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Too_Many_Tools
07-13-2009, 12:17 AM
FYI... ;<)

TMT


Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable

livescience.com Sun Jul 12, 10:10 am ET

That muttered curse word that reflexively comes out when you stub your toe could actually make it easier to bear the throbbing pain, a new study suggests.

Swearing is a common response to pain, but no previous research has connected the uttering of an expletive to the actual physical experience of pain.

"Swearing has been around for centuries and is an almost universal human linguistic phenomenon," said Richard Stephens of Keele University in England and one of the authors of the new study. "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain."

Stephens and his fellow Keele researchers John Atkins and Andrew Kingston sought to test how swearing would affect an individual's tolerance to pain. Because swearing often has an exaggerating effect that can overstate the severity of pain, the team thought that swearing would lessen a person's tolerance.

As it turned out, the opposite seems to be true.

The researchers enlisted 64 undergraduate volunteers and had them submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating a swear word of their choice. The experiment was then repeated with the volunteer repeating a more common word that they would use to describe a table.

Contrary to what the researcher expected, the volunteers kept their hands submerged longer while repeating the swear word.

The researchers think that the increase in pain tolerance occurs because swearing triggers the body's natural "fight-or-flight" response. Stephens and his colleagues suggest that swearing may increase aggression (seen in accelerated heart rates), which downplays weakness to appear stronger or more macho.

"Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists," Stephens said.

The results of the study are detailed in the Aug. 5 issue of the journal NeuroReport.

gnm109
07-13-2009, 12:55 AM
During this study was any data collected on the types of curses used? In that regard, I've always wondered what an athiest or an agnostic might say after crashing their milling machine or perhaps dropping a 12" rotary table on their foot?

I'm just curious........:D

I knew a fellow who was an insomniac, agnostic dyslexic. He lay awake every night wondering if there really is a dog.

Arcane
07-13-2009, 02:03 AM
Dear God, Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Where are their priorities?

Dear God, When we get to heaven can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story?

Dear God, Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang,The colt, the stingray and the rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the Chrysler Eagle the Chrysler Beagle?

Dear God, If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God, If we come back as humans, is that good, or bad?

Dear God, More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God, When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God, Are there dogs on other planets or are we alone? I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever hear back is the Schnauzer across the street.

Dear God, Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God, We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent ID's, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God, May I have my testicles back?

Evan
07-13-2009, 03:05 AM
I am surprised they didn't mention that the ability to swear is distinct from the ability to speak and both are seperate from the ability to sing. That has been seen many times when a stroke knocks out the speech centre but the person can still swear easily (and/or sing).

It also makes me wonder about the differences in the type of curses that are commonly used in different languages. Swearing in American english tend to be heavily concerned with sex and also tends to be rude, crude and vulgar. Swearing in German is mostly concerned with shlt and tends to be very mild in comparison. If you wanted to tell somebody to F**k Off you could say Mach'ne Fliege, which directly translated only really says to "Take a flight" or "Make like a bird (transliterated)". If you don't give a shlt in German you would say Das ist mir scheiss egal meaning "It's all the same shlt to me". It's hard to find really rude German swearing although I do know a few phrases that will curdle cream at 50 paces.

So what does that mean in terms of the premise given in the study above?

oldtiffie
07-13-2009, 04:05 AM
Arcane: loved it!!!

But if you do get your testicles back beware of "humping" legs and of getting buckets of water throw over you just as you get lucky.

For others:
Ever notice that the first words picked up by immigrants with no English who start on construction and mine site and the like are swear/cuss words.

Ever notice too that and despite problems with the rest of their English, their diction, elocution and delivery of cuss words in nearly flawless - and in some circumstances - priceless!!.

They don't get asked to tea with the Ladies and the Vicar too often though.

And that's only the "Ladies" - the men are arguably worse - 'coz they don't do it near as well!!!

Have you ever checked the Bible for instances of "begat/begot" and their derivatives or Shakespeare for the number of "naugthy" words he used!!!

"Naughty words" are quite topical as were are in the "Naughties" now (hint: last lots were the "eighties" and "nineties") - and who's not in favour of more "naughties" - language and all?

Oh yes - of course - "Mrs. Grundy" and her ilk.

F*** Mrs. Grundy - might do her a lot of good. And she might just get to like it and YOU!!!

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

Frank Ford
07-13-2009, 04:15 AM
Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable

Well, yeah, of course it does.

And a really good grunt/groan makes lifting heavy stuff about 10 percent easier.

oldtiffie
07-13-2009, 04:57 AM
Are some of those "Lady" tennis-players who "grunt" really swearing then?

Reason I asked is that some of the "Grunts" in the military and their like are dab hands at swearing too.

Do pigs swear then?

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 10:43 AM
During this study was any data collected on the types of curses used? In that regard, I've always wondered what an athiest or an agnostic might say after crashing their milling machine or perhaps dropping a 12" rotary table on their foot?

