Theism and Gnosticism

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#1
Certainly the on-going debates, if one were so affable to call them such, between theists and atheists make for interesting reads. Neither side proves much of anything but a devotion to faith in the gnostic - that is, their ability to discern what can and cannot exist through some esoteric function of their logic. When Euler met Diderot and exclaimed the fateful words ('Monsieur, (a + b^n)/n = X, donc Dieu existe: rêpondez!'), perhaps Diderot's response should not have been one of silence, but simply a restatement of fact. 'Nous sommes les mêmes.' We are the same. We make claims, we refute clever philosophical arguments for existence, but we prove nothing.

Often enough, I hear the misconception that agnostics are really atheists without gall. Not so. The Greek 'a,' meaning 'without' and 'gnosis,' meaning 'knowledge,' is reason enough to debunk this statement. Claiming to be 'without knowledge' is the belief that existence or nonexistance of God is not knowable. Claiming to be with the knowledge that God exists is gnostic theism. Claiming to be with the knowledge that God does not exist is gnostic atheism. I am aware that gnosticism and atheism are not often attributed one another, but any claim of knowing to a certainty the non-existence of God requires some belief system like gnosticism.

Thus, it follows that in order for agnostics to be proven wrong (i.e. that we do possess the knowledge to prove or disprove the existence of God), either group of gnostics, theist or atheist, must make an irrefutable claim about the existence or nonexistence of God.

So, my question is, what proof can be provided to an agnostic to help him/her aquire the knowledge necessary to finally come to terms with this God or nonGod? Or is it more likely that both are figments of our sixth sense: imagination?
 
#2
Gnosticism is simply a dualistic form of theism .. it still attributes reality to the handiwork of supernatural beings .. thus making it theistic .. ie God = supernatural being .. I favor Gnosticism over Abrahamic religions because it @ least encourages personal growth & intellect ..
 
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#3
Right, and I favour agnosticism because personal growth and 'intellect'/accumulation of facts can be inspired by your person without laying claim to fathoming supernatural.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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#4
Atheist. Agnostic. It's all just semantics. I like to think I'm an atheist agnostic pantheist humanist. I don't see any point in picking amongst them.
 
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#5
Atheist. Agnostic. It's all just semantics. I like to think I'm an atheist agnostic pantheist humanist. I don't see any point in picking amongst them.
With all due respect, because I'm honestly just curious, how do you personally justify atheism, the belief that we do hold within our grasp the knowledge (gnosis) necessary to confirm the non-existence of a God or gods, while simultaneously making claim to agnosticism, that we do not hold within our grasp the knowledge (a-gnosis) necessary to confirm the existence or non-existence of a God or gods? It seems to me they appear polar opposites in terms of beliefs of our knowledge.
 
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MrCarolina77

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#6
With all due respect, because I'm honestly just curious, how do you personally justify atheism, the belief that we do hold within our grasp the knowledge (gnosis) necessary to confirm the non-existence of a God or gods, while simultaneously making claim to agnosticism, that we do not hold within our grasp the knowledge (a-gnosis) necessary to confirm the existence or non-existence of a God or gods? It seems to me they appear polar opposites in terms of beliefs of our knowledge.
Maybe its that you don't call god out of the question but his existance is more then likely not true. Me personally. I think abrahamic gods are like santa. They both don't pass the bullshit test.
 
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#7
I just think it's ironic (and again, all seriousness here) that last night, I had the same conversation about atheists, theists and agnostics and he demonstrated with our three beer bottles how he thought the three aligned. He placed the agnostics and theists side by side and the atheists all lonesome off on what was supposed to represent the opposite polar coordinate. It seems that if you were there, you'd propose placing the atheists and agnostics side by side. Perhaps we agnostics are neither the proton nor the neutron that either the theists or the atheists, respectively, would propose. Rather, perhaps it is that we have no certainty in our lives that we travel in negative image, accepting neither God nor antiGod, that we are truly the electron of the thought, orbiting the nucleus of debate. But, even though we have very little mass, being electrons, we are still able to move around the nucleus, thus taking up most of the space in our atom of thought.

...yeah. Long story short, if I don't call out of question the existence of God, I can't rationally, logically, emotionally...I'll even throw in 'ethically' or 'morally'...automatically upon stating such revert to simultaneously mouthing to the other side of the class that I really already know God doesn't exist, but I'm entertaining the idea just in case. I personally am not out seeking God, and if I were I certainly wouldn't start with the Ibrihimics. Yet I can still say with great confidence that I find atheists without warrant or rightful suspicion to make such bold claims as they, on chance, do. You know, not passing the whole bullshit test either. It might just be me though, off in my own world of not knowing enough to make rash judgments without all the evidence.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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#8
A words meaning is generally its use. The term 'atheism' tends to get used as a catch-all phrase for religous skeptics. You may have seen the distinction made before between a soft atheist and a hard atheist. The former is basicly an agnostic, whereas the later holds the much stronger view that we have proof of the non-existance of God. A lot of people are hesitant to identify themselves as agnostics, because it often indicates that one is on the fence concerning the existance of God. I'm know I'm not.
 
#9
Thus, it follows that in order for agnostics to be proven wrong (i.e. that we do possess the knowledge to prove or disprove the existence of God), either group of gnostics, theist or atheist, must make an irrefutable claim about the existence or nonexistence of God.

So, my question is, what proof can be provided to an agnostic to help him/her aquire the knowledge necessary to finally come to terms with this God or nonGod? Or is it more likely that both are figments of our sixth sense: imagination?
..Well, if we suppose there's some form of valid argument to be made that suggests either god must exist or cannot exist.. then I guess if you refute or fail to refute the argument, that would be that.

But I have a problem with absolute certainty, so I tend to say that I can be certain that I can refute your argument that god must exist, but will not suggest that that means the existence of god is disproven. Since defining god in some limited form or shape in order to make a definite argument would just be to limit the concept of what god is. Instead of describing properties of what we might think god could be.

Still, this is because I have defined god as something incomprehensible, and am arguing that anyone presuming to know what god truly is is a liar and a charlatan. Which, of course, is a terrible contradiction. Or, optionally, just true for both the one claiming to know, and the one claiming to not know.

So I suppose I tend to think that it's not as important to find absolute knowledge, as it is to know the limits of absolute knowledge. Because that describes, to me, a much more useful way to accept both knowledge.. and belief.
 
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#10
Dear sir, I am in agreeance. My 'question,' in coy, was intended to poke fun at the premise of having absolute knowledge of the existence or non-existence of a god. It is better to know the limits of our knowledge and move rather comfortably around the world and the nucleus of debate.

I find no logical justification in calling one's self agnostic, but leaned towards atheist. Similarly with agnostic, leaned towards theist. Claiming both absolute knowledge (or a 'leaning towards absolute knowledge') and the lack of absolute knowledge is just a smidgeon contradictory.