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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief      Home login  
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 Doremi_Fasolatido
Joined: 2/14/2009
Msg: 13
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Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. BeliefPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)
NOW, you've touched on the true faith of so many of the masses.....Money !!

We hustle for it and sell parts of our lives for it. Organized religions cant exist without it, to political and governmental systems , it's like a form of fuel....

And, anyone who comes up with a new philosophy about religion and wishes to share it with everyone... Well, hello publisher, hello circulation dept., if the book is a success. Hello money.

For some it's a means to an end, and for others it's the end itself.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 14
Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 7:34:35 AM

I think the idea of "worship" is more significant than the deity. There have always been a host of different deities, but only the one idea of worship.


Maybe you've got something here. Can one "worship" if one admits he may be singing to the air? Very very interesting!!!

See, I was never, ever able to "worship." This was a problem, as I grew up in a home where speaking in tongues and dancing in the spirit was de rigeur.

Never could figure out why God - All-Powerful, all-knowing, all -loving, needed to hear me say I thought he was great all the time. Seemed to me that, if He made me, and loved me, that he'd prefer I pour all those good thoughts out on the other things He made and loves. I do enjoy hugs from my kids, but I'd much prefer they be kind to each other, and I'm not nearly as -scient as God, LOL.

But I do pray. Usually for other people who are going through something awful. But instead of giving Santa a list - Demanding that their lives be extended, their health restored, I pray that they can find peace, comfort. The prayers usually don't have words. I just imagine the ones left behind a year from now, healed, whole, having found meaning in their loss.

So, I don't exactly "worship," yet I have possibly created for myself a God, or at least my own perspective of something I wouldn't understand...

Interesting thought - Thanks!

 FyrKrakn
Joined: 11/1/2011
Msg: 15
Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 1:26:50 PM
I am an agnostic. I believe sincerely in much that is unprovable but which I have had experience. I KNOW NOTHING, and I QUEST ALWAYS.

Science appears to make mistakes, change its mind...but science is never wrong, it is only the data that changes. When you are agnostic, you believe according to the data that you have, and the more you quest, the more data comes in and can change what you once believed.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 16
Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 5:38:22 PM

I had held the view that an agnostic was someone who refused to believe or disbelieve. Unwilling to commit at all.


I have never seen agnosticism as "unwilling" to commit, but rather the inability to commit--though inability isn't really the word that I want to use. If someone could give irrefutable proof one way or the other, then a commitment could be made.


To me, this "agnostic" is one who lives according to his convictions, but is willing to admit that these convictions are based on something un-provable, and acknowledges that he could be wrong.


I understand what you mean, but I struggle with "based on something unprovable" because I see that as a god-believer's stance.


The Christians who go through torturous mathematical and philosophical contortions to prove there is a God would not fit into this agnostic group. For them, they believe they have the ultimate truth. Same for the "fundamentalist atheists," those who refer to any belief in any divine as "stupid," absolutely rejecting any other vew out of hand, no matter how tenuous that view is.


Agreed.


I think the idea of "worship" is more significant than the deity. There have always been a host of different deities, but only the one idea of worship.


Humans make god/dess in our image; we want to be worshiped. Therefore, we create deities that demand worship. IF deity exists, it is surely far beyond the want or need for worship. Unless, of course, god/dess is like Tinkerbell: every time someone says god doesn't exist, he/she grows weaker.

I had an instructor who claimed this was a medieval reasoning for not speaking the name of god aloud, but I have never been able to substantiate her claim.

Humans also want riches, so we create a god that calls upon us to tithe.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 17
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 10:13:32 PM
it's funny, for most it's some form of organized religion, atheism, or agnosticism.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 18
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Agnositicism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 10:40:30 PM
Atheism is not a belief, nor does it mean one has to put all their rationale in science, it just means you don't believe in gods or supernatural beings ruling or creating worlds. I like science, but one reason I like it is that it knows it might be wrong, in fact can be totally wrong but you don't have to lose any faith, etc., you can just try try again as you gain more facts. You can even go backward and find all kinds of things missed before. With religion you are either locked into a fixed idea or you aren't really following your said religion. I mean if a god you believe in said this or that (never have figured out why gods can't just speak up on their own or write their own books) then why would you ever question it or change it, doesn't make any since.

