Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level?

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Skeeve
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Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level?

Post by Skeeve »

Copied from a carlos thread:
skeeve wrote:
(folks, the quoting inside this is all messed up, please don't take it as meaningful. Ken said something here, in response to someone else, and I'm third in line.. Only my comments are identified, and please don't attribute other positions to anyone in particular, as I'm unsure myself of who's who.)
thaiboxerken wrote:
They can be skeptics provided they are willing to consider evidence against their beliefs rationally.
I don't agree, since the nature of the belief in a deist god is unfalsifiable. The belief in a god seems purely emotional to me, a need to believe that some sentient life had to start the universe, with no rational reason as to why.
Frankly, I think most people have some bias or belief in something despite evidence
This is true, but I don't think faith is a bias, but a simply believing in something that is not evident at all.
skeeve wrote: I agree that a faith in a god is believing in something that is not evident at all, and that it is unfalsifiable, but does that mean that a belief in a god means one can not be a skeptic? I'm not as sure of that, but the skeptic would have to accept all of the physical evidence. I'm not sure what kind of deity this would leave room for.

But if one can imagine such a thing, at least it's not against the actual physical evidences.
Someone has challenged me to discuss something skeptical. This certainly seems like an interesting issue, one that I haven't entirely resolved myself. When I was a newly minted anti-deist I was very sure that deists were idiots. Since then, however, I have met some deists who are sane enough to realize that there is a physical reality, and who appear, at least, to accept the understandings and workings of science, and I have tenatively concluded that there is a brand of deism, wherein the deity is not at all in evidence, that is compatable with skepticism of matters like ghosts, talking to the dead, and all of that stuff.

If I've gotten the quote headers above right, my position is contained there. It is nothing like fully expressed, nor is it complete, as I personally haven't completed it.

I've fixed the quoting, I think, I keep confusing the tags with the tag names. I guess this isn't Algol 67.
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Post by Sundog »

IMHO I would say that a "belief" in a deity is incompatible with skepticism - skeptics don't "believe", they want evidence.

I can see a skeptic being undecided, or agnostic, because he or she feels that not all the facts are in. In fact, except for those who truly understand the science, this is probably the only reasonable position to take.
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Post by Skeeve »

Sundog wrote:IMHO I would say that a "belief" in a deity is incompatible with skepticism - skeptics don't "believe", they want evidence.
Ok. There is a dual to that, though. Belief in the nonexistance is also incompatable, isn't it, because the issue is inherently undecidable?

Would that mean, then, that skeptics are provisional atheists, or agonostics, or provisional deists?

I can see a skeptic being undecided, or agnostic, because he or she feels that not all the facts are in. In fact, except for those who truly understand the science, this is probably the only reasonable position to take.
But is the scientific method opposed to the existance of a deity? It was my own understanding that the existance of the deity that at least some people present I don't have a name for that kind of deism, do you?, an acceptance that is not counter to physical evidence, is something that science can not even be applied to.

If science can not be applied, then we have to decide if skepticism applies to everything, or only things that can be decided by the scientific method. I once held strongly that skepticism applied to everything, that no, deists could not be skeptics, but I've personally moderated that position, because I've seen an effort from some deists to accomodate all of the physical evidence, and restrict their belief only to the parts of deism that can not be decided via the scientific method, and to the extent I've explored the issue, they accepted the scientific method at face value.

Are they skeptics? Well, I think, provisionally, they are, they accept the outcome of the scientific method completely, and hold belief only where it does not conflict. In that, they are no different than a person who decides to conclude positively that there is no deity, they are basing a belief on something that the scientific method can not decide one way or the other.

Does a deist who believes in miracles, the modern-day influence of the devil, satanists, or that sort of thing qualify? Absolutely not. There is no need to posit any kind of deific presence, malign or otherwise, in the present day, the nature of humanity makes such a proposal unnecessary.

