Agnostic Conditions Reprised
November 16, 2014 1 Comment
Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true by events. Its verity is in fact an event, a process: the process namely of its verifying itself, its veri-fication.
When I read what William James published in “The Meaning of Truth” I believed he was refering to the truth of ideas proposed by a single person or group of persons, a single consciousness or a collective of consciousness within their existence(s). One constantly tests his/her stream of ideas within present environmental experiences and social experiences, and then with his/her memory of experiences… to judge a notion true or not.
Navigating this uncertain world is certainly easier by taking an Agnostic position in regards to knowledge, and a willing to do the work of verifying ideas: in participation and in experience. But that’s just my opinion. So to start with an Agnostic attitude, what is “Agnosticism?”
“Agnostic Conditions ” was originally posted on May 3, 2009
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 of Objective Reality: “what is real is measurable” as defined by classical physics; accepted as universal.
- 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*conscious beings (organisms)
- A definition of Absolute Reality: the way things truly happen, whether comprehensible or not.
- 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, for clarification or communication
- that is prioritized in importance – intellectually and emotionally.
- that is
prioritizedcompared to other meanings in the context… social, personal, environmental contexts
- 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 contexts 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.
* edited for clarity and grammar 11-17-2014