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Old 02-14-2013, 08:27   #651
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
Not true. I already explained that I do have a belief concerning deities. What's so hard to accept about that?
Saying that you believe they *could* exist does not answer the question of whether you believe they *do* or *did* exist. What's so hard to answer about the question of if you believe they do/did exist? Saying "it's possible" doesn't address the question. You know this, you're being intentionally thick.

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But do you BELIEVE no deity has ever existed? If not, we might agree much more than I previously thought.
I lack a belief that any dieties have ever existed. I've answered this more than once already. In this very thread.

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Pull up that 2 dimensional graph that has atheism/theism and gnostic/agnostic at perpendicular relationships, it might help.
I don't need any help describing what I believe. Thanks for the condescension, though.

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So, you don't advocate one way or the other? Are you sure?
Absolutely positive, why? I have no problem with you (or anyone else) believing whatever they like and whatever brings them comfort/peace. I will tell you it is illogical to me. I will fight against you legislating your belief into our laws. I will not tell you you're "wrong" for what you believe, though.

If you disagree, please point me to any of my posts that are contradictory to the above.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:33   #652
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Originally Posted by void * View Post
It's dishonest for you to admit that you don't actually accept the posit that a deity exists, and therefore, you don't actually believe that a deity exists?

IMHO it's dishonest to dodge the question.

.......
Try being accurate in your assertions. Then try again if you want.


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I accept that the posit that a deity has existed may be possible. It's also possible that one has not. Live and let live. A first amendment approach is that any person has a right to choose to believe what they want and freely participate, as long as they are not hurting anyone else. Yes there will be differences of opinion on certain positions, such as abortion, but for the most part, there is currently a reasonable accommodation. A woman can get one if they want one. I consider that about as elective as a breast augmentation in the absence of disease. It should be paid for by the individual that wants it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:35   #653
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Originally Posted by Syclone538 View Post
I've seen this cause a lot of confusion.

≠ is much better, though I'm not sure everyone will see it on their computer/phone.

Sorry, I'm an IT nerd by profession. I realize I assume knowledge on other people's part in a lot of cases.

For all in this thread "!=" means "does not equal".

Sorry!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:40   #654
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Originally Posted by hooligan74 View Post
Saying that you believe they *could* exist does not answer the question of whether you believe they *do* or *did* exist. What's so hard to answer about the question of if you believe they do/did exist? Saying "it's possible" doesn't address the question. You know this, you're being intentionally thick.



I lack a belief that any dieties have ever existed. I've answered this more than once already. In this very thread.



I don't need any help describing what I believe. Thanks for the condescension, though.



Absolutely positive, why? I have no problem with you (or anyone else) believing whatever they like and whatever brings them comfort/peace. I will tell you it is illogical to me. I will fight against you legislating your belief into our laws. I will not tell you you're "wrong" for what you believe, though.

If you disagree, please point me to any of my posts that are contradictory to the above.
I believe in RKBA. You gonna fight me on that too. Better get up to DC, I met with my reps this week on the issue?

[/sarcasm]

Well, it seems that "maybe" is a very difficult concept to grasp.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:42   #655
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Originally Posted by hooligan74 View Post
Sorry, I'm an IT nerd by profession. I realize I assume knowledge on other people's part in a lot of cases.

For all in this thread "!=" means "does not equal".

Sorry!
Is there a math or program symbol for "maybe"?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:48   #656
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Try being accurate in your assertions. Then try again if you want.
Again, avoiding the question (with an accusation of inaccuracy, without explaining any inaccuracy. I don't think I'm being inaccurate. You are welcome to explain exactly why if you disagree, heck, I might even change my mind - I do that kind of thing)


a) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic in a three-state model where the states are in the set {theist, agnostic, atheist}
b) The criteria for being a theist in this model is believing that it is true a deity or deities exist or have existed.
c) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic, therefore he cannot meet the criteria for being a theist.
d) Since the criteria for being a theist is believing that a deity exists or has existed, either Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed, or Cavalry Doc is a theist in the three state model
e) Assuming that Cavalry Doc is being truthful, it must be true Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed

What is inaccurate in those assertions, exactly, and if there's nothing inaccurate, why can't you just admit that you do not believe?
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:01   #657
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Originally Posted by void * View Post
Again, avoiding the question.


a) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic in a three-state model where the states are in the set {theist, agnostic, atheist}
b) The criteria for being a theist in this model is believing that it is true a deity or deities exist or have existed.
c) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic, therefore he cannot meet the criteria for being a theist.
d) Since the criteria for being a theist is believing that a deity exists or has existed, either Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed, or Cavalry Doc is a theist in the three state model
e) Assuming that Cavalry Doc is being truthful, it must be true Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed

What is inaccurate in those assertions, exactly, and if there's nothing inaccurate, why can't you just admit that you do not believe?
Did you read my response to your last post? At least you could admit you got that wrong, or not, whatever.


If your point is to prove that I'm not a theist, let me save you the trouble. I am not a theist. I am not an atheist.

Does that help at all?

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 02-14-2013 at 09:02..
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:05   #658
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Did you read my response to your last post? At least you could admit you got that wrong, or not, whatever.
Please describe *exactly* what you think I got wrong. Your claim that you accept it as possible a deity exists says nothing about whether or not you *believe* a deity exists.


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If your point is to prove that I'm not a theist, let me save you the trouble. I am not a theist. I am not an atheist.

Does that help at all?
No, it again just leaves me wondering why you can't just simply admit that you do not believe a deity or deities has existed or does exist.

Again:
a) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic in a three-state model where the states are in the set {theist, agnostic, atheist}
b) The criteria for being a theist in this model is believing that it is true a deity or deities exist or have existed.
c) Cavalry Doc claims to be an agnostic, therefore he cannot meet the criteria for being a theist.
d) Since the criteria for being a theist is believing that a deity exists or has existed, either Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed, or Cavalry Doc is a theist in the three state model
e) Assuming that Cavalry Doc is being truthful, it must be true Cavalry Doc does not believe that a deity exists or has existed

What is inaccurate in those assertions, exactly, and if there's nothing inaccurate, why can't you just admit that you do not believe?

You say you're not a theist. Therefore, you must not believe a deity exists or has existed. Why can't you just admit that? Is the world going to end if you write words along the lines of "While I believe it is possible that a deity exists or has existed, I currently do not believe that a deity has existed or does exist"?
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:06   #659
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Well, it seems that "maybe" is a very difficult concept to grasp.
No, maybe is a very simple concept to grasp. It simply doesn't answer the question asked. Repeatedly. It's not that I don't "like" or "understand" the answer - it's that the answer is nonsensical within the context of the question asked.

I'm done with you here. You seem to be incapable of answering honest questions put to you, and as such, it makes discussion of what each of us believe impossible.

See you around the other fora, at least you *seem* to be able to answer questions posed to you there.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:10   #660
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While I agree, I do sympathize with him on this. I was raised Christian, and started questioning it (to myself only, my mom still has no idea I've questioned it, let alone become atheist) around 12-13 years old or so. I'd say there was a good 10 years that I would not answer if I believe. I wanted there to be a middle ground. I would only answer, I don't know, or I'm not sure.
I empathize with that scenario, I really do.

However, "I don't know" in the context of "Do you believe gods exist or have existed?" is only honest if you're actually saying that you lack the capacity/ability to determine if you hold a belief.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:21   #661
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Originally Posted by hooligan74 View Post
No, maybe is a very simple concept to grasp. It simply doesn't answer the question asked. Repeatedly. It's not that I don't "like" or "understand" the answer - it's that the answer is nonsensical within the context of the question asked.

I'm done with you here. You seem to be incapable of answering honest questions put to you, and as such, it makes discussion of what each of us believe impossible.

See you around the other fora, at least you *seem* to be able to answer questions posed to you there.
Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?

[/sarcasm]

Get over it. I already have.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:32   #662
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While I agree, I do sympathize with him on this. I was raised Christian, and started questioning it (to myself only, my mom still has no idea I've questioned it, let alone become atheist) around 12-13 years old or so. I'd say there was a good 10 years that I would not answer if I believe. I wanted there to be a middle ground. I would only answer, I don't know, or I'm not sure.
I was raised Methodist. The whole family stopped going to church around or just before my junior high age. I quickly became an atheist, not the evangelical type, just was sure as anything that there was no god(s). That lasted until I really started to understand life (IMHO). So now I am comfortably in the middle of two extremes. Don't know, 99.99% of the time IRL its not an issue at all.

