Talk:Agnosticism/Archive 5

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Archive 4 Archive 5 Archive 6

"I Don't Know And Neither Do You" - Strong Agnosticism

I'm not sure a strong agnostic would assume what another person knows. I would've thought that a strong agnostic would doubt their own agnosticism in a paradoxical fashion due to agnosticism being knowledge in itself (and so would that). Does this existentialist form of agnosticism have a name? (I'll make an edit within a day)

Interesting concept. But I don't think that strong agnostics have that paradoxical problem. The first paragraph explains it perfectly, agnosticism is the belief that you don't know something. Secondary to that is whether you can actually know, or whether you regardlessly believe in the existence or non-existence of god. If you think you can't, you're a strong agnostic. If you think you can, you're a weak agnostic. If you think something is impossible you won't believe someone else besides you is able to. The "knowledge" that it is unknowable isn't really knowledge but more a belief and not subject to the unknowability of strong agnosticism. I hope that last bit made sense. The "I Don't Know And Neither Do You" line is a bit inaccurate though, but I already changed that before reading this. Isandriel
However, agnosticism states that knowledge of the supernatural is innately unknowable. This is of course not knowledge of the afterlife itself, but knowledge and understanding of the limited range of human perception due to subjectivity and sensory fallibility.

Agnosticism wording

Original:

Agnosticism is the philosophical view that value certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life. He is merely ignorant of God.

In truth he wants to remains ignorant to avoid accountable.

"fix grammar":

Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the value of certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.

you say it's a grammar fix, but i say it changes the meaning of the statement. Looking specifically at the clause:

original: "[agnostics] value certain claims as truth is unknown.."
"fix grammar": "the value of certain claims as truth is unknown.."

In the original, i read it as the view that claim that truth is unknown or unknowable. I read the latter as the value of truth(which is a claim) is unknown, etc. I'm pretty sure agnostic means truth is unknown, not values.

perhaps the grammar isn't prefect in the sentence, but this change seems to change the meaning

how about

Agnosticism is the philosophical view that values certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.

or

Agnosticism are the philosophical views that value certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.

This way, value is consistant with plurality of agnosticsim and philosophical view. The are several agnostic views so is agnosticsm plural or agnosticsm is the range of views?

how about

Agnosticism is the spectrum of philosophical views that value certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.
--Tsinoyboi 21:46, 1 October 2006 (UTC)


Eventually, I came up with this version:

Agnosticism is the spectrum of philosophical views that value certain claims as truth is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.

It may still not be perfect

Which one do you think is best?

--Tsinoyboi 21:55, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry but "that value certain claims as truth is unknown" is neither grammatically correct nor comprehensible to English speakers. I like the current wording by Jimwae. The "of" has to be in there for the sentence to be comprehensible, otherwise it refers to the values of agnositcism, which is incorrect and lacking a plural. I don't care what comes after. pschemp | talk 23:08, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Jimwae's wording is good, although "value" could be reasonably omitted. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 23:15, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok, i'm learning. I should have left the change but still say something in discussion. I can't argue that the original version was grammatical, but the new wording is good, but i agree that "the truth value of" could be omitted like these:
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that certain claims — particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities — is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.
or
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that claims Ultimate Reality— particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities — is unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent and thus irrelevant to life.

by the way, does User:Tsinoyboi/Agnostic theism meet policies and guildlines?

hmm god (monotheism) redirects to God. Should that be changed?

--Tsinoyboi 06:14, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

If Agnostics claimed that the truth of claims re deities was unknown, it could be construed that they pretty much figure they ARE true claims, but do not know for sure. Truth value also brings in the idea that neither the truth not the falsity of such claims is known. Truth value is a basic term in logic - if it is too "technical", we could try "truth or falsityof claims..." -- but then the sentence structure gets more complex --JimWae 06:22, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

ok then, i guess that is more NPOV. --Tsinoyboi 06:32, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Opening paragraph is about strong agnosticism, not about agnosticism itself.

