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September 5, 2006

Agnosticism: "Because It Was Not the Sun"

Due sense of the general 'ignorance of man' would also beget in us a disposition to take up and rest satisfied with any evidence whatever, which is real....If a man were to walk by twilight, must he not follow his eyes as much as if it were broad day and clear sunshine? ...He might lament that the darkness concealed many extended prospects from his eyes, and wish for the sun to draw away the veil: but how ridiculous would it be to reject with scorn and disdain the guidance and direction which that lesser light might afford him, because it was not the sun itself!

This is from a sermon by the 18th-century Anglican clergyman, Joseph Butler, in response to Ecclesiastes. Rev. Butler's point is religious: "Let us adore that infinite wisdom, and power, and goodness, which is above our comprehension."

But might not this powerful image be used by atheists to counter agnostic arguments? No we can't see into ever nook and cranny of the universe to say with absolute, 100-percent surety that no God lurks there, but can't we see enough to determine that the presence of such a being would be highly, highly unlikely?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at September 5, 2006 11:08 PM



How are you doing conserning the new book?

I´m an agnostic but I presuppose atheism if it means the denial of religion of history. Agnosticism goes further afterwards saying, that even thoug all religion is dumped, the mysticism remains in some form in future. Scientific expansion moves foreward, and hopefully we know more and more about the univers but It would be irrational to clam tha we know all about the univers. This is the basic problem with the question about unknown agents, we cant proove or disproove these figures, we can say that the traditional view on gods has never been detained in nature, but this does not mean that other views on such agents could exist somewhere meaning non religious views, f.ex. some forces of some kind, aliens, and other agents but remember if these are the correct words for it, I prefer Unknown things only because it seems neutral. Of course everyone should say when getting the questions about Gods: I donno. Thats the correct answer, its noe possible to say that no such thing exists eventhoug its highly possible to say that the traditional religous views on these gods do not exist because when you remove religion, and there is only natural worldviews left, the mysticism is steal there, people will steal, I steal ask, what do we not know, what can these results lead to, what if we find lifeforms on mars, what will the future telescope of the Eagle show us in 20 years about origin, what if we find signs of aliens on other planets we are investigating etc., all these questions cant be answered yet, this probably could be called a quest for Gods also, only one form that is more in line with scientific thought or else we should only use the name the quest for the unknown to avoid the traditional connotations that lie with religions of history.

Posted by: Rogvi Magnuson at October 16, 2006 2:06 PM

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