I'm not on a path from theism to agnosticism and stuck on my way to atheism.

I went from theism to atheism and came to rest in what I consider the most logical position, agnosticism. Until proof one way or the other is presented, and I'm convinced, I'll stay here.

Being an agnostic, and comfortable with that, I take a first amendment style tolerant view of other religious beliefs. Religious zealots have a hard time with that. Including evangelical atheists.

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 02-14-2013 at 09:33..
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:29   #663
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I have just broken a firm principle of not even reading any thread started by JBnTX to find that it is an argument about whether CavDoc does or does not believe that there is not or has not been a God. As we are now so close to 666 posts, I feel I should say something!

Can I suggest that although the categories of theist, agnostic and atheist are distinct, a theist believes there is a God, an agnostic cannot believe that there is or has been a God or he would be a theist, and an atheist believes there is not and has not been a God. The difference between the agnostic and the atheist is that the agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves there is or was a God and the atheist believes that there is not and never has been a God.

In no case does belief imply truth of belief. Belief is a practical matter of what an individual is prepared to act on as though it were true. So a theist acts as though there is a God and an atheist acts as though there is not. The agnostic is unable to know how to act in any situation which depends on whether or not there is a God. The agnostic does not meet, or acknowledge this situation very often because he has usually been brought up with a set of moral opinions or values which stand alongside the belief in a religion and so he uses those values to make decisions without thinking about the religious link to his values. The religious background to his values effectively tend to prevent him from trying, or needing, to try to derive values independent of religion.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:50   #664
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The difference between the agnostic and the atheist is that the agnostic neither believes nor disbelieves there is or was a God and the atheist believes that there is not and never has been a God.
Under a three-state single variable model, sure. However, I think there are problems with a three-state single variable model that get in the way of discussion. It's not accurate enough, and information gets lost. For instance, a theist who does not claim to know, gets put in the theist bucket because they believe. However, the sole criteria for being in that bucket is believing - so you can no longer determine their position on absolute knowledge merely by noting that someone is in that particular state of the three-state model. The same issue arises for the atheist bucket. Yet, the agnostic bucket provides information on their position of absolute knowledge. That's not a very consistent model with respect to what information is imparted by a particular state. There's also the point that when you know something, you believe it - you can also believe things you don't know. (In fact, I hold the position that we don't actually know very much at all - I don't think we can know anything that makes a statement about an external reality. In all cases where we are attempting to state anything about an external reality, there is some small possibility that we're not even perceiving an external, objective reality. What is commonly referred to as 'knowledge', with respect to reality, is really just a bunch of statements that are judged as very likely to be true, when someone says "I know I am walking down the street" they're really saying "I perceive myself to be walking down the street, and I judge the probability of my having accurate perception as high", or something along those lines)

You going to need an extra variable in any case, if you don't want to lose whether or not a theist or atheist claims absolute knowledge - so why not use the two-variable, strict-dichotomy model in the first place?

The only reason I can think of not to - and the reason I think that at least some people who claim agnostic-only under the three-state model use the three state model to begin with - is that people don't like being labeled 'atheist'. It's a dirty word, basically.

If that's actually the case then maybe the labels should be thrown out in favor of something that doesn't have that baggage. Although I don't know how easy it would be for 'knowist/aknowist'|'believist/abelievist' or something like that to catch on.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:48   #665
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(In fact, I hold the position that we don't actually know very much at all - I don't think we can know anything that makes a statement about an external reality. In all cases where we are attempting to state anything about an external reality, there is some small possibility that we're not even perceiving an external, objective reality. What is commonly referred to as 'knowledge', with respect to reality, is really just a bunch of statements that are judged as very likely to be true, when someone says "I know I am walking down the street" they're really saying "I perceive myself to be walking down the street, and I judge the probability of my having accurate perception as high", or something along those lines)
This is why I keep hammering the point of inductive reasoning. At the most basic level we are assuming that our own minds are operating rationally and that we are receiving accurate information via our sensory faculties.

The term "proof" is usually thrown around in this forum with the context of definitive deductive evidence and logic, but such proof is illusory. Once you get right down to it, pretty much anything and everything we think we know is actually derived through inductive means.

