theist with what we can observe.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I was being kind of jokey in that comment. No, you're correct.. depending mostly on the source. As a Ne-dom, I tend to recognize when people are working hard to validate their world-view as opposed to honestly evaluating data. I'm actually a theist (in a strange way), and it's been my conclusion that nobody can be held at fault for not being a theist with what we can observe.
    I honestly figured you weren't completely serious, but with so many lurking newbies around at risk of taking type-talk at face value, I felt compelled to push up my nerd-glasses and clarify. lulz

    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  10. #50
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    that's called a teapot agnostic... and i don't think i ever met a self-proclaimed atheist who wasn't one. ofcourse i am sure someone already said that, and then you get the self-proclaimed "pure agnostics" and theists who argue "well then they aren't really atheists" because they think "atheism is believing god doesn't exist" as apposed "lacking a belief in god", and the whole thing just comes down to semantic flamewars... happens in every community. my conclusion is that english sucks at the semantics.

    but if instead of fighting over semantics, you have a healthy mature discussion between a rational atheists and a rational agnostic, it always come down to one question:

    do you think probability theory can be applied to conceptual 'information' on theoretical constructs to form the plausibility of complete unknowns, or do you think that applying it to anything other then visible predictions based on concrete information is taking the baby out of the bathwater? its a viable fallacy for the logic behind teapot agnosticism, but its one which is very difficult to define. and even if it does apply, are you going to put probability theory within the logician's framework, or is the viability of the logical constructs such fallacies only apply to the real world depending on demonstrable probability? who wins in your head, the logician or the observer? one leads to agnosticism and the other to atheism.

    ever since i thought about past discussions and re-framed it this way (a.k.a. 3 minutes ago), i have not being able to make a choice in the matter.

    i guess i am agnostic about the agnostics vs. atheism debate. but generally, well, 4 minutes ago i was an atheist (and 4 years ago an agnostic).

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