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Go to: 'What have the noughties done for god?'

itopal63's Avatar Jump to comment 140 by itopal63

Well, that was a nice diatribe, but I do think you're arguing against a strawman version of agnosticism.

Feel free to demonstrate the strawman aspect of my "diatribe" or any sophisticated truth bound up in the superfluous idiocy & word-concept agnosticism can be--when invoked as being a reasonable posture (supposed principle) in reference to baseless claims (super; beyond nature; or metaphysical; claims) that have no proof (which in this sense specifically means empirical evidence that is objective, as opposed to subjective projections of self-being, i.e. that a human mind exists as the basis for the psychological projection of self-being).

Why don't you try attacking my position instead, I am rather experienced in defending my position--be like Nike and "Go for it". Instead of this following meaningless nonsense:
Try this: Consider the possibility of things that are beyond comprehension; that do not fit into the "rules of logic."

That is as idiotic as any ontological proof of God I've ever come across, and not unlike St. Anselm's: that greater which cannot be conceived of--that is God.

Well then you're not conceiving of anything other than an empty set[ ]. If it is beyond human comprehension then you, me, we are not talking about anything. Calling "I dunno" God is just more unsophisticated wordplay masquerading as rationalization and/or philosophical-sophistry. I don't respect baseless rationalizations nor do I respect wordplay sophistry.

You've already cited Goedel, so it's clear you understand the possibility of such things. I think it is also obvious that the "sophisticated" descriptions of deities (to use the term Professor Dawkins employs in the video) fit into this category.

Saying the abstraction contains sophistication is more "bullshit." Feel free to demonstrate the sophistications of any of these conceptions that I am extremely familiar with:

"Cosmic Consciousness"
"Higher Power"
"Mystery of the Trinity"
"Deism"
"Spinoza's God"
"Ground of Being"
"Brahman"
"Grace of the Holy Spirit"
Etc...

I don't care, pick one, any one, or something different you think is sophisticated. I will demonstrate it is either false, baseless, or an empty set that contains no knowledge whatsoever of the Deity or God-abstraction it purportedly attempts to describe.

Now, to deny the existence of such things is, essentially, to declare that whatever you can't comprehend or conceive of must not exist, lest you feel uncomfortable. This is a fairly blatant arrogance; a hubris.

What a vacant emotional appeal. You're almost religulous in your word-choices.

Feel free to make the futile attempt to link abstract God (a vacant concept) to mythos-God. Go ahead you won't be able to to. Feel free to demonstrate how you, or anyone, has gleaned any factual knowledge from reality about a (the mythical supposition of a) being you're neither experiencing or comprehending.

Or, maybe you're another "real" prophet of God? And, we just have to accept the authority of a prophet's word sans any "real" evidence.

Now consider the agnostic approach: whatever one cannot comprehend or wrap one's mind around (due to fundamental non-compliance with the "rules of logic" as one perceives them) might as well not exist. Those three words, "might as well", delineate the agnostic position from the atheist position.

Meaningless drivel.

Atheism means I don't believe in God. End of story. I am not agnostic about it... are you agnostic about voodoo? Which long abandoned faith and ancient religious myth are you holding out for; suggesting that it might possibly be true? Many of those abandoned faiths were complex and supposedly sophisticated; much of what they were have even culturally, as traditions, been incorporated into today's remaining and existing faiths. Maybe ancestral worship? Spirits? Ghosts? A flat-earth? Phrenology? Astrology? Black-cats are bad luck? Jesus? Buddha? Cosmic Karma? The God that doesn't design living forms or intervene in reality? What?

What nonsense are you arrogantly suggesting I should treat ever so lightly and tenderly.

There could be an infinite number of universes existing beyond this inflation event. Infinite. This is just in the simple 4-D sense, beyond our space-time event. I don't even have to invoke branes in M-theory and conjure up parallel Universes, it is a possibility. But do I believe they exist. Am I agnostic about them? No, logically the might simply not exist or they exist in a manner in which I cannot ever experience their separated existence.

Right now there could be a infinite series of Universes, in which each successive universe I am 1 second younger than the one preceding it. In fact it is possible in this 4-D multiverse projection of self-being, I am immortal; the "I"-self never dies. Only the older copies fade away. Well, I could be all agnostic about this bullshit I just made up and get all "woo" about it, or I could critically be more direct and atheistic about it. I don't believe my own bullshit, why should I believe others? Often their "bullshit" isn't even as sophisticated as mine. It doesn't matter if the "I"-self is possibly immortal in the possible 4-D infinite multiverse. I am not experiencing it and nothing in existence, absolutely nothing, suggests that I will. Nothing in existence suggest "I dunno" labeled "G-O-D" and called a being--is meaningful either. Or that it is actually a possibility; there is no objective foundation for me to deny.

