Agnosticism is the only correct belief

March 2, 2016, 4:38 pm

Agree9 Disagree18

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The debate "Agnosticism is the only correct belief" was started by RyanWakefield on March 2, 2016, 4:38 pm. 9 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 18 people are on the disagree side. People are starting to choose their side. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

RyanWakefield posted 3 arguments to the agreers part.
PoliticsAsUsual posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

RyanWakefield, NerdTagz, NaggingNut, sickboyblonde, sgilmour2001, jen and 3 visitors agree.
PoliticsAsUsual, danielle, carlos1ja, fadi, lawyerlady, ElisaXO, dalton7532 and 11 visitors disagree.

PoliticsAsUsual
replied to...

I cannot believe that everything has an EQUAL chance of being true. perfect equality is like every other perfection... impossible. some variations are simply more likely then others.

3 years, 8 months ago

That's not a belief system, that's an epistemological statement....your argument is exactly why Agnosticism is not a functional belief system.

If all possible explanations are equally valid, then you must believe there both is and isn't gravity, that there both is and isn't matter, that there both is and isn't electromagnetism.... That is an absurd stance to take and at best makes you an outlier for how human beings come to understand and know things.

Your statement about the it being naive to believe we can't understand the universe means that you don't believe in science. It means you don't believe that relativity is something that is a functional base of knowledge. Yet, GPS works because of the theory of relativity...

But thank you for illustrating the self defeating nature of claiming Agnosticism as a belief system rather than an epistemological statement.

3 years, 8 months ago
RyanWakefield
replied to...

I'm an agnostic, and I still have a belief system, I believe nothing can be proven, meaning there are infinite possibilities for our universe with all of them having in equal chance of being true. I believe that to even attempt to understand our universe and form a solid belief about it is naive.

3 years, 8 months ago
Sosocratese
replied to...

The usage hasn't really changed. And agnostic makes an epistemological claim and that's it. Agnostics don't have a functional believe system when it comes to God. Only theists and atheists do. Therefore Agnosticism can't be a believe system since it can't function as such.

You can be ambivalent feelings/believes about God but at some point a choice between theism and atheism must be made. You can justify conflicting ideas about spirituality with Agnosticism, but Agnosticism in itself is not a believe structure.

I believe many agnostics simply prefer the term since it isn't as loaded as the term atheist and conveys a level of openness that atheism doesn't portray. However, using the terms in such a manner is no better than people saying "just a theory" about evolution, the big bang, germs, gravity, etc... and equating a technical term to a colloquial term.

3 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Sosocratees. an agnostic either believes or not. they are not 100% confident whether there is a God or not. PsychDave is an agnostic. He sides with the atheist on most things, but still thinks God may be true, but thinks He isn't for whatever reason.
there could be a Christian agnostic who isn't really sure. someone who doubts their faith

3 years, 8 months ago

Socrates that may be the textbook defininition of what agnostic means but it is not how the word is used any more. it is most commonly used as a position between atheist and theist. that they neither believe in a god or believe there is no God. the usage of the word has evolved and insisting that it hasn't doesn't really help in this discussion.

3 years, 8 months ago

Agnosticism is not a believe, it's a statement about the epistemology of God. It has nothing to do with the actual believe held by the individual. An agnostic may either believe or not believe in God. However, his position must always be that we cannot KNOW if there is a God or not. However, that is not the same as saying one can't decide whether or not to believe in God. So one can only be an agnostic as far as the epistemology of God, not the belief in God.

The belief in God is then either theistic or atheistic as Agnosticism doesn't address a belief in God or not. For all practical purposes, one must be an atheist or a theist. You either believe or not. Now, how you justify that belief may be in agnostic terms of uncertainty, but a belief doesn't require knowledge and therefore a lack of knowledge does not preclude one from believing or disbelieving.

3 years, 8 months ago
RyanWakefield
replied to...

Alex, you misunderstand it completely, I don't believe that either Christianity or atheism is correct, but that anything could be correct, even a God that sends religious people to hell, or something we couldn't understand whatsoever.

3 years, 8 months ago

Forgot to add the dangerous part, three pieces that cannot be separated, I was two thirds right and a third wrong.

This is what now, five times in a row I've said something? I've got to shut up, else I'll start talking to myself.