I'm just curious........:D




I say jesus fuqe allot -- it doesnt take crashing my mill or dropping a rotary table or anything like that, Just a little knat buzzing around my ear can set me off, then sometimes I follow it with a little jiggy and sing what Conan O used to sing all the time on the late night show --- Imma gonna go to hell when I die, imma gonna go to hell when I die --------------- Imma gonna go ta hell when I die - yeah - imma gonna go to hell when I die...
Im agnostic so I can pick on atheists also -- in fact agnosticism is the best because it leaves it all open so you can pick on everybody.

Evan
07-13-2009, 12:02 PM
An agnostic is an atheist as defined by the man who invented the term.



Huxley describes how he came to originate the term "agnostic" as follows:

When I reached intellectual maturity, and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker, I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis"--had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ...

So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, had a tail, like the other foxes. [Quoted in Encylopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1908, edited by James Hastings MA DD]



An agnostic is one who denies all knowlege of God, while an atheist denies His existence. The difference is one without significance.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 01:35 PM
An agnostic is one who denies all knowlege of God, while an atheist denies His existence. The difference is one without significance.


Evan - your statement of "the difference is one without significance"
is so far off the mark I don't know where to start,
An agnostic does not "deny" all knowledge of god, he/she simply believes there's not enough evidence one way or another to form a conclusive decision, and this is a far cry from the cut and dry final word of the atheist who does deny that a god exist, An Atheist has the same closed view as a true believer, and in fact an atheist is a true believer of another sort.
The Agnostic is not - The agnostic denies none of it - while at the same time excepting none as the final word either, you can look at this as not caring --- or you can expand your mind a little and realize that some agnostics go through life and all the possibilities without leaving one stone unturned, now that's a far far cry from an unshakable belief of not believing.
Further more, Don't categorize all agnostics as the same -- there are now many branches from the starting root, some lean more one way and some the other but all keep the enigma alive to the greatest mystery in life.

Weston Bye
07-13-2009, 01:36 PM
"Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."
- Mark Twain, a Biography

wierdscience
07-13-2009, 02:21 PM
I usually cuss at times when my prayers wouldn't make it past the ceiling.

My Mother still corrects me when I cuss,Dad ignores it,he knows the things men say at work,especially in a welding or machine shop:D

john hobdeclipe
07-13-2009, 03:30 PM
How much money was spent to do this research that tells us what we all already knew?

Evan
07-13-2009, 03:51 PM
An agnostic does not "deny" all knowledge of god,

Yes he does. If you are going to use a term originated by somebody else then you are bound to the meaning that was given for it by them. If you don't like that then stop using it to describe youself.

This is what Huxley wrote: "They were quite sure that they had attained a certain "gnosis"--had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble".

He means that while some were sure they had knowledge of God ("gnosis") he was quite sure he did not and was reasonably certain that he could not.

Therefore, he denies having knowledge of God.

[edit]

Placing the "A" as a prefix inverts the meaning of the word. A Gnostic is one who knows God, an Agnostic is one who does not, just as a Theist is one who believes in God's existence and an Atheist is one who does not.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 06:56 PM
-had more or less successfully solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not
Evan, All he's saying is "he don't know" , --------- "they" solved the problem of existence "He" was quite sure he did not, where in your mind does "I don't know" turn into him denying knowledge of god? To admit that you haven't solved the problem denies NOTHING because you can be keeping all options open ---------- True agnosticism neither fully denies nor fully accepts anything, as soon as you do your not an agnostic - like I stated earlier -- you can lean in a direction but you cannot declare it as absolute. The only absolute in agnosticism that one can claim is "I don't know"




Therefore, he denies having knowledge of God.

NO --- the knowledge that he has of god is not enough to sway him into making an absolute decision --- he may have knowledge of god in one hand - and he may have counter information in the other, Its not a denial of any kind - and that is in no way an admission that he believes their is no god -- all it is is an admission in stating that he doesn't know.


[edit]

Placing the "A" as a prefix inverts the meaning of the word. A Gnostic is one who knows God, an Agnostic is one who does not, just as a Theist is one who believes in God's existence and an Atheist is one who does not.

Thank you for the bible school refresher course --- im going to copy and paste it right after I get done organizing my sock drawer:p

Fasttrack
07-13-2009, 07:14 PM
Yes, there is a subtle difference between agnostic and aethist. There is an even more pronounced difference in the connotations connected with each of those two terms.