It is non-knowledge, all of it. If you don't understand that agnosticism is a knowledge claim about an empty set (when in relation to subjective claims); then you still do not understand why the concept falls apart when used as a logical-anchor for saying; the metaphysical; or the supernatural; is possible. Agnosticism is only meaningful in relation to naturalistic claims--that contain an objective empirical base.

Thu, 13 Aug 2009 22:37:00 UTC | #387886

Go to: 'What have the noughties done for god?'

itopal63's Avatar Jump to comment 107 by itopal63

Why does Richard keep adopting the ‘technical’ agnostic position? It drives me mad. You’ve got to be prepared to call a spade a spade sometimes.

I am an atheist and proud. Not a fence sitting agnostic.

An analogy:

Equate Richard’s position on this to the mathematical probability of 99.9% recurring.

Equate my position on this to 100%. They are both the same number; but to the lay person, who knows nothing of mathematics, Richard’s position doesn’t sound anywhere near as definitive as mine.

Therefore Richard is unintentionally giving the theists something to chew on, in that he appears to be ever so slightly fence sitting.

I would like to note before I state anything further, that Richard's great value is that he is a vocal advocate and compassionate human voice - for atheism. I am not really taking issue with him, I take issue with the idiotic notion (concept), I think agnosticism to be. It is not something I casually or only occasionally think about.
_____

There is no such thing as being "technically" agnostic.

It is not a technical point.
It is not a scientific postulate established/based upon empirical evidence.
It is an attempt at logic and/or an attempt at a philosophical principle, nothing more.

It is strictly a (word-concept, a) neologism (of Huxley's in his day and age) that has gained use in the populous like any other O.E.D. (word reference; word-concept) entry. As a philosophical statement, in reference to epistemology, of uncertainty and/or imperfection--it is often idiotic and incorrect.

Saying a scientist should "technically" adopt an agnostic stance is plainly another stupidity. Why pray tell? Because there are scientists that compartmentalize their religious thoughts and feelings--who excel at science, as a discipline; this empirical method.

Feel free to quote any science textbook that uses the following likewise statement "by the will of Vishnu/God/Jesus/or whatever... mitosis began" or a calculus textbook "by the will of the Cosmic Consciousness that is the ground of spiritual being and reality... f(x)=..." Such metaphoric reference points are non-existent. Overt spiritual claims/mythology/mysticism are absent. Agnostic statements are also absent. Neither describe or elucidate the workings of the natural world. Ever!

Technically speaking "agnosticism" is non-existent in any reputable science text. For one it has nothing to do with science. Secondly and obviously it is a poorly thought-out philosophical position in reference to epistemology.

Generally (as word-concepts):
Gnostic = knowing or knowledge.
A-gnostic = not knowing or not-knowledge.

Russel's dream of a logical system in which thou shalt not have recursion or self-reference proved futile, of course by Godel. Which is why I said, what does it mean to be "agnostic about agnosticism?" It is a self refuting concept attempting to make a statement (conceptually, yet utterly failing) about knowledge.

You cannot make a statement that I am uncertain about that which has no knowledge in existence (empirical evidence) in relation to it (whatever it is, is an unknown--entirely devoid of knowledge so much so there is no abstract concept. In every instance they are empty metaphors; language as a semiotic reference sign that points to nothing and nowhere).

I might as well be agnostic about the great blue liquid lasagna brain that alone controls hair-dryers and the quality of hair-do(s)! Without Italian women conjuring up such great and authentic cooking in the tradition that makes the great blue liquid lasagna brain conciliatory towards useful procreation - every hair-do in existence would be a "bad hair day" and sex as we know it would cease - due to these malformed coiffures. Humanity would cease to reproduce and therefore--become extinct in time. Of course I just made that "bullshit" up. I know it's not true. And, here's the rub - when you remove all the idiotic details and we are left only with the abstract metaphors that have no relation to reality - why should be agnostic about:

"A higher power"
"A conscious ground of being"
"Cosmic consciousness"
"An impersonal deist-like God concept"
Etc...

The amorphous nebulous God concept is so impersonal as to be indistinguishable from being a natural-force of nature incapable of "being"-intent. Nothing in nature suggest that "God" as an abstract conception (if conceded as possible in the abstract) contains/begets intent. No form in nature is intended. Demonstrate there is intention to form, empirically, and we'll starting assigning a probability figure (#) to the possibility of "the; a; nebulous" God in the abstract sense. As far as Thor, Wotan, Grace/Holy Spirit, Triune Godhead nonsense goes - those are better explained and elucidated by anthropology and psychology--rather than appeals (and posturing) towards the empty epistemology (as a word-concept) of agnosticism.