3 years, 8 months ago

Cult
a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous

a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone very much or too much

a small group of very devoted supporters or fans

Webster's definition. Out of these only the first has bearing, because while it is a small religious group, it is not small scale religion, because it is not accepted religion. These two pieces of information cannot be separated from each other, else you have half of a definition, and as another person who won't receive credit for their quote "a half right answer is half wrong"

3 years, 8 months ago

After a second of reading after commenting, I forgot that I also posted the religious side in comparison to the cult. I would have thought that was enough to clear up points, especially when the points are specific enough to answer those questions, but if a little help is needed I won't say no.

This isn't even necessarily about opinion, the definition itself is clear that either the point of dedication is put on something of clearly less value, tangible to the degree of touching or speaking to or hearing from, or it must commit atrocities they cannot be held accountable for, or even just be a small following on something pointless. It isn't opinion, it is a part of the definition, and so since you may believe that God doesn't exist, you believe he cannot talk to you, right? So therefore God cannot be held as a figure in the same way since there is "nothing there". The cross could be argued, but even the destruction or use of a cross in a manner that destroys it isn't a sin, even when the intention is to destroy it. And all members and leaders have a accountability to the law and God.

3 years, 8 months ago

Priceless material wealth. A cost analysis on all of it would likely be pointless, and since it is about what churchgoes put money in for versus what is gotten, that is a somewhat difficult to hold assessment. Though, Crefflo dollars shouldn't really ask for a jet from the parishioners.

3 years, 8 months ago

While that is an issue, the definition, that could be applied to some religions, the major issues regard the religious focus on a particular figure or object, misplaced or excess admiration, and when in religious context must commit strange and sinister acts.

If the religion does not keep a God as a figure or object (this is arguable, but seeing as figure and object are held on the same level, cults objectify a God), admiration being in the held definition for anything (Donnie darko and other cult films) and lastly regarding sinister acts, which I'm sure it won't be argued all religions have sinister practices.

As for the points, while you can argue that, I can say that your points or understanding of the points are a little more loose than you think. I am not Catholic, and can't make any endorsement on some things, but here's what's to consinder.

The Pope: while there is a single leader, the leader still is believed to answer to somebody, God. If he claimed to be God, or acted in a sinister manner without reaction from the Catholic community, then there are problems. There are issues within the church and more commonly noted the child molesting problem. They can be held accountable in their own community.

Repitition: I can understand your point, I am not Catholic, and don't see too much purpose in hail Mary's. However, I know that some people can take things to heart, use it as a form of meditation, and if repitition wasn't paired with something else, I's say it's as harmless as repeating multiplication tables.

Exclusiveness: It seems that you didn't quite understand that one. The idea is that among those certain followers, an "elect few" will be chosen. All Catholics believe they are saved.

Alienation: I can say that some religious leaders in the US say this, but I can also say that they don't represent every belief. I don't identify with the Westboro Baptist Church, even if I am Christian. I also would say that merely saying "of the world, but not part of it" isn't much on alienation. Telling you to abandon your family members you can't talk to people separate from your belief about it in a critical manners sort of alienation. These do exist. So even if these leaders are holing up away from their families, gay people, Muslims, ect, they aren't an accurate representation.

Secrecy on money: Understandable, but somewhat a reaching point. The Catholic Church is extremely large, has likely aquired

3 years, 8 months ago

You also may want to go through that list and see how many can apply to the Catholic Church.

1)single leader who doesn't answer to anyone = Pope

5) repetition =Hail Marys, our fathers, etc

6) exclusiveness = going to heaven

8)alienation = look at the dialogue in the US from religious leaders and tell me they are not

11) secretive about finances and leadership = the Vatican has a vast collection of priceless art and antiquities as well as an immense fortune but doesn't have to explain what happens to any of it.

Obviously not all of the points apply, but since they are not actually part of the definition of a cult they are also not particularly important.

3 years, 8 months ago

Instead of giving unreferenced quotes, just look up the dictionary definition of a cult. The only real difference between a culture and a religion is how large and accepted it is. If a cult grows large enough, it becomes accepted as a religion. Look at Scientology if you want an example.

3 years, 8 months ago

that whole thing is just one person's opinion of what a cult is. did you notice how many times they said cults "often". this is because they are making up what they think a cult is. the only difference between a cult and a religion by definition, is acceptance. if a cult becomes socially accepted then it is a religion. everything else is just opinion on what they think a cult is.

3 years, 8 months ago

g the needy, community charity, etc. Financial statements are typically available to church members.