This is of necessity a somewhat uncomfortable position, I am in fact saying that sometimes undecidable is ok, and sometimes it's not. I suspect that there is no way to decide an ultimate truth here, only shades of grey.
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Post by RCC »

Strictly speaking a belief that a deity exists is not compatable with being a full blown skeptic. However, it is of little importance in and of itself.

Where it becomes more important is when people claim that such a belief should affect behaviour in the here and now, or that such a deity physically affects day to day events. Then that belief becomes less compatable with skepticism.
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Post by thaiboxerken »

Aside from the belief in a god, I think deists can be skeptical at all other levels.

I mean, most deists have a naturalistic view of the universe on everything except the actual "origin" of the universe.
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Post by Doctor X »

Indeed.

Skepticism does not have to be absolute--and it rarely is, in my opinion which, face it, is as close to certainty as one can have in this uncertain world. . . .

--J.D.
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Post by Skeeve »

I haven't said anything more here, because I dare say that we all seem to be in something close to accord, or at least we've agreed to disagree on a very mild sort of basis.

I just didn't want you to think I wasn't reading the thread. I really have little to add, I think I've summarized my position already.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Carlos »

Skeeve wrote:Copied from a carlos thread:

Someone has challenged me to discuss something skeptical. This certainly seems like an interesting issue, one that I haven't entirely resolved myself. When I was a newly minted anti-deist I was very sure that deists were idiots. .
I am glad I made you all think.

Deists , skeptics , pseudo skeptics , true believers and Randi fanatics................keep on going.

You already know my position about the topic.

Skeeve : maybe it will be fair if you put the link to page where this specific topic was started and is already discussed.

Thanks,
Carlos
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

Carlos wrote:
Skeeve wrote:Copied from a carlos thread:

Someone has challenged me to discuss something skeptical. This certainly seems like an interesting issue, one that I haven't entirely resolved myself. When I was a newly minted anti-deist I was very sure that deists were idiots. .
I am glad I made you all think.

Deists , skeptics , pseudo skeptics , true believers and Randi fanatics................keep on going.

You already know my position about the topic.

Skeeve : maybe it will be fair if you put the link to page where this specific topic was started and is already discussed.

Thanks,
Carlos
Carlos, I'm not sure what you mean. Put this link where?

And, no, I don't know your position. Can a skeptic be a deist? Are you accusing Randi of creating a false religion or a cult of personality?

I'm sorry, there's just so much water already under this bridge that I can't even tell if I'm on the correct barge in the correct channel.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by hammegk »

Skeeve wrote: ..... I have met some deists who are sane enough to realize that there is a physical reality, and who appear, at least, to accept the understandings and workings of science, and I have tenatively concluded that there is a brand of deism, wherein the deity is not at all in evidence, that is compatable with skepticism of matters like ghosts, talking to the dead, and all of that stuff.
A "classical" materialist would have agreed that an objective physical reality exists; No one here agrees that they maintain that (ontological)position so far as I understand it. IMO, deism is not possible under this philosophy, unless some form of (classical) interactive dualism is also accepted, which is a position one or two folks here seem to maintain. By the analysis of most here interactive dualism is absolutely illogical.

A ~Materialist can agree that an objective reality exists, but can select an ontological position that does not discard deism a priori. Ghosts etc. could also be at least possible (and not paranormal or supernatural) although the scientific method to date has not to been able to prove that such phenomena exist. A person holding this worldview could be described as an objective idealist.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Carlos »

Skeeve wrote:
Carlos wrote:
Skeeve wrote:Copied from a carlos thread:

Someone has challenged me to discuss something skeptical. This certainly seems like an interesting issue, one that I haven't entirely resolved myself. When I was a newly minted anti-deist I was very sure that deists were idiots. .
I am glad I made you all think.

Deists , skeptics , pseudo skeptics , true believers and Randi fanatics................keep on going.

You already know my position about the topic.

Skeeve : maybe it will be fair if you put the link to page where this specific topic was started and is already discussed.

Thanks,
Carlos
Carlos, I'm not sure what you mean. Put this link where?

