Re: virus: Agnosticism

Chris Schenck (
Thu, 03 Apr 1997 00:41:18 -0500

Let me start off by saying that I have not been dodging a response to
this mail, I've just been *very* busy being attacked by tests from my
wonderful university. :(
Ok, soory about the delay. Here we go:

Wright, James 7929 wrote:
> >>The homepage that introduced me to virus implied that there was no
> higher power, and that one should not be talked into believing in any
> higher power. Isn't that a belief held without proof? <<
> No, it is a non-belief (vacuous postulate); it holds that something does
> not exist, because it CANNOT be proved. The positive form of assertion is
> that "You cannot prove a negative proposition", in that definite proof
> would require exhaustive investigation beyond ability to investigate.
But isn't it the tradition of the scientific community (and within the
logic community unless I am mistaken) to hold a hypothesis as true until
it can be disproven? That is, in fact, the definition of a hypothesis
assumption made to test its logical consequences which is accepted to be
true until proven false. --Mirriam-Webster Dictionary, 4th ed.)

> this on for comparison: "There are no unicorns". True? How do you PROVE
> it? (Remember, we found a new order of creatures living on the lips of
> lobsters last year, and had to invent a new order of taxonomic
> classification to account for it).
Touche. But why must we accept everything as false?
Seems to me that would be a pretty pessimistic outlook on life.
I guess what this whole situation boils down to is that your not going
be able to prove that God does not exist, and I'm not going to be able
prove that she does. So wouldn't the best policy to adopt be that of
agnosticism? Agnosticism is basically saying what we are saying, that
entire thing is unprovable one way or the other.
I myself am not agnostic. Agnosticism implies a desire to want to know,
desire to have the answer shown to you, so that you may believe. I think
the perfect term to label my religious beliefs would be "passive
If it's proven to me, fine. If it's not, fine.

> >> Both the belief in a higher power, and a disbelief in a higher power
> are acts of faith. The only ideology that does not violate any of your
> sins is agnosticism.<<
> You are trapped in a dualistic mode of thinking. Why must one have belief
> or disbelief, and not possibly non-belief as indicated above? You have
> limited your own options, and seek to limit ours accordingly. Forgive us,
> please, if we do not accept.
Actually, I was presenting anything *but* a dualistic mode of thinking.
point of the entire message was to show that there is yet another option
theism and atheism...that of agnosticism, and furthermore, that
is the only logical conclusion from an unprovable argument. I agree,
is not just "belief" or "disbelief", there is also (for lack of a better
term) what you described as "non-belief." This non-belief *is*

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