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  1. #471
    Member Gizmo's Avatar
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    This life, that life, and or the next life... All that matters is who believes in history, and who has the balls to create it.
    ~ Only your heart can poison your mind. ~

  2. #472
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Certainly not.


    So if some guy showed you The Book of Zion, an old tome filled with claims that the machines have us enslaved inside the Matrix and parables about Neo fighting the Father of the Matrix, backed it up with screenshots from the films, and were utterly sincere in his belief in The Book of Zion, you'd believe it too?
    If he was able to form a coherent argument backed by reasoning I would not immediately dismiss it. Not saying I would believe him, but nor would I think I would be able to just dissolve it from my memory.


    I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess that you've known some aggressive/argumentative atheists in your life. Am I off the mark?
    Actually, oddly enough yes you are. I do not recall ever having any negative interaction with any atheist, at least none that I am actually able to immediately pull to mind. I am sure that at some point I probably did run into conflict with an atheist, it is definately possible, and maybe that did skew my perception, but at the moment I do not think so. It is atheism, not atheists, that I have issue with. Though I have issues with traditional religions as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
    Personally, the way I understand belief is that when you say "I believe in X" you are making a positive assertion about the universe, saying that X is the truth, to have that it is.


    By that standard, if you are unsure or feel you do not have enough information to make such a deceleration about the truth, then you aren't acting in out of faith that it is true - then you aren't taking the action of believing, thus you "do not believe". Contemplating that it might true doesn't qualify as a grey area any more then contemplating eating a sandwich is half into eating a sandwich, it's still is not believing, lacking faith in theism, not-theistic, which is what most of atheism is. From the perspective of negative atheism (the lack of belief), there is no difference.
    I visualize agnosticism as, what I said before, a coin balanced on it's edge. It has the potential to fall onto either side, but it faces the possible consequences of staying inert and unmovable forever. That is why I view agnosticism as a sort of weak strength. It is the blankness, the distance, the unseen and possibly unrealized between the actual.
    Balanced illusorly, but completely at the mercy of whatever around it. Nothing, but nothing with a purpose.
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  3. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    I visualize agnosticism as, what I said before, a coin balanced on it's edge. It has the potential to fall onto either side, but it faces the possible consequences of staying inert and unmovable forever. That is why I view agnosticism as a sort of weak strength. It is the blankness, the distance, the unseen and possibly unrealized between the actual.
    Balanced illusorly, but completely at the mercy of whatever around it. Nothing, but nothing with a purpose.
    That's not a bad metaphor in itself, and I gather it's in some way might have become even a mark of identity, but to explain using your metaphor, since faith requires that your coin will firmly flatten to the ground on a very particular side, in having not done so, you lack faith as much as any atheists, and it's that lack of faith that - for the most part - defines atheism. The mistake is not in how you define yourself as an agnostic, but in assuming that atheism is defined by the coin falling to the other side.

  4. #474
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    If he was able to form a coherent argument backed by reasoning I would not immediately dismiss it. Not saying I would believe him, but nor would I think I would be able to just dissolve it from my memory.
    Assume the Neo-phyte cannot form a coherent argument at all. What do you think of his belief in The Book of Zion?

  5. #475
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
    That's not a bad metaphor in itself, and I gather it's in some way might have become even a mark of identity, but to explain using your metaphor, since faith requires that your coin will firmly flatten to the ground on a very particular side, in having not done so, you lack faith as much as any atheists, and it's that lack of faith that - for the most part - defines atheism. The mistake is not in how you define yourself as an agnostic, but in assuming that atheism is defined by the coin falling to the other side.

    Anyways, I think that everyone has faith, it just is alters up a bit differently. Atheists, to me, have faith in not having faith, and arguably faith in the understanding of science. Agnostics have faith in not knowing if they have faith, a faith in everything and therefore nothing. Those who abide by a traditional religion, have faith in having faith, and faith in not attributing their whole understanding to science.

    Long story short, I believe everyone has faith in what they can gather from the world around them, their insights, their interpretations, and they throw all of that together creating their individual mixture, which after that is up to them to figure out how to find their best concoction. If you follow the directions on the label, generally you will end up something decent but readily packageable. I could go further, but the general gist is there.

    But yes, it is very arguable to say that agnosticism is the absence of faith, but also as what I said before. This did not come out the way I necessarily wanted it to, but I'll keep it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    Assume the Neo-phyte cannot form a coherent argument at all. What do you think of his belief in The Book of Zion?
    If he cannot argue, then his idea will argue for him.
    The weaker the argument, the less merit I will put into it. And opposite. But no, while the strings might be more fragile with it, and easier to shove in the back of the attic, they will still be twisted up in there.

  6. #476
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  7. #477
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    If he cannot argue, then his idea will argue for him.
    You find his claims outlandish, his arguments incoherent, and The Book of Zion to be highly questionable and even self-contradictory in parts.

    In plain English, with no metaphors, what do you think of the Neo-phyte's belief that we all live in the Matrix?

  8. #478
    Senior Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    You find his claims outlandish, his arguments incoherent, and The Book of Zion to be highly questionable and even self-contradictory in parts.

    In plain English, with no metaphors, what do you think of the Neo-phyte's belief that we all live in the Matrix?
    Short answer, I cannot disprove it and any answer will just lead to another question. I suppose the less likely something is the less weight I would give it, but I do not think I would be capable of completely letting it go.

    But I suppose you are looking for an absolute answer, I just cannot provide one.

  9. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I don't, and I don't need to. But the poor approximation I'm able to assemble is sufficient for everything this life demands. I'm simply confident enough is my knowledge to dismiss the concerns that plague you as irrelevant.
    I think this is the basis for how most reasonable people go about their philosophical lives.



    Anything further is metaphysical dick-slapping.

  10. #480
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    But I suppose you are looking for an absolute answer, I just cannot provide one.
    Not at all; I just didn't want to possibly misinterpret your metaphor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    Short answer, I cannot disprove it and any answer will just lead to another question. I suppose the less likely something is the less weight I would give it, but I do not think I would be capable of completely letting it go.
    You're one step away from atheism then; atheists are simply capable of letting go of sufficiently empty claims. And religion falls into that category.

    And that's atheism in a nutshell.

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