To deny having knowledge of God is completely different than to deny His existence. Denying knowledge of God is a sensible denial if you apply epistemology and theology simultaneously. The spirtual leaders tell us that a belief in God is arrived at through faith and personal introspection. Epistemology demonstrates that belief alone is not sufficient for knowledge. The agnostic implication is one of three:
1)The individual does not believe in the existence of God
2)God does not exist
3)It is impossible for God's existence to be a fact since it cannot be proven and thus knowledge of God is impossible (this says nothing for one's belief or for the actual existence of God)

The difference in the first two may seem insignificant, but the third one is significant and many agnostics identify with the third. Generally speaking, the connotation attached to the term "agnostic" reflects the third implication more strongly than the others - at least in the scientific community where many of us claim to be agnostic.

edit: AK - I agree with the spirit of your argument, but there is a difference between "knowledge" and "information" in the philosophical sense. Unfortuantely, you have to be very careful to get the jargon correct or Evan will attempt to eat you alive ;) :D

Basically an agnostic can deny knowledge of God without denying His existence or without denying his personal beliefs regarding His existence.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 07:20 PM
FT, your first two are not agnostic - their atheist,

your third choice is agnostic leaning to having no or denying knowledge of god (Evans argument)

Most of the agnostics I know are like me, fairly chillin in the middle and ok with that.

oldtiffie
07-13-2009, 07:31 PM
God (if there is one) help us from the "preachers" and "holier than thou brigade" and let the Devil take the hindmost.

Dunno don't care about God as I've never seen him/her/it but I sure do worry about the Devil as sure as hell I know the Devil and Hell exist - dead certain.

"Howzat?" you say.

"Coz I married his bloody daughter and this is hell on earth" says I.

Reminds me of the "noble savage" who said to the Missionary - "Reverend, we didn't know what sin was until you showed us".

Ever notice that in pretty well any war etc. that at least one and mostly all protagonists invoke "God" as justification for what they are doing to each other and that nobody invokes the Devil?

Seems like the Devil (if he/she/MIL???) exists that he'd be pretty peaceable guy if he is diametrically opposed to God.

My MIL - the Devil incarnate - thought she was God - she was dead sure of it.

I'll just keep giving it all a big miss - and stay divorced from it.

Is anyone passing the plate around?

Evan
07-13-2009, 07:50 PM
To deny having knowledge of God is completely different than to deny His existence.


Not to a believer it isn't. An agnostic and an atheist are both unbelievers and for most of those who Believe in God there is no difference that matters. In fact, the only group it matters to enough to try and draw a distinction are the Agnostics who wish to set themselves apart from the Atheists because Athieism is scorned and villified by many. Agnosticism is a much more comfortable "position" to take since one may allow for the chance that God might show himself in which circumstance the agnostic professes that he will Believe although he can rest easy in his internal belief that the real chance of this happening is zero.

S_J_H
07-13-2009, 08:23 PM
Oh good lord,

What the F!ck does this have to do with f!cking swearing while being in F!cking pain?
:cool:

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 08:38 PM
And yet you only see one side and still its a very shallow one, I want to set myself apart from both believers -- like I stated before "An Atheist has the same closed view as a true believer, and in fact an atheist is a true believer of another sort."

An agnostic is not - you cannot - otherwise your not an agnostic,
an agnostic by definition is no more closer to being an atheist than he/she is to being a christian or a muslim.

Fasttrack
07-13-2009, 10:44 PM
Ahha - see what we have going on here? We have agnostics/aethists as described by a "believer". Then we have agnostics/aethists as described by an agnostic.

I still stand by what I say, AK. The literal interpertation of the term agnostic allows for the three implications as I said earlier. Whether or not you believe this does not change this.

However, the connotation of the term "agnostic" is just as important as the literal definition and I can see that your view of agnostic is based upon the connotative meaning. I think there is a large percentage of the population are uncertain about the existence of God and have latched on to the term agnostic to describe their position - "chillin in the middle" as you say.

I don't make any judgement calls. I'm just presenting the literal definition of agnostic as seen by philosophers, and we all know about those goofballs :D

My belief system is complex and includes the existence of God but, the key piece in belief system is that the factuality of this existence can never be known - at least not while we are still kickin'. I like to call it the "Heisenberg" approach. So I identify both with agnostics and with organized religon. Some people find this disparity to be offensive or confusing, but, being steeped in the uncertainties that abound in physics, the disparity seemed logical and well precedented.

I guess you could think about "agnosticism" as the rectangle/square deal. An agnostic can be an aethist, but an aethist is not neccessarily an agnostic. And I agree with you, AK, that aethism is just as close-minded as conservative religion. But again, I don't know the answer so I don't judge people who subscribe to either of those belief systems.

A.K. Boomer
07-14-2009, 12:58 AM
Fasttrack you seem to have your own "home brew" going on, I really think as it should be - I think their should be over 6.5 billion plus different idea's as everyones life experience adds a little different flavor (or should)

This from my new world dictionary

atheist; A person who believes there is no God, rejects all religious beliefs and denies the existence of God

agnostic; A person who questions the existence of God, heaven, ect. in the absence of material proof.


One denies, The other Questions ------- One is not the other nor the other the one. that's in a literal sense and connotative.

Evan
07-14-2009, 02:02 AM
So one says " I think there is no God" and the other says " I don't think there is a God"

Now, suppose a being materializes out of nothing in front of you and and with a wave of it's appendage makes all that surrounds you disappear so that you seem to be standing on nothing, yet still alive.

