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Test my belief system
#1
Test my belief system
I have found that many religious theists I have talked to do not have a consistent belief system. I can ask many questions to which I get no answer, or if I do get an answer, it's an elaborate attempt to dodge the question.

Rather than press this point, I'll turn it on its head. Anyone can ask me anything, and I'll try my best to answer, including further questions about my beliefs. Here is my belief system:

1) I am a sceptic. (I try to only believe things when there is a good reason to do so. The degree to which I apply my scepticism depends on both the extraordinary nature of the claim, and the importance.)

2) I am an ignostic atheist. (I do not have a belief in "God", and further I feel the question as generally asked is meaningless since there is no unambiguous definition of "God". I can't believe in something when I don't even know what it is.)

3) I do not claim that anything I say is certainly correct, nor do I claim to know everything. "I don't know" is a perfectly valid answer. I can speculate, but I'm aware that is what I am doing.

4) My morality is based on evaluating the consequences of my actions. I weigh the likely benefit to humans, animals and the environment against the likely costs. No other definition of morality matters to me. My answer to any moral question may be that it's very complex and I'd have to consider all angles. I don't have instant answers to everything.

5) As far as I know, life has no inherent purpose. Instead, we decide our own purpose and make the best use of our lives as we see fit. The happiness and suffering of those in the here and now is enough to give it a real purpose to me.

6) I try to use logic as much as possible, and to avoid superstition. I am human though and I make mistakes. I try to make as few unecessary assumptions as possible.

7) I believe in people and animals being treated as fairly as possible, regardless of their particular attributes or personal choices. Of course some choices to harm others must be met with removal from general society in order to prevent further harm to others.

Go for it!
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

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#2
RE: Test my belief system
*pokes Rob's belief system with a stick*

[Image: staring-at-you-with-funny-eyes.jpg]
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#3
RE: Test my belief system
(August 15, 2015 at 4:47 am)robvalue Wrote: I have found that many religious theists I have talked to do not have a consistent belief system.[...]

I have found that many theists I have talked to do not have two brain cells to rub together, let alone a consistent system of anything...

Rob - how does that fancy "bee-leaf sistum" of yours justify eating babies? Tongue
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw
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#4
RE: Test my belief system
(August 15, 2015 at 5:11 am)Homeless Nutter Wrote:
(August 15, 2015 at 4:47 am)robvalue Wrote: I have found that many religious theists I have talked to do not have a consistent belief system.[...]

I have found that many theists I have talked to do not have two brain cells to rub together, let alone a consistent system of anything...

Rob - how does that fancy "bee-leaf sistum" of yours justify eating babies? Tongue

I suspect that baby-eating is covered under points #5 and #7. Not to mention that babies are simply yum.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#5
RE: Test my belief system
(August 15, 2015 at 4:47 am)robvalue Wrote: ...

4) My morality is based on evaluating the consequences of my actions. I weigh the likely benefit to humans, animals and the environment against the likely costs. No other definition of morality matters to me. My answer to any moral question may be that it's very complex and I'd have to consider all angles. I don't have instant answers to everything.

...

What counts as a "benefit," and how do you make that determination?

A less important question: Wouldn't a general concern for the environment automatically be a part of a concern about people and other animals? After all, if we trash the environment, those remaining will be living in a sewer, which I would imagine is not what you would consider to be 'beneficial' for them.

"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence."
— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section X, Part I.
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#6
RE: Test my belief system
Could you explain the difference between Agnosticism and Ignosticism? I looked up the definitions but I'm still confused.
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#7
RE: Test my belief system
1) What constitutes 'good reason'?
2) fair enough.
3) To have knowledge requires at least one or more absolutes or axioms. Where does your skepticism end?
4) Noted by others. The root word of benefit means good. You cannot have a moral system that fails to define that which is good.
5) Consistent with atheism.
6) Same as 3.
7) Define fair.
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#8
RE: Test my belief system
(August 15, 2015 at 11:10 am)Mr.wizard Wrote: Could you explain the difference between Agnosticism and Ignosticism? I looked up the definitions but I'm still confused.

robvalue can answer for himself, but the distinguishing characteristic of ignosticism is the idea that the term "god" is meaningless.  Therefore, saying "god exists" is like saying "sdfadsafdjsl exits."  In other words, it is not really saying anything. 