In your opening post you stated that you copied this from a Carlos's thread. There must be a link in order to be honest enough.
It is not a big deal , but it is polite to do it. In other hand is like a kind of evidence that you are telling a truth.

I was refering to the link to the page from where you copied it.
And if you don't mind the link to how this topic was started.
Skeeve wrote: And, no, I don't know your position. Can a skeptic be a deist? Are you accusing Randi of creating a false religion or a cult of personality?
If you read again the topic from the page I started to debate until my last reply , maybe you will find the answers. Read again.
Skeeve wrote: I'm sorry, there's just so much water already under this bridge that I can't even tell if I'm on the correct barge in the correct channel.
Just relax and you will find a solution.

Thanks,
Carlos
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Post by Doctor X »

Skeeve:

He cannot relax.

He is not a skeptic.

He has not replied to his own challenge.

--J.D.
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Post by Carlos »

Doctor X wrote: Skeeve:

He cannot relax..
I am laughing at you.
Doctor X wrote: He is not a skeptic..
Then I am your devil , hahahahaha.
Doctor X wrote: He has not replied to his own challenge..
You are the Coward and the Liar. Hahahahaha.
http://www.skepticalcommunity.mu.nu/php ... 3211f59b4b

Are you still paranoid?
Comon , just answer a simple question.
Why you ran like a coward from Renata?s board deleting your posts after a debate with me?

Thanks,
Carlos
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

Carlos wrote:In your opening post you stated that you copied this from a Carlos's thread. There must be a link in order to be honest enough.
I don't understand what you mean. You can find those same words in one of the threads you people who know each other have been tossing about. You know what it's from, why are you suggesting I have to post a link to be
carlos wrote:honest enough.
Are you really suggesting that I made this up? Why? That's mean!
Carlos wrote:
It is not a big deal , but it is polite to do it. In other hand is like a kind of evidence that you are telling a truth.
Why do I need these evidences? I don't understand. You saw it in the original thread, didn't you?
carlos wrote:
I was refering to the link to the page from where you copied it.
And if you don't mind the link to how this topic was started.
I most certainly do mind that you are being mean to me! You saw the words in one of those endless threads you and the other old people are writing. Why are you suggesting that it's not there?
carlos wrote:
Skeeve wrote: And, no, I don't know your position. Can a skeptic be a deist? Are you accusing Randi of creating a false religion or a cult of personality?
If you read again the topic from the page I started to debate until my last reply , maybe you will find the answers. Read again.
Why won't you tell me? Why are you being so mean? You broke into this thread now, I guess to call me a liar or something, but you won't even answer a question about the discussion in this thread?

Why are you so mean?
carlos wrote:
Skeeve wrote: I'm sorry, there's just so much water already under this bridge that I can't even tell if I'm on the correct barge in the correct channel.
Just relax and you will find a solution.

Thanks,
Carlos
Why are you so mean? You won't explain your position, but you come barging into this thread to hijack it, you suggest that I am not telling the truth when I say I copied a quote out of another thread here, and you act like a great bully instead of somebody who wants to have a discussion.

Why are you such a meanie?
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Post by Skeeve »

Doctor X wrote:Skeeve:

He cannot relax.

He is not a skeptic.

He has not replied to his own challenge.

--J.D.
J.D.

He is obviously very tense.

He accused me of being a liar, or so it looks like.

He wouldn't answer the question related to the subject in this thread.

Oh, yeah, J.D. I get it. I do get it.

He's mean. Mean people suck!
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Carlos, you great big meanie

Post by Skeeve »

http://www.skepticalcommunity.com/phpbb ... 1619#11619

Is the very last post in the thread "The Pope Against".

Latinir??? started the thread, and you were arguing in the very last page, a few articles up before I quoted a bunch of stuff. It was in a thread you were writing to, and you knew that when you asked.

You had to be able to find it in a second, meanie, but instead you tried to call me a liar.

