Kristopher Mann proudly posted on my Facebook page that had provided a rebuttal to one of my blog posts: https://greatdebatecommunity.com/2018/11/21/agnostic-atheism-is-either-nonsensical-or-superfluous-presented-in-three-cases/
To which I promptly replied: “I *HIGHLY* doubt you have rebuked anything…but I will look over your work and critique it.”
And of course, my doubts were justified. To say he gave a rebuttal to anything I wrote would be utterly a falsehood. For some very odd reason, he thinks by merely changing definitions and arguing a completely different schema (one I have addressed in other blog posts) that he somehow rebuked the post he was supposedly rebuking? How exactly does that work?
After his introduction to his “rebuttal” his response went like this:
“For the sake of this argument, I will grant as many of Steve’s definitions as I can, starting with his definitions of weak and strong atheism. His definition of agnostic (“I do not know”) is clearly missing the relevant proposition, however. I’ll define an agnostic here as “a person who doesn’t have knowledge about god’s existence/nonexistence”.”
Wait…what? You don’t get to define terms here on my argument. By you “defining” it very differently than I do, you are essentially changing the entire argument. That isn’t a counter to my case’s when you say “Oh, I am just going to use my own usage of a word to show it makes sense!”
“Next are his views that “knowledge does not entail certainty and knowledge entails belief” and “belief does not entail knowledge”. It seems clear to me that he is using the definitions of these words that are used in academic philosophy. ‘
Yes, this is the most common understanding of knowledge in the literature.
“His views make sense if “knowledge” is defined as “justified, true belief”. I, however, will use different definitions such that you can claim to believe god exists while claiming to have knowledge about god’s existence/nonexistence, or you can claim to not believe god exists while claiming to have knowledge about god’s existence/nonexistence.”
JTB is just *one* of many theories of knowledge. Again, you can’t just use different definitions to try to show my argument to be wrong here! I have other blog post that show different usages, this is 3 cases…you need to address them AS WRITTEN.
You are merely just conflating ontology with epistemology as I have written about in other blog posts.
“There are two separate yes/no questions that could be asked using these definitions. Q1: Do you believe god exists? Q2: Do you have knowledge about god’s existence/nonexistence? There are 4 possible outcomes. Gnostic theists answer yes and yes, agnostic theists answer yes and no, gnostic atheists answer no and yes, and agnostic atheists answer no and no. Perhaps this will be less confusing to Steve if he stops thinking of gnostic and agnostic only as modifiers. An agnostic atheist is an atheist and an agnostic (=“atheist agnostic”), and a gnostic theist is a theist and a gnostic (=“theist gnostic”).”
Q1: Do you believe God exist?
No= Not theist
I don’t know (ordinary doubt) = Agnostic
I don’t care = Apatheist
God talk has no meaning = Igtheist
Q2: Do you have knowledge about god’s existence/nonexistence?
This is an epistemological question…which again has NOTHING to do with my case above.
You are juxtaposing two VASTLY different propositions here…one dealing with God’s existence (ontology) and one about if Gods are knowable (epistemology). *IF* you use this multi-axial schema then you have to then accept the baggage that comes along with it, but you can’t ask TWO questions with the same proposition! How do you write what you wrote logically using just p??? You can’t, because there are two different propositions here p and q which I explain in my blog post already which you may want to read: https://greatdebatecommunity.com/2019/02/24/the-logical-ambiguity-of-agnostic-atheist/
Gnostic theist= Modifies theist with the additional position of knowledge. Modifies Bp to Kp ^ Bp
Gnostic theist = Modifies theist with the additional position of knowledge. Modifies B!p to K~p ^ B~p
agnostic theist = Is just theist theism is doxastic and doesn’t make any claims to knowledge, it is superfluous
agnostic atheist = This is where the main issue comes is it superfluous as “agnostic theist” *or* it is nonsensical if you define atheism in the weak case. You can not epistemically modify a non-doxastic position and “lack of belief” is not a doxastic position as knowledge is a subset of belief as noted.
“If properly understood using the definitions I put forward above, the position I expressed is neither nonsensical (as claimed in Case #1 and #2), nor superfluous (as claimed in Case #3). “