The Paradox of Agnosticism

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Eodnhoj7
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The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am

The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.

uwot
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by uwot » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:17 am

Here's what Thomas Henry Huxley, who invented the word said:
"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe."
Whatever it is you find paradoxical, it isn't agnosticism.

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:44 pm

uwot wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:17 am
Here's what Thomas Henry Huxley, who invented the word said:
"Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe."
Whatever it is you find paradoxical, it isn't agnosticism.
Agnostic: "a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable".

Or

"a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something"



This is a dogmatic assertion as an ultimate truth. If ultimate truth cannot be known, this is an ultimate truth.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:59 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.
Richard Dawkins claims that agnosticism is a range, not a single belief. He argues there's everything from "soft" agnostics, who believe perhaps that it's entirely possible there is a God, and are far from dogmatic on the question, to "firm" agnostics (his term), who are not saying that it's entirely impossible that God exists, but that they regard it as highly improbable that He does.

Dawkins calls himself the latter, and disavows the word Atheist (at least half of the time, and when pressed on the point; though he's not always consistent, sometimes allowing himself to be called an "Atheist" when attention is less focused).

If Dawkins claim is fair, then agnosticism isn't a "rigid assertion" that God does not exist, nor even the claim that God's existence is unknowable. It's only the claim not to know either way, with degrees of uncertainty to be specified in degrees, by adjective.

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:28 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:59 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.
Richard Dawkins claims that agnosticism is a range, not a single belief. He argues there's everything from "soft" agnostics, who believe perhaps that it's entirely possible there is a God, and are far from dogmatic on the question, to "firm" agnostics (his term), who are not saying that it's entirely impossible that God exists, but that they regard it as highly improbable that He does.

Dawkins calls himself the latter, and disavows the word Atheist (at least half of the time, and when pressed on the point; though he's not always consistent, sometimes allowing himself to be called an "Atheist" when attention is less focused).

If Dawkins claim is fair, then agnosticism isn't a "rigid assertion" that God does not exist, nor even the claim that God's existence is unknowable.

This is a rigid defintion of some ultimate truth to what can be known --->It's only the claim not to know either way, with degrees of uncertainty to be specified in degrees, by adjective.
See the paradox?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:28 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:59 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.
Richard Dawkins claims that agnosticism is a range, not a single belief. He argues there's everything from "soft" agnostics, who believe perhaps that it's entirely possible there is a God, and are far from dogmatic on the question, to "firm" agnostics (his term), who are not saying that it's entirely impossible that God exists, but that they regard it as highly improbable that He does.

Dawkins calls himself the latter, and disavows the word Atheist (at least half of the time, and when pressed on the point; though he's not always consistent, sometimes allowing himself to be called an "Atheist" when attention is less focused).

If Dawkins claim is fair, then agnosticism isn't a "rigid assertion" that God does not exist, nor even the claim that God's existence is unknowable.

This is a rigid defintion of some ultimate truth to what can be known --->It's only the claim not to know either way, with degrees of uncertainty to be specified in degrees, by adjective.
See the paradox?
Actually, no. It' snot a "rigid definition" of what can be known. It's only a personal claim about what that individual happens to know...not what can be known by anyone else.

You're making agnosticism out to be the claim, "I don't know that there is a God, and you can't know either." :shock:

But that second clause, "you can't know either" isn't essential to agnosticism, and is, in fact, not even rationally plausible, as you say. After all, how can one person who fully admits he doesn't know something about something claim that he knows that nobody else can know anything either? That would require a very complex justification; and I know of none that would do, in this case.

So a sensible agnostic is only going to say, "I don't know," and not add anything about what is possible for anyone else to know. He will allow that maybe, per possibile, somebody DOES know something about God. He'll just insist that he, personally, doesn't happen to.

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:01 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:28 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:59 pm

Richard Dawkins claims that agnosticism is a range, not a single belief. He argues there's everything from "soft" agnostics, who believe perhaps that it's entirely possible there is a God, and are far from dogmatic on the question, to "firm" agnostics (his term), who are not saying that it's entirely impossible that God exists, but that they regard it as highly improbable that He does.

Dawkins calls himself the latter, and disavows the word Atheist (at least half of the time, and when pressed on the point; though he's not always consistent, sometimes allowing himself to be called an "Atheist" when attention is less focused).

If Dawkins claim is fair, then agnosticism isn't a "rigid assertion" that God does not exist, nor even the claim that God's existence is unknowable.

This is a rigid defintion of some ultimate truth to what can be known --->It's only the claim not to know either way, with degrees of uncertainty to be specified in degrees, by adjective.
See the paradox?
Actually, no. It' snot a "rigid definition" of what can be known. It's only a personal claim about what that individual happens to know...not what can be known by anyone else.

Still a rigid definition equating to an ultimate truth. ^^^^

You're making agnosticism out to be the claim, "I don't know that there is a God, and you can't know either." :shock:

Agnostic: "a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable".