You are not just a meanie, you are a great big meanie.
Last edited by Skeeve on Wed Jun 23, 2004 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Pyrrho »

hammegk wrote:
Skeeve wrote: ..... I have met some deists who are sane enough to realize that there is a physical reality, and who appear, at least, to accept the understandings and workings of science, and I have tenatively concluded that there is a brand of deism, wherein the deity is not at all in evidence, that is compatable with skepticism of matters like ghosts, talking to the dead, and all of that stuff.
A "classical" materialist would have agreed that an objective physical reality exists; No one here agrees that they maintain that (ontological)position so far as I understand it. IMO, deism is not possible under this philosophy, unless some form of (classical) interactive dualism is also accepted, which is a position one or two folks here seem to maintain. By the analysis of most here interactive dualism is absolutely illogical.

A ~Materialist can agree that an objective reality exists, but can select an ontological position that does not discard deism a priori. Ghosts etc. could also be at least possible (and not paranormal or supernatural) although the scientific method to date has not to been able to prove that such phenomena exist. A person holding this worldview could be described as an objective idealist.
My own POV is that I'm willing to suspend disbelief until convincing evidence arrives; I haven't seen any convincing evidence that a "God" exists. Knowing that what we experience as material reality is actually some form of energy doesn't lead me to conclude that a "God" is possible or probable. What keeps me from absolutely denying that a "God" is at all possible is the inherent paradox of existence. Why does anything exist at all? Perhaps my ignorance prevents me from understanding why, but again, my own ignorance is an insufficient basis for me to assume or presume the existence of a deity. I don't believe; I don't disbelieve. All I'm doing is waiting for the facts to come in, and that, to me, is the basis of skepticism. The statement, "I'm a skeptic and I believe in God," seems very contradictory to me.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by latinijral »

Carlos wrote:
Skeeve wrote:Copied from a carlos thread:

Someone has challenged me to discuss something skeptical. This certainly seems like an interesting issue, one that I haven't entirely resolved myself. When I was a newly minted anti-deist I was very sure that deists were idiots. .
I am glad I made you all think.

Deists , skeptics , pseudo skeptics , true believers and Randi fanatics................keep on going.

You already know my position about the topic.

Skeeve : maybe it will be fair if you put the link to page where this specific topic was started and is already discussed.

Thanks,
Carlos
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Pyrrho wrote:The statement, "I'm a skeptic and I believe in God," seems very contradictory to me.
Nicely summed up.

A belief in anything without even the hint of reliable evidence or the hint of sound reasoning, is not a skeptical viewpoint to take.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

DanishDynamite wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:The statement, "I'm a skeptic and I believe in God," seems very contradictory to me.
Nicely summed up.

A belief in anything without even the hint of reliable evidence or the hint of sound reasoning, is not a skeptical viewpoint to take.
I think, if I understand you right, that your opinion differs from that of most of the other people here, and that you're saying that a person who advocates a personal belief in god can not be a skeptic.

I understand, then, that you regard individuals as needing to take either the undecided or negative viewpoints when faced with a proposition that can not be tested? I don't want to appear to be challenging someone who speaks with such authority, really, after the episodes of the last few days, to say nothing of your explosive title but as I said above, I can no longer see the issue in such black and white terms, even though I once held that position myself.

I certainly can not, or perchance should say will not argue any belief in a deity, I have none to argue, and I can see no reason to bother with the idea, however, I have come to regard people who accept all of the physical evidence as people with a reasonable viewpoint. I have also had the privilege of watching people who advocate the existance of a deity in a way that does not deny any scientific evidence tear a creation-science demigog into minescule bits and pieces, using both their scientific knowledge and their knowledge of the religion that the demigog avowed in the process.

While the scientific evidence was the only part that had any meaning to me, I do believe that the religious dogma was actually the more persuasive material for most of the victims of this demigog.

I do believe that this creates a bit of a moral dichotomy, at least for me, do I show the inconsistancy with their bible, and seem to avow it, even thought I would never actually avow any of it, or do I remain on the straight and narrow, and use only the less effective scientific material.