These statements were not originally mine, and I'm not sure who to give credit to. However, the content is clear enough. If it is a matter of definition, and neither my nor this argument applies, then specific cults are an issue in the same way not all gangs are an issue, Scooby doo and his crew qualify as a gang. So if something qualifies as a cult but does none of these things or terrible actions what can be said? That a small group of people in a small religious circle are going about life a normal person would? If the definition does not cause issues among the people, then not all cults a problem, and shouldn't be treated like one.

Of course, you would disagree and say cults are harmful, I think. If cults operate in this manner, then please discuss the comparison. If you want to argue some religions fit the bill of the cult, by all means use these tenants, and recognize that not all religions are defended by religious people.

3 years, 8 months ago

distinguish that cult are repeated endlessly.

RELIGION: Teaching and study groups are mutually encouraged with all members free to contribute insights. A variety of subjects are discussed.

6) CULT: Exclusiveness. Initiates are often told that only "select" members of the cult will reach the ultimate goal. This is incentive to stay and to be more dedicated to the cult.

RELIGION: All have the same requirements and opportunities for advancement, leadership positions and participation.

7) CULT: Bread trails. The dogma is fed to the initiate in small pieces, and gaining more knowledge about the dogma requires a greater commitment to the organization.

RELIGION: Typically all beliefs are publicly available with no effort made to keep some beliefs secret.

8) CULT: Alienation. Adherents are encouraged or even bullied into thinking in terms of "us versus them" with total alienation from "them."

RELIGION: Members are encouraged to quietly show themselves as exemplary among their peers in secular workplaces and in public. Yes, okay, some are not very good at this, and those are usually the ones you notice. Still, it's a far cry from the above.

9) CULT: Seclusion. Members are often not allowed to leave the cult or even the cult compound. Even temporary excursions among outsiders are done in pairs or in groups with a trusted member always present.

RELIGION: Gatherings are held at regular intervals with members free to come or skip as they please.

10) CULT: Totalitarian. Cults ask significantly more time and money from their adherents, often asking for a person's life savings to progress in the organization. They are usually totalitarian and demand that the individual give themselves up to the organization or theology.

RELIGION: The tithe (10% of income) is a good example of what a religion may ask of its adherents, and rarely will anyone check up on members to make sure they are doing this. In pretty much all churches, this is strictly voluntary.

11) CULT: Secretive about the workings, the leadership, and the finances. No one but the leader and perhaps a trusted member are aware of where the money goes.

RELIGION: Respect individual freedom and ask for a commitment typically less than a person devotes to their work and family. There is no secrecy over the leader's activities, typically these are very transparent, with the congregation knowing the salary their tithes pay the clergy members, the amount going to building upkeep, and how much goes into helpin

3 years, 8 months ago

But it does. Cults are more than just radical religious groups, they are groups that physically harm their followers by these means. These means do not define the group, but it is shallow to think that they and religion even exist on the same scale. I also did not assign a definition, it is fairly well recognized this way, and are usually explained in this manner. Here's a comparison I've borrowed.

The 11 commandments of cults vs. religions.
1) CULT: Single, unquestioned leader who makes all the rules, with no accountability to peers, a presbytery, a chapter, or co-leaders.

RELIGION: Plurality and hierarchy of leadership, accountable to one another with a charter or church constitution including a mechanism in place to remove leaders who abuse their power.

2) CULT: Cohabitation. Members often live in a group or commune, often with the leader.

RELIGION: Members have their own lives and homes and come together to worship or socialize, then go back to family homes.

3) CULT: Isolation. Members are often not allowed to interact/socialize with outsiders, and frequently are required to separate from their friends and families.

RELIGION: Respect the friends and family of their adherents, almost always encouraging family relationships, even with family members not part of the religion.

4) CULT: Coercion. Coercive recruitment methods, often including sleep deprivation, withholding of food or bathroom breaks, locking the initiate in a room with a succession of people hammering in the group's ideas. Essentially, these are classic brainwashing techniques.

RELIGION: Members, including new members, are free to come and go as they please.

It does not take a genius to see the difference here. Atheists often claim that all religions "brainwash" others, especially their children. If brainwash means teaching your kids what you believe, then everyone does it, not just people of faith.

It is often claimed that because most people of faith grew up with that faith, that is evidence of "indoctrination." Not by the definition of how cults do this. Furthermore, most Democrats grew up in Democratic families, and Republicans in conservative families. No one accuses political parties of "indoctrination" or "brainwashing." This is just anti-religious rhetoric and has nothing to do with real brainwashing.

5) CULT: Repetition. Members are told what to believe on a daily basis, with intense, though often subtle, indoctrination techniques used to hold members. The few items tha

3 years, 8 months ago

you are assigning a defininition to the word cult. a cult doesn't need to have any of the traits you are describing.