Dictionary defintion, Webster if memory serves. The viewpoint is a universal claim.






But that second clause, "you can't know either" isn't essential to agnosticism, and is, in fact, not even rationally plausible, as you say. After all, how can one person who fully admits he doesn't know something about something claim that he knows that nobody else can know anything either? That would require a very complex justification; and I know of none that would do, in this case.

So a sensible agnostic is only going to say, "I don't know," and not add anything about what is possible for anyone else to know. He will allow that maybe, per possibile, somebody DOES know something about God. He'll just insist that he, personally, doesn't happen to.

Skepdick
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Skepdick » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:04 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm
how can one person who fully admits he doesn't know something about something claim that he knows that nobody else can know anything either?
Trivially: one attains knowledge through learning and you don't seem capable of explaining your learning methodology.

How can you know anything about God if you don't know how you came to know about God?

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by commonsense » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:21 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.
Agnosticism is the belief that some things cannot be known. One can know some things, but some other things are not knowable. A specific definition of reality could simply be one of those unknowable things. Or it could be knowable but irrelevant to the belief that some things cannot be known.

Not a paradox. Not a dilemma. Not even ironic.

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:24 pm

commonsense wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:21 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:37 am
The paradox of agnosticism is that it is a rigid assertion that one can know something about reality, that one cannot know it completely. This paradox necessitates a set definitive interpretation of reality exists.
Agnosticism is the belief that some things cannot be known. One can know some things, but some other things are not knowable. A specific definition of reality could simply be one of those unknowable things. Or it could be knowable but irrelevant to the belief that some things cannot be known.

Not a paradox. Not a dilemma. Not even ironic.
It is still a rigid assertion as to the underlying form of ultimate reality...you can define it as you like, but it is an all encompassing defintion of being which contradicts itself.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Immanuel Can » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:26 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:01 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:28 pm


See the paradox?
Actually, no. It' snot a "rigid definition" of what can be known. It's only a personal claim about what that individual happens to know...not what can be known by anyone else.

Still a rigid definition equating to an ultimate truth. ^^^^
Nope. It's only saying what one person happens to know, and only for right now. It doesn't even have to imply he/she couldn't come to know it in the future, if information changed.

Agnosticism can be an extremely modest claim.
Dictionary defintion, Webster if memory serves. The viewpoint is a universal claim.
Well, I'm afraid then, that either your dictionary or your memory, "isn't serving." See:

Definition of agnostic (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable
broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.
2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something.


That's Websters. Notice that it has two definitions, and has "probably unknowable" only in the first clause of the first definition. So that bit is possible, but not essential. Moreover, it only says "probably," not at all "certainly" or "universally." In other words, it's a guess, not a certainty.

The idea of it being "unknowable" is not even included in the other definition-and-a -half. And the second definition only says that the person is "unwilling to commit" to any particular opinion at all. :shock:

Skepdick
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Skepdick » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:30 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:26 pm
It doesn't even have to imply he/she couldn't come to know it in the future, if information changed.
It is exactly what it implies.

In the precise sense in which physicists use the concept of information, unknowable means "the information is unattainable" due to epistemic limits.

It means "not even testable". Never mind falsifiable.
Last edited by Skepdick on Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Eodnhoj7
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:31 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:26 pm
Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:01 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:56 pm

Actually, no. It' snot a "rigid definition" of what can be known. It's only a personal claim about what that individual happens to know...not what can be known by anyone else.

Still a rigid definition equating to an ultimate truth. ^^^^
Nope. It's only saying what one person happens to know, and only for right now. It doesn't even have to imply he/she couldn't come to know it in the future, if information changed.

Agnosticism can be an extremely modest claim.
Dictionary defintion, Webster if memory serves. The viewpoint is a universal claim.
Well, I'm afraid then, that either your dictionary or your memory, "isn't serving." See:

Definition of agnostic (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable
broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.
2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something.


That's Websters.
Reread the above posts...that is what I state for "agnostic".

It is the holding of a viewpoint, paradoxically, about the ultimate nature of reality.


Notice that it has two definitions, and has "probably unknowable" only in the first clause of the first definition. So that bit is possible, but not essential. Moreover, it only says "probably," not at all "certainly" or "universally." In other words, it's a guess, not a certainty.

"is unknowable andprobably unknowable.



The idea of it being "unknowable" is not even included in the other definition-and-a -half. And the second definition only says that the person is "unwilling to commit" to any particular opinion at all. :shock:
It is a viewpoint about the nature of ultimate reality, as an ultimate reality.

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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:32 pm

Information that is unknowable is a known.

Skepdick
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Re: The Paradox of Agnosticism

Post by Skepdick » Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:34 pm

Eodnhoj7 wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 11:32 pm
Information that is unknowable is a known.
Ugh. What is known is one's own inability to know.

Just because negation is constructive, doesn't mean you will attain knowledge of that which you want to know about.

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