I realize that this is an argument from expediency, and it does not directly address the issue of the compatability of skepticism and deism, but it does show that deists can be effective debunkers in the skeptical tradition. I agree, those are two different things.

That, among other reasons, however, is why I can not see a black and white divide on this issue.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Skeeve wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Pyrrho wrote:The statement, "I'm a skeptic and I believe in God," seems very contradictory to me.
Nicely summed up.

A belief in anything without even the hint of reliable evidence or the hint of sound reasoning, is not a skeptical viewpoint to take.
I think, if I understand you right, that your opinion differs from that of most of the other people here, and that you're saying that a person who advocates a personal belief in god can not be a skeptic.
Yes, anyone who holds any kind of belief in any kind of god, as the term is generally understood, is not being skeptical in this viewpoint.
I understand, then, that you regard individuals as needing to take either the undecided or negative viewpoints when faced with a proposition that can not be tested?
If the proposition cannot be tested, even in principle, it is needless to even speculate about its truthfullness.

BTW, are you saying that a deistic god has no properties which would allow one to test for its existence? Is it, even in principle, untestable?
I don't want to appear to be challenging someone who speaks with such authority, really, after the episodes of the last few days, to say nothing of your explosive title but as I said above, I can no longer see the issue in such black and white terms, even though I once held that position myself.
OK.
I certainly can not, or perchance should say will not argue any belief in a deity, I have none to argue, and I can see no reason to bother with the idea, however, I have come to regard people who accept all of the physical evidence as people with a reasonable viewpoint. I have also had the privilege of watching people who advocate the existance of a deity in a way that does not deny any scientific evidence tear a creation-science demigog into minescule bits and pieces, using both their scientific knowledge and their knowledge of the religion that the demigog avowed in the process.
Yes, it is possible to be skeptical about everything else under the sun and yet not be skeptical in regard to one's religious beliefs. I agree completely.

This, however, doesn't absolve one from being a non-skeptic in this particular area.
While the scientific evidence was the only part that had any meaning to me, I do believe that the religious dogma was actually the more persuasive material for most of the victims of this demigog.
Either way, a Deist cannot be said to be a full-fledged Skeptic.
I do believe that this creates a bit of a moral dichotomy, at least for me, do I show the inconsistancy with their bible, and seem to avow it, even thought I would never actually avow any of it, or do I remain on the straight and narrow, and use only the less effective scientific material.
I'm not sure what the Bible has to do with being a Deist. Could you expand?
I realize that this is an argument from expediency, and it does not directly address the issue of the compatability of skepticism and deism, but it does show that deists can be effective debunkers in the skeptical tradition. I agree, those are two different things.
I'm all in favor of more effective debunkers.
That, among other reasons, however, is why I can not see a black and white divide on this issue.
The question is whether one needs to see it as a black and white issue.

People of a skeptical bent are generally few and far between. Almost any help in debunking the charlatans is appreciated. However, as far as your general question goes, no, someone who who is a Deist cannot be said to be completely skeptic.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

DanishDynamite wrote: The question is whether one needs to see it as a black and white issue.
Indeed. Is it necessary to see this as a black and white issue? Do we need to draw a line between real skeptics and everyone else, or do we need to draw a line between people who accept all available scientific evidence and people who do not, and to whom do we accord the name skeptic.

Do we hurt ourselves when we are restrictive?

People of a skeptical bent are generally few and far between. Almost any help in debunking the charlatans is appreciated. However, as far as your general question goes, no, someone who who is a Deist cannot be said to be completely skeptic.
I will, then, have to be disappointed in your answer. Apparently you do see the issue in a very fundamentalist way, as us vs. them. I can not argue with your personal conclusions, nor your feelings, however I must say that I wonder if moderation might be something you could consider on this issue.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Skeeve wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: The question is whether one needs to see it as a black and white issue.
Indeed. Is it necessary to see this as a black and white issue? Do we need to draw a line between real skeptics and everyone else, or do we need to draw a line between people who accept all available scientific evidence and people who do not, and to whom do we accord the name skeptic.