Are you in the presence of God?

Or, is it just the Asgard making a visit to see if we have found the Stargate yet?

How do you tell?

Does it make any difference?

Perhaps you should cut back on the recreational chemicals?

The greatest problem in being agnostic is deciding what constitutes proof of the existence of God. Huxley was quite certain that it could not be proven. He was correct since you cannot prove a belief or substantiate a matter of faith. Meanwhile the Atheist believes in nothing but cannot prove that something does not exist in an unbounded reality as that is an impossibility.

In order to lay claim to the title of agnostic one must put forth the conditions upon which that claim depends. To claim to not be an atheist requires theism instead. To reject theism on the basis of lack of evidence is then a paradox. One cannot both accept the existence of God but but deny evidence for His existence at the same time. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.

saltmine
07-14-2009, 02:08 AM
It actually depends on what language you swear in.
Working as an auto mechanic for over 40 years, I've had many opportunities to test the theory. My own best experience has been with German, like Evan says.
A nice benifit to swearing in German is; nobody knows what you're saying, unless they speak German, too.

Even though, after hearing the language spoken, Arabic dialects of the Middle East might work as well as German....They sure sound a lot more dangerous.

A.K. Boomer
07-14-2009, 09:06 AM
So one says " I think there is no God" and the other says " I don't think there is a God"

No -- once again you try to weave them from the same fabric and you can't -- they are like night and day - Like I stated earlier an agnostic by definition is no more likely to be an atheist than a christian or a muslim and can't be any of the above or it excludes them from being agnostic,
Its not "I think there is no god" VS "I don' think there is a god"
Its "I don't know if a god exists" VS "I know a god does not exist"
You might as well wrap the agnostic in with a christian because he/she's not denying that a god could exist --- but like I stated you seem "hell" bent in only one side of the viewpoint.



Now, suppose a being materializes out of nothing in front of you and and with a wave of it's appendage makes all that surrounds you disappear so that you seem to be standing on nothing, yet still alive.
You made another error --- if a being materializes in front of me then I would have material proof and then be able to make an appropriate decision -
read the definition of agnostic that I just wrote.

agnostic; A person who questions the existence of God, heaven, ect. in the absence of material proof.


Are you in the presence of God? i would think so although a good free thinking agnostic would not rule out the possibility of satin seeing as though "it" made everything else vaporize...:rolleyes:




One cannot both accept the existence of God but but deny evidence for His existence at the same time. The two concepts are mutually exclusive.

This is where many people have a problem --- and yet many are great problem solvers, But that's because their trying to come up with a final answer ---- but the answer of "I don't know" allows for one to entertain the existence of god as a possibility while realizing they don't have enough evidence for any kind of proof --- so like the definition in the dictionary says - they question it,
In leaving the door wide open the two concepts and many many variables can all be entertained at the same time, that's what you get to do with the phrase --- "I don't know".
Your frustration is directly linked to not being able to pin down an absolute answer - and that's due to the fact that you cant have one in the words "I don't know".

Evan
07-14-2009, 09:35 AM
i would think so although a good free thinking agnostic would not rule out the possibility of satin seeing as though "it" made everything else vaporize...

Satin?(sic) What makes you think God is benign?


Its "I don't know if a god exists"

That isn't the basis of Agnosticism. The basis of Agnosticism is "I don't believe until you Prove it" as defined by the originator of the concept.

You can't both believe and not believe at the same time. You either do believe or you don't. That is an absolute tenet of all religions that posit the existence of a single supreme being. No waffling is permitted.

saltmine
07-14-2009, 03:41 PM
Don't think God has a sense of humor? Just look around.

Fasttrack
07-14-2009, 04:31 PM
You can't both believe and not believe at the same time. You either do believe or you don't. That is an absolute tenet of all religions that posit the existence of a single supreme being. No waffling is permitted.


Sure, believing in the existence of God is mutually exclusive, but most organized religions claim to have knowledge of God - they claim that His existence is factual. It is possible to be an agnostic who believes in God but does not claim to have knowledge of God. Agnostics merely believe that they do not have enough evidence to make a logical claim regarding the existence of God. For every supposed logical argument that proves the existence of God, there exists another argument that disproves His existence. Thus, agnostics say, regardless of personal belief, it is impossible to know the factuality of God's existence. This is basic epistemology and is supported by a generous reading of Huxley.




That it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can provide evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts and in my opinion, is all that is essential to agnosticism. ["Christianity and Agnosticism," 1889]

The passage that you cite, Evan, is misleading. I encourage you to read further.