The opening paragraph describes strong agnosticism, not agnosticism itself. Then it claims that noncognitivists are agnostics, as if they would think something could exist even if the word describing it doesn't mean anything. Wiploc 01:38, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

How is that strong agnosticism and not agnosticism itself? Strong agnosticism is that ultimate reality is unknowable, weak agnosticism is that ultimate reality is unknown, and apathetic agnosticism or ignosticism are that ultimate reality is incoherant or irrelavent. All that was talked about in the opening paragraph. It's a form of philosophical skepticism. What is missing be "agnosticism itself"? Agnostic atheism and agnostic theism? Spiritual agnosticism? --Tsinoyboi 05:56, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Hmm.. Ok i don't agree with this sentence at least: "The term is used to describe those who are unconvinced or noncommittal about the existence of deities as well as other matters of religion." Being convinced or committed doesn't have anything to do with agnosticism. I don't know if an agnostic theist would be committed about the existence of god(s). --Tsinoyboi 06:41, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

An Agnostic theist is confusing the word Agnosticism with mysticism. This article rightly points out that Agnosticism is a philosophical position that is something one has thought about and decided upon. The distinctions weak Agnostics etc are the philosophical equivalent of the "silent majority" arguments in politics: Everyone believes that if only the silent majority spoke, they would agree to position X. Philosophers simply take this to the next level by assigning agreement to this "silent majority" with definitions like weak or strong. Tsinoyboi your definitions need some work. Once again to claim something is unkowable is to claim to know that it has a property that places it beyond our comprehension, thus claiming that it is to some degree knowable. To consider ultimate reality to be unknowable or incoherent and unintelligible is to lapse into mysticism. Spiker 22 (talk) 09:50, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Data collection services - second half of second paragraph

Why is Data collection services important and part of the opening information? Why do they list agnostics alongside secular, non-religious, or other such categories? I think if this is going to stay on the page, then it needs to be moved; even if it gets it's own section. Either way it shouldn't be at the top. --Tsinoyboi 18:25, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Agnosticism is NOT weak atheism

If you don't believe me, what I write is not original research: http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutagnosticism/a/atheism.htm

Agnosticism says nothing about belief so one can be theistic or spiritual and still be agnostic. Is spiritual weak atheist too? I don't think Buddhism is atheistic, at least. Either way, agnosticism is specifically about knowing, only. Some people even believe faith and knowledge contradict. In terms of existence of god(s) and definition, belief in god(s) only requires belief that a definition of god(s) is correct. It doesn't mean either is known. Agnosticism is about epistemology; atheism is about ontology. Even Weak and strong atheism states that they are distinct even though they overlap. Does weak atheism encompass acceptance of the possibility of god(s) existing but just doesn't have belief? maybe you should include strong atheists as weak atheists too since they lack belief in god.[1] FrostyBytes, do you or anyone else have anything to back up that it is "completely accurate" that "Agnostic atheists are, by definition, weak atheists"? --Tsinoyboi 11:03, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, agnostic atheists can be strong atheists as well. They believe there is no god but believe there's no way to know. Similarly goes agnostic theism. If strong atheists are not weak atheists then not all agnostic atheists are weak atheists. Technically, strong atheists are also weak atheists? --Tsinoyboi 09:12, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


"Agnosticism says nothing about belief" --Tsinoyboi 09:12, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

That is false. The agnostic principle is throughly explained by Thomas Huxley:

"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence." -- Thomas Huxley, Evolution and Ethics


That which agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is any contrary doctrine like Islam or Christianity for example, that there are propositions like the tenets of Islam or Christianity for example, which people ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence. See Thomas Huxley, who coined the term 'agnostic', in his excoriation of the Christian Belief, "Agnosticism and Christianity" http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE5/Agn-X.html

