Agnostic Conditions

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:

Knowledge

  • 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)

Reality

  • 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.

Meaning.

  • 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.

Uncertainty

Uncertainty. Image from Wikipedia.org

  • 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.

Agnosticism, After life, and my pet Cat.

To clearly understand my agnostic view point on death, one must understand that some questions and beliefs have different level of importances.
an example.

Many  Quantum Mathematicians have posed mathematical possibilities
of  parallel universes, universe with different rules than our universe, even a “multi-verse“.

There is little empirical proof in our living world or close proximities in the universe, that other universes truly exist…
…not enough to top all reasonable doubt.
Just the same, not enough empirical evidence to dismiss other universes outside our own.  So it remains a mathematical possibility.

with that said, I don’t know if  parallel universes or a multi-verse  exist.
Do I need to proclaim   one of the statements….

  • I  actively believe in a  multi-verse!
  • I actively do not believe in a muliti-verse!.

Well if my career was astrophysics whether I believe or not, maybe important.
For the curiosity’s sake,  the possibility is worth investigating.
However, in my   life, my world that I live in, my reality.. its not important or relevant as other belief statements…..

It is more important just to be able to say I don’t know“.

Same goes for other supernatural questions.. As an agnostic
I do not know if consciousness leaves to another supernatural place  after death. I do not know what happens after existence.
For me, it is not as important as questions pertaining to this life or existence.
Its ok to say I don’t know, whether I suspect one way or the other or neither way.
This is not a matter of belief/disbelief  that creates ambivalence in my  life, presently.
——–

My pet cat passed away this week.
I am not concerned of beliefs of where his spirit or consciousness went after existence.
I am only concerned with remembering his existence…
he had a pretty good life.
he was a good friend.
I feel the loss.

Thats far more important and meaningful to me than metaphysical statements of beliefs or disbeliefs in an afterlife.

for these questions, and many others I answer
I don’t know…
and thats ok .

Sluething

If I already Knew
I’d Be missing out
on the Adventure of Learning
The stimulation of mystery

The discovering of what
The tempestuous How
humbling error
Invigorating ‘aha

And when I see you
you’re always changing
the world is evolving
And I’m always engaging
The adventure of learning
while never fully Knowing.

why “agnostic”? — I don’t know

I studied physics in college (the first time around hehe). And I believe that the Natural Laws , Physical Laws, Mathematical Principles of the Universe work every where in the Universe.
Why then, should we in science, have to look in so many places to understand the universe? we should be able to look into any volume of air around us, the natural Laws are the same there as any other place. We shouldn’t need to peer into Black Holes or into DNA or into fossils or into Human History.

The problem is that we, as observers, have only our own experience, or the collective scientific experience to compare with our data. The volume of air around us still runs by the laws of the Universe, It the scientific observation of that volume of air that is limited at any given time.

I wonder if Isaac Newton, with the gained scientific knowledge of of the 19 century, would have understood that time is relative. Einstein had an advantage of a couple centuries. Isaac, instead, believed that God used time to move mass, to propel the Universe.
Einstein himself, had all the mathematics of the Big Bang theory, but couldn’t put it together, because he believed the the Universe could have no beginning or end.

So science is never an absolute, since it is limited to realm of human observation and experience. Science is limited at any given time, because its observation of the scientist, Man and his knowledge, is also limited.
Thus I use the term “agnostic”.
To the agnostic: Science is a powerful means of understanding our world, but never a complete one.
There IS No complete means, their is always a degree of uncertainty.
For me as an agnostic there are many means. Perhaps we can call these means :”languages”.
Rationalism, empiricism, mathematics, history, all the sciences, and perhaps mysticism they are all languages Just as art, music, mythology and other forms of communication are languages.
All these Languages are parts… integrated into a greater language: a” Meta-language”. This Meta language o be spoken, communicated and tested within our realm of human interaction which we call existence.

For the “agnostic“, he or she must come to terms with uncertainty and doubt, Subjectivity with objectivity and this greatly affects the way we think of believe and knowledge. Agnostics are often spiritual, but reject Fundamentalism in Religion. Just the same we agnostics maybe lovers of the sciences, but reject the narrow absolutism of the dubbed “evangelical” or “militant” atheism as meaningful essence in our lives.

It is a great gift — the freedom to evolve our values and beliefs with limited coercion in our lives, and to steer clear of the pitfalls of extremism.