Here is further textual evidence, from Huxley, for the difference between aethism and agnosticism:



Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle. That principle is of great antiquity; it is as old as Socrates; as old as the writer who said, 'Try all things, hold fast by that which is good'; it is the foundation of the Reformation, which simply illustrated the axiom that every man should be able to give a reason for the faith that is in him, it is the great principle of Descartes; it is the fundamental axiom of modern science. Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. That I take to be the agnostic faith, which if a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall not be ashamed to look the universe in the face, whatever the future may have in store for him.



http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE5/Agn-X.html

Fasttrack
07-14-2009, 04:45 PM
but the answer of "I don't know" allows for one to entertain the existence of god as a possibility while realizing they don't have enough evidence for any kind of proof --- so like the definition in the dictionary says - they question it,
In leaving the door wide open the two concepts and many many variables can all be entertained at the same time, that's what you get to do with the phrase --- "I don't know".


<thumbs up!>

But isn't that the beauty of religion? If I knew God existed, like many of my conservative or "fundamentalist" friends tell me, there would be no mystery and no faith. Isn't belief without knowledge a sign of faith? Doesn't that mark a more spiritual person? It is much easier to claim knowledge of God than it is to recognize that the existence of God is a question that cannot be resolved - at least while we walk the Earth.

I believe but I do NOT know. I don't understand why this is an issue for some people. Belief and knowledge are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS! Just because I believe that the Higgs exists doesn't mean that I have knowledge of the Higgs, for instance. I even have good reason to believe in its existence, but I still cannot claim knowledge of it. Even with the different interpertations as to what truth is, there still exists a difference between knowledge and belief and that difference is extremely important to recognize.

<edit> This is a fantastic discussion and a wonderful diversion from programming. I feel like I should reiterate that I'm not attacking anyone's beliefs. I certainly don't have any answers, all I am doing is arguing the difference between agnosticism and aethism, as supported by Huxley and the modern philosophical community. I don't want this to turn into a personal attack or anything nasty. And I'm sorry to TMT for stealing your thread ... :)

Evan
07-14-2009, 09:08 PM
The passage that you cite, Evan, is misleading. I encourage you to read further.


Not at all. That was part of his original statement of purpose. The rest was added later as he began to become popular and embellished on the original concept. And, his original motivation seems to have been nothing more than to have a name by which to call his lack of belief as is shown by his original comment:


So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant; and I took the earliest opportunity of parading it at our Society, to show that I, too, had a tail, like the other foxes.

A.K. Boomer
07-14-2009, 11:38 PM
Not at all. That was part of his original statement of purpose. The rest was added later as he began to become popular and embellished on the original concept. And, his original motivation seems to have been nothing more than to have a name by which to call his lack of belief as is shown by his original comment:

Whether all at once or if he "evolved it" (like so many great things that have come to be)
Im sure glad he came up with a name, when your born into the comfy organization of Catholicism its kinda tough to leave all that behind when your only just 15 and denounce it (all while still keeping .00001% open to it:p ) and have to watch both of your parents jaws drop to the floor and say "Your doing what for the Idea that you don't know?"
Then when I was a few years older and actually found there was at least some kind of a name that was in the ballpark of how I thought -------- Wow -- that was cool, So Evan, with all due respect - Huxley didn't create my belief/non-belief system for me, I discovered it for myself before I even knew it existed, and in a rough draft its been being done way before him.

And once again I need to correct you from warping-out the issue when you stated;
"have a name by which to call his lack of belief"

One more time bro -- its not lack of belief --- its question of belief - big diff. pilgrim.

J. Randall
07-15-2009, 12:07 AM
And then there is the agnostic, dyslexic insomniac that stays awake all night wondering if there really is a dog.
James

oldtiffie
07-15-2009, 01:57 AM
And how the bloody hell did we get from the OT (en?)titled "OT - Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable" to this full on discussion of whether any Divine entity exists?

If there is such and Entity - or entities - he/she/it could not seem to be more omnipotent (impotent??) than some here.

I can't see what this has to do with HSM-ing but I can see what swearing in the shop has - lots!!

Evan
07-15-2009, 02:45 AM
And how the bloody hell did we get from the OT (en?)titled "OT - Swearing Makes Pain More Tolerable" to this full on discussion of whether any Divine entity exists?


We are not discussing whether there is a God or not. We are discussing belief systems and in particular Agnosticism.

How is this connected to swearing? You have provided a good example in your question. The term "Bloody" refers to the bloody tears of the Virgin Mary that have been reported many times and certified as a miracle by the Catholic Church. Of course Hell is another religious concept that is frequently used in cursing. Epithets of a religious nature are part and parcel of cursing, even for those that do not believe in God.

An interesting additional question is whether curses drawn from religion have the same effect as curses from baser origins such as sex or bodily functions.

oldtiffie
07-15-2009, 04:30 AM
Perhaps this lot should be posted to "Limbo" as its turning into "Purgatory" ("Hell on Earth"??).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory

Or should I just put my hand in my pocket and buy my way out of it with plenary indulgences.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenary_indulgence#Abuses
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plenary_indulgence

Perhaps we should toss it all into the laps of those spiritual experts in the Middle East - and take their advice/counsel? - as after all it was in their history and "backyard" from whence all this emanated. By all accounts they are all God-fearing men.