Anyway, I've never read the book.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 19
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 10:45:11 PM
if science can be totally wrong, than I can understand if you wouldn't just believe the latest edition.

apparently, he did talk to us at one time, but we also didn't listen much then either, so the story goes.
 kailania
Joined: 4/10/2008
Msg: 20
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/26/2011 11:18:38 PM
thankyou Danadaze for saying that science can be wrong. some people say it is never wrong.
so science can be wrong,
and obviouly religion is wrong because each religion is different and each claims to be right.
but that does not mean that God does not exist.
just because people get it wrong.
i believe God exists. why? well I had a very unreligious backgound, but as a teen I started (to the chagrin of my unreligious Jewish parents) to believe in Jesus and going to Bible studies.
I raised my children in the church . went to church a few times a week and home schooled them. no tv in the house. no "un godly" music etc etc.

I "felt"God but there was one thing that Icouldnt believe that pulled me away from the church. I could not believe that the loving God the pastor spoke of was going to send anyone who did not believe our way to hell. it made No sense at all to me.

when I left the church of course I was told I would go to hell.

so I went back to my Jewish roots and studied the Torah in Hebrew.
wow was it different that Christianity.

but no matter what....I still believed in the SAME God. GOd doesnt have a religion.
I still pray. and I believe that no matter what religion a person is...
we are all praying to the same God.
people confuse GOd with religion.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 21
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 8:48:12 AM

thankyou Danadaze for saying that science can be wrong. some people say it is never wrong.
so science can be wrong,


Claiming that scientists (not science) are never wrong is a misnomer--as scientists will themselves admit. Scientific theories are constantly changing and being disproved as new information or errors in calculations are found.


I "felt"God


I have no doubt of your sincerity and am not slamming you, but what about people who never "feel" god regardless of how much they seek?

God belief is just that: a belief. You have a concept of god and what he/she is like; others have different concepts. Why doesn't this "same" god codify beliefs and just clear up the misconceptions?
 kailania
Joined: 4/10/2008
Msg: 22
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 2:02:10 PM
Gwendolyn i do not always feel God. and I should not have went so far as to say I did feel God. I felt a comfort in my pain. i felt a presence in nature.

now besides all that. I do not believe one needs to feel God to believe and know there is a God. why doesnt he codify beliefs and clear up misconceptions? i havent a clue.
yet that gives me no reason to disbelieve he exists.

i question why all the time when something bad or evil happens in our world. I get angry at God....and sometimes the Rabbis and Pastors have semi good answers...but never good ones...as they themselves do not know.

the only thing i know...is that i KNOW there is something higher than us. something called god that is intelligent and I have to believe he cares about us.
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 23
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 2:10:17 PM

the only thing i know...is that i KNOW there is something higher than us. something called god that is intelligent and I have to believe he cares about us.

Actually the only thing all of us know for sure is, that we do not know what we do not know.

Everything else is just our best guess either based on beliefs and or theories.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 24
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 2:22:32 PM

people confuse GOd with religion.

Yessss! This frustrated me for a long time when I was trying to explore atheism. I wanted to know what made them disbelieve in some sort of supernatural entity, and I would get an earful about how the Christ story echoed Mithras, how the Gospel of John was written by the Church long after the Apostles were long gone, etc.

I didn't believe that stuff either, so I never got any real answers.

Here's the thing, though. For an atheist, God is nothing more than the product of religion. How could He be anything else for someone who does not believe in the existence of a deity? So arguing against God really is the same thing as arguing against religion. I felt bad for being frustrated.

I believe in god, but I chose to. I imagine that I "feel God" sometimes, but am willing to admit that the feeling of brushing the divine may be no more than some emotion-heightened biochemical response. This makes me agnostic under the Huxley definition. I know I can't prove the existence of any deity, so I have to be willing to admit that I may cease to exist entirely once my heart stops.

But I still do believe that there is something more. Not sure exactly what, but more.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 25
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 10:19:15 PM
as the story goes, he DID talk to humans at one time.
but what did we do?
flipped him the bird.

gods mistake in everyone's view is that to get what he wants out of us, he should have roboticized us.

a little bit, anyways.
 Secondhand_Lion
Joined: 11/10/2008
Msg: 26
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/27/2011 11:18:08 PM
You know, I watch these debates get so silly philosophical and I just don't get it. It's so damn simple. The question of creation vs. evolution is a stupid redundant argument, because you can't have one with out the other....something had to be created before it could evolve....what's so difficult about that? You either believe the universe is 6000 years old, or you don't. If you do, the bible is the book for you. If you think the universe is much older......the bible is out the door....so, get off the freakin fence and have some conviction. This cowardly middle ground people try to take, doesn't get you to heaven or the truth.....what is that?....hedging your bets?

