User Tag List

First 345

Results 41 to 50 of 50

Thread: Agnosticism

  1. #41
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    This is where I am a little unsure of whether you're correct. You are dividing the question into black and white, material and immaterial, real and not real. What if the finite world is just a subset of the world you choose to call "infinite"? (I'm not even sure if infinite is the right word to describe it.)

    So when you're floating on the deck of a boat on a black glassy sea and a whale's fluke pops above the waves, you can say that you "saw" the whale. You can't see all the whale because it won't surface completely, but you saw PART of the whale in truth... and you can try to conjecture what the rest of the whale looks like, although you'll never really know for sure because you aren't in the whale's domain.

    This isn't exactly right as an example, because "God" would be part of EVERY domain, not just confined to the ocean; but if the tangible world is just a subset of all that exists, wouldn't it be possible for something from the larger set to intrude momentarily on the tangible world?

    I think our conflict here is that I am positing that the tangible world is a subset of "all reality," where you seem to have "all reality" broken into an observable world (finite) and an unobservable world (infinite).
    No, its not black and white. Thoughts are immaterial, but in order for them to make sense they have to fit the framework of what can be sensed. (Seen, touched, heard, felt, tasted.). Can you fathom a thought that can not be converted into something that can't be seen? Wooden-Iron! That's synonymous with literaly unimaginable! Or in other words, when you imagine an idea, right there--you presuppose that it is something that can be seen (sensed).

    Another example of how something that is immaterial can be within our sensation. Physicists in the 20th century discovered that the fundamental essence to atoms is just raw force(energy), the force is not material, but if we obtain proper technology we may see it. Though this is the real matter, not the crude tables and chairs, not even the atoms that they are comprised of.

    If what we understand to be reality truly is just part of the bigger picture, and we don't live in a 'sub-reality'. We have this problem..

    If reality is infinite, yet our world is finite, in infinity there can not be plurality. Because only one essence can be infinite and if it is infinite, it takes up all the space that there is. Hence, there is no space there. Yet in this world we have space.

    We cant talk about how the infinite world is, or infer from that all is God(pantheism) because we can't fathom what infinity is. Its not that we see just parts of it, the case is that we cant grasp infinity for what it is, this is why we have to break it down into what we can fathom. Something that is transduced through the medium of space, time, matter, heat and color.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #42
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    My references to that were not intended as you mean here. The only correlation I was exploring is that part of the brain that can process 'truths', pursue types of knowledge without nailing everything down into observable fact. It has more to do with the human end of perceiving the Infinite, rather than defining the Infinite in any way. Does that make sense?
    The human mind, I don't think is capable of perceiving the infinite because the world as we see it only stretches so far as our imaginations can take us..and our imaginations cant fathom infinity..

    The reason why we cant pin down many things into what we can be perceived by other people the way that we have is because we are not able to transfer what we had in mind to the external world in a faithful enough of a way to the original image.

    Essentially, when we imagine something, even if it is something that we can't communicate to others, we are envisioning at as something that can be seen, heard, felt, touched or tasted. Or we envision it as some kind of a fleeting symbol for what can not be accessed with one, or more of those 5 senses of ours.

    EDIT:We can imagine something that is physically impossible, like for instance a dark red planet the size of a truck hanging over our roof. Can we make this happen a reality? Like Walt Disney famously said, if you can imagine it you can do it?

    No, I think his claim is best interpreted allegorically, what can be imagined can theoretically happen in the real world had we received the appropriate resources to accomplish it. Maybe if we had the right technology, we could create what seems to be a dark red planet that can hang on that kind of a height, and have this object be as small as a truck.

    Am I coming off clearly to you, hopefully I've understood your point the way you intended for it to come across, not so sure if I have.. Seems like you're using the word infinite in an allegorical fashion, something that is seemingly unfathomable or at this point physically impossible right?

    Are we on the same page overall?
    Last edited by SolitaryWalker; 07-02-2007 at 01:50 PM.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #43
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    InTP
    Enneagram
    9w1 sp
    Socionics
    INTj Ni
    Posts
    2,652

    Default

    Hm. Lots of great viewpoints here.

    Mine can be summed up like this-
    We definitely don't know what is real in regards to what or who God is, if he exists, or how he's manifested in the universe. So why bother? I say he doesn't exist, and taking that stand ensures I won't bother myself with proving my point, since ignorance is bliss.

    Sounds sad, but true. Whether you are a believer or not, there is a high probability you are fooling yourself, and reality could be something different.


    I shared a rather vivid dream I had last week with a friend of mine, and he took me aside to discuss his interpretation of it--he believes vivid dreams are memories echoed across multiple universes, that what I was experiencing was a memory transferred from a version of me living a different life in another dimension (or something to that effect). He was dead serious--he and his wife both believe in that kind of stuff, and you know what? I applaud them for it. It's probably bullshit, but we'll never know. It's a fun idea to ponder though.