Now if I could get and keep all the self-proclaimed "Holy Rollers", God-botherers, Sin Bosuns, Devil Dodgers and proclaimers of the "One True Faith" - and their books and persistence and refusals to take no for an answers from my door, I'd be a damn side happier - as I am to see the back and last of them - until they some again!!.

Oh well - I guess its off to pit in Dante's "Inferno":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante0

But don't be despondent - try reading Dante's "Divine Comedy".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy

I daresay that when I fall off the twig that I will be burned or buried as an act of public health - which after all is what it is all about - unless it becomes a funeral which is only a ritualised version of the same procedure and outcome. I can't see why it should be memorialized.

Other than elections and funerals, I can't imagine anywhere where telling lies (at funerals for or about absolute ass-holes and at elections told by ass-holes) would be more refined or blatant.

I had a look in my local Road Directory and try as I might I can't find the roads to Damascus or Calvary although - it may come as no surprise - I have been told often enough that I should be - or am - on both.

Now, I that I have that lot off my mind I'll go back to cursing and swearing about all and sundry and about all that is (supposed to be) "holy" as well as that which is not - and relax and enjoy myself.

Evan
07-15-2009, 05:22 AM
Boomer,

There isn't any doubt what Huxley meant when he wrote : "It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history. . .

His further embellishments on his original concept in no way disown that original concept.


And once again I need to correct you from warping-out the issue when you stated;
"have a name by which to call his lack of belief"




Definitions of antithetic on the Web:

•sharply contrasted in character or purpose; "practices entirely antithetical to her professed beliefs"; "hope is antithetic to despair"
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

•diametrically opposed; antithetical
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/antithetic

•antithetically - with antithesis; in an antithetical manner
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn


Keep in mind that within the framework of a religion belief and knowledge are usually taken to be equal. The antithesis is then no knowlege=disbelief.

I should add that if you don't like the definition of agnosticism then you have the right to make up your own name for what you do (or don't) believe, as did Huxley.

John Stevenson
07-15-2009, 05:31 AM
Well, yeah, of course it does.

And a really good grunt/groan makes lifting heavy stuff about 10 percent easier.

Don't forget the power assisted Fart as you take the strain, that has to be worth #20.

.

digger_doug
07-15-2009, 10:00 AM
if swearing makes it better, than we've got a guy here at
work that will easily live to be 150 years old.

He's known as WTF Chuck, as every 4th word out of his mouth.....

Fasttrack
07-15-2009, 12:36 PM
There isn't any doubt what Huxley meant when he wrote : "It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history. . .

His further embellishments on his original concept in no way disown that original concept.


Keep in mind that within the framework of a religion belief and knowledge are usually taken to be equal. The antithesis is then no knowlege=disbelief.



His original concept is that he is opposed to the gnosticism of the Church. I agree. You have made an argumentative error, however. Whether or not the church sees belief and knowledge as the same thing, it is clear from Huxley's writings that he did not see them as the same thing. Since we are trying to determine what Huxley's definition of agnosticism is, it is futile to examine his words from the viewpoint of the Church. That gives us no insight to Huxley's actual meaning. That is one of the biggest failings of people. We find it difficult to see things from others perspectives and it often leads to misinterpertation or a lack of communication. What I am striving to do is to present the meaning of "agnosticism" from Huxley's perspective, as he would want it to be understood.

Furthermore, regardless of the original meaning, it has since come to describe people who profess to have no knowledge of God without saying anything expressly about a belief in God. This evolution of words happens all the time in the English language and to argue against the connotative meaning is somewhat ridiculous.

And OldTiffie - I just have to say that I busted out laughing when I saw that you provided wikipedia links. It's almost insulting. :D

Fasttrack
07-15-2009, 12:39 PM
if swearing makes it better, than we've got a guy here at
work that will easily live to be 150 years old.

He's known as WTF Chuck, as every 4th word out of his mouth.....

LOL We had a guy at the place I worked who was the same. Sometimes it was hard to follow what he was saying because he had so many interjected curses.

The same fellow was later seen filling up a race car from a can of methanol while waving around a cigarette. But he's still alive so maybe the cursing does help ... :D

Evan
07-15-2009, 05:02 PM
Since we are trying to determine what Huxley's definition of agnosticism is, it is futile to examine his words from the viewpoint of the Church. That gives us no insight to Huxley's actual meaning.

And, I entirely disagree with that premise. Huxley and anybody else with a passing aquaintance with the principles and policies of organized religions would be very well aware that the "church" does not accept anything but a full commitment to God in order to be considered a member of the congregation. There is no middle ground and so he clearly took that in to account and must have done so at the time since nothing has changed in that respect before then or after. It was the very policies of the church that shaped his definition of his own state of religious awareness since without that influence the entire issue would be moot.

