April 16, 2012 2 Comments
Agnostic – definition: not knowing or unknowing
What, then is the definition of Agnosticism?. If the definition of the root agnostic is “not knowing, or unknowing”, it is doubtful that one can define any full intellectual system of Agnosticism.–Much in the same manner one cannot with other “-isms” such as existentialism or postmodernism.
I was thinking about Jean-François Lyotard’s phrase: ” Postmodern Condition” , which is a loose bundle of observations and criticisms about Modernism. (specifically: these postmodern conditions are conditions that expose Modern ideas of “progress, “Meta-Narratives”, “cause-effect”,”objectivity” of Modernity as fallacious. ).
I wonder that if instead of an “Agnosticism”, there was a set of Agnostic Conditions, that were a reaction to theories of knowledge.
So I came up with a few agnostic conditions of my own:
- Our total knowledge of all details is limited.
- Nothing is absolutely known. What is “known” is based upon acceptable supporting evidence and verification.
- Knowledge is limited to the collective experience, communication means and data storage of a group or person.
- Knowledge is inseparable from consciousness. (which includes, previous and current meanings, bias, and introjection, etc)
- A definition Objective Reality: “what is real is measurable” as defined by classical physics.
- A definition of Subjective Reality: what is experienced, and accept as real by a single consciousness. such as the cognation of an organism’s interactions.
- A definition of Intersubjective Reality. the collected objects, events, structures, descriptions, meanings, principles, etc that are shared as “real” between subjective consciousness.
- A definition of Absolute Reality: the way things truly happen.
- meaningful… description of information, that is:
- that is formed out of background of discord
- that is relative: relative to a topic, study, paradigm, “game” , time-space location, happening, or world- view.
- that is defined in language, symbols or gesture,
- that is prioritized in importance – intellectually and emotionally.
- meaninglessness: information that is not meaningful and therefore remains, or is relegated to the background.
- I decide that “X” is true, false, or probable. I could be wrong.
- I do not have to decide if “X” is true, false, or probable with out the considering the agnostic conditions ( of Knowledge, Reality, Meaning).
- Uncertainty is inherent in the nature of things, actions and decisions.
I think that agnostic conditions are an important considerations when studying epistemology and knowledge theories, and when making decisions and actions. They are a criticism and completion of such. For me, this is a definition for agnosticism: a set of conditions.
As for the repetitive question is “Does God exist”?
Well, one ,must define what he means when he ask about “God” or gods, because there have been many definitions over time ,cultures, and subjective view points. How important is to know if God or gods exists or not? Is it as meaningful a question as to ask “is there intelligent life on other planets?, or knowing what goes on in other people lives in other countries? It might be. It might not be.
I don’t know.