    I contradict my previous statement with this one. On one hand, I advocate laziness in regards to religion. On the other hand, I advocate indulgence in sci-fi-like fantasies to explain common phenomena. The point isn't that I'm confused--the point is that we can pick and choose what we believe, and it matters not a damned difference. So believe what you want, and make the best of it. In the end, you were probably fooling yourself anyhow.

    Likewise, to judge someone else because of their beliefs... well, all I can say is, that's funny--I mean that sarcastically. It's like the Joker telling Batman his feet smell funny.

  4. #44
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    I do see your point; and really, at core level, there is no true "evidence" to prove faith issues, it really comes down to what one thinks is worth believing. I used to believe more traditionally; now I stand more in the line of seeing that there's a high chance that most of what people believe is not true but simply "read into" the situation...

    Still, I approach the God idea in a somewhat opposite way. I see that (1) patterns do exist in the universe, so theories of "God" and metaphysics and whatnot will probably have more probability of being true the more they conform to the "fractal" patterns of what we have already experienced already in life (if reality truly does "lock" together); and (2) if God or some ultimate creator being(s) exists, it has a good chance of being very important in terms of me discovering my purpose and identity and being, so I can't really justify just blowing off the quest as irrelevant. In fact, most of life seems trivial by comparison.

    I think your friends have a vivid, whimsical imagination and enjoy the concept as a neat "sci-fi" theory; but I tend to see those sort of theories as intellectually irresponsible if pursued in earnestness, because they seem completely based on whimsical with no real correlation to what is already known.

    It doesn't cost anything to believe whatever disconnected idea one wants to dream up; it does cost time and energy to submit to the process of discerning what seems to be real and making sure that one's speculations tie into it in a way that at least seems probable. Anyway, their concept would not work for me, even if it does work for them. (Which I suppose is a bummer, since my life would be a lot easier if I went the "sci-fi" route. )
    "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

  5. #45
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    InTP
    Enneagram
    9w1 sp
    Socionics
    INTj Ni
    Posts
    2,652

    Default

    I see your point, well, kinda. I have never experienced anything in my lifetime which has lead me to believe God, in any way shape or form, had to exist from the inside or outside; all physical phenomena are either known or explained, or somehow my intuition has lead me to strongly believe a scientific explanation was possible, which could explain the phenomenon from beginning to end, no superstition needed.

    Thus, from my point of view, a deity truly feels like something made-up, something arbitrarily added to one's view of reality which I cannot account for. Perhaps this is because I have not expanded my perceptions wide enough to see this, and perhaps later on I will see things differently. I feel like Han Solo here, but I can't help it. I could say, perhaps God did create the universe and masterminded all the wonderful laws of physics and nature which we discover and integrate as part of our understanding of "science," but at that point, without proof that God was involved, I just don't get how the concept of "God" adds any value to the theory. I'm perfectly content assuming he never existed and the universe created itself. (Actually, the question of the universe's creation, its outer limits, what lies outside the universe--THOSE questions do intrigue me, and the concept of a deity is up on the table when I consider those. However, without any verified information or perceptions to start, besides some highly speculative science, I can't justify expending energy to ask, much less answer, those questions.)
    The last time I believed in "God" was when I was a child, and that's only because my mom told me that praying to God might improve my chances of being selected to play on the computers at school. (LOL) Hey, it "seemed" to work once

    (On a separate note, those same friends are spiritual... possibly a mixed bag, the guy is agnostic but strongly believes a creator exists, the gal is mostly pagan although I've never discussed spirituality with her in depth. Both were raised from Christian backgrounds. ENTJ guy, INFP gal)

  6. #46
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    I see your point, well, kinda. I have never experienced anything in my lifetime which has lead me to believe God, in any way shape or form, had to exist from the inside or outside; all physical phenomena are either known or explained, or somehow my intuition has lead me to strongly believe a scientific explanation was possible, which could explain the phenomenon from beginning to end, no superstition needed.
    With me, I have had a handful of odd experiences that I don't know how to interpret as natural phenomena. I also had a lot of internalized experiences that seemed to fit with what Christianity said "God was" -- but now I am starting to think that a lot of this is simply our own transcendent feelings that we interpret as "God" or the spirit. So I went from a position of feeling like I knew... to this agnostic "wish I could believe but need something more" position.

    I don't know. There are many things that humanity used to attribute to God, that we discovered could occur via naturalistic phenomena. This doesn't necessarily mean that a "god force" is not incorporated in those phenomena... but it's a meaningless thing to say logically since we have no way to comment on it.

    Thus, from my point of view, a deity truly feels like something made-up, something arbitrarily added to one's view of reality which I cannot account for. Perhaps this is because I have not expanded my perceptions wide enough to see this, and perhaps later on I will see things differently.
    That seems to be a fair way to view it. I'm having trouble seeing any deity myself right now... but I never know what the future holds.