Fasttrack
07-15-2009, 05:22 PM
And, I entirely disagree with that premise. Huxley and anybody else with a passing aquaintance with the principles and policies of organized religions would be very well aware that the "church" does not accept anything but a full commitment to God in order to be considered a member of the congregation. There is no middle ground and so he clearly took that in to account and must have done so at the time since nothing has changed in that respect before then or after. It was the very policies of the church that shaped his definition of his own state of religious awareness since without that influence the entire issue would be moot.

Exactly - Huxley created the middle ground that the Church did not recognize when he coined the term "agnostic". His later writing indicates this. He is frusterated with the Church's "black and white" approach to the issue.

If you read then entire excerpt that you cite:


When I reached intellectual maturity and began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; a Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis," --had more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble.

Huxley clearly differentiates himself from aethism on the premise that aethists deny the existence of God (they claim to have "attained a certain 'gnosis'") while he believes it is impossible to know the answer to these questions. It is a revolt from the long standing pride of the human race, which leads us to believe that we can understand with absolute certainty the world around us. Aethists claim to know that there is no God and members of organized religion claim to know that there is a God. Agnostics have realized that it is impossible to determine the factuality of His existence and have moved on.

Just like you said, the Church does not allow for any middle ground. That is why Huxley coined the term agnostic. Whether or not the Church recognizes agnosticism as a middle ground, Huxley was able to recognize that there does exist a middle ground and he referred to people who subscribe to such a set of beliefs as agnostics - denying the yes/no certainty of the Church.


Your interpertation would be considered to be "ungenerous" by most logicians. You are creating a set of axioms through which to interpert his works. From a purely logical standpoint, assuming anything not explicitly demonstrated in his text is dangerous.

(And yes I have been using the term "Church" to describe all of organized religion and continue to do so for convenience)

malbenbut
07-15-2009, 05:33 PM
"Swearing makes the pain go away"
Not true, if it was I would have had a painless life.
MBB

john hobdeclipe
07-15-2009, 08:25 PM
"Swearing makes the pain go away"
Not true, if it was I would have had a painless life.
MBB

And I would have had a life of absolute euphoria!

oldtiffie
07-15-2009, 08:49 PM
And when do we get to the "Here endeth the lesson - Amen" bit?

I'd go to my cave (shop?) but I think the Delphic Oracle thinks that he has taken up residence there - well not for long he hasn't - he's for the hi-jump and the "flick" too - with the rest of them.

I suspect that there is at least one wannabe clone of the Oracle here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphic_Oracle

Though it seems more like a bit of Narcissism thrown into the mix as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_(mythology)

Or Pinocchio?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinocchio

Or Peter Pan?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pan,_or_The_Boy_Who_Wouldn%27t_Grow_Up

Evan
07-15-2009, 09:10 PM
Your interpertation would be considered to be "ungenerous" by most logicians. You are creating a set of axioms through which to interpert his works. From a purely logical standpoint, assuming anything not explicitly demonstrated in his text is dangerous.



I don't want to take this into arguing for or against the existence of God so the arguments available to me are limited. I will say that when I was young I did a fair amount of research in this area. That included attending worship services for quite a few organized religions ranging from Catholic to Jewish to Quaker and a number of others. Like Huxley, I found none that suited my own conception of how such matters must be but unlike he I did not feel that I required a brand for my views which is just as well since "Agnostic" is also not applicable and I spend no time denying the existence of a divine creator.

Fasttrack
07-15-2009, 09:58 PM
I don't want to take this into arguing for or against the existence of God so the arguments available to me are limited. I will say that when I was young I did a fair amount of research in this area. That included attending worship services for quite a few organized religions ranging from Catholic to Jewish to Quaker and a number of others. Like Huxley, I found none that suited my own conception of how such matters must be but unlike he I did not feel that I required a brand for my views which is just as well since "Agnostic" is also not applicable and I spend no time denying the existence of a divine creator.


You shouldn't have to argue for or against the existence of God - it bears no part in the assertion that AK and I made. We said that agnosticism is substantially different than aethism. Clearly, Huxley also thought so as he specifically states this in the passage I quoted. That is my only point - agnosticism and aethism are two different animals and agnosticism does not neccessarily imply a lack of belief. (Although the Church may see it so)

I'm not trying to argue for or against God's existence and I'm not trying to implicitly argue that you have not given the matter a great deal of thought. I try to avoid "labels", too. I don't fit cleanly into any category either.

Evan
07-15-2009, 10:15 PM
Naturally, to the agnostic it is different as that is the motivation in the first instance for the introduction of the lable. Seen from other perspectives the agnostic may be seen as simply a cowardly atheist afraid to admit in public that he really doesn't Believe. That is the most difficult part about discussing religion in any context regardless of anyone's affiliation or lack of it. Because it is a belief system no matter what the belief, it is very frequently a case of I'm right in what I believe and every body else is mistaken, misled, does not understand, cannot understand, etc etc.

oldtiffie
07-15-2009, 11:27 PM
Now I'm - sort of - sure that no-one of us would want to admit to being either or both being doctrinaire or indoctrinated - or "brain-washed" - or even being capable of wanting to or feeling compelled to try to (en?)force it on others would we?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrinaires#Doctrinaires.2C_a_pejorative_word_qui ckly_reappropriated

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

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

The warning lights go on for me as soon as I see or sense an "-ism" or an "-ist".