Note the term, 'believe'? 67.182.154.119 20:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Ok, since you've shown that (technically, and by definition) strong atheistic agnosticism (if it can be called that) is possible, I defer to your wisdom in this matter. -FrostyBytes 15:38, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

You can't believe, or disbelieve, that in which you have zero knowledge of. A seed has to be planted for a belief to grow. 3DJay 01:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


The statement in question was, "Agnosticism says nothing about belief" --Tsinoyboi 09:12, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

That statement is false. The agnostic principle is throughly explained by Thomas Huxley67.182.154.119 07:55, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

It is correct
You cut out the part that shows you are mistaken. Please do not cut out the comments of others.
That is false. The agnostic principle is throughly explained by Thomas Huxley:

"The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence." -- Thomas Huxley, Evolution and Ethics


That which agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is any contrary doctrine like Islam or Christianity for example, that there are propositions like the tenets of Islam or Christianity for example, which people ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence. See Thomas Huxley, who coined the term 'agnostic', in his excoriation of the Christian Belief, "Agnosticism and Christianity" http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE5/Agn-X.html

Note the term, 'believe'? 67.182.154.119 20:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


3DJay wrote, "A seed has to be planted for a belief to grow." 3DJay 01:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

That is not true of an ABSENCE of belief (as in 'atheist'). 67.182.154.119 01:38, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Show me one dictionary that states the etymology of Atheism is A-theism, and not Athe-ism. Check Wiki's own article. The words Atheism and Atheist came into use, some 50 years before the words Theism and Theist. How can you add an A- to a word that doesn't exist? Besides that, every single absence of belief argument is based on some lack of knowledge (no good definition of god, can't know every possible god, etc.)...that's Agnosticism. You can absolutely, 100%, not form a belief, or disbelief, about something you've never heard of. It's not possible.
"I further say that Agnosticism is not properly described as a "negative" creed, nor indeed as a creed of any kind, except in so far as it expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle, which is as much ethical as intellectual. This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what Agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to Agnosticism. That which Agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions. The justification of the Agnostic principle lies in the success which follows upon its application, whether in the field of natural, or in that of civil, history; and in the fact that, so far as these topics are concerned, no sane man thinks of denying its validity." - Huxley, taking a bite out of Theism and Atheism. Theist: I believe Gods exists. Agnostic: Prove it. Atheist: I believe Gods don't exist. Agnostic: You prove it, too. 3DJay 04:55, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Just to add some logos to the matter: I am agnostic in the sense that I do not beleive in established religion. I beleive in a transcendant, omnipotent and ubiquitious being; however I do not beleive (as many religions have claimed) that it would operate inside the human inhabited box that is "cause" and "effect". Does that resonate with anyone else here?

This statement

Although some agnostics do not believe in god and are therefore, by definition, also atheists, agnosticism is not a different word for atheism. An agnostic may believe devoutly in god.

contradicts the definition in the rest of the article, and is not supported by any external source. Unless it can be adequately sourced, it shouldn't appear. I removed it. Joe 00:50, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Profanity

Can someone please remove the profanity from the main paragraph? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.104.156.185 (talkcontribs) 10:29, November 23, 2006 (UTC).

What profanity? — Elembis 04:35, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Why do we have to declare our beliefs?

When people are having a very innocent, simple conversation, why do they have to screw it up by asking about the other person's church habits? I was at work one day and a co-worker was "preaching" about how "God" had improved her life, etc. Then she looked at me and asked me where I went to church. I very simply told her that I did not go to church. She looked at me like a had an infectious disease and asked me "why?". I told her that I did not participate in any organized religion. You would have thought I told her that I worshipped Satan or something. She doesn't really talk to me anymore.

If people are going to be so touchy about religion, why do they even ask about it? And, why do we feel like we have to defend ourselves when some bible-beating-baptist tells us we "need Jesus"? If you ask me, its a personal choice, and it really isn't anyone else's business.

