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  1. #1
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Default Richard Dawkins "The most famous..... Agnostic?"


  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I don't believe it!
    Or maybe I do!

    ... oh bother.


    ^^ Agnosticism. This conditions afflicts many modern humans, leaving us confused about the nature of the world, or even feeling like it doesn't matter. Won't you please help? Send money, fast.

    EDIT:

    In a 100-minute debate with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Thursday (Feb. 23), Richard Dawkins surprised his online and theater audiences by conceding a personal chink of doubt about his conviction that there is no such thing as a creator.

    But, to the amusement of the archbishop and others, the evolutionary biologist swiftly added that he was “6.9 out of seven” certain of his long-standing atheist beliefs.

    Replying to moderator Anthony Kenny, a noted English philosopher, Dawkins said, “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing (is) very, very low...
    That sounds fair. I'm also not sure whether 100% atheism is rationally viable. I mean, we can't really be sure of anything, so there's always a minute possibility that someone could be wrong about something that cannot be observed or experienced fully, correct? Perhaps atheism should be definied more like Dawkins -- slim possibility that someone is wrong, but the chances are very very slim to them. Agnosticism seems more like a concession that the odds are bigger and thus the answer more ambiguous?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    So the degree to which one doubts is the determiner to whether one is an atheist or agnostic? Hrrmmm.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    So the degree to which one doubts is the determiner to whether one is an atheist or agnostic? Hrrmmm.
    Well... we can draw a hard line at the choice to not believe 100%... but is that rationally feasible? Just curious. Even integrals are considered an "approximation under the curve" -- they are close to exact, but not exact.

    I'm not really hung up on the definition, I'm simply saying there is always at least a small gap between knowing something for sure vs it not being entirely defined, and it takes at least a smidgen of faith to leap across the gap.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    So an agnostic wants to believe but can't fully, and an atheist not only can't believe, but doesn't want to? I'm just trying to figure out what separates the two titles. An atheist is more intellectual than an agnostic? Does an Atheist ACTUALLY know more than an Agnostic?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    So an agnostic wants to believe but can't fully, and an atheist not only can't believe, but doesn't want to? I'm just trying to figure out what separates the two titles. An atheist is more intellectual than an agnostic?
    I'm not sure where you got the last part.

    I think it's dishonest for someone to say that they KNOW there isn't a god, considering our faculties are not calibrated to be that accurate. It's more honest to state either that one believes that there is no (nor seems likely to be) god, or that one is less sure.

    Unless that amount of uncertainty is acceptable enough to gloss over. *shrug*

    In any case, that's why this article even exists -- Dawkins has been so hard-line that him admitting there's a modicum of possibility God might exist now is making the news. It really shouldn't have even been newsworthy, except his stance was so self-ceertain to start with.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Makes sense.

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    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Somebody paid him off.
    RCUAI
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    "Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it."

  9. #9
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    To me it seems he's just being a little bit honest to himself/others for a change. When it comes to questions of God/existence (for or against), who really believes anything "beyond the shadow of a doubt"?

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    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Yeah. If there really is a god, & you end up standing before him one day, you'd probably feel a bit stupid if you'd written books on earth saying you were 100% certain he didn't exist. He'd probably beat the shit out of you too. So yeah, leave that 0.2% out for yourself.
    RCUAI
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