By Peter Gransee

11/23/06 AM


Agnosticism is generally a belief that the existence of God is unknowable.


If something can be known on some level (no matter how weak), we can say that we have a concept for it. However, if it is truly unknowable, we are not even conscious of its lack of existence. Therefore, “knowable” as used in this sense describes the reasonableness of the knowledge. Agnostics would therefore say that the existence or non-existence of god is not appreciably knowable.


If we agree that all evidence requires at least some belief then what the agnostic claims is that some systems of belief are more worthy than others. This typically involves favoring logical or scientific systems over theistic philosophy.


But how do we know that the signals reaching our brain are an accurate representation of the world around us?


This brings us to Existentialism. The many variations of existentialism have their roots in Christian Existentialism (Kierkegaard, etc). Basically, every external sensor input is subject to the interpretation of the observer. The only science is a personal science. So your science is suspect and my science is absolute. With the secular version of this belief however, the veto power of a person's internal science usually gets the most use in running off any type of scary God idea. Meanwhile, other types of external beliefs are eagerly fawned over. 


If you really push an existentialist, they will admit they don't really know if you even exist and you may just as well be something they imagined. They also don't know how they exist themselves and could have just as well created themselves and everybody else. They could even be god.


Theism recognizes that what we think about our individual sensor inputs is a matter for each to decide. This really cannot be avoided. However, what theism does it provide a reasonable framework for beliefs outside of oneself by positing external absolutes. Of course, it is still up to the individual to decide if they even want to have a consistent meaning for external input and what that meaning is. And yes, "meaningless" is a meaning. :)