Wed, 12 Aug 2009 20:24:00 UTC | #387514

Go to: 'What have the noughties done for god?'

itopal63's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by itopal63

Bullshit,

We don't have to be agnostic about fairies or God. Why not be agnostic about agnosticism? It is idiotic philosophical (

Produce the evidence for tiny flying magical humanoids with insect wings. Any actual evidence of this magical genome merger is the only reason why I should consider it a reasonable and possible occurrence in any-reality, else shut-up (stop!) with these assumptions "we should be agnostic" about it, or God concepts.

Identify the link between an abstraction of God and the myth of God (Thor, Zeus, Brahman, Jesus/messiah, Agni, etc) found in religious myth. One is much like, a variation in the extreme abstract sense of, the no true Scotsman concept--and the other a product of human psychology as a reaction to internal/external emotional conflicts (that has mutated and/or evolved over time and cultural diffusion). There is no link, it is a break. Once you stop talking about mythos God, you've started talking about an abstraction that is formless and without knowledge (there is no true, or truth based conception of God as an abstraction). Absent form or any knowledge--what is there to be agnostic about? Not a single thing.

If you're suggesting I should be agnostic about what is possible in nature, like extraterrestrial life, I can only tentatively agree. I am minimally agnostic about life beyond earth, simply because it is clearly possible--because life does exist here. But, I haven't seen a single shred of evidence that life exists beyond earth in microbe form or sentient form. This is reasonable agnosticism though. Suggesting I should be agnostic about myth is downright stupid. It is like asking me to agnostic about my own falsehood creations of mind, that I just made up. Because you think, logically, it is impossible to disprove that which lacks all evidence, as it also lacks all contradictory evidence. And, science does not deal in absolutes or proofs, it is evidence based.

Grow a deeper insight into the short comings of philosophy, as agnosticism is potentially one of the stupidest logic traps you can fall into.

Tue, 11 Aug 2009 15:42:00 UTC | #387099

Go to: Elephants' wings

itopal63's Avatar Jump to comment 63 by itopal63

Atheism, is a minority experience (historically), not a majority viewpoint. It does not require Darwin or Hume, etc; for the Rig Veda to declare:

" . . . Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it? Whence it was born, or from whence came this creation? The gods are later than this world's formation. Who then can know the origins of the world? No one knows whence creation arose, and whether he has or has not made it; He who surveys it from the lofty skies, only he knows - or perhaps he knows not."

I don't think Epicurus would agree either that he was lacking a guide for his reasoning; who thus declared:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epicurus/

The philosophy of Epicurus (341–270 B.C.) was a complete and interdependent system, involving a view of the goal of human life (happiness, resulting from absence of physical pain and mental disturbance), an empiricist theory of knowledge (sensations, including the perception of pleasure and pain, are infallible criteria), a description of nature based on atomistic materialism, and a naturalistic account of evolution, from the formation of the world to the emergence of human societies. Epicurus believed that, on the basis of a radical materialism which dispensed with transcendent entities such as the Platonic Ideas or Forms, he could disprove the possibility of the soul's survival after death, and hence the prospect of punishment in the afterlife. He regarded the unacknowledged fear of death and punishment as the primary cause of anxiety among human beings, and anxiety in turn as the source of extreme and irrational desires.


Which helps explain Thomas Jefferson making the following statement:
"I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us."

How about (2 centuries) before Epicurus?
The Christian writer Athenagoras of Athens (2nd century AD) writes about Diagoras:
With reason did the Athenians adjudge Diagoras guilty of atheism, in that he not only divulged the Orphic doctrine, and published the mysteries of Eleusis and of the Cabiri, and chopped up the wooden statue of Hercules to boil his turnips, but openly declared that there was no God at all.

______

The mere acceptance of belief and the difficulty in challenging a majority, that viewed such challenges even as a crime, contradicts the veracity of any statement made that claims: theism was, at one time, a reasonable proposition and explanation of the world. Further it is entirely made-up nonsense--or it is true. It is either a product [as the Rig Veda suggests] of this world (human minds) or it is not. So, myth is either a history of the Gods or it is the history of irrational thinking, upon which any unsupported by evidence, pious appeal to authority (beyond), threat, or irrational claim can be made. The mere fact that, as an idea, it maintained a special (historical) status immune to inquiry does not make it now, or past tense, a reasonable proposition.

The mythical and cultural inertia of religious control and dominance does not make it reasonable, it forces those living under such systems to frame their objections, thoughts, social criticism within the framework of the prevailing religious dogma, doctrines, and parochial myths of the land, in which they are (were) subjects of the state.

Tue, 12 May 2009 10:35:00 UTC | #359013

Go to: Afghan Taliban kill young woman, man for eloping

itopal63's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by itopal63

Some more un-fun news about the unholy Taliban:
http://richarddawkins.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=78949&p=1907861#p1906822
The FRONTLINE:PBS Documentary, The Children of the Taliban.

Wed, 15 Apr 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #348525

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