Immanuel Can wrote: ↑Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:14 pmI'll say it one more time.
The claim that ultimate reality CANNOT be known is optional for an agnostic. A person can be an agnostic without it. He can simply say, "I don't know if there is an ultimate reality, but I'm not rationally able to say whether that's true for anybody but me." That's one form of agnosticism.
Then he negates himself in light of other perspectives which claim to know.
If the agnostic cannot give an answer either way, and is completely unsure of an ultimate truth, then he is unsure of agnosticism as well.
Sure, he can go on to try to argue that other people cannot know what he does not know. But that's silly. He has no warrant for that claim, other than his assumption that he is as wise and experienced as anybody else can possibly be...which is, I think you'll agree, highly implausible.
But the point is that agnosticism does not require the second claim. Just the first.
Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!
Yes, he should be, if he is honest.
And some agnostics are just like that...willing to admit that their lack of knowledge of the transcendent may well be a function of their own personal limitations of knowledge, time, and experience, rather than a universal experience that they think other people are obligated to have.
But, admittedly, some are not so wise. However, their unwisdom does not make the honest agnostics into non-agnostics. The defining quality of agnosticism is an admission of not knowing. It is not necessary that they must go on to be unwise in the way they frame that. Then can choose to be wise about it, and keep their claim personal and modest.