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      08-01-2010, 09:02 PM   #50
radix
there's something different about him
 
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I didn't have a lot of time earlier to explain my thoughts, but the reason I waffle between strong and weak agnosticism deals with a sort of paradox of agnosticism.

As I mentioned before, belief is irrelevant when confronted with the question of the existence of anything. Either something exists or it does not. There are things that do exist, but we do not have proof of their existence. If this were not the case, then there would be no discovery of new things.

That said, it cannot be proven that there is, or is not, a deity known as god. One simply cannot know. Clearly this makes me a strong agnostic, right? It would if it weren't for the fact that if we accept that things can exist such that we don't have proof of their existence, then there can also exist methods of proving such things exist, without being aware of, or being able to prove the existence of said method of proof. You might have to spend some time pondering this to really understand what I'm saying. It took me a while to come to this conclusion, years in fact.

Ergo, it may be possible to prove the existence of a god at some point in the future, then again it might not. Again, that question cannot be answered by logic for the same reason the question of the existence of a deity cannot. In the end the answer to both questions cannot be attained through reason.

For that reason, I am more weak agnostic than strong. More on the subject here:

http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutagn...trong_weak.htm

Strong and weak agnosticism can be viewed as similar to strong and weak atheism, with the difference that agnostics suspend judgement on the question, or refuse to answer it, whereas atheists do not.

This will be the last post I make on this subject, as I feel I've



enough, but I'll say that I know very well what I am and what I am not. I don't need to anybody to tell me what I am. Conflating my position with atheism is incorrect. Here is how Huxley described his reasons for coining the term agnosticism:

Quote:
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; 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.
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. To my great satisfaction the term took.
To summarize, some people think that there are only two possibilities:

1. To lack belief in a god, or, I believe there is no god. (Atheism)
2. To believe in a god, or, there is a god. (Theism)

I fall into a third category.

3. Belief is irrelevant. Existence is a binary proposition ( 1 or 0 ). Since I cannot know the answer, I therefore do not ponder the question of belief. I deliberately suspend judgement.

Since atheism and theism ponder only the question of belief or lack thereof, I fall into neither category.

Last edited by radix; 08-01-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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