If you just aren't sure, or just don't know.....DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT....READ, STUDY! What a damn way to stumble through life. You've had the bible crammed down you throat your whole life....get the other side of the story, like a court room would do. Put it to trial. With all the books/internet available on anthropology, geology, archeology,... there is no excuse to not know for sure where you stand.

A debate is an intellectual battle, take a stance one way or the other, and don't come unarmed.

And for goodness sakes ....be rational, don't say things like you hate bread, cheese, and tomato sauce, but you love pizza.
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 27
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/28/2011 6:44:28 AM

And for goodness sakes ....be rational, don't say things like you hate bread, cheese, and tomato sauce, but you love pizza

"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people."

Doris Egan, House M.D., The Right Stuff, 2007
 Secondhand_Lion
Joined: 11/10/2008
Msg: 28
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/28/2011 9:24:28 AM
^^^^ That's absolutely correct. I think I'm with Irregulator on getting out of here. Someone seems to enjoy stumbling around in their own philosophical fog.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 29
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/28/2011 9:02:49 PM


A debate is an intellectual battle, take a stance one way or the other, and don't come unarmed


I agree with this statement completely EXCEPT an argument can be multi-facited and in fact, very few things in the world have just 2 possible arguments in it .... so this post is me, using what little ammo I have to put forward the case that SHL and Irregulator seem to be against: not convicting oneself to a believer or non-believer.


Nicely put, my asbestos friend!!
The original question, possibly buried in my reminiscences of my favorite book, was where other people fall on the spectrum of agnosticism, as it relates to uncertainty, not indecision. There are "Fundamentalists", both theist and atheist, who are absolutely certain that they know the one and only truth, and they will prove it to you until they either run out of bananas or until you know far more about Wawalag and Mithras than you ever wanted to know. For these folks, anyone else would be either Hellbound or deluded. They have a right to these views, although it would be lovely if they could find a way to express them without name-calling...

It isn't really a debate. Different people have different perspectives, and a couple of comments, no matter how elegantly or sharply stated on a POF forum are unlikely to change those views. What is interesting is learning how people at different levels of uncertainty view their faith, or lack thereof. The atheist who might occasionally wonder what it would be like to believe, or if there is some sort of possibly-disinterested universal force, the Christian who sometimes feels as if she's praying to thin air, and privately does not care whether or not Mary was a virgin...

There is really no sense in discussing uncertainty with the certain. Been there, done that. It's boring. But for the uncertain, the questioning...They have as much to teach as they do to learn, I think.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 30
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/29/2011 3:39:54 PM
^^^ Someone who read (and liked) Pi!

That book is one of two I have ever read that truly changed my outlook. I had always worshipped at the altar of the hard sciences, which was uncomfortable when paired with a fundamentalist upbringing. I expected absolute truth - Yes/no, black/white, but religion doesn't work well that way. There are too many spots where one has to suspend disbelief and not question.

But then Pi came along...He found the beauty (and ignored the ugliness) in three different religions. He practiced all three faithfully, odd as that seems.

The author admired atheists, as well, for their "faith" that there is no supernatural force guiding all.

The beautiful irony for me was that Martel - even though he referred to it as "dry, yeastless factuality" - wound up making a compelling argument for agnosticism as "uncertainty." The reader is led to determine what is "the better story." If you are consciously choosing the better story, then you are aware that the truth you've chosen is not absolute, that there is room for doubt. When one acknowledges this doubt, it can lead to enlightening debate - or rather, discussion.

Pi believed in God, but it was clear that this was a decision he made, and that he didn't particularly care if His name was Allah, Christ, Vishnu, etc.

So, I became much more comfortable with being a skeptical believer. I'm probably about 3/4 of the way to the "believer" side of the doubt continuum, but I never want to be certain that I know absolutely, because that's when I stop learning.
 dmzvisitor
Joined: 3/25/2011
Msg: 31
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/30/2011 10:24:17 AM
I haven't read all the posts, but I laugh at the idea that agnosticism is somehow lazy or weak or an unwillingness to commit one way or another.

From my perspective, it is much more difficult to live in a stage of "unknowing" than to live with a fixed certainty. Finding peace and balance without a specific "doctrine" (be it faith or science) to follow is pretty challenging but also very rewarding.