    Actually, the question of the universe's creation, its outer limits, what lies outside the universe--THOSE questions do intrigue me, and the concept of a deity is up on the table when I consider those. However, without any verified information or perceptions to start, besides some highly speculative science, I can't justify expending energy to ask, much less answer, those questions.
    I guess the search to explain those things is the best way to proceed, since they are the only parts of the question that are verifiable in some way.

    The last time I believed in "God" was when I was a child, and that's only because my mom told me that praying to God might improve my chances of being selected to play on the computers at school. (LOL) Hey, it "seemed" to work once
    There we go, an opportunist at heart!

    God never did help me win the lotto, though. Maybe I should have picked better numbers? (4 8 15 16 23 42?)
    "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

  7. #47
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    MBTI
    InTP
    Enneagram
    9w1 sp
    Socionics
    INTj Ni
    Posts
    2,652

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    With me, I have had a handful of odd experiences that I don't know how to interpret as natural phenomena. I also had a lot of internalized experiences that seemed to fit with what Christianity said "God was" -- but now I am starting to think that a lot of this is simply our own transcendent feelings that we interpret as "God" or the spirit. So I went from a position of feeling like I knew... to this agnostic "wish I could believe but need something more" position.

    I don't know. There are many things that humanity used to attribute to God, that we discovered could occur via naturalistic phenomena. This doesn't necessarily mean that a "god force" is not incorporated in those phenomena... but it's a meaningless thing to say logically since we have no way to comment on it.
    One thing that occurred to me, is that I was heavily influenced by science classes from elementary school onward, and religion had no direct place in school. I wonder if that was a characteristic of the time, as I would have been in elementary school from ~1986-1992 or so, and there was a huge push for technology around that timeframe, especially with computers becoming miniaturized and widespread.

    Perhaps with that kind of background early-on, I have had the opportunity to view the world in a light many older generations could never.

    One observation I have viewed with consistency is that the insistence on the presence of "God" always seems to follow a matter of personal trust--many older generations have viewed the presence of God as immutable fact, and while they can discuss philosophy and matters of science rationally with anyone, there is this overarching trust in God they fall back upon when all the dust has settled.

    I can definitely claim I am of a generation, or at least one among those I grew up around, who praise scientific discovery in the same light--to me, explaining naturalistic phenomena in terms of impersonal laws, rules and mathematics is the one truth of the universe I can trust. Belief in God, I cannot.

    Is it as simple as that? Are we humans forged in our early years into belief systems which allow us to believe almost anything?
    Perhaps a generation or two from now, we may discover that belief in deity fosters a form of brainwave activity which allows us to heal others by touch, melding a combination of spirituality and scientific discovery into one single belief. That's far-fetched (and taken directly from the "Ancients" of the Stargate SG-1/Atlantis universe, with added speculation as to how they gained those abilities) but the point is, are all belief systems truly equal or is there a way to measure one belief system's "proximity to reality" against another?

  8. #48
    heart on fire
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    8,457

    Default

    I am a free thinker who makes a policy of rarely giving others the details of my inner spiritual beliefs. I don't want to have to fit into anyone else's belief system, just follow what my own intution reveals to me. Spiritual beliefs are so subjective anyway, what one person believes won't translate for another person. jmo

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    The human mind, I don't think is capable of perceiving the infinite because the world as we see it only stretches so far as our imaginations can take us..and our imaginations cant fathom infinity..

    The reason why we cant pin down many things into what we can be perceived by other people the way that we have is because we are not able to transfer what we had in mind to the external world in a faithful enough of a way to the original image.

    Essentially, when we imagine something, even if it is something that we can't communicate to others, we are envisioning at as something that can be seen, heard, felt, touched or tasted. Or we envision it as some kind of a fleeting symbol for what can not be accessed with one, or more of those 5 senses of ours.
    This is something I think about a lot in regards to life beyond what we know in the here and now.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Opivy1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    MBTI
    INTJ
    Posts
    138

    Default

    Putting aside the question of whether or not it exists, why should humans worship something that created the universe in the first place? Is it so great for most people that it is worth regarding its creator as better than themselves? I know personally if I find out there is a God I am going to be pretty pissed off and demand an explanation for this screwed up mess we call reality. I would rather not exist after this life than have to be in the presence of something that made this, especially if there was no good reason for the way reality is now. Just because something created the universe in the first place is no reason to become its cheerleader.
    Question everything especially yourself.

    Opivy1980

  10. #50
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w6 so/sx
    Posts
    3,467

    Default

    The only reason to become its cheerleader would be its worthwhileness.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

Similar Threads

  1. Zen and philosophical agnosticism
    By Octarine in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-13-2011, 11:31 AM
  2. Beating A Dead Horse, vol. 345: Atheism, Theism, Agnosticism and Sheep
    By LEGERdeMAIN in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 10-27-2009, 02:01 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO