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prisonchaplain

Agnosticism is literally without knowledge

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Agnosticism is truly without knowledge. We are made in God's image. Our best parents are present, engaged and attentive. Our most ideal families stick together through hardships. We understand each other and put our loved ones before ourselves. So why argue that our Creator keeps his distance, or has left? Why say He is unknowable? Perhaps it is because if God is knowable then we are accountable?

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Agnosticism is truly without knowledge. We are made in God's image. Our best parents are present, engaged and attentive. Our most ideal families stick together through hardships. We understand each other and put our loved ones before ourselves. So why argue that our Creator keeps his distance, or has left? Why say He is unknowable? Perhaps it is because if God is knowable then we are accountable?

 

About 20 years ago, I engaged an individual I worked with (in a friendly manner – we were not work place adversaries) in a discussion over whether or not G-d exists.   I guess it would be okay to post his name because he was and remains a “Public figure” in that he (Chris Allen) is (and was) the president of the Utah Chapter of the International Atheists Association (BTW this is an organization associated with the ACLU and causes what I think are a lot of problems – especially for religions).  As our discussion took place other gained interest and wanted to listen and – the discussion turned into a public debate.  At first it took place in the company lunch room during lunch hour but the numbers became so big we had to move both place and time. 

The debate went on and on – then at about the 3 month point I became a little discouraged.  I felt that our debate was just going into circles and that Chris was not listening to or even responding to my points.  He would just dismiss my best points and ignore the logic.  I decided to try a different approach.  I asked Chris to define G-d; to at least define the elements of G-d that he insisted could not exist.  At first Chris resisted saying why and how could he define something he did not believe existed or could exist.  But I insisted on the basis that he was not responding to points that I was making.  So, I said – we need to determine exactly what it is we are debating.

We began to step by step define G-d – relying mostly on Chris’ definitions.   Chris used a lot of words like omnipotent, all knowing, in charge of everything and in control of everything.  I was sure to write everything down to make sure nothing was missed.  When the list was completed I reviewed it with Chris and when he agreed – I conceded the debate and agreed he was right to not believe in such a G-d.  That I did not believe in such a G-d either.  Chris asked if I still believe in any G-d.  I responded that I did not believe in “that” G-d.  To discuss with him any other possibility of what he was convinced defined G-d was a pointless exercise and I pointed to our debate for the last 3 months.  I pointed out to Chris that if he was able to consider other possibilities of G-d – he would have done so by now because I have most certainly presented other options.

 

I have provided this long post because I believe agnosticism is not of necessity a lack of knowledge.  I believe that agnosticism can also be a conflict of knowledge or a conflict of admission of knowledge – in fact, I believe that a conflict of knowledge is the more likely.  I am most often surprised how often G-d is defined with attributes that a person so claiming will reject as being good or divine if exercised by someone other than G-d.  Or that such attributes should not be pursued by someone (everyone) that desires to “know” G-d.  What we are capable of “knowing” of G-d we are capable of doing – and I would suggest that those that say they know G-d and do “other” things are believing a lie very similar to the father of lies – Satan.

For those that think I am criticizing @prisonchaplain – you are wrong.  I believe he knows G-d more than most; even more than he is willing to admit and pronounce to himself and others.  But then not admitting the fullness of knowledge that we do have is a form of agnosticism – at least I think so.  

 

The Traveler

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7 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Why say He is unknowable? Perhaps it is because if God is knowable then we are accountable?

I came to the same conclusion a while back. I imagine for many, agnosticism allows people to admit there may be a God but to live a life that they want. Doing so in an attempt to "cover their bases" if there is a God, which in reality, most Christian denominations don't accept that ideology.

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On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 3:21 PM, Sunday21 said:

I converted from atheism because I recognized the gospel message. I was motivated to listen to the message because Atheism was not a lifestyle that seemed to work well. 

 

I find your post quite interesting.  I was born into my LDS faith as a 5th generation.  Without the family of goodly ancestors and especially parents I am not sure that I would be LDS today.   I am quite sure if I had been born into any other religion, other than LDS, that I would not be religious and very likely atheists.    It seems to me that so much of what I find valid and truthful – many in the religious community seem to respond that someone cannot believe such things and also believe in G-d.  If they are experts in G-d and believing in him then I cannot turn against things I know or deeply believe to be true for such a G-d. 

There are some rare exceptions but the atheists I deal with in my work all come from religious homes – often their father was a minister.  I so sympathize because I cannot believe what they say they cannot believe and yet, I find it difficult to explain that I believe in a G-d that has created us as his offspring and not some lessor being or an amusing pet that is kind-of but not really family.

 

The Traveler

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49 minutes ago, Sunday21 said:

@traveler

I was surprised when I was taking the discussions to find that LDS people assumed that God was their actual father. I was horrified actually!

 

I am still horrified with the notion of an all intelligent G-d that will create all kinds of beings but will not consider taking on the responsibility of a Father and husband (for another being like him – and since we are told in scripture both men and women are in the image of G-d I assume that there is a her that completes him and is “our Mother there”).

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

My understanding of agnosticism is that they don't believe in God, but they are keeping an open mind - just in case. 

This seems to be the reality "on the ground level." I believe the academic definition is that God may or may not exist, but either way, He cannot be known by us. 

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Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

This seems to be the reality "on the ground level." I believe the academic definition is that God may or may not exist, but either way, He cannot be known by us. 

Yup. That's the textbook definition of agnosticism really. I admire agnosticism more than atheism as a philosophy. I totally understand where agnostics are coming from. I'm not sure you can prove if God exists or not. It's a matter of faith to some degree. 

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