If you have any suggestions for me on how to deal with these types of confrontations, you can email me. brinici@aol.com 198.179.157.10 17:42, 30 November 2006 (UTC) Brittany 198.179.157.10 17:42, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Inform her that if she would only watch her reaction better, you might actually be interested in what she had to say. ShumbodhiPhamus 09:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I completely disagree. Yes, "outing" of religious belief or nonbelief can result in uncomfortable relationships and situations, but those things should by no means be off-limits topics for conversation. If you aren't comfortable with discussing your opinions, then don't have opinions.

And anyway, you were perfectly capable of saying "None of your business" or "I don't want to talk about it" in the first place. 64.85.242.203 (talk) 02:33, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Messy

Someone has gone through the article and changed 'God' to 'God(s)' etc. although I can see the logic, it looks a mess and disrupts the readability. Can we just have a statement up at the top that 'God' in the text also means God/Gods/He/She/it/they, that may/may not/did/will exist etc. :-) ChrisRed 09:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

It is a perfectly normal way to write. It should be god(s) with a small g though. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 196.30.79.194 (talk) 15:01, 7 February 2007 (UTC).

Alternate meaning

A bunch of friends of mine swears that the traditional meaning and use of the word "agnosticism" is quite different from that of this article. That greatly surprised me. Apparently most schools of the occult (and even a few religions) define Agnosticism as something close to "belief in God joined with a lack of faith in organized religion". Does anyone know about that and/or can suggest sources? Thanks! Luis Dantas 16:33, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

On the contrary, the true definition of "Agnostic" as found on dictionary.com is as reads: "a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience". So as this reads, there is no was of knowing for sure that God(s) do or do not exist. When it all comes down to it, if you are looking at Agnosticism in a literal sense, then there cannot be a belief in God(s), with the lack of certain knowledge. I hope that clears it up for you. EternallyTerminal 07:02, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you CAN have belief without knowledge - it's called FAITH. ======================================================================================================

When T.H. HUXLEY coined the term, he defined it thus:

Agnosticism, "expresses absolute faith in the validity of a principle which is as much ethical as intellectual. This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to agnosticism." Your friends may be correct in that there are people who call themselves agnostics and define it in this way. However, the question here is not how do "agnostics" or even dictionaries define the term. It is a question of what is consistent with the idea itself as expressed by the person who coined the term. Thus while Huxley himself sometimes spoke of things as unknowable, he realized this was not consonant with his definition or as Huxley observed: In Agnosticism And Christianity "The extent of the region of the uncertain, the number of the problems the investigation of which ends in a verdict of not proven, will vary according to the knowledge and the intellectual habits of the individual agnostic. I do not very much care to speak of anything as unknowable. What I am sure about is that there are many topics about which I know nothing, and which, so far as I can see, are out of reach of my faculties. But whether these things are knowable by any one else is exactly one of those matters which is beyond my knowledge, though I may have a tolerably strong opinion as to the probabilities of the case." For those who profess some religious belief with or with out a distaste for organized religion are not Agnostics. Further, people who call themselves agnostics because they believe in the "unknowable" are also not agnostics. You might say that each of these is a Gnostic of one type or another. In Agnosticism and Christianity, Huxley continues: That which agnostics deny and repudiate as immoral is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions."

Further as I pointed out above to claim that something is "unknowable" suggests one knows that it posesses a property which places it beyond comprehension in which case they are claiming to know what they call unknowable. What is crucial here is that each is a philosophical position implying the issue has been thought about and that the thinker in question-whether laymen or professional philosopher- has reached some kind of decision. If one decides he is a theist, he can not consistently turn and say that he is agnostic: In effect he is saying I beleive in God, but do not have "logically satisfactory evidence" for that belief. 129.33.1.37 (talk) 09:08, 3 February 2008 (UTC) Spiker_22

"In effect he is saying I beleive in God, but do not have "logically satisfactory evidence" for that belief." This is the definition of faith.