Weston Bye
07-16-2009, 07:06 AM
...The warning lights go on for me as soon as I see or sense an "-ism" or an "-ist".

So, does a machinist believe in machinism?

Evan
07-16-2009, 07:26 AM
So, does a machinist believe in machinism?

No, but he does believe in the Power of Mechanism....


:D

oldtiffie
07-16-2009, 07:38 AM
Particularly so when there is excessive machismo attached and/or religious-like fervour.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machismo

chief
07-16-2009, 07:56 AM
Not to worry, one of these days we are all going to find out if there is a god.
Myself, I think I will error on the side of safety.

wierdscience
07-16-2009, 09:07 AM
I still enjoy the episode of Southpark where the second coming happens and everybody goes to Hell except the Mormons:D

A.K. Boomer
07-16-2009, 12:19 PM
. That is the most difficult part about discussing religion in any context regardless of anyone's affiliation or lack of it. Because it is a belief system no matter what the belief, it is very frequently a case of I'm right in what I believe and every body else is mistaken, misled, does not understand, cannot understand, etc etc.


Yes I generally agree its a very volatile subject and perhaps the most volatile as its our very basis of how we travel through our journey, If someone says to you that your religion is hogwash then its like telling you all your time is wasted and your living a lie. Is it any wonder why its been the root cause of so many wars - now you have people in groups that reinforce each others ways to combat the opposition - which of course is just other people in groups that are reinforcing their beliefs.

But agnosticism is different - It really should insult nobody because it really allows for all possibility, without making a stand on any of them.
And although some might claim it to be a "belief" like all the others It really can't ever be labeled as being the correct one but at the same time can't be labeled as ever being wrong, it removes itself from that part of the equation in avoiding the "final answer", The final answer of "I don't have enough information to make a correct decision" automatically puts it into a Category all by its lonesome...
A very non-threatening category.
In simplistic terms if the agnostic is asked what color do you see? Black? or White? The only correct answer can be gray.

On the other hand I will dredge up something you wrote earlier about an atheist;

"the Atheist believes in nothing but cannot prove that something does not exist in an unbounded reality as that is an impossibility."

I think the words you chose could not have been put together any better,
Im not saying that its not OK to entertain this thought - Im just saying that as soon as you put a stamp of approval on it you shoot yourself in the foot intellectually, In this respect I believe atheists have the most closed off view of any beliefs and also an absolute guarantee that they can never know they are right but have the infinite possibility of being wrong.

A.K. Boomer
07-16-2009, 12:52 PM
Not to worry, one of these days we are all going to find out if there is a god.
Myself, I think I will error on the side of safety.

Chief -- just your two sentences speak volumes to me, If there isn't a God we will never know - and if there is we still may never know, Why do people confuse that if there is we will somehow find out about it? I think much of it has to do with your second sentence,
In stating that you will error on the side of safety its evident that you believe in the punishment/reward system so you think we will be judged --- but its in your very belief that we are going to be judged is the reason why your going to "error" to the side of safety which automatically removes all your actions that you do in life as being genuine --------- anotherwords - your only behaving within certain parameters so you can "save your own hide"

What this means Is you may want to covet thy neighbors wife but you don't because you wont get your ticket punched to the kingdom of heaven so you avoid giving her a good cranking like she wants, plus don't forget the flip side of being jabbed with all those red-hot pitchforks and people screaming and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, ughh I hate that one - and did I mention for eternity? oh yeah i forgot you already new that - that's why you error to the side of safety right?

Now take Joe blow, Yes he wants to covet thy neighbors wife also (don't we all? --- just kidding)-- but he doesn't just because he's a man who follows his own conscious and doesn't think it would be the right thing to do, Even though he knows he could get away with it and really isnt burdened by any kind of an afterlife belief system that's guiding him he simply goes by the rule that he would not like it if it was done to him ---------- His actions are purely genuine.

Now if there is one (A god), Put yourself in Gods shoe's, sure both guys have an identical track record -- But --- who you gonna pick to hang out with drink a beer and maybe shoot a game of pool with once in awhile,
The suck-up or the cool guy.;) Nuthin but luv Chief and just some perspective that's all.

Edit; Being God would kinda be like being a filthy rich guy who's trying to find out the answer to his question of "who are my real friends" --- almost impossible, all may act the exact same but who is really genuine?

Ahhh but if God somehow has this massive track record book on your life then don't be too surprised when alongside the "action" column there is another column that's equally important called AUTHENTIC.

This columns range covers everything from having an extreme motive to save ones own hide ---
Or no real motive at all but more or less just a simple golden rule that one tries to follow...
Opposite ends of the spectrum - yet if one was to peek a look back at the action column its a tie score.