I find it odd that science is taken as though it explains "everything," when, in fact, it cannot explain the origins of life, or the universe--the existence of light, energy, matter, etc., in the first place--any better than believers can explain the "origins" of God. So for me, to use science to deny the existence of God is just . . . irrational.
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 32
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/30/2011 10:43:13 AM
Eloquently stated!
I agree with your stance on commitment, as would, I believe, Martel. I am actually committed to the idea that there is a god, although I suspect my conception of Him is very far from reality. I was committed to my spouse for 21 years, even though it was clear from the very beginning that the marriage was toxic.

I chose my position, and I try to act on it to the best of my ability. Where my uncertainty comes into play is interaction with others whose convictions differ. I am not an atheist, but immediately dismissing them as hellbound or, god forbid, trying to convert them would rob me of the chance to learn from them. Many of their criticisms regarding religion and the theist mindset are valid, and understanding this helps me to shape my faith, such as it is.

Another poster stated that she believed in God, but that she does not always feel Him. Doubt can intrude during these times. Acknowledging this and letting it go might keep it from festering somehow...

That being said, my Dad used to say, "don't be too open-minded. Your brains might fall out."
 pappy009
Joined: 2/3/2008
Msg: 33
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Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 12/30/2011 12:13:19 PM
I have seen these debates a thousand times....still I cannot help but put my self on the podium.....I think we all got it wrong....all of us....thats why were here....oh...I do believe in a G-d....no doubts at all.....

--And Satan sat upon the throne of God---

Thats in Revelations. And no...there is no throne....the throne is your mind. Can you understand that...the throne is the mind. You will also read in the Bible about the left hand of God and the Right hand of god who sat were and when....the left hand of God is the Left Lobe of the Brain, the right hand is the Right Lobe...One is factual the other abstract....now where did evolution ever have in its arsenal the ability to separate the mind into camps...because we must use both halves in order to function properly. 21st century schizoid man.....thats us...science is based on fact and religion on abstract...we need both. What is science? Everyone with a degree is a scientist...science says this and that...I love scientific theory...assumptions based on what little we know...got to love it...

Seeing the reality we live in is made of nothingness...electrical energy that has no substance...oh what is electricity can we see it....in large enough voltage yes...but its subliminal....Atoms are made of energy not substance...and lets take INTENT...where in evolution did INTENT enter the picture and explained along with Consciousness...were is that explained. How does a single cell without a brain know what elements to digest and how does a cell know what a waste is, to eliminate it from the cell body...what in the cell tells it that. Thats INTENT...the Cell knows...so how does it know. A single cell is more complicated than the city you live in. That is design and there is no other way to see it.

If you think for a moment that lightning hit a mud puddle and created the living cell, then, how would it have the intelligence of INTENT. How would it have the ability to survive unless it was meant to.

G-d is not a personable being, its MIND and we live in a holographic Universe made of nothingness.....its an illusion, a real illusion with substance and matter....made of nothingness.

Now there looking for the G-d particle....science has become a joke....a particle of and atom made of energy...nothingness....

The universe is music. A very big song...and were just passing thru....enjoy the experience and don't take it to serious....
 Gertrude13
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 34
Agnosticism vs. Pi...Faith vs. Knowledge vs. Belief
Posted: 1/4/2012 5:59:18 PM
It's a muddly thing.

I believe in god. I think there is adequate evidence of "something more" out there to satisfy my sensibilities, and the world makes more sense to me with god than without. When I feel a brush of something that feels divine, I choose to believe that this IS the divine - whatever (s)he is.

The reason I (newly) deem myself agnostic is because I do not believe there is adequate physical evidence to "prove" that there is some form of deity. I don't believe there ever will be. The feeling I get sometimes that, for me approximates spiritual experience may well be just a combination of endorphins and religious upbringing.

Holes in scientific understanding are NOT evidence of God. They are a challenge to look deeper, explore further. Evolution - micro AND macro - is not a contradiction of the existence of God. Believing the "theory" of evolution may interfere with a strict interpretation of the book of Genesis, but it should not cast doubt on the existence of a higher power.

I am not "certain" God exists. I will never, ever try to prove it to anyone. Nor will I ever dismiss anyone's views for mere non-belief (unless they are abusive or derogatory. Or illogical) They just might be right. If so - They win.

It's not the same as Pascal's wager. I am not hedging my bets to be safe in the afterlife. For one thing, I suspect there are a few atheists who will fare better there than many who call themselves Christian.

I have no proof of God's existence. I accept that there are grave philosophical and historical issues with the traditional interpretation of Jehovah/Yahweh/Allah. I understand that my belief in God may be nothing more than a product of childhood conditioning and an inability to cope with uncertainty.

But I believe, and will continue to do so. Of this, I am certain.
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