Do we hurt ourselves when we are restrictive?
Now you are talking strategy. "Would it help the skeptic cause to allow debunkers into their midst who happen not to be skeptical about a certain issue?". That is an entirely different question from asking whether Deists can be said to be Skeptics.
I will, then, have to be disappointed in your answer. Apparently you do see the issue in a very fundamentalist way, as us vs. them. I can not argue with your personal conclusions, nor your feelings, however I must say that I wonder if moderation might be something you could consider on this issue.
There is nothing fundamental in my view. My view is a direct deduction from the definition of "skeptical". Someone who believes in something without evidence or reasoned deduction, is not skeptical.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

DanishDynamite wrote:There is nothing fundamental in my view. My view is a direct deduction from the definition of "skeptical". Someone who believes in something without evidence or reasoned deduction, is not skeptical.
Oh dear, I don't understand at all, is the definition you give of skeptic known to be the definitive, final one, then?

What would you think of someone, then, who asserted that there was no such thing as a god, now or ever? That statement, I think, is no more supportable than asserting or believing in one, and to me seems stronger, because it is a claim to fact, as opposed to a statement of faith, which is by definition a much weaker claim.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by gentlehorse »

Pyrrho wrote:What keeps me from absolutely denying that a "God" is at all possible is the inherent paradox of existence. Why does anything exist at all? Perhaps my ignorance prevents me from understanding why, but again, my own ignorance is an insufficient basis for me to assume or presume the existence of a deity. I don't believe; I don't disbelieve. All I'm doing is waiting for the facts to come in, and that, to me, is the basis of skepticism.
This is very close to my way of thinking, only that, while waiting for the facts to come in, I go with my intuition. Recognizing that intuition isn't always a reliable source of information, I understand that I may be wrong in my belief in God, which keeps me from whopping folks over the head with a leather-bound version of any given holy text. Why do I believe? Some have suggested that it's because I am comforted by the warm-fuzzies associated with belief. Others insist that it's because I'm delusional, given to wishful thinking, etc. For my part, I think I believe simply because, taking everything into consideration, it feels correct to do so. If it didn't, I wouldn't. Perhaps some of us are hard-wired to believe.
The statement, "I'm a skeptic and I believe in God," seems very contradictory to me.
I used to consider myself a skeptic, until I found the JREF. Now I just consider myself a generally skeptical kind'a guy, considered by some to be a woo-woo. I guess I could do worse.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Skeeve wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:There is nothing fundamental in my view. My view is a direct deduction from the definition of "skeptical". Someone who believes in something without evidence or reasoned deduction, is not skeptical.
Oh dear, I don't understand at all, is the definition you give of skeptic known to be the definitive, final one, then?
Oh dear, do you have a better one?
What would you think of someone, then, who asserted that there was no such thing as a god, now or ever? That statement, I think, is no more supportable than asserting or believing in one, and to me seems stronger, because it is a claim to fact, as opposed to a statement of faith, which is by definition a much weaker claim.
I would think that such a categorical belief was not skeptical.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

gentlehorse wrote:This is very close to my way of thinking, only that, while waiting for the facts to come in, I go with my intuition. Recognizing that intuition isn't always a reliable source of information, I understand that I may be wrong in my belief in God, which keeps me from whopping folks over the head with a leather-bound version of any given holy text. Why do I believe? Some have suggested that it's because I am comforted by the warm-fuzzies associated with belief. Others insist that it's because I'm delusional, given to wishful thinking, etc. For my part, I think I believe simply because, taking everything into consideration, it feels correct to do so. If it didn't, I wouldn't. Perhaps some of us are hard-wired to believe.
Your last statement is interesting and one which I personally expect has some merit.
I used to consider myself a skeptic, until I found the JREF. Now I just consider myself a generally skeptical kind'a guy, considered by some to be a woo-woo. I guess I could do worse.
You could indeed do much worse. While I can sort of understand the position you hold, given the many social and biological reasons for having such viewpoints, I still can't quite understand how one could be sceptical in every sense but this one. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I have never known the experience of being a "believer".
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

