Questions to an agnostic

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Greta
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Greta » April 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm

Eduk wrote:
April 15th, 2018, 6:31 pm
Greta I don't understand what you mean. But I'll guess.
As I lean over an ant it is true, to the ant, that the light dims. But I myself am somewhat more than a dimmer of light.
Count. A few agnostics, like Greta, seem to be agnostic only to one God. Not all Gods. Other agnostics seem to be saying all Gods are the same God which is the same as saying there is only one God. I'm not saying they are right to do this, only that they appear to do this.
Heh, I'm not at all sure what I'm agnostic about. I see gaps where various obscure notions of what a deity might be like could be inserted, and it's not ridiculous like many conceptions. It's not easy to gain much perspective or understanding while waddling around the surface of one planet and it's amazing that we know as much as we do.

If a deity is posited to infuse all of reality, and most of reality consists of stars and black holes, then most of the deity is not something we can relate to. Try telling your troubles to the Sun and you'll find it an aloof correspondent :) However, as is claimed, there may be a bit of the deity infused through us, within us, and it's that tiny human part that is communicable (since it is essentially oneself), and thus the deity is so often posited to be humanesque in nature. Often this abstract god of the gaps is posited to be the present - the visceral and elusive present moment - or, rather, the deity is thought to BE you in that finely sliced now. I think :)

Your ant idea was fun, though. To ants we are living mobile mountains - not so godlike that they won't bite :)

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Eduk » April 16th, 2018, 2:52 am

Greta I have a simpler explanation for the anthropomorphism of God. We are human.
Count God is normally defined by what God isn't. For example non physical. If God was non physical and in front of me I would have no way to identify God.
Or let me put it another way. God is said to be our creator. The process of creation is unknown. If I was showed the process I would be unable to identify it. Indeed I think the word process is not helpful and I imagine bears no useful resemblance to reality.
Oh and just because I say a word might not be useful doesn't mean that there is a useful word. In this scenario I am the monkey and just because there is a word for literature for humans doesn't mean there is a word for literature for monkeys or any useful alternative.
Your key problem with the monkey problem seems one of intent. It still holds up. Just because someone says they know God doesn't mean that they do or are making any useful attempt to do so.

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Greta
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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Greta » April 16th, 2018, 3:23 am

Eduk wrote:
April 16th, 2018, 2:52 am
Greta I have a simpler explanation for the anthropomorphism of God. We are human.
Then again, Egyptian, Hindu and indigenous polytheism posited non-human gods. Perhaps the shift to a single humanoid deity reflects humanity's increasing separation from the rest of nature?

This does make some metaphorical sense. For the ancients, other species performed extraordinary physical feats that humans could not hope to emulate. They were limited in their repertoire, but excellent in their speciality, akin to appliances, eg. a fridge is great at cooling and, a mower is great at cutting grass but they are not much use for anything else. By contrast, humans and their technology are akin to the PCs of the animal world - now about to outrun cheetahs in cars, outflying eagles with planes, out-jumping kangaroos, making bigger dams than beavers and more luxuriant multi-storey dwellings than termites and ants.

So almost all of the obvious capacities of the "apps" (other species) are effectively bundled up into humans and their technology. This, the attributes of polytheistic deities were seemingly bundled up into one humanoid deity with unlimited capacities.

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Re: Questions to an agnostic

Post by Count Lucanor » April 16th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Eduk wrote:Count God is normally defined by what God isn't. For example non physical. If God was non physical and in front of me I would have no way to identify God.
You're still faced with the problem that at least a minimum of properties are asserted about an entity, otherwise it would not be identifiable as an entity (a god entity in this case). So it ends up being just another definition of god. Now, if absolutely no properties could be asserted about an entity, then there would be no entity to consider at all, which is the same as saying that it's not real.
Eduk wrote: Or let me put it another way. God is said to be our creator. The process of creation is unknown. If I was showed the process I would be unable to identify it. Indeed I think the word process is not helpful and I imagine bears no useful resemblance to reality.
You're confusing two things. You either reject or embrace the concept of the god-creator as belonging to a real entity, but that has nothing to do with your understanding of any actions carried out by this entity. Actually, you want to say that the details of the process of creation are unknown, but still you will know what the concept of creation entails in essence.
Eduk wrote: Just because someone says they know God doesn't mean that they do or are making any useful attempt to do so.
But there are two issues to deal with. First is to reach the description that satisfies the requirements of the theoretical model. In other words, to agree on the definition of a given entity, which will identify it as A, B, C, D, etc. Then, the key issue is whether one asserts or not the reality of that entity, which will make you a theist, an atheist or an agnostic.

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