3 years, 8 months ago

There is a stark difference between that, and physically stopping someone from leaving. For example, if you leave Catholicism, you won't believe you are going to burn in hell. How can someone fear hell if they believe their actions, while not Catholic, are just? It's just like switching religions, or becoming an athiest,you may keep some habits, but in the end some things change.

A cult will have personalized area in the mountains, where food will be withheld, you will have limited access to places necessary to leave, and you will have to pay to read more secret readings. Most to nearly all religions do not have secret readings, and the few that do do not keep secrecy when it comes to money or loyalty. A cult will force loyalty and money to become a necessity, and remove the important physical aspects from the follower's lifestyle.

Not all beliefs are the same, and from any stance it must be recognized. If everyone is right, then no one can claim purpose, if everyone is wrong... frankly that's impossible, because with is possible to reason everything to reason that reason is nothing. From every view, some view must be inferior. An athiest will see a religious view as inferior, and a religious among others will see itself superior in the same way, it's someone saying they are right because they believe they are right, declarations like that happen only one way, right?

However, cults are looked down upon by nearly all because the believers get hurt. Indiscriminately, and every one of them. Certainly in any religion there are groups looking to take advantage of people, and it would be ignorant to not recognize them. Scientology for one, where at only select places you can get medical treatment, you must buy teachings to gain ranking, donations requires beyond please tip, and so on. It would be unreasonable for one religion to justify others that aren't believed in, so it is unreasonable for someone religious to justify cults, and recognize them for what they are, cheap knock offs made to use people.

3 years, 8 months ago

Alex, you are mistaken about the worst case for Catholicism. Worst case would be that one of the hundreds of other faiths I'd right and do, after living religiously, you still burn. So there is far less difference than you are portraying.

3 years, 8 months ago

how does Catholicism not keep people hostage. they tell you if you leave you will burn for all eternity. in law if you convince someone that you will hurt them if they try to leave that is holding them against their will. you don't have to have a big gate to hold them hostage.

3 years, 8 months ago

There are significant differences between a religion and a cult, but that should be obvious in terms of the seclusion, buying knowledge instead of working on interpretation, keeping people hostage with food, sex, and among other things that say you cannot leave.

On just talking about agnostic, it's not a manner of alignment but recognizing that you can't know. You can be a theist agnostic or athiest agnostic, all it takes is a stance. Gnosticism didn't start as the certainty of one end either, but for the working definition today, anyone claiming to be Gnostic is lying. If you can know God gnostically, he must be a small God. If you know God doesn't exist, the only way to eliminate the possibility is to be God yourself. Either way, we must recognize we could always be wrong, miracles may not even be God, should the spiritual ever be proven, it could always be an eldrich abomination from the 18th dimension. If you decide God doesn't exist because limbs aren't regrowing, you never will if they do because it could be any number of myths or mysticism.

This is of course, considering that miracles exist rather than not. With not, it ends at "they don't exist". The supernatural would be considered natural, if that makes sense.

In conclusion, everyone is agnostic, anyone who believes they are Gnostic are mistaken. But that doesn't change the fact that you act in the way you believe is right because to your eyes it is right. While you must question, you cannot forget in all those questions your effort for just life.

3 years, 8 months ago

except there is no proof. nor will there be until you are dead and it is too late to change your mind. just sounds like a cult. because it is one. just on a larger scale.

3 years, 8 months ago

pretty much. then people will see that this "being" is actually real, and does actually love them.

3 years, 8 months ago

so you want everyone to worship a being that has absolutely no evidence they even exist so that they can avoid being punished for eternity by a being that supposedly loves them? that sounds reasonable...

3 years, 8 months ago

in a religion I look for the truth, not easy to defend. however the truth is logical and easy to defend, so I stick with Catholicism.

Agnostic people have it both ways. if there is a God, they are right, if there is no God, they are wrong. problem is, as with atheists and many liberals is they refuse to look at the best/worse, best/worse case.

best case for an agnostic? nothing. worst case? punishment from a God for doubting his existence, and demanding proof.

best case for a catholic who lives their faith? heaven where you have infinite complete happyness. worst case? nothing.

when somethings worst case is another's best case, why choose the worst case one? not logical.

3 years, 8 months ago

I don't know that it is the only correct one but it is certainly the most logical and easily defended belief.

3 years, 8 months ago

I believe that nothing can be proven, as every fact is based on an assumption one way or another

3 years, 8 months ago
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