DanishDynamite wrote:Oh dear, do you have a better one?
I don't think it's my place to say, is it? Who gets to say who is a skeptic, anyhow?
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Skeeve wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:Oh dear, do you have a better one?
I don't think it's my place to say, is it? Who gets to say who is a skeptic, anyhow?
Anyone who can understand the definition and perform a logical deduction.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Skeeve »

DanishDynamite wrote:
Skeeve wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:Oh dear, do you have a better one?
I don't think it's my place to say, is it? Who gets to say who is a skeptic, anyhow?
Anyone who can understand the definition and perform a logical deduction.
Well, I suppose, but "the definition" you say, what definition is that? Yours, mine, is there a definitive definition? Do we use the dictionary?

Is there a need to distinguish so strongly?
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by hammegk »

DanishDynamite wrote: ...Someone who believes in something without evidence or reasoned deduction, is not skeptical.
Agreed. Do you take the next logical step and aver "There is no evidence or reasonable deduction that could allow one to have faith that god exists"?

If not, are you not an agnostic?
Last edited by hammegk on Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

Skeeve wrote:Well, I suppose, but "the definition" you say, what definition is that? Yours, mine, is there a definitive definition? Do we use the dictionary?
Well, here is Wikipedia's thoughts on skepticism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sceptic

An excerpt:
Scientific skepticism - a scientific, or practical, position in which one does not accept the veracity of claims until the scientific method has been applied to them.
The site does however leave the following loophole:
While skepticism involves the use of the scientific method and of critical thinking, this does not mean that skeptics necessarily use these tools consistently or simply find that there is indeed evidence of their belief.
Personally, I hold with the thought that a Skeptic is someone who adhers to the position of Scientific Skepticism as described above. Someone who consistently fails to apply critical thinking in a particular area, doesn't quite qualify.
Is there a need to distinguish so strongly?
I don't know if there is a "need" but it seems to me that someone who has understood enough of the world to understand why a skeptical stance is a rational stance to take, should also apply this stance to every belief. Including their own religious beliefs.
Last edited by DanishDynamite on Thu Jun 24, 2004 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

hammegk wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: ...Someone who believes in something without evidence or reasoned deduction, is not skeptical.
Agreed. Do you take the next logical step and aver "There is no evidence or reasonable deduction that could allow one have faith that god exists"?

If not, are you not an agnostic?
I don't understand your second sentence. However, yes, I am technically an agnostic but functionally an atheist.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by hammegk »

Whoops! Does "Do you take the next logical step and aver "There is no evidence or reasonable deduction that could allow one to have faith that god exists."?" make sense?

DanishDynamite wrote:.... I am technically an agnostic but functionally an atheist.
I don't understand the meaning of that statement. How do you differentiate "technical agnosticism", "functional agnosticism", "technical atheism", "functional atheism"?
The most important things in life–beauty, grace, redemption, compassion, loyalty, love–are beyond the reach of reason. Which doesn’t make them any less real. Stay far back: I'm allergic to Stupid.

The simple rule, the greatest plan, that he should keep who has the power, and he should take who can.

The only enemies of guns: rust ... and politicians.

Philanthropist (n.) - Someone who spends his own money to advance his version of Utopia. Socialist (n.) - Someone who spends your money to advance his version of Utopia.

“Jesus loves the little cheeses, all the cheeses of the world. Swiss and Cheddar, stinky, too. If He loved them, so should you. Jesus loves the little cheeses of the world.”