A standard agnostic is someone who does not say that the term "god" is meaningless, but says that he or she does not know whether god exists or not.  The ignostic says that the question of "god's" existence is meaningless and therefore nothing is being asked when one utters, "does god exist?"

To give more details, to the question "Does god exist?"

Theist: Yes.

Agnostic:   I don't know.

Weak atheist:  I do not believe god exists (and do not believe god does not exist).  (The weak atheist simply does not believe the statement "god exists" and does not affirm that god does not exist.)

Strong atheist: No.

Ignostic:  Your question is meaningless.


As you can see from the link to ignosticism, there is some dispute over whether ignosticism is compatible with agnosticism or some form of atheism.  Also, an ignostic may simply say he or she is an atheist when asked such things, to avoid having to explain his or her position and to give a simple answer that gives at least an approximation of their position (that is, it is more akin to atheism than theism).

"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence."
— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section X, Part I.
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#9
RE: Test my belief system
Thanks for the questions everyone! Here are my attempts at responding. Feel free to fire follow up questions at m'ass.

I forgot to add to my list:

8) Methodological naturalism. I don't assume that the natural world is all there is, but I accept it is all we can learn about. (Supernatural being beyond the ability of science to ever test/measure)

Vic: my beliefs poke you back Tongue

Homeless: babies are worthless and most parents are so stupid they don't notice.

Pyrrho: what is a benefit is a complex question, yes. Something that improves someone's quality of life. I make the determination using my judgement and experience. I have a lot of previous data to draw on regarding what is generally likely to improve the quality of someone's life. Of course everything is a sliding scale and includes probability judgements, I can never be sure of the total effect of my actions. I can just do my best. I want to help people enjoy their life, be happy, be healthy, save them unecessary suffering and discomfort. It's true that caring about the environment could well be covered as an indirect way of caring about humans and animals, yes. I suppose I think of it as distinct, but the reason I care about it is the knock-on effect on life. So you're quite right.

Mr Wizard: Pyrrho has done a good job of explaining (cheers!) It's the difference between saying "I don't know" (agnosticism) and "I don't know what you're even talking about, I need more information" (ignosticism). Even now, no theist on this board has given me what I feel is a specific enough definition of a god, and even with what they have given me, it's their own personal word salad, again leaving the general question ambiguous. And certainly it's never testable, again making the question meaningless. I really don't think even theists know exactly what they believe in besides a general feeling and vague image. If it's simply "the creator" then the question should just be, "Was there an intelligent creator behind the universe." The word God is an attempt to sneak extra shit in unjustified.

Chad: 1) A good reason is sufficient evidence/arguments, which I could reasonably expect another sceptic to corroborate. The kind of evidence that is appropriate is impossible to state as a general rule, it will depend on the claim. The strength of evidence required depends on the nature and importance of the claim, as will whether I consider corroboration necessary. I want enough evidence/arguments as to feel the claim is true beyond reasonable doubt, and the doubt level will depend on the importance/likehood of the claim.

3) I don't know exactly what you're asking me. I make as few as possible pragmatic assumptions in order to be able to function. My scepticism doesn't end exactly. I don't have a firm belief that anything I experience is real, because it is never something anyone else can independently corroborate (solipsism). So yes, I make assumptions (axioms if you will) but I acknowledge them as such. I treat knowledge as belief justified beyond reasonable doubt, given the assumptions I have made.

4) Yeah, I think my previous answers above covers this.

7) Fair is hard to pin down exactly, but it's an attempt to level the playing field of life. To try and remove prejudice, remove unecessary barriers to people being able to live their life, to make reasonable accommodations, and generally be inclusive. I want everyone to be given as much chance as possible to get the most out of life, as long as they aren't hurting anyone by doing so. I don't want irrelevant factors, or things that could be relatively easily overcome to stop this happening.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#10
RE: Test my belief system
(August 15, 2015 at 12:02 pm)robvalue Wrote: Vic: my beliefs poke you back Tongue

[Image: scared_cat_is_really_scared-e1349731123898.jpg]
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