[ExI] Basis of Belief

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Fri Feb 29 02:34:31 UTC 2008

On 29/02/2008, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> At 05:26 PM 2/28/2008 -0600, I wrote:
> >At 09:20 AM 2/29/2008 +1030, Emlyn wrote:
> >
> > >An Agnostic is someone who says that the only way to know god is via
> > >gnosis (internal insight?), and since that's bunk, there is no way to
> > >know god.
> >
> >Well, no, that's a false etymology, and if it were correct agnostic
> >would mean that gnosis is *wrong*
> Oops, re-reading I see I put my own weight on the wrong foot. It's
> still a false etymology (since in Huxley's coinage of the word
> "gnosis" just means "knowledge"), but I see we're not *really*
> disagreeing; it means there's no way to be certain about any answer
> to the god question.
> Damien Broderick

Yeah sorry all, that's what I meant. I meant that agnostics think this
inner-knowledge thing is bunk (I wasn't just asserting that).

Wikipedia on agnosticism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic

It's problematic that weak agnosticism (I don't know if there's a god,
unsure) and strong agnosticism (the question of god's existence is in
principle unknowable) are conflated. They're entirely different
positions; I can't see anything similar about them. The first seems to
me to be held by watered down theists, while the latter is a position
that is very negative about god, particularly when you consider that
it is a high rationalist argument (the unspoken corollary is "in light
of Occam's Razor, god has no place in our theories").



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