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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Sundog »

hammegk wrote:I don't understand the meaning of that statement. How do you differentiate "technical agnosticism", "functional agnosticism", "technical atheism", "functional atheism"?
Maybe he isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though he were? :mrgreen:
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by DanishDynamite »

hammegk wrote:Whoops! Does "Do you take the next logical step and aver "There is no evidence or reasonable deduction that could allow one to have faith that god exists."?" make sense?
Not to me. Perhaps you could word it differently.
hammegk wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:I am technically an agnostic but functionally an atheist.
I don't understand the meaning of that statement. How do you differentiate "technical agnosticism", "functional agnosticism", "technical atheism", "functional atheism"?
I am technically an agnostic in the sense that I doubt a god-being exists or has ever existed as there is no evidence or reason to suppose this is the case. I am functionally an atheist in the same sense that I am functionally a nonbeliever in the existence of invisible-pink-unicorns or the existence of teapots-currently-orbiting-Alpha-Centaury.
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by hammegk »

Sundog wrote:
hammegk wrote:I don't understand the meaning of that statement. How do you differentiate "technical agnosticism", "functional agnosticism", "technical atheism", "functional atheism"?
Maybe he isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though he were? :mrgreen:
I don't find that statement laughable, rather the opposite, although I assume "Maybe he isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though he were sure there isn't?" doesn't change your intended meaning. :)

What would you term a person with that lack-o-faith/behavior set? What behavior would separate him from one who isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though God did exist?
The most important things in life–beauty, grace, redemption, compassion, loyalty, love–are beyond the reach of reason. Which doesn’t make them any less real. Stay far back: I'm allergic to Stupid.

The simple rule, the greatest plan, that he should keep who has the power, and he should take who can.

The only enemies of guns: rust ... and politicians.

Philanthropist (n.) - Someone who spends his own money to advance his version of Utopia. Socialist (n.) - Someone who spends your money to advance his version of Utopia.

“Jesus loves the little cheeses, all the cheeses of the world. Swiss and Cheddar, stinky, too. If He loved them, so should you. Jesus loves the little cheeses of the world.”

I'm right 98% of the time; who cares about the other 3%?
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by Sundog »

hammegk wrote: I don't find that statement laughable, rather the opposite, although I assume "Maybe he isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though he were sure there isn't?" doesn't change your intended meaning. :)
I congratulate you on navigating through that perilous subclause successfully. :P
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Post by gentlehorse »

DanishDynamite wrote:You could indeed do much worse. While I can sort of understand the position you hold, given the many social and biological reasons for having such viewpoints, I still can't quite understand how one could be sceptical in every sense but this one.
Well, look at it this way: We both probably agree that solipsism is bankrupt and assume that consciousness exists in others because it seems to. We can't prove it, but it's a convenient and functional assumption. I also think it likely that we would agree that we assume the existence of literally billions of conscious entities other than ourselves at the moment. I simply assume the existence of one more conscious entity than you do. (Ha ha. This is just my attempt at a little turn-about on the old atheist stand-by that, when directed at a theist, goes something like, "I simply believe in one less God than you do.")
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I have never known the experience of being a "believer".
Sounds reasonable to me-- You can't imagine believing; I can't imagine not believing. Funny old universe in which we find ourselves--
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Re: Skepticism and Deism - Are they compatable at some level

Post by hammegk »

Sundog wrote:
hammegk wrote: I don't find that statement laughable, rather the opposite, although I assume "Maybe he isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though he were sure there isn't?" doesn't change your intended meaning. :)
I congratulate you on navigating through that perilous subclause successfully. :P
Being on the same page and all, would you tackle the remaining questions,viz.: "What would you term a person with that lack-o-faith/behavior set? What behavior would separate him from one who isn't sure there is no God but behaves as though God did exist?"?
The most important things in life–beauty, grace, redemption, compassion, loyalty, love–are beyond the reach of reason. Which doesn’t make them any less real. Stay far back: I'm allergic to Stupid.

The simple rule, the greatest plan, that he should keep who has the power, and he should take who can.

The only enemies of guns: rust ... and politicians.

Philanthropist (n.) - Someone who spends his own money to advance his version of Utopia. Socialist (n.) - Someone who spends your money to advance his version of Utopia.

“Jesus loves the little cheeses, all the cheeses of the world. Swiss and Cheddar, stinky, too. If He loved them, so should you. Jesus loves the little cheeses of the world.”

I'm right 98% of the time; who cares about the other 3%?