This is the main reason why I have no problem saying that there is no god or deity as it is as easy for me to be certain on that topic as it is for me to be certain that there is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Santa could still possibly be real, but you would be foolish to truly believe such as an adult or even assess it as an equally likely possibility.

That puts me as one of the more gnostic atheists in this forum and ties back to the main point of your post that a single variable system is insufficient in that it doesn't allow for the differentation of positions between my own and some of the more agnostic atheists here.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:51   #666
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Agreed, void. Personally I like a 4 option model much more.

Gnostic theist - someone who claims knowledge that God/gods exist.
Gnostic atheist - someone who claims knowledge that God/gods do NOT exist.
Agnostic theist - someone who believes in God/gods, but doesn't claim certainty.
Agnostic atheist - someone who lacks belief in God/gods, but doesn't claim certainty.
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Old 02-14-2013, 13:35   #667
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I was hoping to distinguish between knowing and believing. Like void, I don't believe we know very much. What we do know is what has been proved to be false. Many claim to know other things and they fall into the two categories of falsifiable and afalsifiable. The afalsifiable includes religions. The falsifiable includes the gas laws relating the pressure, volume, and temperature of a given mass of gas. Most religious people claim to know that their religion is generally correct. Most scientists and many others believe that the gas laws are correct and would say that their belief was so strong that it amounted to certainty or knowledge. They would never the less say that something might be found to show that the gas laws were not perfectly correct and that their practical certainty of correctness did not amount to knowledge of correctness.

On this basis, it matters not a jot that many people claim to know that there is a God. It is merely a belief that does not have any real supporting evidence. A belief in the falsifiable category can have a mass of supporting evidence and, as yet, no contrary evidence, but since we are unable to predict the future we can never be sure that a contrary fact will never be discovered and so we can never know that the belief is true. That is, it is not knowledge.

Hence I believe that the three state model of theistic belief, rather than knowledge, is valid.

Like Geko45, I have no more difficulty in denying the reality of God than of denying the existence of Santa Claus. This does not mean that I know neither exists but just that I believe it to be so utterly improbably that I am prepared to act as though neither exists.

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Old 02-14-2013, 13:53   #668
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The three state model does not take knowledge out of the equation, though. It would if the practical application of it were simply based on belief, and the definition of the three state model you give actually meets that.

However, as a practical matter, people do not break it down like that, and in common practical application the main differentiation for being an agnostic is just answering 'I don't know'. Well, as a matter using a strict definition of 'know' being absolute certainty, neither does anyone else, really, whether they believe or not, and whether they *think* they know or not - but that doesn't mean people don't let that get in the way (take the accusations to self-identified atheists that they claim to know, for instance) - and the three-state single-variable model imho encourages that, while the two-state, two-variable model allows you to show that this is not actually the case directly in the model.
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Old 02-14-2013, 19:15   #669
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Originally Posted by Cavalry Doc View Post
Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?

[/sarcasm]
This wife you may or may not be beating, do you believe she exists?

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Get over it. I already have.
And yet you keep bringing it up.

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Old 02-15-2013, 00:26   #670
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Claiming to be an agnostic isn't a middle ground between theism and atheism...

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Old 02-15-2013, 05:56   #671
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wingryder,
Very good U Tube.

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Old 02-15-2013, 07:35   #672
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Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?

[/sarcasm]

Get over it. I already have.
"Have you stopped beating your wife" has an unproven assertion, just like your now locked thread. It's not the same thing.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:12   #673
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wingryder,
Very good U Tube.

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It is a very good video. I've watched several of Qualisoup's videos, and they were all good.

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Old 02-15-2013, 08:14   #674
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"Have you stopped beating your wife" has an unproven assertion, just like your now locked thread. It's not the same thing.
Exactly right, AG. It seems like CavDoc seems to simply be unwilling to answer the question honestly, hence my decision to not engage him on this forum any more. It's frustrating and, ultimately, a waste of time.

Oh, well. Nothing I can do about it.

Of the atheists in this thread, how many of us are *certain* that no gods exist or have ever existed? Not me.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:17   #675
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"Have you stopped beating your wife" has an unproven assertion, just like your now locked thread. It's not the same thing.
What's funny is that he heard that from me just a day or two ago when I provided an example of what a true complex question fallacy was because he was using it wrong.
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